One of the main issues that becomes a priority for a growing family is the matter of transportation. Having children close in age is certainly exciting, but then the parents face a dilemma. How can they get both children and all the necessities where they need to go? Investing in a double stroller will make this task much more manageable.
Since there is a constant demand for new strollers with better features at economic prices, there is an overabundance of options for parents to consider. There are five main types of double strollers and each have various strengths and weaknesses. Parents need to think about the particular features of the stroller that are most important to them so that they can choose the best double stroller to fit their needs.
Types of Double Strollers
Double strollers are categorized by the position in which the children are seated.
Side-by-side strollers are often considered the best twin stroller because they have the two children sitting next to each other. These have often received the best stroller reviews because they are fairly easy to maneuver and are quite compact when folded up for a double stroller.
Tandem strollers have one child sitting in front of the other. This makes the stroller much narrower than a side-by-side stroller, but they are more difficult to steer, and are rather bulky to store.
Sit and stand strollers are becoming more and more popular for parents dealing with a newborn and a toddler. The front seat is similar to most other strollers, but the back seat is radically different. As the name implies, this type of stroller allows the child in the back to either sit down and ride facing backward, or stand up and ride facing forward.
Double jogging strollers can be oriented either in a side-by-side or tandem style. Usually these strollers have three wheels instead of four, with only one wheel in the front. The wheels are larger than the standard size, and most have a shock system as well. These characteristics contribute to a smoother ride for the children while jogging.
Double umbrella strollers can be folded compactly and are easily carried similar to a rain umbrella, hence the name “umbrella” stroller. Double umbrella strollers almost always come in a side-by-side stroller configuration and rarely come in the tandem stroller variety.
Which of these five is the best double stroller? There is not really one correct answer to that question. Each family has specific needs based upon their lifestyle and circumstances. Each type of double stroller has models that can be a viable option, but it is important that parents invest in one that will suit their needs. Purchasing something with great double stroller reviews will be small consolation if it does not do or have the things that one needs.
The best strength of a side-by-side stroller is the fact that they are easier to push and turn than other double strollers. Their maneuverability is compromised by the fact that they are quite a bit wider than other strollers. This is not necessarily a problem for those who mostly use the stroller in places with wide doorways and sidewalks, but parents who frequently go to smaller shops should consider the width of a side-by-side stroller. Another strength that sets the side-by-side double stroller above its competition is the fact that they are easier to fold and generally lighter and more compact than other types of double strollers.
Reviews for tandem strollers often share the common complaint that they are difficult to turn and maneuver because they are so much longer than other strollers. This does make the stroller a little awkward, but it opens up possibilities for the tandem stroller’s greatest strength. Some tandem stroller frames will accommodate two infant car seats. This makes them one of the best strollers for twins because it will save the parents some of the hassle of transporting two infants from the car to the stroller. Tandem strollers can also be a great solution for families who often have to navigate narrow places (e.g. elevators, sidewalks, etc.).
Sit and Stand Strollers
Small children often want to stand up or even run around for a while instead of remaining confined in the stroller. After a while, however, they will become tired and want to get into the stroller again. The sit and stand double stroller offers a wonderful solution to parents of an infant and a toddler. The younger child can be buckled in the front much like any other stroller. There is a seat in the back where the toddler can sit and hold on to the handles, or stand up and look over the top of their sibling. This avoids the need to carry a toddler all the way home at the end of a long day, because they are too tired to walk anymore.
Double Jogging Strollers
Trying to run with two young children other than with a double jogging stroller will be difficult and possibly dangerous. The main characteristic that distinguishes a jogging stroller from other strollers is its wheels. The three wheels on a jogging stroller are considerably bigger than those found on other strollers. Actually, they are generally about twice as large. The single front wheel is placed quite far in front of the stroller to make the ride smoother for the babies, and a shock system is used to help reduce bouncing.
