8.29.2007

Considering a double stroller? Read this!


Please check out our Baby Bunching site if you're in need a double stroller advice.

Double strollers are everywhere these days. Either a result of children close together or innovative stroller company employees to expand beyond the Graco DuoGlider. Pretty much any configuration of stroller you can imagine is now available. So if you’re in the market for one, where do you start? Which one will work the best for the longest period of time and not put you in the poor house? As a mom who is almost out of the stroller phase completely, I will share my wisdom of 2 years of double strollering + input from friends.

The good news: there is a nice variety of double strollers to pick from these days that will take you through most of your double stroller years.

The bad news: there is no perfect stroller.Strollers are not merely a form of transportation for your wee ones.

Strollers are highchairs, beds, places to strap in a child when you need to help the other, or respite from a long walk. I only wish it was about getting from point A to B. Strollers are probably the single most important piece of gear that you own—next to your car and dishwasher of course.

For those with two so small, a stroller is essential in getting you out of the house and about your daily life. So, why isn’t there a perfect stroller out there? If a stroller could grow and change as your children did, perhaps there someday might be a perfect one. [A few recent strollers now do come close to this.] A 6-week old baby who sleeps 90% of the time uses the stroller to nap. An 11-month old baby who is ready to see the world, may use the stroller to play with her feet. An 18-month old 30-pound baby defies any reason to be in the stroller. But you all know this, you have older children.

I am a stroller fanatic. I am to strollers like my husband to cars. In fact, if they had a stroller magazine (aka Stroller and Driver), I would seriously subscribe to it. Double strollers are no different. When my two were little (ok, before my youngest was even born), I research strollers like crazy. I was the proud owner of a Mountain Buggy Urban, which I will most definitely say is one of the best investments we ever made. But at $350 I wasn't ready to part with it after the birth of my daughter or invest another $700 for the double version. So, I got by the best I could on what I had and could afford. Which ended up being a compilation of many different things, all the while wishing I had the “perfect” stroller.

If you have two children less than two years apart, in your early or even later months of pregnancy you may ask if you even need a double stroller. The answer is a resounding YES. If you children are 14 months apart, your oldest will be walking probably, but you will still be doing a lot of carrying him or her around as they tend to not walk in your desired direction. If your children are 22 months apart, he may be a more skilled walker, but I guarantee he will still poop out in the middle of zoo. It may be a long walk back to the car.

They now make every type of stroller imaginable. Tandem (front to back), twin (side-by-side), sit and stand, double jogging strollers, double 3 wheel (front to back), toddler attachments for the front and toddler attachments for the back. My first piece of advice is that if you can’t afford one of the expensive multi-purpose strollers that you can take to the mall and for a walk, then I would go the second-hand route and buy strollers as you need them as your needs change. (You would be surprised how much people give away on Craigslist or Freecycle.) In the end you may still come out ahead. We started out with a single stroller and the Baby Bjorn until my daughter was about 4-5 months old. We then moved on to the double. My youngest loved to sit in it, by my oldest wanted to have nothing to do with her sitting so close. We had a few months where they would sit together. Soon, I had to abandon the double altogether due to constant fighting (hitting, leaning, picking, pulling, pushing). When my youngest was about a year, we sold our double stroller (InStep Safari TT), and bought a double umbrella stroller. It was then, my two decided it was OK to sit next to each other. The problem with this, was they were both so heavy by now (27 and 35 pounds) that I could barely push the stroller with both in it. Now that I'm in the later stages of stroller life, my biggest regret was not making an investment in the Phil and Ted E3.

In research for our book, I asked moms of two under two on several yahoo groups what strollers they found to be the best.

Best strollers and why:(all feedback from moms)

Phil and Ted E3
Pros: Single stroller width with a double stroller attachment. Maneuvers like a single. All terrain. Great for the mall too.
Cons: Expensive. Small storage space. One child sits low to the ground.

Mountain Buggy Urban Double
Pros: Very easy to maneuver. Great on all terrain.
Cons: Expensive. Bulky in the trunk. Harder to use at the mall. Double stroller width.

Peg Perego Aria
Pros: Easy to maneuver. Light and small for in and out of car.
Cons: Not great for walks on anything other than sidewalk. Can be hard to push once older child starts getting close to 35 pounds.

Graco DuoGlider
Pros: Great for a newborn since you can clip on a carseat. Easy to get through aisles. Lots of storage space.
Cons: Harder to maneuver. Takes up lots of trunk space. Not great for long walks.

Jane Powertwin
Pros: Compact for a double stroller. One-handed push. Plenty of storage space. Fits carseat. Stadium seating.

Joovy Sit and Stand
Pros: Can fit infant car seat, older child can sit or stand. Lighter than the DuoGlider, takes up less trunk space than DuoGlider, can essentially turn into a DuoGlider though when you need that configuration.
Cons: Harder to maneuver. Not great for long walks.

NEW Kolcraft Contour Double Stroller
Pros: Easy to navigate, great flexibility with seat configurations.
Cons: Heavy, seats much face a certain way to fold all the way down.


Knowing what I know now, which one would I have invested in? Either the Phil and Ted or the Jane Power Twin. For my needs, both shopping and walking, the investment would have been worth it. The weight of any of these? If you have a garage to store them in, a good multipurpose double stroller to use for a few years, is worth the money and weight.

6 comments:

Nicole said...

I have owned a total of 7 strollers and 4 brands. I bought the BOB double duali this summer and really love it. It is lightweight, easy to maneuver, fits through doorways fairly easily, folds up nice and snug for air travel (you can even buy a travel bag). It has water holders for the kids as well as buying a console that attaches to the handlebar for parent's drinks. The hoods are big and also have "skylights". Highly recommended.

Nicole said...

PS. When I was traveling one of the airlines closed it in the cargo door and broke a piece off. I called the company and within a week had a new part and a local bike shop in Canada that carried the line fixed it within 2 days. Never dealt with a stroller company that gives that kind of service!

Anonymous said...

I have a 5 year old and 3 year old. We have a Kelti double jogging stroller, but it needs to be replaced. I was thinking about getting the Phil and Teds double but wasn't sure if they would be to heavy to push it. (38 and 28 pounds)
Any advice for a double jogging stroller for two older kids?

Anonymous said...

The Phil and Ted's works well for smaller kids - not because of the weight you're pushing but the size and shape of the stroller.

A double side by side jogger would probably be a better choice.

guynew28 said...

What about Baby Jogger City Mini? I have a 3 years old (32 lbs) and 19 months (26 lbs) and third one is coming in Feb.
I currently have Graco Metrolite and Mcclaren Quest (both are single stroller). Thought I would need to double for 3 kids since all of them are 22 months apart.
Just got the Citi Mini, but not sure if it is the right choice. Concern that the side by side stroller is too wide for some places.

Linda said...

The City Mini is great. We have a double stroller guide at www.babybunching.com at http://www.babybunching.com/baby_bunching/double-stroller-guide.html