4.12.2012

double stroller reviews - finally!!

AHHHH...my favorite topic - STROLLERS! 

If I thought choosing a single stroller was difficult, well that was small beans in comparison to my new quest for the perfect double stroller!

It doesn't help that I want it do about 15 million different things, including make me dinner. Needless to say, I am very picky about strollers and I know it will drive me crazy if we end up with one that just doesn't work well for our growing family. Now that I have a few years of stroller use under my belt, I am pretty clear about what I do/do not like the features that are important to me. It's not likely that everyone else will feel the same, exact way as me....but here is a quick rundown of what I'm looking for....

Must Haves
- 2 reasonably sized seats
- Rubber wheels for frequent use on grass and sand 
- Ability to take it jogging/walking/etc
- Large sun shade
- Smooth ride
- Compatibility with infant car seat
- Easy to fold
- Relatively lightweight
- Ability to maneuver easily in stores and around town

Nice, but not essential
- Cupholders
- Large storage basket
- Extremely lightweight

To give you some background, we have a single BOB revolution stroller that we love and a single Peg Perego Si travel stroller that we also like {not love}. We are planning to keep both of those because there are times when I'll only have one child with me, or C can walk and won't need to be sitting in the stroller, etc....

So, because we are planning to keep both of those strollers, I'm figuring that this double stroller will be mainly for general home based {non-travel} use such as when I want to take both kids out on a run with me, to the beach, to the pool/playground, and to general outdoor events. We go to the beach quite often between May-October, so rubber wheels that are good on sand are essential to me. As are large sun shades because it is sunny and HOT for a significant amount of the year here. I run {as in jogging} pretty frequently so I also need something that is safe, comfortable and smooth to load both kids into for a 1-3 mile run. Any longer runs will probably be kid-free as I find running with a stroller kind of awkward after awhile.

Realistically I'll probably also need it to take with me while running errands/shopping, but I don't see that as being the primary function of the stroller. If I have both kids with me, what's the likelihood I'll really be able to shop around all that much, anyway? Plus, as baby #2 gets a bit larger we're probably going to need a double, lightweight travel stroller anyway, so I'd rather just use that if I do have both kids with me and am trying to navigate through stores and tighter spaces. That will be a future purchase, however, we're just focusing on a general, double stroller for everyday use right now.

We'll probably store the double stroller in the garage or in the back of one of our cars, so although I would like it to be easy to fold and lightweight, those qualities aren't as essential to me as some of the others I listed. I would imagine that if you lived in a bigger city, were frequently going up or down stairs, or had to fold it up to store it, this would be a major difference in what you'd need out of a double stroller versus what I'm looking for.

Now that I've narrowed down the field, here are the contenders:




Pros:
- Front and back seat design, so it can easily be maneuvered though smaller spaces
- Rubber wheels
- Rumble (back) seat can be removed as needed so it's also a single stroller
- Easy to fold
- Compatible with our Peg Perego car seat

Cons:
- Awful reviews on Amazon about the wheels breaking???
- Small-ish sun shade
- C-man loves to sit up in the seat, with his hands on the front bar so I'm not sure he'll like being stuck in the back seat
- Have heard it's difficult to maneuver

Weight:
29 lbs

Price:
$600



Pros:
- Smooth ride on almost all surfaces
- Very large sunshade
- Side by side design allows both kids to face out and look around
- Plenty of leg room for both seats
- Easy to push while jogging - literally feels like it's gliding on air
- Big, rubber wheel great for the beach/sand
- Excellent ride on all terrains

Cons:
- Side-by-side design takes up a lot of space and is difficult to maneuver in stores and crowds
- Feels like you are pushing a wide bus
- No alternative configuration for seats
- Takes up a lot of trunk space
- NOT compatible with our Peg Perego car seat {the single BOB is, but the double is not!}

Weight:
32 lbs

Price:
$500-600 (depending on color)



Pros:
- Both seats can be front facing and can configure a number of ways
- Front and back seat design, so it can easily be maneuvered though smaller spaces
- Quick and easy to fold {or so I've been told....}
- Front seat can be removed as needed so can also be used as a single stroller
- Compatible with our Peg Perego car seat

Cons:
- Back seat seems pretty tight on leg room - two toddlers would definitely have a hard time fitting comfortably
- Overall felt very long to me 
- Not as easy to maneuver or effortless to push as other double strollers {such as the BOB}
- Car seat adaptor must be removed before folding - and I might be wrong, but think you need to remove both seats before folding???


Price:
$670

Weight:
?? Couldn't find - but seems heavy ??



Pros:
- Can configure the front seat a number of way
- Added bassinet is great for infants 
- Very smooth ride on almost all surfaces
- Large sunshade in front
- East to fold with seats attached 
- Adjustable handle height
- Compatible with our Peg Perego car seat

Cons:
- C-man loves to sit up in the seat, with his hands on the front bar so I'm not sure he'll like being stuck in the back seat
- Sunshade in back isn't as large


Price:
$830

Weight:
34 lbs


Ok....think that's covers most of my essential pros and cons....

...and now for what we decided to purchase.....


Overall, I really haven't had too many opportunities to try out the Phil & Ted's because it's not sold in any stores in the Charleston area. So most of my experience with it is when I happen to see one and ask about it and then just from what I've seen and heard online. When I have seen one in person and tried it, I definitely noticed it doesn't move as smoothly as the BOB. It also feels more "plastic" to me, if that makes any sense....and then, of course, although the front and back configuration is helpful when maneuvering in crowds and stores, I'm just not sure it's the best option for C-man and if he isn't happy riding back there, then will he even use it all that much or will I end up pushing a stroller while carrying him when he's tired or we are out??

