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The Double Stroller Dilemma

Do I? Don’t I? Is that giant thing necessary? How will I know? OMG. It’s huge. :(

Well. I did get it. & I think it is necessary. & I am pretty sure there is just no way around the ginormous double stroller. & I am pretty excited about the one that’s currently headed my way! But it was not without a lot of careful thought & consideration. & then getting my hands on them & playing. & folding. & lifting. & stuffing a squirmy toddler in.

I recently made a trip back to my hometown, in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have a chain of stores called Buy Buy Baby (you lucky ducks who live near one!) that allow you to get your hands on floor models of pretty much every stroller available–low end to high end. I did stop by Giggle in Walnut Creek (LOVE that store) but Buy Buy Baby had everything & more.

I went in knowing that my #1 reason for buying a double stroller was for brisk walks in my neighborhood (I am not a runner with children…nooo thank you) and for trips to the zoo or parks that require a lot of walking. I figure I’ll use my beloved Bugaboo Cameleon for brief trips shopping– either wearing the new babe in my Ergo & pushing caroline, OR I’ll push the new babe and let caroline run. She is hardly a stroller girl these days anyway.

So with that in mind, I’d whittled my selections down to a few favorites once I met them in person. I was dying to try the Bugaboo Donkey, the Phil & Ted’s Classic + doubles kit, the Bumbleride Indie Twin and the BOB Duallie.

So I tried all four, along with a couple others that I had loosely considered. Here are my thoughts…

Bugaboo Donkey (top left)

I thought I was going to LOVE this one. I adore my Bugaboo Cameleon. Nothing can beat is as a single stroller in my eyes. But…I was not in awe.

What I liked:

  • smoooooooth ride, as expected from bugaboo
  • ability to use the bassinet with a toddler upright
  • sturdy frame
  • great color options

What I didn’t:

  • the single stroller option included the basket–it could not convert into a single width seat only, making it bigger than the cameleon as a single
  • it came apart into three pieces to get into the car (two seats & the base). My main complaint about the Cameleon is having to set the seat on the ground & load the base in my car, then pick the seat back up & put it in. Thinking of leaving a stroller of this value in three pieces behind my SUV in a parking lot, with two kids to get into the car, made my mind spin.
  • the price tag

Verdict:

  • Too expensive. Bassinet would only be used for 3-4 months so it’s really unnecessary; a side by side stroller would do. Too difficult to quickly get in & out of the car.

Phil & Ted’s Classic + Doubles Kit (top right)

I reeeeeeally wanted to love this. I was crossing my fingers that this would be THE stroller for us.

What I liked:

  • single width, but holds two babes
  • cheap, comparatively

What I didn’t:

  • I kicked the back seat. #1 reason to disqualify a stroller
  • When I put caroline in back for the test drive she would not keep her fingers out of the wheels & wanted out out out
  • The ride/suspension could not compare to the bugaboo or the BOB

Verdict:

  • I will not own a stroller that I kick while walking–so it was out immediately.

Bumbleride Indie Twin (bottom, left)

Everyone I know who has this stroller raves about it, and aesthetically, it’s one of the nicest looking strollers around. I thought this would be my choice for a side by side before I saw it in person.

What I liked:

  • The most fabulous color stroller ever (“spice”–apricot + turquoise). I have never seen a prettier color combo.
  • The ride was pretty smooth.
  • it was pretty easy to fold
  • I could use an infant seat

What I didn’t:

  • I have a very personal issue with reclined seats. I like my kiddo to sit totally upright–in strollers, high chairs, carseats–and all of ours put her at about a 90° angle. This stroller put the kids on a pretty substantial recline, and their feet were up in the air too. Even as upright and unreclined as I could make it, I wasn’t happy with it. caroline is not a nap-on-the-go gal, so I have no need for a stroller my child can sleep in. Call me crazy–it’s just one of my “things.”

