Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Strollin' with two!

Around Christmastime this year, our family is getting a brand new baby boy and we are THRILLED!! (Our kids will be just over 2 years apart) I've started shopping a little and thinking about all the things we'll need when we have two little children in our home. One of the things at the top of the list is a double stroller. I am leaning toward a double jogging stroller and have heard great things about a BOB or a Schwinn with a swivel wheel (I guess they don't all come with a swivel), but would still LOVE more advice before actually making a purchase!! So...that's where you come in :)

*What kind of double stroller would you recommend?
*Do you like the Sit and Stand, Double Jogging Strollers, standard tandem strollers (one seat in front of the other), or convertible ones that can switch between a double stroller and a sit and stand?
*Why?? What makes you love or not like that specific type?
*Would you recommend certain brands over others?
*I've also heard that some double strollers are so bulky that they don't fold up small enough to put in the trunk of a car. I definitely want to be able to take mine places, so any insight on size would be great as well.
*Anything else I should think about before making this purchase?



On The Go Family said...

I wanted to get a double when I had my second child (2-year difference between kids) but couldn't find one that I really liked/could afford. At one point I got the Graco Quattro Tour Duo but I couldn't stand how big and bulky it was. I felt like I was pushing around a limo. I ended up selling it a short time later.

We ended up doing fine without a stroller since it was winter and the only places we really went were stores that had carts. Then I got a double jogger about a year later that is awesome -- but not small enough to fit into a trunk. It's the Trek GoBug Deluxe -- wasn't at all cheap but was life-changing in terms of how it's allowed us to get out and experience the great outdoors. It's probably not what you're looking for based on your comments.

If you're set on getting a double jogger, you'll want to be sure to check how soon your baby can ride in it. Most joggers I've seen can't be used by a baby until he's around 6 months old.

One exception that I know of is the Phil & Ted's E3, which you can actually use with a baby seat, but the E3 is quite pricey. I've got many friends who have it and love it.

Betsy said...

I always feel like when there is something to be said about strollers, I have to tell how much I love mine! I have a Phil & Teds Sport ( which is the newer version of the E3 and it seriously is the best double stroller! It is compact, light weight, and it folds smaller than my single stroller. I take it everywhere; out on walks, inside stores, etc.

It has a swivel wheel in the front and it can also be locked in place. It is such a cool stroller because you can put your kids in it from brand new infant all the way through toddler. When they are new babies, one of the seats lays completely flat and the other seat goes over top. Then, when the baby is ready to sit up, the seat that was on top moves to the back. I was worried about the kid in the back at first, but my older son (3 1/2) LOVES the back seat because he can get in and out. My kids are about 11 lbs different in weight and it seems to be fine having the lighter child in front. I also just discovered you can put the car seat on the stroller when the bar is on - you don't have to buy the car seat attachment. I will be using it that way with the next kid.

It is also nice because now that my son is getting older and doesn't always need/want to ride in the stroller, you can just take the back seat off and you have a single stroller.

Now, if you are wanting a jogger so you can actually go running with both kids, this isn't the stroller for you. The back seat comes back too far to get a good running stride. One of my friends did run with hers when it was in the infant position with the seat on top.

It is a pricey stroller, but I feel like it was worth every penny. I just wish I would have bought it with my first baby. I found mine on which is one of the cheapest places I have found. My cousin got her Phil & Teds there too about 8 months after me and it was the same price.

Hope that helps!

mistybown said...

My oldest 2 kids are just over 2 yrs apart. I always wanted a double stroller but couldn't ever find one I could afford at the time. My 2nd & 3rd kids are just over 3 yrs apart & I was worried I might really need a double stroller. However, much to my luck, it really hasn't been an issue for us at all.
Since the double strollers are so expensive, I'd suggest looking somewhere like Kid to Kid to see if you can find one cheaper (that's where my sister got hers). Sorry, I'm not much help on this one!

Megan said...

I don't have a double, but have used one when I watch my sister's kids. Her stroller doesn't have a swivel wheel in front and it is a pain to turn corners with! You definitely want a double stroller with a swivel wheel.

Tannie Datwyler said...

When my son was born we had bought a double bike trailer/stroller. Like has been mentioned - you cannot usually put a newborn in an actual jogging stroller and the same is true for a bike trailer/stroller. So we didn't have a stroller for both our kids until my son was 6 months. Before that if I wanted to go for a walk I would put my son in the front pack and stroll my daugther. This gave me a pretty good workout I think. :) After a while he would just stay with my husband while I walked with my daughter. And if I ever wanted to go for a walk with my husband we used two different strollers.

With that being said, I wish we'd had something for him right off. Although it worked and wasn't a big deal, it wasn't convenient.

