No regrets with the Stokke Xplory Stroller & Carry Cot!

No regrets with the Stokke Xplory Stroller & Carry Cot!

Stokke is a Norwegian company that makes luxury strollers. They’re touted to be the ‘highest strollers’ – great for keeping your baby close to you and for saving your soon-to-be-busted backs. 

This is a long post, so here’s the summary.

PROS

> Both parent facing and forward facing
> Height adjustable so the seat can be raised very high, which means limited bending FTW
> Cleverly designed, great durability
> Lightweight yet solid quality

CONS

> Expensive, this stroller is top-of the-line (but worth it)
> Bulky, makes for tricky travels / will NOT fit into small older Indian/European elevators
> Very annoying to clean if you use it as a high chair / if baby has a blow out poop in it

Prices vary by store. Check it out at:

> Amazon US: Stokke Xplory V5 Stroller and Stokke Xplory Carry Cot
> Amazon UK: Stokke Xplory Stroller Frame Seat + Basket + Bag Brown

If you’re in the Middle East, Just Kidding is offering the Stokke Xplory (without Carry Cot) on discount.


 Why I chose the Stokke Xplory Stroller

If you are a first time parent, you’ll find the Stokke Xplory to be massive (like most baby products). We got it because it’s classy AF, has massive wheels, because my husband is tall, and to avoid having to bend too low to put baby in and out of the stroller. You will bend SO MUCH when you have a baby, that any respite is worth it if you can afford it. To be honest, this was our single “splurge” purchase.

Some of our new parent-friends have judged us for going all out on this. We haven’t used any other strollers, and we’re really happy we got the Stokke Xplory. Hands-down it’s one of my Top 10 baby essentials.


Is the carry cot worth it?

The Carry Cot is optional with the Xplory. If you are buying this stroller for a newborn, I’ve found it’s absolutely required and worth it. The carry cot allows baby to be completely flat on his back for as long as he fits into it. Our baby fit in it for only three months and it was STILL WORTH IT. I’m glad we didn’t pinch on this expense.

  • Carry Cot with the stroller hood up, and the wind protector 'blanket' on, from the Stokke website.

We took him to the park for walks from about 3-4 weeks onwards and he was really comfy in the carry cot. We even used the stroller to put him to sleep when he was a fussy monster (at 2 months of age, for four weeks in a row).

The best part of the carry cot – and this spoiled us – is that it comes with two pocket-type-holes – we used this to keep his bottle, a rattle, napkins and house keys. We later upgraded to the seat and found that it does NOT have pockets. That’s when we had to purchase the SkipHop Stroller organizer (see below).

Stoller organizer on our Stokke Xplory handle

The one downfall of the carry cot – I wouldn’t feel comfortable carrying the carry cot as a standalone unit, the cloth handles just don’t feel very sturdy. As a C-Section momma, using it as a standalone unit never even crossed my mind – but I’ve seen some parents use their carry cots this way. When we picnicked in the park, one of us held the baby while the other removed the carry cot from the stroller and put it on the ground. Then we put baby in it.

The carry cot is totally worth it. I would NOT have been comfy putting my new born babe directly into the seat (even with the infant insert). He spent a lot of time in the carry cot and the flat surface is exactly what his baby spine needed.

Baby Momma tip: When transitioning from the carry cot to the seat, you will need to remove the hood + textile, and put it on ‘the other way.’ Here’s a video that shows how to remove the hood + textile.


6 Ways the Stokke Xplory Aces my Stroller Checklist 

1. Despite it’s size, the Stokke Xplory is light.

It’s light to push, fairly easy to fold, and can hold a lot of weight in terms of diaper bag/shopping bags. (I told myself I wouldn’t be one of those mommas, but with a baby you absolutely need to hang your shopping and stuff on the stroller).

2. The seat can face both ways – to the parents or to the outside world.

We’ve just begun using the seat in the flattest mode facing the parents. I can see baby at all times and make faces at him while I’m walking him about / in crowded areas (without having to come around the front of the stroller to check on him). I think it also limits how much stimuli he is exposed to (have you ever seen a three month old at a grocery store?! there is SO MUCH to look at). This has been so important for me at the newborn stage – I cannot even picture what it would have been like with a outward/forward-facing stroller only.

  • Here’s the stroller in parent-facing rest mode.

At month 6, we started playing with the reclines for meal-time. The most vertical “active” mode was our favorite. (Currently, I feed him while he’s sitting on the floor).

As much as I love the parent facing mode and still use it at 7.5 months… I’m really excited for when he will graduate to outward/forward-facing because he’s already a curious little critter and he’ll love seeing everything.

  • In forward facing mode, at the midway incline. (The seat does not recline to ‘rest’ mode when forward facing.)

3.The height of the seat is adjustable and it can be raised quite high.

When we’re out at cafes/restaurants or even at our own dining table, baby is real high. It’s been great for us and the grandparents loved this too. We simply haven’t had to bend so much.

  • I keep it high, but here’s what it looks like when the seat is at it’s lowest (below).

