Stokke has been on my radar for awhile now – after all, we bought the crib and changing table for our son's nursery nook, and I recently reviewed the brand-new Bounce 'n Sleep. Since the birth of my son, Townes, we've been testing out the Stokke Xplory stroller with Carry Cot in New York City (you may remember when we set it up?). After countless adventures around the city, here's our full review of this product... (UPDATED APRIL 2013)....
Product: Stokke Xplory Stroller
Accessories: Winter Kit, Summer Kit, Carry Cot
Updated 11/2012 on Xplory use with Included Seat, scroll to bottom
Time Frame: 2+ Months (scroll to bottom for assessment after 9mths)
Testing Location: New York City
The Stokke Xplory was designed to grow with your child, and there's so many things to love about this full-size stroller. When we first took it for a spin to my son's newborn pediatrician appointment (he was about four days old), I worried about his little head and neck jiggling around in the stroller. But (with careful driving of course) the Xplory does a great job of absorbing the bounce while wheeling down the street. I was happy that we had the carry cot accessory (sold separately, suitable for babies newborn to six months of age) so that Townes could lay flat on his back, the position for safe infant sleep.
The Xplory maneuvers easily, making it painless to turn into doorways and elevators and navigate the city streets. The suspension is excellent – our Xplory has taken quite the beating on Manhattan's cracked sidewalks, cobblestoned neighborhoods, and pavement potholes. It's very intuitive to operate this stroller, straight from the box.
The fact that the stroller is height-adjustable has been a very nice feature. My husband is 6'2" and I'm 5'6", so it's been useful to raise and lower the carry cot and handle depending on who is navigating the Xplory so that our little one stays close to us (Learn all about the stroller's safety features here
.) My son seems very content in the Xplory. If he's not lulled to sleep on a walk, he can make eye-contact with us and listen to our voices, and he appears to feel very safe and secure in the carry cot. If it's a nice day, I can peel back the fabric opening in the back, and he can look around his surroundings (and there's a mosquito net mesh so bugs and debris don't get in.) With all the traffic and air pollution we deal with in the city, I like that the Xplory's extra height keeps Townes above the car exhaust pipe. Added bonus on the carry cot: it's super easy to change his diaper! I'll be a little sad to lose this convenience when Townes outgrows it.
The seat has 3-positions rear-facing and 2-positions forward-facing, giving lots of options for both parent and child to enjoy. The seat is padded and has rounded edges so your child has a comfy ride. It's important to note that with appropriate attachments, the Xplory base can accomodate a few different car seat brands.
I'm generally not a fan of open-bottom storage compartments in strollers (with all the things we parents need to lug around it can become a "stuffing" zone that ends up looking messy,) so I appreciate that the Xplory's storage bag is big enough to pack in some groceries, take-out food, and my mail and that it zips up, neat & clean.
Notable features include:
The eye-catching, European design of this stroller is one of my favorite things about it. The look is streamlined, sharp, and modern. The Xplory can be customized and styled to your heart's desire (and hey, it's the stroller of choice for many celebrities, including Jennifer Hudson, Tori Spelling and Jessica Alba.) Over the last 2+ months, we've certainly done our share of Xplory accessory mix & matching to suit the weather and our preferences!
It seems like most times I'm out & about with the Xplory, strangers approach me with questions & comments. Here are some of the combos we've come up with using the Navy Fabric, Red Winter Accessory Kit and Beige Dots Summer Accessory Kit on our Carry Cot Xplory....
This stroller is a show stopper, so if you feel awkward about being showy, be aware that it draws attention! I get a lot of compliments & comments.
As you can tell, the hand muffs seemed to be a hit this winter. And in my opinion, they're a *total neccessity* in cold-weather climates. The hand muffs come as part of the Winter Kit accessory
(sold separately) and can be purchased here
As far as the Summer Kit goes (see below), I absolutely LOVE the sun shade that protects the baby (and it has a slit in the middle so you can check on your little one at any time.)
As a New Yorker, I don't have a (frequent) need or desire to close down a stroller, lift it, and toss it into the truck of a vehicle (we don't even own a vehicle.) So for my day-to-day needs, the Stokke Xplory has suited us quite well. But keep in mind that it's on the heavier side
as far as strollers go. It doesn't fold as compactly as an umbrella stroller would. If you're interesting in learning about the Xplory's portablitity, check out this road trip test post
, written by one of my product reviewers. With the carry cot attachment, the stroller feels bulky and, at times, it's been difficult to navigate through doorways or small restaurants (but such is NYC-city living life.) For example, if I'm taking my son out for errands, there's only one grocery store within a four block radius that can accommodate such a big stroller. Once my son is old enough and he can use the Xplory seat, storage for the Carry Cot will be an issue. The Xplory is also very pricey, starting at about $1,000
, making it one of the most expensive strollers on the market. With all the accessories (which aren't cheap either – the cup holder is an extra $25), you could spend well over $1,500 to customize the Xplory you want.
While the Xplory may not be the ideal full-size stroller for parents who need something lightweight, inexpensive, and compact, the Stokke Xplory has quite a passionate, happy fan base (it has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon!). The company is well-respected and identified as a premier brand that offers a warranty on their products. I'm impressed with Stokke's presence on several social media platforms, where they quickly address customers' concerns, answer questions, and share tips about product features that consumers may not be aware of.
After over two months of testing out our model, I found the Stokke Xplory to be a fabulous full-size stroller for city-dwellers desiring a chic, functional, customizable, safe premium stroller – as long as they aren't swayed by the price tag.
READ ON FOR AN UPDATED ASSESSMENT OF THIS STROLLER....
We've been using this stroller for nine months now, and my sentiments are the same as above. But I wanted to update that the adjustable seat has been fantastic – I love being able to shift the seat angle to reclining if my son is sleepy or more vertical if he wants to look around, and alternate between facing-forward and rear-facing. For the record we stopped using the bassinet/carry cot when my son was about four months old. We frequently use the Peg Perego 30/30 SIP Primo Viaggio car seat attachment for when we're renting a car, and it works great with the Xplory base. While the Stokke Xplory isn't my go-to choice for traveling by automobile, train, or airplane (it's heavy, bulky, and doesn't fold quite compact - but get the scoop from a suburban mom here
), it's the ideal wheels for cruising around the neighborhood. It's got great suspension on the uneven terrain of the sidewalks (less jostling around for baby) and has held up extremely well through four New York City seasons. If the seat is reclined, sometimes access directly into the shopping bag is restricted, so you have to reangle the seat or shuffle your limbs around the seat's foot rest. One of my absolute favorite aspects about the Xplory is how you can really customize it to your preferences and with the change of season. We've tried pretty much every configuration and accessory out there (read more
.) I love that the Xplory stroller keeps baby high off the ground (especially in the city – it's terrifying when people don't pay attention while they're walking their dogs, and the dogs approach the stroller.) Have a Stokke Xplory question? Feel free to comment below and I'll try to answer as honestly and promptly as possible.
Stokke just released two new stroller models – the Crusi and Scoot –
so be sure to check them out if you're considering a Stokke stroller. Overall, the buzz has been good, especially if you need something that is smaller in size/more compact, have a tighter budget, or want to accommodate two children. I just tested the Scoot, and you can read my full in-depth review on that stroller here
. I have not yet tested the Crusi.
View this Stokke Xplory concept video for more product info:
Disclosure: Stokke provided me with an Xplory stroller and product accessories for this review (LEVEL 1). I was not compensated for this post and, as always, opinions are my own. Read my full product review policy and disclosure here.
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