The Chicco Cortina Stroller ($160-170) is a really full-featured, functional stroller that fits the bill for many reasons.
It has the comfy seat and well-designed toddler tray for the passenger and nice handle, cup holders and storage for the parents.
Nice price, too, considering how expensive strollers can be these days!
Assembly and Fold
The Cortina stroller was easy to assemble. It took 3-year-old Finn and me about 15 minutes to get it rolling. (I was impressed that he was actually helpful!) The fold on the Chicco strollers is different than most strollers but works well. There’s a big handle in the middle of the parent tray. Give it a tug and the stroller folds easily, locks automatically and stands on its own. I really like strollers that stand when folded. It makes it easier to lift into the car and helps keep it out of the muck on rainy days. The fold isn’t especially compact, something to consider if you have to fit it into small car trunk or closet.
Ride and Maneuverability
The hard plastic wheels on this stroller aren’t ideal for off-roading, but the suspension system gives it a nice, smooth ride. Even with my preschooler wiggling in the seat, I was able to steer it easily on the sidewalk. There’s a bit of wheel noise but I only noticed it because I was specifically listening for it. It wouldn’t detract from a quiet stroll. The adjustable handle is terrific for tall or short parents.
Seat and Recline
The seat is nice and wide and well padded. It reclines to flat or sits vertical and clicks into several positions in between. One hand releases the recline mechanism in the seat back. The toddler tray has a liner that pops out for cleaning. Smart!
The basket is enormous and easily accessible. It’s totally useful and practical. The parent tray has compartments for keys and a drink and the toddler tray has a removable liner that makes it a breeze to clean.
The sun shield isn’t very big but it separates from the handle and pulls down in front of the baby. I found this feature very useful and wish more strollers had it.
Pros: The Cortina has a lot of well-thought-out storage compartments and a sun shade that clicks down in front of the baby. It stands when folded and has a removable liner for the toddler tray.
Cons: Hard, plastic tires don’t make the smoothest ride in the world, but I really can’t complain. The stroller is bulky when folded.
Final Verdict: The Cortina Stroller is a good buy, particularly when purchased as a travel system with the really full-featured stroller and functional car seat.