How To Pick the Perfect All-Terrain Stroller
All-terrain strollers are the perfect mix of walking stroller and jogging stroller, built to tackle all types of terrain with ease for the driver and comfort for the rider. If you are on the fence about whether or not you actually want an all-terrain stroller, take a minute and jot down where you will most likely be taking your stroller. If grassy parks, sandy beaches, rocky pathways, or trails are on your list, it is safe to say that you could definitely benefit from a stroller that adapts to each of those different terrains.
JOGGER vs. ALL-TERRAIN
The biggest difference is that not every all-terrain stroller is designed to be a jogging stroller. There are multiple features that jogging strollers have that make them safe for the speed and impact of jogging or running. If a stroller has been made to be a jogger, the manufacturer will specify so.
DO NOT assume that because an all-terrain stroller looks a lot like a jogger it is safe to jog or run with it. Do you want to jog with your all-terrain stroller? No problem. Just make sure that the stroller you purchase is meant to be both! To get a more in depth look at all the features needed to make your jogging experience with your all-terrain stroller, check out our Jogging Stroller Gear Guide!
IT’S (MOSTLY) ALL IN THE TIRES
An all-terrain's front tire should have the capability to both swivel and also lock into place. A front tire locked into a straight forward position is best for bumpy terrain. A front tire that swivels provides good maneuvering capability, which is good for places like the mall, where you want to easily turn corners.
A wheel that swivels and locks is becoming a very common feature, so you shouldn’t have to search too hard to find it. The best part about it is that for most strollers you can switch between the two with just the click of a button.
To provide your precious cargo with the most comfortable ride, consider the versatility of the stroller seat. First of all, it should be possible to recline the seat. When a baby sits at an incline, the impact and jarring from going over rough surfaces can be distributed over his whole body. If your child were to be sitting straight up, the force would be focused mostly on his/her head and down the spine. Obviously, that isn't the best place for extra force to be felt. Additionally, the softer the back of the seat, the better!
A handful of all-terrain strollers have what is called a "sling style seat." This style of seat is basically like a hammock. The seat is just the fabric suspended from the frame of the stroller, so it keeps your baby from banging up against the plastic back and inserts in most all other everyday strollers.
Generally, babies should not not sit upright in a stroller until they are six months old. Younger babies should ride in their car car seats when in motion. Thankfully, most strollers have adapters where you can attach your car seat. Depending on the brand, these car seat adapters cost anywhere from $15 to $60 dollars.
An important thing to note, however, is that not all strollers are compatible with all car seat brands and models. If you have a car seat, or have decided which one you are going to buy, make sure you have a compatible pick with your stroller!
Also, check out our Car Seat Gear Guide if you're struggling with that decision as well. Some strollers have a seat that reclines almost completely flat. These seats are more suitable for younger children, but always make sure to discuss safety with your pediatrician before you transfer that baby to the actual stroller seat!
THE BEST FIT FOR YOU
The best stroller is the stroller that best suits your needs. All-terrain strollers are designed to fulfill multiple needs, so make sure you take the time to assess exactly what you want and need. If you could use some more help figuring that out, give us a call or stop by our store to test out some strollers. Our Cubby Moms are always standing by to give you the facts on various models, their opinions about them, and even a comforting word when needed!