I Ditched a Stroller for This and It Changed My Life
I was working in a coffee shop the other day and saw a familiar scene: a toddler was screaming, arching her back, and flailing her arms and legs as her mom tried to put her in the stroller.
I was that mom, times two, a few months earlier when my twins started to resist the stroller. Around the same time, my older son who was five started complaining about how he was too tired to stand on the kick board. If only they could change places!
That’s how I knew it was time to move them to a wagon so they could sit and entertain each other.
Why I Ditched My Stroller and What I Got Instead
For a long time I resisted wagons because of how bulky and hard-to-maneuver they looked. Then I found the Cadillac of wagons – the Veer All Terrain Cruiser XL – and I can confirm that this thing is a dream.
And many New Yorkers agree. Every day – and I mean every. single. day – someone comments on it when we’re out. “That’s so cool!” or “I wish they made that when my kids were young” or, my favorite, “I need to get that for my DOG!”
Our Veer wagon is a celebrity here in New York City, and for good reason. Here are 5 reasons I really love it:
1. It fits through almost every doorway.
The doorway test is non-negotiable. I don’t have a car and do almost everything by foot, usually with three kids in tow. So, having a stroller or wagon that easily fits through narrow doors is super important. In our building lobby alone, there are two sets of narrow double doors on the way out. My neighbor had a popular double stroller that didn’t fit unless she opened both sides, which looked really annoying and unnecessarily difficult.
How did the Veer wagon do? It passed the test! I only have to open one side of the double doors, and we haven’t yet encountered a single door we can’t get through. We even make it through the narrow Trader Joe checkout aisles and some subway escalators when the elevators are out of order.
2. It’s easy to maneuver, with one catch.
The Veer has large wheels, which makes it effortless to push over curbs, dirt, or grass. You can pull it or push it, and I almost always push it so I can better navigate the busy city streets and watch my kids.
The only catch is that there’s definitely a learning curve for steering since the swiveling wheels are in the back, which is the opposite of a stroller, so it can be disorienting in the beginning. It took me about a week to walk at a normal pace and get through tight corners without hitting something. But now I’m a master at zipping around with the wagon! I’d probably have a hard time with my old stroller at this point.
3. I can fold it closed and carry it with one hand.
It’s so nice to be able to fold the wagon closed with one hand, because I’m often alone with my three kids when that’s necessary. Like, if the subway elevators are broken and we have to take the stairs, or we’re visiting my mom and taking the wagon on the express bus. I can just fold it up, tuck it under one arm, pick up my daughter, and have the boys hold hands—making everything and everyone compact and portable. I couldn’t have done this before without having a meltdown (and yes, I’m talking about me, not the kids). Oh, the freedom of movement, which can be so hard with young kids. It’s really a glorious thing.
4. It has great accessories and storage.
People are always surprised when they see us with the wagon protected in the rain because they didn’t even know it could be equipped with canopies. I usually keep the canopies off because you can’t fold the wagon with them on, but they’re easy to clip on for sun protection or to put the rain cover on.
People are equally surprised when I have a massive grocery load and say I don’t need any bags. The basket accessory mounts onto the back of the wagon and folds flat when stored. Although the basket itself isn’t that big, it has a mesh zipper hood that expands to practically double the storage space. Our three scooters and more groceries than I ever could put in our stroller basket fit in there.
5. My kids love it.
My kids get really giddy and playful when they’re in the Veer wagon together, like they’re in their own little world. The only fighting is over who gets to sit where, and it gets resolved, for the most part, by taking turns. The first time we used the rain cover, it was laughter all the way home.
I haven’t had to use the harness buckles because my kids are pretty good about not trying to get out without permission. I think they like the autonomy and even sometimes sit perched at the front with their knees on the seats, which I’m okay with because larger wheels are in the front so it’s stable and they have a lot of fun.
The only downside.
The only problem we’ve had so far is that we weren’t allowed into the Museum of Natural History with the Veer wagon. Even though it has seat belts, is just as narrow as my previous double stroller, and has a low profile, they have a strict No Wagon policy. I don’t really understand why. I’ve been told it’s the same at Disney, so there must be something I’m missing. There are always a lot of people outside of the museum, so I’m considering locking it up outside next time, but I just haven’t decided if I’m willing to take any risk because I would cry if we lost our wagon!
Not only is this the sleekest and best looking wagon I’ve seen, but it’s insanely practical and functional for getting around. As with most great finds, I only wish I had gotten it sooner.
Cubby: Eat. Live. Play. Families Together at Home.
Want more great home ideas for families? Sign up for Cubby’s weekly newsletter featuring our best editor-approved product recommendations, meal ideas, and all the kid’s room decor ideas you need.