Before we took the mini-vacation-that-wasn't-meant-to-be I decided we should test out our umbrella stroller, the Maclaren Triumph. Natalie had turned 6 months old and could mostly sit up on her own. More importantly for road-trip purposes, the desirable feature of an umbrella stroller is its ability to fold up compactly. The Snap 'n Go concept is wonderful, but a major downside is how much trunk space the stroller frame takes up, particularly in our small Mazda Protege.
As soon as we took the Triumph out for a test drive I knew we'd made the right stroller decision. This umbrella stroller is so easy to maneuver -- amazingly smooth wheels. The handle bars are also at a perfect height for me, a 5'4" female teetering somewhere between the petite and regular-length clothing categories. Both of these attributes make the Triumph superior to the Snap 'n Go for longer walks. The Snap 'n Go still wins out, though, as a quick and easy way to transport Natalie when getting in and out of the car on quick errand runs.
A major downside to the Triumph, however, is its sun shade. The shade does not offer much protection, and it's not adjustable, which is the double whammy. Our Graco Snug Ride car seat's sun shade offers lots of adjustment possibilities; not so much with the Triumph. While researching Triumph accessories (specifically, I was looking for a cup holder, another small ding against this stroller), I came across the Protect-a-Bub sun shade. When I ordered it the cost came in around $30, which I figured would be a reasonable price if the shade did its job of keeping Natalie happy on stroller rides. The Triumph's small sun shade was causing Natalie to shift around uncomfortably, seeking a way out of the sun.
As I took the Protect-a-Bub out of its packaging I started laughing at its sheer size. It seemed rather comical before I put it on the stroller. After I tied it onto the stroller it seemed less comical but still questionable. It was only once we took Natalie out in her stroller on a sunny day that I realized this product, potentially ridiculous looks aside, does its job.
A downside to the Protect-a-Bub sun shade is that it attaches to the stroller by tying in four places. The problem with this is that the shade must be taken off and on each time you want to fold up the stroller. Fortunately, we keep this stroller unfolded in the garage the majority of the time, ready to go on daily dog walks. If you plan to use your stroller for different purposes, though, this might not be the best product.
If you compare the angle of our sun shade when attached to the stroller to the one displayed on Amazon you might notice that ours looks different. I'm still playing around with the arrangement of the four ties, hoping I can come up with a way to keep more sun off Natalie's ever-so-tan legs.
And though I still find the overall look of the sun shade attached to the stroller somewhat comical, the good news is that from baby level Natalie still gets a clear view of the world from underneath her traveling umbrella.