Tag Archives: car sharing

New Parent Adventures: Strollers and Car Seats

Elephant
Baby preparations are well under way. We’ve been slowly acquiring baby stuff, mostly hand-me-downs from friends, family, and neighbours. Emily has put her sewing skills to work creating a stuffed elephant and a wrap to carry the baby in. For big ticket items, we bought an Ikea crib, but we’ve been struggling to find a stroller and a car seat.

Considering we’re a car-free family and plan on staying that way after the baby arrives, a car seat may seem like a weird purchase, but it’s the only mandatory item we need before the baby arrives. The hospital won’t let you leave unless you have a car seat to put the baby in. Plus, we’ll need it whenever we use car-sharing vehicles and rental cars.

Our main criteria for a car seat:

  • light and easy to transport
  • can be installed quickly and safely without a base (we found European belt routing while researching the options)
  • can be integrated with a stroller for those times when we need to walk a few blocks to get to a Car2Go or Modo vehicle
  • not ridiculously expensive (since it will hopefully be used infrequently)

A few weeks ago we bought a Baby Trend City Clicker LX Travel System from Babies R Us. It was on sale and we liked the minimalist stroller frame when the car seat was attached. After hauling it home (in an Evo car sharing vehicle), we set it up and were dismayed to find two problems -a defective wheel lock and a broken plastic clip. We contacted customer support at Baby Trend and after a several phone calls and emails that went nowhere, I gave up and returned it for a refund. The car seat seemed decent, but the stroller was flimsy and cheap, with crappy wheels.

Baby Trend City Clicker LX Travel System

After that disappointment, we did a bit more research and agreed to invest in a better system. We decided on getting a Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 car seat (which we’ll pick up soon). The car seat might be a bit more expensive than we wanted, but we’re convinced European belt routing is essential for a car-sharing family and there aren’t many car seats sold in North America with that feature. We found a used Peg Perego Book Plus stroller on Craigslist and picked that up last weekend. It’s really well designed and I think we’ll be happy with it. The real test comes when the baby arrives next month.
Stroller test drive

Camping in EC Manning Park

Camping with Modo
A few weekends ago, we booked a Modo car, loaded up our camping gear, and drove out to Manning Provincial Park for the weekend.

Shadow Falls Derek Falls Wildflower Walk Naturalist Guided Tour
We did a few light hikes – Three Falls, Lightning Lake, and the Wildflower Walk.

Campfire Cooking
We relaxed by the fire and cooked good vegan food.
Vegan Camping Breakfast Stirring the Yams Making Chili Roasted Corn

We stayed at Coldspring Campground. Pro tip: the campsites at the far end (#30-44) are farther from the highway and more secluded. It was a nice campground and conveniently located within the park – close the Lightning Lake day use area and Manning Resort, where there is a general store and a good source of fresh water (the wells in the campground had a boil water advisory).
Tent Sleep-in Modo Tarp Holder Lightning Lakes Relaxing Sneaky Chipmunk

More pictures.
EC Manning Park

car2go – A New Option for Car Sharing in Vancouver

car2go Vancouver
Vancouverites looking to get around the city without owning a car now have one more option. car2go, an intriguing new car-sharing option pioneered in Ulm, Germany, will start offering access to a fleet of 225 smart cars in June. car2go is very different from existing car-sharing services like Modo and Zipcar. First, you don’t have to return vehicles to where you found them, so one-way trips are possible. Second, cars do not have to be booked ahead of time, you can just find the closest one, jump in, drive, and then leave it when you’re done.

It’s an interesting concept. I’m thinking of signing up, but I’m not sure how it would fit into my existing array of transportation options. I like the spontaneity and the freedom, but I already get that from my bike. For any long journeys, public transit is usually pretty good within Vancouver. Modo co-op cars and vans are handy when I want to go hiking or snowshoeing in the mountains, or I need to move a couch. And for weekend trips outside of the city, I usually rent a car. I don’t see car2go being a replacement for any of those trips. car2go seems to compete with taxi services, but when I’m in a taxi I’m usually drunk, so a convenient car doesn’t help.

I think I’ll sign up and see when it might be handy. Registration is free in the next 2 weeks, and $35 afterwards. The promo code is “VAN”.