One of the biggest decisions a parent has to make when bringing a new baby into the world is deciding on which stroller they are going to buy. It is a big purchase and likely to last you a couple of years and so you really want to do the leg work and get the one that fits your needs and, hopefully provides the most for the money you're likely to pay, even after sales and coupons!
Since I had my first child (15 years ago), strollers have really come a long way - back then, nobody considered us 6 foot tall folk with our long legs and our crazy arms and so it was always back breaking pushing him around and I would always be kicking the back bars where there leg room was at its minimal - comfort and design left a lot to be desired.
Fast forward to 2010 and I find out that I am expecting again and immediately start to wonder whether I am going to spend the next couple of years pushing around another back breaker or if, as i'd been told, I could find a stroller to fit my needs much easier now than I ever could have in my previous outing.
I have to admit, I was dubious at first, but it really didn't take me long to discover the Baby Trend stroller that I eventually ended up with - it was definitely a great fit for me and it was hard to find anything that compared!
My needs were simple - I needed a stroller that was easy to maneuver, had a handle that was high enough to suit my 6 foot tall frame and a I required a basket that would support groceries/goods underneat for ease while shopping seeing as I do a lot of walking and needed to be able to get the items home without putting on a circus act! I didn't ask for much in my stroller, but those three things are actually more difficult to find that you may realize.
Enter the Baby Trend - Expedition LX Jogger Stroller System! A very stylish, trendy, large wheeled stroller, with an adjustable handle and swivvel wheels for easy maneuvering and a stop cap on the wheel to keep it steady if you prefer. Ample storage underneath, cup storage for 2 cups on the top and 2 more cup holders on the tray that sits in front of the child, which also act as the rest for the car seat! As a bonus the stroller came with a little set of speakers built in between the cup holders so that you may hook up your MP3 and listen to your music as you jog or walk along and for dedicated joggers, I thought this was a great idea! We purchased the "System" and not just the stroller, so we also had the car seat, which clipped on and off of the stroller and right in the car, with the help of an easy to fit base - gloriously simple and stress free for everybody involved! The color of the stroller was a grey bright green accents and it stood out from the crowd immediately!
Right away I adored the ease of use that came with this stroller and the comfort of my child was easy to see as she slept effortlessly in her car seat as we strolled along. We would go to the mall and unclip her from her stroller, transfer the seat to the car, click her in and place the stroller in the trunk. As easy as pie - unless you have a small trunk, in which case this stroller could be a little large or awkward for the car! But I will get to that momentarilly...
The stroller, for the most part, was (and still is) a joy to use and I can swivvel in and out of stores with ease and it glides around effortlessly. Once my daughter outgrew the car seat we used the stroller as her big girl seat and she moved from facing me to facing the rest of the world and engaging with everybody around her. I missed her little face being right there as we shopped, but the weight of the car seat was suddenly gone and the ride became even smoother! Unfortunately, though, the lack of car seat did bring along with it a few unexpected problems, which I would never have predicted and which were indeed a little strange!
Without that weight sitting on the base, from the car seat, the stroller is slightly lighter on the front wheel and heavier at the back. Often, the front wheel will not connect with the floor properly because of this and it starts to shake the stroller in a similar way that a cart at a grocery store might shake when it doesn't quite connect at the same point as the other wheels on the cart!
Thankfully, the shaking doesn't always last too long and letting up a little on the handle can conteract the shakes a little - but locking the front wheel stops the shaking all together, so there is a fix that works, but it comes with a price! If you fix the wheel at the front, you lose some of that easy maneuverability and have to lift the front of the stroller to turn corners with the lock on, where you could have simply spun it around before, but this is the sacrafice you make to maintain the lifespan of your stroller!
My daughter is now 17 months old and the Baby Trend - Expedition LX Jogger Stroller is still going strong and we do love it, but there are a few things to think about before you go out and buy, which you may not have thought about already:
1. Do you travel on the bus? If you do, it can be very awkward to fold the stroller down and load it, the baby and the car seat onto the bus, unless you live in an area which allows you to "park" your stroller on the bus instead of having to fold it flat as we do here. The wheels are too big to be conveniet for this kind of travel and storage on the bus is not an easy task - it isn't impossible though and is a little easier if you travel with a friend!
