I headed out the door this morning in search of some new shoes for my 1 year old daughter. Somehow one got tossed over board from the stroller and so a new pair was needed. In my 5km wander through the streets of Paris, I got to thinking about stroller design. We have a generic “umbrella” style stroller that folds up fairly small, doesn’t weigh too much, and handles like combine with no wheels… And herein lies the problem, you can’t have everything when it comes to strollers, so it can be light-weight, but not durable, sturdy, but not able to be folded compactly, small, but not able to handle anything but an airport runway…
Looking at strollers online, there isn’t exactly a ton of innovation going on here. They generally have 3 or 4 sets of wheels, 1-2 wheels per set. Ours has 8 which seems excessive as my daughter only weighs 20 lbs. I mean cars don’t need double wheels, so why should a stroller? Most collapse in some way (some more than others), and most have a sun shade on them. Really, a stroller is simply a folding chair with wheels, maybe it doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that?
But I think it could be so much better! Most strollers have small wheels (so they can fold up smaller) but these are terrible on bumps (COBBLESTONES!!!!). It’s true, 12″ inflatable tires would smooth out the ride significantly, but you’d have a mini lunar lander on your hands.
Strollers also never seem to turn when you want them to, but do so quite willingly when you’re trying to keep it in a straight line. The three wheeled ones would obviously help in this aspect, but they always seem to have their third wheel shooting out the front where it’s liable to take out some granny’s ankles (I guess that could be a good thing…).
And then there are the stairs… Carrying a stroller up a flight of stairs with two people is tough work, awkward, and back breaking. Trying to manage stairs on your own is nearly impossible (Paris Metro – I hate you!).
So do I have a new and wonderful design in my head? Maybe, but I couldn’t draw it while pushing, lifting, carrying our old stroller halfway across Paris in search of shoes…. Will have to save it for another day.