Should you get a bassinet stroller? How useful are they? Are they worth it?
And if they are, how in the world do you choose from the hundreds of available options out there.
These are all fair questions that a conservative buyer should ask and all deserving of an answer before you spend any money on a new bassinet stroller.
Let’s get right to it.
Best bassinet stroller – my top 6 picks
|Image||Best Bassinet Strollers||Features||Price|
|UPPAbaby VISTA||CLICK FOR PRICE|
|Bugaboo Fox 2||CLICK FOR PRICE|
|Diono Quantum2||CLICK FOR PRICE|
|Evenflo Pivot Modular Travel System||CLICK FOR PRICE|
|Maxi-Cosi Zelia 5-in-1||CLICK FOR PRICE|
|BabyJogger City Select||CLICK FOR PRICE|
Even though the market competition is cutthroat, most strollers that found their way to the top 50 (initial long-list) typically have one or two significant minuses.
The CONs come as either quality aspects where the stroller doesn’t deliver or a feature that’s not there in the first place.
Even if I actively try to find a deal-breaking flaw, nothing comes to mind.
The latest 2020 version, V2, has improved on an already great bundle.
Features at a glance
- Expands to double or triple (piggyback accessory)
- Compatible with Mesa car seats, no adapters needed (Smart secure)
- Weight and age limits: 20-50 lbs*
- Solid pop-out sunshade – UPF 50
- Shock-absorbing front and rear suspension (spring-action)
- Features a one-hand recline mechanism
- The leather handlebar is telescoping
- The mattress cover and the liner are machine-washable
- The bassinet is rated as sleep-safe when used with Vista stand (sold separately)
*20 lbs for the bassinet, 30 for the car seat, 35 for the RumbleSeat and 50 for the toddler seat (RumbleSeat and piggyback are sold separately)
Overall build quality
When you say “build quality” in this price range, it’s more than just about being hefty and sturdy. It’s about balancing those qualities with comfort, safety, and maneuverability.
In other words – this thing feels well-made and built to last through ‘several kids’, and it’s still soft and comfy.
How does it compare to previous versions?
A few main differences between the V2 and the previous versions:
- The seat height (one inch higher in the V2 – 20 vs 19 inches)
- An inch deeper footrest in the V2 (2.5 vs 1.5)
- Redesigned canopy – the V2 canopy is heftier and features 3 panels. Opening the third gives you full coverage.
Note: Any accessory that fits the V2 will also fit any Vista made from 2015 onward.
If you want to go with other car seats
The Vista V2 pairs with the Mesa infant car seat without any adapters. With adapters, you can use a range of other car seats, like the Nuna Pipa or the Chicco Keyfit.
If you ask me, I’d stay with the native car seat and just go with the Mesa.
Top 10% in all key aspects
My wife and I use this stroller with our first son, and, in my opinion, the UppaBaby Vista stroller is as close as a bassinet stroller gets to perfection.
It’s one of the very few bassinets that belongs to the top 10% of all bassinet strollers I reviewed in all of the five key quality aspects – safety, maneuverability, longevity & durability, versatility, and value for money.
Nothing impresses me more in a bassinet stroller than a comprehensive approach to safety, primarily in terms of air circulation.
If you’re going to be using durable high-end materials and include a canopy, you better make sure that none of the fabrics get in the way of the air flowing freely.
That’s what UppaBaby did with the Vista.
The mattress is perforated at the base, and the canopy unzips to let more air in. That’s a smart approach to safety with attention to detail.
If they make it right, you probably won’t even notice how easy a bassinet stroller is to move.
It’s about getting the balance right between the overall size, the footprint, and the wheels.
What I liked most about it
That’s a tricky question to answer in few words because it did all it was supposed to and did it well.
I guess that’s what I liked most about it – that it did not disappoint in any single aspect and seamlessly made our life easier.
You can read more about my experience with the Uppababy bassinet and stand in the dedicated review here.
Bugaboo advertises the Fox 2 as the most advanced and most comfortable bassinet stroller they’re ever made.
If you know the brand’s product line, that speaks volumes.
