The e3 suits one kid fine, but the real genius comes later when the second kid arrives and you swap out the underseat storage basket for a second seat. It's a city parent's dream: a double stroller with the honest-to-goodness sidewalk presence of a single. So what if one kid has to stare at the other kid's butt? It's a small price to pay for not decamping to the suburbs.
Who It Is For: Outdoor-loving city-folk who fear that a doublewide stroller sets them on the slippery slope to minivans and three-car garages.
Celebrity Parent-Spotting: Does famous Down Under count? Australian swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Susie O'Neill and New Zealand rugby great Sean Fitzpatrick both drive e3s.
If It Were a Car: not an actual SUV, but a four-wheel drive sport wagon, like the Audi Allroad.
The Driver Experience: The source of my fatherhood epiphany, the Dutch-designed Bugaboo Frog hit the U.S. market in 2003 after a cameo on Sex and the City. Its eye-catching shape, versatility (it converts from a bassinet to a seat, which can face either forward or toward the parent), and price (around $700) have since been widely copied. It became the must-have stroller for people who think of products in terms of "must-haves." Bugaboo introduced the Frog's slightly larger, more expensive successor, the Cameleon, in August.
The Cameleon boasts an adjustable, foam-covered aluminum handle. Thanks to a new, adjustable front suspension, the Cameleon's ride is smooth, and its handling nimble; it can practically pivot in place. Driving with one hand is a breeze, and the longer wheelbase takes curbs and stairs easily. One drawback: The Bugaboo's rubber wheels make a terrible racket rolling across polished marble floors.
Traveling in cars and taxis is relatively painless, but the Cameleon inherits the Frog's biggest shortcoming: the acrobatics required to open and close its two-piece (i.e., seat and frame) construction. It gets easier with practice, but it still kind of bugs me.
The Passenger Experience: Sweet. Our daughter slept in the bassinet until she was 3 months old, and we'd wheel her around the apartment. It was very convenient. Optional adapters (sold separately) allow you to attach a car seat to the frame as well.
Who It Is For: Design-conscious urbanites; people who get "a few good pieces" and pick up the rest at IKEA; indulgent grandparents; celebrity parents and the people who copy them.
Celebrity Parent-Spotting: Heidi Klum and Seal, the Paltrow-Martins, Liv Tyler.
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