[I love how the category "gear" encompasses both a toilet paper anchor AND an eye-popping $800 eurostroller. Let me think about that. [7/04 note: Thought about and addressed.]]
Swedish Norwegian company who broke the high chair mold 30 years ago with the Tripp Trapp, has done it again, this time with a stroller. The Xplory completely rethinks stroller design by raising the kid up, out of car exhaust-level, and closer to the pusher/parent. It's like a Scandinavian-designed IV stand, for your kid.
Xlpory has adjustable seating and footrest positions that accommodate even a newborn, and the height allows it to function as a high chair, presumably while you hang out in Parisian cafes. A couple of other cool-looking details: the handle folds down [see above], and the wheels fold easily together so you can take it up stairs like a handtruck.
So what doesn't make it into the new stroller paradigm? Gear. Storage. The Xplory offers a "trendy shopping bag" and a "stylish changing bag," but compared to the Dumpster-sized bins underneath most travel system/strollers in the US, there's almost no storage space at all. With its higher center of gravity, I bet it would't take many bags and coats draped on it before the Xplory tips over and abruptly sends the kid back down to pavement-level. There's no indication of carseat functionality or add-on adaptibility. Most alarmingly, there are no cup holders. Or, as I like to call them, les holdeurs de Coca Light.
Strollers are another manifestation of the whole US/EU, SUV-vs-Smart Car dichotomy. The Xplory seems perfect for navigating a city's sidewalks, subways, steps and restaurants. It'll be quite an adjustment for Americans who want to roll around the mall with their entire nursery, though. Who can say which way is better? After all, I seriously doubt the pissoir of that cafe has a changing table.