Triple Stroller Guide –
How To Choose The Best Stroller:
Buying a stroller is like buying a car, you want to test out a lot of options and read a lot of reviews so that you know what to expect and how others like it. Would you buy an SUV without an airbags? No way! In the same way, you’d never buy a stroller without a good harness.
When you look at a long truck, you have to make sure that it fits in your driveway or garage, or else you’ll have a hard time parking and using it. Strollers operate much the same way because you’ll need to make sure that it fits in your vehicle when it’s folded.
Thinking of your stroller like a new car purchase will put you in the right mindset of making a great decision. After that, here are some major considerations to help you pick the right stroller for your needs.
Two General Concepts
One big thing to remember for strollers is that higher prices often mean higher quality. It’s not always the case, but it’s a pretty good rule of thumb. For these, look at the MSRP and the sale price. If the savings on Amazon is normal, then it’s okay. A high discount for a previously expensive product may mean that it has been underperforming for its original price.
Another thing to consider is the age of your children and how long you’ll need to use the stroller. We’ve called out instances where the strollers last a long or short time. You’ll always want to match your children’s’ ages to the stroller that way you buy something with infant support if needed or get a stroller with plenty of headroom if they’re older.
With three kids, your stroller may not be the most balanced because it’ll be a little hard to distribute the weight evenly. To help mitigate this risk, you’ll want to make sure the stroller you pick is stable.
To determine stability, look at the wheels in the pictures provided, as well as reading our review roundups. The wider the wheelbase, typically the more stable the stroller. You’ll also want to look at the style of wheels and the storage that’s used in the stroller. Storage located solely at the back of the stroller can weigh the back down and increase tipping likelihood.
Baskets and storage underneath the entire stroller will provide more stability. Lower-sitting baskets also tend to help.
If you have infants, a stroller with seats that lay down is a must! Not all multi-child strollers have seats that recline all the way, and some won’t support seats that allow children to lay flat. Always check the reviews for this information if it’s something you need.
Part of getting the right stroller is knowing what you want to do with the stroller. The main thing people look for in terms of additional or special use is the jogging stroller.
Jogging strollers need to be larger and sturdier than your standard stroller, but they have less size limitations. You don’t need to fit a jogging stroller in your car, for the most part, so it can be a bit wider or longer than you’d normally use.
If both parents are interested in taking the kids out for a walk or jog, make sure you’re looking at strollers with adjustable handlebars. This allows everyone to have a better, more-comfortable jog.
Part of the kid considerations for a jogging stroller is that you want the kids to see the world around them. Some of the strollers we’ve reviewed have limiting visibility in the back or center seats, so you’ll want to think about everyone’s needs.
Where Are You Going?
Another thing that will help you pick out the right stroller is understanding where you’re going. Indoor and outdoor spaces are very different, and they have different requirements for wheels and stroller structure. Remember that heavier strollers, especially those for 4+ kids, need all-terrain tires if you’re going anywhere that’s not paved or you may get stuck in the mud.
Some of the other terrain considerations are:
- Flat, neighborhood streets with well-paved roads and/or sidewalks will work for just about any type of stroller. However, if your streets have sidewalks that are many inches higher than the street, you may want something with a foot lever that can help you rise up to the challenge.
- Windy, bumpy roads with uneven spots need a stronger stroller with a good suspension, tires and frame. Joggers are the best bet for this, but you’ll be limited if you’re trying to tote around four or more tots. Joggers can be big and sometimes a little wider than your door, but if you’re mostly walking down streets you’ll be fine with the space. Joggers can also get heavy, so don’t pick one of those if you need a lot of versatility with your action.
- Crowded city streets or lots of errands mean you’ll need a narrow stroller. This can make some tandem options good when they have multiple tiers, but ones where three or four kids sit in a straight line might be too unwieldy.
- Stairs. If you have to go up and down a lot of stairs, weight is probably the biggest issue for your stroller choice. Check reviews to see the dimensions of each and what other have to say about portability. Unfortunately, toting around three kids means you may not be able to get anything that’s too light.
Another thing to consider is the location of all of these different places that you’ll go. Do you need a lot of shade from a canopy or support for a big fluffy comforter that keeps the ice and snow away from little feet?
Check the accessories to make sure that your stroller choice supports all of your needs in this area. Not every manufacturer creates their own line of weather-related gear, but we’ve scoured the Web to see when people have found products from other manufacturers that have fit. Thankfully, most strollers have enough room, that you’ll be able to add cold-weather layers, but not all have an option to extend the canopy if you need more sunshine coverage.
Brakes are a big deal with heavy strollers because, if they get away from you, you’ll have a hard time catching up. Most triple strollers will have a couple different brake options, so pair this with your terrain too.
If you’re on a very flat space, you might not want the brakes you always have to press down because they can strain the hand. However, if you’re in a hilly space, extra brakes and stronger brakes are your best friend.
Always go with a stroller that uses a 5-point safety harness. Most of the product recalls related to straps causing harm have been successfully replaced with harnesses because they’re less dangerous.
An adjustable handle bar may also be a safety need for you if you and your partner are significantly different heights. Some strollers have adjustable handles, which can suit you both. If it’s just a single-location bar, you might want to test it out or read up to see if it’ll be comfortable for you.
Another consideration for height is if you can see over the stroller. Some of the strollers on our list use stadium seating or a joey seat that’s set atop the other seats, which can make them very tall. If you’re on the shorter side, check out the measurements to make sure you’re not buying something that’s too big for you to safely see around.
Holding It All
Multi-children strollers need to have a lot of storage space because, let’s face it, you’re carrying around a lot of extra toys, diapers, powders, and more. Storage is key for having a good stroller experience.
Not all models come with a lot of space and some will provide a large basket underneath all the kiddos, which can be a problem if the access isn’t on the side. Baskets solely underneath everyone mean feet will get in the way of accessing goodies or that lot of toys and other things in the bag may end up taking over the foot rests.
Having It All
It’s going to be a little tough to find a stroller that has everything you need, so go for the biggest items as built-in features. Make your initial purchase on safety and ease-of-use because there are a lot of great accessories you can add to just about any stroller. Choose your core needs and then add your extra basket, cup holder or other items that turn a great stroller into the perfect fit.
One thing worth mentioning is that having it all might mean having more than one stroller. Most families have a couple strollers for different uses, from jogging and going to the grocery store to bringing around one kid or all three. If your kids are different ages, consider who can walk and how big everyone is. You may end up needing a great two-by-two four-seater that moves around the neighborhood but a longer tandem for going to the doctor or the store.
The best thing to do is identify your needs and use our tips above to see which is the most important need to satisfy. Check off as many of these boxes as possible and you’ll be on your way to a great adventure in the right stroller.
The Quick Checklist
Those are a lot of things to consider, so here’s a good checklist that can help you answer all the right questions and make a great decision.
Here are your top takeaways:
- Does everyone fit in it?
- Is it easy to fold?
- Will the weight make it impossible for you to get it in the car?
- Does it fit in the car?
- Are the brakes easy to use?
- Is the basket big enough?
- Can you steer it easily?
- What’s the warranty and return or replacement policy?
- Does it have all the accessories you need do you need to buy extras?
We hope these help you make the right choice and get something that helps you every day.