Trying To Be Greener

Safer eco-living, one day at a time

A PVC-free stroller rain cover finally found! November 7, 2008

Update February 19, 2010: Orbit Baby has redesigned their strollers. The Toddler Rain Shield reviewed below has changed in shape and size due to this redesign. Please see my review of the current Orbit Baby Rain Shields to see if they will fit on your stroller or car seat.

Update to this post: See my review of Orbit Baby’s Toddler Stroller with Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 material.

Back in June, I read a study conducted by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice on PVC plastic shower curtains. The study determined that vinyl shower curtains contain toxic chemicals that can cause serious health problems to the liver, central nervous, respiratory and reproductive systems. The shower curtains used in the study were purchased from popular stores across the country.

What really alarmed me was summarized in a Los Angeles Times analysis stating that:

“The study found that these shower curtains contained high concentrations of phthalates and varying concentrations of organotins and that they released as many as 108 volatile organic chemicals into the air, some of which persisted for nearly a month.”

Persisted for an entire month?!!! We shouldn’t be surprised, though. Have you ever noticed the lingering “smell” in your bathroom after you hang up a new plastic shower curtain? It’s a toxic cloud that’s permeating through your entire home. Needless to say, after reading the report, I went out and purchased a PVC-free shower curtain (100% EVA vinyl shower curtains are safer). You can find them at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Target, Macy’s, Sears, and many online sites.

Now that you have some background information, I’ll get back to my intended story. It was only about a month ago that I was out with my daughter in her stroller when it started to rain. I stopped walking, took out the plastic stroller cover provided with the stroller, and proceeded to attach it. As I did so, I immediately remembered the report as I began to fasten the PVC plastic cover on. I wouldn’t keep my daughter in a room filled with toxic chemicals – why would I encase her in a smaller and denser volume of toxic air? I took the cover off and dashed home instead, thinking a little rain would be obviously less harmful that the alternative.

And so this started my search for a PVC-free stroller rain cover. I’ll tell you, it wasn’t easy. It was even hard to find one online. Believe me – I literally searched for four days. There’s a happy ending to this story, though.

Just when I was about to give up, I discovered that Orbit Baby makes a PVC-free, chlorine-free, and phthalate-free rain cover for both its toddler size stroller and infant car seat. I wrote to the company and asked them to confirm this, which they did. I explained my desire to find these items for myself and my blog readers. They generously offered to send me both covers so I could see if they would work with other strollers and car seats.

Below you will find a list of strollers and car seats that were on display at my local Babies R Us this week. I fitted the Orbit covers on each one to see if they “reasonably” fit. Only a few didn’t fit, as I describe in the list below. Remember, the Orbit covers are designed specifically for Orbit equipment, so none of the strollers and car seats were a perfect fit. In all cases, some adjusting was needed, and should you try to use the Orbit stroller cover with alternative equipment, you will need to attach Velcro tabs or ties yourself to the top of the cover near the handles of the stroller (velcro tabs are already on the sides of the covers).

  • Bugaboo Frog Toddler Stroller
  • Bugaboo Bee Stroller
  • Quinny Zapp Stroller
  • Quinny Buzz 3 Wheel Stroller
  • Maxi Cosi Foray Stroller
  • Maxi Cosi Perle Stroller
  • Maclaren Techno XT Stroller
  • Maclaren Lacoste Ryder Stroller
  • Maclaren Kate Spade Ryder Stroller
  • Maclaren Lulu Guinness Stroller
  • Maclaren Quest Sport Stroller
  • Maclaren Triumph Stroller
  • Maclaren Volo Stroller
  • Chicco Cortina Stroller
  • Graco Tour DLX Travel System (without the car seat in it)
  • Graco Ipo Stroller
  • Graco Quattro Tour Stroller – Adequate fit but a bit short where the child’s feet will be
  • Graco Metro Lite Stroller
  • Baby Planet Endangered Species Stroller
  • Peg Perego Aria Stroller
  • Peg Perego Pliko P3 Stroller
  • Peg Perego Uno Stroller
  • Peg Perego Skate – NOT A GOOD FIT
  • Chicco Trevi Stroller – Adequate fit but would need long Velcro tabs or ties to keep cover in place on top
  • Chicco Cortina Stroller – Adequate fit but would need long Velcro tabs or ties to keep cover in place on top
  • Chicco Capri Stroller- Adequate fit but cover is big on this stroller
  • Combi Cosmo Ex Stroller
  • Stokke Xplory Stroller
  • Thea & Co. Wendy Bellissimo Stroller – Adequate fit but cover is large on this stroller
  • Joovy Kooper Jogging Stroller
  • Baby Trend Expedition Jogging Stroller – Adequate fit but large section of cover flops over due to shape of stroller
  • Jeep Overland Limited X Jogging Stroller – Adequate fit but large section of cover flops over due to shape of stroller
  • Kolcraft Liberty Limited Jogging Stroller – Adequate fit but large section of cover flops over due to shape of stroller
  • Baby Jogger City Mini Single Stroller – Adequate fit but large section of cover flops over due to shape of stroller
  • Baby Jogger city Classic Single Stroller –  NOT A GOOD FIT
  • Phil & Ted’s “Sport” Stroller – NOT A GOOD FIT
  • Maxi Cosi Mico Infant Car Seat
  • Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP Infant Car Seat
  • Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat
  • Infant Safe Seat Step 1 Car Seat
  • Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat

