My husband and I took stroller shopping for our first baby very seriously. The ultimate goal was to find one that was easy to use, comfortable for extended distances, and was able to grow with us – all without completely obliterating our buggy budget. We had a list of requirements that our stroller had to have, but like most expectant parents, the one thing we didn’t factor in was our future family expansions.
I don’t know of any parents that buy a double stroller when they are shopping for their first baby, and I can see why for a number of reasons. First, double strollers are traditionally bulky and large, unable to maneuver and handle like a single model can. Secondly, the idea of pushing around an extra baby seat for months or years before a second baby joins the family seems absurd at best. Imagine my joy when I realized Valco Baby had a stroller that can truly grow with your family while solving the two problems above.
Instead of a single stroller that you end up retiring as soon as a second baby is on the way, Valco Baby has created the Tri Mode Stroller that is fully functional as a single active stroller for your fist baby, but then expands and becomes a double stroller when you need one down the road. Even when converted to a double stroller, the Valco Baby Tri Mode EX handles exceptionally well, is able to fit within narrow areas, and has the same footprint of the original stroller.
I can hear you now asking “but how is that possible?” and the answer is as simple as it is genius. Instead of having two seats that ride next to each other or one behind the other and requiring extra width and length when maneuvering, the Valco Baby employs an add on toddler seat that rides above the original stroller seat. This means that the Tri Mode stroller with the toddler seat handles and moves like a single stroller, but still is able to carry two children comfortably.
Because the toddler seat is removable, you can alternate between having a double or single stroller quickly and easily. So, when your toddler insists on walking to the store, you can simply put your baby in the main stroller seat and place the toddler seat in the lower storage basket. Then, when your toddler is exhausted after all their walking, you can quickly remove the toddler seat from the basket and convert the Valco Baby Tri Mode to a double stroller for the walk home.
Even though my daughter is an only child, she absolutely insists on riding in the toddler seat whenever it’s attached (shown on the right with the optional toddler seat canopy to shield both children from rain and sun). In fact, once she saw the toddler seat in action, she dropped everything she was doing and asked to be wheeled around the house in the Tri Mode toddler seat. We actually had to hide the toddler seat in order to get her into the Tri-Mode stroller seat for a walk, but she still continued to ask for the toddler seat on the way to the store.
Why I’m loving the Tri Mode: I love that Tri Mode by Valco Baby is not a traditional jogging stroller. Since I’m not a runner by nature, I really didn’t need a full-on jogging stroller for daily use but since we’re an active family that covers a huge amount of ground, a city stroller often didn’t make much sense. I found myself looking for an all terrain buggy that could easily convert between swivel and fixed wheel settings for when I did go on a run and the Valco Baby Tri Mode EX could not have been a better fit.
The Tri Mode is a three wheeled stroller that has three different strolling options to give me the most versatility in a stroller while on the go. Instead of a traditional fixed wheel jogger, the Tri Mode has three different wheel options that are easy to change back and forth with a twist of a knob. You can choose between a fixed front wheel, 45 degree turning capability or a full 360 degree swivel wheel so you can have the most control over your ride.
The ultimate in mobility: The Tri Mode wheels can handle virtually any terrain, while giving you one of the smoothest and most fluid handling strollers that I have ever used. The air-filled 12” tires give baby the most comfortable ride possible while the swivel of the front wheel allows you to make 360 degree turns with almost no effort at all. In fact, we have found that you can actually make those 360 degree turns one handed, while holding an iced coffee in the other. One handed operation has become a feature that is absolutely crucial to me the older my daughter gets. Between the unpredictability of a toddler and every parent’s need to multi-task while strolling, being able to have one hand free really does make all the difference in the world.
