How to Choose the Best Stroller and Car Seat for You

How to Choose the Best Stroller and Car Seat for You, Savannah Walsh standing on a boardwalk in a field, kneeling down next to her daughter, behind a double stroller with her two youngest kids.

The baby gear aisle can be overwhelming. With five kids (and counting!), Savannah Walsh has tried out a LOT of strollers and car seats, and here she shares her favorites, along with her pros and cons for each.

MyRegistry contributing writer Savannah Walsh is a Canadian blogger, a mom of five little ones, and the face behind That Caffeinated Mom, where she talks pregnancy, birth, and everyday mom life in her own relatable and very candid storytelling style.

Okay, let’s face it, baby stores are STRESSFUL for a new mom. Actually, to be fully transparent, they always stress me out. There are endless options, and when you finally make a decision on which bottle you want, you turn around and there are 15 more you haven't even looked at yet! *shiver*

It's an indecisive person’s worst nightmare. And for me, it’s the most fun, most stressful place to be. I am somehow both very decisive and incredibly indecisive at the same time (just a fun little added bit of overwhelm for me), so I absolutely love and hate having so many options.

But for most people, it’s really great. There are options for everything—lots of them. Whether you’re picky about what you want, or really lax about it, there’s something for everyone. And then… you get to the baby gear section.

You know what I mean… the daunting selection of car seats and strollers. And if you don’t know what I mean, it’s probably because you’ve been too scared to take the plunge.

Making a car seat and stroller choice caused me such stress, a fact that completely shocked me. And it got worse every time!

This should be so simple! I need this kind of stroller, with this many seats, that does this and this—BOOM.

But in reality, that just isn’t the case. There are so many different factors that go into choosing a stroller and car seat. All of them have different bonuses and different ideal purposes, and the challenge lies in deciding which of those you want or need most. Or at least that’s where I thought the challenge lay.

Five babies, 14 car seats, and 11 strollers later (yes, you read that right—we’ve had 14 car seats and 11 strollers), I’m here to say it’s actually not about picking the car seat and stroller you love the most. It’s about picking the ones you hate the least.

Okay, I know… that seems backward and pessimistic, but stay with me. Every single car seat and stroller has a “problem”—or at least something you would change about it. It would be impossible to have a baby car seat and stroller that has everything. Each bonus comes with a price. For example, really light car seats are amazing and a requirement for me as someone with a bad back. However, having the light weight means losing other features I’d really like to have. And a baby stroller with really good suspension won’t be as thin and light as some others, because it has to hold that good suspension system.

Overall you have to make your selections based on what has the least amount of compromise for you and your situation. Make choices based on what not only checks the most boxes on your must-have list, but also checks the fewest boxes on your must-not-have list.

This is another one of the serious added bonuses of creating a baby registry with MyRegistry.com and being able to do all this online. You can do as much research as you want and decide on your car seat and stroller selections with confidence. MyRegistry helps ensure you get the items that work best for you—and discourages family and friends from choosing their own favorites. I ended up with my first stroller because my mom thought it was the best option for me. It lasted about three weeks before I bought the one I wanted and really needed.

I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite baby gear items that were the least amount of compromise for me, including my pros and cons for each. Keep in mind, the least amount of compromise for one parent may be the most amount of compromise for another, but I think these are all amazing options!

Bucket Infant Car Seats

I’ve always been one to really enjoy bucket car seats and the convenience of being able to take my sleeping babies straight out of the car in their car seats, without having to disturb them. I keep my babies in the bucket seat as long as I can!

Nuna Pipa Lite lx

Pros

  • Uses merino wool and Tencel, making it a more sustainable option, and uses no added fire retardant chemicals
  • Has the Dream drape, so there’s no need for a car seat cover
  • One of the lightest car seats on the market, weighing only 5.5 pounds (not including some optional features)

Cons

  • Only goes up to 22 pounds
  • Has no way of being used in a car without the base (no direct seat belt attachment, like most)

In Canada

Nuna Pipa Lite Ix, Nuna PIPA
Nuna Pipa Lite lx | Well.ca
$589.99

In the U.S.

Nuna Pipa Lite Ix, Nuna PIPA
Nuna Pipa Lite Ix | Pottery Barn Kids
$419.95

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio

Pros

  • Goes all the way up to 35 pounds
  • Includes a base with an anti-rebound bar for a better vehicle fit
  • Has a leather option for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Weighs more than 9 pounds
  • Really bulky

In Canada

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio, Peg Perego
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio | Bed Bath and Beyond Canada
$369.99

In the U.S.

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio, Peg Perego
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio | buybuy BABY
$299.99

Convertible Car Seats

The problem with bucket seats is that babies do eventually outgrow them and need to move into a convertible seat. For this reason, some people choose to forgo the bucket seat and just start with a convertible seat. However you get to them, convertible seats are a longer-term car seat and definitely something you want to choose right the first time.

Nuna RAVA

Pros

  • 6-position recline option
  • No-rethread adjustable harness
  • Really comfortable seat for all ages

Cons

  • Really bulky and wide seat
  • Unlikely to be able to fit three in a row
  • No option for cup holders

In Canada

Nuna RAVA, Nuna
Nuna RAVA | Well.ca
$659.00

In the U.S.

Nuna RAVA, Nuna
Nuna RAVA | Pottery Barn Kids
$449.95

Diono Radian 3 RXT

Pros

  • Really slim seat, making three in a row possible
  • Converts all the way into a booster seat, going up to 65 pounds
  • 12-position adjustable headrest

Cons

  • Really tall seat
  • Not as much padding for comfort
  • Challenging to adjust the harness heights

In Canada

Diono Radian 3 RXT, Diono
Diono Radian 3 RXT | Bed Bath and Beyond Canada
$439.99

In the U.S.

