Travel systems for an on-the-go life in the city

If there is one area for shopping for baby items that is giving me some level of angst, it is most definitely what we will end up selecting for our stroller/car seat/travel system. For parents who own a car and plan to use it to transport their child everywhere, they definitely have less of a stressful decision to make given they can just leave their base in their car and snap in the car seat at any time, then dump the stroller piece into their trunk. Because we are city dwellers and do not own a car, we need to be able to pop a car seat in and out of multiple vehicles, whether they are ride shares, cabs, or rental cars, and be able to do it as quickly and efficiently as possible; ideally, we wouldn’t have to lug a car seat base everywhere (as they are pretty freaking heavy and LARGE!) and would find a car seat that doesn’t require a base. We will also need to take our stroller on the subway since that’s our main mode of transportation while in New York City.

It seems every “trendy,” or rather uppity, name-brand oriented mom can’t get enough of Uppababy products, particularly the Uppababy Vista stroller, which, by itself, without a car seat/base, without any adapters, costs over a thousand dollars. I can’t even count the number of Uppababy strollers I’ve noticed here in Manhattan in the last few years, and this was even far before I was trying to get pregnant. I told a relatively new mom about my stroller concern with living in the city carless and wanting to easily take these pieces on a plane, and she immediately, likely without thinking, just told me to get the Vista. But the Vista is a full-size stroller, which means it’s not only huge, but it’s extremely heavy, and with me at my pre-pregnancy weight of about 117 lb., I’m not sure how I’d be able to maneuver that along with the weight of a baby all by myself. I think I’d ideally want a more compact stroller that could easily click in a car seat and a bassinet, but there are many pros and cons for each of these options as it relates to cost, suspension, and durability.

As a last stop with our Zip Car rental yesterday, we stopped at a Buy Buy Baby in Jersey, and after looking at Chicco, Peg Perego, Uppababy, and Even Flo strollers, it seems that the best value option is the Even Flo stroller, which is modular (allows front and rear facing), and converts into a bassinet. It also comes with an infant car seat. But as I read reviews online, a lot of parents complain that this tends to break down and the wheels lose their power at around the 5-6 month mark, which would really be a hassle. I also wasn’t that trusting of the employees who helped us, as they gave us some factually incorrect information in regards to some of the strollers, which I later found out about just by doing a quick online search.

When I mentioned “travel,” “compact,” “we don’t have a car,” neither of the employees mentioned some of the most popular options available, including the Babyzen Yoyo, Bugaboo Ant, or the Uppababy Minu. So this just means my search and questioning will continue. What fun. I wish the search could be easier than this.

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