When you have kids, a fun-filled day at the beach requires serious gear — you can’t just show up with towels and sunblock and hope for the best. And for little ones, not only do you need clothes, snacks, toys, and more, you also need a stroller that can handle the sand (imagine how hard it is to walk on sand alone, let alone drag an entire stroller across it). Scary Mommy reached out to stroller expert Eli Simon to find out what to look for in the best strollers for beach sand.
Eli Simon is a co-founder of Strollberry, a site dedicated to helping parents choose the right stroller for their needs. Simon, a self-described “stroller geek,” has tried, tested, and reviewed many stroller models and has helped 3,000 parents to date. Strollberry is the largest encyclopedia of strollers in the world. Simon’s mission is to help save you time, money, and sanity on your quest for the right stroller model.
What To Consider When Shopping For The Best Strollers For Beach Sand
So what makes a stroller great for sand and beaches? “You need large wheels, and I mean the larger, the better. That means a large, heavy stroller, to be honest,” says Simon. “But there is a way around it […]meaning two-wheel-mode strollers that you can pull on two wheels after changing the frame, which would be the Cybex Priam or the Buagaboo Fox.
Simon adds that pretty much all strollers will need a pulling-behind approach when you start hauling it through sand or you need them to be very light to pick them up and carry them where you need to. And “don’t forget about cleaning and maintenance of your stroller after each trip on sand as sand is the natural enemy of stroller wheels.”
Shop The Best Strollers For Beach Sand
In a hurry? Here are the top four picks for the best strollers that can handle the sand:
The Overall Best Stroller For Beach Sand: The Cybex Priam 3 Complete Stroller
Editor’s Choice: BOB Gear Revolution Flex 3.0 Jogging Stroller
The Best Stroller Wagon: EvenFlo Pivot Xplore All-Terrain Stroller Wagon
The Best Stroller System On A Budget: Baby Trend Expedition Jogging Travel System
1. The Overall Best Stroller For Sand, All Things Considered
Not only does this stroller let you fold it with just one hand so there’s no need to be wrestling things while trudging through the sand, it also can be used in two-wheel mode, according to Simon, making it easier to pull through the sand. The seat has memory buttons and can be placed front- or rear-facing depending on your preference. Leather handlebars give it an elevated touch, and there’s all-wheel suspension, so it means steering over all terrain, sandy or not, is a breeze. Plus, it weighs less than 30 pounds, which makes lifting it in and out of your vehicle after a long day at the beach a little bit easier. As one enthusiastic reviewer raved, “Nothing is difficult with this stroller.”
Glowing Review: “The frame is sleek and has elegant details that give it a luxury look and feel… The brakes are controlled by a single foot pedal in the center back between the wheels so it’s easy to lock or unlock no matter what type of footwear you have on. The front wheels can be locked into a straight position with the flip of a little lever on each side. Thanks to the cushy tires and the all-wheel suspension this stroller practically floats over the ground, it is so smooth. It can very easily be steered with one hand and it glides effortlessly over uneven ground, potholes, cracked sidewalks, driveways, door thresholds, etc.”
Weight: 28.1 pounds | Maximum Weight Recommendation: 55 pounds | Frame Material: Polyester, aluminum, plastic, rubber | Harness Type: 5-point | One-hand Fold: Yes | Canopy: Yes
2. Editor’s Choice: A Stroller For Any Terrain
Any time you leave the house, it seems like you’re carrying at least one bag on each shoulder. This stroller has a large cargo basket and six pockets to help stash all your and your family’s gear in one place. It has a suspension system and air-filled tires that can help create a smooth ride for your kid, no matter what terrain you’re on, from city streets to sandy beaches. The seat reclines almost completely flat, so you can take your little one out even during nap time. Plus, it has a large canopy cover with UPF 50+ protection. It can be used for kids weighing up to 75 pounds — one of the highest weight capacities on this list — so it’s a stroller you’ll be using for years to come.
Editor Praise: “We purchased this stroller in advance of a trip to San Diego. We wanted an option that could handle everything from hikes on bumpy trails to walks down the beach. The BOB Flex passed every test. The larger back wheels make it easy to push over almost any terrain, and there’s enough shock-absorption to make it comfortable for baby. I especially love how easy it is to adjust the handle bars and that it’s compatible with a fleet of BOB accessories, like the rain cover and the handlebar console for easy access to beach essentials like iced coffee, water, sunscreen, and my phone. – Kate Miller, Scary Mommy Editor
Weight: 28.5 pounds | Maximum Weight Recommendation: 75 pounds | Materials: Polyester, aluminum | Harness Type: 5-point | One-hand Fold: No | Canopy: Yes
3. The Best Stroller for Jogging
If you prefer your beach visits to be a little more active, this stroller will help you get moving. The swivel front wheel locks into place when you want to pick up some speed, and the extra large back wheels, with a suspension system, will help you push through sand and other uneven ground surfaces. The handlebar is ergonomic and has a twist hand brake, so can steer and stop worry-free. There’s a convenient one-hand fold feature for picking up and carrying across beach sand too.
