Maybe your kids are close in age or you've just hit the jackpot and had twins – whether this was expected or not, congratulations! It’s a joyful experience, but then you realize (gasp) you’ll have to buy a double stroller.
In order to choose a double stroller, you will have to pay attention to the weight guidelines, suitable age, quality of the frame and features that will meet the usage and comfort needs for parents and kids.
Now that you’re here, you have nothing to worry about. Just sit back, relax, and read this article as you learn everything there is to know about the double stroller.
- 1 Two Types of Double Strollers
- 2 Which Type Do You Need?
- 3 Things to Look Out For in a Double Stroller
- 4 How to Find a Suitable, Yet Compact, Double Stroller for Your Twins
- 5 Conclusion
Two Types of Double Strollers
You've probably seen double strollers that come with two seats, side by side. But in case you've also seen strollers that come as a tandem, don't let this confuse you.
There are two main types of double strollers which are side-by-side or tandem type. Though both have the capacity to carry up to two little ones, there are some major differences you should look out for.
Choosing the type of double stroller that’s right for you will also depend on the age of your kids, whether they're twins or not, and the accessibility you require.
Side-by-side strollers are the ideal choice for twins since some models have the ability to fit two car seats or two bassinets. However, a side-by-side double stroller is often wider than doors and can be a bit of a hassle to get it in and out of the room.
What's beneficial about this type of double stroller is that kids can interact since they're sitting next to each other. With this type, both kids will have the same arm and leg rest - and frankly, kids will enjoy having a clear vision to theirs surroundings.
We also find that side-by-side double strollers are far easier to push and maneuverer, so even though it's a bit wider, moms won't have problems handling it on their own. Often, you will find that this type of stroller offers a higher weight limit and can handle more weight in each seat.
And no matter how bulky side-by-side strollers look at first, it's fairly easy to fold quality-made strollers.
On a tandem type stroller, two seats are located one behind another where the back seat has the ability to fully recline. However, the front seat usually can't be reclined all the way due to the other seat being placed right behind it. That happens mostly when purchase the cheaper models.
Even though this sounds a bit limiting, we find this type of stroller to be ideal for infants and toddlers but also for parents who are still traveling quite often.
However, when choosing a tandem stroller, you have to be careful about the seats it includes. Most modern and expensive tandem strollers offer two infant car seats already included in the price.
You can also attach one car seat and bassinet or two bassinets at the same time. However, if you go for a cheap tandem stroller, on most models only the back seat can be used for newborns and some models can carry a car seat while the front seat is fixed to the frame.
Of course, some of the biggest benefits is that tandem strollers are as narrow as a single stroller, which means you can get it into any room and elevator.
However, don't be surprised to find out a tandem stroller is a bit harder to steer and that they might not fit smaller car trunks. And of course, only one kid will be able to get the full view of the surrounding.
Which Type Do You Need?
You will need to determine the type of stroller that will work best for you.
One main deciding factor will be the type of seats you can use with the stroller. If you have twins, side-by-side strollers may be your best bet. However, you’ll need to remember to choose a stroller that allows for the simultaneous use of two car seats.
If you have a smaller and older child, your best bet may be a tandem stroller with a switchable seat that you can turn to face you. That way, you can place the older child at the front and the newborn baby in the back seat. A switchable seat will help your kids fully recline if they fall asleep and provides common ground for the older kid who wants the same seat as baby.
Once you figure out the setting of your potential double stroller, you will have to pay attention to the usage, durability, and plenty other small, yet important, things.
The rest of this article will teach you what to look out for when making a purchase.
Things to Look Out For in a Double Stroller
When searching for a double stroller, you have to check a couple important factors such as the age and weight limits, usage, features, extras & accessories, and even your personal budget.
But no worries, once you read our tips, we guarantee that you will feel like an expert!
Depending on the type of stroller you’re considering and its features, you might not be able to use it right away if you have an infant. If the stroller has the ability to recline the seat fully and has the necessary suspension in place, it’s safe to use it with an infant. If a stroller does not have these features, you’ll want to avoid using it with an infant until they are between 4 to 6 months old.
Also, if you don't have twins and you're thinking of using one stroller for both kids, you will want to find a stroller that will match both ages.
We highly recommend you consider these things upfront, so even if you find an ideal stroller that fits the ages of your children, ensure that it will last you for quite some time.
Depending on the type of a seat, the durability of the frame, and overall quality of the double stroller, you will have to pay attention to the weight guidelines proposed by the manufacturer.
An average weight per seat is about 30 pounds, but again, we highly encourage you to read the specifications listed by the manufacturer. If you've already purchased the double stroller, take a moment to check this section of your manual to be safe.
While most seat-by-seat double strollers have the capacity to hold the same weight in both seats, tandem double strollers often feature different suggested weight for each seat.
The cheaper models of tandem double strollers usually feature a higher weight capacity for the front seat and lower weight capacity for the back. Since this differs by manufacturer, be sure to check this before making a final decision.
