Monday, April 12, 2010

Stroller Shopping...The Journey

When Riley was born we recieved as a baby shower gift a snap and go stroller where you snap the infant car seat to the frame and you're ready to go. We have used this more than I ever dreamed- On top of walks in general, and the fact that it folds up so small it was a life (back?) saver. Especially the week I was hospitalized when Riley was 10 weeks old. Ryan and my Mom pushed poor little newborn Riley up and down countless halls of that hospital helping her fall asleep (both our babies have loved the carseat!).
And for Amity: it was the only way to get her to sleep at night there for a few months. It was light and compact enough to push through the house over and over again all winter long. She's get so overstimulated she couldn't fall asleep while being held...So we pushed her- or should I say Ryan did, amazing man!

Well we had that, and I remember saying that I really didn't want a bunch of strollers (HAHA!). I wanted the basic one for her first year and then I wanted to get a jogger (I even went to search facebook for the picture I commented on back in early 2008 where I discussed this with a friend- she deleted that album. ergh but I'm not making this up!).
But we didn't have money so I settled for (and was pleased with!) a Graco Quattro Deluxe for $15 yard sale stroller. It was in decent shape and it has serves us VERY well. But it was bulky and heavy and wouldn't work for trips in airports etc.

So we bought a little $20 umbrella stroller- it's been AWESOME. It has a pouch in the back and a little sun shade- it's a life saver, I will continue to use it for years to come-it is an awesome toddler restraining system - and I'll ways need one of those (or at least I will for a few years! Also great for tight spaces. We've loved it.

Then we had Amity and some one gave us a Graco Duo Glider (almost exactly this but MUCH more faded!)- it's old, it's blue, it's bulky, and drives like a nightmare. Needless to say I'm not a fan. I generally push Riley in the Graco single and wear Amity on my back- which works fine...Great resistance really pumps up my walks. But Amity is nearing 20lbs, I'm finding myself with more and more neck/shoulder pain (mainly neck pain but thats usually where I carry shoulder tightness) and I'm really wanting to take up running. I've tried running with the Graco double monstrosity- doesn't work.

So I've started shopping for a double jogger I've read at leat fifty reviews on all the different strollers- I've looked at many different options.
And I've decided the features I really want are:
  • swivelling wheel!!!!! (that also locks for faster paces)
  • Five point harness buckles in seats
  • 100lbs weight limit (so hold 2 small children not just babies/toddlers)
  • parent tray (for my drink and keys etc)
  • hand brake
  • safety tether
  • good sunshade
  • folds easily
  • light weight (less than 30lbs preferably)
  • good easy to use parking parking break
  • slim enough to fit through normal doors- easy to use for all things I'd need a stroller for (shopping o walking around malls/ bookstores as well as jogging)
  • lots of under seat storage space
  • reclining seats (individual reclining seats would be even better!)

And I think I've found for what I'm looking for!

The Schwinn Free Wheeler 2 Double (Swivel Wheel Jogging Stroller) (the blue/green model)

Product Features

  • Schwinn Free Wheeler 2 Double Jogging Stroller features an easy to lock swivel wheel and sturdy aluminum frame
  • Stroller features rear suspension, height adjustable handle, easy one-hand fold and quick release wheels, and a zero-degree turn radius
  • With 5-point harnesses, plush padded cockpit, protective sun canopy, large underseat basket, and storage pockets behind the seat
  • Stroller weighs 27 pounds with a max weight limit of 100 pounds, and measures 35.5 x 31.5 x 16 inches folded
  • 5-year limited warranty


  • Capacity: Two children
  • Maximum weight capacity: 100 pounds
  • Stroller weight: 27 pounds
  • Front wheel size: 12 inches
  • Stroller length: 37.5 inches
  • Folded dimensions: 35.5 x 31.5 x 16 inches
  • Adjustable handlebar height
  • Easy-to-use one-hand fold
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Aluminum wheels
  • Zero-degree turn radius
  • Plush padded cockpit
  • Secure five-point harnesses
  • Padded removable seat inserts
  • Roomy underseat basket
  • Storage pockets behind the seat
  • Quick-release wheels
  • Rear wheel suspension
  • Locking front wheel
  • Protective sun canopy

All the reviews say it drives like a dream- the other Mom's I've talked to a few said they'd highly recommend the Schwinn brand (which has been around for a LONG time).

And it's free super saving shipping from amazon. Which if we're ordering over the Internet is the way to go.

The dilemma is: do I dare spend that much money? It's $254 that is a TON of money. There ARE a few options for double joggers on craigslist, but they don't have the swivelling wheel.

I am asking myself a few questions and thinking about a few things. The main thing is that I want to get rid of all our other strollers (except the snap and go and umbrella) THIS will be our stroller, for EVERY THING. Amity is soon going to be too big to wear all the time and it's going to be a few years before the girls are going to be able to walk when we do all day things (zoo, D.C. etc) reliably...And at that point we'll probably have 2 more and I guess I'll have to give up jogging with them and go jogging in the evening with the next two littles (fun thought?) But either way as long as we have young children from here on out, we will always need a double stroller.

In that sense I'm really really glad we waited, that we didn't invest in an expensive stroller before now. And I really think NOW would be a time to make an investment of this sort. I just did the math and right now I'm walking 75-100 miles a month probably 80% of those miles during the warm months are outdoors. I plan on continuing that as much as possible through next November that's at least 500+ miles between now then (not counting the rest of April). I LOVE walking, it feels so good to be out of the house, the girls are so peaceful and it is a sanity saver. As many miles as I'll be walking the next 10 years of having small children in the house (Lord willing, but sheesh be still my heart!) $254 is really not that much in light of THAT (and this particular stroller has a 5 year warrenty!). Ever since I got home from SF I've become a big walker, I walked every where in the city, I fell in love with it...I a plan on continue (as well as some running too!).

So do we go new or used? I really am willing to wait on this, but either way I think I'd rather spend the $$$ and get some thing that will work best for our family...Then some thing used that doesn't meet all of our needs and leaves me frustrated (and shuffling a ton of strollers in and out of the van to meet the specific need of that day).

Going to sit on this stroller option and se what the hubby thinks...Still looking and praying.

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