Since you're here, I assume you're at the point in your life when a double stroller could come in handy, yet you're not sure whether it really pays off.
Been there, done that. And let me tell you if you just got twins, your second child, or you love jogging with two of your little ones, yes! You do need it.
How do I know? Being a mom, writing for moms, and maintaining one of the most visited websites for moms, requires going through countless forums, portals, web sites daily.
So, today I am sharing everything I know, and I learned about the best double stroller options, be it for twins, an infant, and toddler, a jogging stroller, or a simple tandem stroller. So if you're interested in real facts, honest reviews, and real-life tips, stay tuned.
Table of Contents
- What is a Double Stroller?
- Why Do I Need a Double Stroller?
- Types of Double Strollers
- Buying Guide: How to Choose Best Double Strollers in 2021?
- Tips and Tricks
- Best Double Stroller Brands: Top 5 Comparison
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The Best Double Strollers in 2021: The Final Showdown
- Final Thoughts
What is a Double Stroller?
First, let's talk about the differentiating features between a single and a double stroller. Well, as the name suggests, a double stroller is a stroller optimized for two kids. It usually has the same wheel structure as a single stroller but two seats. And, they can either be placed one behind another or side-by-side.
Now, some of these strollers are convertible, and the most prominent models are four-wheelers, but there are models with three or even eight wheels.
When it comes to additions, usually, there will be two separate canopies, but there are also models with one large shared canopy. But I don't really like these.
And, importantly, the structure of a double stroller is reinforced to have a much better weight capacity than a single stroller. Most models can hold up to 100 pounds.
Why Do I Need a Double Stroller?
Mothers of twins know why a double stroller is an absolute necessity, yet many parents who got two kids close together try to save money, using only one stroller. At times, this is doable.
For example, my husband and I often go walking together, and he is taking care of our older child while I push the stroller. Yet, what when you're alone with two kids? How about jogging with a stroller? How about running errands with two kids?
There will be situations like this, for sure, so If you really want to save, sell your old stroller, add some money, and buy a double. Trust me; it pays off.
Now, let's see what types of double strollers there are.
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Types of Double Strollers
There are many different models and fashions of double strollers, each having some exquisite attribute of its own added for a specific purpose. However, when it comes to the seat order, there are two main types of double strollers: side-by-side strollers and tandem double strollers.
By design and purpose, we can divide them into seven additional categories:
Now, let's unfold each of these categories.
Side-by-side strollers are essentially strollers with two seats positioned one next to another.
People usually think they are too wide and too heavy to maneuver. However, most of these seats can fit standard doorways, and due to special tires, and suspension systems, they are more manageable than tandem double strollers.
Another myth following these seats is that they are not adjustable, while in fact, each seat has a recline system, each own adjustable canopy, and adjustable calf support.
What I don't like about these seats is that you cannot detach one seat and use it as a single stroller. Actually, there's one single model of that kind, but it's just too expensive. (Contours Element).
They definitely are on the heavier side, so while they are maneuverable, they can be heavy for pushing up hills and heavy to carry when transporting.
Another minor downside I'd like to mention is the price. You can find them budget-friendly and more costly, but the cheapest option is still more expensive than the tandem budget offer.
Can you drive kids of different ages at the same time? Yes!
Do they support car seats? Yes!
What is the price range? $189-$1000
Now, let's see which categories fall under this type:
1. All-Terrain Double Stroller
All-terrain strollers, often mixed with jogging strollers, are double side-by-side models with usually three wheels and massive air-filled tires.
These tires make the ride smoother and more comfortable for our babies, and they're incredibly convenient for maneuvering. As the name suggests, their key attribute is that you can push them on a variety of terrains, specifically because of these wheels.
Nonetheless, they shouldn't be mixed with jogging strollers.
Jogging strollers have a specific suspension system and a handbrake to facilitate steering, while all-terrain strollers do not necessarily have it. Also, jogging strollers have a fixed front wheel, while all-terrain strollers typically have front swivel wheels.
Now let's talk about the structure.
These strollers are equipped with 5-point harnesses, calf supports, and two independent canopies. Still, they shouldn't be used for children under six months unless they are compatible with infant car seat brands. In that case, you can use them for your newborns, but make sure you install the seat correctly.
If you're looking for a compact, lighter double stroller, you might want to skip this type. They are definitely on the heavier side.
