The world of strollers is deep and dense (why else would the world need so many mommy bloggers) and important. After all, it’s your new child’s only form of transportation. Dr. Harvey Karp, creator of the Snoo and all-around baby-things expert, told us a few basic things to keep in mind when setting out on your stroller purchase. “You might consider a stroller that reclines fully flat or has a bassinet attachment, and it’s absolutely fine to lull your baby to sleep in it,” he says. As for the city parent who plans on doing a lot of errand-running, “Ease of glide is priority, though note these are often the heavier models. So for parents taking a stroller on errands and traveling, your best bet might be a travel system (with a car seat included) or an easy-to-fold, lightweight model that fits in the car or on public transport.” But what exact models fit the bill? For the best in lightweight strollers, jogging strollers, umbrella strollers, and everyday all-in-one strollers, we went to the experts, including celebrity nannies, Park Slope baby-store owners, and teachers.
“If I had to pick one stroller with a decent price point that’s good for urban and suburban riding, it would be the City Mini. It folds flat, so you can put it in the back of the car. It handles beautifully on rough New York streets. That’s my go-to. They make an excellent single and a double. I do rentals at my store, too, and everyone always asks for the City Mini. Everyone loves them.” — Anna Stanin, owner and founder, Sudsy Buggy.
“Hands down my favorite stroller for the city gal is, Cybex. It’s a smooth ride, especially maneuvering in city-people traffic and bumpy sidewalks. The functional design is easy to switch parts and control, so you can be texting or drinking coffee in one hand while still strolling. The Cloud Q car seat reclines and it’s a top safety pick. Plus, it’s easy to fold and get in and out of my car.” — Alex Zagami Ng, owner, Piccolini
“My take is really dependent on where you live and what you’re using the stroller for, but if I have to pick my favorite, I’ll go with UPPAbaby Cruz because of the one-hand push. With an umbrella stroller, you pretty much always have to use two hands. With a bar like the larger strollers have, such as UPPAbaby, you can push with one hand in a pinch, while holding on to your coffee, phone, the dog’s leash, or another child’s hand with your free hand. Big bonus points on that feature. The Cruz is cheaper than the Vista and slightly smaller (better for small aisles at NYC stores), but it’s large, so I can shove all of our many supplies into the storage compartment, and the recline means they might catch a stroller nap later. The bigger strollers tend to offer a smoother ride over city streets, too. We bought it in 2013 and it’s still going, despite heavy wear through two kids. Sometimes, our 20-pound dog even rides below in the storage section (probably not recommended), so I have all three in it! We get a few looks for that one.” — Rose Gordon Sala, NYC editor, Mommy Poppins
“Before motherhood, you don’t notice that every street corner is a blood war — so many SUV-size strollers, each trying to win the curb ramp. It’s like a bunch of Escalades gunning for the mall’s last parking spot. But the Doona is more of a Vespa. You can weave it in and out of all this madness. You can push it with one arm, take sharp turns, lower the handlebar to make it even more compact, and park it next to you in a Cobble Hill restaurant where the UPPAbaby would never fit. Granted, its light weight and low profile mean it doesn’t have the same shock absorption as the bigger models — my 3-month-old tends to spit up when we hit cobblestone. I consider it a stroller that collapses into a car seat, but the company bills it more as a car seat that can also function as a stroller. (And maybe this distinction helps account for the $500 price.) You press a button and kick the legs in or out, and it instantly transforms from one into the other. Never has it been easier to get a newborn into an Uber. And for airline travel, it apparently meets all the FAA standards, so you can bring it on a plane and whiz right past the parents at gate check.” — Jessica Silvester, Strategist editor on maternity leave
“One of the top picks for all situations is a product called BabyZen Yoyo+. The beauty of this product is that it’s compact, but it can do everything. It only weighs about 15 pounds, and it can also accommodate certain car seats, so with this one little compact stroller, you get everything. It folds up to be as small as a carry-on bag for an airplane or even smaller, and it can be taken on and stored overhead. With the plus, you can hold a newborn because there’s a bassinet attachment and it has a regular seat, and the newest feature is that there’s a ride-along skateboard with a seat, so an older child can ride along on the board. The ride-along board is not unique to this stroller, but this one is made by the Yoyo brand to fit this very stroller, so it’s easy on and easy off. All of that makes this stroller great for a growing family. It’s all about making sure you get your money’s worth and not just have it for a short life span. This is one of our best-selling strollers for our customers.” — Yossi Rapoport, owner, Lullaby Baby Park Slope.
