This is how we STROLL!
I hesitated at first to put together this post because it's a clear admission to my addiction of buying baby products. It's bad. How many do I have you ask? Um... at the time of this writing... five. And yeah, still only two kids. But I can explain! Just keep reading...
The first stroller I purchased was the Orbit Baby Travel System. I bought the whole kit and caboodle. Stroller, car seat, car seat base, stroller seat, bassinet, additional color pack and after little Apple was born I bought the double helix extension (returned it, HATED it) and the kickboard attachment (LOVE IT!). I fell in love with the Orbit at first sight and really didn't do much research on any other brands. I should have, and really recommend if it's available to you, finding a large retailer (like Buy Buy Baby) that you can go see them all and touch and feel. I wish I would have done that. Oh, and talk to experienced moms with a similar lifestyle to yours. I got the travel system because I live in the city and am always on the go. I'm downtown almost every day, navigating through narrow sidewalks in and out of narrow doors among hundreds of people. I wanted something easy and compact and the Orbit was it for me. I still love it to this day and have been using it daily for three+ years. I wish the brake system were better designed but I also haven't checked out their new G3 model, maybe they improved it. And it makes for a super bouncy ride, the shocks/tires are pretty terrible here. Now, however, there are so many great systems at a much more affordable price! Go look around because the price tag here is a bit steep.
EDITED: I just learned that Orbit Baby is going out of business and no longer making their products!!! Super, super sad face here. Luckily for me, I already have the system and everything I'll need for awhile but it also means if anything goes wrong with it, I won't be able to get it serviced. They are doing an AMAZING sale on their current inventory and I'm so tempted to snatch up the O2 stroller base but I just can't justify it since I already own a BOB. I did, however, score the G3 Toddler Car seat at 40% off and will switch out Apple's infant seat as soon as it arrives. I love that I can still use the base with it as long as she's rear-facing, which I plan to have her do for a long time!
The second stroller I purchased was the BOB Revolution. I was an avid runner prior to my pregnancy and wanted to get back to it as soon as I could, which I did but didn't keep up with. Instead, the BOB became my favorite stroller to use because of how smooth it rides. Totes would fall asleep so easy in it. Yes, it's bulky and heavy. I never really minded much as it still fit in my trunk just fine. I purchased the additional snack tray, beverage holder and weather cover. It also fits those stroller blankets quite nice. I used a bungie cord to tighten up the back so it didn't recline as much when he was awake, which was easy to snap off when he fell asleep and needed to recline. Such a great stroller and you can buy car seat adapters to fit certain models now too so it can take you from birth on. When I look around my neighborhood, this is BY FAR the most popular stroller with moms. Like, four out of five strollers is the BOB. Moms know best!
Just wish I actually would get back into running again...
After hauling strollers back and forth between the house, car and our boat, we thought it would be worth it to buy an umbrella stroller to keep permanently on the boat, one that would also take up less room to store while under way as the BOB and Orbit are a bit bulkier. Without much research and not wanting to spend a fortune, we purchased this little one from JEEP. No idea why it's by Jeep, but in any case, it served its purpose well. The handle bar is not adjustable and a bit too short for me at 5'10" so it causes me to kick the wheel shaft occasionally, but otherwise a fine stroller. Did we really need it? Absolutely not. It's now sitting in the garage waiting for the next donation run.
Ok, this next one may not qualify as a stroller but technically I believe you can buy a handlebar kit and convert it into one. The bike trailer from InStep. We have a set of electric bikes we take with us on boat trips and we thought it would be a fun addition. And it has been. We've done some fun rides in new places and have even just gone for rides in our own neighborhood. The great thing about this bike trailer is that it's a two seater, so when little Apple gets a bit older, we can still all go out together! It's been very easy to use and Totes has really loved it. Can't wait to bust it out again next year. Since we purchased this on a whim before one of our weekend boating trips, we decided to go the affordable route and decide if we'd use it before investing too much into this type of thing. We did peek at the high-end models at REI and while they seem great, we are definitely enjoying this one just as much as we would if we had paid 4x as much.
And last but definitely not least...
I mentioned that I had purchased the Orbit Baby double helix extension and returned it, HATED it... it's true. The Orbit was just not meant/designed to be a double. The whole getup was so wobbly and felt like I was pushing a bus. I assembled the entire thing in my living room, took it for a test run on the sidewalk and turned right around, disassembled, repacked and shipped it back. So I ordered the kickboard. I really love it and so does everyone that sees it. I seriously get so much attention from adults when I'm pushing it through the city streets and Totes is riding along. People go BANANAS for it. But the problem is that he's not strapped down. I've had too many headaches from going to the grocery store with him running off to count. He does like it but is quick to get off and would rather sit so I knew I would have to get a real double for certain occasions when we can't police him the whole outing.
I did my research and the one that was recommended more than any other was the City Select by Baby Jogger. I've had it now for a few months, have used it in the city and around the neighborhood and can say to myself, why didn't you just get this from the start? If you know, or will be trying to, have two kids close in age, this one is so great! It grows from one to two kids so easily... and even three with their optional kickboard attachment! It's super easy to use and as minimally bulky as a double can be. No way I was going with the double BOB here. I just can't even.
(pic coming soon! If I ever get around to it...)