Web site: stokkeusa.com
Stokke (pronounced Stuck-Ah) is a Norwegian based baby gear company that traces its roots back to 1932. As you might guess, Norway’s influence on the world baby gear market has been slight, but Stokke has had modest success here in the U.S., especially in the high chair category with the Tripp Trapp.
Stokke’s strollers, however, have never quite gained much traction. Why? Exhibit A: The Stokke Xplory.
The futuristic Xplory might look like something George Jetson would have pushed his boy Elroy around in, but it failed to make a splash when it was introduced to the U.S. ten years ago. Here’s an overview of the Xplory and Stokke’s newer strollers.
The models. Like Bugaboo’s Cameleon, the Xplory ( , although this varies depending on fabric) is a modular system that includes a frame with rubber tires and a seat that can attach to the frame either forward or rear facing. The Stokke’s key feature is its high-altitude seating. The pitch, according to Stokke, is to keep baby higher off the ground so they are away from exhaust fumes, slobbering Labradors, etc. (the target market is urban parents).
In addition to a generous canopy, adjustable footrest and a raft of accessories, Xplory has optional car seat adapters for Maxi Cosi, Nuna, Peg Perego, Chicco, and Cybex. What’s missing? If you answered, “storage basket,” you are correct—instead Stokke throws in a shopping bag that is attached to the front of the unit.
Stokke sells optional summer and winter fabric kits for the Xplory—the summer kit ( ) has an umbrella/shade and terry cloth pram liner. The winter kit ( ) has a hand muff and stroller liner. You can also find it sold as a set with the optional carry cot for $1323. Otherwise the carry cot is sold separately.
New in the past year, the footrest was redesigned to have better leg support and the infant insert is now included with the stroller. The Xplory now has a one-step fold and it can be rolled on its larger wheels in “stair mode” (see video at end of review). Finally, the new shopping bag is now water resistant and comes only in black.
Next, Stokke has the Crusi (26 lbs.,) which clearly riffs on Phil & Ted’s inline buggy, with the optional second seat riding below the main seat. The Crusi is newborn-ready with a fully-reclining stroller seat that can face forward or rear. Unlike the Xplory, however, the Crusi’s seat can’t change height. (The handle, however, is height adjustable). Very pricey at $1550, although we’re seeing it on sale for as little as $900 The second seat is sometimes sold separately for $300 and an optional carry cot/bassinet is $300 (FYI: the carry cot is not recommended for overnight sleeping). Looks like Stokke may be discontinuing the Cruisi as we no longer see it on their website. It is still available for sale online, however.
The Stokke Scoot is the lighter weight cousin to the Crusi—it weighs 23 lbs. and runs . While you get the same reversible seat as the Crusi, this model omits the optional carry cot or sibling seat. The basket is also smaller, as are the wheels.
The Scoot is now discontinued, but still for sale online.
Finally, Stokke has added an all terrain stroller dubbed the Trailz (30 lbs). This $1200 model features air filled tires, height adjustable handle, a five-position reversible seat with full recline and a waterproof shopping basket. Car seat adapters are available for Peg Perego, Maxi Cosi, Nuna and Cybex infant seats.
New this year, Stokke is debuting their first ultra-compact travel stroller, the Stokke Beat—it will sell for $600 and feature a 21 lb. weight, one-hand fold, lockable swivel wheels and suspension. The large canopy will have zippered ventilation. One cool feature: the Beat can be used with Nuna Pipa infant car seat natively (that is, without any special adapter). A optional carry cot is $220, although the seat is reversible for infants. FYI: the Stokke Beat wasn’t quite on the market as of this writing.
Our view. So why haven’t you seen the über rich pushing the Stokke Xplory around Greenwich Village? That’s because for the most part, the Xplory has been a bust. For years and for reasons unexplained, Stokke resisted making infant car seat adapters for the Xplory—this was a major strategic blunder that cut the Xplory’s appeal in the U.S.
Second, little design issues plagued the stroller. Example: the handle and most of the Xplory’s frame is injection-molded plastic . . . not something you’d expect from a $1000+ stroller. The “plastic-y” feel turns off many, while the lack of a basket is another major negative. Instead the Xplory has a “shopping bag” that attaches to the frame . . . right.
In previous reviews, we hated the fold: it folded into four separate pieces! First you removed the foot rest, bumper bar and seat before you folded the chassis. What a pain! But now we’re happy to report a one-step fold on the most recent version, although you still have to remove the seat. See the video below for a look.
Add in the dinky canopy and hotel mini bar prices for accessories ($300 for a winter foot muff?) and you can see why the Stokke Xplory just doesn’t make the cut.
Stokke’s newer models (Scoot, Trailz) have garnered very little real world feedback from parents, probably due to the $1000+ price tags.
Bottom line: Stokke is a pass. Baby Bargains Resale Rank: Good.