When you have to cart around two kids, any stroller up to the task is going to be at least somewhat heavy and bulky. Double umbrella strollers are the lightest on the market, and their compact fold means they're a better pick when you're in and out of a car or navigating through an airport. To keep things streamlined, manufacturers don't include the features heavier strollers can support, such as huge sunshades or storage baskets, and you can usually forget about any sort of car seat or bassinet attachment.
The very durable Maclaren Twin Triumph (Est. $300) is one of the strongest models in Maclaren's well-regarded line of umbrella strollers, reviewers say. One of the biggest perks of the side-by-side Twin Triumph is how lightweight it is -- at 23 pounds, it is among the lightest on the market. The total weight limit is a very generous 110 pounds, so this stroller could take your children well into their preschool years. The seats have an independent, near-flat recline. Maclaren recommends a child be at least 6 months old before using this stroller, however.
At under 29 inches wide, the Twin Triumph fits easily through standard doorways. Like most umbrella strollers, the stroller is best on smooth terrain -- and that may be a particular concern for this one, which lacks any sort of suspension system -- though you can get that by upgrading to the pricier, fully featured Maclaren Twin Techno Double (Est. $440). Still, reviewers say the Twin Triumph maneuvers fairly easily. They like the compact fold, and the automatic lock and carry handle make it particularly ideal for urban use on public transportation. However, a few reviewers say the fold process is sometimes tricky and isn't sandal-friendly. Though they aren't adjustable, the padded foam handles are set relatively high, making this a solid pick for tall parents.
Though the Twin Triumph doesn't have the biggest sunshades (an issue with most umbrella strollers), parents appreciate the two large peek-a-boo windows on the back of each. There is a medium-size storage basket under each seat and two sizeable pouches for parent essentials under the handles. The stroller also comes with a rain cover, which is a relatively pricey extra with other manufacturers. It does not come with a cup holder, but one is available separately (Est. $15), as are other optional accessories including seat liners (Est. $30), panniers (Est. $40), parent organizers (Est. $40) and a mosquito net (Est. $35). There is a complete list on the Maclaren website.
The Twin Triumph has padded five-point harnesses with buckles that will foil even the most determined would-be escapees, and parents say the seats are more nicely padded than most. It also has a wrist strap to prevent the stroller from rolling ahead, a nice extra that's more common on jogging strollers. The linked brakes can be operated with one foot, and, unlike the fold process, are sandal- and flip-flop friendly. The front swivel wheels are also lockable for a more stable ride on rougher terrain.
If you have two small children who are close in age and want something more compact than a side-by-side, the Kinderwagon HOP (Est. $300) might fit the bill. This unique tandem umbrella stroller weighs just 21½ pounds. The front seat has a two-position recline for use from 6 months and up, while the rear seat has a deeper recline that can be used for babies as young as 3 months. Both seats accommodate children up to 50 pounds, but reviewers warn that the shallow, narrow seats make it best for smaller kids.
The Kinderwagon HOP is only as wide as a single stroller, so it can fit through tight store aisles and narrow doorways that are off limits for most doubles. It also has front- and rear-wheel suspension to protect babies from big jolts and bumps. However, reviewers say that, like most umbrella strollers, it's best to stick to smooth terrain. The stroller is just as easy to fold as single umbrella strollers and makes for a similarly compact package, but the manual lock that keeps the stroller folded is flimsy, warns Hollie Schultz of BabyGizmo.com. There is no carry strap for the folded stroller. While the handles are tall enough for most parents, they may not extend far enough away from the frame to prevent long legs from kicking the stroller while walking.
Though the HOP's sunshade is bigger than many canopies on other umbrella strollers, reviewers note that it may not fully shade the child in the front seat. It does feature a small pop-out visor for a bit of additional coverage, as well as two peek-a-boo windows that let you see both children. The under-seat storage basket is relatively modest and can be accessed only from the side of the HOP, but an included storage bag can be placed on the side of the stroller for additional space. A rain cover and cup holder also come with the stroller, but there are no optional accessories. Built-in car seat adapter straps in the front seat will accommodate either the Combi Shuttle or one of Graco's Classic Connect car seats -- rare for an umbrella stroller.
