As you may have seen in my previous blog post, I was having a stroller dilemma. While I loved my stroller dearly, it was becoming common place and well, this mama doesn’t necessarily like being common. After I wrote that post, I was presented with an amazing offer from the wonderful people at Stokke. Inspired by my post, they offered me the fabulous Stokke Xplory with a Sibling Board! I was stunned. Amazed. What an exciting opportunity from such a prestigious company.
When the stroller arrived, I turned into a near-replica of my children on Christmas morning. I think my smile reached from ear to ear and my heart was jumping out of my chest. My husband took the opportunity to point out that I am officially a baby gear nerd. I prefer the term guru.. he argues that. “You know how you used to give me a hard time about all the tech gadgets I buy? Wanting the newest.. latest and greatest? Well, that is you now. Only, with baby gear.” What?? No. “Wait!” I said, “This is for the kids! Not for me!” His reply was true. I hate to admit it.. “This is for you. You want this. The kids just get the reward from it..” Ugh. Why did he have to be right? He’s not supposed to be right! However, I knew something he didn’t know. He was about to geek out over this stroller just as much as I.
We got the boxes home and immediately unpacked them. How could I have this stroller sitting within my grasp and not set it up right away?? So we moved the boxes into our living room and my husband began assembling. The assembly was not difficult. In fact, it was relatively straight forward and easy to follow. Attaching the Sibling Board was extremely easy as well.
Our first observations of the stroller were the quality. This is definitely a product that is worth its price. It’s durable and sturdy. Not at all flimsy or cheaply made. The fabrics are outstanding. I have had many strollers since becoming a mom over 7 years ago, and the Xplory has, in my opinion, the best quality of fabrics that I have ever seen. It is also gorgeous fabric. The Xplory they sent was Black Milange. The color option that I was in love with from their site. It did not disappoint. It’s gorgeous. When you also consider that it is completely removable and washable/replaceable fabric, it makes it even more wonderful. If you are not new to this parenting business, you know that kids get strollers dirty. Often very dirty. And they do not make strollers easy to clean. Except this one. They even make different fabric options that are seasonally appropriate. A summer and winter kit. That’s how easily removable their fabrics are.
Another plus for the Xplory is their branding. While they definitely have their branding on the stroller and it is visible, it’s not plastered all over the stroller in a distracting sort of way. It adds to the style and design of the stroller rather than detracts from it. Just enough branding to call out what it is. They also use their branding in a resourceful way, as well. The branding on the seat hood is reflective. This is extremely useful.
So, outside of the form of the Xplory is the actual function of it. We put our toddler in the seat. He immediately loved the lap bar. In fact, he started using it as a drum. Self entertainment. Woo! He fit into the seat well. It hugged in the right places, had enough room for much more growth. He loves being able to face us, but he didn’t mind facing forward, either. The best test of its maneuverability was inside of a Gymboree store. For being a infant/children’s clothing store, they sure aren’t very stroller friendly! However, this stroller managed to move between the tables and racks smoothly. The hood can unzip to allow additional airflow and it also has an extension on it that can be pulled forward to make the hood cover more area. It’s all quite functional.
While the ease of movement is an amazing part of this stroller, the height-adjustable seat is probably the best function about it. It really does have a wide range of height options. From a low, fairly standard stroller level – to a high, nearly eye to eye level. The highest level is my favorite, as well as our toddler’s favorite. I think he enjoys being able to see a lot more of the world around him while walking around. I enjoy how the height of the seat makes it easier to see him, entertain him.. and it even makes it more effective inside stores, as it clears the table displays a bit easier than other strollers. I haven’t yet tried pushing it up to a table, but I can definitely see how it would be a nice options for use when out at restaurants. Especially if you don’t want to have to park your stroller elsewhere. It wouldn’t take up any more room than a restaurant highchair and would probably allow your child to reach the table with more ease. I will try this soon. Likely at a Starbucks. Haha.
The Sibling Board also has great form and function. Like I said earlier, it was easily attached to the stroller and just as easily detached. When attached, it folds up nicely when not in use and is secured by a strong magnet to the stroller frame. I’m impressed. The magnet keeps the board securely fastened while the stroller is in use, the only time the board “falls” is if gravity pulls it towards the ground. Like, when loading the stroller into the car. Haha. Nothing to complain about at all, though. The board has plenty of foot space for a child’s feet and doesn’t take up much room. Our 4-year-old loves the Sibling Board as well. He calls it his “Brother board” and loves that he can easily hold onto the handle bar while riding. Even with our 4-year-old on the Sibling Board, the entire stroller moves with ease. It pivots nicely and is quite narrow. The only real downside about the sibling board is that it cannot be used while also using a cup-holder.. but that is a small price to pay if it means not listening to a 4-year-old complain about their tired feet. The board does stick out a little farther than the board on our other stroller.. but not in an awkward sort of way. When I first saw it I thought to myself, “Well, that might be a little difficult to walk behind..” but oddly enough, it was more natural than I thought. I haven’t kicked it yet!
I was slightly concerned about the lack of basket space underneath. After all, I am known for my shopping habits and I often shop without my husband. Where on earth will I put all of my bags? Well, let me tell you. I was skeptical when my husband attached the shopper bag onto the front of the stroller. See, the Xplory doesn’t have a basket, but it comes with a zippered bag that sits on the front “foot” of the stroller. The shopper bag looked decent in size and had nice magnetized pockets and a was completely enclosed by a zipper — but would it really manage to hold enough? When we took it out shopping, my skepticism ceased. I’m amazed at how much that bag can hold. And because of the zipper, it holds it securely. The shopper bag is also easily removed, so if we did have to park the stroller for some reason, we could leave everything inside the bag and just take the whole thing with us. That is genius. Now I really wish we’d had this stroller with us in Disneyland.
So, the bottom line. Stokke definitely got this one right. The Xplory does not disappoint. It is just as functional as it is stylish, which is amazing for something that is setting the bar for modern style in the stroller market. It’s not bulky. It’s not heavy. Though, it is sturdy and durable. This stroller is beyond simply adjustable, I would almost say it has “customizable positioning.” The high quality, easily cleaned or replaced fabric options add to the modern style and chic nature of it.. and let me be honest, the fact that I don’t see them every time I turn around makes this stroller a favorite by far. There was one time while out shopping we saw another Xplory, a green one, and that couple seemed just as shocked to see ours as we were to see theirs. Haha. That says something.
I understand that the Xplory is not within everyone’s stroller budget. It is a premium stroller with a very premium price point. That said, if it is within your budget – it will far succeed your expectations. Thank you, Stokke.. especially Charlotte, for this amazing and unexpected opportunity. I can’t wait to see all the places our Stokke Xplory can take us.
What do you all think of the Xplory? What about the other Stokke products?
Note: This opinion is all my own. While the Stroller was given to me by Stokke, I was not paid to write this review. It is my honest opinion about the stroller. My family loves this stroller and we want to share that love with you.