“I’m a Bugaboo Bee superfan — a pretty perfect option for my Brooklyn walk-up — and I highly recommend it for city dwellers with stairs to climb. It weighs in under 20 pounds, folds easily (in one step with two hands, or two steps with one hand), and can be conveniently carried by the handlebar on your shoulder. It’s compatible with a wide range of car seats (adapters are available for an additional cost), and the regular seat can be rear-facing or forward-facing. The storage is more than decent, but not as large as some other popular premier models (like the UPPAbaby Cruz and Vista). It’s so easy to use, and such a dream to maneuver (the one-handed steering is an NYC must) that I still haven’t switched to an umbrella stroller for my 1-and-a-half-year-old daughter. The only things the wheels can’t handle are serious off-roading and excessive snow, but in New York, neither of those are a huge concern. The price tag is steep, but when your stroller is pretty much your car, I think most moms and dads would agree it’s a worthwhile investment.” — Jessica Laird, writer, Mommy Poppins
“Personally, one of my favorite strollers for my two kids (ages 2.5 and 4.5) is an umbrella stroller I picked up at Babies R Us in Union Square for less than $20. It does not recline, it does not have a five-point harness, and it does not have tons of storage (small mesh bag at the top), but it is the absolute best for short day trips, for throwing in the trunk of the car, or hauling onto the subway or even the plane. It’s great mostly because it’s light and totally uncomplicated, so it opens and closes easily (even for grandparents!). It’s so cheap that I never worry about leaving it outside a store or at baby or kid gym class. We’ve had it almost four years and some rust is starting to show, but that is probably user error. One caveat: The handlebar doesn’t move, so taller parents probably won’t like to stoop. I am only five-foot-four and it’s a perfect fit.” — Rose Gordon Sala, NYC editor, Mommy Poppins
“I would recommend the UPPAbaby G Luxe umbrella stroller. It’s lightweight and has great maneuverability. The supercomfy seat also reclines (almost) completely flat, which is great for infants (3 months to preschool years). It has amazing UV protection with a sunshade built in for extra protection. Plus, it’s easy to fold and carry around.” — Lindsay Aspell Thomason, founder, the Nanny League
“I’ve been a nanny for ten years, and I live and die by my strollers. The main thing for me is comfort and longevity, but the parents I work with like contemporary strollers and the style is important. The families I work for in New York want beautiful strollers in gray ,black, or navy, and they want it to be really chic. One of the best ones I’ve ever found is called Silver Cross Wave and it’s amazing. All of the accessories are included, so you don’t need to get anything else. It’s very high-end. They don’t sell them in many stores (unless you’re in Palo Alto where it’s nothing to walk into a place and put down two grand on a stroller, and they also have stroller stores that look like automobile showrooms with all of the models displayed), but you can get them online. They also want them to fold up really easily because if we’re packing up for the Hamptons, you don’t want to struggle with it, and if you’re a celebrity, you don’t want to be folding a stroller when the paparazzi are there taking your picture. This one comes made for two babies, but it doesn’t look like a twin stroller, so you can also use it for one child and the second seat is hidden. No one will know or bother you by asking if you’re having another child. It’s good for children up to 4 years. I love that.” — Victoria, nanny, Pavillion Agency
“Stokke is great, and they have those at every store. Their stroller called Trailz is meant for going off roads, so if you’re in the West Village, you can go on the cobblestone and can also push it up Fifth Avenue and don’t have to change the wheels.” — Victoria, nanny, Pavillion Agency
“The Bugaboo donkey is ideal for first-time parents, and it comes with a bassinet. If you want to put the baby to sleep when you get home, you can also pull the bassinet off and take the baby with you, keeping the baby close to you. It’s easy to fold and carry around. First-time parents feel secure. The side by side is great if you have twins, and if you don’t, you can just use the extra space to carry your stuff, so you don’t need to lean down under the baby to get your bag.” — Pat, nanny, Pavillion Agency
“The Britax B-Ready grows with you and can transition from a single to a double with ease. It also allows you to click on different seat options from infant carrier to bassinet to the traditional stroller seat. Plus, it is perfection for tall dads. The handlebar adjusts to a comfortable height for my husband, and the wheels are set wider apart so his feet don’t kick when he walks. And it has the largest storage basket on the market! I could grocery shop with this thing. Seriously, so much room for all your crap. It’s middle-of-the-road on price point, not a cheapo, but also not priced like some of the luxury strollers, making it affordable, yet durable. Literally, we still have and use the old model four years later, even though we now have the upgraded version.” — Alexis Edwards, social worker and doula, Birth 360
“The UPPAbaby Vista, 2015 and later ideally, because you can configure it in so many different ways. It’s a stroller that does it all. If you want, it can be single, but if you’re planning a growing family, it can also be made double. It’s still lightweight for how powerful it is, easy to fold, and can click on select infant seats and a bassinet.” — Jessica Rockowitz, founder, Every Mama Birth Education
“My husband and I are avid runners and, before having our daughter, ran marathons together. When looking for a jogging stroller, we chose to go with a dedicated jogger with a fixed front wheel. I love the Thule Glide. It really does glide across the pavement, and the baby seems to never notice the bumps in the road. It has just the right amount of storage for a run and a large sunshade, so she’s not getting too much sun in these summer months. The adjustable handlebars makes it easy for both of us to use it.” — Amanda Fellner, head teacher, Rita Gold Early Childhood Center
“Being an active person, the BOB catered to not only my charges’ needs but also to mine as well. It is an awesome walking, jogging, and running stroller that’s great on multiple terrains. When my youngest was an infant, I would insert the car-seat adapter and take him for nice, gentle walks. As he got older, the fun began. He loved it went I would take him out for runs, and still does.” — Shelese Andrews, nanny, the Nanny League