Below are some pictures I’ve taken of the stroller cover on my own Maclaren Techno XLR stroller so you can see the fit and how I made some adjustments with the added Velcro strips near the handles of the stroller.

full-side-view2

Side view

side-front-view2jpg2

Front zippered window on cover

tabs-from-above2

Tan Velcro tabs I added - Note how cover is doubled up in this area.

orbits-velcro-tab2

Velcro tab from Orbit

Unfortunately, these covers are not available in stores that carry Orbit equipment due to the fact that they come with the strollers and car seats already. If you’re interested in purchasing the Toddler Stroller Seat Rainshield or the Infant Weather Pack (car seat cover with mosquito net), you will need to do so directly through Orbit’s website.

In addition to Orbit being aware of the dangers of PVC and providing a safer product for consumers, the company has a number of “green” initiatives:

  • Orbit has rid their supply of brominated chemicals and oil-based packaging inks.
  • The company is selective about their travel and most of their employees get to work by carpool, bicycle, public transit, or hybrid vehicles.
  • Orbit was the first business in Newark, California to request and pay for recycling.
  • They offset 100% of their electricity needs through Renewable Energy Certificates and purchase carbon offsets to fund green initiatives for the environment.

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Copyright © 2008. Trying To Be Greener. All rights reserved.
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23 Responses to “A PVC-free stroller rain cover finally found!”

  1. Awesome research! Great job. I will cross link shortly.

    Jennifer
    http://www.thesmartmama.com

  2. Marcy Says:

    Wow, good to know. I remember first seeing the Orbit stroller in a gossip mag (I think being used by Nicole Richie) and I wondered why anyone would buy such a strange looking contraption. That’s cool that they have such an eco spin to their business, changes how I view their line. Thanks for sharing this!!

  3. Jill Says:

    wow! i’m not a stroller user myself… but it’s great that you did so much work for other families out there!

  4. bestsariah Says:

    As for shower curtains, I use one of these –
    http://www.dreamdesigns.ca/bed_and_bath.php?section=1&category=6&page=16

    That’s a hemp shower curtain. You don’t even need a liner at all! It’s perfect.

  5. Wow, now I’m relieved my son hated the rain cover! We never used it. But thanks for sharing your research, great to know there’s another option out there!

  6. Katy Farber Says:

    Great work! A valuable resource for parents looking for this. I just linked to this from Non-Toxic Kids.

    Thank you for sharing this, and happy walking or running!

  7. Kathy Says:

    Excellent! Thanks for sharing this information… I’ll send our readers over to see it asap.

  8. softlanding Says:

    Seriously, you ROCK! You’re my new research hero :)

    Our blog post bragging about your work just became our most read article today. And let me tell you, it’s hard to beat our BPA/PVC-free Nuby cheat sheet!

