Types of Double Strollers
Traditional Double Strollers
These are the most versatile, so give parents of two the most options. While there are many traditional side-by-side double strollers, this category also includes tandem strollers and single strollers that convert into doubles. The first type is great for children who are close in age and size, but they're also wider and may not fit through some doorways. Tandem strollers position one child in front of the other, so are narrower. Many can also be used in various configurations, usually by adding extra accessories such as ride-on boards to accommodate a third child as well. Some single strollers, which we cover in a separate report, have optional accessories that can make them accommodate another child -- at least while one is an infant and one old enough to sit upright.Double Umbrella Strollers
Double umbrella strollers usually lack features like full-coverage sunshades, child snack trays and parent consoles that make traditional double strollers so convenient. You also won't typically be able to use a car seat with a double umbrella stroller. However, the fact that these strollers are stripped to the basics also make them light and compact -- particularly good news in the world of heavy, bulky doubles. They're usually a go-to for parents who travel frequently or who may need to carry their stroller onto public transportation.Double Jogging Strollers
While double umbrella strollers are as light as possible, double jogging strollers are some of the heaviest around -- most are well over 30 pounds. So while these bulky beasts may not be best for urban dwellers who are short on space or anyone who needs to frequently carry their stroller, they have plenty of fans among parents who want to squeeze in a workout with their kids in tow. Large, air-filled tires and shock absorption make for a smoother ride, and some models have a front wheel that can either swivel for greater maneuverability or be fixed for running.
about optional accessories
Most strollers, even those that are originally bare bones, have optional
accessories available such as rain covers, cup holders, child trays, parent
organizers, prams or bassinets, and other convenience items available as an
additional purchase. However, many of these are sold at ridiculously inflated
prices by third party sellers on many online retail sites, and these are often
older versions of the accessory that has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
Because of this, rather than linking to specific products in this report, we
often just refer you to the accessories section of the manufacturer's website,
where you can buy the most current product at true retail.
Even if the stroller you choose does not have the option of adding
accessories, or if you don't like the specific accessory offered by your
stroller manufacturer, generic accessories are available for virtually every
stroller made. Often, these off-market products get much better reviews than
the manufacturer's version, so we recommend you check those out as well.
Finding The Best Double Strollers
Though there aren't as many expert tests and reviews of double strollers
as there are for single strollers, sites like BabyGearLab.com,
ConsumerReports.org and TheNightLight.com offer helpful hands-on tests.
BabyCenter.com's Mom Picks Awards also provide a quick snapshot of the double
strollers most parents prefer. Amazon.com is the most helpful site for owner
feedback, offering hundreds of parents' perspectives on how their double
strollers stand up to day-to-day use and abuse. To pick the best double
strollers, we evaluated these reviews by focusing on ease of use, lifestyle
considerations and safety.
The best double
The Baby Jogger City Mini Double (Est. $450) is an excellent side-by-side
stroller that's versatile, easy to use, and lighter
than many competing doubles at only 26 pounds. Each seat can accommodate
up to 50 pounds, and they're roomy, with some reviewers saying their
5-year-olds fit comfortably. The independent, near-flat reclines mean newborns
can ride safely, too.
Though it can fit through standard doorways, many reviewers report
difficulty getting the City Mini Double through narrower doors and halls. The
stroller is easy to steer and turn, and BabyCenter.com editors say they could
push it with one hand. Front-wheel suspension absorbs bumps. It performs best
on fairly level surfaces, though reviewers have no trouble wheeling through
playground mulch or gravel. The quick two-hand fold earns praise, though some
smaller women find it cumbersome to manage. The stroller doesn't lock
automatically, but it does stand when folded, and fits into most car trunks.
The handle is not adjustable, so this may not be a good choice for very short
or tall parents. Some parents say the seats can be hard to recline at first,
but are mastered with practice.
Parents love the great sun protection provided by the City Mini Double's
individual canopies. Praise is more muted for the stroller's storage: While
parents like the seat-back storage pockets, they say the under-seat basket is
small and hard to access. Optional accessories include a compact pram (Est.
$170), belly bar (Est. $45), child tray (Est. $25), weather shield (Est. $65),
glider board (Est. $85), cup holder (Est. $25) and parent console (Est. $35). The
stroller accepts only one infant car seat at time. You'll have to shell out
extra money for the adapter (Est. $100), which accepts seats from Britax,
Chicco, Cybex, Graco, Maxi Cosi, Nuna, Peg Perego and UPPAbaby. You can view
the full line of accessories at the Baby Jogger website.
The City Mini Double has two fully adjustable, five-point, no-rethread padded harnesses that buckle securely. The
linked rear foot brakes lock with one touch. The front swivel wheels can also
be locked for more stable strolling. There have been
no reports of tipping. However, many reviewers cite problems with front wheels
locking spontaneously, requiring replacement wheels. There are no recalls, but
be aware that this could be an issue, especially on rough surfaces.
