Best Multi-Function Stroller 2023
Best Multi-Function Stroller 2023
Last Updated: If you plan to have two kids close in age, we’d suggest the . Baby Jogger City Select (28.1 lbs.). It can be configured 16 ways with an optional second seat, bassinet or car seat adapter (for Chicco, Peg Perego, Cybex, Maxi Cosi, Graco and Britax). The City Select is an excellent stroller with a quick fold.
In the past year, Baby Jogger released a “lux” version of this stroller, cleverly named the Baby Jogger City Select LUX. The LUX adds five more configurations, including a jump seat that can be used up to 45 lbs.
The seat on the LUX version folds in a more compact manner—making the stroller 30% smaller when folded. At 28.4 lbs., the LUX is roughly the same weight as the original model. We like the new added rear wheel suspension. The street price on the LUX is roughly $50 more than the regular Select.
Overall, the Baby Jogger’s City Select’s quality is impressive—readers tell us they love it, especially when they have two babies close in age.
Best Multi-Function Stroller for Kids Close in Age
Baby Jogger City Select Single Stroller
An excellent stroller with a quick fold—a good choice for kiddos that are close in age.
Best Budget-Friendly Multi-Function Stroller
Evenflo Pivot Xpand
Can you buy a multi-function stroller for under $500? The Evenflo Pivot hits all the right notes, at a price that is about half of our top pick.
Details: Evenflo Pivot Xpand
Evenflo doesn’t often get praise for their strollers–low price usually means low quality. But we couldn’t help but be intrigued with the new Evenflo Pivot Xpand Modular Travel System. Based off the Pivot, a single seat modular frame stroller, the Xpand adds new features including a surprisingly easy conversion to a double stroller using no tools.
The biggest difference: the Pivot Xpand offers 22 different seating options to the Pivot’s six options. Watch how the Xpand converts:
Other features include a toddler seat that converts to a lay-flat bassinet, a standing fold (with the toddler seat attached) and an expandable storage basket. The included car seat is the Evenflo SafeMax reviewed here. All these features and flexibility comes with an affordable price tag: only $330 at last check.
Generally, the quality of most Evenflo strollers is average at best. But we were impressed with the prototype we viewed and played with at a recent trade show. Expanding the stroller to hold an infant and an older child is so easy, we wonder no one else came up with the idea. Watch this space for more updates.
Why Trust Us
We’ve been rating and reviewing strollers since 1994. In addition to hands on inspections of strollers, we have also visited manufacturer facilities and met with safety regulators—and when we travel, we pay our all of our own expenses. We look to our reader feedback to give us a real world perspective on strollers—our message board on strollers seats has 23,000 (!) threads. We also evaluate consumer reviews posted on sites like Amazon.
Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!
Learn more about our work and how to support our site.
How we picked a winner
We evaluated strollers with hands on inspections, checking seats for ease of use (how it folds, for example). We also gather significant reader feedback, tracking strollers on quality and durability. Besides interviewing parents, we also talk with engineers and designers who give us feedback on design and style.
We’ve been rating and reviewing strollerss since 1994. During that time, we have also visited manufacturer facilities. We also compare our reader feedback with Consumer Reports and other recognized experts.
7 Things No One Tells You About Buying a Stroller!
1. What’s your stroller lifestyle?
Before you fall you in love with a designer stroller, ask yourself HOW you will be using a stroller. Yes, you.
Think of strollers as tools—the wrong tool for a job isn’t going to help, no matter how shiny it is. It’s the same for strollers.
Because we all live in different environs and want to go varied places, the key to stroller happiness is to understand how different stroller options fit your lifestyle. Hence, the perfect stroller for hiking in Colorado isn’t the right one for a simple spin around the mall in Miami Beach.
Climate plays another factor—in the Northeast, strollers have to be winterized to handle the cold and snow. Meanwhile, in Southern California, full canopies are helpful for shading baby’s eyes from late afternoon sunshine.
2. The perfect stroller doesn’t exist.
Your stroller needs will change over time. Babies/toddlers use a stroller from birth to age four and sometimes beyond. The perfect stroller for a newborn isn’t necessarily great for a toddler—although some strollers make a valiant effort at bridging the years.
And what if you add a second child in the mix?
The take-home message: no one stroller can meet all these needs. Most parents end up with more than one stroller. Let’s review over the stroller landscape.
3. There are six types of strollers on the market…
We kid. Here are the six basic styles of strollers: umbrella/lightweight strollers, full-size strollers, multi-function strollers, jogging (or sport) strollers, all-terrain strollers and travel systems. Here’s a quick look see:
- Umbrella/lightweight strollers are generally under 20 lbs. in weight. Some feature two handles and a long, narrow fold (like an umbrella; hence the name!). Most umbrellas strollers are very cheap ($20 to $40), although some upper end manufacturers have spruced them up to sell for $100 to $300 (UPPAbaby and Peg Perego have “luxury” umbrella strollers). Premium lightweight strollers boast features like extendible canopies, storage baskets, and high quality wheels. Prices range from $150 to $300. Because seat recline can be limited, many umbrella/lightweight strollers are designed for kids six months old and older.
