Archive | May, 2009

Joovy Zoom ATS & 360 Review

20 May

Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 068I’m often asked what, if any, strollers will work on the beach. The answer: Not many. The good news is, there are a few. And here are two of the newest contenders: the Joovy Zoom 360 and the Joovy ATS. The reason they can handle the soft sand is that they have the muscle of 16″ wheels. Don’t look for anything smaller. As an added bonus, the Joovy wheels have shocks, which really made the ride much softer on the bumpy pier. Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 070
One of the unusual features of the Zooms is the long drop from the seat to the footrest. It’s an astonishing 13″! If you take a look at some of my other reviews, you’ll see the average is around 8″ or 9″. So this is a good choice for a leggy child.
Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 078
Another wonderful feature is the canopy. It is quite generous, but when you pull down the front visor, there is even another 10″ of coverage! Great feature to have in a beach stroller.
Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 075
There is a pretty deep recline, which is done by a single back strap. And instead of a fabric back, there is mesh. This allows for air to circulate around your baby, and prevents overheating.
Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 091
The Zooms come with a neoprene cupholder/parent pack, wrist tether, tire pump, and raincover. Excellent value!
Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 090
There are two net pockets inside the seat, then a large net pocket behind the seat, and a generous sized basket. Plenty of room for sand toys, snacks, and sunscreen!
Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 081
The toughest decision is..which Zoom to choose? I was surprised by how well the 360 performed, despite the smaller 12″ front swivel wheel. Nevertheless, you do have to turn it around and drag it backwards to get from the shore to the sea. Whereas the 16″ front fixed wheel on the ATS makes it possible to push it forward. This also has a handbrake, so is clearly the best choice if you want to run with it.Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 079The fold on the Zoom is really easy, which is such a blessing at the end of a long beach day. After loading the kids, the towels, the bags and the seashells, the last thing you want to do is fiddle with a finicky fold. All you have to do is follow the tag that says “Fold.” Lift the edge of the seat, push back the red lever, and grab the handle. The Zoom will collapse in half. You can quickly pop off the wheels if you need to. But you can see how both the ATS and the 360 fit in the back of an SUV.

Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 106
Joovy Zoom 360 Swivel Wheel Jogging Stroller

Weight: 27 pounds

Drop to Footrest: 13″
Seat Width: 14″
Seat Back: 18″
Seat to Canopy: 20″
Width: 25″
Length: 44″
Floor to Seat: 23″
Handle Height: 41″ on Zoom, 42″ on ATS

Peg Si, Mama Board, Dreamer, Joovy Zooms 073

Peg Perego 2009 Si’ Review 2009

17 May
Easter Si’

Every time Easter rolls around, I look forward to choosing a stroller. Since I am usually travelling to visit family, it has to be a lightweight. One year there was the aqua Maclaren Daytripper. Another year it was the lavender Inglesina Espresso. But this year, instead of going with a pastel, I chose the Easter-eggish “Corallo Stripes” Peg Perego Si’.
And you’ll say YES! when you “see” it, too! If you are a Peg fan, you will adore it. To start with, it has an incredible canopy; remarkable for a lightweight umbrella stroller. It pulls all the way down, and there is a dark mesh visor in the front. There is also a mesh peekaboo window, with a little pocket on the back. The recline is very deep, although not all the way flat. I would be comfortable using it at about 3 months and up. There is a long, extended legrest which makes it very comfortable for a younger child. No “dangling legs” here! The fold is very easy, just two steps. Pull up the lever, yank on the handle. And in case you forget, Peg was thoughtful enough to mark them for you–1 and 2, lol! Good thing the fold is fast, too. We had five! different Easter Egg hunts to go to this year. In fact, they held the last one for us until 6:00, heehee! The basket is very big, for an umbrella stroller. You can see how much stuff you can carry in there. The handles are height adjustable. And there is a side carrying handle. It comes with a cupholder and raincover, and stands alone when folded. Ideal for all your summer travel adventures! But I saved the best for last. Notice something different/unusual/special about the Si’? Despite what we have discussed, I mean? Take another look: Give up? It’s the WHEELS! And they are MAGNIFICO! They are made of some kind of a wonderful hard rubber, with suspension and ball bearings. That is why, even though they are only 6.5″, they can easily glide over all moderate outdoor surfaces, like cracked sidewalks and grass. We agree that the Si’ gets a Royal Rating of 5 Crowns!


