Choosing a stroller for your child can be challenging – there is a multitude of stroller features which address comfort, of both parent and child, convenience for parents, as well as safety features.
Many stroller features address the comfort of the parent in addition to the comfort of the child. Stroller features such as extra padding in the seating area help to provide maximum comfort for the child while sitting or lying down. Extra seat area padding can also help to absorb some of the vibration while strolling.
Though, if you’re looking to provide your child great comfort while riding, the stroller features to consider are air-filled rubber tires and a suspension system. These features will take the vibrations out of any ride just like a luxury vehicle.
Most strollers offer other comfort features for your child which include a canopy to keep your child protected from the strong sun. Often, strollers also offer a plastic sun-roof so you can look down upon your child without disrupting them and let your child look up at you.
Though this is a common stroller feature, many canopied strollers do not come with a sun roof so be sure to check the stroller specification sheet before you purchase. Other child comfort features can include bug netting, to protect the child from insects, and rain hoods to keep children dry should you get caught in the rain.
Many strollers offer convenience features which are intended to make the parent’s strolling experience more enjoyable. Stroller convenience features can include parent trays, which can hold adult-sized cups and other small items such as keys or mobile phone, as well as child snack trays which can store your child’s snacks, drink, and toys.
Other convenience features often include under-seat storage baskets, for diaper bags or other packages, and may sometimes include a behind the seat organizer for stowing additional parent’s and child’s necessities.
You may find some strollers short on storage. If this is the case, a nice extra to have is a stroller hook which allows you to hang a diaper bag, purse, or shopping bag from the stroller.
Some of the most important stroller features are those relating to child safety. The first safety feature to consider is the seat belt or harness. Though a basic seat belt may suffice to secure older children, a multi-point harness provides the best security of babies and toddlers. Most strollers now come equipped with a 5-point harness – be careful to avoid those who do not have a multi-point harness.
Another important safety feature is stroller brakes for securely parking the stroller. Most strollers come with at least rear-wheel brakes. These are satisfactory for most situations. Though, I have found that parking on the side of inclines, with heavier children seated in the stroller, having only rear-wheel brakes locked, the stroller has a tendency to rotate facing downhill. Because of this, I tend to prefer strollers that also include front-wheel brakes.
Another set of stroller convenience features which can be greatly beneficial – particularly when you’re on the go and have your hands full – are considered stow-and-go features. These features can include single-action release to fold your stroller, one-handed opening and closing, and quick release wheels for large strollers (such as joggers) that often need to have wheels removed when transporting.