A Personal Site by Richard Lin aka OctaneGuy | Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Just ask any parent or soon to be parent about what they want to know most about their MINI? It's likely what stroller and infant seat combo will fit in the MINI without being inconvenienced too much. We want a product that will fit in the boot without requiring the shelf to be removed or the back seats to be folded down. I set out to find the perfect seat by scanning the forums, talking to parents, reading everything I could get my hands on, and by visiting the local Babies R Us! Here I was allowed to take the strollers out and test fit them in my car!
Now I didn't want to take every stroller out, so I began by narrowing them down by size. Strollers come in a few different sizes, depending on use. There are the umbrella types, sometimes referred to as Shopping Mall strollers, that collapse and open like an umbrella. They are very lightweight, and typically very flimsy. These are not designed for infants.
From there, they just get bigger and bigger! I was also interested in one that could integrate a Travel System. This requires a stroller that allows you to drop in the Infant Seat. While I wanted to find something small, I didn't want to compromise comfort or safety. Having a lightweight compact stroller was great, but if it had plastic wheels that gave a bumpy ride, or was hard to steer, or just didn't feel safe, that was out of the question.
In case you're not familiar with a Travel System, this is a docking base that stays in the car, and the Infant Seat snaps into and out of it with a button. Then when you need the stroller, you just drop the Infant Seat into the stroller and carry on. That's fantastic. No need to wake the baby by transferring him from place to place. While I'm not a daddy yet, I'm sure a sleeping baby is always ideal!
Now because our MINI's are LATCH, the base is super easy to install. Just lift the protective covers on the MINI, and snap in the LATCH attachment. It looks just like a seatbelt release, with a big red button. Other LATCH seats will use a tether or metal clip. This couldn't get any easier. I must admit while this stroller is certainly pricier than other strollers, it's getting outstanding feedback from users. See it HERE.
Peg Perego Aria GM Stroller $179.99 weighs just 9 pounds and supports a child up to 40 pounds. The Babies R Us stock number is #742026
Now the sales person told me the Infant Seat they had in stock wasn't designed specifically for this stroller so it didn't fit that well. Here is the info on this one anyway, until I can verify that or not.
Primo Viaggia $149.99 #686754
(Click on a picture to enlarge)