The HOP has padded five-point harnesses and one-touch linked brakes. The front seat also has a bumper bar for a little extra security. Some reviewers warn that, because the seats are shallow, it is essential to use the harnesses all the time or children may slip down in their seats. The front swivel wheels can be locked for better stability on unstable terrain. Like all umbrella strollers, parents will want to avoid hanging bags from the handles to avoid tipping.
If you're looking for a more traditional, budget-friendly stroller that can take a beating, the Chicco Echo Twin (Est. $190) could be worth a look. At 30½ pounds, it's not the lightest double umbrella stroller around, but reviewers say it's strong and sturdy. The side-by-side seats have an independent four-position recline and a weight capacity of 40 pounds each. Chicco recommends the stroller for babies 6 months and up.
At under 31 inches wide, the Echo Twin can fit through most doorways. It has front-wheel suspension to help smooth out minor bumps and jolts. However, it gets mixed reviews for maneuverability: Experts with BabyGearLab.com say the stroller's tri-wheel design makes it harder to push and maneuver than the competition, but say it does better than many strollers on trickier terrain such as grass and gravel. However, Meg Collins of LuciesList.com says the stroller "pushes better than most umbrellas out there," and most parents say they find it easy to maneuver, if a bit heavy. The Echo Twin has an easy, one-hand fold that has an automatic lock, and reviewers say it folds more compactly than many double strollers. It has a carry strap, too. The foam-covered handles are not adjustable, but they're high enough for taller parents.
The Echo Twin doesn't get raves for its features. The under-seat storage baskets aren't as large as some, and the stroller doesn't have additional storage such as a zippered pouch for parents' necessities. It does come with a detachable cup holder, and the leg rests are independently adjustable. Parents are frustrated that the skimpy sunshades don't offer more coverage, but they are ventilated. Rear canopy panels help block the wind and can be unzipped from the back for more air circulation. There are no additional accessories available, although some generic accessories may fit.
The Echo Twin has padded, adjustable five-point harnesses, and its front wheels lock for greater stability. Its brakes are a bit fussier than others, because you must push three separate pedals -- it could be easy to forget one. The buckle is covered with fabric to discourage toddlers from fiddling with it. The stroller performed better than most others in experts' stability tests, requiring a greater angle before tipping sideways and an impressive 76 pounds hanging from the handles before tipping backward.
What if you just need a very light, no-frills double stroller at a rock-bottom price? Reviewers say the Delta Children LX Side by Side (Est. $80) is just that -- a cheap, practical stroller for parents who want to keep things simple. At 21 pounds, the stroller is just as light as the Kinderwagon HOP. The seats have a relatively shallow recline, so it's not suitable for babies younger than 6 months. At 35 pounds per seat, weight capacity is also skimpier than our other picks, so this probably isn't the stroller you'll want to depend on for your preschoolers.
At under 30 inches, the LX Side by Side fits easily through standard doorways. Its has shock-absorbing front swivel wheels and most parents say it maneuvers reasonably well, especially for the price, as long as you stick to smooth surfaces. The stroller has an easy, compact fold and a manual lock that makes it ideal for travel; however, since it lacks a carry strap, it's probably best for scenarios where you'll simply need to stash it in a car trunk when it's not in use. It's also not easy to fold with flip-flops or sandals. Several reviewers say the non-adjustable foam-covered handles may be too short for taller parents to stroll comfortably without hunching over.
The LX Side by Side lacks a few of the nice conveniences that pricier umbrella strollers have. While most umbrella strollers don't have huge sunshades, parents say the "tiny and fairly worthless" shades on this stroller are particularly bad -- and definitely not the "large, European-style canopy" that the manufacturer boasts on its website. There are two relatively roomy storage bags on the back of each seat, but there is no under-seat storage or interior pockets. The stroller does come with a removable cup holder, but there are no optional accessories.
The LX Side by Side has padded, adjustable five-point harnesses and dual parking brakes that you must set individually by pressing pedals on the two outside wheels. It's hard to undo the brakes in sandals or flip-flops, however. Parents say the harness is effective at keeping kids in place and is easy to buckle. Parents will also want to resist hanging heavy bags from the handles to avoid tipping.