There’s no doubt that many people find a big, full family deeply fulfilling. The not-so-fulfilling bit? The logistics of toting around multiple kids. Thankfully, stroller companies have made transporting your big family less of a problem and more of a buffet of options. So how to pick which stroller works best for you and your kids when the possibilities are nearly endless?
How Many Seats?
First thing’s first: How many kids do you need to transport with your stroller? You can get an impressive number of kids in a stroller — some are made to hold upwards of eight children. However large your family, there’s something out there for you! Primarily, multiple-seated strollers are made to hold two to three children, but you can adjust to fit your family by adding accessories like glider boards. You can also carry an infant while your older kids cruise in style.
How Many Wheels?
The bigger the stroller, the more maneuverability plays a part in functionality. A lot of that maneuverability is in the wheels. Finding the wheels that work best for you will take your stroller from a constant frustration to a lifesaver. Strollers that feature doubled up wheels on each corner tend to lack the agility that single wheeled strollers have. Joggers may want to opt for a three-wheeled design.
Side-By-Side? Inline? Car Seats?
Seat alignment is another big deciding factor when picking out a stroller — especially when dealing with multiple seats. Kids close in age might enjoy sitting side-by-side. Consumer Reports says that side-by-side strollers also rely on even weight distribution; if children are too different in size, the stroller might pull to the side. If you’re seating an infant with a slightly older child, inline strollers can accommodate the differences in size and needs. You can also find inline strollers that offer a seat in front and a spot to attach a car seat in the back. Inlines don’t turn as easily, but side-by-side strollers have a harder time with doorways due to their width.
Whatever stroller you pick, it should reflect your lifestyle. Are you an outdoorsy type who enjoys running, biking and potentially living outside the confines of the sidewalk? Strollers that can connect to bikes or offer skis that attach to the bottom (for snowier pursuits) might fit your adventures best. If you’re constantly on the go, do some research to find out if the stroller of your choice is easy to set up and pack away.
Just as kids are a huge part of your life, so too do their accessories become a huge part of your life. Your stroller will accompany you and your children wherever you go, so it’s presence can go beyond getting from point A to point B. Your stroller can be your storage, and you can organize it however you like. From store-bought additions/modifications/extensions to DIY, the power to customize is yours. Use stroller hacks like adding zip ties to the tires if you need a little extra traction off sidewalk. Use a shoe organizer to created divided sections in your storage bag. Cloth grocery store wine bags can hold individual drinks. Alternatively, go full custom-made and end up with a stroller that looks like a hot rod, a spaceship or something from “Tron.”
Just like picking out the right car seat is vital to your child’s health and well-being, choosing the right stroller for your family’s needs can make or break enjoyment of an outing. Whether you trend toward fun or functional, there’s absolutely something out there for your kids.