We opted to buy a bike trailer/sroller because both are expensive seperately so we thought we'd buy them together. Although I wanted a new one, we didn't do that (we couldn't afford a brand new stroller - and you know how much these double strollers are $400-$800 depending on the brand). We bought a used Trek (which is made by Chariot) and it has served us well.

I know quite a bit about double bike trailer/strollers. So I'll give you what I know about that. If you want to take your kids on bike rides then this is for sure the stroller to get. There are MANY brands out there, but I would recommend Chariot
(specifically cougar) if you are going to go this route. Chariot also has a baby insert, so if you buy the insert you can stroll your baby in your bike trailer almost right off. Chariot strollers have attachments to a bike, and then you can buy attachments for a jogging wheel or for two strolling swivel wheels (or both).

We have all the attachments for our stroller and I use the swivel wheels sometimes, but I also often use the jogging wheel on my bike trailer - it is not a swivel wheel. Megan mentioned how hard it is to turn corners, but I haven't found that to be true with mine - perhaps it is the design. I do have to lift the stroller a little bit, but it is relatively easy to turn - I can even do it while I'm running. Besides which, if you don't like having a stiff wheel you can put on the stroller wheels.

As for size - it is rather big, but folds up pretty small. You take the two back wheels off (which doesn't take long) and it folds up very small into a trunk. It is a bit of a pain to put back together, but you get pretty fast.

Again though, unless you want to take your kids on bike rides, this stroller is not for you.

Price range is going to be pricey if you buy a brand new one with all the attachments, but you can usually find a used bike trailer/stroller online and they hold up VERY well.

I do have to say that I have admired the Phil and Ted Sport stroller, but we couldn't afford it. Not that I wouldn't spend $800 on a stroller if I had the money, but it simply is not in our budget right now. Perhaps after my husband is making money as a professior I will buy one, because I really do like them!

Universitybabe said...

If you will really use a jogging stroller than I don't have much to offer but, I am in heaven with the Peg Perego Piko P3 that I have. Though mostly a single stroller (infant up and usable with a carseat, 5pt harness too) it has a stand on the back for an older child to stand and ride on. I was tempted to buy a sit and stand one for a while but I hate the bulky "limo" feel and the difficulty in stearing most double strollers. This solved a lot of my problems because my older kids rarely sit for any length of time and now I don't have to deal with in and out stuff. Another bonus to this stroller is that it can be steared with one hand (a huge blessing when you need a free hand to hold a toddlers hand, carry soemthing,etc.) I can open doors and push my stroller through without too much difficulty when the need arrises as well as fit between isles in a store or other tight spot. It folds up more compactly than most strollers I know and it folds up like an umbrella stroller making for a lot of ways to haul it. It is light weight, stands on it's own when folded, has removable trays, a sun cover that fully covers the child in front. Telescoping handles (my husband and I are taller than a lot of people and a lot of strollers we had to stoop or bend funny to push. So having handles that adjust to the height of the pusher helps a lot. On the pricy side of my very tight budget but I found mine and other used ones anywhere from 50-150.00.

Jared and Delia said...

Oh...and I must add that our sit and stand comes in very handy at the airport. I just make my oldest walk and we load up our luggage and booster car seat on the back of the stroller. It was a real lifesaver during our last trip.

Jared and Delia said...

Okay I don't know where my first comment went but...I was just saying that we like our Baby Trend sit and stand. YOu can fit three kids on there. One can stand on the platform, a toddler can be strapped in the seat and the infant can sit in the front. It is not as long as a traditional double and can fit easily in our trunk - we own a small sedan.

Cons? You can only use a Baby Trend car seat with it...not a problem for us since we were going to buy the Baby Trend infant seat anyway, but annoying if you already have a different seat that you want to use.

Good luck!

Jared and Delia said...

Okay...sorry I am trying to remember what my original comment said and I left things out..

I like the sit and stand because it can grow with us as our family grows. Steering ease is average, not too bad but not a one hand wonder or anything.

The cost new is about $115-130. We got ours for $115 at Baby Depot in Burlington Coat Factory.

JeriLynn said...

I have a double InStep (Schwinn) jogging stroller with a swivel wheel. I love it, but I miss the parent and child trays. The basket is plenty big. I didn't get it until Mira was six months old, and it's really not appropriate for babies who can't sit up on their own. The seating is a little cramped. I store it in the back of my van because it's pretty bulky. We have rarely had to take a wheel off to get it through doors.

I get my strollers from e-bay.

Fisher Fam said...

