A snowy stroller test drive with the Magic Beans exclusive Valco Snap 4WD
The polar vortex is pushing down temperatures and piling up snowdrifts everywhere from the East Coast through the Midwest right now, and it’s going to be a long slog towards springtime. Here in Boston, we got our first serious snowfall on Thursday, January 2, and we decided to start a new year of stroller sales in classic Magic Beans style: by trying out our very first exclusive stroller in the snow!
The Valco Snap 4WD Stroller is our very own variation on the popular Snap 4, with big tough all-terrain tires added to the familiar lightweight Snap chassis – this is the lightest all-terrain stroller you’ll find! It’s a nimble, narrow, maneuverable, easy-to-fold stroller, and adding all-terrain wheels makes it incredibly versatile.
When it comes to strolling in snow, bigger is better: the larger your tires are, the easier it will be to get traction and keep moving. Air-filled tires also do better than solid tires, and you want a swivel lock on your front wheels, to add stability when the going gets rough. The Snap 4WD has all of these things.
So while a stroller test drive without an actual child in the stroller isn’t 100% representative, when I rolled the Valco Snap 4WD out of our Brookline store and onto the snowy sidewalk on Harvard Avenue, it had a nice sure-footed feel; it was surprising how well the grooved all-terrain tires gripped the snow. Turning was no problem, either – I was able to turn the stroller one-handed, even on a snowy sidewalk! We also brought out a Bugaboo Buffalo stroller for comparison*, and I noticed how the increased weight of the Buffalo adds stability in the snow, so I’m thinking that adding a child’s weight to the Snap 4WD would be the final ingredient for a nice smooth stroll, since it would help the tires dig in.
- It has a generously sized canopy that can be pulled out even farther to keep snow off of your little passenger;
- The easy, one-handed fold is perfect for a yucky day – just hold your child in one hand and collapse the stroller with the other, and the fabrics even fold inward, to protect them from the slush!
We didn’t get to try the Snap 4WD on mass transit (although a trolley does run right past our office, so, maybe next time), but the light weight (17.5 pounds), narrow profile, and maneuverability make this stroller a great choice for the subway, as well. Quite appropriate for a stroller that you can only buy in (or order from) Boston!
Of course, those tough all-terrain tires can handle plenty of surfaces other than snow: they’ll be great on cracked sidewalks, playground mulch, loose gravel, and more. But that’s a test-drive for another day! For today, if you’re looking for a lightweight stroller that can get you and your baby outdoors** this winter, we recommend the Snap 4WD. And you’ll only find it here at Magic Beans!
* The Buffalo, of course, can handle absolutely any surface, so if you’ve got the budget and all-terrain strolling is your primary concern, we couldn’t possibly recommend it more highly. And isn’t it beautiful?
** Don’t forget a footmuff! Our guide to stroller footmuffs shows you plenty of options for keeping little toes toasty when it’s cold outside.
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