Best Strollers: Standard vs Jogging vs Double vs Umbrella

Finding the right stroller for you and your children can be a bewildering—and potentially very expensive—experience. Stroller choices range from the most basic umbrella strollers starting at about $20 all the way up to a double jogging stroller that can come in around $1,000 or even more. It’s especially hard to know what you’ll need if you’re having your first baby and don’t want to shell out a lot of money for something you might not use.

The two main things to consider when picking out a stroller are first, what are your family’s needs? Think about how many children you need to accommodate and in what types of situations—around town, on trips, while exercising, etc. Consider if you’ll need a secondary stroller in addition to a primary one and how many kids you plan on having or how close in age they’ll be. And second, what is your budget like? Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to select the best stroller for your family. We’ve rounded up our top picks for four different types of strollers to give you a list of the best strollers on the market, though you’ll notice that there’s overlap between the categories.

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Types of strollers

A standard stroller seats a single child and usually is compatible with at least one brand of infant car seats. These are often used as primary strollers and are great for running errands, walking around the neighborhood, or going on day trips. Look for the following safety features across all types of strollers:

  • Adjustable 5-point harness (shoulder straps, waist straps, crotch strap) with an adjustable crotch strap
  • Brakes—single action brake that locks both of the back wheels is safer than individual foot brakes
  • Stability—the size and type of tires, the quality of the stroller materials, and the stroller’s overall locking mechanisms all affect
  • stability.
  • Reclining options—stroller seats with backs that recline fully are appropriate for infants under 3 months who can’t hold their heads up yet.

You’ll also want to consider how comfortable the stroller is for you and your child, how easy it is to use and fold up, and what kinds of extra features are important to you.

A jogging stroller is designed to be used while jogging or running, and as such, it should have some extra safety features. For example, a safety tether attaches from the stroller to your arm so that, should you trip or fall, the stroller won’t keep rolling without you. A deceleration brake is extremely useful and almost necessary if you’re in a hilly area. Taking bumps and dips in a road at a higher speed will jostle and shake your child, so having shocks on the wheels is important. Jogging strollers generally have larger, air-filled tires to create a smoother ride, though this does mean you’ll want to check the tire pressure as often as you would a bike tire. Please also keep in mind that it is strongly recommended that you do not take babies out jogging until they are at least six months old or older for their safety.

A double stroller holds two children and comes in one of two styles: side-by-side or tandem. Side-by-side strollers are often more difficult to fit through doorways but are easier to push and maneuver, especially when the children are are the same or close to the same weight. Tandem strollers are the same width as a standard stroller but tend to be more difficult to maneuver because of their length; however, they are built to accommodate children of different ages and sizes and often have several configuration options. We recommend choosing a stroller based on the number of children, the ages and weights of your kids, and whether or not you’ll need to attach an infant car seat to the stroller. You can find a double stroller in any category (standard, jogging, and umbrella), so you have all the options you need.

An umbrella stroller is a lightweight, usually quite basic, stroller that is often used as a secondary stroller when you need to go somewhere with small spaces or tight turns (like a doctor’s office or store). They fit easily in a car, so they are also great travel strollers. Depending on the style (and price tag) of the umbrella stroller, it could even become the only stroller you need, and there are many models that offer the quality and safety of a standard stroller but at a lighter weight and more compact size. While there are extremely basic umbrella strollers for as little as $20 that will work in a pinch, most of them don’t include even the most essential safety features. Even if you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth it to spend at least the extra $30 or so to find a model that has a 5-point harness to keep your little one safe.

The best standard stroller: Britax B-Lively

Best standard stroller
Britax B-Lively
    Weight
    17.5 lbs
    Folded dimensions
    23 x 9.5 x 29

    There are many options when it comes to standard strollers, but we narrowed down our top recommendation to the Britax B-Lively stroller for two reasons. First and foremost, it is a great value for the price, giving you all the quality and safety features you need and expect to have. Second, this stroller is compatible with our top pick for an infant car seat, the Britax BOB B-Safe, making your baby’s ride extra safe in both the car seat and stroller. The bottom line is that the Britax B-Lively is lightweight, compact, easy to use, and easy to push—everything you want in a standard stroller.

