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If there’s one thing a father should get excited about, is the purchase of his first stroller. Say What?
If you can’t get excited about strollers, you just need to remind yourself that they are just another vehicle. They can be ultimate driving machines or comfortable mini vans, with pizza wheels or monster truck tires, sleek or rugged, jet black or Ferrari red. You can buy all sorts of accessories and attachments for them, or even trick them out. Some are like transformers, folding neatly into your trunk or popping off the base to be used as car seat.
And, of course, given the price of the high-end strollers, they can put you in debt.
Now, that’s a good transition to our stroller of choice, the Orbit, specifically the kit that includes the stroller base, the car seat base and the infant car seat which also attaches to the stroller base.
What kind of stroller is for you?
We purchased this mean machine back in 2009, prior to the release of the super cool Orbit G2, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it remains an excellent stroller and the decision making process would remain similar today. There are obviously many factors that driver your choice of stroller, cost being a major one as stroller prices can vary by an order of magnitude. At the time, I researched a number of stroller models and types across a range of prices. We were fortunate enough to afford (i.e. grand-parents offered to purchase) a high-end stroller so the two finalists were the Bugaboo and the Orbit.
Both scored well in terms of stroller construction, road handling and maneuverability. In my opinion, the choice had more to do with where you lived: walking kinda place or driving kinda place.
More after the jump.
If you live in a walking kinda place, you’ll need a stroller that’s:
- you want a comfortable stroller
- good road handling
- good wheels
- shock absorbers
If you live in a driving kinda place, you’ll need a stroller that’s:
- easy to fold and unfold
- easy to put in the trunk
- good convertible car seat
If you think about the above, you’ll probably understand why the Bugaboo is so popular in the streets of New York and the Orbit is so celebrity friendly down in Southern California.
Why we loved the Orbit…
Here is why we loved and still love the Orbit stroller and car seat system.
Easy in and out of the car and onto the stroller base
In our case we live in a driving kind of town. The distances are relatively short and there’s plenty of opportunities to walk around, but there’s lot of in and out of the car.
We thought the Orbit was great as we popped the seat off the base and into the car countless times. The fact that you can fold the stroller base one-handed was also great. Having used the Bugaboo as well (borrowed one on a trip), I can say that it’s a little cumbersome as you often need to remove some parts to get into the trunk of car. Strapping a kid into a car seat is a bit of work and it was great not to have to do so (especially when they are asleep!).
The hand-squeeze latch mechanism is super easy.
As opposed to other convertible car seats, the Orbit models look great. The look like they are perfectly designed for either being in the car or on the stroller base, rather than an awkward car seat with wheels.
With solid construction and big wheels, the Orbit handled really well. I loved pushing it with just one hand or even a couple fingers. The big wheels were also great for off-roading.
Fits in a mid-sized car!
We have a four door BMW 3-series (BMW 330 to be exact, see more photos of the car seat in the car at the bottom). We installed the car seat base in the middle of the back seat using the standard latch system (called isofix in Europe). Installation is a breeze, by the way. With the car seat installed, we could could comfortably seat one average adult on either side of the car seat, which is key if you have grand parents visiting! Having it in the middle also left plenty of legroom for the two adults in the front as well. If you are particularly tall, however, you might have some issues pushing your driver or passenger seat back as much as you’d like.
360 degree rotation
This is one of the most unique features of the Orbit. Being able to spin the pod around to face any direction was actually extremely useful, including at restaurants so the baby faces the table easily, turning against the sun or wind or rain when walking outside, or simply giving your baby a different view. Countless times I crossed parents pushing strollers with a piece of cloth draped over the stroller to shield the baby from the sun.
So that’s why we loved our Orbit stroller. It isn’t too common where we live and people often came over and asked about it. I actually kept some of info cards that came in the box tucked in the stroller for distribution…
About that Orbit G2…
I was pretty envious when Orbit released the G2. Not to the point of having another child, but it sure crossed my mind. They made some pretty radical improvements including shock absorbers and vertical tilt for the new stroller (in addition to horizontal spin). And since the G2 stroller can handle babies starting from birth, it becomes a really good alternative to the Bugaboo for all the New Yorker who don’t necessary need the infant car seat system.
What kind of stroller dad are you?
Did you get involved in the purchase of your child’s set of wheels?
Did you go nuts?
Do you eyeball the other dad in the park as you prepare to stroller drag race?
Do you have all sorts of accessories?
Share your buying experience or stroller style in the comments!
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Value: Fairly valued
Lifespan: 12 months (in our case for infant car seat)