Specs & features of the Fox 2 at a glance:
- Size – 34.5 x 22.25 x 12.5 “
- Weight – 50 lbs
- Rugged, all-terrain wheels feature advanced suspension and result in superior maneuverability
- Smartly designed fold mechanism and folding button placement – can stand when folded
- It’s compatible with most car seats – a wide range of adapters (sold separately)
- The canopy features a breezy panel and ‘peekaboo window’ for improved breathability and visibility
- Comprehensively tested – like all Bugaboo strollers, this unit undergoes 1,500 tests before it leaves the factory
- Backed up by 2+1 year warranty
‘Power steering’ of this bassinet stroller is probably one of the best steering mechanisms in the industry. It’s incredibly responsive and easy to use with one hand.
Universal wheels & advanced suspension
In terms of out-and-about comfort, it all comes down to how well the wheels pair with different terrains.
With the ‘all-terrain’ Bugaboo wheels, you and your baby are not likely to notice any difference when moving from surface to surface. The suspension adapts, and the ride feels as smooth in the park as it does in the city streets.
Likely to last into ‘toddlerhood’
The Fox 2 bassinet stroller is designed for extended use – up to 50 lbs.
What I like about the bassinet stroller
I love how versatile the Fox 2 is.
When companies aim this high in terms of versatility, it rarely ends well. That’s not the case with Fox 2.
It really does make for a smooth ride both on bumpy roads and on smooth surfaces and pairs really well with pretty much any infant car seat out there.
Bugaboo thought about everything with this one – it folds down quickly and easily. The extendable canopy is likely to cover all the way down to your baby’s toes.
However, if I had to choose one thing that stands out the most, it would be the suspension – it’s second to none.
Diono Quantum2 is not a cheap stroller but, if you have the prices of the Vista and Fox 2 in mind, it’s fair to award it the label of “the best bassinet stroller in the lower price range.”
Specs & features of the Quantum 2 at a glance:
- Size: 29 x 30.5 x 46 “
- Max baby weight: 48.5 lbs
- Well-designed one-hand folding and power-assisted unfolding
- Features a 5-point harness with washable harness pads – these allow for size adjustments. As Diono puts it, the bassinet stroller “Grows with your baby.”
- Elevated sitting position
- 3-tier canopy allows for full view and unrestricted airflow
- Universal ‘one-step’ brake system works just as well for big dad-boots and smaller shoes
- Smooth turning and superior maneuverability – symmetrical frame and rivet-free design
Easy folding and unfolding
Diono calls their set-up/down system “you’re in control.’
It’s a way of saying that there are no sudden ‘snap’ movements when you fold the bassinet stroller down.
Furthermore, you can fold the stroller with the seat attached.
Based on what I’ve seen, most parents prefer to fold it with the sit detached since it’s much easier.
How to fold it down
You just pop the seat out by pressing the switch on the sides.
Press the button on top of the handle to unlock the mechanism, then lift slightly and fold it down.
The unfolding is assisted by a patented spring design, which is a nice touch for a unit of this size and weight.
The basket underneath the seat is bigger and handier than most, especially in this price range. On top of the size, it comes with a convenient cover that allows you to hide everything away and have a stroller that looks clean and organized even when the pockets are packed.
If you want to give your baby some extra privacy, this bassinet stroller might be the one for you. The canopy is bigger and ‘wraps’ your baby better than most strollers but can be folded back or even unzipped if you want a more open look.
What I like most about it
The one thing I love most about the Quantum2 is the flexibility of the extra padded seats/inserts – they are well-designed, fit securely in place, and are just as comfortable as smaller strollers without inserts.
It comes with two inserts – the newborn (for the first six months) and the medium (for months 6-8). Finally, you can use it without the inserts all the way up to toddlerhood (max weight 48.5 lbs).
The modular design of the Quantum2 seat is not a new concept, nor is it unique on this list. The execution, however, is better than in most bassinet strollers I reviewed.
