My friend Marie is headed to the Emerald Isle in May. “My husband’s brother is taking us,” she explained over brunch last week, “and we will be staying one week in Killarney. Passports are in, tickets are bought, but I still need to buy a stroller for Vivian.” Vivian is Marie’s two-month-old. “Can you research some products for me, Evy?”
The following week I was on it, asking friends for their recommendations. Airport finagling and baggage claims, diminutive European rental cars, cobblestones, sightseeing in places built centuries before wheelchair ramps — these things were on my mind. What kind of stroller does one use for travel to Ireland?
“I went to Babies R Us when I was pregnant,” replied Shauna, “and asked if there was an umbrella stroller that laid all the way back and they showed me the Chicco Liteway. This is what I have and I love it [$139.99 at Babies R Us].”
“Chicco is amazing quality and generally worth the price, if you go with an umbrella-type stroller,” offered Danielle Bujnak, a newborn care specialist.
She continued, “If you can find a decent used one, the very best are the Doona [$499 at pishposhbaby.com] and the Babyzen Yoyo [$420 at Nordstrom]. Doona is an amazing car seat with legs and wheels that extend into a stroller [you can do it while baby is in it], and it’s narrow so it can be pushed down the airplane aisle, and it can be used as a car seat during flight. The Babyzen Yoyo folds up to carry over your shoulder, but it does count as a carry-on item and cannot be used in-flight as a car seat.
“But neither stroller are worth the initial price tag for just one trip, so I’d check Craigslist or mommy groups.”
Danielle added one more tip, “The UPPAbaby G-series [$159.99 at Nordstrom] drove me nuts with the small wheels, but it looks like the UPPAbaby Vista has good wheels!”
Old school chum Leslie told me, “I love our UPPAbaby G-luxe! We have an Uppababy Vista too [$703.99 at pishposhbaby.com]. I think the Vista would be better for Ireland since the wheels are bigger.”
Nancy echoed the Uppababy Vista love. “The basket underneath is huge,” she said, “perfect for loading up items from the farmer’s market or supplies for a long day at the zoo. The stroller also can be converted to work for more than one child, making the price point more valuable.”
“Baby Trend jogger system is a nice stroller with durability that comes with an infant car seat that clicks inside,” offered Jeannie ($149.88 at Amazon for Baby Trend Expedition LX).
“Ditto to Baby Trend,” confirmed Monica. “Theirs is also one of the narrowest car seats.”
A narrow car seat seemed like a must have as I imagined my friend and traveling partners packed into a tiny Euro rental.
“The Summer Infant 3D Flip Convenience is an umbrella stroller that can face rear for an infant,” stated Lucy. “I was kind of obsessed when I found out there was such a thing [$108.44 at Walmart].”
A compact umbrella stroller that could grow with the child from their newborn-y months when they want to see Mom’s face as they travel up through the toddler years when the more enticing view is the scenery, for $108 — this Summer Infant seemed a strong candidate to carry my friend’s infant.
Mariclare suggested, “If you are going to use the car seat in Ireland, definitely go with a stroller that you can click it into. I used Baby Trend Snap-N-Go [$56.99 at Target]. Check the seat and stroller at the gate. The stroller also folds up very light.”
“Whatever you do end up going with, make sure it can easily be made rainproof,” offered Roisin, with a wink. She grew up in Ireland, where it rains about 40 inches a year on average. We get about 10 inches here in San Diego.