- Full-size strollers used to be called carriages or prams. These strollers are more like a bed on wheels with a seat that reclines to nearly flat and can be enclosed like a bassinet for newborns. All that stroller goodness comes at a price: hefty weight, as much as 30lbs. As a result, getting a full-size stroller in and out of the vehicle trunk can be a challenge. Entry level full-size strollers start at $200, but these can top $1000. In recent years, full-size strollers have fallen out of favor, replaced by . . .
- Multi-function strollers work from infant to toddler with either an infant car seat adapter or bassinet accessory for newborns. Some multi-functions are even expandable into a double stroller with a second seat attachment. Expect to pay $300 to $1000 for multi-function options (accessories like second seats are almost always an additional cost). This stroller type has increased in popularity in recent years, as parents increasingly have kids that are close in age.
- Jogging strollers feature air-filled, bicycle-style tires and lightweight frames perfect for jogging or brisk walks on rough roads. The best strollers for running have a fixed front wheel for stability. Jogging stroller with lightweight aluminum frames usually run $300 and up although there are some cheaper, steel framed options on the market too.
- All-terrain strollers are eclipsing jogging strollers for all but the most devoted runner. In fact, they often look like joggers but have a swivel front wheel. Big tires take to hiking trails better than typical stroller wheels, but these strollers are bulky and heavy. And expensive: they can run more than $400 for popular brands.
- Travel systems combine a stroller and infant car seat which snaps into the stroller. Typically sold at discount and big-box stores, travel systems are aimed at first-time parents and gift givers. Most feature basic infant car seats and full-size strollers at prices that range from $200 to $300. Travel systems have waned in popularity in recent years as more lightweight strollers have added infant car seat compatibility/adapters.
4. Beware these common stroller safety hazards.
Just because a stroller is on the shelves at the Baby Megastore doesn’t mean it is safe. Twelve thousand babies each year are injured by strollers, according to the most recent government safety data.
Here are our top safety tips:
- Never hang bags from the stroller handle. Yes, it is tempting to hang that diaper bag or purse off your stroller handles. The danger: your stroller can tip backwards—and even if your child is in the five-point harness, injuries can still happen. Solution: put that purse in your stroller’s storage basket. Or use a backpack diaper bag.
- Don’t leave your baby unattended while sleeping in a stroller. Newborns, infants and toddlers all move around when they’re sleeping. Injuries have occurred when babies creep down to the strap openings, so keep an eye on them. Or take a baby out of a stroller and put them in a full-size crib for naps.
- Don’t trust your brakes. The best stroller models have brakes on two wheels rather than one. But even if a stroller has the best brakes on the planet, never leave a stroller unattended on an incline with your baby inside.
- Follow the weight limits. Forty pounds is typically the maximum for most strollers.
- Jogging strollers are best for babies over one year of age. Pediatric experts tell us the neck muscles of infants under one year of age can’t take the bumps of jogging or walking on rough terrain.
- Fold and unfold your stroller away from your baby. The opening/closing mechanisms of a stroller can be a pinching hazard, so don’t open or close your stroller with baby nearby. Graco recalled over 5 million strollers in 2014 for just such hazards.
5. The secret to a smart stroller test drive: add weight.
Don’t test drive that stroller empty. Take a backpack and put in about 20 lbs. worth of books. Stick that in the stroller seat and you’ll see how that stroller actually steers/handles with a baby. And yes, practice folding and unfolding the stroller with the backpack in your arms!
6. What stroller features really matter . . . for babies.
The Dreaded Wall of Strollers—more than one parent-to-be has been reduced to tears staring at a baby store’s mind-boggling display of 37 stroller models. So let’s break down what’s REALLY important when stroller shopping for baby:
- Reclining seat. If you plan to use this stroller from birth, the seat must fully recline. That’s because babies can’t comfortably ride in a sitting position until around six months. And most newborns spend their time sleeping—seat recline is a necessity.
- Extended canopy. There are three types of stroller canopies: skimpy, extended and fully enclosing. Skimpy canopies only block the sun if it is directly overhead—great if you live at the equator. For everyone else, an extended canopy (also called extended sunshade) are better at blocking all sun angles. Baby Jogger’s canopies are a good example of extended canopies (see stroller at top of this page). The best canopies have multiple positions for flexibility. Fully enclosing canopies go a step further—they completely block out the sun from a stroller. These are great, but somewhat rare on the market. If you live in an area with active mosquitos, a bug net accessory is highly recommended. Here’s an example from Baby Jogger for their Select stroller:
- All wheel suspension. Stroller wheel suspension works like your car’s shock absorbers, smoothing out life’s little (and big) bumps.
7. What stroller features really matter . . . for parents.
- It’s all about the storage. Like toddlers and napkins, you can never enough. We’re not just talking about the size of the storage basket (but that helps). It’s HOW you access the basket, especially if the seat is reclined. The best strollers add storage in areas you wouldn’t think—on the hood, the back of the seat, a storage compartment with lid in a parent console for your phone and so on.
