Guide to Choosing the Best Double Stroller 2017 (Updated)
Whether you have two stroller aged kids or an infant and a toddler, picking the right double stroller can be a complicated buying process. How long will the stroller work for both kids? Is it adaptable for the older child to stand and ride when they outgrow their stroller seat? Will this double stroller work with the existing infant car seat?
The number of considerations goes on and on, and it is hard to know what is most important when deciding on the right double stroller for your family. Fortunately, after much research, trial and error, and examining parent feedback, the number of considerations that affect your day to day stroller usage gets considerably smaller.
Here are the factors and variables that are most important to think about when choosing a double stroller to accommodate your family’s lifestyle and needs and ensure that you get the best value for your investment.
Important Considerations for Buying a Double Stroller
One thing you need to realize about double strollers is how big they are. Side by side double are more than twice as wide as regular strollers, and they require significantly more muscle to push and maneuver. This is where safety considerations come into play. You want to ensure that should the stroller get away from you for any reason, both children will remain safe and secure in their seats.
Look at what kind of safety harnesses are built into the stroller first. Then look over the design to see if it has bumpers or other kinds of impact buffers on the front, back,and sides. You also want to ensure that your double stroller has a parking brake to keep it in place when you park up at the park, store, or while running errands. Locking foot brakes are an excellent safety feature and preventative measure on any double strollers.
Go for the lightest model you can that has all the features you want. Individual strollers are pretty heavy all by themselves, but feature loaded double strollers can weigh in at up to a whopping fifty pounds! If you tend to take the kids out by yourself frequently, a heavy double stroller is not going to be the best choice since you will have to load and unload it from your vehicle, and if it is too heavy to be easily manageable, your two options are to pick a different stroller or start a strength training regimen.
A good general rule to use when trying to lift a double stroller by yourself is whether or not you can pick it up in a folded position with one hand. If you can’t do it easily unassisted, that stroller is not going to be a good fit for you. When you cannot find a double stroller light enough for you to manage alone, ask for double stroller models with aluminum frames or with frames and components that are made from other lightweight metals and plastics. Getting a double stroller you can easily lift and handle yourself can make a tremendous difference in how much value you get out of owning it.
Total Weight Capacity
Most double strollers list the individual seat capacity and the total weight capacity of the stroller right on the box or listed on the feature card. If you can’t find it anywhere, ask somebody or do internet research. You want to make sure that your kids are not close to outgrowing the double stroller you are looking to buy in the near future, as that completely defeats the purpose. You also want to factor in the average weight of the gear you will be loading into the strollers cargo spaces if it has any, as this obviously will add to the total weight and you don’t want to overload your stroller.
If you can’t find a stroller with enough room to grow, your find one that offers way more carrying capacity than you need, err on the side of having too much total weight capacity as opposed to too little. You will always have more things to carry or push in the stroller, so having the extra cargo and weight capacity is always going to be a value added feature.
Folding Mechanism, Folded Dimensions, and Storage
There are a couple of primary folding methods that most double strollers employ: the fold up and the fold down. Fold up strollers generally have a one handed operation where you click a button or switch on the pushbar that unlocks the folding mechanism. All you have to do is pull the push bar toward you, and the stroller folds up into a vertical position.
Fold down mechanisms differ in that they collapse the stroller down onto its wheels so you can pick it up, stow it in its carrying case if it has one, and then load it into the car like a suitcase. It is entirely a matter of personal preference, however most people prefer the vertical folding style stroller as it is easier to lift and load than a stroller that is laid flat against the ground. Also, you need to consider what the folded dimensions of your potential stroller are in relation to your doorways, staircases, and your vehicle that you will use most often to transport the folded stroller. After all, if you drive a subcompact car and have a double stroller, it is likely that your car space will be at such a premium that your double stroller will occupy too much space and be a poor fit for your needs.
Many double strollers come with a carry case to mitigate the transport and storage issue, and to make a neater package to transport, so they are also the recommended choice in most if not all instances.
Ask yourself how you plan to use the double stroller. Is it for an occasional play date? WIll this be your daily driver for transporting your kids to and from appointments, errands, and classes? Do you plan to travel via air or road trip at all while your kids are still stroller age?
All of these are very important questions to ask when choosing your double stroller, mostly because you may end up selecting a bunch of extras on a stroller you use once a week or less depending on you and your partner’s schedules. That’s why the next consideration is important to make when you are thinking over the needs of your lifestyle for your double stroller.
If you can dream up an additional feature for a stroller, it probably exists on some model somewhere. Integrated Bluetooth audio systems, pneumatic all-terrain tires, Emergency brakes, weatherproof full enclosure canopies, fold-flat bassinet style seating for infants, and stand and ride platforms for active toddlers are just a few of the more exotic options for double strollers.
Of course. that doesn’t even begin to cover basics like snack trays, cup-holders, and cargo carriers, so you will need to see what’s available and then use the final consideration in this guide to make a decision about what is most important.
You can spend hefty sums of cash on a good double stroller with all the trimmings, bells, and whistles your heart desires, but you want to be practical about what you buy because your children are most likely only going to be sharing a stroller for a few years at best. Setting a budget of how much you can or should spend on a double stroller is a smart way to ensure that you not only do not overspend, but also that you get the best solution for your needs without loading it up with features and accessories that are barely used.
As you can see, the number of considerations when choosing a good double stroller are significantly easier when you narrow them down into which factors and variables matter most on a daily basis. Take your time with the buying process as much as possible, and shop around for the best value until you find what you are looking for. Think about how you will use the stroller and how often, and decide in advance whether or not you want to make this a significant long term investment or a more minor short term investment before you even start looking online or visiting stores. Ask opinions of other parents who have had double strollers, read online reviews, and compare feedback from as many sources as possible before settling on a particular double stroller.