Depending on the double stroller you choose, it will come with some features that protect your child from forces like sun, rain or strong wind.
Make sure that the seat fabrics and canopy are made out of quality material. Start with sun protection by finding the UPF 50 (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) label usually attached on the stroller’s canopy.
If you can’t find the label ask if the stroller has any sun protection. It’s also important that the canopy doesn't absorb water, and that you can attach a rain cover to the stroller in case it gets rainy while you're out. A five point harness is a must-have, and all most modern double strollers have it.
If you’re considering a side-by-side umbrella stroller, inspect it to see if there's anything a child could use to reach and harm themselves and whether you are satisfied with the safety it provides.
One important safety feature is the brake locking system which protects the stroller from moving. That becomes important for parents who frequently use the bus or subway. Check to see how easily you can lock and unlock the brake. Also, check to see if the brake is positioned center, left or right.
Usage and Needs
By now, you've been closely inspecting the double stroller to meet the needs and safety of your kids, but now, let’s make sure it works for you. You will be the one pushing your kids around, so you want to take a few things into consideration to help yourself in the long run.
Think about your lifestyle. How active you are? Where do you see yourself taking the stroller the most? Would you like to take your kids for a jogging session? Are there any special needs you have to consider? Are there any bonus features you'd like to have? Imagine yourself using the double stroller, so you can know exactly what to expect.
If you get the chance, we recommend checking the maneuverability, as well as foldability. Lastly, consider if a double stroller will fit inside the trunk of your car. If it fits, how easy is it to place inside? You don’t want to spend more than 30 seconds packing your stroller into the trunk. It's a pricey investment, so you want to consider all details before actually making the purchase.
Most quality double strollers come with a big shopping basket located under the seats. Depending on the type of double stroller, you will have plenty of space to store your necessities. Most double strollers can hold from 6 to 22 pounds in the shopping basket but again, we recommend that you read the manual for the stroller you are considering or already purchased.
Although they have plenty of space for storing shopping bags, rain covers, or jackets for your kids, we find that most strollers don't have smaller compartments meant for parents. However, this is just a minor problem as you can always purchase additional side compartments that attach to your stroller. You can even buy stroller organizers.
Can you carry everything you need wherever you go? That's the most important question you have to ask yourself while evaluating t a double stroller.
Most double strollers have features that help with foldability and general use. It's important to pay attention to the specifications listed by the manufacturer for each double stroller model you're looking into.
Every stroller will come with different features, and while some are common across products, some high-end strollers have tech features that have elevated the game and may surprise you.
One of the most important features is the recline function for the seats and the type of seats you can accommodate in the stroller.
As we've mentioned earlier, it's easier to maneuver side-by-side double strollers, but you shouldn't stay away from tandem double stroller altogether.
If you have a chance, test out the stroller in order to see the quality of the wheels and its balance. But keep in mind, you will have two kids and additional accessories, so that's something to think about throughout the test.
If you don't get the chance to test maneuverability, we highly suggest you have a look at the functionality of the wheels and its system as this could tell you a great deal about how well the stroller moves.
Unfortunately, most of us have a budget in the back of our mind and no matter how willing you are to invest in the most high quality double stroller, it hard to get everything you want.
However, what you can do is set a straight budget for the stroller and do your best research to find a double stroller that will offer great quality and value for the asking price.
We are sure this post will send you down the right path, so you have help here.
Extras & Accessories
Depending on the manufacturer, your double stroller may come with additional accessories or extra parts. The most commonly included accessories are bottle holders, rain covers and mosquito nets.
Beside the standard accessories, some manufacturers include: shopping bag hooks, car seat and bassinet adaptors, extra seat liners, and even travel accessories like stroller travel bags that really come in handy.
How to Find a Suitable, Yet Compact, Double Stroller for Your Twins
This might seem quite hard to achieve, but it's not impossible and you shouldn't shy away from the idea. Ideally, if you have twins, your best choice would be a side-by-side double stroller.
If you decide to go with a side-by side model, go for an umbrella double stroller that tends to be more compact but you will lose the ability to attach the car seat or bassinet and in most cases the seats are not reversable.
You can also go for the Bumprider Connect, two compact single strollers that connect to each other with two strong magnets.
Tandem strollers are more compact, but you have to keep in mind they might be harder to fold than a side-by-side double stroller. Tandem strollers with attached car seats are a better option than any side-by-side stroller for newborns. You will just need to place the car seat together with your kids inside of your car and place the frame in the trunk, it’s much faster right?
The challenge with some tandem strollers is that they don't offer increased durability, but can be a great solution for parents who aren't very active yet and want to move easily on the go.
Finding "the right one" can seem like a hard task, especially considering the amount of different double strollers on the market.
However, this guide has everything you need to find the double stroller that will fit your life and needs.
And remember, even if you have twins, it doesn't mean you won't be able to keep your stroller compact and versatile. All you have to do is find the right double stroller model after making a couple of wise decisions!