1. How many children does it need to fit – This is an easy one if you’re having twins. But also if this is baby #2, you may need to let a slightly older sibling ride along, or ride on the fenders.
2. Will you be taking trips with the baby? Does the stroller need to fit into your car with room to spare, or just down an elevator and out to an urban park? If lifting a stroller everyday will be part of your program, take this factor heavily into consideration. Do you need to take your baby jogging and exercising with you?
3. Seatbelt and Restraint system – Look for buckles that are easy for you to latch and unlatch, yet comfortable for your baby or child. The belt should fit snugly around your baby’s waist and have crotch straps that loop into the waist belt to prevent him or her from slipping out. For jogging strollers, a five-point harness is more desirable to keep your baby more secure on rough terrain.
4. Adjustable seat and canopy – Almost all strollers allow babies to recline at least slightly, but strollers are like business class airline seats; the bigger, heavier, and more expensive ones recline all the way. Do babies need all that? At a very young age, they do need neck support, but I’ve also seen them sleep in almost any position. An adjustable canopy is a plus to protect your baby from the sun, rain, wind or cold. These are often included or an inexpensive add-on.
5. How light can you go? – Strollers can be made of plastic, aluminum, steel or a combination of materials. Strollers made of steel or aluminum will usually last longer but there is the added weight. The lightweight strollers with more plastic are easy to move around, but keep in mind they may not last long (and that might be fine).
6. Washable fabric – This is a mom thing, but babies throw up and otherwise dirty fabrics beyond your current ability to comprehend, so be sure the stroller has removable fabric that can be easily cleaned.
7. Storage space – Like most guys, you’re going to want to stow water bottles, granola bars, and emergency provisions so don’t forget to look for easy pockets. A word to the wise though, cup holders in a stroller are an invitation to spilling coffee on the baby’s head. They’re really only good for closed bottles, but still come in handy.
8. Brakes and easy-turn wheels – I always find the brakes to be an annoyance, especially because my wife always has them locked, but they are useful if you live in hilly terrain.
9. Adjustable handle height – With most strollers being designed for the average height person, if you are tall you will want an adjustable handle.
10. Easy open-and-close mechanism – Get a stroller that folds with one hand or foot, so you can hold onto baby in the other arm. A carrying strap can also be a lifesaver, when you have baby, groceries, and a stroller to carry.