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Double Stroller Showdown

The best options for two in tow.

Shopping for a double stroller is, simply put, hell. Do you want side-by-side, in-line, or convertible? Do you need to store it collapsed? Carry it up stairs? Ram it over bumpy city sidewalks? Do you want your kids facing in, out, or each other? Good Lord. To help you weigh the options we asked our resident Gear Guy, Jamie Grayson of The Baby Guy NYC, to share his insights on some of the most popular models on the market.

LIGHTWEIGHTS: Umbrella strollers and other lightweight options that prioritize portability and price over smooth rides and maneuverability.

1. MACLAREN TWIN TECHNO, $384.99

Ideal for: Parents who want an affordable double stroller that’s easy to collapse and lightweight enough to throw in a cab trunk.
Age/Weight range: Both seats are suitable from birth to 55 pounds.
Car seat compatibility: None.
Okay for newborn twins? Yes.
 
Pros: Compact fold for easy storage and transit. Independent five-position recline in both seats. Adjustable foot support. Decent sized undercarriage bag. Weighs only 27 pounds. Brake is not in the way of wheels when you bump down stairs or curbs. Rain cover included.

Cons: Not car seat compatible. Separate handles require a wide arm position, which can be tiring. When strolling a newborn and toddler, you have to push harder on one side causing faster wearing-down of wheels . . . so you must rotate seating arrangements.

2. BABY JOGGER CITY MINI, $429.99

Ideal for:  Parents who want something a bit more durable than an umbrella stroller, yet still lightweight and collapsible.    
Age/Weight range: Both seats are suitable from birth to 50 pounds.
Car seat compatibility: Holds one car seat (Britax, Graco, Chicco, Maxi Cosi, Peg Perego)
Okay for newborn twins? Yes.
 
Pros: Compact fold for easy storage and transit. Independent seat reclines via an easy-to-access adjustment strap in the back. Huge canopies. Handlebar and suspension system make for great maneuverability (for a lightweight double). A plethora of accessory options including cup holder, belly bar, and console organizers.

Cons: The foot well for leg support is not adjustable, and tall toddlers will have to bend their legs to be comfortable. The chassis lock is a strap that you manually tie to keep the stroller shut. There’s no shoulder strap, so you cannot “wear” it. Rain shield is purchased separately.
 
3. KINDERWAGEN HOP, $299.99

Ideal for: Parents with serious space constraints and kids who are at least 6 months old.
Age/Weight range: Front seat is suitable from 6 months to 40 pounds; rear (top) seat is technically suitable from birth to 40 pounds.
Car seat compatibility: None.
Okay for newborn twins? No.

Pros: Amazing new stadium-seating umbrella stroller design. Three-position reclining rear seat. Compact fold actually fits through the cheese-grater turnstile subway exit! At 21.5 pounds, it’s an incredibly lightweight double. Rain shield included.

Cons: Manual chassis lock. Limited retail availability. Only available in red or black. No shoulder strap for carry (yet).

ALL-TERRAINS: Middleweight strollers with improved suspension systems and wheels that do a better job of maneuvering with children of different weights.  
 
1. VALCO TRI MODE EX, $699.99

Ideal for:  Parents who want a rugged stroller that can accommodate newborns and—get this—up to four kids at once.  
Age/Weight range: Suitable from birth to 45 pounds per seat.
Car seat compatibility: Holds one car seat (Graco, Peg Perego, Maxi Cosi, Chicco)
Okay for newborn twins? Yes.

Pros: Incredibly rugged, durable stroller with terrific tires and suspension. Can accommodate two bassinets. Foot and leg support is very long, which ensures comfort as children grow. Adjustable handlebar. Gigantic canopies. Relatively compact fold for a stroller of this size. Additional jump seat for the front turns this into a triple, and a wheeled board converts into a quadruple (!) I’ve actually seen it in the park like this.  
 
Cons: Can only accommodate one car seat. Fold is a multi-step process, but is easily mastered.
 
2. STROLL-AIR MY DUO, $800

Ideal for:  Parents who want multiple seating positions and car seat capabilities, combined with a lightweight frame and a reasonable price tag.
Age/Weight range: Both seats are suitable from birth to 40 pounds
Car seat compatibility: Can hold two car seats (Graco, Chicco, Maxi Cosi, Peg Perego)
Okay for newborn twins? Yes, and dual car seats can safely hold low birth weight twins
 
Pros: Seats face in, out, or each other. Adjustable handle. Adjustable foot support. VERY lightweight, at 26 pounds. Can fit through a standard door when configured with two car seats (rare!). Accommodates two bassinets. Rain shields, insect nets, foot muffs and diaper bag are included. Great undercarriage basket.  

Cons: Difficult to find in-store. Seat adjustment buttons are in an awkward center position.

