Bugster_11.gif I am the Elizabeth Taylor of stroller affairs. I’ve had 25 relationships over the years. Some lasted a few years, others were mere airport flings. I’ve also been polygastrollus for the most part – hitched to multiple strollers at a time. It’s so hard to find just one stroller to love. Especially when you need one in such a variety of situations. And if you’ve dabbled in doubles. So for years, I was a stroller swinger, swapping models like some people swapped keys in the 70s. But I thought I’d finally settled down. I thought I’d got over my stroller commitment phobia, when I got it down to one stroller for my newborn son, two years ago. We called it the “Wonder Buggy”.
But then my dear son rather precociously outgrew his $799 Wonder Buggy at the milk-mustachioed and fishy-cracker-crusted old age of 18 months. I had a moment of pause and felt the deepest of disappointments. I hadn’t really expected to find myself back on the stroller scene again after that last interlude. I was older and poorer. And everything had changed. It was a brave new world of strollers.
First I did a little online research. I found Melissa at Let’s Go Strolling to be a sage counsellor, getting me back up and rolling. I told her my criteria. At first I aimed low. “I need a cheap umbrella stroller” I whined.
But Melissa, like any wise advisor, set me straight. She questioned if I was really going to be happy with an umbrella. Oh… she knew me too well!
“No”, I admitted. “What I really want is a stroller that does all the things my $799 Wonder Buggy did, but that has a bigger basket. It has to fold up in one piece and it hopefully folds up much smaller than the Wonder Buggy, so I can leave it in the car and still get groceries. It has to be lightweight, steer with one hand and have a good recline. Oh – and it must cost less than half the price of that dang Wonder Buggy because now I’m broke! Make the seat big too – I don’t want another ride that my son is going to outgrow well before his third birthday.” Was I nuts? Was this too much to ask for? One stroller that did it all?
Melissa rolled up her sleeves ( I could not see if she rolled her eyes, though I deserved it) and took a few hours to get back to me. I awaited her email like a fortune from the mechanical genie at the fair.
“Your answer,” she said, ” is the Valco Buggster.”
And of course she was right. Although the Buggster did not come with a bassinet (one is sold seperately), it definitely outperformed the Wonder Buggy for versatility. And it does come with a lot of plush extras, including a boot, bug, and rain screens. Family owned Valco makes a high quality product and really cares about their users. They want to make strollers that work for parents of all aged kids, not just itty bitty babies. It shows. For starters, my son fit in it with room to grow. The Buggster goes up to 50 lbs and heights well into the 90th percentile. The seat is wide and the back is tall. Which is a good thing for those of us raising small Paul Bunyons.
Despite this roominess unfolded, it folds up small enough to stay comfortably in most car trunks. Only slightly bigger and bulkier than an umbrella stroller. Yet it manages to boast all of the features I wanted; generous storage basket, multi position recline, and a hood that stays in place and keeps your kid sheltered even when fully reclined. It turns on a dime, one handed, thanks to the third rotating wheel up front. And as a bonus feature mine’s a hot head-turning Orange color. We stopped traffic when we mall tested this stroller (accessorized with a cute color matching bag by Tokidokki for Lesportsac.)
My request was a tall order, but Lets Go Strolling and Valco both delivered admirably. I have to declare the Buggster the best mid-priced go everywhere, do-everything stroller that I have found to date. I only wish I’d gotten a bugster sooner. Caveat emptor: if your daily life involves rocky mountain trails and airport aisles, then perhaps keep looking, I am probably not writing this review for you. But if you are like me – with pickups and drop offs at school for older kids, nonstop mall and grocery runs, daily trips to the park, sportsfield, playground, whilst laden with toys and supplies, then this is the stroller for you too. It can do it all, beautifully and faithfully. It’s quite possibly the “ONE”
Do your heart good when you shop at LetsGoStrolling. Save 10% on a Valco Buggster when you use the code MWSBUG.


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