Three years ago at this time of year, my dear Swede and I were involved in the great Stroller debate – a month long set of negotiations in trying to select the perfect stroller for Little Swede-to-be. See, as I have written here before, in Sweden you don’t get a lot of stuff for your kid, but the big investment is a stroller.
Strollers here are about twice the size of your average US stroller (although US brands are gaining in popularity and you see a lot of Bugaboos and Urban Jungles). To get them in your car is a juggling art form that involves like 8 different steps.
But if you are pushing a little one on cobblestones, off-road trails, and you buy into the idea that it is a terrible thing to push your child around in a car seat or in anything other than a bassinet, than Swedish SUV stroller is the way to go.
We decided on the Brio Happy – A giant stroller that we could have on four air tires (a must on the Swede list of negotiating factors).
Three years later I can say that we still use our giant megastroller on a regular basis and here is why I love it:
There is a huge shelf underneath where I can throw all kinds of stuff that my giant pregnant self cannot carry anymore. When we first bought it the saleswoman went on and on about how you should never carry more than 5 kilos (that’s 10 lbs roughly to you American folk, or 11). I was very stringent about this rule for the first 6 months. Now I think it is a stupid rule. I mean what is 5 kilos anyway?
This puppy goes anywhere – Snow? Sleet? Mud? We are going thru that and back again. Not a problem. I am pretty sure this stroller has gone over 1,000 miles at this point and still rolls out the door. Unlike the US model that I bought to use while in the US. It was supposed to be ‘reversible’ in that Little Swede could face me (also a must if you want to avoid psychologically scarring your child for the rest of its life according to Swedish standards). Yes, it was reversible, but you couldn’t WALK with it reversed. When I brought it to the store to complain they wondered why I wanted to walk with my stroller.
It is tough – This thing needs to be washed, sure. But it has been through all kinds of weather and still is looking sturdy.
Overall, I am looking forward to using it for the next Little-Swede-To-Be
I admit I laughed when I read the instruction booklet that recommended wiping and cleaning the tires after each usage to maintain them. Now I just say ‘Seriously, are you smoking crack?’ Who thinks of that crap? Wipe down tires every time? Sure I roll my stroller over a giant towel before I park it under the stairs, but with a kid, a dog with muddy paws and 15 things going on, I am not ever stopping to dry off my stroller tires.
Apparently The Swede and I are lopsided. One of the rubber handles that covers the metal handle has completely worn off. But just on the one side. I haven’t seen this happen to anyone else. I am tempted to replace it with tennis tape as it is a tad annoying.
This thing is not even worth trying to put in your car.
But in the end, this was the most expensive thing we bought for Little Swede and the thing we have used the most – other than the crib/toddler bed that was a cheap IKEA model and also still doing well.
So while I don’t think any American in their right mind would be interested in a Brio Happy for use in the US, I recommend it for any Amerians relocated to Sweden. For those just looking for Scandinavian design – Stokke Stokke Stokke!