If you'd prefer a tandem double stroller instead of a side-by-side,
reviewers say the Baby Jogger City Select with Second Seat (Est. $700) shines because of its extreme versatility: It can be
arranged in 16 different seating configurations with the purchase of optional
accessories. It can be used for twins or two children of different ages, and it
has the ability to accommodate two car seats or two bassinets. Depending on how
it's configured, the stroller weighs from 28 to 34
pounds. Each seat accommodates children up to 45 pounds, but they don't fully
recline, so newborns should be in an attached car seat or bassinet. The "high
canopies, wide seats and plenty of leg room" are particularly good for older
toddlers, says Katie Parsons of TheNightLight.com.
The City Select has a narrow profile, so it easily fits
through doors, store aisles and between parked cars. However, the stroller
isn't the easiest to lug on public transportation, and it may not fit in
smaller car trunks. Maneuverability isn't always a breeze, either, which is the
case for most tandem strollers. It can be quite heavy to push when carrying two
children, and one Amazon reviewer says it takes "super human" effort to lift
and get up and down curbs, which can be remedied somewhat by putting the bigger
child in the seat closer to you. A button reclines the seats to four positions
fairly easily with one hand. The Forever Air tires never go flat and can handle
varied terrain like snow, grass and mud, although it is not an all-terrain
stroller. The stroller has a one-hand fold, but doesn't self-lock or stand. A
telescoping handlebar accommodates both short and tall parents.
Getting the most versatility out of the City Select requires
purchasing optional accessories, including the Second Seat Kit (Est. $180) one or
more car seat adapters (Est. $25 to $70), and one or two Bassinet Kits (Est.
$100). With all of that, there are 16 different ways to position the kids. They
can face you, the world or each other in a number of combinations, and the
stadium seating gives each child a good view. Reviewers rave about the large
storage basket that can be accessed from all sides, but say the fabric is
flimsy. The large, multi-position canopies provide plenty of sun protection. As
a bonus, the peek-a-boo windows on the canopy close quietly with magnets,
instead of noisy Velcro. Other accessories include a belly bar (Est. $30),
child tray (Est. $25), parent console (Est. $35), glider board (Est. $85) and
cup holder (Est. $25).You can view the full range of accessories at Baby Jogger's City Select page.
The City Select has a convenient hand-operated parking brake on
the handle, something that sets it apart from other strollers with
foot-operated brake pedals. Its front swivel wheels lock for greater stability
on rough terrain. Reviewers say the five-point, no-rethread harnesses are nicely
padded and easy to buckle and adjust. The stroller earns high marks in experts'
safety tests, requiring a greater angle for sideways tipping and nearly 29
pounds on the handlebar before falling backward.
Double strollers tend to be an expensive bunch, but the Joovy Scooter X2 (Est. $250) manages to pack in loads of features at a very reasonable price,
reviewers say. This recently updated side-by-side stroller isn't the lightest
ride at 32 pounds, but it accommodates children up to 45 pounds in each seat.
The independently reclining seats are recommended for babies as young as 3
Joovy's newest version of the Scooter X2 features bigger
wheels than its predecessors, "a significant improvement" over the older model
that should help with maneuverability, note experts with BabyGearLab.com.
Still, reviewers recommend sticking to flat, smooth surfaces and say you'll
need two hands to stay in control. The stroller should fit through standard
doorways, and parents say it's easy to fold with one hand. It's also relatively
flat when folded, making for a compact package that Meg Collins of
LuciesList.com says will fit in the trunk of a small sedan. The Scooter X2 has
a manual lock and will not stand when folded, however. The handlebar is not
adjustable, and some reviewers warn that it's a bit on the short side. They
also say taller parents may accidentally kick the brake while walking.
The Scooter X2's major strength is ample storage. Parents
love the very large, easy-to-access storage basket under the seats. There are
also two roomy zippered pockets on the back of the stroller, and two mesh cup
holders that are big enough for sizeable water bottles. Interior mesh pockets
offer kids space for small toys or snacks. The sunshade is large, with
ventilation and a peek-a-boo window. However, it is one piece and doesn't
independently adjust for each seat. The leg rests are adjustable. There are no
optional accessories available for the Scooter X2, although you can probably
find some generic cup holders or child trays, and parents say the biggest
disappointment is that there's no adapter to make the stroller compatible with
infant car seats.
The Scooter X2 has padded five-point harnesses and a belly
bar that offers an additional measure of security for antsy toddlers. Parents
say the linked one-touch parking brakes are easy to engage, but a few find the
harness straps tricky to adjust. The stroller aced expert safety tests, with
BabyGearLab.com testers saying it was particularly hard to tip backwards,
requiring 86 pounds of pressure on the handle before toppling.