Since I found out I was pregnant I began considering all of the different options for strollers, car seats, and travel systems. I found this to be very overwhelming. I didn't even know where to begin! Should I get a travel system? Should I get all pieces separately? Should I get this or that? What should I do? I started looking around and I found that I was not liking many of the travel systems. The strollers seemed large and bulky and difficult to manage. Not to mention the problems that my left handedness created.
Then one day, I found the Graco Alano Flipit Travel System at Babies R Us. The stroller was smaller, lighter and more compact than many of the other options. And, I could manage to fold it up without too many troubles. It was still somewhat awkward and it did take two hands, but after practicing for a while, both E and I were confident that eventually I could get the hang of this stroller. The only trouble was that we hated the color of it and it was a little more costly than we had intended.
(this was the only option available at Babies R Us in Canada)
A few days after seeing this one, we were browsing around Walmart and found that they also had a version of the FlipIt ... a pattern that we liked much better. And the bonus? It was $40 cheaper than at Babies R Us.
We decided we'd keep it in mind but we didn't want to rush into anything. I mean, making a commitment to a travel system is a big deal. I can sometimes sway towards the over-analytical, indecisive side of things so I was not sure I'd ever be able to choose the right one.
Then, a few weeks ago, I happened to be in Walmart again and, of course, I breezed through the baby section, only to find that the FlipIt was on sale. For $40 off. This meant $80 cheaper than the Babies R Us (ugly) version. $329 at Babies R Us. Regular $289 at Walmart. On sale for $249. I asked the sales lady how long it would be on sale for but she said that they were never told. Could be a day. Could be a week. Could be a month. Could be forever.
I went home and thought it over some more. I talked to the Dude about it. I read a billion online reviews.
And then we decided to just take the plunge and go buy it.
Mind you, I have the receipt tucked away and it is still in the box in the event that I change my mind or that we see it go on sale further ... but we figured we should swoop up the deal while we had the chance (ahem - three weeks later, it is still on sale for $249. Perhaps this is one of those times that the sale will go on forever. But that's beside the point).
This is the pattern we got - much lovelier than that brown and orange don't you think?
(source)So far, I have a list of things I love about it. And a shorter list of things I don't love so much.
-The pattern (definitely the most important right?)
-The FlipIt feature - I like the idea of still being able to face my baby when he/she is out of the infant seat and sitting in the stroller itself.
-The adjustable handle. The dude is taller than me and this handle will allow each of us to adjust according to our comfort level. My arms won't have to be stretched way up and his won't have to be stretched way down.
-The car seat has the front adjustment strap to make it easy to get baby in and out as he or she grows.
-The stroller is easy-ish to fold up and down. Completely easy for a normal person. Easy-ish for someone like me.
-Stroller folds to a standing position - which means it will take up less room and it doesn't have to be laid down on the dirty garage floor when it's put away.
-The stroller is lighter and more compact than some other models - making it easy for a wee one like me to lug it around. Also making it less annoying to put in the trunk of my little car. I might possibly be able to fit one or two bags of groceries in there with it.
-It's pretty (did I say that already?).
-The parent cup holder - there is only one and it just clips on. What do I do when I'm out with the BFF and we both have a starbucks and neither of us wants to carry it? I'm also kind of worried it might snap off. I kind of wish there was a caddy type thing, where you could hold keys etc., but there is a little zip up pouch on the back which may serve that purpose. I also think you can buy caddy type things to put on the handle? Am I right?
-The stroller doesn't steer as well when the handle is flipped to face the baby because the double front wheels are switched to the back and the single back wheels to the front. I think the FlipIt feature will work fine for moseying along the mall or whatnot, but likely won't be as effective for heavy duty walking.
Now I'm sure that once the baby comes and we start using it, I will discover more things I hate about it (and hopefully more things I love) but ... what can you do? There is only so much testing and comparing you can do with these things in store without actually being able to try them out with your baby. And it wouldn't work so well to wait until after the baby arrives to purchase the car seat, now would it? For now, I guess I can just hope that I made a good choice!