Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Strollers

Anti-Kels, this one is pretty much for you! So learn from my stroller buying mistakes... Some hardcore APer's may even suggest you don't need one... I think it's good to have one around. They do come in handy sometimes.

Let's talk strollers.

When I was pregnant with Stinx I couldn't figure out which kind to get. I really was overwhelmed with all the choices. My cousin made it a bit easier on me because she offered to let us use her infant car seat. So I didn't feel the need to buy a stroller/carseat combo. So I tried asking my mommy friends what their opinions were. And they all said it was trial and error. Most of my friends had several strollers. In the end Dad and I chose a stroller my grandpa had seen at the mall. He told us about this cool 3 wheel stroller he'd seen. He said it was really neat and "futuristic". He asked the mother at the mall where she had bought hers from - Sears. So Dad and I checked out these neat strollers on-line. It was the Quinny Buzz.


Dad and I saved up our pennies from baby shower monitary donations and went to Sears to buy the stroller. While at Sears I started to panic. What if this wasn't the "one"? It was double to price of the other strollers. What if I turned into a stroller collector, or hoarder? I didn't want to have 5 different strollers for all of our different needs. I paniced. Bugma had come with us and I asked for her advice. She didn't have any. She did say it was pricey but cool. But by the time I had changed my mind, Dad was convinced this was the stroller for us. I explained to him that we could save a bit of money if we bought a carseat stroller combo instead. Nope, he didn't care. He had made the decision that he would not push any other stroller except this one. Humph. So we bought it. And it's not that I didn't like it, I loved the look of it. But I wasn't comfortable spending the amount we did (even with the sales and gift certificates we had)... It made me uneasy.


The kicker was that we also had to buy a bassinet to use for Stinx. More money! For 0-6 months they need to use the bassinette attachment. I loved the bassinette and I did use it quite a bit, but it was also a bit of a pain to put away after every use.



When Bugma, Stinx (who was 3 months) and I went to visit Anti-Kels in Kelowna we picked up a 2nd hand snap and go car seat stroller. I hadn't brought the Buzz because it was so big and heavy. The Snap and Go was a brilliant idea but the one we got had a bogus wheel. When I got back to Calgary I looked for a similar stroller to use while Stinx was still using the infant car seat. I found the Kolcraft Universal Carseat Stroller. It was amazing. It had lots of great features: big basket, parent tray, and it was super light and easy to fold up. I was really really sad when Stinx out grew the car seat, it meant I could no longer use the Kolcraft stroller.


So I went back to the Buzz.

I felt like such a dork walking Stinx in our neighborhood with this ridiculous stroller. I'm not going to say I live in a "poor" neighborhood, but it's definitelty middle to lower class. When I went to the local mall with the stroller, people would literally stop and stare at the stroller. It was awkward. I felt like the stroller made me stick out amongst the crowds of people. Maybe some people would like all that attention. I definitely didn't. I was worried I might get "jumped" for pushing such a thing. And really, it just wasn't my type of stroller.

It's like cars. I like the look of some nice new fancy expensive cars, but that doesn't mean they suit me or that I would be comfortable driving such cars. I'm the type of gal who adores old volvo station wagons... not new fancy ones.. Know what I'm saying? I'm a thrifty gal... I don't usually wear make up, my jeans usually have holes in them, and I'm kinda smelly too. So I just felt that the stroller didn't suit me.

I fell out of love with the Buzz. There were a few reasons. The biggest one being that the Buzz wasn't practical. It had a teeny tiny bag at the bottom which was sorta supposed to be a basket. The newer models do have a small basket at the bottom but they're so small I think they're still probably useless. I think all strollers should have a decent sized basket. You need a good sized one to throw coats, or diaper bags or shopping bags in. There was also no food tray for the child. I really wanted for Stinx. I wanted to be able to run errands or go to the zoo and leave little snacks in the tray so he could munch on them when he wanted to. So the tray became an issue. The last thing I really wanted was a parent cup holder and or tray. Most practical strollers have a cup for the parents to put their drink in, or a tray for such things. Not the Quinny. Nope.. It didn't have any of those basic practical things.

I decided to sell the Buzz and Bassinette. I sold it to a lovely young couple from Saskatoon who said they rarely saw such "cool" strollers. I told them it was just too "Bling Bling" for me. And it was true. The stroller made me look bad. People probably saw me pushing it and wondered if I had stolen it from somewhere... LOL. Anyways, they said they loved the Bling Bling factor... and the mom was definitely more blinging than me. It actually suited her.

So then I went on a quest for a light weight convenience stroller. I looked on-line and read lots of reviews about lightweight strollers. Because I had liked the Kolcraft one so much I looked at theirs. Toys R Us was selling one of theirs but it was cheesy and hand some cartoon animals on it. I just wanted a plain stroller. I found the perfect one on-line. It was exact same as the cheesy one except plain black. Only problem? It wasn't sold in Canada! I was going to get Dad to buy it in the U.S. but it got complicated trying to phone all these stores in Dallas. I gave up and decided to just buy locally through Kijiji.

I ended up buying the Peg Perego Aria. I really like the stroller. It has a good basket, it folds pretty easily, has a child tray, and it is supposed to have a cup holder for the parent ... but the lady I bought it from had lost it. All in all I have to say I am pretty impressed with it. Some of the reviews I have read on-line haven't been so great. But for the thrifty price I paid, it seems well worth it. I believe that I can get a infant car seat to go with it too if another baby enters the picture.

The bummer? Well, while in Florida in January I saw the exact black Kolcraft Stroller I wanted in K-mart. I was soooo tempted to buy it. Seriously. Oh well.

Oh and I didn't even mention the time Dad bought a jogging stroller from an auction... that's a whole other story... and since we never even took it out of the box I won't bother telling the story...

So in the end I turned out to be one of those people who bought numerous strollers. Live and learn. Trial and error. And what did I learn? Looks aren't everything! Baskets, child tray's and parent cup holders are nice to have.

5 comments:

Kelsey Fiona said...

Thanks for the advice. Looks aren't always a good way to base something on, that goes for Strollers & pretty much anything in life eh??

Love you

Amber said...

Great post! I have a bit of a stroller addiction too...oh the stroller stories I have! *blush*

Alisha said...

lol, should I regale you with stories of my strollers????
The Graco Touring (which you had the seat for), another Graco smaller, an umbrella from Sears, a mcLearan umbrella (love), a jogger, the chariot (love love love), a Joovy (love), and now a double chariot. (go with the Joovy Kels.) that way Joel can go on the back when you and kirsty stroll around, or when your friends kids want hitch a ride, or if you have more kids. :)

Kelly said...

We got our stroller from a dumpster behind the Mustard Seed. It works great. Go us!

Stinx' Mom said...

I love how every parent has stroller stories!

Kelly - What a great dumpster find... Now did you guys actually find it or did one of the guests from the seed? My clients always find cool stuff and try to give it to me! Either way, what a great thrifty find.