Three vs. Four-Wheel Strollers: Does It Really Matter?


An image showing a row of 3 wheel and 4 wheel strollers in a store

Traveling with a baby is not an easy task. Most of the time the cute little bundle of joy won’t cooperate and make your life easier. One thing you can you need a great travel companion: a durable and easy to use travel stroller. There is a right stroller for every type of traveling parent. Should you buy a three-wheel stroller or go for a four-wheel stroller instead? Continue reading to find out which one is the right purchase for your situation.

For those who prioritize maneuverability and universal terrain navigation, the three-wheel stroller is the best option. Four-wheel strollers are best for compact setup, good stability, and cheaper price. Both a three-wheel and four-wheel stroller have their strengths and weakness. Buyers should decide on the best product for their current needs.

Strollers have a huge amount of products, with different features, price points, and build quality. These items are necessary for traveling with your baby with ease. One of the most popular options for strollers is three-wheel and four-wheel strollers. At this classification alone, you’ll find yourself weighing up pros and cons for each type.

What Is The Difference Between Three-Wheel And Four-Wheel Strollers?

Both a three-wheel and four-wheel stroller does the same function: aide parents while traveling with their children. But when it comes to travel products like strollers, one simple change such as the number of stroller wheels can make a huge change. You can find out how the one-wheel difference can affect both stroller types below.

3-Wheel Strollers

Get out and about with a 3 wheel stroller!

A three-wheel stroller, also known as the jogger stroller, is a kind of stroller that has two large wheels in the back, and a smaller one in the front. Some models use the same wheel size at the front and the back for better reliability without losing versatility. Depending on your wheel-type, you can choose between better terrain-type coverage or better maneuverability.

Most three-wheel strollers have their bells and whistles, like PFC free fabric, comfortable handle grip (for joggers), and additional storage. Because of its frame, it can support a 360-degree swivel mechanism (in the front wheel). It helps a lot when you’re trying to make a very sharp turn without a wide turn space.

But not all three-wheeler strollers use the same wheels. Some brands support a solid wheel made out of foam, which doesn’t need pumping and doesn’t get punctured. On the other hand, some brands use air-filled rubber tires for better stability.

4-Wheel Strollers

You get greater stability with a 4 wheel stroller.

A 4-wheeler is what you can call the traditional stroller: it uses a pair of similarly-sized wheels in both front and back. Designed for heavy-duty use, a 4-wheel stroller is best for people who are looking for something that will last. And because it has a complete set of wheels supporting it, this kind of stroller is very stable.

The four-wheel stroller is also recommended for people who have a heavier and taller child. It is less likely to tip over, despite not using bigger wheels. What makes it even more attractive is its lightweight feature. It can be easier to fold and carry compared to a three-wheel umbrella stroller.

As for the features, you might have to take a little bit of time to see the large variety of products with different features at different price points. You can find some brands offering premium fabric, cup holders, and even SPF30 canopy protection. This type of stroller will also likely come with a large amount of storage space for all your miscellaneous things and baby supplies.

3-Wheel vs 4-Wheel Strollers – Things to Consider

Before we dive into the pros and cons of 3-wheel or 4-wheel strollers, let’s talk about things to consider before buying a stroller.  It might seem like getting all the good stuff is a great idea, but that might not be the case. Especially if you’re not sure if you’re using all the included features.

Consider the features that you want from the start to avoid spending money on unnecessary features. Remember to weigh in options and features to your budget before purchase. List all the features that you want and find the best candidate product online.

Price

A stroller is not the only expense that you will have to deal with when having a child. There are other expenses like milk and diapers, for which you need to allocate your budget. Getting the best for your child is a natural instinct for parents. But if you are financially limited right now, you might want to consider the budget as the first and foremost consideration.

Weight

Another concern that parents usually have with strollers is the weight. Since it’s something that might need to be carried for a long period of time, a lightweight option is very attractive. However, take note that light strollers can either be expensive or lacks other features that you’re looking for.

Maneuverability

Will you be using it in a curvy terrain or a mostly flat surface? Are you the type of parent that takes their baby to their everyday morning jog? As long as the movement is concerned, maneuverability is an important factor. There are strollers that are focused only on this aspect, and includes additional protection for the weather.

Ease Of Use

This pertains to how easy it is for the parent to use the added features in the stroller. It is a factor that is not usually affected by stroller type. Instead, it can vary by brand and model. For example, brand X might be known for using a hassle-free harness while Brand Y gives more storage in their product.

Form Factor

Unlike “ease of use”, the form factor can hugely depend on the type of stroller used. Three-wheel strollers are known for being bulky and heavy, while four-wheel strollers are more compact and lightweight. If you have a small car or a small house space, this is an important consideration.

Location

And lastly, you need to consider the location in which you will use the stroller more often. If you’re living in an urban area, you’re likely going to use the strollers on smooth and even pathways (like malls and around the neighborhood). Therefore, a weaker wheel will suffice, unless you’re going to jog. But if you’re touring your baby in an area with nature trails, rough grounds, and different terrains, a more powerful wheel is a better choice.

Is a 3 wheel or 4 wheel stroller better?

Now that we know the general differences of both strollers, it’s time to weigh in both of their pros and cons. Here are the strengths and weaknesses of both the 3-wheel stroller and its 4-wheel counterpart.

3-Wheel Strollers Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Easier to navigate with one hand
  • Great maneuverability in tight spaces
  • Good for jogging and casual walking
  • Supports more terrains like sand and gravel
  • Has options for different wheel types

Cons

  • More expensive than its 4-wheeled counterpart
  • Bulkier, heavier, and harder to carry
  • Hard to store on small space
  • Not the best option for those who have small cars
  • Limited choices for add-ons

4-Wheel Strollers Pros And Cons

Pros

  • Cheaper, overall better the better option for budgeting
  • Foldable and compact, great for smaller spaces
  • Convertible to doubles (in some models)
  • Broader product options in the market
  • Has more ad-dons included on purchase

Cons

  • Harder to maneuver needs two hands to turn
  • Has smaller wheels than 3-wheel strollers
  • Might not work on some terrain

What Stroller Is The Right One For You?

The three-wheel stroller is a no-brainer choice for parents who like to jog with their baby. This is also the better choice if you’re living in an area with tight spaces or sharp turns. Its front wheel swivel mechanism can help in making a sharp turn, as well as changing your initial direction. 3-wheel strollers are also easier to use with one hand, perfect for shopping in a busy mall or shogging early in the morning.

In addition, the back wheels are more powerful and more versatile. It can handle further stress from different terrains without problems. But these benefits don’t come with a hefty price. Only buy a 3-wheel stroller if you can carry the price tag that comes with it.

If you’re looking for a “bang for the back” stroller, the 4-wheel stroller is the best option. You can have more features and choices for addons without breaking your bank. The 4-wheel stroller is perfect for everyday use on even surfaces because its four-side support makes it stable and less wobbly.

Additionally, its compact design and size make it easy to carry and store. There are hundreds of products to choose from, and addons for more functionality. You can get a regular stroller for casual walks, or an umbrella stroller if you want additional sun protection for your baby.

Heading on a plane soon? Check out our guide to the best travel stroller for flying, or if you’ve got twins you can read about double strollers for twins.

Carly Wight

Mother of two young boys (6 and 3!) and an avid "Googler", Carly is the kind to research something to the nth degree. Be it about products, hacks, or techniques, she shares what she finds out at her website - Fairy Good Mommy.

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