Double Strollers: How to Pick the Right One
Shopping for and choosing the right double stroller should not take as much research, deliberation, and second-guessing as buying a wedding dress. It shouldn’t, but it can- and often does.
Non-parents don’t understand this dilemma. Add it to the list containing how you manage to hug your child as they’re throwing up, the song and dance routine rivaling the Rockettes you do the first time your child uses a toilet, and the amount of love a parent feels for their child. There’s no explaining much of parental behavior.
If you are beginning or in the midst of the hunt for the right double stroller for your family, I feel your pain. While pregnant with my second child, I searched weeks to find the perfect double stroller. I combed internet sites, made a chart to compare features, and dragged my husband from store to store so I could see various models “in person”. A purchase this expensive- and supposed to be long-lasting- deserves a fair amount of consideration. I gave it my all.
I never did find a stroller with all the features I was searching for, and you may not either. But ultimately, I decided which elements were most important to me, and settled on a choice that I continue to be happy with- a year into the stroller’s journey.
There are a few different types of double strollers you can become familiar with to narrow your search. Each option has its own pros and cons.
If your double stroller is for children who are near- or are- the same age, you might consider what is also called a “twin stroller”. These strollers are designed with two seats that contain identical features.
26.2 x 6.1 x 17.8 inches ; 8.7 pounds
In a tandem stroller, one child sits behind the other. These are advantageous because they’re narrower; however, whichever child sits in the back will have his view obstructed by the child in the front seat. You can compensate for this negative by choosing one in which the back seat is a few inches higher than the front seat.
This stroller fulfills its name; children sit next to each other. The disadvantage is how wide the stroller is, difficult to fit through many doors while out and about. But if you’re planning to use your stroller for trips to the park, you may prefer this model.
Sit and stand
Sit and stand strollers are popular for parents who are adding a second child to the family when their youngest child is over two years old. The younger child still has a regular stroller seat, while the older sibling- who now does not always want to ride in a stroller, but sometimes wants to walk and switches very quickly between these two options- has the choice of stepping easily into the stroller to sit or stand as their heart desires.
If you are very active and will be using your stroller mostly outdoors, a double jogging stroller may be best for you. The larger wheels make for a smoother ride for children and easier pushing for you. The single front wheel usually doesn’t swivel, so these strollers can be hard to turn.
38 x 31.5 x 38 inches ; 70 pounds
The Smallest of Them All
If you live in the city, will be storing the stroller in a small space, or navigating the stroller in tight areas; you might want to consider Phil & Teds Double Snap and Go Stroller.
Now that you know a little bit about the different kinds of double strollers available, consider which features are important to you. Most strollers offer similar components, but the size and accessibility of these components can greatly vary. Decide which elements are most important to you, and shop for those areas first.
The majority of strollers include a basket to hold your diaper bag, jackets, or toys; whatever you would prefer not to be carrying as you walk with it. Consider what you will be placing in a basket, how large or small do you want the basket to be? How accessible does it need to be? Some baskets are easy to reach at all times (for example, when a seat is reclined), other strollers have baskets that are virtually impossible to reach once you’ve wrestled your diaper bag in.
Storage tray for adult
Many strollers include a storage tray for the adult who is pushing. It may have one or two cup holders and another space for your keys or phone, this may or may not have a cover. Do you need or want cup holders? Do you need extra space near your hands to hold other essentials?
Snack tray for child(ren)
Some strollers offer a snack tray for one or both children. If your children ride in their strollers for long periods of time (say, window-shopping at the mall) or are easily kept in one spot with snacks, this may be an important element for you. Do you need both seats to have a snack tray or just one?
Single strollers often offer the feature of being able to recline completely. This is a valuable quality if you plan on your infant sleeping in the stroller. This feature is harder to find in double strollers, especially if you prefer that both seats recline.
Weight and size
There is a great range of weights and sizes when it comes to double strollers. Size measurements are usually given for the folded up stroller, as consumers want to know how much space it will take up in their trunk, closet, or garage. Consider where you’ll be storing your stroller and if you’ll be transporting it very often. If you plan to be taking it in and out of your trunk once or twice a week; a heavy, bulky stroller will soon be regretted.
Age/size of children
Consider the age and size of your children and how long you’ll be planning to use the stroller. Does it need to accommodate two infants or two car seats? Is one seat for your toddler? If you’ll be using your stroller in conjunction with even one car seat, be sure that yours is compatible with the stroller you choose.
Some strollers fold up much easier than others. Some can be folded with one hand, others take both hands and then need to be hooked in order to not unfold. If you’re going to leave your stroller open and sitting in the garage, how well it folds is not a major concern. If you’ll be transporting it often, possibly while holding a child or bags, how easily the stroller folds is extremely important.
If you’ll be using your stroller outdoors often, take into consideration if the double stroller you are looking at includes a canopy for one or both seats, and how big these canopies are. Do you need the canopy to have a peek through window so you can look at your child when it’s open over them?
Depending on the age of your children, and how safety conscious you are, look at whether the seats have a three or five point harness system. Infants will probably need a five point system to stay upright, while a toddler is more than safe with a three point.
How much your double stroller will cost may or may not be a concern for you. Best rest assured that whatever features are important to you, you will be able to find a quality double stroller with those components in your price range. Double strollers range from $60-$800. How much you want to spend is completely your decision.
So many models, brands, and features to consider! It’s no wonder parents see acceleration in the hair graying process.
You may be wondering which double stroller I ended up choosing. I had a newborn and a two year old and needed the stroller to continue to work for us as they became a toddler and a preschooler. I needed the stroller to accommodate my car seat without having to buy a new one to match the stroller. And the adult tray and basket were important features for me. I also took time comparing size and weight as I would be folding up and transporting the stroller often.
I bought the Baby Trend Silverado Sit N' Stand Plus Double Stroller. It accommodated my car seat and then converted to a regular infant-friendly stroller seat. I appreciate that my infant is the one who sits in the front, since she is smaller than her sister. The back seat starts as a regular stroller seat and then easily converts to a sit-and-stand seat. This has grown with my older daughter as her needs have changed. The basket is large, albeit slightly difficult to access, and the parent tray has two cup holders and an extra space with a snapping lid. I can fold the stroller with one hand and easily take it in and out of the trunk by myself. I still feel after a year like I made the right choice for our family.
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