Double Umbrella Strollers
The main strength of a double umbrella stroller is that they can be folded quite small and are lightweight and thus easy to carry. However, this is also their greatest weakness. Because of their extreme light weight, some double umbrella strollers are rather flimsy and not very sturdy. Even though some double umbrella strollers are not strong enough to undergo the rigors of everyday use, many parents like to purchase an umbrella stroller to use as a secondary stroller. These strollers can be useful for short easy trips to the mall when you don’t feel like taking your bigger or bulkier stroller, or for airline travel.
Settling on a certain type of stroller is the first step towards purchasing a double stroller, but once that decision has been made, parents have several important features that they must consider. Thinking through these things may sound like extra work, but in in the end it will save time and money. Each of the five categories of double strollers have many different models with various features. Failing to think about the features before purchasing a stroller may lead to frustration. Having a stroller that does not meet one’s expectations is annoying, but can be avoided by careful consideration of key features.
Consider the Size of your Kids
The best double strollers will be able to hold both children not only when they are purchased, but also as they grow. Any stroller will have both a minimum and a maximum weight restriction. It would be foolish to buy a double stroller that does not accommodate one or both of the children it is meant to carry. Be sure to check that both children will be able to grow with the stroller as well. Certain tandem strollers may be the best stroller for twins because two infant car seats can be hooked on to the frame, but one should check to see if there are seats that can be attached when the infants have grown and are no longer able to fit in the car seats that attach to the stroller. The same stroller may work for children who are close in size but not necessarily twins. Unfortunately, the older child will soon grow out of the stroller and a new one will need to be purchased.
Another thing to consider in regard to the size of the children is how much actual room there is for both children in the stroller. Side-by-side strollers generally have equal amounts of room for both children while tandem strollers will most likely have a little less room for the child in the back of the stroller. Neither one is necessarily better than the other, but will dramatically affect the comfort for each child. A tandem double stroller may work wonderfully while the younger child is an infant, but will there be enough room for his or her head and legs in the coming months? Checking the size requirements will decrease the likelihood of needing to buy another stroller too quickly.
One of biggest concerns for parents is the safety of their children. Every stroller has different safety features, although they all fall under three broad categories: restraint systems, brakes and wheels, and canopies.
When considering restraint systems, one should look for buckles and straps that are strong and durable. Most of the straps of a restraint system will be made out of a strong material similar to the seat belts found in a car. The buckles should be complex enough that a child cannot undo them alone, but simple enough that adults can secure them quickly and easily. They should keep the children safe and secure without becoming a frustration to the parents.
Most strollers have either a seat belt with a crotch strap or a five-point harness. Jogging strollers often have a five-point restraint system to keep the children more secure while running. When considering a stroller with a five-point system, make sure that all the straps are adjustable. This is vital for keeping the children both comfortable and secure as they grow. Some strollers only have a seat belt with a crotch strap. This can work as well, and will give children a little bit more wiggle room since they are able to lean forward out of the stroller. Avoid getting a stroller that has a seat belt with an optional crotch strap or one where the crotch strap is missing all together. By using only a seat belt without a crotch strap, one runs the risk of having a child slip out of the stroller.
Brakes and Wheels
Another risk associated with strollers is the fact that they can roll away while unattended. For this reason, it is very important to have brakes on the wheels. Look for brakes that can be locked into position easily using only one hand or foot. Some brakes are very tight and thus difficult to move. This does not necessarily mean that the brake is any stronger, it is just harder to use. Also, be sure that the model has brakes on at least two of the wheels as this makes the brake system considerably more reliable.
The most important thing to check concerning wheels is that all of them sit evenly on the floor when both children are in the stroller. If they do, it means that they are properly aligned and that the stroller was constructed well. Jogging strollers may have a front wheel that locks in place to make running with it easier and safer on rough terrain, but most other strollers have double wheels in front that swivel to increase maneuverability on smooth surfaces. Thinking through where the stroller will be used will help parents make a decision for wheels.
The last safety decision that parents must consider for strollers is the canopy. Most probably never think about this part of the stroller having to do with safety, but it protects children from the sun, wind, and rain. There are many different kinds, but not all of them are adjustable. Canopies that remain in a fixed position are better than nothing, but to fully protect a child, it is best to have one that can move around at least a little bit. One of the special features that some canopies have is a clear “window” that allows whoever is pushing the stroller to watch the child at all times. It is certainly not a necessity, but can be very useful and enjoyable.
