We went looking for a new stroller last night. Since we had success there last year, we decided to go back to the same shop. Unfortunately, there’s a laundromat there now, with no sign of the stroller store. (Their website is still up & running and still lists that address as their only location, so I’m thinking they went out of business, but their web address is still paid up.)
It is so much easier to get things done with a stroller, and with our ski trip coming up later this week, we really wanted to get one as soon as possible. (Certainly, we could do the ski trip without a stroller, but managing the trip to the train station, at least, would be so much simpler, so I’d rather have one.) So, we did a quick Internet search and stopped by another shop, Dohnal, Haus des Kindes, which is actually much closer to our house.
They had a surprisingly good stroller selection, although nearly all of them high end. Part of that is the store, but part of it is just Europe. People spend a lot of money on strollers here. The fanciest, most expensive strollers in the US are very commonplace here, and they just don’t have many less costly options. In this particular shop, there were only two strollers — not two types, two actual strollers — under 200 Euros. (Do the conversion to be truly horrified.) Most of the options are in the 300-600 Euro range, with quite a few in the 700-900 Euro range. Almost anything that isn’t an umbrella stroller will be over 300 Euro. (As a side note, the double strollers here are roughly the same price as they are in the US, meaning that you can get a double stroller here for only a little bit more than a single of the same variety.) Benjamin immediately fell in love with a Maclaren which was lovely (and one of the least expensive in the shop at 240 Euro) but being an umbrella stroller, it was a challenge to use one-handed. That’s something I do a lot (one child rides while the other walks and holds my hand, leaving only one hand for stroller pushing) so it wouldn’t work.
We looked at a few others, but we were ultimately stumped. Nothing seemed to quite fit our needs and price range, starting with the problem of needing the stroller to work for B — most strollers here go up to 15 kg only, and that’s just where B is now. (Which is another interesting thing about Europe — they spend a ton on strollers, but almost no stroller will hold a child over the age of 4, so they aren’t making a long-term investment.) I didn’t want to compromise and get something more frustrating than helpful, given that the stroller is the single piece of baby equipment that we use most (aside from the kids’ beds).
We decided to go home and check out the selection on Amazon.de to investigate our options. After an hour or so of looking and comparing, we had narrowed it down to 3 good options. Only one of those 3 was available at the local shop, and since we really wanted to get it before our trip this weekend, we went for that one. Interestingly, it’s the exact same stroller we have in double form, only as a single — a Baby Jogger City Mini (this time, in red, since that is B’s favorite color).
I’m happy with it. It’s a little bigger and heavier than the Chicco we had, but much sturdier. It still has a basket underneath for stuff, and I can use it easily with one hand. And, as a plus, it’s a real jogging stroller, so it should be very functional for walking and running. So far, both kids have been thrilled by it, but neither has actually gone for a ride in it yet. I can’t wait to take it out for a spin myself . . . and I hope this one lasts a little longer than its predecessor.