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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Hi! Hello! I am Shawna, the founder of Styleberry Blog. This creative corner of the internet has become a learning haven for moms and creatives, offering a warm and encouraging nudge to those who wish to be better and do better, but often don't know where to start. From Decorating to DIY to Diapers and Paleo-ish Dishes, I strive to make the complicated simple and empower women to take action beyond their personal comfort zone. I subscribe to the Shine Theory & so strongly believe that we shine when the women around us shine and mutual support—lifting up instead of tearing down--will always be the culture here. Are you in? I hope so! Beyond the computer, I run Styleberry Creative where I work with clients to create low fuss, high function spaces that are pretty and practical in San Antonio, Texas and beyond. I LOVE making a house a home. My own studs out renovation is now complete and I am now back to working with clients. Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you'd like to work together! I hope you’ll join me on this fun new adventure! Xo.