2. Similarly, will you be taking the stroller with you in the car? If so, is it going to fit in your boot with its large wheels? Do you want to be detatching the wheels every time you want to take a trip or are you confident that it'll fit with no hassle?
3. Are you ever going to actually use your jogging stroller to jog and is the MP3 attachments really a necessity? It is lovely to have extras, but if they're not going to see any action then they're not worth paying the extra money for if you can find a better deal elsewhere!
4. The shaking of the front wheel will most likely start to get annoying after a few attempts to walk in a straight line with the stroller violently shaking in front of you, with onlookers wondering if your stroller has been possessed or if perhaps you are experiencing your own personal little earthquake, but you can sacrifice the easy maneuverability to combat that shake if you can live without it? - I know it is much easier to get in and out of a store if I can move free and easy, as apposed to getting a little stuck with a fixed wheel! It can get very annoying, very quickly.
5. Are you tall or a little on the petite side? Either way, this stroller has an adjustible handle and you could comfortably use it at almost any height but if you are on the shorter side, this may not be for you - although everyone really does differ, so take it for a test ride if you are unsure!
6. Lastly, you might want to think about the fact that the stroller has 3 wheels! It looks fabulous but crossing the street, getting down steps or simple actions similar to these are no longer as simple as with a 4 wheeled stroller - lifting the stroller onto a curb can cause the stroller to become unbalanced and you may, on occassion, look as though you're attempting a juggling act as you balance it on that front wheel! Just something to consider.
I know it sounds as though this stroller has a lot of fault, but this has been my own personal experience and so perhaps not everyone would encounter the same problems, I can only pass on the things I know for sure about mine and my experience. So, to round up, the stroller is so pretty and the color works for every child! I have had so much fun with it and found the car seat to be useable up until about a year old, at which point my daughter grew completely out of it. The stroller has an adjustable back so the child can nap on the go. The leg room for walking behind the stroller is perfect for my long legs and the adjustable handle is wonderful for us taller folk! It is easy to fold up or down with the click of the big red button on the top (even though it isn't easy to carry while folded down, or easy to store either!) and the wheels are wonderful for a smooth walk, or while running but can make it bulky and annoying for storage and the front wheel shaking now and then can make it a little bit of a bumpy ride! The canopy doesn't fully shield the sun so you will need to buy a parasol if you are using the stroller on its own, but isn't a problem if you are using the car seat, as the canopy will fully close over the top of it. The MP3 hook up is a wonderful idea, but unfortunately, after getting caught in the rain, those speakers no longer work and so if you are going to purchase this stroller and want to keep those speakers new, remember to bu ya rain cover or protect those speakers in case of a sneaky rain shower that you weren't expecting!
Overal, if I had to buy the stroller again, I probably would still choose this stroller, or one very similar because the good really does outweigh the bad! My daughter has enjoyed her "ride" for almost 17 months now and I imagine that this stroller will be the only one she will need until she is walking full time without getting tired on trips out!
I am giving the Baby Trend - Expedition LX Jogger Stroller System 8/10, and would say that it definitely started out as a full 10 out of 10 until the little annoyances started to present themselves over time!
Take this stroller into consideration, and take it for a test run! I think you may be quite surprised at how quickly you really do fall in love with it and the way it performs aside from all the quirks personally found in my own!
Let me know if you have had any experience with this stroller, I LOVE hearing from you and I would love to add you thoughts for a rounded review!
***All thoughts and views expressed in this blog are my own and are based on my own personal experiences with the product described. I was NOT compensated for this review or provided with any benefits or extras for voicing my opinions. Please do your research before purchasing any item displayed on my page as other people have varying experience with the same product and I would hate for you to make a decision based solely on one review. Thank you!