Peg-Perego Si Stroller

  • Weight: 16.5 pds.
  • Length: 29″
  • Width: 17″ front, 20″ back
  • Seat back: 19.5″
  • Seat width: 13″
  • Seat depth: 9″-15″
  • Seat to canopy: 25″
  • Drop to footrest: 10″
  • Handle height: 35″-43″
  • Seat to floor: 19″
  • Folded: 11″ x 40″ x 12″


TFK Mama Board & Dreamer Design Review

17 May

Mother’s Day Mama Board on Park Avenue




Ever since I first saw a picture of a Euro mama “skateboarding” with this, while pushing her baby in a pram, I have wanted one. Heck, why should kids have all the fun? So natch I was thrilled when TFK showed up at the “2009 BIG Stroller Roll-Out”, and announced they were coming to America! I was practically swooning over the Mama Board they had on display. Of course, the kind and patient Ms. Katy Halmen of “Trends for Kids” (TFK) thought I was a little crazy. Nothing new, there. But ANY way, TFK has finally made it to this side of the pond, which meant the Mama Board made it to the side of my strollers, haha!

I have this attached to the Dreamer Design Park Avenue. The axle must be thinner than the one on the TFK Joggster, because I couldn’t get the strap quite tight enough. So it did slide around some, but it is not supposed to. It is very, very easy to attach, though.

The Park Avenue, by the way, is an affordable option for those looking for a reversible stroller. And it is rare to find a reversible 3-wheeler. It’s too bad Dreamer went out of business. But you can still find the Park Avenues floating around. The stroller itself weighs 23 pounds. The seat back is 20″. It has a front bar, height adjustable handle, and an easy trigger fold.

The Park Avenue has a one hand recline on the canopy, a pocket with small compartments on the back, a net pouch, and a decent sized basket.

But I think, all things considered, that it would be best to attach the Mama Board to a fixed wheel jogger with a hand brake. The Park Avenue has a swivel front wheel. And that, combined with a high center of gravity, made it somewhat of a tipping hazard.Especially since both the StrollerPrince and Princess were fighting over the ride. They did keep the wrist strap on at all times, but that doesn’t help the stability.

One really nice thing about the Mama Board is how large it is, and it’s high weight limit. As you can see, the StrollerPrince and StrollerPrincess can both fit nicely on it.

Even sitting down!


The quality is terrific, like a high-end skateboard.

As with any riding board attachment, though, keep in mind that the smaller wheels are not going to be able to handle rough terrain. Nevertheless, what a fun way get some fresh air and exercise, for both you and your little ones.

Trends For Kids

Happy Mother’s Day to all of Strollerland!

