Shopping For Strollers Stressed Me Out — Until I Tried the Direct-to-Consumer Options
My first baby's due this November, and I was delusional when I started stroller shopping. About two months ago, my husband and I got recommendations from a few friends with kids, spent maybe half an hour watching review videos online, and thought we'd narrowed it down to a couple options. We decided to meet at a store after work one weekday to check them out in person, maybe make sure there weren't any other models we should consider, and then slap our final selection on our baby registry. I got there early. I thought I could take care of it — ask an employee some questions and then text my husband to meet me for dinner instead. But the one store associate in sight was busy with another confused couple. And the strollers, stretching as far as the eye could see, all had indiscernible price tags; it was impossible to tell what was included. I looked around for a giant chart to help me hone in on all my options, but no such thing was anywhere to be found.
It's one of the first decisions you make for your new baby, and it was enough to make me feel like I'm not quite cut out for this whole parenting thing.
Shopping for a stroller in a big-box baby chain store can feel like you've fallen down a black hole. There are brands upon brands with endless options and add-ons. Choosing the perfect one for your baby — or a couple since you'll likely want an everyday option and a separate one for travel — is far from child's play. It's one of the first decisions you make for your new baby, and it was enough to make me feel like I'm not quite cut out for this whole parenting thing.
Since that first overwhelming outing, my husband and I have watched a million (give or take) video reviews online (we feel like we're friends with one of the video reviewers — shoutout to Eli at Magic Beans in Boston!); we've gone to the same store here in NYC at least five times to test-drive various models, yet never feel like we've quite pinpointed the perfect choice for us, though my husband can now spout out how many pounds pretty much every option weighs; we pass a parent pushing a stroller down the sidewalk and turn to each other, noting which brand it was as though we just passed a minor celebrity.
So when I heard about a few direct-to-consumer (or DTC) stroller start-ups that are taking the industry by storm, cutting out the retail middleman, and simplifying the entire shopping experience, I was intrigued to say the least. And after taking each one for a spin, I can honestly say there's something about them that's just totally uncomplicated and refreshing. Here's what you need to know about all the DTC strollers on the market, so you can figure out what's right for you and get rolling!