    Pros
    • Pro BulletOne-handed fold
    • Pro BulletCompatible with Britax Click and BOB infant car seats; adapters available for other car seat brands as well
    • Pro BulletLarge sunshade with window
    • Pro BulletFrom birth up to 55 lbs or 44” tall
    • Pro Bullet5-point harness, adjustable crotch strap
    • Pro BulletSingle parking brake
    • Pro BulletFully reclining seat back
    • Pro BulletUnder seat storage & zippered pocket
    • Pro BulletFront wheel suspension; the front wheel can also be locked for rougher terrain
    Cons
    • Con BulletDouble front wheel can get caught and pull the stroller off course
    • Con BulletPlastic wheels can wear out quickly (depending on how much you use the stroller)

    The Best Jogging Strollers: Thule Glide and Thule Urban Glide

    Best Jogging Strollers
    Thule Glide and Thule Urban Glide

      If you are in need of a stroller than can be both an everyday stroller and a jogging stroller, the Thule Urban Glide is one of your best options. It has all the safety features of the Thule Glide, but the front wheel on the Thule Urban Glide can either swivel or be locked, making it more versatile and worth the extra money. Both strollers hold a child up to 75 lbs, and if needed, you can purchase an infant car seat adapter separately for going on walks; however, it is not recommended that you jog or run with an infant, even in a car seat, until they are old enough and strong enough to withstand the bumps of a jarring ride (usually at 6 to 8 months).

      If you are a dedicated jogger, the Thule Glide is the stroller for you. It has all the features you want in a jogging stroller to make it a safe ride for your child, and it’s not nearly as expensive as some of the other jogging strollers on the market which can come in around $800–$900. It has a fixed front wheel, which is ideal for running but makes it more difficult to navigate tight turns (like in a store or on a crowded sidewalk), so it works best as a dedicated jogging stroller. 

      Best Jogging Stroller Runner Up: Baby Trend Expedition

      Best Jogging Stroller Runner Up
      Baby Trend Expedition
        Weight
        24 lbs
        Folded dimensions
        23.5 x 16.75 x 33.75 inches

        If you are a dedicated jogger, the Thule Glide is the stroller for you. It has all the features you want in a jogging stroller to make it a safe ride for your child, and it’s not nearly as expensive as some of the other jogging strollers on the market which can come in around $800–$900. It has a fixed front wheel, which is ideal for running but makes it more difficult to navigate tight turns (like in a store or on a crowded sidewalk), so it works best as a dedicated jogging stroller. 

        Pros
        • Pro BulletHolds up to 50 lbs
        • Pro BulletStands up when folded
        • Pro BulletLarge storage basket accessible from the back, sides, and front
        • Pro BulletReclining seat back
        • Pro Bullet5-point harness and adjustable crotch strap
        • Pro BulletSafety tether
        • Pro BulletFront swivel wheel can be locked for jogging
        • Pro BulletChild tray and parent tray included
        • Pro BulletCompatible with any Baby Trend car seat
        Cons
        • Con BulletTires have to be filled with air and checked regularly
        • Con BulletFront wheel can be wobbly when unlocked
        • Con BulletRequires two hands to fold it up
        • Con BulletHandlebar is not adjustable
        • Con BulletNo deceleration brake, tracking adjustment, or suspension on wheels

        The Best Double Stroller: BOB Revolution SE Duallie

        Best Double Stroller
        BOB Revolution SE Duallie
          Weight
          33 lbs 12 oz
          Folded dimensions
          31 x 20 x 41 inches

          All of the BOB brand strollers are excellent, high-quality products, and the BOB Revolution SE Duallie is one of our top picks for double strollers for exactly that reason. It works wonderfully as a primary and/or an exercise stroller with a front wheel that locks for higher speeds or rougher terrain. Double strollers are naturally bulkier than other stroller types, and this stroller may not fit in the backs of smaller cars, so be sure to take that into consideration. It is also an expensive ride and definitely won’t fit into every budget, but in terms of quality and ease of use, it can’t be beat.

          Pros
          • Pro BulletHolds up to 100 lbs between the two seats
          • Pro Bullet5-point harnesses and adjustable crotch strap
          • Pro BulletLarge sunshade with window
          • Pro BulletCompatible with some infant car seats ($99 adapter must be purchased separately)
          • Pro BulletLocking front wheel for jogging or rough terrain
          • Pro BulletSeats and sunshades adjust independently
          • Pro BulletSingle action brake
          • Pro BulletSafety tether
          • Pro BulletLarge storage basket and additional storage pouches
          • Pro BulletRear wheel suspension
          Cons
          • Con BulletTwo-hand fold
          • Con BulletBulky when folded and may not fit in all car trunks
          • Con BulletToo large to be convenient for commuting or public transportation

          Best Double Stroller Runner Up #1: Joovy ScooterX2 Double Stroller

          Best Double Stroller Runner Up
          Joovy ScooterX2 Double Stroller
            Weight
            30 lbs
            Folded Dimensions
            29.5 x 13 x 36 inches

            The Joovy ScooterX2 is a side-by-side double stroller that is perfect for use as a primary stroller around town, at the park, on a day trip—basically anywhere. It is narrow enough to fit through standard doorways, though as a double stroller, it isn’t ideal for getting on and off public transportation. It’s a great price for the quality you get, especially considering how expensive double strollers can be. The extra large storage basket under the seats is a big hit with parents, as are the deep mesh cupholders on the back of the canopy. Some users complained that the belly bar just got in the way, but it can be easily removed. Overall, we found very few negative online reviews and many, many people who do recommend this stroller for its ease of use, maneuverability, and overall high quality, which is why it made our list.

