Strollers are always coming out with new features. Below is a list of all the features a stroller could possibly have. Take a look and get a sense of what's possible. Then decide what's a must have vs. nice to have
Stroller Safety Features
- Harness: Three-point and five-point are the most common types of harnesses. Three-point harnesses have a strap over each shoulder that connect to one between the legs. Five-point harnesses offer more protection with two additional straps over the hips. If you are planning to exercise with your stroller, a five-point harness would be important.
- Brakes: Foot brakes are the most common types of brakes for strollers. Hand brakes are more common for jogging strollers, so we’ll cover that in the Jogging Features section below. It’s most secure to find a stroller that locks both rear wheels. This can be done with a single foot bar that locks both wheels simultaneously, or with two individual foot brakes on each wheel, which then requires two separate actions to lock both wheels. Find the system that you are most comfortable with and confirm it is not located in a place that you might accidentally unlock.
- Versatility: The type of seat, where it can attach, and the direction it can face are all preferences you can think about. If you’re considering a convertible stroller, this can result in up to 20+ different configurations. The reality is that you likely won’t use all of these configurations, but it’s good to make sure the stroller you are eyeing offers the configuration you’ll use the most.
- Location of second seat: Convertible strollers differ in where the second seat is located. Some have the second seat very low to where it looks like it’s part of the basket, others have it on the side. Sometimes the location and weight in the second seat can impact on how easy it is to maneuver the stroller.
Stroller Comfort Features
- All wheel suspension: This is becoming a more common feature for premium strollers. All wheel suspension ensures a smoother ride across a variety of terrains.
- Number of wheels: Three wheeled strollers have better maneuverability, one hand control and movement across all terrains. The downside is that they tend to be bulkier since the wheels are larger. Most jogging strollers are three wheeled. Four wheeled strollers are better for stability and don’t have the jumbo tires that three wheeled strollers tend to have. Most full-sized, umbrella and convertible strollers are four wheeled.
- Wheel type: There are two types of stroller tires - air and foam filled. Air tires offer a comfortable ride over bumpy surfaces. However they require more maintenance (like bike tires) and can get punctured. Foam filled tires are more durable and don’t require maintenance. The downside is that they are heavier than air filled wheels.
- Number of reclining positions: The more reclining positions, the more opportunities for your little one to find a comfortable position.
- True flat reclining position: Several strollers market a “flat” recline position. However, sometimes they’re actually near flat but not truly flat, meaning they have a very slight incline. Because of that, these near flat strollers are not suitable for newborns. Strollers with true flat recline positions are suitable for newborns. If a stroller is not true flat, but you’d like to use it with a newborn, you can do so if the stroller has an infant insert or you attach a bassinet or an infant car seat.
- Canopy: The canopy is the shade protector that covers your little one. Most canopies have UV protection and some even have black and white designs on the inside for brain development. An increasingly popular feature is an extra-large canopy that extends and provides additional coverage.
Stroller Convenience Features
- One hand recline: Anything one hand is useful. One hand recline is exactly what it sounds like, you can recline the toddler seat with one hand.
- Adjustable telescoping handlebar: This is an important feature if there are multiple people with different heights who will be using the stroller. Telescoping handlebars allow for you to adjust the height of the handlebars so that they’re comfortable for all users.
- One hand fold: This is a key feature, especially for parents always on the go. Imagine having a baby in one hand and needing to fold a stroller on your own - it almost feels like a necessity in this scenario.
- Standing fold: This means your stroller can stand vertically when folded. This is important for families who have limited storage space in their home.
- Carrying strap: Some strollers are so compact and lightweight that they can be easily carried when folded. Having a carrying strap to hang over your shoulder can be useful to free up a hand or avoid an awkward carrying position.
Jogging Stroller Features
- Wrist straps: A wrist strap is an important safety feature to ensure the stroller doesn’t get away from you while you’re jogging.
- Hand brake: A hand brake is also another key safety feature for a couple of reasons - you won’t accidentally hit the brake with your foot while you’re running and you can quickly initiate the brake with your hand in an emergency.
- Locking front wheel: Locking your front wheel in a fixed position ensures that it doesn’t wobble when you’re running at a fast pace. This means you can run for a long distance without needing to clench the handlebar to keep it straight.
- Removable tires: Jogging strollers tend to have larger wheels for rugged terrains and intense activity. Some strollers have removable tires so that they fold up more compactly.