How To Choose A Baby Stroller
Whether you’re a city mama who regularly takes quick jaunts to her favorite coffee shop, or an outdoor adventurist who can’t wait to get her little on the trails, your stroller will fast become a staple item in your life.
If you’re in the market for a stroller, you know the number of choices can be overwhelming – and that’s why your team at Truly Mama has hit the aisles of our favorite baby stores (online, these days!) to do the heavy lifting on stroller types for you.
Below are some helpful tips for new parents when it comes to choosing the stroller that will best suit your life with baby. We’ll talk about some of the best strollers on the market, from the best strollers for newborns to the best strollers for travel to if the Uppababy stroller is really worth the money.
In This Article
- Types of baby strollers
- Stroller features
- Things to consider
- Best budget-friendly stroller pick: Graco Modes Stroller
- Best luxury stroller: UPPAbaby Vista V2
- Best stroller for active mamas: Bob Revolution Stroller
- Best travel stroller: Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller
- Best lightweight stroller: GB Pockit Stroller
- Best stroller travel system: Britax B-Free & B-Safe Ultra Travel System
- Best double stroller: Graco Ready 2 Grow
- Best stroller for growing families: Joovy Big Caboose Graphite Stand-On Tandem Triple Stroller
- Stroller comparison
Types of Baby Strollers
If you’re in the market for a baby stroller, you may be wondering what specific kind of stroller you should look for. Baby strollers really range widely in terms of features, price, and even how many children they can hold, so it’s helpful to know what you are looking for before you buy.
Typically, strollers are broken down into the following categories:
- Travel system strollers. Travel systems are strollers that are meant to be paired with an included infant car seat that can attach to the stroller, then detach for easy insertion into a vehicle. The system also usually includes a car seat base, so you have everything you need for traveling from car to stroller. Once your baby outgrows the car seat, the stroller can be used as a stand-alone stroller. You’ll typically pay a little more for a travel system than just a single stroller, but you’ll be getting everything you need and won’t have to worry if the infant seat you choose is compatible with your stroller.
- Single strollers. Single strollers are traditional strollers meant to be used with a baby who is able to sit upright safely without an attached car seat. (Quick note: we are talking about an infant bucket seat, not a convertible car seat.) A traditional stroller usually comes with additional features like an under-stroller basket for storage, a sun canopy, cup and snack holders, and a reclining seat.
- Lightweight strollers. Lightweight strollers are exactly what they sound like–strollers that are designed more for travel or easy transport and can fold easily. They may not have all the features of a full-sized stroller, or may have some limited features, such as smaller baskets or sun canopies, and limited storage space or snack areas.
- Jogging strollers. Jogging strollers, sometimes referred to as baby joggers, are specifically designed to be used while jogging with your baby or toddler in the stroller, so they can only be used by babies that can sit upright and can’t be used with an infant seat attachment. Jogging strollers typically have more serious suspension to be able to handle the extra load of running, reinforced harnesses to keep your little one safe, and 3 wheels (including a lockable front wheel.)
- Double strollers. Double strollers hold–you guessed it–two children, and sometimes more. Double strollers come in two forms: side-by-side seating or front-to-back, and many versions of double strollers also offer a third seating option, or a standing platform, to hold an older child as well. Some single strollers, like the UppaBaby or the Mockingbird, can also can be transformed into a double stroller with add-on accessories.
So, what exactly should you look for in a stroller? Along with knowing what type of stroller you want, we recommend taking time to learn what type of features are available in a stroller so you can choose the features to find the right stroller for your family. Some of the features that you can expect to find in a stroller include:
- Sun canopy. Will you be using your stroller for extended periods of time outside? You’ll want to find a stroller that features an extendable and positionable sun canopy, as well as UPF protection.
- Foldability. If you will be transporting your stroller regularly, knowing how easily it can fold and fit into your vehicle or on public transportation is key. In fact, after five kids, I would say that how easily a stroller can fold is the #1 feature you should look for–a stroller can have all the bells and whistles, but if you can’t fold it up and fit it where you need to go, what good is it?
- Weight. Along the same lines, be sure to check the weight of the stroller you’re looking at. Strollers that have more features–like oversized storage baskets or add-on stroller seats or platforms for additional children–will also weigh more.
