The Stokke Xplory always gets mixed reactions from parents in our stores. The design is unconventional, and the price point is on the high end. No stroller is going to appeal to everyone, but I’ve always thought that the Xplory gets overlooked a little too often.
When Zev was born, I got one as a gift from my friends at Stokke. I was grateful, since I’ve long admired the product after visiting the factory that produces it in Norway several years ago. But I was not expecting to fall in love with the stroller the way I did.
My son turned out to be an exceptionally social and verbal toddler, and while I’m sure some of that is temperamental, I’m equally sure that some of it is the Xplory. I was amazed by how differently people interacted with him when he was sitting in the Xplory. Strangers rarely stop to talk to babies when they’re bundled into a stroller, peering out from deep inside a canopy. But everyone talked to Zev, who was wide-eyed and riding high, smiling and waving at everyone who looked his way.
All this, by way of introduction, brings me to the real topic here – after years of making only minor improvements to Xplory, Stokke has completely redesigned the seat for 2010. The Stokke Xplory 2010 is a nice evolution that addresses a lot of the biggest critiques parents had about the design. The front bar, which used to be attached with little screws and was irritatingly complicated to remove, is now attached with tabs on each side and can be removed in under a second. The shopping bag has been totally redesigned. The adjustable foot rest – one of the most unique elements of the Xplory – was also hard to adjust and required two hands (and often a knee) to get the job done. Now there’s a simple, one-handed adjustment that will cause anyone with an older model to turn green with envy.
Designwise, the Xplory 2010 is lovely. They’ve switched the fabric to a sports material that’s very soft, durable and offers good protection from the elements. The seat contours have been rounded and the back of the seat is wrapped in fabric, covering the plastic innards.
There aren’t too many drawbacks to the Xplory anymore, but it’s still not for everyone. The Xplory isn’t a great choice if you’re in and out of the car all the time. It takes up a ton of space in a trunk, and while it can be folded in one piece, it’s far more compact (relatively speaking) if you take it apart. It also doesn’t have good suspension. This isn’t a huge deal, since it still pushes really well, but sometimes going over big bumps in the sidewalk is a little jarring for a sleeping passenger. I’ll be curious to see if the added fabric coverings will help quiet down the ride.
If you’re someone who does a lot of walking and enjoys shopping and restaurants, the Xplory 2010 will be an ideal companion for you and your baby. The new Xplory comes in two configurations, Basic and Newborn. The Newborn includes a carrycot.
Watch the video I took below, which offers a side-by-side comparison of the old model vs. the new one, and if you’re in the Brookline area today, stop by our store to meet the Xplory 2010 in person, talk to representatives from Stokke, and enjoy some balloons and gift bags.