Glowing Review: “I really love this stroller and highly recommend it! It is very easy to run and walk with. It glides!! So easy to steer. It’s great on grass, hills, and on the beach in sand! Couldn’t be happier! Storage space is covered and waterproof.”
Weight: 25 pounds | Maximum Weight Recommendation: 75 pounds | Materials: Polyester, aluminum | Harness Type: 5-point | One-hand Fold: Yes | Canopy: Yes
4. The Best Stroller Wagon
Trying to get one kid out of the house/car onto the beach is hard enough; now try two. This stroller lets you cart around one or two kids, and has all-terrain wheels to handle all the bumps on the ground. You can push or pull the stroller with a flip of the handle, and there’s also a storage basket to hold essentials. Note this stroller doesn’t have a five-point harness, so you’ll want to use it with older kids (up to five years old). That said, there are toddler seats and car seat adapters available to make it infant-friendly; one mom even made it a ride for three kids under 4.
Glowing Review: “[…]this wagon is really impressive. It is solid and sturdy built, it is rugged, wheels are B.I.G and it moves effortlessly!…We live by the ocean and took it for a ride, unbelievable how those monster wheels cut through sand. It’s easy to pull wagon while pushing is more difficult but it’s doable.”
Weight: 34.7 pounds | Maximum Weight Recommendation: 120 pounds | Materials: Polyester, metal | Harness Type: 3-point | One-hand Fold: No | Canopy: Yes
5. The Best Luxury Stroller
Equipped with four-wheel suspension and large, puncture-proof wheels designed for any terrain, this stroller is ready to hit the beach and more. It easily collapses and has a self-standing option for convenience. The large bassinet has a breathable panel so your little one can see the action and also get some air flow, and it’s the most lightweight stroller on this list, clocking in at a mere 21.8 pounds. It maneuvers easily and, according to Simon, can be used in two-wheel mode for pushing through the sand.
Glowing Review: “This stroller is an absolute dream! We used to have just a standard stroller with our first baby, and the wheels were SO loud and bumpy on any sort of crack, but the Fox 3 doesn’t jolt or make any noise. It even handles grass easily too! I don’t know how they do it, but it’s amazing! We took the bassinet out for a stroll, and baby loves to look out the mesh windows – genius! The leather handles feel luxurious, it turns on a dime, and folds and stores easily too.”
Weight: 21.8 pounds | Maximum Weight Recommendation: 50 pounds | Materials: Polyester, aluminum | Harness Type: 5-point | One-hand Fold: Yes | Canopy: Yes
6. The Best Stroller & Car Seat System
Go from car to stroller to beach and back again with this Graco travel system. The stroller has large, air-filled rubber tires, a front locking tire, a reclinable seat, and cupholders for both you and your little one. It also includes an infant car seat, and the whole stroller folds up in one second and with one-hand.
Glowing Review: “Love this system and very impressed! Everything is lightweight and easy to use/handle. The stroller goes everywhere even through deep, loose sand on the beach! Definitely worth the affordable price.”
Weight: 38 pounds | Maximum Weight Recommendation: 50 pounds | Materials: N/A | Harness Type: 3- or 5-point | One-hand Fold: Yes | Canopy: Yes
7. Another Stroller & Car Seat System For A Great Price
Another travel system, this Baby Trend set gives you good bang for your buck. Large bicycle tires allow you to navigate sandy or bumpy surfaces, and the stroller folds up compactly for storage. The extra wide, ergonomic handle is padded for comfort.
Glowing Review: “Easy to assemble. Really like that it’s the only stroller you need. The car seat and base are great. The wheels are big enough to roll over most anything without creating too much of a bump or jolt and will roll over grass, gravel, sand and varied terrain with minimal effort. The handle design is really comfortable. The cargo basket is big and useful to carry the baby stuff and also room for a quick grocery store stop if needed.”
Weight: 41 pounds | Maximum Weight Recommendation: 50 pounds| Materials: Alloy steel frame | Harness Type: 5-point | One-hand Fold: No | Canopy: Yes
Eli Simon, stroller expert and co-founder of Strollberry.com