When ‘the best’ suddenly becomes too popular..

As you all know, I aim to obtain the best possible items for myself and my children. This tends to result in slightly more expensive.. and slightly more prestigious brands. This usually means I won’t see them everywhere I go. At least, that’s what it once meant.

Lately, my love for Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bags has become less of an obsession, and more of just a love for the brand, simply because they are everywhere now. Don’t get me wrong, this is fabulous for Petunia. I could not be more happy that a fabulous brand is doing so well and I do continue to buy their products. Only, now I find myself buying more of their other products and less of their diaper bags. I don’t want something that every other person has. It’s just not my style. Am I still loyal to them? Yes. Just perhaps in less-than-typical ways. This same “sheeple” moment came to me in regards to my beloved stroller.

We recently took a multi-family vacation to Disneyland. With us came our Baby Jogger City Select stroller. While its function at Disneyland will be featured in another, more helpful.. less vanity-induced, post… The stroller in and of itself is the subject of this post. The decision to purchase that stroller two years ago (!!!) did not come easily for me. I researched high and low, compared and contrasted all of its uses.. heck.. I even owned a competing stroller simultaneously before finally settling on the City Select as my “it” stroller. Not quite my perfect match.. but pretty darn close.

So, there we are.. Unloading our stroller from the hotel shuttle. About to embark on an amazing vacation with friends. My husband gets it all unfolded and set up and we begin to walk towards the park entrance. I look left. “Oh, hey look! Someone else has our stroller! They even have the second seat!” I said to my husband. That was pretty cool, right? Then I looked to my right. “Ohhh.. look at that. Another one. I don’t like it in red. Glad we got black.”

We weaved our way through the gate and I again, to my right, see another one. This time in the diamond color. I hadn’t seen that color yet. “Pretty cool, though.. my children would have that fabric stained in 2 minutes,” I thought to myself.

Then it hit me. Every time I turned around. Looked left or right.. there it was. Most of them in the same simple black color. Most of them with the second seat attached. I found myself switching up the seat configuration just so I could easily determine which stroller was mine when parked in the sea of strollers outside each ride. Just as I am with Petunia Pickle Bottom, I am SO thrilled for Baby Jogger. When we first bought ours, no one had really heard of it. People would stop and ask me about it all the time. So seeing them in such an abundance? The love was starting to wear off for me.

As I glanced around.. there were two other strollers almost as populous as our City Select. Those being the Britax B-Ready (The other modular stroller we once owned and is now owned by the other family we vacationed with!) and the Joovy Caboose. By the end of the 2nd day in the park, I looked at my husband and said “It’s time for a new stroller.” He knew what I was getting at. There are other brands of strollers I have wanted for a while, so I found myself looking around to see how many of them I saw and how they looked in function. What better place to look at strollers than Disneyland? It’s a less creepy form of people watching, right? I started observing.. how do they maneuver in the sea of people. Was it stable? How much *ehem* crap can it hold? (I have three children for heavens sake. It takes a lot of stuff to keep kids happy for several hours on end!)

These observations have now put two strollers on the top of my list for possible purchases after the new year. You know, when my bank account recovers from Disneyland and Christmas.

  • One of those strollers I have mentioned on this blog before: The Orbit G2. I watched someone set their Orbit stroller up after getting off a shuttle.. whew, it looked so easy. That alone ignited more lust for it than I had before. I saw a few of them.. but in contrast to the other three brands, it really wasn’t many. I even saw one with a color kit on it which was fabulous. It maneuvered the crowd of people pretty well.. I spotted one with their Side-Kick board and side panniers. They had a lot of stuff in those side panniers! Perfect. The stroller bag underneath easily comes off to be removed for safe keeping of personal belongings when getting on rides. I was impressed with it’s usefulness. And let’s face it.. for it’s lack of over-population. Add to that the fact that we currently have two Orbit Toddler G2 car seats, it would be a nice possible investment for us.
  • The other stroller is not new to my lust-list.. but it is new to my current list of stroller obsession: The Stokke Xplory. (Oh heaven help my husband!) When I saw that stroller easily being maneuvered through the crowd after the infamous Disneyland fireworks, I was quite impressed. It’s one of the few times I have ever stopped what I was doing to stare at a stroller. I only saw two of them while we were there. I’m sure there were more, but the fact that I only noticed two means they weren’t nearly as infiltrating – and trust me, if you saw one you’d notice it. It’s gorgeous, sleek and modern. It stands tall, but not too tall.. Which, for short people like us.. is nice. The last thing I want to have to think is  “Hey, does this stroller make my legs look short?” hahaha. After seeing its ease of use in the park, I looked into it more back at the hotel. Would it be a reasonable purchase? Would it hold enough stuff? Would it be practical with a preschooler as well as a toddler? What sort of extras are available? Is it as customize-able as the Orbit? How travel-friendly is it? (Uhh.. again, I will address this in another blog post.. but my Baby Jogger may be less-than-travel-friendly…) My research found that they, too, have a stand-on/boogie-board type attachment for the Xplory (perfect!) and the storage bag seems to hold quite a bit and is also removable. It looks to be quite versatile in it’s function modes. (Two wheeled and pulled behind you??? Awesome!)  Plus — it’s rarely discounted price tag still keeps it in quite an elite market. I like that. I also am in love with the Black Milange fabric option. It’s gorgeous and classically modern.

So, there you have it. The ugly side of this elite-baby-gear addicted mama. I can’t help it. While I do ever-so-love my Baby Jogger City Select, and I’m so thrilled that they took off in a big way.. I can’t help but be turned off from its newly found commonness. It does, however, go to show that more and more parents are choosing to invest in more premium strollers. Even in this economy. It’s a wonderful thing for high end baby gear companies as well as those stores that sell them. I’m excited for my next stroller investment, too.

Now let me hear it. Have you ever been turned off from a more premium product because of its sudden popularity? (Coach bags, anyone?) Does vanity ever control your purchases?

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