This Week’s Top Picks

Air Beds : Last week’s top pick: Baby Trend Pack N Play. This week’s pick: Combi Playard Sport Lawn Combi Playard Sport Lawn: Combi Playard playpens are a new addition to the growing lineup of portable cribs and changing stations. The Combi Playard Sport combines Combi’s distinct design sense with a long list of functional elements to create a comfortable, musical environment for your child to rest and develop. From infancy into early toddler-dom, the Combi Playard Sport will safely accommodate your child as they grow and adapt to the world around them. As a spare bed, these portable Combi playpens work any place you can find the space: in your home, in your mother’s living room, or on a nice day at the park. What does the Playard Sport offer for infant children? Combi’s Playard Sport has a diaper changing station that rests on the side of the playpen. Just flip it over the side and you have a safe and comfortable spot-at your height-to change your baby’s diapers and clothes. Flip the changing station back over the side to get it out of the way. A removable bassinet with hanging mobile toys hangs inside the Playard and rocks gently when your baby moves about. It comes with hanging mobile toys and is suitable for children up to 15 lbs.  The Playard Sport is also equipped with LED lights, music, and a vibration mechanism. All of these added features will stimulate and soothe your baby while they rest or play comfortably inside. The playpen supports children up to 30 lbs. and the changing table children up to 25 lbs. What does the Playard Sport offer for parents? The entire Combi Playard Sport playpen folds up neatly and easily to be stored and transported in the included carry bag. The whole pen is built on a sturdy and stable steel frame, the locking wheels on one end make it easier to reposition the Playard when needed. There are also large storage compartment on the side to stash diapers, toys, and other necessities.  Combi also offers the Playard DX, which is functionally identical to the Playard Sport but comes in much more subtle designs and includes a stand to attach the bassinet. The bassinet stand of the Playard DX can rock or remains stationary, and has a big storage basket underneath.


The InSTEP Run Around LTD is InSTEP’s mid-range double jogging stroller. The Run Around LTD 2 has 16″ spoked steel wheels and a suspension system in the rear, and a fixed 12″ wheel up front. With 5-point harnesses, individually reclining seats, and a large retractable sunshade, one child can sleep or recline comfortably while the other sits upright to catch the view. There’s a large underside storage basket and additional pockets as well. Somewhat heavy, but narrow, the Run Around LTD 2 folds up much more compactly than many other double strollers on the market. Bottom Line: This very affordable double is stripped down but totally functional and practical. What it lacks in popular features (like an adjustable handle height) it makes up for in price and utility. The Run Around LTD 2 cannot be referred to as a certifiable “jogging stroller“, a better term would be “all terrain”. The 12″ front wheel makes its usefulness for the serious jogger minimal, and the fixed front wheel makes its utility limited for parents who plan on spending a lot of time weaving through mall aisle ways or shopping in the city. Serious joggers looking for an affordable double may want to check out the Ultra Runner 2, or a Schwinn Free Runner 2, whereas die-hard mall shoppers and urban residents may find the swivel wheel design of a Mall Cruiser 2 or Safari TT Double, all from InStep, more to their liking.