For many parents, buying their first stroller may feel like purchasing their first car: tinged with excitement yet completely overwhelming at the same time. From the many different types (do you, for example, prefer a full-size or combination model?) to the array each brand has on offer, navigating the world of how best to transport your little one can be confusing at first glance, all while trying to find something that unites both form and function. In a bid to discover the best one out there, here’s a bird’s-eye view of the stroller universe.
- Best overall: Bugaboo Fox 2
- Best value: Babyzen Yoyo2
- Best for twins: UppaBaby Vista 2
- Best for mobility: Thomashilfen EasyS Modular S
- Best for runners: Thule Urban Glide 2
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Types of strollers: Whatever your priorities, chances are there will be a stroller pretty close to perfect out there for you. If you’re in and out of the car a lot, think about investing in a travel system, which is basically a stroller with an infant car seat that attaches into it. This can help save on time in general and any heartache that might come from having to wake a sleeping baby in the car seat in a bid to transfer them into the stroller. You can buy a stroller frame and matching car seat from the same brand, or customize a combination stroller that suits your needs by mixing and matching components from different brands.
If you need to cart around two kids, either twins or children who are close in age, a double stroller is the one for you. Often equipped with two seats (one higher than the other or placed side by side), it makes life a whole lot easier when moving as a pack. There are also car-seat–compatible options.
For active and outdoorsy parents, a jogging stroller will help maintain the lifestyle you had before the onset of kids. Designed to handle different types of terrain, it often boasts a superior suspension system so that you can cart your little ones along with you on your next adventure.
Once you’re past the infant stage, parents who are on the go a lot can opt for a foldable umbrella stroller, which is considerably easier to stow away and carry than its full-size counterparts. Lightweight and portable, an umbrella stroller tends to be streamlined, so it’s set up better for parents who have already pared down their diaper bag to the essentials.
If you ultimately decide that you want it all, the traditional full-size stroller is an all-around workhorse that ticks all the boxes. Need room for groceries and a diaper bag? Check. Want a smooth ride while you’re walking to the park? Check. Looking to control the recline of the seat should your child happen to fall asleep? Check. Sturdy and equipped with all the bells and whistles, this all-purpose stroller is set up to become your most trusted companion.
JPMA certificate: When shopping, don’t forget to keep an eye out for certification from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). Those products that bear this seal have been tested by an independent facility and meet standardized requirements. The JPMA seal is an additional threshold for quality. Although not all baby products are JPMA certified, they must meet federal safety guidelines in order to be sold—so you can breathe easy, seal or not.
Handlebar adjustment: Spare yourself additional back pain by tuning in to how much the handlebars of your prospective stroller can be adjusted. Aside from catering to different heights, adjustable handlebars help maintain good posture while you’re pounding the pavement with your little one. Top tip: Handle extenders can further increase mobility beyond the usual range, as well.
Undercarriage storage: Probably the best feature of all, it makes your stroller do double duty as a grocery cart, picnic wagon, beach buggy, and storage space in general with a spacious basket to stow all that you need when you’re out and about. Many stroller baskets boast intuitive folds and safety guards that prevent your accessories from falling out.
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Bugaboo Fox 2
Stylist Apphia Michael couldn’t agree more. “The Fox 2 is Bugaboo’s high-performance, versatile all-arounder,” she says. “For all the bells and whistles it brings, it’s still relatively compact—handy for city home storage, yet so sturdy and luxurious it will sometimes feel like you’re pushing your precious cargo in a Rolls-Royce rather than a baby stroller. The only downside to owning it is you’ll wish you were napping in it yourself.”
Best Value: Babyzen Yoyo2
Best for Twins: UppaBaby Vista V2
Our own executive editor, Alex Redgrave, agrees: “There are a lot of stroller/car seat travel systems out there, but we went with UppaBaby, knowing that the investment is for the long run. On the frame, you can click in a car seat, bassinet, and stroller seat (plus a ride-along board for toddler years), and the Vista model allows you to double up with one of each in different configurations for when siblings come along for the ride.”
Best for Mobility: Thomashilfen EasyS Modular S
Best for Runners: Thule Urban Glide 2
How We Vetted These Products
Every product in a Domino guide meets these criteria:
- They blend form and function. We believe the best-designed products reflect your personal style and are a joy to use.
- They’re expert approved. In addition to our team of editors, we tap a range of designers, makers, renovators, and all-around knowledgeable people to share their intel.
- They’re endorsed by people who actually own them. We pay close attention to real reviews to know that they pass the test IRL.
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