Drool Connecticut is almost here! An intro to some top brands, for baby gear newbies
AUGUST 27, 2015, 4-9PM
HYATT REGENCY, GREENWICH CT
It’s easy to forget, as immersed as we are in the world of baby gear, that up until this point in your life, most expectant parents have never had any reason to know anything whatsoever about strollers, car seats, and so on. So if you hear “Bugaboo,” “Britax,” “BOB,” and “Baby Jogger,” and it just sounds like so much baby babble: this is for you!
These brands are in no particular order of importance, and no doubt a few are left out – my goal here is to give you a basic idea of why you should be psyched to meet their representatives at Drool, and try out their products.
This one’s for the techies: while they have a variety of products designed to make early parenthood easier, their crown jewel is the MamaRoo, a baby bouncer that uses robotic technology to mimic the bouncing movements parents use to soothe their babies. It’s absolutely priceless when you’ve got a cranky newborn on your hands!
Aden + Anais
Swaddling blankets are a key tool in the early days of infancy, giving babies a secure, contained feeling that helps them get to sleep. And Aden + Anais muslin swaddles are simply the best: they’re incredibly versatile, and the soft, breathable muslin gets even softer with every wash.
While they got their name as early pioneers of the jogging stroller (and they still sell plenty of ‘em), Baby Jogger’s stroller collection has run off into all sorts of other interesting directions. They made a huge splash a few years back with the original City Mini, which boasts one of the coolest, simplest folds of any stroller ever. Observe:
The City Mini GT is the same stroller with tougher wheels, and has been a favorite for years. The City Select is also a major winner – it’s designed to let you create a custom configuration of one or two seats, bassinets, and/or car seats.
Like a few other brands on this list, BOB makes a wide selection of outdoor products for active families, but there’s one perennial favorite that truly owns our hearts: the BOB Revolution Flex Stroller. With the magical ability to whisk back and forth between maneuverable urban strolling and stroller sprinting, what girl could resist?
“Our job is protecting children. We keep children safe. That’s what we do.” That’s the Britax mantra, and the reason why they’re one of the most trusted car seat brands. Yes, recalls happen, but we’re always impressed with how swiftly and conscientiously they handle these issues.
“What baby stroller could POSSIBLY be worth that price tag?” Well, that depends: are you willing to pay for truly exceptional engineering and performance? Because that’s what you get when you buy Bugaboo. Plus, they have great resale value. (And yes, they are also very pretty.)
Back to basics: this Italian brand makes virtually everything you can imagine for babies, but our Chicco bestseller is the Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat . It’s one of the lightest and easiest-to-use infant car seats we sell, and you can find car seat adapters to snap this seat onto virtually every popular stroller.
If you have a wacky, modern style sense, then Clek will definitely grab your attention: their bold colors, Tokidoki patterns, and eccentric names (“Olli,” “Oobr,” “Fllo,” “Foonf,” “Infant-Thingy”) are all a little off the beaten path. But don’t be fooled: they may seem irreverent, but Clek takes safety VERY seriously. Their convertible car seats and booster seats feature high-tech safety solutions including anti-rebound bars, the best-in-class REACT safety system (which mimics the crumple zone in your car), and high rear-facing weight limits.
The pioneers of the soft-structured baby carrier still make some of the most comfortable, versatile carriers on the market, and you can choose from a huge variety of Ergo styles. The Ergobaby 360 Four-Position Carrier even gives you the option of having your baby ride facing outwards.
This Dutch brand swung onto the scene a few years back with the stylish and unusual Leaf Baby Lounger, and the hits keep coming: the featherweight, high-tech Pipa Infant Car Seat, the easy-to-use Sena Travel Crib / Playard, and most recently, the Nuna Mixx, another breakout star stroller for this year. Their products are multifunctional, versatile, a little unusual (for instance: the Leaf is the only baby bouncer on the market that an adult can sit in!), and eco-friendly.
Ergo’s sister brand is focused on innovative modular design: their car seats and stroller seats all snap onto the unusual Orbit SmartHub, which enables them to turn 360 degrees. On a stroller, this means that facing your baby to the front, rear, or side (to get their face out of the sun) is a snap; in your car, this means that you can load the baby in facing you and then rotate them to the correct rear-facing position, making it so much easier on your back. This is also the ultimate stroller brand for navigating airports. See more of the reasons why we love Orbit here!
This Norwegian company does a little bit of everything baby gear-related, with an emphasis on smart, long-lasting design, and family bonding: strollers like the classic Xplory, furniture like the Sleepi Crib System, which expands from a bassinet to a crib to a toddler bed to a junior bed; and, perhaps most essential of all, the iconic Tripp Trapp High Chair, which grows with your child from six months to… adulthood. Seriously. We have a few of them in our conference room.
Finally: this local brand has dominated Boston’s city sidewalks for years now, and the beloved UPPAbaby Vista Stroller became even more dominant this year, now that the improved Rumble Seat has made it a true contender in the single-to-double stroller field. Their slightly-lighter Cruz Stroller, the sleek high-tech MESA Infant Car Seat, and their featherweight G-series umbrella strollers give you plenty of other UPPA options!
All of these brands and dozens more will be at the Drool Baby Expo this Thursday. Whether you’re in the market for a sporty BOB or a sleek Bugaboo, a petite Pipa or a versatile Keyfit, you need to be there! Because we can tell you how great all of these brands are until we’re blue in the face, but there’s nothing like trying out products yourself, and there’s no better opportunity to fall in love with a stroller.
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