Spotlight Product Review: Stokke Xplory 2011

Stokke is a Norwegian company that was founded in 1932.  While they have produced a wide range of furniture over the years, Stokke now focuses exclusively on children’s furniture and products with the vision “in the best interest of the child”.

The Stokke Xplory was launched in 2003 and was one of the first luxury strollers to begin the luxury stroller craze that we have today.  The Xplory was the first stroller (and still best!) to lift your child higher with their unique height-adjustable seat.  They created the Xplory with the higher seat so it “allows kids to be raised to your level in safety and security, strengthening your bonds, promoting interactivity and encouraging all-important eye contact – while exploring the world together.”

At first glance, the Xplory looks like no other stroller.  Its unique modern design is a definitely a head turner and paparazzi magnet.  While the design is different and we love it, the Xplory isn’t going to appeal to all moms.  First, the Xplory is expensive.  As in one of the most expensive single strollers you can buy expensive.  Second, this is a strolling buggy that turns and maneuvers like a dream (on flat surfaces) but is definitely not an all-terrain stroller.  I like to consider it a “city” stroller perfect for moms who walk a lot in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and any other big city where strolling is prevalent. 

Let’s get to the specifics.  The seat is roomier than it appears providing your little rider up to 45 lbs with plenty of room to grow.  It is 13” wide with a 19 ½” seat back and a measurement of 25” from seatback to canopy.  A padded, adjustable 5-point harness complete with a hard-to-do (for a toddler!) buckle to keep your little one safe in the seat. A bonus on the Xplory is that the seat comes with a matching infant insert to keep your littlest riders comfortable. According to Stokke, “The reduced depth that the insert creates makes for a seating position designed for the shortest of legs, and offers a flatter back position for when your baby is resting or sleeping. This helps to reduce stress and ensures healthy growth.”

The seat is reversible to allow baby to look at mom while he’s young or out at the world as he grows.  When the seat is in forward facing there are two seat positions:  upright and halfway back.  Removing the seat to reverse it is very easy to do by squeezing two levers on the sides of the seat and lifting up.  You have to remove the footrest to reverse the seat to parent facing and then replace it.  The footrest will then wrap around the handle of the stroller.  When the seat is parent-facing, it has three recline positions:  upright, halfway back and fully reclined.  Since the seat fully reclines only in parent-facing position, this is how you will use the seat with a newborn (unless you purchase the carrycot!). 

Our favorite part of the seat is that it is height adjustable.  This is the highest seat on a stroller we have seen.  It brings your baby up closer to you for additional bonding and allows your toddlers to be part of the action.  This height adjustable seat also is perfect for the zoo and beach so that you child has a chance at seeing over the short fences. You can even raise the seat to the highest position and push it up to a table to serve as an impromptu high chair in a restaurant.  Love this feature! 

The Xplory seat also features an easy-to-remove, fabric covered baby bumper bar.  We love that your child can chew away on this bumper bar and won’t end up with a mouthful of foam.  Since dangling legs are no fun, the footrest is adjustable to 4 positions to grow with your child.

The unique oval shaped handlebar is adjustable from 26” to 41” from ground to handlebar to accommodate shorter and taller parents.  Not only does the handle adjust up and down but also can telescope out to get the most comfortable push for you.  We really like this handle bar.  The shape makes it comfortable and easy to push the stroller one-handed.  Plus, since there is no bar connecting the rear wheels and the frame is curved, there is plenty of room for a long stride for taller parents.

Let’s talk canopy!  With canopies, size matters.  Good thing the Xplory has a big one! The canopy is large and is complete with a pop-out sun visor.  Also, one whole panel of the canopy can be unzipped to reveal a full mesh window to allow air to circulate through the stroller and allow your baby to see more of the world.

Even though the Xplory doesn’t have a traditional basket, it does have a large shopping bag that will hold more than you think.  Yes, the storage is different, but different doesn’t always mean bad.  We were worried at first too!  We weren’t sure a bag would take the place of our beloved basket. We are happy to report that we like it! First, it is removable and had a handle so that you can take it with you.  Can’t take a stroller basket with you!  Second, the bag opens up wide and is actually roomy inside.  Plus, if I wanted to really load it up, there is a tall mesh bag attached inside that I could pack up and secure closed with the pull string while the outside bag stays open.  I could stuff plenty of coats and jacket in the bag this way.  There is a big pocket on the outside with a magnetic closure for easy accessible items and a zip pocket inside for smaller items.

The Xplory rolls on two 9” rubber wheels in the back and two 7” rubber wheels in the front.  The rear wheels are the widest part of the stroller and they measure 22” wide. There is a one-step brake peddle that locks the stroller into place. The front wheels are swivel wheels to give the stroller supreme maneuverability. As we said before, this is a strolling stroller so the front wheels do not lock for all-terrain.  Good news though – if you want to take the Xplory off the beaten track such as sand, grass, or uneven terrain, you can put the stroller in two wheel mode.  The back wheels push into the front wheels so that you can pull the stroller easily through rougher terrain.

The push on the Xplory is fantastic.  Seriously, pushes like a dream.  With your pinkie. Since the stroller lacks suspension, it does perform best on smooth surfaces though.

Folding the Xplory is easy to do but it doesn’t produce the most compact package.  You can fold it with the seat attached but I recommend removing the seat for the smallest folded package that you can get with this stroller.  It will take up quite a bit of room in your trunk so it’s not great for those parents with limited room to transport a stroller.  We are really happy about the weight of the stroller though.  The Xplory with the seat attached weighs in at a light 23 lbs.  Believe us, that’s not too bad in the world of luxury strollers! 

The Xplory comes with a rain cover and a mosquito net that neatly stores in your storage bag.  We would love to see the parent cup holder come standard with the stroller but for now you can buy it separately.  If you like the look and functionality of a pram, we highly recommend getting the Xplory with the carrycot.  The Xplory can be bought as a basic stroller or you can add the carrycot to make it an Xplory Complete.  The carrycot will transport your baby in a luxurious bassinet on the Xplory frame.

Looking for a travel system?  The Xplory does that too!  With the sold separately car seat adapters, you could use a Peg Perego, Graco or Maxi Cosi infant car seat.

If accessories are you thing (and who doesn’t love accessories!), Stokke has loads of them for the Xplory.  We are talking parasols, footmuffs, sleeping bags, changing bags, blankets, sibling board, travel bag, car seat adapters, seat linings and more!  You could really load up the Xplory will all kinds of fun stuff! 

The Stokke Xplory is a very pricey stroller (one of the priciest!) that is not going to fit in every family’s budget!  At a whopping $1050 for the basic stroller and $1249+ for the Xplory Complete, this is a luxury stroller with a high luxury price tag.

We wanted to push right through the hype of this luxury stroller, but we just couldn’t.  We like it.  It’s fantastic.  We aren’t going to lie – it’s a stroller that is unique with some fabulous features that has us drooling over it. We feel fancy just pushing it.  If you have a big stroller budget and want something unique that pushes like a dream, is lightweight, has a roomy seat, has loads of accessories and definitely has the “it” factor, you have to consider a Stokke Xplory! 

SHOP Stokke Xplory 2011 HERE

To watch our full review of the Stokke Xplory, click the video below:


 *Thanks to Stokke for sending an Xplory for us to review.  As always, our reviews and opinions are our own!