High-Tech Baby Gear: The Origami Power Stroller

Photo from 4moms

Our baby days are behind us, but I confess that I geeked out a little bit (alright, a lot) when I ran across this cool ride. It’s almost enough to make me consider adding a third babe to our household. Almost.

The Origami stroller, from Pittsburgh-based 4moms, launched in January and has specs that read like those of a new car: running lights, cell phone charger, self-generating power, four-wheel suspension, and touch-of-a-button commands.

The thing that really sets the stroller apart from its competition is the ability to fold (and unfold) itself at the touch of a button.

Using energy from a back wheel generator, the stroller collapses and rises on command. The safety sensor prevents the stroller from folding with a child in the seat, and the toddler-proof lock keeps little hands out of mischief.

Like a mini van (but cooler), the Origami boasts plenty of cup holders, with two at seat level, and another pair on the handle to store snacks, lattes and bottles. It also has running lights on the front legs, and path lights underneath that come on when it gets dark for better visibility. There’s even an LCD handlebar dashboard with info about speed, distance and temperature.

The Origami weighs in at about 29 lbs, and carries a single child up to 40 lbs, or about the size of a 3-year-old.

Every stroller has a drawback or two. From what I can see, the Origami storage bag is a touch small, and I’m not sure how those wheels would fare in deep snow. But the extra-deep sunshade is a definite boon for snoozing toddlers, and I like the “flip-flop friendly” wheel lock. And there’s that power folding thing.

Base price for the stroller is US$850, but parents shell out for extras like colourful seat pads ($99), a Graco-compatible car seat adaptor ($60), and the handle-mounted bag and cellphone charger ($40). A fully-loaded stroller would run about US$1,054 plus taxes and shipping, with the final tab comparable to a Bugaboo Cameleon with all the fixings. As of February 2012, the stroller hasn’t yet passed Canadian safety certifications.

This review is the most comprehensive and least breathless of the Origami reviews on the web, and gives a great explanation of the LCD dashboard, running lights and other features.. It’s worth a watch, even if you’re not in the market for a new stroller.

Want more baby gear reviews? Here are some of our recommendations for the best double strollers on the market, some info about the double Bugaboo, and our 2011 Baby Guide.

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