According to Consumer Reports, the most frequently bought single models weigh between 22 and 30 pounds, so doubles are somewhere between 30-45 lbs. And also, it won't be easy at all to cram it into your trunk.
So who are these strollers good for? Adventurists and active parents absolutely love them!
Their price range goes between approximately $135 and $500, yet some luxurious models can go up to $800 or even more than $1000.
Does this sound like a double stroller you might need?
2. Double Jogging Stroller
Moving on to the double jogging stroller, a single best stroller for athletic parents who can't give up on running. One attribute I swear by when these models are in question is maneuverability. They are built for convenient steering, easy stopping, and comfortable rides.
Like all-terrain strollers, they have massive tires, three or four of them. But, these tires are not always pneumatic ones. Often we can find solid rubber tires and, in rare cases, plastic ones.
Now, what's specific about them is the all-wheel suspension system, and if they have a front swivel wheel, it always has a locking option. They also include both a handbrake and a parking brake and a large storage basket.
Their seats are equipped with five-point safety harnesses; yet again, you cannot use them for kids under six months unless they are infant seat compatible. This is often the case with high-end models, and the good thing is you can install two car seats.
As for the less popular attributes, not even this model is exactly a lightweight double stroller. They weigh more or less as much as all-terrain doubles (30-40 lbs), but they do have a compact fold.
I wouldn't recommend this model for parents who are looking for a lightweight model and do not plan jogging. Since, if you're not buying them for this purpose, they're just too expensive. Their price goes between $200 and $750.
3. Double Umbrella Stroller
In contrast to previous models, this double stroller type is for those in search of a compact solution. When I first heard about these strollers, I thought they have a huge canopy or rain protection, but that's not the reason behind the name. They are called umbrella strollers because they are foldable to a slim vertical shape, umbrella-like.
That being said, these strollers are perfect for traveling, carpooling, shopping, and every other situation when you need a compact, expandable stroller.
It's almost unbelievable how lightweight these strollers are. Individual models can weigh under 10 pounds, while doubles are somewhere around 20 pounds. When it comes to their capacity, doubles usually have a capacity of 75 pounds or so.
When buying these strollers, you should take care of one thing. Some models are sold with a 3-point harness which is not approved in the United States. On the other hand, models with 5-point harnesses can be used for kids at least six months old.
I wouldn't recommend this stroller for parents with infants since it's not compatible with car seats. And while it is very lightweight, it's not as durable and smooth as heavier alternatives.
As for the price, these are the most affordable models on the market, and you can find them for less than $50.
4. Travel Double Stroller
When it comes to the travel double stroller, it's almost the same as the umbrella stroller. It's lightweight, it's compact, and folds to a small size.
However, the big difference is that the travel stroller is more heavy-duty. It is more expensive than an umbrella double stroller, but it also has better structural integrity and overall quality.
Travel double strollers, unlike umbrella strollers, have full-size canopies, cupholders, and many storage pockets. They weigh around 20 pounds, while their weight capacity is usually 35 pounds per seat.
Some of these models have car seat adapters, so you can install an infant car seat, while others only have a five-point harness; therefore, they are not suitable for kids under six months.
As I already mentioned, these models are not that budget-friendly, they go between $100 and $700, so I wouldn't recommend them for parents who are looking for a part-time solution for their short trip. In that case, umbrella strollers are a better option.
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Tandem Double Stroller
When we say tandem double stroller, we refer to a stroller with seats placed one behind another. They are also called in-line strollers, and they are much loved for they are no wider than a standard single stroller.
A tandem stroller allows numerous configurations, face-to-face, front-to-back, two-level configuration, bassinet and toddler seat, etc. Yet, probably the most attractive feature of this category is that there are single-to-double convertibles.
On the other hand, these strollers are not that convenient for maneuvering, they are hard to store for their complex design that doesn't fold to such small sizes, and in front-to-back configuration, only one child has a clear perspective, while the other is looking at the back of the first one.
Also, in many cases, the second seat is sold separately, so you need to buy another seat to make it double at an additional cost.
Can you drive kids of different ages at the same time? Yes!
Do they support car seats? Yes!
What is the price range? $109 - $1000
Now, let's see which categories fall under this type:
1. Sit and Stand Double Stroller
This type is where the stroller engineers became really creative. A sit-n-stand double stroller is a hybrid of tandem strollers, specially built for families with two children who are not that close in age.
