For many parents, finding the perfect stroller is the ultimate challenge when shopping for a new baby. Whether it’s top-of-the-line, or inexpensive and does the job, it can be one of the most fun things to buy. Like shopping for a new car it becomes all about researching models and brands, picking the perfect colour, fabric, accessories, checking for storage room and kicking the wheels.
But after baby is born, and maybe another, and another, that same perfect stroller can become your nemesis. And for those who have to battle the hellish Canadian winters and have to push and lift and shimmy and struggle with that once-perfect stroller in the snow, you’ll be kicking the wheels for an entirely different reason.
That’s the situation Calgary couple Kelly and Glenn Patterson found themselves in. Frustration with the lack of stroller control combined with the treacherous weather inspired the pair to come up with the perfect invention: stroller skis. Yep, snap-on skis that fit onto the wheels of most strollers and chariots. And all of you who have spent blood, sweat and tears wrestling with a stroller in snow just thought the same thing: Why didn’t I think of that?!
Glenn, a design engineer, and Kelly came up with the idea for the Polar Stroller after they had their first child. They love the outdoors but found pushing their stroller through snow, ice and slush was a giant pain. So they came up with a simple solution.
“It’s a lightweight, but very durable ski which has an adjustable binding to fit the large majority of stroller wheel sizes and it attaches onto your existing wheel,” Patterson told CBC News. “It takes just a few moments to attach and detach.”
Some would argue that you can just use a sled but Patterson says that isn’t always ideal for moms who have just given birth or parents with back issues.
“If you use your whole body weight and your strong back and leg muscles to push your stroller, it’s way easier than anchoring something around your waist and pulling it,” she said.
There’s also added traction on the base of the stroller skis, so there’ll be no runaway (ski-away?) strollers to worry about. “If you walk and stop, and let go of your handle, your stroller does not slide back on you,” said Patterson. The skis also come with a safety leash which attaches to the frame of the stroller and your wrist.
“So you can go to the dog park, enjoy your winter walks, the ski hills, snowshoe — all the fun outdoor things which we have to do in the winter to stay active and sane,” Patterson added.
Parents everywhere, rejoice!