Parents of infant twins -- especially those who also have an older toddler -- love the Valco Baby Tri Mode EX Twin for its versatility, but the added function comes at a cost. Reviewers praise the added headroom of the large, rounded and separate canopies, which include zipper storage compartments. Handles are adjustable from 30 to 41.5 inches high. The EX Twin is narrower than many double strollers at just 29 inches wide, so it fits easily through most doorways.
With the purchase of the Joey Toddler Seat (*Est. $80), the Tri Mode EX Twin can transport a total of three children. It can also be converted to a double pram with the purchase of bassinets (*Est. $180 each); a car seat converter (*Est. $40) may be used with Graco, Peg Perego, Britax and Maxi-Cosi car seats. However, only one infant carrier can be used at a time. Snack trays (*Est. $20) and cupholders (*Est. $15) can also be purchased separately.
Some owners complain that the EX Twin's under-seat storage baskets are too small or difficult to access, and that the stroller is heavy at 33 pounds. (One review site says it weighed the stroller at 39 pounds, but Valco Baby sticks by its stated weight of 33 pounds. Another source notes that the company trimmed overall stroller weights in 2011, so that first evaluation may have used a 2010 or earlier model.) Reviews are also mixed on whether the EX Twin should be used for jogging. The manufacturer says it's suitable for "light jogging," and several expert reviewers call it a good value for a combined jogging/urban lifestyle stroller. Yet at least one serious jogger says it's not ideal for those who plan to log significant mileage.
The best evaluation of the Valco Baby Tri Mode EX Twin is found at Babble.com's 2011 Double Stroller Roundup, where reviews are detailed and take lifestyle into account. BabyGizmo.com's thorough analysis details the pros and cons of the Tri Mode EX Twin. The popular baby-gear book "Baby Bargains" reviews the Valco Baby brand in general, with a mention of the Tri Mode model. Several blogs, including People magazine's Celebrity Baby Blog and Minivan or Clown Car? offer individual product reviews. Consumer feedback is valuable but fairly limited, which isn't unusual for a pricier stroller.
Editors discuss their testing methodology for choosing the best strollers for more than one child. They give the Valco Baby Trimode Twin EX top honers, praising its "maneuverability, comfort and stellar features." The reviewers do note that the Valco is expensive.
Review: Best for Multiples: Valco Baby Trimode Twin EX, Editors of Babble.com, 2011
Editors of BabyGizmo.com praise the Valco Baby Tri Mode EX Twin for its slimmer (29 inches) design that allows it to fit through many doorways other double strollers can't. Calling it "four strollers for the price of one," they say it can function as a double pram with the addition of bassinets (sold separately), a double jogging stroller, an everyday stroller, and a triple stroller with the addition of a toddler seat (also sold separately).
Review: Valco Baby Tri Mode EX Twin, Editors of BabyGizmo.com, Not dated
3. Baby Bargains
Baby gear experts and consumer advocates Denise and Alan Fields review the Valco Baby brand in detail, with a mention of the Tri Mode Twin EX.
Review: Chapter 9: Strollers, Diaper Bags, Carriers and Other To Go Gear, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition, 2011
4. Celebrity Baby Blog
This review at People magazine's Celebrity Baby Blog is detailed and well balanced, covering materials quality, ease of assembly, storage, ease of collapsing, comfort of the ride and more. The author says the Valco Baby Tri Mode is ideal for parents with three little ones, but she does find it heavy at 33 pounds.
Review: Valco Baby Runabout Tri Mode Twin Stroller: It Can Handle It All!, "Nancy", April 17, 2009
5. Minivan or Clown Car?
A writer and mom of twins manages this blog, which evaluates baby gear and strollers, and discusses parenting twins. The Valco Baby Tri Mode EX Twin gets a mediocre review, primarily because the author is in search of a double jogging stroller and has been told the EX Twin isn't ideal for more than light jogging.
Review: Strollers – Valco Baby Tri Mode EX Twin, "Roni", April 12, 2010
The Valco Baby Tri Mode EX Twin earns an impressive 5 out of 5 stars. There are just a handful of reviews here, but the stroller is universally adored by parents of three children. They say it's comfortable, maneuverable and easy to push. Their only complaints are that it doesn't fold compactly and the under-seat storage is difficult to access.
Review: 2010 Tri Mode EX Twin Stroller, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Dec. 2011