This $350 stroller solves the 3 major annoyances I've found with other strollers - it should cost a lot more
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- The Mockingbird Stroller ($350) has multiple clever design elements that alleviate common frustrations among parents caused by their current strollers.
- The modular design of the stroller and accompanying accessories make it suitable for use in all seasons, myriad conditions, and with kids of many ages.
- The direct-to-consumer business model used by Mockingbird also allows the company to sell its strollers at a price that fits many budgets.
Over the past few years, I've tested a lot of strollers.
Double strollers, umbrella strollers, jogging strollers, full-sized strollers, compact travel strollers, complete stroller/car seat travel systems, and so on. Frankly, I've learned that many strollers aren't exceptional. The marketplace is cluttered with well-made strollers that are comparable to so many other well-made options that none of them really stand out at all.
So when I first considered testing the Mockingbird Stroller, I was resigned to finding more of the same. And in some ways, I did.
The backstory behind Mockingbird is one you've heard time and again these days: An entrepreneurial fellow (this time, a gent named Eric Osman) wasn't satisfied with the offerings in a particular product category, so he set out to make a better option himself. Where things differ is that Osman and his team actually managed to make a product that is genuinely better than most of what's out there.
They pulled it off by paying attention to details, solving three problems I always had with previous strollers, and being surprisingly inexpensive at $350.
Read more: The best strollers you can buy
Problem 1: Storage space
All full-sized strollers should have the basics of a suspension system, adjustable handlebar, good brakes, and smoothly rolling wheels. The Mockingbird Stroller checks all those boxes, but so do many other brands. It's also collapsible with one hand and can hold kids weighing up to 50 pounds. Nothing new there, but welcome stats all the same.
All full-sized strollers should also have a decent amount of storage area underneath, but in fact, not all do. Here's why this stroller scores high marks: Its basket can support a full 25 pounds of groceries, beach toys, diapers and wipes, or even a 25-pound bag of sand. Not only is the storage area sturdy enough to handle all that weight, it's also large enough to accommodate a standard-sized backpack, a couple of shopping bags, and, of course, all the accoutrements that comes with modern parenting.
Problem 2: Can't see through the canopy
Like with so many other strollers, the canopy at the top can be unzipped at the back to expose a mesh screen that allows for airflow on hot days while still blocking overhead sunlight and keeping bugs and debris away from your kid. It's a standard feature but one that's appreciated nonetheless.
What makes the Mockingbird's canopy stand out though is the thoughtful UPF 50+ fabric and "peekaboo window." The UPF 50+ blocks out more than 1/50th of the sun's rays, so you'll have less worries about exposing your child to harmful effects of UV. The true highlight of the canopy is its built-in peekaboo see-through window, a little Velcro-less flap that parents can quietly lift up to look into the basket without having to move the whole canopy or having to lean down and look around the front of the whole unit.
If I had a nickel for every stroller nap that's been ruined by my wife or I getting spotted when we checked if our kid was asleep a moment too soon, I'd have several dollars to give you. This little window lets you check in on the sly.
Read more: The best travel strollers you can buy
Problem 3: Messy footrests and dirty kids
All quality full-sized strollers of our time also have adjustable seats that can tilt to various degrees and flip to face forward or backward and many have adjustable footrests too. The Mockingbird has all that, and as you'd expect, it can also support a bassinet and work with car seat converters.
But what I've never seen in another stroller is a footrest panel that can unzip and fold back from the frame for easy clearing of crumbs that fall down by a kid's feet while snacking. If you have kids who eat while in their stroller (which is all of them), you'd know the frustration of these very crumbs; if you don't, then take it from me: Being able to quickly and clear these crumbs easily is a beautiful thing.
So not only has the Mockingbird solved three major problems I've experienced with other strollers, but this one costs just $350 when many full-sized, adaptable strollers of comparable quality cost significantly more; that's a major factor in considering this as your next stroller.
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