Time spent in the stroller will be much more enjoyable for children if they are comfortable in their seats. The best double strollers will be both safe and comfortable for children. It is important to remember that children will change positions as they grow. Babies need to have the necessary muscles in their neck and trunk developed before they are able to ride sitting up in a stroller. Depending on the age of the baby, one should check to make sure that the stroller has the appropriate support.
If dealing with a younger child it can be a good idea to check whether or not the seat reclines to a flat position so that they can take a nap without falling forward against their safety restraints. Since double strollers have two seats, it is possible that both will recline as a unit or that they will recline individually. This is up to personal preference, but having individually reclining seats will give greater flexibility when dealing with children.
Flexibility is one of the most important factors to consider when trying to find the best double stroller for one’s family. A stroller is going to be an investment, so it best to have one that can grow with all its occupants. This will save money and allow a family to get the most use out of their double stroller.
While the safety of one’s children should be a top priority when choosing a double stroller, that must be balanced by the ease with which the stroller can be used. After ensuring that a particular model meets the criteria for child safety and comfort, parents should look at several additional features that will benefit themselves. Maneuverability, overall size, and storage space will considerably narrow the search for the best double stroller.
Since double strollers are more bulky than single strollers, maneuverability is a big deal for parents to consider. If at all possible, it is best to take a stroller for a “test drive” to see what it feels like to push it on different types of terrain (e.g. grass, sidewalk, gravel, etc.). Be sure to check both how well it turns and what it feels like to go up and down steps or curbs. Depending on where one lives, these different situations may come up frequently or not at all. Having an extremely safe stroller that is virtually impossible to maneuver will be a source of frustration. If finding a double stroller to test is difficult, there are many websites that offer double stroller reviews for almost every available model. Since some of these reports include videos of the stroller in use, they can be very helpful to parents researching which double stroller would be the best one to purchase for their family.
Depending on who all will be pushing the stroller, it might be a good idea to look for a double stroller that has an adjustable handle. The handle of some strollers is set at a comfortable height for an average adult, but what exactly does that mean? It means that if multiple people will be pushing the stroller consistently and there is a significant height difference between them, one or both of them will always be uncomfortable while pushing the stroller. Shorter people will always have their arms at an awkward angle to hold on to the bar, and taller people will need to hunch over slightly to reach down and push the stroller. This may not be an issue for a short walk, but it will obviously become a problem for day trips where the stroller is in constant use.
Before purchasing a double stroller, be sure to check the overall size of it both when it is open and when it is folded. You would not want to purchase a stroller that is too wide and will not even fit through the front door of your home.
In general, side-by-side double strollers will be more compact when folded than tandem strollers, and sit and stand strollers usually are somewhere in between those two types. Make sure that the stroller will be able to fit in whatever storage area it needs to go, whether that is in a garage, closet, or the trunk of a small car. Having a stroller that matches all of one’s needs for safety and size, but does not fit in the car will defeat the purpose of having a stroller unless it is only going to be used in the local neighborhood.
Along with size, one should check the weight of the actual stroller. This is particularly important for families who will constantly be folding up the stroller and lifting it in and out of a vehicle on trips. Double strollers can weigh anywhere between twenty and fifty pounds.
Another thing you should consider is how easy the stroller will fold. You will want an easy to fold stroller and not one that is a constant challenge. Some stroller models feature a one-handed fold which many people find convenient but an easy two-handed fold can work just as well.
Storage space is a factor that may seem unnecessary, but is actually quite useful. To make a good decision in this area, it is helpful for parents to think through the things that both they and their children often need while walking. Most probably want at least one drink for themselves and each child, an area for personal items (e.g. cell phone, wallet, keys, etc.), along with an area for emergency diaper bag items, toys, and snacks. Storage solutions for many of these things can be added later, but will cost extra to buy separately.