Verdict:

  • It came down to a side by side comparison with the BOB Duallie–and the smooth ride on the BOB beat the ride on this one.

BOB Revolution Duallie (bottom, right)

I never thought I’d be a BOB SNOB but…well…I had about a zillion people telling me I’d love this one. It’s nothing special. Not flashy. Just a sturdy double stroller…

What I liked:

  • smooth ride, comparable to the Bugaboo–no small feat in my eyes
  • very easy fold
  • infant seat attachment that can stay ON while folded
  • single front wheel made it very easy to handle
  • nice cargo space underneath
  • one hand maneuverability
  • Doesn’t scream “expensive stroller”
  • reasonable price

What I didn’t:

  • it is still a little reclined for my taste, so I am going to see if it bothers caroline of if it’s just a quirk of mine

Verdict:

  • I bought it. I ended up grabbing one when Albee Baby put their BOBs on sale for 15% off + no tax and free shipping. It should arrive this week & I can’t wait! (It’s still on sale, one hundred dollars off, as of 11/08/11, find it here)
  • I liked it just as much (if not more, for my use) than the Bugaboo Donkey, at a third of the price
  • Compared to the Bumbleride Twin–the ride was smoother and the price was a couple hundred dollars less for what seems like the same quality
  • I bought the handlebar console & have not yet decided to purchase the snack tray or the infant adapter. We do not have a snack tray on the Bugaboo (she has a baggie for her trail mix & her water gets tucked in next to her) & she manages just fine. & I am not sure how much I’d actually leave newborn #2 in the bucket as we only used the infant seat for a few months & I am pretty sure I’ll be able to get by without it. Still undecided.

Others I looked at:

  • Baby Jogger City Mini Double–not smooth enough to handle my walking pace
  • Baby Jogger City Select + doubles kit– caroline looked like a giant in it, & it felt short. I loved how you can set the infant up top, but it felt very unstable to me, coming from my gold standard, the Bugaboo. I felt like it could tip easily, compared to what I am used to.
  • Uppa Baby Vista, double–I kicked it.

So there you have it! I hope I love the BOB as much as I think I will, and as much as all of you have promised me you love yours. What is your favorite double stroller? Or did you manage without one? Got a valuable piece of advice for those of us expecting #2 & trying to wrap our heads around being out & about with TWO kiddos?

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  • Drea - I own the Bob Duallie :) we’ve had it since Taite was 2 or so. So now its a few years old, still works perfectly, no problems what so ever.
    It is very heavy IMO, that would prob be my only beef ;-)
    That and very little storage under it, but thats ok :)
    You cant beat how smooth it is and how it can go over ANYTHING.
    I also love that it fits thru most doors :)

    We still use it now btw, even tho our kids are 7, almost 5 and 20 mon. Our 7 year old can still ride in it :) – on longgg walks if need be.

    Enjoy!ReplyCancel

  • Drea - Oh and my friend owned the Phil and ted one, just like in the photo, i loaned her my bob for some time, she wanted to trade her phil in after that ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea - SO glad you did this! I have been going through the same thought process as we are expecting #2 in May when #1 will just shy of 2 years old.

    I LOVE our single BOB and knew that I wanted/needed to have a Duallie, but was concerned about how wide it is for just out and about “stuff”, so was considering a – GASP – second double stroller that was not side by side for just such things. The Orbit Double Helix comes out around April and it looks amazing, but I have a hard time swallowing the cost of 2 expensive strollers…

    Again, thank you for doing this Shawna as I think it has sealed my decision to go with just a Duallie!