If possible, take your final double stroller candidate for a test drive with your kids before making a purchase. Ultimately, the stroller needs to be safe, comfortable, convenient, and manageable for you and your family on a daily basis, and if you are looking at a stroller that doesn’t meet those basic requirements, then you need to look at other strollers.
Best of luck on your buyer’s journey, and may your new double stroller give you years of happy and reliable service.
6 Types of Strollers to Suit Your Lifestyle
Here, we present six main types of double strollers for you to consider for the safe transport of infant or toddler.
- Twin stroller
- Tandem stroller
- Umbrella stroller
- Jogging stroller
- All-terrain stroller
- Sit and stand stroller
1. Twin stroller
The twin stroller is also known as a side-by-side stroller. This type is self-explanatory. Both children sit side by side, and it’s almost double the width of a single child’s stroller. In the past, this type of stroller was too wide to be convenient. Today, most are compact double strollers, and will fit past most store’s doors and onto a bus.
The benefits of this type of stroller will enable each child to more easily interact with each other, and give an opportunity for mom to see both children easily.
This type is also the best double stroller for infant and toddler with car seats. The car seat will keep the infant more securely in the stroller. When the infant has grown into a toddler, the car seat no longer needs to be used. The tandem stroller can easily fit two car seats, while many of the other stroller options can only fit one.
Joovy Scooter X2 Double Stroller is one of the best twin or side-by-side stroller in the market.
2. Tandem stroller
A tandem stroller has one seat in front of the other, with one child in front, and one in the back. The child in the back seat has the benefit of being fully reclined, while the child in the front can only have their seat partially reclined.
The tandem stroller is a better solution for when you are seeking the best double stroller for newborn and toddler. The toddler gets to sit in the front, while the infant lies or sits in the back in a car seat.
Some tandem strollers can also take two infant car seats but may have a higher cost. The tandem stroller is also narrower, much like a regular stroller is. This may be the better choice for navigating busier streets or stores, however, the longer size may make it more difficult for you to turn corners.
When it comes to tandem strollers, Contours Options Elite Tandem Stroller is definitely up among the best.
3. Umbrella stroller
The double umbrella stroller has two short curved handles on either side, and usually about 9 smaller wheels. Their name is from the curved double handle much like an umbrella’s, and the fact that they can fold up easily, much like an umbrella can be folded up.
These types of strollers are ideal for riding the bus or train during rush hour traffic, particularly when there may not be enough room for a regular double stroller. They are lightweight and weigh an average of 20 to 32 pounds at most. They’re also great for taking on planes or for road trips.
Due to their compact size, these strollers have limited features. They may have smaller sunshades and little storage capacity.
One of the cons of this type of stroller is that they’re not recommended for babies under six months old. The baby must be able to sit in an upright position in order to start using one. Most of these strollers do not recline at all.
As a double umbrella stroller, you will not believe how lightweight ZOE XL2 BEST Double Xtra Lightweight Twin Travel & Everyday Umbrella Stroller System is. Definitely one of the best double umbrella stroller for its price range.
4. Jogging stroller
The jogging stroller usually has three larger bicycle-style wheels. They are designed for the jogger or more active family. They are designed to withstand the faster pace of jogging. They are also adapted to provide greater comfort against vibrations for your kids.
This stroller is built with a rear and all-wheel suspension system. They also have a hand brake, which is perfect for when you must do an immediate stop at the traffic light.
A jogging double stroller is also suitable for moving across rough terrain or other uneven surfaces. One of the cons of a jogging stroller is that the large front wheel is in a fixed position, so it doesn’t move or maneuver at all.
Baby Jogger 2016 Summit X3 Double Jogging Stroller is one of the best double jogging stroller in the market. However, it comes at a steep price.
5. All-terrain stroller
The all-terrain stroller has four wheels, which are larger. Usually there are two larger wheels in front. These strollers are for sportier activities with your children and are very similar to the jogging stroller. They can be used for jogging, but they are better for parents who enjoy long walks through the city, or hikes out in the country on bumpy terrain.
Their benefit to using an all-terrain stroller rather than a jogger is that they are better for navigating harsh terrain, and the front wheels also move and maneuver, unlike the jogging one that has one fixed front wheel. However, the wheels can be locked into position should you wish to use your all-terrain double stroller for jogging.
The all-terrain stroller can also be used for regular city transport of your kids too. This type of stroller can generally only take one infant car seat, so is not suitable for infant twins.
Even with only a single wheel in front, BOB 2016 Revolution FLEX Duallie Stroller is one of the top pick for all-terrain double stroller. The same goes for the PRO model.
6. Sit and stand stroller
The sit and stand stroller is also called a stand on stroller. These are designed more for the active toddler. They are good for a toddler who likes to stand up and sit down on a frequent basis. They are great for when your toddler wants to get up and walk for a bit, but then easily sit back down again when they get tired.
And if they want to sit down, but not in the stroller because toddlers can be fussy, there is a built-in padded bench for them to sit on. These types of strollers are more compact than the regular tandem stroller. They’re also easier to wheel around, and to store in your vehicle or closet.
Unfortunately, if you have two young children, the sit and stand stroller only carries one child in the seat, so it’s not suitable for younger children. It may work if you have one infant and one older toddler who is happy just sitting on the bench of the stroller.
For a sit and stand stroller, Baby Trend Sit N Stand Double is the best seller in its class.
What are some of the best features of a double stroller, safety standards and best double strollers to fit your budget? Read the FULL GUIDE here!
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