Almost all double strollers have a storage basket underneath the stroller. Some are only accessible from the back of the stroller, while others are accessible from the side of the stroller as well. Baskets may be completely open or come with dividers and pouches to keep everything separated and organized. If planning to put a diaper bag in the basket, which already has different compartments, it may be better to have an open basket, but if instead it serves as a catch all space, it might be handy to have several different dividers in it.
Dividers are also put in the handlebar of certain double stroller models. It can be quite convenient for whoever is pushing the stroller to have easy access to one or more cup holders, pockets, or hooks. This is a great way to keep things that are used often close to one’s hands while pushing the stroller.
Some strollers have increased storage space in the form of extra pockets that are attached to the canopy or storage basket. These can be a tremendous help, but be sure to check the quality of the pockets. If they have zippers, be sure that they are good quality and easy to use. Preferably, zippers on these pockets should be able to be opened with one hand since people often only have one hand to work with when dealing with children. Also, make sure that these pockets will not rub against either the wheels or the ground when completely full.
Most stroller accessories are not included with the purchase of the stroller but must be purchased separately. Some of the more important and useful accessories to consider are cup holders and trays, weather shields, and insect netting.
Cup holders and Trays
If the children will be in the stroller for a lengthy amount of time, they will probably get hungry and/or thirsty. Several models of double strollers have cup holders and trays that can be attached in front of the children. This is a great way to keep children content for a long time and avoid multiple drink and snack breaks. Trays are also a great way to save items that would otherwise be dropped by children and either broken or lost. Parents get thirsty too, so don’t forget to include an adult cup holder or a stroller organizer for yourself.
A weather shield is used to protect your children from harsh weather conditions such as rain and wind. They are typically made from a thick see-through plastic material. A good weather shield should fit over the entire double stroller except for the handlebar and wheels and should be easily secured through hooks and loops.
Insect Netting can protect your kids from harmful and painful bites from mosquitoes and other insects. When the netting is the right size it should provide a protective cover by completely enclosing the front and sides of the stroller.
Obviously these accessories are not necessary to the use or safety of a double stroller, but they will greatly increase one’s overall experience. Thinking through these additional features, and making sure that they are available for the model you want, will save time when trying to buy a double stroller and will avoid frustration with a stroller that does not meet expectations. Parents should prioritize these additional features to find the best double stroller that matches their needs and fits into their budget.
When is it necessary to purchase a double jogging stroller? When considering whether or not to invest in a double jogging stroller, it is important for parents to consider how the stroller will be primarily used. There are several key differences between jogging strollers and the other types of double strollers. Understanding these differences will help parents know if a double jogging stroller will meet their needs. The answers to the following three questions should clear up some of the mystery surrounding jogging strollers.
Can one jog with another type of stroller?
The simple answer to this question is yes, but there is a more complex and better answer. Obviously, people have jogged with other types of strollers before the jogging stroller was invented. Depending on the area where one was jogging, the other types of strollers may have worked fine, but unless one always runs on a perfectly smooth surface without many turns, certain issues are bound to occur.
The faster a stroller is pushed, the more bouncy the ride becomes for the children riding inside the stroller. Even small bumps that would hardly be noticed at a walking speed will jostle the children quite a bit when jogging. This brings up two concerns: safety and comfort.
The issue of safety was solved by introducing a five-point harness system into the stroller to help keep the child more secure when travelling at faster speeds. All the straps of the harness should be adjustable so it can fit snugly around both legs and over both shoulders. This will keep the child much safer in the event of a sudden stop or turn. It also protects the child within the frame of the stroller should the one pushing the stroller lose control and have it over turn.
While the five-point harness made jogging much safer for a child, it did not make it any more comfortable. To diminish the jostling, a shock system was introduced to the stroller to help smooth out some of the bumps. This allowed the stroller to be pushed at faster speeds without upsetting the child. So to answer the question above, jogging with another type of stroller is possible, but it does pose more risk and discomfort for the child.
Why are the tires so different?
The first thing one usually notices about a jogging stroller is the wheels. They are much larger than those on other types of strollers, and there are only three of them instead of the traditional four. These differences further enhance the safety of jogging with a stroller and also make it easier for whoever is pushing the stroller.
