Every family has different needs when it comes to strollers, and most are a hefty investment. You will want one that fits your lifestyle, family size and durable to last for 5+ years.
Here’s a tricky topic that prevails in many of my parenting groups, to make do with a single or upgrade to a double? Some folks say to forgo a double instead of a glider board attachment. My hard and fast rule is: If your child naps, then they need a seat.
If you’re on the fence about upgrading to a double, you can delay your decision and use a carrier for baby and a single stroller for quite some time before deciding. For us, we have two toddlers 25 months apart, twin-sized. Meaning they are close in size. I used a carrier for the baby and a single stroller for quite a bit before deciding on a double.
Once you’ve made your decision to upgrade, there’s more you need to know! There are two types of doubles: tandems and side-by-sides. I’ve used both types, and here’s my perspective on them.
They allow the flexibility to position the seats in a lot of different directions. They’re also narrow and will fit through most doorways. One main issue is that to accommodate both toddler seats; you may have to raise the telescopic handlebar, which could be uncomfortable. I’m 5’6” and felt that the handlebar was too high. Also, most tandems allow for room for a third child when you add a rollerboard attachment.
Uppa Baby Vista
These have a max capacity of 85lbs for both children. The main seat’s max weight is 35lbs, and the rumble seat is 50lbs. Of the tandems, this has a smoother ride and better maneuverability due to the stroller’s overall length. Plus, you can fold down with both seats attached! The stroller weight with both seats is 32.6lb, which is heavier than the standard double. Plus, it’s super pricey, going for about $1200 for a double package that includes a rumble seat and a bassinet.
Baby Jogger City Select
These have a max capacity of 90lbs for both children. Both of the seat’s max weight is 45lbs. It can only fold with one seat attached and weighs 28lbs. Considerably lighter (4.6lbs) than the Uppa Baby Vista, which is notable when you lift and fold the stroller to put into a car trunk. It’s also half the price of the Uppa Baby Vista, going for about $600 for a double package that includes both seats and NO bassinet.
Bottom Line: I did not like the tandems because it was cumbersome to maneuver, the turns are wider, the ride was bumpy, and it tended to tip over when taking turns or going up and down curbs. The bigger kid needs to be on the lower seat to ensure the center of gravity is low, preventing tip-overs. You also share the lower seat with your diaper bag if the seat is positioned facing you.
Additional Tips: I’ve found great success in selling my old strollers (in good condition) on the secondary market, whether it’s through friends, parent groups, or Marketplace via Facebook. Use that cash to fund your double! Or buy a used double on the secondary market.
With the addition of many newer companies in the stroller market, side-by-sides now can have flexible seating arrangements. Some are even narrower and can fit through most doors. What I like most about side-by-sides is my toddlers’ ability to climb into their own seats, and there is no fighting over the “better seat” since both are the same.
Mountain Buggy Duet
I’m a fan of the Mountain Buggy brand. We own a Nano (single) and use it for travel. The Duet is cool because it can convert from a single to a double by expanding the frame. At its double-width, it’s only 25” across, allowing it to fit in most standard doorways! It also allows for multiple positions, facing you or away on either toddler seats and/or car seats. It is more complicated to fold because you have to align the handlebar and wheels in the right position before folding. The fold itself isn’t compact, but the toddler seats can be attached for folding. It does stand on its own when folded, which is a nice feature for storage. Finally, it weighs a whopping 34lbs as a double, and the max capacity is at only 80lbs combined! It runs about $730 for the latest model.
Baby Jogger Summit X3
This was the glorious model we finally landed on after our extensive search for the perfect double. My husband and I are runners. We already own a Bob Revolution SE. When our second hit about 6-8 months (head/neck control), we were itching for a run with both kids. There’s a hot debate in parenting and jogging forums about the Bob Duallie vs. Summit X3. The biggest reason for choosing the Summit X3 over the Bob Duallie is simply the fold. The Summit X3 has a simple one-step fold. The key is that there is a bar at the base of the seat the runs along the full width of the stroller. That’s important because it’s not present in the Bob Duallie and will cause the seat to sag over time. We’ve noticed this on our Bob Revolution SE already. The Summit X3 is a beast. It’s heavy at 37lbs and really wide 32.5”, hard to maneuver through doors. However, it’s got a higher max capacity weight at combined 100 lbs. It’s also a smoother ride because there are shock absorbers in both the back and front wheels. The latest model will run about $650.
Additional Tips: You can save some cash by buying a previous year’s model, mostly available on Amazon. We purchased ours on a Cyber Monday deal and snagged it for easily $250 off the full price!
Bottom Line: Side-by-Sides tend to be wider and may not fit in most standard doorways. They are also much heavier than the tandem models, which is a big consideration if you’re hauling the stroller in and out of the car. The heavier weight does come with the benefit of a smoother ride. Even smoother if you have inflatable tires and shock absorbers. One added benefit is that the side-by-sides often come with a hand brake (the models I’ve recommended above do!). Most tandems do not. It makes a difference when you are pushing some odd 100lbs downhill. Please note, if you are purchasing a jogger, make sure it’s actually a jogging model. Baby Jogger is a stroller brand, but every model they make except for the Summit X3 are NOT joggers.