Baby Jogger City Mini Review

17 May
Baby Jogger Mini Check Mate
I was thinking, because of the success of the Valco Latitude on my last trip to court, I would take it’s Doppleganger to court this next time. And the success of the new Baby Jogger City Mini has been nothing short of amazing. http://babyjogger.com/cityminimain.htm People love the Mini’s light weight, huge canopy, and amazingly easy fold. The wheels are by no means all-terrain, but they do perform better outdoors than your average umbrella stroller. I like it’s versatility. Because of the deep recline, you can put a very young baby in it. And since the seat is quite large, it can hold a pre-schooler. I have tried it out with both sizes. And you can still push it one-handed with a heavier child.As you can see, the under basket is pretty small. But there is another large net pocket on the back. To recline it, you just squeeze that clip that’s holding the strap, and slide the seat down.Now a very cool feature is that when it is in full recline, you can unroll the back fabric, to reveal “voila”! the large net back vent. Great feature for air circulation on a hot day. You can see from both the back and the front how deep the recline goes. Now here is why I am going to court again. I was taking the original Stroller Prince to his first day of Chess. He was so excited! It was early in the morning and the street was deserted. I saw my neighbor walking from the front of the school. He told me to drive around to the back, because it would be closer to the class. Big mistake. I drove up to the stop sign. On one side, there is an apartment building. On the other, the street was closed due to construction, and there was a big sign that said “Closed to through traffic.” I glanced over at all the pavers and bull-dozers. And the next thing I know, a motorcycle cop sprang from behind the apartment building. I was happy I hadn’t done anything wrong. Or had I? He was red lighting me! I pull over, and he asks for my license. “I’m sorry. ” I tell him. “I was rushing to get my daughter to school, and to take my son to his chess class. I had their backpacks and I was carrying the baby and I had no hands left for my purse. It has my license and insurance card in it. I’ll just run home and get it.” “Step out of the car please”, he says sternly. “The law says every time you go out on the highway, you have to have your license.” “But”, I say, “I’m not on the highway. I am just on a little old neighborhood street. I’m two blocks away from home!” Now he starts running a background check on me. “Mom, I’m gonna’ be late! I’m gonna’ be embarrassed!” SP yells. “Could I please just bring him to class?” I ask. “You could follow me.” “You’re not going anywhere, but he can go”, motorcycle cop says. “You mean let him walk four blocks by himself? Do you think that’s safe? ” “I don’t care” motorcycle cop says. OK, now I am getting mad. My son is crying, my baby is crying, and I am being held against my will. “Well, you SHOULD care!” I tell him. You took an oath to ‘protect and serve.’ You are neither protecting me, nor serving me. No wonder there are so many burglaries in my neighborhood. You are too busy hiding behind buildings and trapping school parents, because that is easy! Easy and lucrative. We don’t shoot you, and we pay our fines.” Now he is getting mad, too. “You know I could arrest you”, he says. “What for, for telling the truth”? I say. “You have an illegal sticker on your car. Take it off”, he says. Now, the sticker he is pointing to is mandatory for my area. It allows you to park on the street. I try and explain that. “Nope, never seen it. Take it off”, he says. “You REALLY aren’t from around these parts, are you son?” I said. “AGH”! He waves his hand at me, jumps on his bike and takes off. But not before issuing me a bunch of tickets, including failure to come to a complete stop, no proof of license, no insurance, etc. As he leaves, he drives down the street that says “No vehicles allowed.” I drop my son off at his class, go home and grab my purse, and come back. There he is, hiding behind the apartment building, waiting to trap another suburban mom.” “Hi there”, I said. He jumped. “Here’s my license and registration and proof of insurance”, I say, handing it to him. “I don’t want that. It’s too late” he says. “You know”, I say. “This is all so uneccessary. There is no through traffic here! If I really didn’t stop long enough, as you say, you could have issued me a warning. You could have shown a little compassion fo a mom juggling three kids, trying to get them all fed and dressed and off to school on time. We are all just human, doing the best we can. I’m sure that you didn’t mean to go down that street that is closed to through vehicles.” ‘WHAT?!!!” He says. “Are you accusing ME of breaking the law?” “I didn’t say that”, I said. “I’m just saying we all make mistakes.” “AHHH”, he says, waving his hand at me again, and driving off. So once again, I have to post another thousand dollar bail.


Baby Jogger Mini Stats:
Weight: 16.5 pounds
Folded: 24″ x 29″ x 8″
Width: 24″
Length: 34″
Handle height: 41″
Seat Width: 13.5″
Seat Depth: 9″
Seat to Canopy: 23.5″
Seat back: 21.5″
Drop to Footrest: 9″
Comparison of Mini to Zapp
Since both of these strollers are very hot right now in the lightweight category, I wanted to do a “mini” comparison. The measurements on these two are remarkably similar, as you can see from the stats. The biggest difference is in the length. As you can see, the Zapp has a much shorter wheel base. The handle height is shorter, too. The Zapp is a pound heavier, and has no recline. Whereas you saw how far back you could recline the Mini’s seat.The Zapp’s seat back and seat to canopy is about a half inch taller. Both have very wide seats, but the Zapp’s is an inch bigger at it’s widest part, then tapers down by the hips. It has an inch shorter drop to footrest.Both of these are on the wide side, at 24″. especially for a lightweight. However, a 3-wheeler must have a wider rear stance than a 4-wheeler, for stability. OK, neither are technically 3-wheelers, but that is kind of their design. You can see how the Zapp can fold in smaller, with it’s tripod legs that tuck in underneath the seat. Both have superb maneuverability.