- Infant seat compatibility. If you plan on using a stroller from the get-go with your newborn, you’ll need a stroller that can accept an infant car seat. And keep in mind: if you don’t buy a travel stroller system, you’ll have to make sure that the stroller you choose is compatible with your infant car seat.
- Add-on accessories. Outside of your basic stroller frame, consider what other features you want out of a stroller. Add-on accessories can be things like a storage basket (some even zipper shut if you will be transporting a lot of items in the basket), stroller weather covers for rain and snow, parent organizers, snack trays, and cup holders for both you and your baby.
- Multiple-children capability. If you are having multiples, will need stroller space for an older child, or just want a stroller that can grow with your family if you choose, you’ll want to choose a stroller that can handle more than one child. Some strollers have built-in multiple seating, while others have optional add-on seating that you can purchase later.
- Suspension and all-terrain capacity. Knowing where you plan on using your stroller is a definite must. I have owned a lot of different strollers and I can attest that not all strollers are built alike when it comes to their ability to navigate different types of terrain. Some strollers are built for the urban life, and can navigate sidewalks and concrete smoothly, while other strollers can handle the rough-and-tumble of dirt roads and grassy lawns. Know what you’re signing up for before you buy.
Important Things to Consider
When choosing a sweet new ride for your precious little bundle, your lifestyle, family size and desired budget are important considerations to keep in mind. Reflecting on who you are, what your life looks like, and what kind of dough you’re looking to spend are key elements in beginning to sift through the many stroller models available on the market today.
A stroller can really range in price from as low as $20 for a lightweight umbrella stroller to upwards of over $1,000 for travel systems and luxury buys. How much you want to spend really comes down to what you will be using the stroller for and what features you are looking for in a stroller. In some situations, you may also be able to add several stroller options to your baby registry so there is a range of options for your family and friends’ budgets, as well as your own needs. For instance, it definitely makes sense to add both a travel system and a jogger stroller to your registry, because they are two very different strollers.
1. Your Lifestyle
Selecting a stroller that will best fit your lifestyle is very important in ensuring you’re happy with your purchase. Consider your everyday activities: are you likely to be walking the mall or hiking on outdoor terrain? Do you frequent yoga studios or do you jog outside? Do you drive to most of your destinations or are you more likely to hit the pavement? What kind of climate do you live in? Do you travel often, necessitating an easy-to-fold and carry stroller? And don’t forget about space considerations—do you have a smaller vehicle or living area and want to ensure the stroller you choose has a slim profile?
“The more time I spent with my stroller, the more I wish I had chosen something else. I have major stroller regret.”
2. Your Family
The vision you have for building your family is another important consideration to make when selecting your ideal stroller. Is your little likely to be your one-and-only, or do you hope to add another bundle within three years of your new arrival?
If you think you will have babies fairly close together, investing in a stroller that can convert to a double stroller is an excellent way to save yourself time – and eventually money. If you will space your babies further apart, however, a single stroller may be the right option for you. However, if you want to hold onto your stroller for future babies, consider looking for something that will have some longevity and has a great reputation for withstanding wear and tear. And of course, if you will be using the stroller right away, you need one that can connect to an infant seat.
3. Your Budget
Price ranges for strollers can vary from under one hundred dollars all the way to upwards of a thousand dollars of more. Consider your nice-to-haves versus need-to-haves and place available options within your desired price range against your list of criteria. Remember, new strollers made by reputable brands will meet the safety standards in your country – so while spending extra money may get you more bells and whistles, it won’t necessarily make your baby safer compared to a less expensive option.
Truly Mama Stroller Picks
Now that we’ve explored what to look for in a stroller, let’s dive in, shall we? From the best strollers for a budget to versions that can grow with your family, here are Truly Mama’s top picks for strollers.
Best Overall Pick
A Stroller That Does It All
Like we said, this stroller does it all—it accepts all Graco infant car seats, and can be used for toddlers and big kids too. Your toddler can forward or rear-face for different views, and we appreciate the fully reclining seat, one-handed standing fold, and included trays. Plus, it has a removable and washable seat cushion, which is um, pretty awesome.