To add to its mobility, the Tri Mode has a shorter frame and a smaller footprint than a full jogger, but is still big enough to grow with your child and give you the base for adding the additional toddler sear as needed. Speaking of growing with your child, Valco Baby offers numerous stroller configurations for strolling from infant and beyond with an optional infant bassinet, car seat attachments, and even a hitch hiker board for if you have three children to stroll. Yes, that’s right, the Valco Baby Tri Mode can even become a 3 child stroller down the road. Large families everywhere are cheering.
A luxury ride for all ages: Even without the optional bassinet attachment, the Valco Baby Tri Mode comes standard with numerous features that make it suitable for even young children. It has a 5 point harness that would be nearly impossible for a young child to master unlatching on their own. An infant insert is included with the Tri Mode purchase and can be removed once your child no longer needs the extra support. The padded main stroller seat can fully recline with a one handed operation and can be adjusted at any angle to accommodate any aged child. Coupled with the stroller’s smooth ride, the Tri Mode is really the way to stroll in ultimate comfort.
Large canopy and rain cover: The Tri Mode has a great big canopy that can even be unzipped to extend even further around your baby as well as a mini visor that can be flipped out, which is perfect for Seattle’s unpredictable weather and penchant for rain. The canopy is also multi-positional and offers a “moon roof” with cover for easy viewing of your little one. The Tri Mode comes with a plastic rain cover that can envelope the entire stroller for maximum water protection, but I have to say that the extendable canopy is one of my favorite features since I am constantly trying to “wait out” the rain and refuse to go to the trouble of attaching a rain cover unless I’m in a full fledged downpour.
Features all parents will appreciate: In addition to strolling your kids in maximum comfort, the Tri Mode has some really cool features for parents, like an extra large storage basket that can hold a huge amount of stuff and even has external pockets to help organize your small stuff. An included tire pump is hidden in a pouch on the underside of the stroller seat and ensures that you are never left stranded on the side of the road with three children. Another really cool feature for parents on the go is the removable pouch on the back of the canopy that has pockets and storage for all your necessities. If you have to be away from your stroller, you can simply zip off the pouch and take your valuables with you.
Since hubby and I are both tall, we really appreciate the fact that the Tri Mode handle is fully adjustable in both directions, allowing for a huge range of handlebar heights. Whether you are in the extra tall range, have a short stature, or find yourself in the middle of the old height bell curve, the Valco Baby Tri Mode is a surprisingly good fit all around. For couples who have a huge height difference, you will be happy to note that the handlebar adjustment is not only exceptional in range, it is also incredibly quick to adjust on the go.
And, if you’re on the go all day like I am, you will be sure to appreciate that the Tri Mode folds up much smaller than any other all terrain stroller I have ever seen. Whereas most joggers and walking strollers simply fold in half, the Tri Mode has a double fold system that makes the finished folded stroller much easier to place in a compact sedan. All wheels are quick release, which makes the compact fold even easier to accommodate in tight spaces, as well as making it easier to keep your trunk clean even when you’ve been walking through the dirt all day.
Features from the Valco Baby website:
If you are a jogger, speed walker, or merely an all terrain walker, you should seriously consider the Valco Baby Tri Mode as a great stroller option, whether you have one child, two or even three. When you add up the savings of not having to purchase two (or more) strollers, the Tri Mode is well worth the already reasonable price. If you still need convincing, just consider it a gift to yourself that will keep you healthy, active and adventure ready….. and a gift your whole family is sure to appreciate too.
A huge thank you to Valco Baby for sending their Tri Mode EX and toddler seat attachment for review. All opinions are 100% ours and no monetary compensation was received for this Rave Review.
After this review was posted, it was brought to our attention that in light of a Consumer Reports independent test, Valco Baby was working on improving the optional Napper Bar that is shown in the uppermost Tri Mode image without the Toddler Seat attachment. The current Napper Bar does not affect the functionality of the stroller in any way and does not pose any risk to children who are strapped into the stroller with the 5 point harness. Please visit the Valco Baby website for more information regarding the Napper Bar improvements and how to keep informed of when the new bar is available.