4. The design of the Stokke Xplory is top notch.

A lot of thought has gone into the design, ergonomics and quality of materials. For example, the fabric is moisture-wicking (this was funny when baby peed in the stroller that one time… the liquid stayed on the surface and I dabbed it off). Another example, it’s designed so that your feet don’t kick into the stroller accidentally while walking. And the handle bar can be adjusted to different angles – great for spouses who are different heights.

Here’s the handle bar pointing upwards, which is how my husband likes to use the stroller.

5. The Stokke Xplory is so durable.

We didn’t realize how much we would use the stroller. I remember fretting about a place to “store it when not in use.” Silly me – we use this stroller MULTIPLE TIMES A DAY! I We’re quite rough with the stroller sometimes often – using it freely in the park, on speed-breakers in the car park, going up and down terribly-designed-ramps, hanging all our shopping on the handle and screwing on a baby mobile. It’s fairly scratched up already (totally our fault), but apart from that it’s so darn sturdy. 

The Stroller has also survived its first international trip which included being gate checked for two flights (using the Bububee ‘Elua XL Double Stroller Gate Check bag), packed into multiple taxis, golf carts and ferries.

6. Comes with basic accessories included.

We got our stroller with the infant seat insert (this goes in the normal seat to reduce the depth a bit for when baby is still small), a mosquito net and a water proof cover. The Carry Cot came with a nifty cover which would be ideal for cold climates.

7. Overall, great attention has been paid to the details.

The hood has a mesh to allow sunlight and air inside. This means you can peek inside when baby is forward facing.

Here’s a close up.


My pet peeves with the Stokke Xplory

Overall, the stroller is fantastic. Here are the nit-picking things I’ve realized from using it day in and out.

1. It’s bulky. 

Folded up, the stroller + carry cot / stroller + seat fits like a charm in my husband’s car trunk. But it doesn’t fit in MY car trunk. Once we finally move the car seat to my car (it’s rightful home), I’ll have to store the stroller in my trunk and the seat in the front passenger seat. Luckily I have this option – if I had to cab / Uber places I’d have to be picky about which car the taxi guy had. This doesn’t affect me personally because Ubers are mainly Lexus sedans where I live. But that’s hardly the norm elsewhere.

2. It’s tricky to fold.

Okay it’s genius once you’re used to it. But tricky in the beginning.

3. The compatible stroller bags are… annoying.

The triangular bag at the base of the Stokke Xplory feels a bit bulky, and it’s a hassle to keep bending down that low to use it. We just store extra diapers, wipes and adult clothes in it. (This bag is included with the stroller.) The additional Stokke bag (not-included) clips on under the seat, which just feels non-intuitive. Like I’d kick it and get it dirty if I had it. We have a carabiner (the actual camping term for the stroller hook) which we use to clip on my diaper bag when in a rush.

4. The handle bar is curved.

So my Skip Hop diaper bag doesn’t hang on it quite so well… on the other hand, our mobile did so that’s pretty cool.

SkipHop diaper bag on the Stokke Xplory handles. The diaper bag has straps that clip on to the handle directly. But as you can see, it’s a bit tight to get into the many diaper bag. I’ve just grown used to it.

5. When in parent-facing mode, baby’s feet touch the silver stroller bar which is cold.

This means we need to keep baby in socks or wrap a cloth around the stroller bar (which baby invariably kicks off). Would’ve thought that Stokke would have addressed this… it’s a really annoying detail.

UPDATE: I glued on some velcro to a napkin and use that to cover the stroller bar, as you can see in the photos above. Problem solved!


Additional accessories, additional costs.

Granted, these spends shy in comparison the actual stroller. But keep in mind you will probably need these:

1. Pockets/Cup-holders/Stroller Organizers.The seat does not come with pockets, so there’s no easy place to store the bottle/napkin/keys/rattle. We purchased the very sturdy JL Childress Cup ‘N Stuff Stroller Pocket for keeping our coffees etc when using the carry cot and then eventually the Skip Hop Grab and Go Attachable Stroller Organizer to keep our stuff when we entered seat-mode. Alternatively, you could buy the Stokke cup holder.

2. Gate check bag. Since the stroller folds into two parts, you will need a bag to pack it when you fly. Classic expat problem. Obviously, we did not think about this when buying the stroller. The Bububee ‘Elua XL Double Stroller Gate Check bag worked wonderfully for our recent holiday.

3. When baby is larger and can walk well, you would need a companion stroller or to replace this one altogether. There’s no point in lifting a larger child to place them into this stroller when they can just get in and out themselves. I’m currently looking for travel strollers for a tall, wide baby that can fit an airplane cabin when folded. The popular Baby Zen Yoyo is already too small for baby, so we are considering the Mountain Buggy Nano.

Bottom-line: The Stokke Xplory does exactly what it says it will, looks great, works smoothly and feels high-class. I think every stroller gets some getting used to. We have no regrets at all with this one!

You can find product specs and dimensions at the Stokke website here and in the video above. It’s available to buy at plenty of retailers, including Amazon US: Stokke Xplory V5 Stroller and Stokke Xplory Carry Cot and Amazon UK: Stokke Xplory Stroller Frame Seat + Basket + Bag Brown

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