    ChelseaReplyCancel

  • Denae - I am surprised you didnt look at the City Elite. Its like the City Mini with a much smoother ride and a couple extra nice features. Very similar to the Bob.ReplyCancel

  • Whitney - Thanks so much for this post. As usual, your reviews are very helpful! We have the Bumbleride Indie Single and I love it, EXCEPT for the recline issue. It was something I didn’t even know to look for when we were stroller shopping, but now that D is 16 months it bothers me a lot. Not enough to get a new stroller, but enough that I would hesitate to recommend it.ReplyCancel

  • Jane - I felt the need to point out that you may THINK the Donkey in mono mode is wider than the chameleon, but it’s actually .4″ slimmer in mono than the Chameleon. I think it’s an optical illusion because you’re seeing a seat AND basket and you perceive it to be wider. I saw one in a store and backed it up to a Chameleon and sure enough — basically same size!!

    The Donkey is also the best if you just have one baby now but plan to have more (so you don’t have a double at all times with just one kid)! It grows with your family – genius!!!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Totally managed having 3 kids (18 months apart each) with only an umbrella stroller (you know the kind you get for free at Toys R Us at certain times of the year? yeah, that one). We do *have* a fantastic single jogging stroller but I never used it much at all after #2 was born. I wore the middle child the most and once #3 came, I didn’t get out much, but that was fine with me — never suffered from cabin fever.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - I LOOOVE Buy Buy Baby!! The nearest one to us was an hour away, but it was so worth the drive to register there! :) I was very happy with their selection (lots of organic options!) and their customer service (unlike with Babies R Us… oh man, the headaches they gave me!). So glad you liked them!ReplyCancel

  • Annie McAuliff - You will love your double Bob My two boys love it and they are 1 and 3 i also bought the uppa baby vista with the bassinet, toddler seat rumble seat and skate board. I thought this would be my go to but it is to hard to turn with both kids in it soooo…. Bob is my winner!!!! Congrats on the splurge!ReplyCancel

  • Annie McAuliff - Ohhh the Phill and Ted you would not be able to use until your bundle was 6 months. Unless in the past year they have added a feature for a car seat adaptor.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - Stopped in giggle last week when I was home for a visit – sooo cute! I miss WC!! And, I was sooo happy for my Bay Area mamas who know can share my love of BBB!! Congrats on finding a stroller! Hope you are feeling wonderful! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kate - I would have loved to get a double stroller, but after talking it over with the hubs, we decided against it. Our son turned 3 a couple months before #2 came and he wasn’t much for a stroller ride anymore. When I go out with both kiddos, I have #2 (who is only 8 weeks old now)in the travel system or in a sling. It is helpful to have 2 available hands with a 3 year old. He is very good about staying next to mom and holding my hand. I do have a city select single jogger which I love and will still use it when #2 and I go for runs.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - I love my Valco Trimode ^Twin. The best features for me are that my side-by-side double fits through a standard size door and my tall almost 4 year old is comfortable riding in it. I also love the bonus of the saddlebags and removable bags and that the sunshades are huge!ReplyCancel

  • Haley Koning - we registered for the same one a few weeks ago after putting avery in a few!!! baby number 2 comes in a few weeks so i’m not sure we love it yet but we’re super excited about it!ReplyCancel

  • Kate Sommers - We just inherited a duallie from friend when they found out we were having twins. I WANTED to be excited about this stroller, but it only fits one car seat AND it doesn’t really fit into the back of my fairly large trunk (toyota matrix). In fact, i’m not sure it really fits at all because i had to fold the two back seats forward a tad just to get the monster home. For our needs I’m thinking the city select is the way to go (can accommodate two buckets, even though who knows how long we’ll use/need those) just because it has such a smaller profile than the duallie and it will HOPEFULLY fit in my trunk. Plus, i have no other stroller to base my preference off of, and every review i have read of the city select has been a good one.ReplyCancel

  • Hwan - Great review! We have the Baby Jogger City Mini Double for our two kids who are 19 months apart. We bought it for the SECOND time a couple of weeks ago when our stroller was stolen at Disneyland! We LOVE it. We debated the Donkey and the Duallie, but neither can beat the convenience of having the Baby Jogger City Mini Double. I can fold it and put it away in the back of my SUV in a matter of seconds. It’s light, comfortable for the kids, and easy to steer. It’s absolutely perfect for quick trips to the mall, park, or Disneyland!ReplyCancel