Graco Modes Stroller Features:
- Reversible or forward-facing seat
- 3 or 5-point safety harness
- 1-hand fold
- Used for up to 50 lbs.
- Stroller weight: 23.36 lbs
- Dimensions: 27.5″L x 23.5″W x 41″H
- Folded dimensions: 39″ L x 23.5″ W x 14″ H
Although this stroller has many features that make it a versatile pick for a one-stop stroller, one mom pointed out that the sun canopy does not rotate down–it’s accordion style only, so it may not be adjustable if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors.
“This is my first Graco stroller. Love how versatile it is, the smooth ride, light weight, and easy to open and close. With my first son we didn’t buy a Graco product till it was time to upgrade his car seat when he got older. Best car seat ever.” —Walmart.com review
Best Luxury Pick
An Investment Worth the Price
The Uppa Baby is an investment, but it can be used with two infant car seats, making it a double stroller even for twins, and later, with add-on accessories, three kids, up to 50 pounds in each seat. The extra-duty storage basket that can handle up to 30 pounds, making it perfect for city mamas getting groceries or running errands. It also comes with a full-size bassinet and bug/rain cover cover, making it the best bassinet stroller around. You can even use the bassinet outside of the stroller as an overnight sleep solution at home or when you’re traveling.
UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller Features:
- Spring-action all-wheel suspension
- Infant bassinet included (car seat sold separately)
- Dimensions: 17.3″ L x 25.7″ W x 33.3″ H
- Stroller weight: 27 lbs. (bassinet is an additional 8 lbs.)
- Stroller can handle up to 100 lbs.
- Basket can hold up to 30 lbs.
Aside from the steep price, the UppaBaby is also a pretty heavy stroller, which can make the fold cumbersome as well. And don’t forget that you’ll have to buy a lot of the add-on accessories, like the car seat, snack tray, parent tray, and cupholders all separately too.
“I bought this stroller because I have a newborn and an 18 month old and wanted a stroller for both of them that transitions through toddler phases. I love this stroller! Extremely easy to put together and to maneuver. Only down side is it’s not super easy to fold with one hand and it’s also pretty heavy.”–Brandi
Best for Active Mamas
A BOB for Both Runners and Casual Walkers Alike
You just can’t go wrong with a BOB. Serious runners will attest to the suspension system, air-filled tires, and maneuverability of the BOB, but even casual joggers can appreciate the ease-of-use the BOB jogging stroller provides. And it’s compatible with most infant car seats when you buy the adapter. One of our fave features? The oversized canopy on this stroller provides the ultimate in sun protection on your runs (or walks–we don’t judge).
BOB Revolution Stroller Features:
- Can hold a child up to 75 pounds and 44 inches
- Stroller dimensions: 45L x 24.5W x 43H inches
- Stroller weight: 28 lbs.
- Handlebar console included
The BOB is a jogger, which means that it’s not the most compact stroller around. It folds easily, but the large tires will most likely need to be removed before you store it in a vehicle or take it on-the-go. That’s true of most jogging strollers and the tires do pop off very easily, but it’s definitely something to be aware of.
“I’m not going to lie to you–I used a cheap, $75 Baby Trend jogger for all 5 of my kids and thought it was decent enough to get my runs in. And then I went running with a mom who had a BOB and let me tell you what–they are not enough comparable. The BOB blew me away with how comfortable it is for babies and its incredible suspension, maneuverability, and how easy it is to push while running. Wish I would have bought one years ago!!”–C.B.
Best Pick for Travel
Lightweight, But Make it Sturdy
Weighing in at just 13 pounds, this lightweight stroller packs a serious punch. It’s constructed with an aluminum frame, which means it’s lightweight yet incredibly sturdy. And although you can’t use it with babies under 6 months, it can hold up to 50 pounds and easily folds and transports with one hand. For travel, the auto-lock and carrying strap make it convenient for transporting. It also has an extra-large storage basket, which can be hard to find in lightweight stroller models.
Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller Features:
- Accepts a child up to 50 lbs. and up to 43 inches
- Basket can accomodate up to 10 lbs.
- 4-position recline
- Stroller dimensions: 18 x 17 x 43 inches
- Stroller weight: 13 lbs.
