6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, CR’s Safest Strollers

(ABC 6 News) – If you have small kids, a stroller can make getting around a lot easier!

But picking the right stroller, that’s no stroll in the park!

You want one that’s sturdy, easy to use and safe.

Luckily, the experts at Consumer Reports test dozens of strollers every year to help pick the right one for your family.

Joan Muratore with Consumer Reports explains, “The mission of CR is to make sure the products are safe – especially baby products!”

Consumer Reports tests thousands of products every year, and 80 years of rigorous, scientific testing continues with strollers!

“You want to have confidence in what you’re buying. You want to make sure it’s safe, it’s easy to use,” says Muratore.

But that can be difficult if you’re shopping online. Or even in a store. With so many strollers packed with features and often sky-high prices, which one is best?

To check for safety, CR tests each stroller for stability and braking to make sure the brakes can keep it in place even on a steep incline.

“We impact test, which you release the stroller down into a steel curb you don’t want to see the stroller collapse to unintentionally fold and you don’t want to see damage to the frame of the stroller,” says Muratore.

Along with being safe, a solid stroller should be easy to use and a breeze to navigate through different environments.

Muratore adds, “we also look at the harness; the straps have to be pulled at a certain force a certain number of times and cannot be compromised, with the dummy, in the harness, you pick up the stroller, you flip it over, forward, backward, and then you rotate over and the dummy cannot fall out of the stroller.”

Testers lift, carry, fold, unfold and adjust anything that can be adjusted and rate their experience.

To assess maneuverability, each stroller is loaded with a 30-pound weight and rolled through a test course, steering it between cones and over obstacles that simulate curbs, grass, mulch, and tree roots.

But the right stroller for your child ultimately depends on your lifestyle and budget.

An umbrella stroller, like the Chicco Liteway is ideal for travel or quick trips around town!

A traditional stroller like CR’s top rated Britax B-Lively Stroller is safe, sturdy and easy-to-maneuver with all-wheel suspension and makes a great all-purpose stroller.

And if you need room for two – the Britax B-Lively “Double” is also a great choice!

Another thing to consider – for newborns up to 6 months old, you’ll need a stroller seat that reclines to a near-flat position or one that fits an infant car seat.