  • carrie - I’m getting this too – not sure if from the sale but I’m going to check it out. Have a single with Belle & she does often tuck her sippy into the side pocket even though we have a tray. The nalgeen won’t fit in the tray anyway. I use the tray for snacks though. Also, I would definately recommend the carseat adapter. The BOB is a roomy stroller & Belle sat in her carseat for walks for quite some time before I felt she was safe in the regular seat.ReplyCancel

  • Courtney - I LOVE LOVE LOVE (insanely LOVE) my BOB Dualie. It has improved the quality of my life so much. I purchased a cheapo double for my 2-year-old and 1-year-old and I got what I paid for. I purchased a friend’s BOB Dualie (yes, used, worth every penny – I got a great deal). I really can’t tell you the difference. It fits through every doorway I ever need to go through, both kids are very comfortable, I can steer with one hand, I use it both for jogging and at the zoo, mall, etc. In short…it is amazing. I hope you love it (but I’m pretty sure you will!)
    Congrats on the new baby. You will have so much fun.
    Oh – and I love the blog; thanks for encouraging and inspiring. I feel like you are my Type A twin or something, ha!ReplyCancel

  • Kirstjen Pratt - We LOVE our Bob Duallie! We have twins and a four year old. It has been fantastic! Our oldest hops onto the front triangle area to ride when he gets tired of walking and it still feels like I’m pushing air. :-)

    I was actually nervous while reading that you may have picked a different one. Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Renee - We are on baby number 3 and LOVE our Valco Twin Trimode!! Incredibly easy to push and I love the third seat option! We rarely have trouble fitting anywhere. Their customer service is out of this world too! Good luck and you will find the double for you and your family!ReplyCancel

  • Erin Rodriguez - Great blog post… I have been to Buy Buy Baby in Chicago, but did you know there is one in Austin?? I just looked it up on their website. Sooooo excited! That and Ikea are great excuses to drive over there from San Antonio. :)ReplyCancel

  • THE BABY LIST | everything you need to have a baby » styleberry BLOG - […] BOB Duallie. Love. Perfect double stroller for rigorous walks/runs. More here: Finding the right Double Stroller. […]ReplyCancel

  • Jessica G. - I just came across this post and had to laugh a little because I tested out the same strollers as you around the same time as you! I ended up with the bumbleride and haven’t looked back. I reason I chose it over the bob is because the seats lay flat and since I normally don’t use a car seat and walk with my kids a lot, that feature was really important to me.ReplyCancel

  • Strollermomz - What an awesome review of some of the best double strollers on the market! It would have been great if the City Mini GT was out when you did this, would have been interesting to see your review!ReplyCancel

  • die - i don’t think so, because my child always feel comfortable if he sitting in this baby stroller. i think baby jogger city mini is really the best baby stroller.ReplyCancel

  • Karen - I own graco double single sit and stand , Valco double and single ,quinny, baby trend, safary, double and single, now have a Phil and Ted I like it when I’m in a store my older child sits in the bottom plays his ds he hates shopping I can live with that but is not my favorite because if you walk around town is the stroller I will not recommend now I own a Bob single and double I love them because is so comfortable the suspension is one thing I love yes the double is bulky and heavy but is my child being super comfortable and rides with suspension that put them to sleep in our walks that I love fits in my truck with or taking the wheels this is definitely a keeper I was about to try the Indie twin but no suspension Avery time we hit a rock or grave my kids go ouch so I decide not to buy one thanks to my friend that let us borrow hers m now she wants a Bob too not for his color or for lightness or fit being small but because her kids also fall to sleep in my stroller too ;-)ReplyCancel

  • jessica - wow.!. Loved your blog.. Am sure to purchase this stroller for my 16 month old.. I was so confused with so many options availableReplyCancel

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