- The right wheels. Going for a nature walk on a dirt trail? Air-filled 12″ rear tires are best. Navigating tight spaces at the Pikes Place Market in Seattle? Small 6″ wheels enable tight turns.
- Removable seat pad for washing. Crushed-in cookies, spilt juice and the usual grime can make a stroller a mobile dirt-fest. Some models have removable seat cushions that are machine washable—other models let you remove all the fabric for washing.
- Reversible seat. When baby is young, you can have your child face you. Then when your toddler wants to see the world, the seat flips around.
- The one-hand, flip flop friendly, standing fold. The fewer the steps and hands you need to fold a stroller, the better. The best models have one-hand folds that stand when collapsed. If your stroller has a foot brake or release, make sure you can do this in a flip flop—and the pedal doesn’t mess up a pedicure.
- Height adjustable handle. If you and your partner are two different statures, an adjustable handle is a must have.
Eco-Friendly Stroller Certifications
There are three international organizations that test and certify textiles to meet environmental standards: OEKO-TEX, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and IVN Naturextil. All three of these certifications are optional—there is no legal standard for organic, non-allergenic, chemical free textiles in the US. Many of the stroller brands that are certified are European, with only a few US brands certified.
As of this writing, there is one eco-friendly certification on strollers sold in North America: OEKO-TEX. Here’s some background:
OEKO-TEX is a German organization that offers “Standard 100 certification program for textiles at all steps in the manufacturing process. “Products marked with the label ‘Confidence in textiles (Standard 100)’ provide effective protection against allergenic substances, formaldehyde, heavy metals such as nickel or for example forbidden plasticizers (phthalates) in baby textiles,” according to OEKO-TEX’s web site. OEKO-TEX offers a second certification called Green by OEKO-TEX, which means the “materials (were) tested for harmful substances,” the product was “made in environmentally friendly facilities” and it was “made in safe and socially responsible workplaces.”
We found only two stroller makes who are OEKO-TEX certified: BumbleRide and Nuna. At the time of this writing, all of BumbleRide and Nuna’s stroller fabrics were OEKO-TEX certified—however, check their web sites for specific models’ information.
BabyBargains.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and its related sites. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Hi there. Thanks so much for this review. We plan to have another kid in about a year so want to make a wise decision for our expanding family. I read a letter from a reader on your site stating that the Uppababy Vista’s maneuverability was compromised by adding a Rumble Seat, and that she was switching to the Baby Jogger City Select. I can’t seem to find that letter now, but does that still hold true? If this is still true, shouldn’t that factor into your decision re: naming this the best multi-function stroller? Do let me know as it is going to factor into which stroller I buy shortly! Also if you could get your hands on and comment on the upcoming Baby Jogger City Select Lux, that would be really helpful. Thanks again!
Hi there! Good question—yes, we still think the rumble seat isn’t the best 2-child option with this stroller. Yes, we still see it as a the best multi-function, but with kids that are perhaps 2 years or so apart. Note the ride-on board for older toddlers and so on. For 2 kids close in age, we like the Baby Jogger City Select. It is a an excellent model, if you were thinking of going that way!
Yes, we will review the Baby Jogger City Select Lux as soon as we can!
I would love to see a honest review or comparison between the Uppababy Vista and the Peg Perego Team. I’m not sure why there seems to be very little on the Team but the two stack up pretty close, price point, convert single to double, bassinest included, etc. Any plans to review and/or conduct a comparison of the Peg Perego Team
Good suggestion! There hasn’t been much written about the Team—we saw it in person in May and thought it was interesting, if not a bit heavy. We’ll put this on our to do list! Thanks again! If you get one, please let us know what you think!
Thank You so very much for the review. My head is still spinning. A lot of great information. We have a new grand baby and want to buy a stroller for us to have just in case we decide to take her somewhere or go for a walk. We certainly don’t want to spend a fortune but definitely want to make sure she is safe. We only plan on buying one. She is 3 months old right now. Any advice?
I would consider a simple lightweight stroller—here are our picks: https://www.babybargains.com/best-lightweight-stroller/
A multi-function stroller is probably overkill for your needs! Best wishes!
Now that the Peg Perego Ypsi can be converted to a double after January 2020, would this increase your favor-ability of it for a “travel-system”/ multifunctional stroller? It seems it has one of the better carseats.
Good question—we’ll have to see this new version in person come January 2020 to see. Due to rising prices and declining sales (not suprisngly), Peg Perego is no longer one of the top stroller brands, in our opinion. However, let’s see if the Ypsi single to double turns that around!
I was wondering if you had heard any information or done a personal review of Mockingbird? I keep seeing this company and was interested.
Thanks in advance!
Hi Kristen: We review Mockingbird here: https://www.babybargains.com/stroller-brand-review-mockingbird/
We bought the City Select Lux. One super important note is that you have to either buy the second seat or second seat attachment to make it a double stroller. I have a 3 year old and thought I could just buy the infant seat adapter and wait on the second seat. It’s very confusing on both Amazon and City Jogger website to figure this out. Hope this info will help another parent.
Good points, Megan! Thanks for taking the time to write in and share that!