Important stroller features: A closer look at brakes

Consumer Reports News: October 28, 2009 04:38 PM

Brakes are one of the most important features you can evaluate when shopping for a stroller. Some checks in the store can help you find one with the most effective brake system.

Check that any stroller you intend to buy has a good parking brake, one that's convenient to operate and locks two wheels. Parking brakes on two wheels provide an extra margin of safety. Some two-wheel parking brakes are activated in a single stroke by a bar in the rear of the stroller frame. Others require two actions and have foot-operated tabs above each rear wheel.

When brakes are activated, plastic cogs engage with the sprockets of the rear wheels. Avoid models that can hurt your feet when you engage or disengage the brakes with light shoes or bare feet.

In addition to parking brakes, most jogging strollers have bicycle-type hand-operated brakes--important to help you slow down when cruising at a fast clip. Some pricier jogging strollers have hand-operated brakes on the front or rear wheels. (See all stroller types.)

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