Like JeriLynn, I have an InStep double stroller and love it!! Mine is the Suburban Safari (slightly different than the Safari) and it does fit into my cars' trunk, but I measured it first, then had my husband measure it again, and it's close, but it works and I can fit groceries around it fairly easily also :) Mine has a parent tray as well as a HUGE under-compartment and it gives my kids a bit more space than the Safari seems to(when comparing to a friend I walk with who has the Safari). I spent hours looking at strollers before we had #2 and think I ended up with the best deal I could find (I spent under $200 on Ebay). It has a locking front swivel wheel and I run with it every morning, never had a problem. There have been a few doors that were not quite wide enough, but usually you can line it up exactly straight and get it in. For shopping I don't always take it, at least in stores that have racks everywhere (JC Penney :)), it is too bulky for that, but I take it everywhere else!

Diane said...

Ok, I didn't read all the other comments, and though I don't have two kids yet (I will in a month) and I already have my double stroller. I have a Chariot Cougar Double stroller. I love to bike so it is a bike trailer/jogging stoller/I also have swivel wheels that I can put on that keep it super short (shorter than the jogging attachment and way easier to maneuver). You can also get ski attachments/hiking attachments/etc. It is very versatile! and I love it! It is roomy inside yet folds up fairly flat. It is a little big, but you can take the handle off, and it fits in our small civic trunk (w/the handle on) - and isn't too bulky. One thing I really like about it is that you can buy a baby sling to put in it for when your baby is still too little to sit up on their own. Hunter LOVED riding around in it, and still does now that he can sit up. I bought it when Hunter was maybe 3 months old and started using it right away. With so many options it really helped make it easier to get out of the house. It's also nice as a regular stroller because even though it's a double, it's not too wide and I can still fit it through doorways and isles if I take it shopping or where ever.

It is a bit pricey, and all the accessories seem to have gone up in price, but I got mine on sale at REI for about $400 I think. I think it was the labor day sale, so you might want to watch for that if you are interested in it. I read a LOT of reviews before I bought it and I don't remember reading a single bad review about it. W/so much versatility to it, it's totally worth it to me...I can do everything in one stroller! which if you like to jog and do a bunch of things, it probably comes out even/or better than if you were to buy a bunch of different strollers.

If you do decide to go with this, buy the swivel wheels first. Even if you like to jog, they are fine for jogging. I don't use my jogging wheel that much (perhaps partially because I've been super prego all summer) but it doesn't swivel, and is a little hard to maneuver (whatever you decide on, make sure to get a swivel wheel over a stationary wheel!). I love the bike attachment though too. The sling works great, and after our Number 2 comes, I can tell you how it works with the sling and Hunter together if you want (you might have to remind me). It's a great stroller! Though I know there are other great strollers too, so good luck! :)

Anonymous said...

I have the jogging stroller from Babies R Us. It is the cheapest one the store sells, I believe ($160??). I like it for outdoor walks and going in the park. My car is a 4 door civic and it folds in the trunk easily once I practiced a few times and took the front wheel off (which is easy). It has breaks, which is also nice. I don't recommend it for anything but walk and jogs though. It doesn't have a swivel wheel, but even if it did, it wouldn't be easy to manuver around corners or in tight areas (like at the mall or through lots of doorways). My SILs both have a side-by-side double umbrella stroller they got from Babies R Us. They love them, they are extremely compact, and even though there isn't an exact spot to clip in a carseat, they have been able to cram the carseat in just fine and feel confident. It folds up super small so you can fit something else in the trunk of the car. I suggest going on amazon or and checking out the reviews on the ones you like to see what specific problems others had.

Teaching Tiny Tots said...

My sister and I have twins so I did a lot of research on double strollers.

First of all there really is no "light double stroller"...some are just heavier than others! :)

I think a few consideration to think about when making your choice are what you will be using it for and where. How much storage space do you need and how heavy are the bags you are going to sling over the handles are!

My sister had a MacLaren side by side she really liked for her everyday stroller.

My sister bought the Bob when she moved and loves it because it maneuvers well on rocky ground and on hills.

I used the Graco Duo tandem glider because it rode well, steered easily and had a huge basket underneath. It was heavy enough I could hook a small grocery basket to the handles and throw the rest of the groceries in the basket underneath for our weekly shopping trip. You will build arm muscles with this one lifting in and out of the trunk though!

I bought the Jeep Cherokee side by side for trips but even though that is one of the lightest double strollers, I couldn't easily carry it with one hand. It folds up about half the size of the Duo Glider but has no storage space. I did not care for this stroller in crowded malls and actually got stuck in the doorway at the pediatricians office.

I then bought the Sit and Stand because I thought it would be more compact and would keep them from "bothering each other" but we ended up returning this because it was only a couple inches shorter than the Duo Glider. I think it works well when you have one older and one younger toddler. I have friends who love it.

I know you are looking for a double stroller but just wanted to mention the Evenflo single umbrella stroller. We recently went to Disney World and with two adults...this was by far the easiest to use. I could easily fold and carry it with one hand and hold the hand of one child which was great getting on trains, monorails, etc. I think a double in this situation would have been a hassle.

Good Luck!