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Almost immediately following the joy of finding out I was pregnant was the sobering gut-punch: Oy, maybe this four-story Brooklyn walkup wasn’t the best idea? I’d wake from nightmares of dead-lifting a watermelon-sized infant and all of its heavy accessories up and down endless flights of stairs in a hellish loop. Six months in, and my anxieties have quelled. But my pragmatism has not. This upcoming adventure will require more than just daily squats. It will require finding baby equipment that fits our specific needs, and yeah, stuff that’s cute and cool too because, why throw my standards out the window?

So, in the name of my journey to motherhood up and down four butt-numbing flights of stairs, I’ve decided to see what’s out there that works for my particular situation. To kick things off, I put the Nuna Triv stroller to the test.

First, what’s Nuna exactly?

If you’re not acclimated to the baby industrial complex, the names of the brands will rattle your brain at first. They’re all some sort of onomatopoeia babytalk—Nuna, Doona, Uppa, Bugaboo. You will feel ridiculous saying these out loud. But then, suddenly, you will have encyclopedic knowledge of their offerings. For instance, now I know that Nuna is a premium baby gear company founded in 2007 in Amsterdam. Their infant car seat collection, specifically the Nuna PIPA series, is wildly popular for their infant safety standards, earning the highest “best” rating for crash protection from Consumer Reports, largely due to the designs’ “load leg.” In fact, Nuna started off making the gold standard of car seats before getting into the stroller game in 2009, which is probably why you’ve heard of UppaBaby and not Nuna. Why is this important? Well, now they’ve taken the very things that made their car seat so popular and brought it into the strollers. Plus, it means that the car seat we’re most likely to choose (the lightweight Nuna PIPA RX) will fit seamlessly, quickly and safely without having to order extra adapters.

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Nordstrom/Nuna

OK, so what’s the Nuna Triv?

The Nuna Triv is designed to be the ideal city stroller for the folks who want all the bells and whistles of bigger models but in a more compact package. It’s basically meant to be a cross between a travel stroller and big old workhorse. It comes with a seat that reclines to be infant-ready, and it also comes with a ring adapter for a Nuna PIPA car seat (although, the car seat is sold separately).

Folded up, the Nuna Triv is an impressive, autonomous little thing. It stands sturdily on its own, no wobbling or tumbling out of position (exact dimensions while folded: L 30.5-34.5 x W 20 x H 42-43.5 inches). In my small NYC apartment, we can easily tuck it into a corner and ignore it.

For as much as I appreciated its idle compactness, as a first-time mom-to-be, I couldn’t visualize how the stroller’s specific features (of which there are many!) would translate to my personal ease-of-use—what do I know about a UPF 50+ canopy, double-facing seats or three-position recline? So, I had to see for myself what this Red Dot Design-winning model could do on the open road.

nuna triv stair test
Dara Katz

The Stair Test

With back pain, a growing bump and a stand-in baby (a 5-pound bag of all-purpose flour) in my arms, I was little nervous to heave this guy up and down my four-story walk up. But coming in just around 20 pounds, it wasn’t the worse thing I’ve ever experienced. (And yes, I know a 5-pound bag of flour has nothing on an actual infant, but it was the best I could do.) Going down was definitely easier. Going up, although possible and makes me feel like Wonder Woman, will probably be a rare occurrence with IRL baby. This is where its nifty one-hand collapsible structure comes in handy for city dwellers. Tucked away from street view, I could definitely see myself leaving the stroller folded up on the landing since it’s compact and sturdy enough to not bother my neighbors.

nuna triv street test
Dara Katz

The Brooklyn Street Test

Could this hybrid model stroller really keep up with the treacherous terrain of cracks, shattered glass, craters of loose concrete and bounteous piles of dog poop that make up my walking paths? In short: Yes. The Nuna Triv made me supremely happy. As I trudged my little AP flour baby over snow, ice and debris of all kinds, I finally understood the perks of all-wheel suspension and rubber tires. Zooming this stroller in and out of poop fields was as breezy as anything happening in a poop field could be. Plus, as a taller person (around 5’8”) with back pain, I appreciated the height of the handlebar and carriage (not to mention its faux leather details). It felt like a natural fit.

nuna triv review with car seat
The Triv with the Nuna PIPA RX attachment.
Dara Katz

Car Seat Swaps, Folding Mechanisms and All That Confusing Stuff

With so many clicks and folding mechanisms, this stroller could be in a Transformers movie. Click this, press this, kick this—it’s intricate origami. I was admittedly intimated even just to unfold the Triv into working position. But believe me, it’s straightforward and easy. All of the mechanisms—folding up or down, snapping the seat in or out, swapping in a car seat—takes one or two (at max) simple pushes and pulls and you can do it standing up—no bending down to the ground. To collapse the stroller down, you just pull on a handle with one hand (as your other hand holds a bag of flour, of course). Voila!

nuna triv folded up
Dara Katz

Final thoughts

The biggest test came when I returned back to my apartment with the car seat attachment snapped in. How was I going to buzz in, open the door and push in the contraption? Well, the Triv moves so smoothly that it was actually very, very easy. Once inside my building, I could snap off the car seat with one hand and collapse the body (with the adapter still intact) with the other hand. Though carrying the car seat, flour baby and stroller back up my four stories was not gonna happen, I felt content tucking the free-standing folded up Triv to grab later (or have my husband tow up behind me). My flour baby was happy, and I was honestly thrilled with the Nuna Triv.

Buy it ($699)

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