What I love about trying out a new stroller is testing out all the features it has to offer. I’ve had my fair share of baby carriages over the course of the last eight years (and four kids) so I’m pretty confident in telling you exactly what works and what doesn’t. When it comes to finding a stroller that is perfect for you and your family, making sure you are going to love it over the long run is key. You don’t want to be stuck with something that you just don’t like.
When shopping for a new stroller here are the essential features that I recommend you look for:
- A large canopy – not only is this essential for keeping the sun out of your precious little one’s eyes, it is great wind protection on those blustery days (especially if they are sleeping).
- A full recline – your child is bound to fall asleep while strolling at one point or another, and having a full recline so they can lay back and sleep is key to keeping them asleep. A full recline is also essential if you plan to use the stroller from birth as infants need to be able to lie on their backs.
- Cupholder – When I say cupholder, I mean a cupholder for you! There is nothing worse than trying to push one-handed while sipping your coffee and then running off course into the bushes when your toddler is sleeping which wakes them up well before they are due to wake up causing a crying fit — I digress. Get a cupholder. You’ll want one.
- Maneuverability – This isn’t something you can always test beforehand so be sure to rely on reviews to make sure the one your are eyeing moves with ease and takes turns like a champ. I’ve had strollers in the past that were a pain to turn and you do not want one you have to fight with (see feature #3).
- A large basket – Do you have stuff? Does your child need diapers, or bottles, or sippy cups, or blankets? You need a place to put all those ‘absolutely must-have essential items every time we leave the house’.
- A comfy seat – So perhaps this whole riding in a baby carriage thing isn’t all about you. If you were riding in said luxury stroller you’d want to be seated comfortably, and so do your little mini-me’s.
- A reversible seat – So this one is probably not a ‘necessity’ but it sure is nice to have. My infant can be turned around to face me while we are strolling along (since he cannot stand to be out of my site this works very well for me), and my toddler be flipped around and sit the other way to gaze off into the world.
- Adjustable height handles – My husband will be the one to tell you that if the handles are not tall enough for him, or if he can’t adjust the handles to his height, the stroller is worthless. Be sure to get something that he will want to push so he won’t be grumpy, and your walk in the park will be all butterflies and roses (I cannot guarantee this, but it doesn’t hurt to get a head start by having a baby buggy he doesn’t complain about — been there, done that).
Stroller Recommendation – Inglesina Quad
I’ve recently been trying out the Inglesina Quad with the kickboard attachment. I’ll be frank. This is seriously the nicest stroller we have ever had (and we’ve had a lot of them as I mentioned above). It meets the requirements I listed above and then some. Take a look at some of the features in this quick video, and then keep scrolling for a more up-close and in-depth look at what the Quad has to offer.
Inglesina Quad Stroller
The first thing I will mention is that I love that the seat is reversible. You can have baby/toddler facing you or flip the seat around so they can face forward and see all there is to see. I typically have the baby facing me so I can see him, and if my 2yr old daughter is riding I’ll pop it around and she can face forward.
To move the seat from one direction to the other you just need to squeeze both buttons on either side of the handles and lift up.
Along with the seat being reversible, it has a full recline. This is great for infants who really need to be lying in a flat position when riding. My infant son has gone on a few strolls with us and so far no complaints. 🙂
To recline, you simply grasp the back of the seat and pull up on the handle, then move the seat to the desired height. It is super simple.
The canopy is HUGE as well. If you have the seat all the way upright you can pull the canopy completely over the front of the stroller to shade out any sun.
It has a cupholder, of course, and the nice thing about this one is that it pivots as you move. This works out well when you are going over a bumpy sidewalk or road because the cupholder will swing back and forth and there are less spills than I seem to get on my other stroller that has a stationary cupholder.
Another feature is the basket. I will say it isn’t the largest basket, but I can fit the diaper bag in there sideways (it won’t fit sitting right side up so I have to make sure it is shut when I put it in) along with my purse. So two fairly large bags fit, they just don’t stand up tall. Even when the seat is fully reclined you can easily access the basket, so that is a huge plus.
This kickboard feature has been amazing! My kids love riding on it while the baby slumbers in the reclined seat.
They can easily hop on and off as needed, and as you can see — we’ve gotten a lot of use out of it already.
Attaching it was pretty simple (after I realized I put the connectors on upside down the first time — oops), and you can even fold it up out of the way if you won’t have another child riding along or for storage.
I really like that there is a 3-point harness for this stroller. I know my kids will be secured, yet still have enough freedom of movement to keep a curious toddler happy.
The brake is, in my opinion, one of the best designs features. I love that there is one piece that you either push down (to lock) or up (to unlock) and it is not right on the wheel. It works very easily, doesn’t get stuck, and there is even room for your foot with the kickboard attached.
Folding the stroller is a breeze as well. You push down on the button on the frame, then pull the handle and it folds up nice and slim. You do have to remove the seat to fold up the frame, which depending on how you look at it can be a plus or a minus. I actually like it because I can easily fit the frame in my trunk and then place the seat on top. If the seat didn’t remove I would have a hard time getting this stroller in my tiny little trunk. (Check the video above to see how easy it folds/unfolds).
Overall the Quad is superb. It has a smooth ride and turns easily without the wheels getting stuck. The smooth ride is due to shock absorbers on all four wheels!
The only thing my husband doesn’t like is that the handles don’t adjust in length. The handles do move up and down so you can change the height slightly, but they don’t get any longer which is one of his pet peeves on any design. The saving grace here is that you can push with one hand. My husband feels that if you cannot adjust the handles, you should be able to push with one hand so he can walk off to the side.
If you are looking for a luxury stroller that has all the bells and whistles, yet still delivers on performance — the Inglesina Quad should be at the top of your list.
Here are a list of features from the Inglesina website:
- One-handed fold and push
- Included accessories:
- rain cover
- winter footmuff
- mesh storage basket
Thanks to Inglesina for providing the Quad for review. All opinions are my own.