 
3. MOUNTAIN BUGGY DUO, $679.99

Ideal for: Parents of different heights who want a sturdy side-by-side double.
Age/Weight range: Both seats are suitable from birth to 55 pounds.
Car seat compatibility: Holds one car seat (Peg Perego, Graco)
Okay for newborn twins? Yes.
 
Pros: The double bassinet is actually one large bassinet (instead of two separate side-by-sides), which is nice. Air-filled tires and rear-wheel suspension make for a very smooth ride. Large canopies with peek-a-boo windows. Brake is not in way of curb or stair bumping.
 
Cons: Many find that the footrest is in an uncomfortable position and it’s not adjustable. At 36 pounds, it’s on the heavier side of doubles. It also folds down on itself—instead of in half—so it’s flat but long. Manual chassis locking strap for storage and travel.

CONVERTIBLES: Strollers that begin as a single, and convert into a double via an additional seat attachment.

1. BABY JOGGER CITY SELECT, $499.99, plus $159.99 for second seat

Ideal for: City parents who like lots of options.
Age/Weight range: Both seats are suitable from birth to 45 pounds.
Car seat compatibility: Holds two car seats (Britax, Chicco, Graco, Peg Perego, Maxi Cosi)
Okay for newborn twins? Yes, and dual car seats can safely hold low birth weight twins.

Pros: Incredible versatility for your sidewalk space: one seat, two seats, seat and bassinet, seats facing you, facing out, facing each other—terrific options.

Cons: With two seats or a bassinet attached, it feels very long. As kids get older, the heavier weight in the front makes “bumping” up a curb quite difficult, if there’s no ramp.

2. BUGABOO DONKEY, $1,199-1,659

Ideal for:  Parents who want a well-made, incredibly versatile stroller and understand they have to PAY for that.
Age/Weight range: Both seats are suitable for birth to 37.5 pounds.
Car seat compatibility: Can hold one Graco or Maxi-Cosi; in the double configuration, it can only hold two Maxi-Cosis.
Okay for newborn twins? Yes.
 
Pros: It’s an amazingly smooth ride, due to four air-filled tires. Configures for one kid, a newborn and toddler, or twins. Large shopping basket underneath. Seats face in, out, or each other. Flipping the seats is incredibly easy and only requires one hand. Folds with seats attached.

Cons: Get on the waiting list now. It will not fit through doorway with two car seats—I’ve measured it myself. The seat is a bit narrower than the Cameleon seat, but still comfortable for an older toddler. It’s on the heavier side, at nearly 39 pounds in double-seat mode. Bulky fold with seats attached, but they are easily removed. 

3. BRITAX B-READY,
$499.99, plus 149.99 for second seat

Ideal for: Parents who dig the in-line stroller model and want something easily collapsible. Also great for parents of twins.
Age/Weight range: Top/front seat is suitable from birth to 55 pounds; rear seat is suitable from birth to 35 pounds.
Car seat compatibility: Can hold two Britax car seats.
Okay for newborn twins? Yes, and dual car seats can safely hold low birth weight twins.
 
Pros: Configures to accommodate two car seats, two bassinets, two seats, or any combination. Back seat fully reclines, and retracts up and underneath when folding stroller for a very compact double fold. Top seat is reversible and has adjustable foot support. Good canopies on both seats. Both seats have a harness adjustment system that uses a slide mechanism in back, so you’re not re-threading anything. Huge undercarriage bag. Wonderful cup holder for your little guy.  Hands-down the easiest system I have used for two car seats.

Cons: Wheels aren’t air-filled, so not as smooth as it could be, but still fine. Adjustable handle actually makes it somewhat difficult to curb-bump when stroller is loaded with kids because there is “give” in it.
 
4. PHIL&TEDS EXPLORER, $479.9, plus 89.99 for second seat

Ideal for:  Parents who want an all-terrain stroller’s maneuverability without the added bulk.
Age/Weight range: As a single, the seat is suitable from birth to 44 pounds. In the double configuration, the second seat can hold up to 44 pounds if positioned in front, or up to 35 pounds if positioned in back. With the second seat in front, the main seat fully reclines making a bassinet-style seat for a newborn.
Car seat compatibility: Holds one car seat (Peg Perego, Graco, Maxi Cosi, Chicco)
Okay for newborn twins? No.
 
Pros: Very maneuverable and sidewalk friendly. Folds compact with seat attached on the front. Flip-flop friendly brake, one-handed seat recline and ventilated seat support. One-handed fold of stroller frame (after the back seat is removed).
 
Cons: Like all in-line strollers, one kid is on the bottom looking at a seat back. In double toddler setup, the undercarriage bag is basically a foot support, so don’t count on storing much. Rain shield not included.

   —More questions on doubles? Reach out to Jamie@TheBabyGuyNYC.com.