    Sincerely,

    Alicia

    http://thesoftlanding.wordpress.com/2008/11/20/detective-mommy-locates-pvc-free-rain-cover-by-orbit-baby/

  9. cygnetsmall Says:

    I just found your blog (through ZRecs) and this is perfect timing. We were just talking about getting a rain cover for our double (Baby Jogger City Series) — I guess you didn’t run into any double options in your research, eh? Maybe we will have to pass for the time being. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Kirstin Says:

    Cygnetsmall,

    No, unfortunately, the Orbit cover does not come in a “double” size. I think that should be my next “project” at Babies R Us. Next time I’m there, I’ll take a look at some “doubles” and see if I think 2 covers would work.

    Check back with me within the next few weeks to see an update.

    Kirstin @ Trying To Be Greener

  11. Suzy Z Says:

    I really appreciate you sharing all of this research. Can you tell me which Orbit cover is on your stroller in your photos? Is it the Orbit infant cover or the toddler cover that you used?
    Sincerely,
    Suzy

  12. Kirstin Says:

    Suzy,

    So glad you found the information useful! The cover that you see on my stroller is the “toddler” one. The infant sized one is much smaller and fits on a infant sized car seat.

    Hope this helps,
    Kirstin @ Trying To Be Greener

  13. Chris Says:

    Do you know of any PVC free rain covers for the Bob Stroller?….In particular for their SUS model?

  14. Kirstin Says:

    Chris,

    Thanks for your question. The Bob Stroller was not at Babies R Us when I did all the fittings. The best thing I can suggest is to go yourself with your stroller and see if the frame and entire stroller seems identical to any of the joggers I did fit the Orbit cover on that I listed as “adequate fit”. If you find one that seems like a match, then perhaps you can feel confident purchasing the Orbit toddler cover.

    * Joovy Kooper Jogging Stroller
    * Baby Trend Expedition Jogging Stroller – Adequate fit but large section of cover flops over due to shape of stroller
    * Jeep Overland Limited X Jogging Stroller – Adequate fit but large section of cover flops over due to shape of stroller
    * Kolcraft Liberty Limited Jogging Stroller – Adequate fit but large section of cover flops over due to shape of stroller
    * Baby Jogger City Mini Single Stroller – Adequate fit but large section of cover flops over due to shape of stroller
    * Baby Jogger city Classic Single Stroller – NOT A GOOD FIT

    The Orbit covers are the only brand of cover that I was able to find as being PVC free. So unfortunately, if you don’t think it will fit your Bob Stroller after comparing it to others from Babies R Us, I am unable to suggest any other.

    I hope this helps in some way,

    Kirstin @ Trying To Be Greener

  15. Thanks for sharing this great info. Finally we got the alternative to those PVC rain covers :)

  16. Cathy Says:

    peg perego pliko p3 stroller owners… i ordered the orbit baby rain cover for my pliko p3 and the rain cover fits perfectly. it’s almost as if the rain cover was made for the pliko p3.

    kristin, thanks for fitting the rain cover with all the strollers at the store. i wouldn’t have bought the rain cover if you hadn’t included my stroller on your list. thanks!

  17. Jen Says:

    Thanks so much for doing all this research! Do you think the Orbit cover would work in very windy conditions?

  18. Kirstin Says:

    Jen,

    Yes, I’ve found that this Orbit cover has done well on windy days.

    Kirstin @ Trying To Be Greener

  19. Kathy Says:

    Will the cover fit the Phil and Ted with double kit stroller?

  20. lucy Says:

    where can you buy this? orbitbaby.com seems to only have the infant version.

    ?

  21. Kirstin Says:

    Lucy,

    In the paragraph under the last photo in my post you will see “Toddler Stroller Seat Rainshield” highlighted. That link will take you to where you can purchase Orbit Baby products.

    Just before you get to halfway down that page, you will see “Stroller Rain Shield (PVC-Free)”. This is the cover I reviewed and is also in the photos I have shown on my stroller in the post.

    Hope this helps,
    Kirstin @ Trying To Be Greener

  22. Kirstin Says:

    Kathy,

    A friend of mine has a Phil and Ted’s “Sport” Stroller. I tried the cover on her stroller and I’m sorry to say that the cover didn’t fit at all.

    Thanks for your question.

    Kirstin @ Trying To Be Greener

  23. dana Says:

    I own an orbit strollers system, and the rain cover does not come with the car seats or the stroller. You need to buy the infant or toddler rain cover separately (each cost $50). You can purchase it on many websites that also sells orbit products.


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