Usually, the front seat is car seat compatible and optimized for a smaller kid, while the back seat is for an older child, at least 2.5 years old. But this is not the rule since there are many different models.
Now, this stroller includes a standing platform, so when you remove the back toddler seat or bench seat, your older child can stand on the standing platform and hold the handle installed to the stroller frame.
And this is a lifesaver when you have a 3-5-year-old who doesn't find the infant sibling interesting and tends to make scenes when walking becomes boring.
Furthermore, while they are lighter than many side-by-side counterparts, they are still not as lightweight as travel strollers. On average, they weigh between 25 pounds and 30 pounds, while their weight capacity is between 80 pounds and 100 pounds, so pretty good.
I wouldn't recommend this model for families with two kids close in age or jogging. Simply because there are so many better-optimized options on the market for two small kids, and these strollers are not quite optimized for uneven grounds and faster pace.
Their price goes between $180 to $799.
2. Convertible Double Stroller
Convertible double strollers are, to my mind, the most practical double strollers on the market. Why?
Well, imagine this: you have one child, so you buy the best possible stroller for his/her needs, then another child comes, and instead of buying a new one, you simply add another seat, and voila, you got yourself a double.
These are essentially convertible double strollers. They can be optimized to support between one and three kids, and the coolest thing about them is that they have numerous possible configurations. Some models even have up to +20 configurations.
Furthermore, they are compatible with car seats, yet the second seat is usually sold separately, so have that somewhere in mind when it comes to cost planning.
Their weight capacity goes up to 90-100 pounds, so accordingly, these strollers are themselves a bit heavy. The lightest models weigh around 30 pounds.
What I don't like about them is the extra weight, of course, and the lower weight capacity of the second seat. Usually, with these models, it's one great seat and another mediocre seat.
When it comes to price, although they seem economical, when you include the second seat and adapter, you can't find a decent model for under $400, so this is not the option for families on a tight budget.
3. Triple Stroller
Finally, although we are talking about the best double strollers today, It won't harm to mention that there are also triple strollers. What's specific about this group of strollers is that they can be both tandem or side-by-side.
On tandem strollers, there are usually two twin seats and one standing platform, all in-line. Or they can come in a combination of three equal seats for +6 months.
With side-by-side models, two seats are placed one next to another, and the third is installed in front of one seat, lifted a bit higher. But some extremely expensive models can include three seats side-by-side.
High-end models usually have canopies for all three seats, but it's often the case with cheaper models that one child is left without a canopy. They have a massive construction and don't fold to small sizes.
Before buying this stroller, what you should really think about is, are you actually benefiting?
First of all, these strollers are heavy as heck. They weigh around 60 pounds at best. Secondly, they are either too long for convenient steering or too wide for doorways, and it's really a hassle to fit them into your truck.
On the other hand, if you're really, honestly in need of a triple stroller, go for it. But choose the high-end models with upgraded wheel systems, advanced structures, and good maneuverability.
These models have a weight capacity of approximately 150 pounds, and the price goes between $350 to +$1000.
Buying Guide: How to Choose Best Double Strollers in 2021?
I suppose many of you haven't heard about double strollers, so you might need some guidance through the process of selection.
Below you can read what you should care about when looking for a perfect double stroller.
Age is most definitely a defining factor in the selection of a double stroller. The closer your children are age-wise, the wider the choice of models you could consider is.
All the models have a bottom age limit of 6 months, except for the standing platform. (2.5 years). But let's try to break it down for a clear overview.
Infant Twins: Infants should not ride in strollers without the infant car seat installed, by no means! Therefore, for twin infants, the best option is a side-by-side stroller that can support two infant car seats. According to my research, jogging strollers and all-terrain models are great for this purpose.
Infant and Toddler: For an infant and a toddler, almost every type is suitable since most models have at least one seat with car seat compatibility. Only umbrella double strollers are not a good option here, so avoid them.
Two Toddlers: For two precious babies over six months, all the options listed above are suitable. But don't let a child younger than 2,5 years ride on the standing platform.
Three or Four: Triple strollers are your only option. It's good to look for models with at least one infant car seat compatible seat.
2. Maximum Weight Capacity
The next attribute you should spend some time on is weight capacity. How much do your children weigh?
