Originally posted 2013
Sarah and I recently got a brand new stroller from my best friend as an early baby shower gift. Of course we haven’t been able to actually use it much since our son is yet to be born, but I thought I’d give my initial impressions.
The stroller I’m referring to is the Graco FastAction Fold Classic Connect Travel System. Whew! That’s a mouthful! This is the stroller that Sarah and I decided on after doing lots of research online. We’ve never owned a stroller so it was interesting imagining how we may use it when our son arrives.
There were a few things we were considering when making our decision.
We wanted something that incorporated a safe car seat, something lightweight and compact, and something that was easy to store. We read lots of reviews and watched tons of videos and we decided that Graco was the brand of stroller and car seat we wanted. There are some other good brands out there, but Graco seemed to get the most positive reviews.
The first stroller we were considering was actually the Graco UrbanLite Classic Connect Travel System. It’s very similar to the FastAction Fold stroller but has larger storage and it folds from the handle. I figured that larger capacity storage on the bottom was better than some fast action, gimmicky feature. That is, until we actually tried out both of them in person.
Both strollers are solidly built and have most of the same features. However, the UrbanLite stroller has a folding feature similar to most other strollers. You turn a piece on the handle and the stroller folds up. Most of these strollers are advertised as ‘one handed’ folding, but even I found it rather difficult to fold the stroller one handed, then to lift it as if putting it into the trunk of our car. Unfolding it was even worse. I then tried the FastAction Fold stroller and was amazed at how easy it is to fold then lift into a trunk.
The way it works is once the baby is out of the stroller, you simply reach down and pull up on a strap that is in the seat. Doing so folds the stroller automatically. Then, you just keep lifting the stroller into the trunk of your car since you’re already picking it up by that strap. Unfolding it is just as easy! Place it on the ground and lift it by the handle and it unfolds with no problems. Another bonus is that since it folds from the seat, it takes up much less room in the trunk compared to the other strollers that fold up to the handle.
The car seat is also great. It’s one of the best in the industry and it connects right up with the stroller. The kit comes with a base that installs in the car to make taking the car seat in and out really easy. We’ve bought additional bases for each car, and they remain permanently in each vehicle. A side note: make sure you have someone check the installation of every carseat base! Call your local fire department (yes, fire department) or non-emergency police to see who’s a certified carseat installation technician. If your hospital offers a carseat safety class, we highly recommend that you take it. There’s a lot more than you may think, and it’s your baby’s safety we’re talking about here!
Overall we’re extremely happy with our choice and would recommend it to anyone.
Update fall 2015: since car seats are safe for up to five years (assuming they haven’t been in an accident), we’re currently using the same Graco seat for our daughter! This is also a reason to try and buy gender-neutral major baby purchases. No complaints, it was a great buy and we still really enjoy it.