            Pros
            • Pro BulletHolds up to 45 lbs for each seat
            • Pro BulletReclining seats
            • Pro BulletOne-handed fold
            • Pro Bullet5-point harness and adjustable crotch strap
            • Pro BulletLarge sunshade with window
            • Pro BulletVery large storage basket and zippered side pockets
            • Pro Bullet2015 version has larger wheels than previous models
            • Pro BulletRemovable belly bar across both seats
            • Pro BulletSingle action brake
            • Pro BulletDeep mesh cupholders on the back of the canopyu2014no chance that the cups or drinks will fall onto the riders
            • Pro BulletFront wheel suspension
            Cons
            • Con BulletOnly a 30-day warranty
            • Con BulletNot meant for rough terrain
            • Con BulletHandlebar is slightly low and doesnu2019t adjust

            Best Double Stroller Runner Up #2: Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand Double Stroller

            Best Double Stroller Runner Up
            Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand Double Stroller
              Weight
              32.5 lbs
              Folded dimensions
              21.5 x 43 x 17 inches

              The best thing about the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand double stroller is that it gives you a wide range of seating configurations to adapt to your family’s current needs. It is a tandem stroller, and both the front and back seats can hold an infant car seat (perfect if you’re expecting twins). You can also use one regular seat and one car seat for siblings close in age, or the back seat can be removed to give an older child the option of sitting or standing on a low bench. Because it’s a tandem stroller, it is a little bit harder to maneuver and takes up more space when folded. However, this is another stroller that doesn’t require you to break your budget in order to get a stroller that is going to work for your family.

              Pros
              • Pro BulletLots of seating configurations to fit your family
              • Pro BulletAccommodates up to two Baby Trend infant car seats, as well as several other brands
              • Pro BulletOne-hand folding
              • Pro BulletHolds up to 40 lbs for each seat
              • Pro Bullet5-point harnesses
              • Pro BulletReclining seats
              • Pro BulletRemoveable child trays
              • Pro BulletSuspension on front wheels
              Cons
              • Con BulletHard to take tight turns in a tandem stroller
              • Con BulletSunshades are fairly small
              • Con BulletSeats do not recline fully
              • Con BulletHard to get things in and out of the storage basket
              • Con BulletLong length makes it difficult to fit into small cars

              The Best Umbrella Stroller: UPPAbaby G-Luxe

              The Best Umbrella Stroller
              UPPAbaby G-Luxe
                Weight
                15 lbs
                Folded dimensions
                13 x 42 x 14

                Although the UPPAbaby G-Luxe falls into the umbrella stroller category, it has almost everything you want in a primary stroller for both everyday use and longer day trips. Because of its higher price compared to many other umbrella strollers, in addition to all of its high-quality, high-performing features, you will probably find that you don’t need another stroller once your baby is old enough to ride in it. Because the seat back doesn’t quite recline fully, it should not be used for babies younger than 3 months old. With an extendable sunshade, great storage basket, soft seat fabric, carrying strap, and machine washable seat pad, you really do get the luxurious features you’re paying for, making it one of our top recommendations.

                Pros
                • Pro BulletFrom 3 months up to 55 lbs
                • Pro BulletStands up when folded
                • Pro BulletVery lightweight and has a carrying strap
                • Pro Bullet5-point harness
                • Pro BulletLarge, extendable sunshade with SPF 50
                • Pro BulletStorage basket and parent cupholder
                • Pro BulletSeat pad detaches for machine washing
                • Pro BulletReclining seat back with soft fabric
                • Pro BulletSelf-locking feature
                • Pro BulletFront and rear shocks
                • Pro BulletSingle action foot brake (2015 model)
                Cons
                • Con BulletCrotch strap not adjustable
                • Con BulletNo window in the sunshade
                • Con BulletRequires two hands to fold/unfold
                • Con BulletWheels may get stuck on rough terrain

                Safety first

                When it comes to choosing a stroller, there are many additional features and amenities to choose from, but safety is always a priority. Whether you choose a high-end stroller or something more basic, always be sure to check for any safety warnings or recalls that might affect your products, both when you buy the stroller and periodically afterwards. Register your stroller with the manufacturer, either online or by sending in a registration card, so they can inform you directly if there are any recalls or repairs needed to your products. And of course, buckle your children securely every time you use your stroller, and pay attention to age, weight, and/or height recommendations to make sure your children are safe and comfortable. Then let them sit back and enjoy all the fun you can have together.