- Includes one cup holder
The sun canopy isn’t the greatest, so save this stroller for quick walks outside, or for when you need to travel or a quick get-up-and-go option with your little one. Also keep in mind that you can’t attach an infant seat to this stroller, so if you need to transport your little one in the early months, you’ll need a baby wearing solution or another stroller that is compatible with an infant car seat.
“After LOTS of research, I purchased this stroller a few months ago to be able to transport my one year old daughter around on vacation to Lake Como, Italy. The streets and terrain in Lake Como are far from ideal for a stroller, but this held up amazingly well over cobblestone streets, up and down stone stairs, through grass and dirt roads. I could not be happier with its performance. This is also incredibly comfortable for such a lightweight and compact stroller. The seat is nicely padded and FULLY RECLINES. This is such a unique feature for a stroller like this. We could put the seat completely back so that my daughter could nap easily on the go.”–Lauren L.
Best Lightweight Pick
It’s a Bag! No, It’s a Stroller!
If you want to talk lightweight strollers, this little beauty here only weighs 10.6 pounds. And it folds down into basically a handbag, so it’s perfect for travel or navigating tight spaces (hey there, subway car.) Plus, the storage basket can still hold up to 11 pounds. Not bad at all. We also like the incredibly breathable mesh fabric this stroller is made of, so your little one will stay cool and comfy in warm-weather months.
GB Pockit Stroller Features:
- Stroller dimensions (unfolded): 28 in x 17.5 in x 39.8 in
- Stroller dimensions (folded): 11.8 in x 7.1 in x 13.8 in
- Stroller can hold up to 55 lbs.
- Stroller weight: 10.4 lbs.
- Can be used for babies over 6 months old and up
As lightweight as this stroller is, it is a little more pricey than some other options without the full-sized capabilities of a full-sized stroller, so you’ll definitely want to be sure this is the right option for you before you buy.
“For starters, this stroller is tiny, it’s thin, and it’s light. This is not a heavy item which is awesome for traveling! Secondly, it folds to the perfect size and yes, I took it on the plane as a carry-on. It slide right under the seat. Literally. Right underneath. When we were getting off the plane in Grand Cayman, my husband was holding my daughter, I was holding my son’s hand, we walked down the ramp off the plane and in a total of 6 seconds, I opened two strollers and strapped my kids in to walk through the air port with them. This right here…this was gold. I was able to get us through immigration and customs with my kids securely strapped down so I didn’t have to worry about them running a muck. I had moms coming up to me asking me where I got this stroller. They were in awe of the size and the fact that it folded.” J.C.
Best Travel System Pick
From Car Seat to Stroller
If you want a travel system that does it all, the Britax B-Free includes an infant car seat with base for car rides, and can easily click into the stroller for walks. When your baby is ready to transition, the stroller can be used up to 55 pounds. We appreciate the thoughtful features on the Britax: ventilation on both the car seat and stroller canopy, a front-access storage basket, one-handed fold, and a European belt routing guide for installation without the base. It also boasts plenty of storage pockets and an adjustable handelbar.
Britax B-Free & B-Safe Ultra Travel Stroller Features:
- Includes the B safe ultra-infant car seat and base, B free stroller, and adapters
- Stroller dimensions: 44 x 24 x 42 inches
- Stroller weight: 31.5 lbs.
- Stroller can be used for up to 65 lbs.; infant car seat can hold up to 35-pound infant
- All-terrain tires
Although this travel system comes with everything you need to go from vehicle to stroller, there are some additional items–like a tray and cup holder–sold separately.
“We bought this with the Britax B-safe ultra car seat to make the travel system. This stroller moves very well across most types of surface, it makes nice tight turns. We got this one so we could take our little one on walks with the dog over various terrain (uneven rock paths, grass, random dirt trails in the woods, pavement, in the snow even!) and it hasn’t skipped a beat. I was worried about the front wheel falling off or being a problem from reading some reviews but we found locking the wheel in the straight ahead position when going over anything really rough makes the stroller feel MUCH sturdier.” —Amazon customer review
Best Double Stroller Pick
Double, But No Trouble
This double stroller offers 12 different ways to ride, so you can combine an independent (read: stubborn) toddler and baby, or two bigger kids up to 90 pounds. You can also use the stroller with two compatible Graco infant seats, and the rear seat is removable if your big kid would rather use a bench or standing platform. It comes with a snack tray and cupholder for the front rider, and plenty of storage as well as riding options.
