Photo courtesy of Jennifer Beirne Alice Beirne, 1, snuggles in her stroller while sisters Madeleine, 5, and Lucy, 3, look on.
Reviewed Item: B.O.B. Sport Utility Jogging Stroller, retail value $295 The B.O.B. Sport Utility Jogging Stroller is fantastic.
First, it looks so cool-bright blue in color, sturdy frame, sleek design. My first day out, I was stopped twice by fellow runners asking me the brand name and what I thought of it. Second, it's really durable. The shocks are amazing in rough terrain and the stroller's overall maneuverability was excellent. Third, it's great for the kids as well as parents. Alice, my 1-year-old, looks so comfortable in the deep seat. There are two pockets to hold her sippy cup or a toy and storage pockets both under and behind the seat that allow me to carry all my excess baggage. The sunroof in the hood let me watch her kick her little legs while I ran while the generous hood protects almost her whole body from the sun and wind.
On the downside, it was somewhat bulky and cumbersome to carry for any length of time because it is so durable and not designed specifically for travel. But the B.O.B. Sport Utility was both lighter and more durable than the three other running strollers we have used in the past. Also, the stroller folds in two places and can fit easily into the back of the small trunk of both our Mazda minivan and Volkswagen Jetta. Incredibly easy to assemble, my husband Michael had the stroller operational in 15 minutes.
Finally, a friend of ours came to town from Alaska to run the marathon with Michael in the fall. This friend has gone through three running strollers and is used to training with them on rough terrain. After running for 10 minutes with the B.O.B Sport Utility, he agreed that it was by far the best running stroller he had ever used. We couldn't agree more. We highly recommend this product. Jennifer Beirne Reviewed Item: Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump, retail value $255 I don't think this version of the Medela breast pump is heads and tails better than the last version I used, but it is more compact. It's smaller, sleeker and there is a separate place to store the plug. I used to think that storing the plug with the bottles was wrong-the plug gets too dirty. Would that have been enough to make me go out and buy a new one? No. But if I was in the market for a breast pump, I think this is the best one on the market.
For the first two minutes the pump is operating it gives a quick pumping motion to bring the milk in before it goes to the regular pumping motion. And there's a button that allows you to bypass that if your milk is already in. The other thing I didn't like is the that you have to turn a button to turn off the pump. If you're pumping both breasts at the same time, it's difficult to turn it off.