Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stroller Rant, or, Not Made for the Shade

I'm coming out of my temporary "Beetle and a Baby" hiatus to rant. It's time for some new wheels, and I'm having a heck of a time finding a good model.

I'm not talking about the Beetle, of course, but about a stroller!

I hate to see an umbrella stroller that has a dinky canopy plunked on top, doing absolutely nothing to shade the baby. It's also frustrating to see parents have to drape a beach towel over an otherwise beautifully designed, expensive stroller, just to get some shade.

I love our Peg Perego Pliko P3 because you can pull the canopy down all the way. I'll say that again: the sun shade actually provides shade!

But Baby H is almost a year old now, and I'm getting a little bit tired of stuffing the awesome (but not exactly petite) Pliko P3 stroller in and out of the Beetle. Once we get our new convertible carseat, which I'm not even sure will fit in the Beetle (more on that to come), I think my stroller-stuffing will only become more of a problem.

So, I want a compact umbrella stroller. With a good sun shade. No problem, right?

After hours of Googling, I am dismayed I can't seem to find a stroller with these features:

* Lightweight umbrella style
* Tilting or moveable sun shade/canopy/hood
* Under about 35" (about the size that might fit in the Beetle's trunk)
* Reclining seat

I thought I was saved when I found the Peg Perego Si. Finally, an umbrella stroller with a sunshade that pulls down to actually provide some shade! Here's a great review from Stroller Queen that shows off the shade. Yes!

But, alas, here's where I can see why people go out and buy minivans: this thing is still too big to fit in the Beetle's trunk. It's basically the same length (40") as our primary Peg Perego stroller. Foiled again!

Maclaren Quest Mod in black (love those apples!)

I'm thinking of getting a Maclaren Volo (although that has no reclining seat option) or Maclaren Quest Mod (because it's pretty), and then buying an ugly attachable sunshade like the ones from Protect-a-Bub. I also like that Uppababy G-Lite, because it's stylish and so temptingly lightweight. OK, and because "Uppababy" is really fun to say.

But despite their style and other features, these strollers still don't have a sun shade that offers any protection when walking toward the sun.

Then again, there is this option for Maclaren:

Brad says a parasol is too girly. Brad, let's just call it an umbrella and call it a day. (Although it does pose the question...why not just make a sun shade that works, instead of inventing an umbrella to attach to the stroller?)

Buying new carseats, buying a new stroller...I feel like it's a year ago all over again! Only this time, at least I can give Baby H a hung and see him matter what he's riding in.


Rebecca Chastain said...

The umbrella attachment looks really awkward. I imagine you'll want Henry shaded when you're strolling him around, and unless you're in a large park, having an umbrella sticking out the side seems like it's going to cause problems.

Do they make strollers that collapse in half, so the length wouldn't matter as long as when it folded in half it was still shorter than 35"?

ManOfSteal said...

No matter what we call it, I agree with Rebecca! Can you imagine maneuvering around Disneyland with an umbrella hanging off the side :)I know we'll find something eventually that satisfies all of our criteria.

bluedog1121 said...

Good luck, Kate! I've always had to rely on sunscreen and sun hats. I also do sometimes put long sleeves & pants on the children for protection when in the stupid umbrella stroller. But do let me know what you find, because our current umbrella stroller has finally bit the dust.

TikiBird said...

RC: Good point about he awkward attachment. I think you've just invented yourself an early retirement with your fold-in-half stroller! Have Cody get on it and we'll be the testers!

MoS: We could bulldoze Disneylanders AND poke their kids in the eyes with that. Intriguing.

BD: A sunhat is certainly a sensible solution, yet that would depend on me actually remembering that sort of thing, which is iffy at best!

So far, I think this might be our best option: Peg Perego Aria ( I'm hoping to find an older model that's cheaper. It says it's only 36 inches long when closed, which would be JUST right for the Beetle's trunk, I think. Hopefully I can find a store that'll let me "test drive" it and I'll report back.

Also, I contacted Maclaren, because I saw some websites say that the Quest style DOES have an adjustable hood. The response was that early 2007 models did have a hood that could tilt, but all later models don't. (Perhaps they invented the umbrella then? LOL)

TikiBird said...

Forgot to add: the Maclaren Quests are still about 40 inches long, which is too long to fit in my Beetle's trunk. Argh!

TikiBird said...

Wanted to update: Happily, both the Peg Perego Aria AND the Maclaren Quest are NOT too long to fit in the trunk of a Beetle! (The way you can position the Maclaren makes it fit with room to spare, even though it's 40" long.) I'll update soon with the exciting conclusion of our stroller adventure.