Most double stroller seats can support up to 50 pounds each, yet some lightweight variants (umbrella, travel) can support only 35 pounds each. I'm always buying maybe a more expensive model but with a higher weight capacity.
Another thing to think about is the use. Correspondingly, you should look for a model with adequate weight and design. Here I stated some of the most common uses, with the corresponding models:
4. Weight and Foldability
Weight is definitely something you should put a lot of thought into. Double strollers weigh between 30 and 60 pounds, so it makes a big difference whether you need them for traveling or jogging.
My recommendation is models between 30 and 50 pounds. They have proven the most stable, with the best structural integrity.
Also, some heavier models, such as jogging and all-terrain strollers, are super-easy for transportation because they fold down to small sizes. So that's something to consider too.
If a model is a bit heavier, that doesn't mean it's not portable. On the contrary, whether the stroller folds is of the highest importance. For example, tandem doubles are way harder to cram into a truck, so bear that in mind.
5. Structure and Safety
I have to agree that double strollers pretty much look alike. But their structure can actually be quite different.
High-end models for various terrains have larger bicycle wheels with pneumatic tires, and as a result, they are way smoother and more comfortable than cheaper alternatives. Also, the front-wheel suspension provides a smooth ride and easy steering. So that's something to look for.
Then, it's important that the stroller has reclining seats, a five-point harness, and an adjustable handlebar. This significantly affects your child's experience, and if you can adjust the handlebar to fit your height, it's way easier for pushing. And seat recline helps find the best position for your baby.
Also, if you're using a sit and stand model, does your other child have a canopy? That's a great plus too.
When it comes to safety measures, it's critical that the stroller follows federal regulations and has the CPSA certification.
As I already mentioned, these products come at a variety of prices. The price span goes from $45 to over $1000.
According to my own experience and what other moms say, a reliable double stroller will cost you between $200 and $500.
Many double strollers are supposedly convertible, but what does that actually mean?Usually, when we say convertibility, we mean single-to-double convertible.
In this case, it's important that the seat has a universal car seat adapter so that you can attach two car seats. Also, it's important that it has a reclining seat to adapt the configuration.
However, the all-terrain stroller is the best stroller for two kids because you can convert it into a jogging stroller, use it for city walks and all terrains. To do so, they need to have a locking front swivel wheel and all-wheel suspension.
An adjustable handlebar is also an essential addition for convertibles since it allows different stroller seat configurations.
Tips and Tricks
What I found incredibly cute about our community is that every mom comes up with some trick of her own, and it's beautiful to see how creative we all are. Going through some forums, I noticed that some moms don't find double strollers essential, and they managed without them.
So let's look into some ideas showing how moms have been handling their two little rascals without a double stroller:
All in all, when it comes to double stroller favorites, moms with two kids 3+ years apart find the sit-and-stand stroller the best dual stroller, while as the best twin stroller, jogging double is a favorite.
Best Double Stroller Brands: Top 5 Comparison
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a double stroller for a 2-year-old and newborn?
As you can see in the section above, it is possible to manage an infant and a toddler without a double, yet I believe it's especially useful with that age gap.
A two-year-old is simply not old enough to walk beside you, and to carry a baby for an entire walk will be tiresome for you.
What is the best affordable double stroller?
Graco DuoGlider is one of the most popular budget-friendly doubles.
It's the best double stroller for infants and toddlers, and since it can support two Graco snug-n-ride models, it's great for infant twins too.
What is the most luxurious stroller?
Contours Element is one of the most luxurious models I found on Amazon.
Does my 4-year-old need a double stroller?
A side-by-side stroller usually supports kids up to 36 months, so you might get a sit-n-stand, but I think a 4-year-old is too big for most double strollers.
How do I turn my UPPAbaby Vista into a double?
Here's one great video on how to turn your UPPAbaby Vista into a double.
Are double strollers allowed on airplanes?
Yes! Strollers can be gate-checked; only some airlines allow only strollers or car seats to be gate checked on one flight.
The Best Double Strollers in 2021: The Final Showdown
With that, I leave you for today. I honestly hope that I managed to transfer my own experience and stress why the best double strollers really are worth it.
Whichever model you eventually buy, stay focused on what really matters and choose in accordance with your needs and finances.
I hope you genuinely enjoyed my text about the best double strollers, and if you have anything to comment, write to us in the contact form.