Umbrella Strollers 101

Buying a stroller is simple, right? Just wade through the 52 brands sold in North America and pick out a model among the 277 choices out there. Simple!

Ok, setting aside the sarcasm, the choice of a stroller for your baby may seem a bit daunting. Unlike cribs that mostly look alike and function the same, strollers can vary from a simple $20 model sold at a discount store to the $1000 Euro import that provides not only transportation for your baby, but also will burp and diaper your baby through toddlerhood. Ok, they don’t do that . . . yet.

Here’s the bottom line: before you get knee deep in stroller jargon and minutia, let’s talk about what really matters—picking the right stroller for you.

Match game: your lifestyle + right stroller = stroller bliss

Before you fall you in love with a designer stroller, ask yourself HOW you will be using a stroller. Yes, you.

Do you live in the suburbs and just need the stroller once a week for a quick spin at the mall? Or do you live in a big city where a stroller is your primary vehicle, taking all the abuse that a big city can dish out?

Climate plays another factor—in the Northeast, strollers have to be winterized to handle the cold and snow. Meanwhile, in Southern California, full canopies are helpful for shading baby’s eyes from late afternoon sunshine.

Figuring out how different stroller options fit your lifestyle/climate is the key to stroller happiness.

Resale value

Yes, just like used cars, name-brand strollers with cachet actually have resale value. You can sell that pricey stroller via Craigslist or a second-hand baby gear store and recoup some of your investment.

Hence, if you buy one our top recommended strollers for $250 and the brand has 60% resale value, you can recoup $150 from that purchase down the road (assuming you keep the stroller in good condition, etc).

On our main site, Baby Bargains, we note which brands have the best and worst resale value. While the purpose of this site is to give you quick recommendations, you can dive deeper into resale ratings on BabyBargains.com.

What is an umbrella stroller?

The name comes from the appearance of the stroller when it’s folded, similar to an umbrella. No, it has nothing to do with the song by Rhianna (but we’ll guess you’ll start singing that song . . . right about now).

In recent years, the term “umbrella stroller” began applying to more than just strollers that folded into an umbrella shape. Now it applies more broadly to lightweight strollers in general.