Specs and features of the Evenflo:
- Size: 19.8 x 21.7 x 34.3 “
- Max recommended weight: 35 lbs (in forward-facing mode, the max. is 50 lbs)
- Stroller and car seat combo
- Safe rear-facing car seat (SafeMax)
- Features 6 modes in one modular frame
- Storage basket (over-sized) and removable snack tray
- Large cruiser tires and an ergonomic handle
- Removable armbar for easier transfers
The pivot modular travel system allows your baby to face forward or towards you, while the stroller can be easily converted into an infant car seat, carriage, or toddler mode.
Easy stroller-to-car transfer
The Evenflo is one of the very few bassinet strollers designed with a base that stays on your car seat. It seamlessly connects to the base, and you won’t need any additional adapters.
Easy to handle
The oversized cruise tires and the ergonomic handle make a world of difference in maneuverability and handling.
What I like most about it
If you’re set on getting a combo system, most of your choices will be heavier.
The Evenflo is an exception – it weighs just a bit more than your regular bassinet stroller (38.5 lbs), but it’s slick and stylish at the same time.
The base stays up when folded, which makes the stroller-to-car transition even smoother.
Specs and features of the Zelia at a glance:
- Size: 22.5 x 22.5 x 33.8 “
- Weight of the unit: 21 lbs
- Max recommended weight: 50 lbs
- 5-in-1 modular travel system with a stay-in-car base
- Weight range for the car seat is 5-30 lbs
- Self-wicking padded inserts for the car-seat (keep the baby dry)
Versatile design of the car seat
Mico 30 reverse-facing infant car seat accommodates a maximum weight of 30 lbs and a maximum length of 32 inches.
The design of the car seat unit resembles that of high-end standalone car seats – it’s a brainchild of experts in the field and features extra padding around the baby’s head.
Smooth transition between modes
Based on everything I’ve seen when talking to owners, switching between carriage, stroller, and car seat modes is seamless and can be done on the go.
In any of the modes, the extendable canopy offers more sun protection than most similar models.
What I like about it
I love the value-for-money proposition of this bassinet stroller/car seat combo. The price point is significantly lower than most of the systems I reviewed for this guide.
With that said, the quality is not top-notch* and, if the price is not a key point, there are better bassinet strollers out there. They do, however, cost two or three times as much.
*The quality remark above primarily refers to the materials surrounding the car seat and the cup holder.
Specs and features of the Fox 2 at a glance:
- Size: 22.25 x 16.63 x 33.25 “
- Minimum and maximum weight: 24/45 lbs
- Can convert between a single and double stroller (16 configurations total)
- Wheels designed for all terrains, dirt to concrete
- Customizable (telescoping) handlebar adjusts to your height and features a hand-operated brake
- The canopy of the collapsible pram is UV 50
- Includes a footmuff and wind guard
This BabyJogger takes diversity to a whole other level by allowing you to choose one from the 16 possible configurations.
You can add a second seat and make it a double or a Glider Board to make it a triple stroller. OK, there’s little chance you’ll be using this as a triple, but the option is there.
Easy to handle and terrain-adjustable
The combination of two different wheels (8-inch wheels at the front and forever-air rear tires in the back) and the telescoping handlebar make for a uniquely maneuverable bassinet stroller, whether it’s on home floors, park grass, or city streets.
What I like about it
The one unique sales proposal of this BabyJogger is the option to get a second seat and adapt it into a double stroller.
If you’re expecting a second bundle of joy and don’t want the hassle of switching between strollers, this is the stroller for you.
Choosing the best bassinet stroller – Reference info & FAQs
First things first
Bassinet vs. conventional stroller
A bassinet stroller is basically a stroller frame fitted with a bassinet instead of a conventional seat.
They are designed for newborns and infants and, unlike a conventional stroller, allow for a fully reclined position (lying down).
You can read my complete guide on the PROs and CONs of using a bassinet stroller here.
Using a car seat on a stroller
I’ve seen people talking about using a car seat with a conventional stroller instead of getting a bassinet stroller. I’d strongly advise against that.
A car seat will have your baby in a slightly curved position and, since babies cannot hold their heads upright for at least four months, increase the risk of restricted breathing.
On top of that, your baby should ONLY sleep/nap on its back for the first six months for optimal safety. Any piece of gear that allows for the baby to roll over during sleep is a safety hazard.
