Strollers feature a variety of folding mechanisms, and no two models fold the same way. However, regardless of the mechanism, parents want a stroller that folds simply and, preferably, with one hand. A stroller with a one-hand folding system makes life considerably easier for parents. But that doesn't mean you should overlook strollers that require both hands to fold.
There is no doubt that a one-hand folding system is incredibly practical, but it is frequently given more attention than is necessary, leading parents to feel that a one-hand fold mechanism is a must-have in a stroller.
Many strollers require you to fold them with both hands, but they make up for it with other amazing features. So, keep an open mind and experiment with both one-hand folding strollers and two-hand folding strollers.
Stroller Folding Tips
- Hit the brakes - Before folding, apply the brakes and lock any swivel wheels in place if your model has them. Brake levers/mechanisms are often found on the rear wheels. Swivel wheels are normally located at the front of the stroller and feature a lever that locks them in place. Some, on the other hand, may have a push button on the side of the stroller or are controlled by the handlebar.
- Remove any accessories - Before you begin folding the stroller, remove all accessories. Shading devices, food trays, and cup holders are common accessories. If a piece isn't absolutely necessary for the stroller, consider it an accessory and remove it before folding. Take hold of the canopy's front and draw it back toward the stroller's back, in the direction of the handlebar.
- Release the lock - There should be a catch, lever, push button, or handle that releases the locking mechanism of the frame. It might alternatively be a push button in the handle combined with a lever on the side. If you are unclear, consult the user manual. Any attempt to force a mechanism may result in harm to the operating parts.
- Read the manual - Baby strollers are now engineered to get from the sidewalk to the trunk of a car in seconds. Strollers often either have quick-release levers or folding mechanisms that allow you to swiftly collapse the stroller for easy storage. A folded stroller is also simple to unfold, and once opened, it securely locks into the open position, ready for your baby.
It is recommended that you read the manual/instructions to understand how the folding/unfolding works (you don't want to accidentally press the wrong buttons or release another latch).
Different types of stroller folding mechanisms
Umbrella-fold strollers get their name from the fact that they fold up like an umbrella. This simply implies that when you flip a switch at the back of the buggy, it collapses on itself.
The benefits of this are that they are quick and easy to fold, making them ideal for getting on and off trains and buses or into and out of the back of a car. Models with this type of folding mechanism are typically lightweight as well. Because many lightweights aren't ideal from birth, you may have to dig around for umbrella-fold strollers that are- but they do exist.
As the name suggests, this type of stroller uses a specific folding mechanism - it folds the stroller in half. The Mamas & Papas Mylo is a nice example of this fold type; simply fold the seat forward along the crease to reveal a handle underneath. When you lift this handle, the stroller folds in half and can be picked up like a luggage.
This is a quick and simple folding method. However, the folded stroller is still the same width as before, so it may be preferable for storing in the car trunk rather than taking on and off buses.
The Quinny Zapp is an excellent example of a 3D-fold stroller. It immediately folds in half, bringing the handles closer to the front wheels, and then the width of the buggy is lowered by the frame folding inwards, bringing the wheels together and meeting in the middle.
The obvious advantage of 3D-fold strollers is that they are smaller and easier to transport when folded. However, it is typically necessary to use both hands. You must first thoroughly empty the shopping basket; else, it will not fold up properly. When you're out and about with a lot of things, this can be a pain because you're left with a folded stroller and tonnes of bags.
The top section of the stroller collapses face-up onto the wheels with the flip of a switch. The wheels either remain in place or the front one tucks underneath.
Mountain Buggy's Swift all-terrain 3-wheeler is one example. The footprint of this stroller remains the same, thus it's fairly big and square when folded, requiring some storage room. However, it is a simple folding style.
Removable wheels fold
Because most manufacturers try to make folding as quick and easy for parents as possible, nearly all strollers fold with their wheels still attached. There are, however, a few types that allow you to remove the wheels for easier storage or to make the folded size more compact. Look for 'quick-release' wheels, which allow you to remove the wheels by simply pressing a button.
Removable seat fold
Some strollers can only be folded after the seat has been removed. The advantage of this is that if you have a car seat or carrycot attached to the stroller, you may fold the frame without disturbing a sleeping newborn. The disadvantage is that there is a seat and frame to navigate when folding the entire stroller, making it less ideal for journeys out without a car.
Other strollers allow you to retain your seat in place. Once folded, this is ideal for easy storage and portability, as well as for rapidly getting on and off buses or into and out of cars. However, it does necessitate disturbing a sleeping baby in order to collapse your stroller.