Quinny Zapp Review

17 May

Zapp the Red White and Blue

It’s Election Day! And of course, that requires a stroller that is patriotic. Not a problem! Take the new, cobalt blue Quinny Zapp. Add in an American flag, a red parasol, red Skip Hop, white and red Skip Hop wipes case (Swipe), white onesie on baby, and you’re good to vote!

It was a terrific choice. The husband called in advance to find out where our polling place was. Turns out, it was just down the block, and around the corner. So we didn’t need to walk far. A big A/T wasn’t necessary. But perhaps a one-handed push would be important. There is no umbrella stroller that is easier to push one-handed than the Zapp, period. And it’s small footprint and great style makes it a really fun stroller to use.It has no recline, so it is best suited to a child six months and older. And it will suit a much older child. Look at all the growing room that SP 2.0 has! The seat back is one of the tallest I have measured. But it folds really tiny. In fact, the Zapp bills itself as “The world’s smallest folding stroller.” This, and the raincover and travel bag that comes with it, makes it ideal for travel. Many have reported stashing it in the airplane’s overhead bin. They say the travel bag looks like any other carry-on.All the children were excited to go to the polling place. I say all, because in addition to my three, I generally have four or five others hanging about. But of course, this election generated a huge amount of interest. The whole brood even voted in their schools. After they decorated their bikes and scooters, they started discussing who the winner would be. And who they voted for. Discussing, then arguing. I guess politics isn’t even a safe topic among the 10 and under set! They got another interesting lesson when we got to the voting booths. Despite the fact that they told the husband my name was on the list, it wasn’t. Which meant I couldn’t vote. The lady in charge said she would let me vote provisionally, if I could show her a valid ID. I couldn’t. Yes, believe it or not, I don’t always leave the house with the thought in mind that I will have to prove I am who I am. This has gotten me in trouble more than once, as you will see in the upcoming chapter in “Adventures in Strollerland!” Anyway, it was good to have the Zapp to zip home to get the proof I exist.

 Quinny Zapp

 

Quinny Zapp Stats:
Weight: 17.5 pounds
Folded: 15″ x 27″ x 13″
Width: 24″
Length: 22″
Handle height: 39.5″
Seat Width: 14.5″
Seat Depth: 8″
Seat to Canopy: 24″
Seat back: 22″
Drop to Footrest: 8″

Quinny Buzz Review

17 May

Halloween Buzz

Halloween is such a fun time to pick a stroller. Of course, as with all holidays, the colors have to be right. In the past, I have chosen an orange Quinny Zapp, an orange Phil & Ted’s E3, a black Micralite Fast Fold, etc. This year I have a little baby, so I wanted a stroller that faced me. I also wanted one that could sail over any bumps or cracks with ease. It’s dark, there’s a lot going on, and I don’t want to have to watch where I am going. So the perfect choice is the new gold and brown Quinny 4-wheel Buzz!
Quinny 4 Buzz

When I tested it on the SQ Obstacle Course, the performance was stellar. The four wheels make it much more A/T than the prior 3-wheel version. More stable, too. I really like it.


It’s a good thing, because this year, we had a lot of chasing around to do. Chasing a Star Wars Clone Trooper and Supergirl, that is. When it comes to kids and candy, speed is of the essence. It’s kind of funny to see them running from door to door, as fast as they can, trying to hit as many houses as possible before everyone runs out of candy.

And this year, we all did. There were so many ghosts, goblins, princesses, clowns, Hannah Montanas and Barack Obamas out trick or treating this year. They started early, and they continued until late. For hours our sidewalks were packed. I mean shouder to shlouder, rush hour on the subway in NYC packed. The wide base did make it hard to weave through the crowd. Although, as tight as it was, even my Shanghai Tang Mac Quest would have had problems. And it is the width that makes it so stable, so therein lies the trade-off. I do wish it had a bigger basket. Though it wasn’t something I needed on this night. You can get the optional “Buzz box” for more storage.

