Stroller Review: Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe
The Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe is the luxury limousine of all strollers. The full-size Graco Quattro will turn some buyers off due to its large size, but its one-hand gravity fold, large basket, high load max, rotating sun-shade, and many other perks make it a mother-ship worth sailing.
I only have two children, but I have owned nearly 20 strollers. Graco Quattros are my favorite. My friends call me a stroller-junkie. I buy them used off Craigslist, test them out and re-sell them if they don't meet my needs. I like to break the rules, not in a way that would endanger my children, but like putting extra weight in the basket to see if it collapses. I'm known for taking the whole thing apart, just to see how well it launders, and then putting it back together. I sold off one stroller when the basket un-snapped from the frame while carrying my groceries. I sold another one because I couldn't figure out how to take it apart. The Graco Quattro is the only stroller than I keep going back to because of its functionality, its ability to multi-task, and for how well it takes my abuse.
Graco Quattros are big and heavy. If a new mom is recovering from a C-section, this isn't the stroller to get her out of the house before her six-week postnatal check-up. This stroller folds easily down onto its wheels, which saves its fabric and snack trays from dirty pavements, but once it's folded, it must be lifted and fit into your car. Scratch that, you can't own a car and a Graco Quattro at the same time. You need a big trunk, and that means a small SUV. I have trouble fitting it into my Mazda minivan when all the seats are in use, but my sister fits hers into the back of her Buick just fine. If you love a big, sturdy stroller, though, you'll make room for the Graco Quattro ... and you'll start strength-training so you'll be able to lift it.
The Many Positives
The Basket - Guys kick the tires; women check the basket. The Graco Quattro has a lower-and-load feature on its basket that grants access to up to 15 pounds of paraphanelia while the seat is reclined into the flat position. I have used the Quattro's basket to haul two full bags of groceries, a small dog and various garage-sale purchases, and a small toddler who got tired of walking. I never saw one rip, tear or any other compromise to the basket after these separate events.
The Easy Folding Mechanism - Squeeze, twist, and allow gravity to fold the stroller seamlessly down onto its wheels. It's child-proof. It's struggle-free. No tucking, leaning, reaching, toppling, or searching for latches. To unfold, just grab the handle and lift upward. The stroller snaps back into position with way less effort than it takes to lift it in and out of your vehicle.
The Weight Capacity - The units say 50 pounds, but I have exceeded this limit many times with no drawbacks. This stroller may be big, but it is sturdy! I knew someone who pushed three kids at one time with it (not me, of course). She folded the seat down flat, put one kid behind the other, and another one straddled the parent-tray.
The Rotating Canopy - The sun shade on this stroller isn't fixed into place. It makes no sense for a sun-shade to be fixed behind the child, only covering their backs. When you are walking into the sunshine, a shade should rotate down in front of the child for full protection. When the carseat is snapped into place, pull both shades together for complete coverage. My kids loved the tinted peekabo window which comes with a zipper for when peekaboo is over.
The Parent Organization Tray - Next to the big basket, and the canopy, this is the best feature. The parent console has two deep cupholders, two fully closing compartments, a clock, and a temperature sensor. You may not even need to bring your diaper bag, because this stroller has so many storage compartments. The snack tray for the rider has three compartments: a cupholder, a snack section and another concave area for more snacks. Babies love switching things from section to section. The snack tray has a squeeze release on one side, rotating to allow free passage for little climbers.
The Locking Front Wheels - This stroller has front wheels that swivel, making the Graco Quattro very maneuverable despite its size. However, those same wheels have an optional locking mechanism for jogging or moving through gravel.
Carseat Safety - Virtually any brand of infant carrier, Gracos and non-Gracos, will attach safely to the Quattro because it grabs the carseat in three places. If the latch under the carseat doesn't connect to the snack tray, the Quattro has two separate locking mechanisms near the foot of the carseat that fold over onto the carseat, holding it securely. Each button must be separately pushed to unlock and remove the carseat. You will hit lots of bumps, but your carseat won't budge.
In short, do not buy the Quattro if you cruise around in a compact car, and do not expect it to navigate narrow aisles in department stores. This is a Costco stroller, an exercise stroller, a parade stroller, a zoo stroller. It is not a doctor's office stroller or a flat-folding stroller. But it will keep you organized and sane and your child safe from infancy through age three or four.
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