As for the Baby Jogger, I am not a fan of removing the seats before folding. That seems like a pain to me and difficult to juggle with two kids. I also do not find it as easy to push as the BOB and found it to be clunky. Overall I simply didn't like it all that much when I was trying it out - but that's just personal preference.....

I've aways loved the UPPABaby Vista and it was a serious contender when we were buying our first stroller over two years ago {see previous posts here and here}. I still love it but as with the Phil & Ted's, I think the rumble seat in the back just isn't not the best option for C-man.

And lastly...a few people have suggested the Bumbleride Indie Twin {that means you, Patricia!!}


While it could be a contender on my list, there aren't any stores in Charleston that sell it nor have I ever seen it in person to try it out. Plus, it doesn't seem like jogging is its primary function, so for those reasons I haven't given it too much serious thought. If you have some feedback, I'd be happy to hear though!

And I didn't include any Bugaboo strollers {such as the Bugaboo Donkey} because I felt like I had a good line up to choose from without adding another to the mix. And at $1200 I don't feel like it merits paying almost double what we could purchase any of these other strollers for...it does look lovely though. 

SOOOO.....after all that - if you are still reading - then you will see that brings us to the BOB. 

Oh....mister BOB. How I love you and get frustrated by your double wide size all at the same time!

Although there are a few things I'm NOT happy with - such as it not being compatible with our car seat and how large the width is - what it comes down to is that the BOB is by far the most comfortable ride for the kids, both are able to face out, they will be protected from the sun, and it feels like you are pushing air.....

Plus, a woman showed me an infant insert you can pace in the BOB seat once they are 8 weeks old so that helped calm my frustrations about not being able to use the car seat. 

So there you have it...the BOB it is. And I'm very happy with the decision and hope it will inspire me to get out and go for a run as often as possible....

If you've read through all of this and have any questions, please feel free to ask....clearly I LOVE this stuff!

6 comments:

  1. Um...thank you for this! Double strollers are such a pain! Especially when you are trying to find one that takes two infant car seats. Congrats on the decision on the double BOB! If you haven't already purchased it, you may want to double check to see if the seats can recline independently or if both have to be the same position. I'm not sure if this matters to you. Just a thought. xo

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  2. Amazing post on double strollers. I share pretty much ALL of your same sentiments & requirements. I would love the double BOB but we need an in-line to get in and out of our back slider easily. Did you consider the Phil&Teds Vibe? It has this cocoon thing that the baby lays in (bassinet-like) underneath the main seat, so C-Man wouldn't have to sit behind baby sister. Ever. That's the one I ended up going with. When the baby is big enough, you just put the 2nd seat on the back, and little baby can go back there. I didn't think Ellie would handle being in the back of a stroller very well. It has rubber tires too.

    I was also thinking that I would still just bring the single BOB to the beach. Ellie is big enough to walk when we get there, and I have a beach tent too (bought on your recco too) so there would always be a spot for some little person to sleep. I just can't give up my single BOB life.

    I guess I should have thought about a second child when I bought my first stroller, but I don't think I would have done anything differently. Our single BOB is our 2nd child at the moment. It goes EVERYWHERE and I absolutely love it. Sometimes I think I should just get the Duallie and collapse it every time we get home to bring it inside. Maybe lots of people do that and its not a big deal.

    Can't wait to see the post about your new baby! Feel really well in these last couple weeks mama. XO

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  3. thanks ladies!

    Ashley - I just looked into if he seats recline independantly and the website just says they recline and doesn't specifically say individually or not. I'll go check it out the weekend {we haven't actually ordered ours yet}

    Meredith - I did briefly look at the Phil & Teds Vibe online, but since they don't sell them anywhere here I was hesitant to go any further without being able to try it out in person. Plus, I just felt like the side by side was probably the best fit for us. We are also keeping the single BOB and I imagine I'll probably use it just as much, if not more, then the double. C will be in school 3 days a week in the fall plus he likes to walk places, too. So, when I have them both I'll prob bring the double with me just in in case he gets tired or if I want to be able to throw shopping bags, etc in the extra seat while he is walking. Plus, I'll prob use the single more for the beach next year once baby #2 is waking to cut down on what I have to haul out there. Overall I see the double as a temporary (but still very necessary) stroller and will probably keep the single BOB for longer.

    Also...the double isn't quite as wide as I thought it would be. The width of the double is 30.5 inches, while the single is 25.5 inches. So really only 5 inches wider. Each seat in the double is 2 inches thinner so that helps keep the width a bit more manageable. Maybe it will still fit in through your door?

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  4. I'm so glad you decided against the Uppa Baby. As the proud owner of the Uppa Baby Vista I will tell you that it's an incredibly heavy stroller when configured as a single. We're going to get the rumble seat and convert ours into a double when baby number two arrives since we already have the stroller anyway, but I honestly can't fathom how heavy it's going to be! I loved the Uppa in the city because of its huge basket--great for grocery shopping. But now that we've moved to the burbs, I have to say I never use it. I'll let you know how it goes this fall once we have it configured for 2.
    xo
    Morgan

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    floor locks & appliance casters

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  6. Thank you for useful information. Buying Double Stroller have many factors for consideration. Each type have pros and cons. Your article double strollere review give me clear for each type. Thank a lot.

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