This stroller is extremely comfy. Look at the cozy footmuff, and the thick neoprene seat padding.


A wonderful thing about the 2009 Buzz is that it comes with an additional seat, a “toddler seat”. Not quite so plush, so there is more room for a bigger child’s shoulders and hips. In addition, it comes with a raincover, and mosquito net. To complete the set, is the fabulous carrycot. SP 2.0 naps in this every day. It has the same soft, terrycloth-type lining as the footmuff. He loves to snuggle in to it. All in all, this is a great choice of a pram that can get you from newborn to toddler; even a pre-schooler.

Anyway, despite our best efforts, the Pumpkin, the Buzz, and I lost our Clone Trooper and Supergirl. Well not lost in a bad sense. The Clone Trooper ran into Commander Cody and Obi-Wan, and wanted to navigate the Halloween galaxy with them. And Supergirl stumbled across several classmates having a silly string war. So she was off to fly with them.

The Pumpkin, the Buzz and I attempted to do a few houses on our own. But that was mostly met with scorn. “He’s too young for candy! That is really for you, isn’t it! You are going to eat the candy!” Well, duh.

But all was not lost. My friend was playing “Twas’ the Nightmare before Christmas” with a movie projector on a big screen. On her front lawn! We slowly strolled our way through the mob, past three haunted houses, down the hill and one block over. And there it was, Jack in the sleigh! The party had begun. 

 Quinny 4 Buzz


Quinny 4-wheel Buzz Stats:
Weight: 31 pounds
Width: 25.5″
Length: 29″
Handle height: 39″-43″
Seat Width: 12″ (baby seat, toddler seat is wider)
Seat Depth: 9″-17″ (footrest extended)

Seat to Canopy: 24″
Seat back: 20″
Drop to Footrest: 9″

Silver Cross Dazzle Stroller Review

17 May

Hollywood Dazzle
I started out with a close-up shot of the artwork on the seat of the Silver Cross Dazzle. It’s something that doesn’t show up well in the stock photos. And each of the four colors has a different pattern. It’s kind of like a mask, or a disguise.You see the design, and the true stroller is revealed underneath. Which made it the perfect choice to take to the Halloween costume shop/haunted house. I knew I needed something as small as possible, because it would be crowded. But it also has to have a very deep recline and extendable leg rest, since SP 2.0 was still so young. And I wanted something cozy, so he could hide out a little bit, if the screaming ghouls and ghosts and goblins got too much.

The artwork extends to the back of the stroller, too.

The attention to details carries through to the canopy. There is a viewing window on the top, which is held open or closed with magnets.

And there are dual side mesh vents for air circulation, with flaps to keep the sun from streaming in. Not something I needed in the dark haunted house, though. I guess because we are so close to Hollywood, everyone goes all out on All-Hallows Eve. Animatronics with zombies removing their heads are big, caged insane people, swords through the chests, well, it gets pretty grizzly.

Good thing there is suspension on all the wheels, in case we have to rush out of there fast! But we actually lingered a loooong time. Not just to see the “spook-tacular” displays, but because the original Strollerprince was so picky in choosing his costume. The Princess grabbed a Supergirl set and called it a day. DS, on the other hand, tried on every Star Wars mask in the lot. “Do I look more handsome as Anakin or Obi-Wan? Clone Trooper or Commander Cody?” And he’s 7, sigh.
Fortunately, SP 2.0 was happily enthralled watching a giant animatronics mad scientist mixing up a fiendish brew in a test-tube.The Silver Cross Dazzle gave him a front row seat.
The Dazzle takes up very little room in the car, leaving plenty of space for all the pumkins that need to be carved, orange and black lights that need to be strung, skeletons and witches that need to be hung, and the masks, capes, boots, belts, and costumes to be donned for the big event. http://www.silvercrossamerica.com/dazzle_stroller.php

Silver Cross Dazzle Stats:

Weight: 15 pounds

Folded: 41 x 9 x 13

Width: 23″

Length: 20″

Handle height: 43″

Seat Width: 13.5″

Seat Depth: 8″-12″

Seat Height: 20″

Seat to Canopy: 26″

Seat back: 20″

Drop to Footrest: 8″