Larger tires are easier to push at faster speeds. The two in the back, in combination with the shock system, will help absorb all but the largest bumps for the child riding in the stroller. This opens up a greater number of places one may choose to run with an actual jogging stroller.
It is interesting to note that while the tires of a jogging stroller are still considerably bigger than other types of strollers, they are not as large now as they were in the past. The standard wheel size today is sixteen inches, but about ten years ago, the standard wheel size was twenty inches. Twenty-four inch wheels were fairly normal, and even larger ones were often seen. The trend is due to the fact that larger wheels do make a stroller easier to push, but those large wheels take a lot of room to store. Over time, a compromise between the two occurred, and thus the sixteen inch wheel is now the standard.
The other strange thing about the wheels is that there is only one in the front of the stroller. This front wheel is usually quite far out in front and does not swivel. The fixed position makes the stroller safer, because it does not get thrown off course easily. While jogging, swivel wheels can cause the stroller to jerk unexpectedly one way or another by very small pieces of debris.
Having the front wheel in a fixed position makes a stroller safer to jog with, but it also makes it quite difficult to turn. This issue was solved by placing the wheel farther out in front of the stroller. This off sets the weight of the child without compromising the stability. With the child’s weight shifted, it is easy for the person jogging with the stroller to push down on the handle to slightly lift the front wheel when going around a turn. In this way, the wheels solve both problems of safety and maneuverability.
Can one walk with a jogging stroller?
In the past, this would have been very difficult. Parents who wanted to jog with a stroller usually had to invest in a stroller specifically meant for jogging. Since most people do not want to purchase a second stroller because of financial constraints, several modes are available that cross over and can serve both walking and jogging needs.
The problem that arises when walking with a jogging stroller is the fact that the front wheel does not swivel. While that makes it safer for running, it is incredibly difficult to maneuver through a grocery store when one constantly has to pick up the front wheel to go around a corner. To solve this problem, many stroller manufactures are making jogging strollers with a front wheel that can be locked into either a fixed or swivel position. This allows one to not only run with the stroller without being fearful of losing control, but also walk through a congested area without getting stuck.
While this feature can be the best of both worlds, one should check to see how the mechanism works to lock the wheel. Ultimately, it needs to be strong enough to hold the wheel completely still while jogging. It will not do to have a wheel that is supposed to be in a fixed position, but constantly rattles like an annoying shopping cart. Preferably, the mechanism will be a simple switch so that one does not need to remember to bring along special equipment or extra parts to make the change. The best double jogging stroller will meet the needs of an active family who does a bit of running, but also needs a stroller for other activities as well.
Which double stroller is the best?
There are many choices that loom in front of a parent trying to decide which double stroller to purchase. There are many great options that can solve any number of transportation issues, but the immensity of options can make it difficult for parents to know where to start looking for a stroller. As with any decision, careful thought beforehand will save time and money afterwards.
First, think about the activities for which this stroller will be used. Would it be beneficial to purchase a jogging stroller with a front wheel that can swivel or stay in a fixed position, or will this stroller only be used for walking. If one knows that he or she will never run with his or her stroller, then that is an easy decision to cross off the list.
Next, consider the various places the stroller will be used. Are there a lot of narrow places that will be difficult to maneuver through with a wide double stroller, or is it more important to buy one that is easy to move and turn? Is it vital to find one that folds into a compact form to fit in the trunk of a small vehicle? If it does not fold up very well, does that mean that it is too heavy to lift comfortably?
Remember to think about the comfort and safety of the children who will be riding in the stroller. Is there enough space to accommodate the children as they grow? Do the straps adjust to secure each child properly? Are the children close in size, or is one a toddler that will want to be in and out of his or her seat?
Finally, think through additional features that will suit one’s personal needs and preferences. Is it important to have a large storage area that is easily accessible from all sides of the stroller? Does the person pushing the stroller need to have several items always available within hand’s reach, or do they prefer to keep everything in their pockets?
Having thought through these questions, one is ready to make an informed decision to purchase a double stroller. There are many great options available, but the key is to find the stroller that meets one’s needs and fits his or her lifestyle. The best double stroller will meet those qualifications and thus serve its owners well.