Bassinet Stroller features to think about
Most of these systems are not cheap and, when you’re spending this kind of money on baby gear, you want to make sure that it works as advertised.
This is a general statement that’s true about any piece of gear but, with bassinet strollers, there are layers to it.
You need to pinpoint a unit that performs as well as a standalone in any of its modes.
The car seat mode needs to be as good as a standalone car seat, and the bassinet needs to be as comfy and safe as a standalone. So, look beyond the number of modes.
It comes down to your needs
Like with all gear, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer.
As you’re reading the reviews and features, think about your habits or needs.
There’s little sense in paying premiums for all-terrain wheels if you’ll be using them for mall walks. If you’re a traveler looking to minimize the impact of getting a kid to your lifestyle, the portability of the travel system will be a crucial factor.
You’ll need a bassinet stroller that seamlessly transforms into a safe toddler seat or car seat.
Easy to carry, set up and down
Based on what I’ve seen in my interviews with owners of bassinet strollers, even the skeptics end up using the units way more than they expected.
Most people get it because they’re looking for the convenience of easy transition between a stroller and car seat and end up using it in all the modes.
That’s why the ease of setting it up and down is more important than what most prospective owners expect. Here’s a good rule of thumb – assume that you’ll be using it in all modes and switching between modes at least a few times a day and take it from there.
Another critical quality aspect that hugely depends on your habits.
If you are using it outdoors, you’ll need a more robust unit, and those are not as maneuverable as the lighter, smaller strollers. If that’s your scenario, go with a bassinet stroller with a wider base for stability. These are much less likely to tip over the terrain bumps.
If you’re an urban parent and need a stroller to navigate the tables of a coffee shop, you’ll be better off with a smaller unit and smaller wheels.
How good is it as an infant car seat?
Getting a convertible bassinet stroller doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice any of the quality aspects, like the safety of an infant car seat. Go with models that feature car seats with similar safety features as those you can find in standalone seats, especially in the head area.
How long can you use a bassinet stroller?
This is one of the more common questions about baby strollers, and probably the #1 reason parents are skeptical about getting a bassinet stroller.
In reality, if you get a good modular system, your baby will be using it all the way into their toddlerhood. Most of the top models have a listed maximum weight of 45-50 pounds.
You use the bassinet much like you would any other (3 to 6 months) but continue to use the stroller in other modes for much longer, probably years.
Are bassinet strollers better than conventional?
The answer to that will depend on your needs, but they definitely are the more versatile of the two.
Are they necessary?
For most people, they’re not necessary per se. For dynamic new parents, however, they can make all the difference.
Are they safe?
Yes, they are safe as long as you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
How long to use a bassinet stroller?
Provided that you get one of the modular systems that can be adjusted for size, you can start using a bassinet stroller at birth. Most people will stop using it before the kid outgrows it.
The majority of the best bassinet strollers have listed a maximum weight of over 45 lbs, and an average 4-year old weighs 40 pounds.
Main benefits and one downside
If this is not your first time expecting, you know how fast all the little tasks add up to overwhelming days.
You also know how much of a difference every little bit of help you can get makes.
I’d say that the #1 benefit of a bassinet stroller is making the life of a parent easier by eliminating a few daily tasks – simple stuff like moving the baby without waking them up.
To put it simply – it frees some of your time amid those extended naps.
All the other benefits we could talk about there come down to this.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll only be fully comfortable using a bassinet stroller after a few weeks.
When I think back to those first days, it felt as if there was too much space for the baby to move or even rollover. It also felt like my son is too fragile for those sudden movements when you stumble across a curb.
Other than that, getting a bassinet stroller had a substantial positive impact on our lives.
Takeaways and future updates
If I did my ‘job’ well in this guide on best bassinet strollers, you should now have a pretty good idea about which of these might be right for you.
I tried to cover as much ground as I can and make my picks diverse.
If you, however, decide that you’re not buying anything today, I’d strongly advise you to bookmark this guide for future reference.
Top picks change
The market of bassinet strollers is dynamic, and things change all the time – and I do my best to stay on top of it by updating the guide on a bi-monthly or quarterly basis (depending on the volume of new data that comes in).
Stay smart in your parenting decisions,