Graco Ready 2 Grow Stroller Features:
- Main seat is good for a child up to 50 lbs.; rear seat holds up to 40 lbs.
- Stroller weight: 34 lbs
- Unfolded stroller dimensions: 42″ L x 23.5″ W x 45″ H
- Folded stroller dimensions: 21″ L x 23.5″ W x 52.5″ H
As with a lot of double strollers, size can be an issue, so some reviews have noted that it can be cumbersome to fold up and stash in a trunk.
“I love this stroller! After researching and looking and trying out various double strollers, we found this to be our best fit and we are very pleased with it. Not to mention it is much more affordable than other double strollers out there. We love that our infant car seat clicks in . My toddler is pretty tall and can fit fine on the front seat and has even taken naps while in the stroller. It is big, but all double strollers are going to be big. Given its size it still can fit into a compact Toyota trunk just fine . I’m so happy that we went with this stroller and I can definitely say it will last us !” Buy Buy Baby review
Growing Family Pick
It’s hard to find a stroller that can hold 3 kiddos at a time, but this stroller—aptly named—is up to the task. It can hold 2 car seats (and it even includes adapters, so you’re ready to go!) and one standing big kid, or 2 sitting children, and one standing. The Joovy would be perfect for kids close in age, twins, or even if you want to give your big kid the option to sit or stand alongside a baby sibling. We love that both seats can full-sized canopies and can recline with adjustable foot rests. One note: this stroller is big, so definitely measure your vehicle before you invest.
Joovy Big Caboose Stand-On Tandem Triple Stroller Features:
- Stroller can accommodate up to 125 lbs.
- Stroller weight: 34.2 lbs.
- Stroller dimensions unfolded: 55″ L x 21.55″ W x 44.25″ H
- Stroller dimensions unfolded: 63″ L x 21.5″ W x 14″ H
- Rear parking brakes
- All-wheel suspension
- Lockable front swivel wheels
- Child trays and cupholders
- Parent organizer
Some reviewers have found that while this stroller can hold a lot of kids, it can be difficult to navigate as a result–tight spaces and turns may be a challenge, so be warned if you think you plan on navigating crowded areas where you may encounter sharp turns or narrow spots.
“I have been shopping around for a triple stroller for some time now with no luck. When I saw this Joovy Big Caboose Graphite Stand On Triple Stroller with all its awesome features I knew I had to have it! I am a single mom of three, and sometimes when we go on our outdoor adventures it can be overwhelming managing all three of my kids, especially when one or more of them get tired. This stroller is amazing. It has two seats that fully recline, both that have foot rests, large canopies and attachable trays. The trays each have two small cup holders and provide enough space for your littles to snack or play. These two seats are perfect for my youngest kids.”–Walmart.com review
Let's Compare Features
Graco Modes Stroller
UPPAbaby Vista V2
Bob Revolution Stroller
Summer Infant 3D Lite
GB Pockit Stroller
Britax B-Free & B-Safe Ultra
Joovy Big Caboose
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a stroller travel system?
A stroller travel system includes 3 components for baby: a detachable infant car seat, a base that can be installed in a car, and a stroller that can accommodate the car seat, and be used later, when the baby is out of the infant car seat too.
Can all strollers be used with an infant car seat?
No. Some strollers are designed to accommodate an infant car seat, but others—especially lightweight and travel strollers—may not accept an infant car seat. Some strollers also only are comptabitble with one brand of infant car seat, so you’ll want to double check that your infant car seat and stroller choice can work together if you have two different brands.
Can I buy a used stroller?
The American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend that parents buy new strollers. If you do acquire a used stroller, you should check that it was not a recalled version on the CPSC website.
What is the most important feature in a stroller?
Strollers have different purposes, so the most important feature is the one that meets your needs. You might need a lightweight stroller for easy transporting, or a heavy-duty jogging stroller if you’re training for a race. Other families might value a stroller that can hold multiple children. Look for safety features like a 5-point harness and brakes, but other than that, a stroller should make sense for your family.