Car Seats and Strollers

Updated on August 20, 2010
H.L. asks from Stoneham, MA
10 answers

Hi! Any suggestions on a convertible car seat and umbrella stroller? I know that Britax has been recommended, but is it a problem that you can't machine wash the fabric? As for strollers, I was looking at the Maclaren Triumph or UPPAbaby G-luxe because I'm interested in an umbrella stroller that is tall enough for my husband and that reclines because I'm hoping to make it my only stroller for now. Thanks for any suggestions!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone!!! I really appreciate the input - we're going shopping this weekend so wish us luck. Have a great day!
So.....we ended up going with a Britax car seat - all of the comments about washing the seat cover put my mind at ease. As for the stroller - Baby Jogger CityMini was the winner! Once we saw this there was no going back. It's compact and easy one-handed fold is great (although the safety straps were a surprise) and it's definitely more substantial than the Maclaren Triumph/UPPAbaby G-luxe. I hope I like as much when I start using it! Thanks again everyone!

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answers from Boston on

I have had a britax for 2 years now and have washed the cover so many's still in great shape so I wouldn't let that hold you back!

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answers from Fresno on

The height thing was an issue for us as well. This might not be what you're looking for, but we bought a Bugaboo Frog with the carseat adapter. (We used a Graco Snugride baby seat) It worked fantastically well for us. In fact, our daughter is now 5 and still rides in her stroller if we're out and about in the City. (She's smaller than average - only 40 pounds.) Still, I am impressed that we've used this thing as hard as we have for 5+ years and it is still in fantastic condition. (And you can machine wash the fabric, oh happy day!) I really like how maneuverable it is (one handed steering, turns on a dime), and how versatile it has been. When our baby was tiny, we used the car seat adapter. When she got a bit bigger, we used the bassinet (for naps, too - loved that!). Since then, we've used the seat. We've taken it over lava fields in Hawaii, gone to the beach with it, hiking on trails, through crowded aisles at the mall... it's been great. Worth every penny.

I think Bugaboo now makes an actual umbrella stroller that is compatible with infant seats (the Bugaboo "Bee"). My only complaint with the Frog is that you do need 2 hands to fold it. It's never been much of an issue for me, but I guess in a perfect world, a 1-hand fold would have been nice. I drive an Expedition, so I can actually put it in there without folding it.

In terms of the convertible car seat, go with the Britax for sure. Super comfy, and as safe as they come. We have always used Britax once the kids grew out of their infant seats. I have always machine washed the fabric, too. No issues (although I did wash on gentle cycle and drip dry).

Anyway, good luck! Happy shopping.



answers from Boston on

Just a suggestion to go along w/ what ever car sear you decide on (and in you stroller too for that matter) Purchase the Piddle Pad to go over the seat, that way if there is some leakage you can just take off the pad and throw that in the washer.....way easier then washing the whole cover or trying to scrub the seat.



answers from Boston on

I love my Baby Jogger CityMini. It is, by far the easiest stroller I've ever used. I can steer through a door with one hand, fold while holding a squirming 2 year old, and it reclines flat. Another great feature is the extra large sunshade. If you do get it, I recommend getting a cupholder/organizer like the JL Childress Bottles N Bags. Love it!


answers from Hartford on

Strollers are like diaper bags - there are so many to choose from and it is so hard to decide what features you really need. If you have only been shopping online or ready reviews, I would urge you to go to a store and try out a bunch of strollers and car seats. That is the only way that you will know if a stroller fits your height, pacing, etc. and you can feel the quality or maneuverability. As for myself, I have the Britax (I have also washed the cover) and the Peg Perego Pliko Lite - both of which I am very happy to own.



answers from San Francisco on

There are a lot of good options for convertible car seats - you want to look for one that has high height and weight limits (even if your child is on the low end of the weight curve, a typical convertible seat with a 40 lb. harnessed weight limit will be outgrown by height before the child is mature enough for a booster). Avoid the "All in one" seats like the Cosco/Safety1st/EddieBauer Alpha Omega - the average kid outgrows the harness by height before being mature enough to use the seat as a booster, and it makes a terrible booster - for the same price you could get a lot more bang for your buck with moderate-priced high-weight harnessing convertible seats like the Graco MyRide 65 or the Evenflo Triumph Advance. Other frequently recommended convertibles are the First Years TrueFit, the Sunshine Kids Radian, and the large Britax convertibles (Marathon, Decathlon, Boulevard, Roundabout50) - these will last most kids until they're mature enough for a booster. Check the forums at if you have more specific q's - there are many certified child passenger safety techs there and they're super helpful and well-informed



answers from New York on

I work at a baby store. I have the Britax Boulevard for my son and haven't had a problem with cleaning the fabric. It wipes of pretty easy. My son started in it when he was 7-8 months old and will be 3 next month. Its not super clean, but not dirty either. As for the stroller. I would look into the City Mini by Baby Jogger. If you can go to the store to check it out- do. Its lightweight. It can be an everyday stroller (even has an infant carseat adapter), but a lot of people use it as an umbrella now. It folds easier than any other stroller (seriously). And it lays completely flat.
I have a Maclaren, but wish I had the City Mini. To do it over, I would have gotten that. Good luck

ps I just read another M. mentioned that Bugaboo makes an umbrella (the Bee). Don't get it. Its really hard to use! No one that I work with like it- including me!



answers from Boston on

I LOVE our maclaren! I also really like our graco nautilus.



answers from Dallas on

I don't know how much you are willing to spend, but my husband and I love the Peg Perego Si stroller. It has adjustable handles so it would work great for your husband. It also is recommended not to machine wash, but you can do it as long as you air dry and don't use the spin cycle. It retails for around $250. We also looked at the Maclaren and the G-luxe and found the Peg to be much more sturdy without being heavy. I have a Britax and love it, and we've been using it almost a year and the fabric we have hides stains well so we only had to spot clean it and it's not that much trouble.


answers from Minneapolis on

Ditto Elaine.

I have two Britax seats (Marathon and Regent) and have machine washed both covers, just make sure you don't dryer dry them, hang them to dry, no problem. Also never machine wash a car seat harness, those can only be spot cleaned.

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