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February 26, 2010

Micralite Toro Stroller & Rider Review

A little over a month ago, I told you that I received something very exciting in the mail to review. Now that I have had a whole month of trying and pushing my super awesome stroller around, I am ready to tell you all about it!

I was a very lucky recipient of a Micralite Toro Stroller & Rider. Like many moms out there, I have tried more than a handful of strollers and I have been dissatisfied with all of them! I know, I know, you think it's crazy too right? How many strollers can a woman buy? Well, apparently, more than a few, lol! In all honesty, I did not personally purchase all of them myself. I received a stroller as a baby shower gift before DD was born. And when I was unhappy with my stroller shortly after DD's birth, my in laws brought me another stroller. Then, when I was not happy with that either was began to buy more strollers. You can probably guess the rest of the story... I was on a path to search for the perfect stroller.

If you own a stroller, you can probably name at least one of two things you don't like about your stroller. After speaking to more than several dozen moms (from DD's playgroups, from random moms I met at the park, mall and stores), I realized that I haven't met a single mom who was 100% happy with her stroller. I think that's the most incredible part of it all. If you think about it, we spend so much money buying safe, well made car seats for our babies, nice diaper bags to carry stuff in and soft cute clothes for our kids, so why don't we invest our money in decent strollers?!

For me, I made several new mom mistakes that some of you might identify with. First, I see moms pushing a particular brand of strollers around all the time, I think that this must be a great stroller since all of these moms are using it. Wrong! My first stroller was a traveling system that I saw many moms using (still see them all the time, actually). The whole travel system was less than $250. After using it for less than 2 months, I found it too heavy to push around and too bulky to fold & toss into the trunk of my car. Every time I wanted to put the stroller away, I fought with it (often times with someone watching me and waiting for my parking spot).

After my initial mistake, my in laws bought me a light weight stroller that was another well known brand. I had a couple of problems with my second stroller, I found that because it was so light weight, it was easy to tip over (totally unsafe to have an infant in it). The basket was too small to hold my diaper bag and that the handle bar was too low for me to hold onto the stroller comfortably.

Then I was on my third stroller. I knew exactly what I needed from the previous mistakes I made. I needed a stroller that is:

*Light weight but well made enough that it would not easily tip over
*Comfortable handle bars (for me who is 5'4" but also for my husband who is 6'5")
*Easy to push
*Easy to fold and store
*Compact and not bulky, but still roomy enough for my baby
*Plenty of storage on the bottom
*Great quality (I don't want a stroller that's going to fall apart in a month)
*Chic design (something I hoped for, but not must)

You think those are simple enough right? Not so. I bought my third stroller based on a recommendation from a friend. It was easy to hold, compact and easy to push, but it had almost zero storage spaces for my diaper bag. So I basically bought strollers that met most of my requirement, but I could not find one that I was truly happy with. (Though I was still lucky because none of the strollers I brought broke in less than a month. My friend Debra bought a stroller based on a blogger mom's review and it broke within the first week she had it. The wheel fell right off. Guess what brand of stroller I will never ever purchase :P).

Anyhow, I started asking moms around me what sort of strollers they use and had used in the past and how they felt about it. I was surprised to find that not a single mom I knew was truly happy with their stroller, there is always one or more things they want to change with the stroller they had.

When I was offered the Micralite Toro Stroller & Rider, I was overjoyed! I thought, "This might just be the stroller I have been looking for! The stroller that will solve all of my problems!" Many thanks to Erin of Micralite! She sent me an absolutely beautiful Toro Stroller to review. Just check out how awesome it looks!

Along with the stroller, I also received a rider for DD to stand on. You know, baby goes in the stroller, DD stands in the back ^_^.

This is what it looks like when you have the whole set together. I love that your older child (DD in my case) can stand on the rider when he/she gets tired of walking while your baby can rest comfortably in the stroller.

The Micralite Toro Stroller only weights 18.5 lbs and can hold up a child up to 40 lbs. A baby can sit comfortably in it, but DD (who is almost 4 years old and is 42" tall can sit in it comfortably too). There is still room on top for DD-- though the feet rest is a bit too short for her. DD just let her feet dangled and she said that she was comfortable. The canopy is definitely large enough to block the sun from your child's eyes and provide some privacy too. Perhaps my favorite feature is that instead of just the back reclining, the entire seat reclines. Although you do need 2 hands for this feature, it is so easy to do and your child can lay back so comfortably that it wasn't a hassle for me to use 2 hands to recline the stroller at all.

There is a storage basket on the bottom of the stroller. I found that it was the easiest to access the basket when the stroller is in a fully recline position. The wheels on the stroller are simply amazing! I hosted a playdate where moms from DD's playgroup came over and we all tried out the stroller together. We pushed the stroller around my house, over grass, on the pavements, up and down the sidewalks. We even pushed the stroller in turning circles and used only one hand to push the stroller (with a baby inside) and it handled like no other stroller that any one of us has tried before. The stroller handled so well that everyone was impressed!

Last but not least, the stroller is soooo easy to fold and open. It does take 2 hands to open, but it is easy to do, it only takes me a minute to open it up. Folding it up is even easier. The best part, once you fold up stroller, it stays in a standing position. How cool is that! So you can stand this stroller upright in restaurants, in your home or on subways. It also means that your stroller will not be on the ground getting icky dirt and germs all over it. Seriously, who wants to put their baby into a stroller that's has been laying on the dirty ground, right?!

The rider attachment is super easy to install too. Just connect it to the back of the stroller and you are all set! DD loves riding on it because she feels like she is the big girl and I love that she can hop on and get off it so easily.

The Micralite Toro Stroller will cost you $525 and the rider is another $120. Is it worth the money? Definitely! You are definitely getting what you pay for. High quality stroller that will grow with you child and meet your needs!

To buy this awesome stroller and its accessories, please go to Micralite to make your purchase.


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