Advantages of getting a convertible stroller
A convertible stroller can save you the hassle and cost of having to buy multiple strollers in a relatively short space of time. Though a lot of the products on our list are convertible in different ways, most of them have a setting which suits newborns such as a bassinet style stroller, or can quickly turn the stroller into more of a pushchair design, which is more suited to 2-4 year olds and toddlers rather than tiny children.
Other convertible products can have some exceptional ideas and features which can further save you time and money. For instance, some can transform into double or even triple strollers as your family grows and this means you don’t need to replace the stroller. If this is something you’re after, do some research on stroller wagons if you haven’t before – they’re a highly versatile option that is becoming increasingly popular amongst parents, as they can accommodate multiple kids of different ages, whilst being incredibly fun to use!
Features to consider when choosing a convertible stroller
Here are the features we consider essential and use when we’re working out which models to recommend. It is well worth reading our buying guide as some of these features are likely to become more of a priority than others. For instance, if you plan on taking two different children on your stroller, then you may require a higher weight capacity. If you want to protect your child from the sun, then you may need something which has a canopy which can keep your child protected from the sun.
Some strollers are more convertible than others. Some will simply be able to convert from facing backwards to forwards, whereas others will have the capacity to add extra seats, or even have 360-degree facing capabilities. Newer models tend to be adding new and exciting features to try and stand out from the competition, and this has definitely given more choice in the market and means you can find any kind of stroller to suit your needs.
Convertible functions should be considered not just in terms of how many different features you need and how flexible your stroller can be. You must also consider how simple it is to make these conversions. It needs to be simple and straightforward, it shouldn’t feel like rocket science to be able to move from one mode to another.
The weight capacity of a stroller should be considered, and this will dictate how long you can use the stroller for. Many convertible strollers can be used from birth, all the way up until a child hits the weight capacity. So, if you have a stroller with 20 lb capacity it will see a lot less use than one that can hold kids until they weigh up to 40 or 50 lb. This will also play a part when considering whether to turn a stroller into a double or triple stroller. If your little one is larger than the average toddler, then we recommend taking a look at some of the best strollers for big kids that will provide the best level of comfort for your child.
The main reason to consider the dimensions is the portability of a product as well as how simple it will be to push around. Imagine taking to the shops with an absolutely huge stroller, it can be cumbersome and get in the way. It will also take up a lot of space should you plan to leave your stroller anywhere.
The most important factor is whether or not your child can comfortably fit within the stroller, so it should have plenty of headroom.
Stroller weight is another important factor. Pushing around a heavy stroller with a child can be tiring, but more importantly, transporting it can be tough if it is heavy. Say you need to lift it to get it into the back of your car or SUV.
On the other hand, a lightweight stroller may not be quite as sturdy. Try to pick a product which manages to be hard-wearing in spite of being relatively lightweight.
Foldability and folded dimensions
A stroller which can fold is basically a must. Most of us need to transport the stroller with us wherever we go, and take it on public transport, in the car, even on planes. Being able to pack it down to fit in the trunk of a car is the number one priority for many parents.
Be sure to check the folded dimensions of a stroller and ensure it will fit in your vehicle with ease.
Unfortunately, some strollers do have some very flimsy wheels, which can mean you end up having to replace them, and avoiding certain types of terrain. The products that have made our ‘best of’ list don’t suffer from this affliction, as we have tried to only recommend products with exceptional wheels and the suitability to go on any surface. Many also have suspension systems which can mean a smoother ride for your children. If this is something you’re particularly interested in and if you have two kids, then take a look at our picks of the best double jogging strollers, as these provide some of the most comfortable experiences for your little ones.
A nice bonus when it comes to keeping your children safe is the number of reclining positions. The positions should go as far as flat or almost flat, which is better for younger kids, but if it has more options then this can be a real plus point and ticks a big box.
Safety: seat belts, handle strap, locking wheels
Anything you plan to put your child in for transportation purposes simply must be safe. Even if you’re going at walking pace, you cannot be too careful, so safety features must be considered. These often come in the form of adjustable belts and harness systems, which should be not only sturdy but comfortable and padded so that your child doesn’t mind wearing them.
Other features which are big plus points include handle straps to keep the stroller tethered to you, and locking wheels letting you park your stroller safe in the knowledge it won’t roll off.
Construction and comfort
These two tend to go hand-in-hand. A better produced product with good quality craftsmanship is likely to be more comfortable. In our reviews, we consider how well each stroller has been made and the comfort this provides for your little ones. Nobody wants to spend time in an uncomfortable seat, so your baby should be satisfied to stay in the stroller at all times.
Car seat compatibility
Car seats and strollers often go together in many respects. If you can simply pop the car seat out and put it straight into your stroller, then it can save a lot of hassle. The time this cuts down can add up over the years, and getting your kid out of the car and ready for an onward journey can be tough at the best of times. Many strollers and car seats are made by the same companies, and this can help with compatibility. For instance, the Graco Uno2Duo model reviewed in this article can fit any of their car seats, making the process of switching between the two very simple.
Check the manufacturer’s advice to find out what car seats your stroller is compatible with, and whether you’ll need to purchase an adapter.
Though this isn’t a feature unique to strollers by any stretch of the imagination, the warranty should always be considered whenever you are buying pretty much any product. Super long warranties which you may get with tools or household items are rarely offered with strollers, but at least a one-year warranty can be very useful and helps offer an extra level of protection.