Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I remember in the couple of months leading up to the birth of my daughter, my wife and I went a bit crazy buying lots of baby essentials.
Some of the main purchases included buying a baby cot, a moses basket and a bassinet.
These all proved to be good choices, and looking back we’d probably buy these same products again
However, one thing I do regret buying was an expensive travel system.
We bought one which came with a carry cot and also a rear and forward facing pushchair.
It was useful for the first 6-12 months as you have to use the carry cot with a newborn, and the car seat adaptors were convenient for taking Mia to and from the car.
However, my wife and I have rarely used it a pushchair, even though travel systems can be used from birth to toddler ages.
Maybe it’s just us, but it was just too bulky, taking up too much space in our hall, not compact enough when folded, tricky to maneuver and too fiddly to get Mia in and out.
Looking back, perhaps we should have just bought a cheaper pram for the first 6 months, and looked at something else beyond that.
In the end we bought a regular stroller (Maclaren Quest) and it’s been absolutely fine.
Easy to use, and easy for Mia to get in and out.
We also purchased an umbrella stroller (BabyZen YoYo) which for me, hands down, has been the best purchase we’ve made for Mia.
It’s so lightweight and very compact, which makes it great for travelling on planes, buses, trains and the metro.
For this blog post, I thought I would look at the difference between umbrella and regular strollers.
Although my wife and I decided to have one of each, you might decide just one will do.
It depends on your circumstances.
Table of Contents
A History of Strollers
Strollers have had a very long history and have gone through a number of changes before finally becoming the strollers that we are all familiar with today.
From strollers that were designed to be pulled by dogs or horses (imagine that in this day and age) to ones that were pushed by parents, they went through a lot of design changes before finally being developed into the ones that we use.
Many nursery products were developed in the nineteenth century, including the perambulator, which had 3 wheels, and looked rather like a large chair on wheels.
While this design only found a lot of use in the UK after the royal family adopted them for use, they were the precursor to the modern stroller.
It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that people began to design strollers to meet the additional needs of families, including having space for two children, independently spun wheels, and reversible seats so that parents could change the direction that their child was facing.
What Are Regular Strollers?
Regular strollers are great for young children, although they can often adapt as the child grows, depending on the type that you buy.
Many regular strollers have a place where the car seat can snap into the stroller, which makes it easy for parents of infants to transport their baby without the fear of accidentally waking them up on the way.
Another benefit of regular strollers is that they are roomy, which makes them great to bring on long trips, as there is generally space to store a diaper bag, snacks, drinks, and other necessities that you may need when out with your child.
Because there is often a compartment underneath where the child sits or hooks placed on the back, it’s easy to bring everything with you.
A major problem that many people run into with regular strollers is that they can be bulky and unwieldy.
This is because they are designed to provide so much space for your child and your other belongings, but it can make them hard to drive through tight crowds.
In addition to being unwieldy, regular strollers are often significantly heavier than umbrella strollers.
This can make taking a trip difficult, especially if one parent is in charge of handling the stroller on their own.
What Are Umbrella Strollers?
Umbrella strollers have a number of benefits which have made them popular since their development in the 1960s.
With foldable aluminum frames, these strollers are generally much smaller than regular strollers.
As they are smaller than regular strollers, umbrella strollers are easier to maneuver in tight spaces.
They can also fold down to a small size, which makes them great for fitting in the car for a trip or when you need to store them out of the way in your home.
Another advantage of umbrella strollers is that they tend to be far less expensive than regular strollers.
Due to their small size, the difference in materials used, and the fact that you can’t attach your child’s entire car seat to the stroller, they are great for parents who are on a budget and don’t have a lot of money to spend.
Even parents who prefer the security and durability of a regular stroller often like to keep an umbrella stroller on hand for quick walks around the park, trips to the doctor, or when they need to get in and out of a store in a hurry.
They aren’t the most comfortable option, which is why they’re not usually used for long trips, but they are great when parents are in a hurry.
Unfortunately, umbrella strollers have a few drawbacks as well.
One issue that some parents run into is that they simply aren’t large and durable enough to transport large children.
They are also not ideal for children who can’t yet support their own heads, as the occupant does need to sit up when riding in this type of stroller.
What To Consider When Buying A Stroller?
One of the most important things to consider when you’re shopping for a stroller is the age, size, and physical abilities of your child.
Certain strollers are simply better suited for children who are a certain size, and will offer more stability and safety when you have the child in your stroller.
Consider how comfortable your child will be when riding as well as how safe they will be.
Additionally, you need to consider how much gear you need to bring with you when you use your new stroller. One of the main benefits of regular strollers is that people love the fact that they have space to store food, extra clothes, water, and toys.
Some parents like to travel with extra items so that they are prepared for any emergency, and it’s up to you to determine your traveling style before shopping.
It’s also important to make sure that you can easily steer and handle your stroller, no matter what kind you buy.
Some regular strollers are designed with improved mobility in mind, making them easy to drive in tight areas, while others are not.
Additionally, some umbrella strollers may be made of low quality components, making them difficult to drive anywhere that features rough terrain.
Conclusion – Umbrella Strollers vs Regular Strollers
As you can see, a lot goes into choosing the right stroller for your family.
No matter whether you choose an umbrella stroller or a regular stroller, picking one that will keep your child safe at all times is the most important consideration.
A great stroller will allow you to easily travel wherever you want to go and will keep your child safe and comfortable.
Is an umbrella stroller necessary?
If you are like many parents who can’t make a decision between the two types of strollers, then having both on hand may be a good idea for you, as it allows you to enjoy the advantages that they both offer when you need them.
This is what my wife and I decided to do.
We’ve travelled abroad a few times with Mia already and we use the smaller BabyZen Yoyo as it can fit in the overhead cabins on the plane…
..which means no waiting in foreign airports for your pushchair.
One time in Turkey we had to wait for almost an hour, and consequently almost missed our transfer to the hotel when we took a cheap regular stroller which had to be put in the hold.
What do you prefer? Umbrella strollers? Regular strollers? Or both?
Please leave any thoughts below.
Graham runs the place around here. He likes making a “little noise” about all things to do with tennis and parenting. Check out his about page to learn more.