Diono Radian 3 RXT, Diono
Diono Radian 3 RXT | buybuy BABY
$329.99

Single Strollers

UPPABaby CRUZ V2

Pros

  • Sleek and folds down small
  • Numerous seating configurations: bassinet, forward-facing seat, rear-facing seat, car seat (with additional adapters), and more
  • Lightweight, weighing 19 pounds without the seat, 25.5 pounds with the seat attached

Cons

  • Bassinet is not included in the price
  • Not great for rough terrain and off-road strolling

In Canada

UPPABaby CRUZ V2, UPPAbaby
UPPABaby CRUZ V2 | Well.ca
$899.99

In the U.S.

UPPABaby CRUZ V2, UPPAbaby
UPPABaby CRUZ V2 | buybuy BABY
$679.99

BOB Gear Alterrain Jogging

Pros

  • Ultra-adjustable stroller seat can fit babies from 8 weeks on, transitioning from fully upright to almost fully flat
  • Has air-filled tires with steel dual ball bearings, making it an incredibly smooth ride on any and all terrains
  • Folds in one step, requiring one hand only

Cons

  • Has no option for a bassinet
  • Weighs more than 30 pounds

In Canada

BOB Gear Alterrain Jogging, BOB Gear
BOB Gear Alterrain Jogging | Bed Bath and Beyond Canada
$679.99

In the U.S.

BOB Gear Alterrain Jogging, BOB Gear
BOB Gear Alterrain Jogging | REI
$600.00

Double Strollers

Nuna DEMI Grow

Pros

  • Unique seating arrangement that seats the second seat beneath the first, making it a smooth ride and not at all front heavy
  • Has 23 optional seating arrangements, including using it as a single stroller
  • Custom dual suspension, making it a great midway between a more “city” stroller and an all-terrain stroller

Cons

  • Very limited options for compatible car seats
  • A heavier option, weighing more than 27 pounds in the single mode
  • Sibling seat is an add-on, sold separately

In Canada

Nuna DEMI Grow, Nuna
Nuna DEMI Grow | Bed Bath and Beyond Canada
$1,199.99

Nuna Demi Grow Sibling Seat, Nuna
Nuna Demi Grow Sibling Seat | Hudson's Baby
$299.99

In the U.S.

Nuna DEMI Grow, Nuna
Nuna DEMI Grow | TheTot
$849.95

Nuna Demi Grow Sibling Seat, Nuna
Nuna Demi Grow Sibling Seat | TheTot
$199.96

BOB Gear Revolution Flex 3.0

Pros

  • Ultra-adjustable stroller seat can fit babies from 8 weeks on, transitioning from fully upright to almost fully reclined on both available seats
  • Narrow enough to fit through most standard doorways
  • Has air-filled tires with steel dual ball bearings, making it an incredibly smooth ride on any and all terrains

Cons

  • No bassinet options
  • Side-by-side style, making it significantly wider than most tandem-style strollers

In Canada

BOB Gear Revolution Flex 3.0, BOB Gear
BOB Gear Revolution Flex 3.0 | Well.ca
$899.99

In the U.S.

BOB Gear Revolution Flex 3.0, BOB Gear
BOB Gear Revolution Flex 3.0 | Magic Beans
$699.99

Regardless of which car seat and stroller you end up picking and what compromises you make, what’s important is picking the right options for you and your family. Do your research, look into the options early on, and add them to your baby registry. Don’t pull a Ross and Rachel and run out a week before your due date to get all your baby gear!

And once you select your car seat and stroller, I’d highly recommend getting the following add-ons.

Cup Holder

In Canada

guzzie+Guss Universal Stroller Cup Holder, Guzzie + Guss
guzzie+Guss Universal Stroller Cup Holder | Bed Bath and Beyond Canada
$29.99

In the U.S.

guzzie+Guss Universal Stroller Cup Holder, Guzzie + Guss
guzzie+Guss Universal Stroller Cup Holder | buybuy BABY
$19.99

Rain Cover

In Canada

Jolly Jumper Weather Shield, Jolly Jumper
Jolly Jumper Weather Shield | Bed Bath and Beyond Canada
$16.99

In the U.S.

Jolly Jumper Weather Shield, Jolly Jumper
Jolly Jumper Weather Shield | buybuy BABY
$10.99

Diaper Bag Clips

In Canada

DOUPA Baby Stroller Hooks Clips, DOUPA
DOUPA Baby Stroller Hooks Clips | Amazon Canada
$16.86

In the U.S.

DOUPA Baby Stroller Hooks Clips, DOUPA
DOUPA Baby Stroller Hooks Clips | Amazon
$9.99

Mommy Hook

In Canada

The Mommy Hook Double Stroller Hook, The Mommy Hook
The Mommy Hook Double Stroller Hook | Bed Bath and Beyond Canada
$13.99

In the U.S.

The Mommy Hook Double Stroller Hook, The Mommy Hook
The Mommy Hook Double Stroller Hook | buybuy BABY
$9.99

About the Writer
Canadian blogger Savannah Walsh is the mom of five little ones and the face behind That Caffeinated Mom, where she talks pregnancy, birth, postpartum struggles, and everyday mom life in her own relatable and very candid storytelling style. Savannah has created a space for moms from all walks of life to connect over motherhood by telling the real-life story of a regular mom, including the tough parts of motherhood we sometimes shy away from. When Savannah had her first baby, she knew very little about the mom world and quickly felt overwhelmed by the number of options available to her, from baby brands to parenting advice. Over the years, she’s tried just about every baby and kid product there is, along with developing her own parenting style and devising ways to stay sane while balancing a busy household. Savannah joins us every month on MyRegistry to share her stories, mom tips, and favorite baby products.

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