Monday, February 16, 2009
Ok just a warning, my blogs are probably going to be heading in a more hmm maternal direction. But I think many of my readers will understand the relationship this post has with many of my other posts. Trying to buy local and healthier products for your family.
So as I have mentioned Daniel and I are expecting our first little Rootlet (after Barley of course) in August. So I have started researching baby products to register for or snatch up if I find a good deal.
One of my dreams from the beginning of Barley's time with us has been to train him so when I am a little stay at home mom we can all go walk and get our exercise. This is going to be a challenge due to his fear of any rolling thing: garbage cans, suitcases, ect. And a stroller is on the top of the mommy supply list, talk about too many options. Now I really do like to buy products that are not made in China after the contamination scares that we have had recently. Of course, once I made that a priority my search options were narrowed considerably, Britax is the only stroller company that is making "made or assembled in the USA" products.
They sale more car seats than they do strollers, in fact they lead the field in safety improvisions. Well I found a great deal on Albeebaby.com . I found a Britax preview for $79 (was around $150 other places). When I checked around it had decent reviews, the top problem seemed to be non-adjustable handles. I figured you have to have some limitations. It seemed compact, and I drive a Civic so great. I couldn't find this anywhere in Jackson, even after checking at stores that were supposed to have it. But it was such of a great deal I took the risk.
So I went ahead and spent the rest of my baby budget money for the month and ordered it. It came in when Daniel was out of town and I assembled it myself. When he came back I was showing him how it folded up and I popped a plastic piece on the canopy. Unfortunately it was broken and not repairable. I have spent the last 3 weeks trying to get the canopy replaced, because it is under a 1 yr warantee. I know it was my fault, but why the stroller was built so cheaply I'm not sure. The company has been good to deal with and they are sending me a completely new stroller, so I am a happy Britax customer. I am disallusioned however. I think my stroller is being phased out, so much for replacement parts. And to top it off my stroller has an information sticker on it that says made in China, perhaps it was "assembled in the USA".
I really wish you could buy quality merchandise that could be repaired rather than just replaced, but all the baby gear seems to be made of plastic. And once the plastic cracks too bad. I'm sure there are better quality European products, but we do not have $500 to spend on a stroller. Maybe with the economic downturn we will have a return of quality products, I doubt it though.
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Had to comment on this post, too! My best stroller EVER is one that I bought in Russia. We were there with our three-year-old for the summer and I stupidly didn't bring a stroller. (Don't ask WHAT I was thinking. I think I wasn't thinking.) Anyway, I bought a $30 umbrella stroller in a Russian children's store. It was the cheapest option in the store. (After all, I had a "good" expensive stroller back home and I just needed to get through the summer.) But, this stroller is absolutely awesome! It went ALL over urban and rural Russia that summer. Then it came back to the U.S. with us and lasted through another year of use with that child. Since then it has been through 3 1/2 more years with the next child. Other than a bit of dirt, it's as good as new! It pushes well, maneuvers wonderfully and is comfortable for the adult and the child. And it only has a few small plastic parts. Everything else is sturdy metal and fabric. Seriously, it was the best $30 I've ever spent. Too bad it would cost an almost $1000 plane ticket to get another one. I'm with you on disgust with most American kids' products!
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