Have you ever made a purchase and the later experienced cognitive dissonance or buyer's remorse? That is, you regret making the purchase for a variety of reasons. One of the most common reasons for cognitive dissonance is that you discover you could have purchased a better quality product for the same money or you could have purchased the same product for less money elsewhere.The best way to avoid being disappointed with your decision is to first due some research.
Many consumers, including myself, rely heavily on Consumer Reports for their testing and rating of products. Then the consumer can choose a product with greater confidence that it is a quality product. This however, only satisfies half of the equation. The consumer now knows the relative quality of the product they want to purchase but they do not yet know where they can find the best price.
The second half of the equation requires additional research on the part of the consumer. The internet is an invaluable tool when it comes to comparison shopping. You can compare the price of the product you desire without ever leaving the comfort of your home. You can then decide to purchase it online (for convenience) or drive to the retailer that offers the best price.
This article will hopefully help you in making a decision on which stroller to purchase for your new baby or babies. I use Consumer Reports' ratings for the relative quality rating of the strollers and add my own price comparison research to assist in your decision.
Guide to the Ratings
Overall score is based primarily on performance, maneuverability (all-terrain strollers), ease of use, and safety. Performance is panelists' impression of ease of pushing and maneuvering on varied terrain while walking (all-terrain strollers) or running (jogging strollers). Ease of use is primarily based on ease of safety harness use, folding and unfolding, adjusting backrest, lifting, carrying, and engaging wheel brakes. Safety for each stroller was assessed by testing for compliance with ASTM F 833-05a voluntary standard and a stability test designed by Consumers Union.
Strollers that did not meet the standard or had relatively lower stability on an adjustable inclined plane were downgraded. Price is approximate retail for stroller. Maneuverability was assessed by trained staffers on how well the strollers maneuvered S-turns through cones, narrow sections, grass, dirt trails, uphill, downhill, and steps while walking. Durability was estimated by rolling the strollers 19 miles over 150,000 bumps with a 40 pound bag in the seat, then each stroller was folded and unfolded 10 times to check for mechanical failure or unusual wear.
The traditional strollers listed below are rated in four categories: day-to-day use, folding, reclining and maneuverability.
Graco Quattro Tour (84)
The Graco Quattro Tour was top-rated and a Consumer Reports "Best Buy" with an overall score of 84. It was rated excellent in folding, reclining, and maneuverability, and very good in day-to-day use. It includes the following features: one-touch brakes, car seat compatible, safe for newborns, trays for parents and child, extra storage basket, stands when folded and weighs 27lbs. The suggested retail price is $ 130.
The Stokke Xplory ranked a close second with a score of 82. It was also rated excellent in two the four categories: reclining and maneuverability. It rated very good in folding and day-to-day use. Its features include: 5-point harness, safe for newborns, one-touch brakes, extra storage space and an adjustable handle. However, it is not car seat compatible, does not have trays and does not stand when folded and weight 27lbs. The suggested retail price is $ 770.
The Bugaboo Frog received a score of 77. It also rated excellent in two of four categories: folding and maneuverability. It rated very good in reclining and day-to-day use. Its features include: 5-point harness, safe for newborns, one-touch brakes, car seat compatible, and extra storage space. It does not have trays and will not stand when folded. It weighs 23lbs. The suggested retail price is $ 730.
Safety 1st Avilla Alumlite.
The Safety 1st Avilla Alumlite received a score of 73. It rated excellent in folding and in maneuverability and very good in day-today use. It rated only good in reclining. Its features include: car seat compatibility, adjustable handle, extra trays and stands when folded. It weighs 18lbs. The suggested retail price is $ 70.
Jogging strollers are designed for the serious runner and the non-swivel front wheel can make indoor maneuverability difficult. Below is the review of seven jogging strollers. The review includes three categories: performance, ease of use, and safety.
Dreamer Design Rebound.
The Dreamer Design Rebound was top-rated by Consumer Reports but received only a very good rating and a score of 79. It rated excellent in performance and very good in easy of use and safety. It does fold and weight 30lbs. The suggested retail price is $ 220.
Jeep Overland Limited.
The Jeep Overland Limited received an overall very good rating and a score of 76. It rated excellent rating in maneuverability and a very good rating in ease of use and in safety. It weighs 30lbs and retails for $ 170.
Kelty Speedster 16 Deluxe.
The Kelty received an overall very good rating and a score of 76. It rated excellent rating in maneuverability and in safety and a very good rating in ease of use. It weighs 24lbs and retails for $ 335.
Baby Trend Expedition.
The Baby Trend Expedition received an overall very good rating and a score of 75. It rated excellent rating in maneuverability and a very good rating in ease of use and in safety. It weighs 25lbs and retails for $ 100.
Schwinn Free Runner LT.
This Schwinn received an overall good rating and a score of 70. It rated excellent rating in maneuverability only, in ease of use it received a very good rating but was rated only good in safety. It weighs 22lbs and retails for $ 190.
Baby Jogger Performance.
The Baby Jogger received an overall good rating and a score of 66. It rated excellent rating in maneuverability. In ease of use and in safety it was rated good. It weighs 25lbs and retails for $ 330.
InStep Run Around.
The InStep Run Around received an overall rating of good and a score of 53. It rated excellent rating in maneuverability, a good rating in safety, a poor fair in safety. It weighs 23lbs and retails for $ 90.
InStep Run Around LTD.
InStep Run Around LTD received an overall rating of fair-to-good and a score of 53. It rated excellent rating in maneuverability, a good rating in safety, a poor fair in safety. It weighs 25lbs and retails for $ 90.