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Which double stroller is best for toting two?

Top-rated side-by-side and tandem strollers

Published: February 28, 2014 03:45 PM

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Joovy Scooter X2

As any parent of more than one child knows, having multiples is exponentially more challenging. For starters, there’s the matter of getting them—and all their stuff—from here to there. That’s why parents typically stash the single stroller and trade up to a double. Side-by-side strollers are the most popular but tandems, in which one child sits in front of the other, also have their advantages. To choose, consider your lifestyle. A side-by-side can be easier to fold and hoist into the trunk of a car while a tandem may be the best choice for navigating narrow hallways, doors, and sidewalks. Consumer Reports tests both. Here are the details.

Side-by-side strollers
In Consumer Reports stroller tests, we found that side-by-side strollers are easier to push and maneuver. Because of this, the best side-by-sides outperformed the tandems overall. If space is not an issue, any of the four recommended models will do, but if you want a more compact, lightweight side-by-side, consider an umbrella-style model.

The recommended Graco FastAction Fold Duo Click Connect, $280, is a CR Best Buy, thanks to its reasonable price and very good scores in our ease of use, maneuverability, and safety tests. It has a sturdy feel and a one-handed fold function that’s a cinch to use. Since both seats are car-seat compatible, you can push two infants—a plus if you have twins. The stroller has easy-to-adjust five-point harnesses, which we recommend. It’s made to accept Graco’s Snugride Click Connect infant car seats. 

New to our recommended list is the brightly colored Joovy Scooter X2, $230, which had good maneuverability, easy folding (even with the grab bar in place), five-point harnesses, and a large, one-step foot brake. It has a generous storage basket, but does not accept car seats so it can’t accommodate a child younger than 3 months, according to the manufacturer.

At just 24 pounds, the Maclaren Twin Triumph, $265, is the lightest side-by-side stroller on the recommended list. The trade-off is you give up some storage space.

Baby Trend Snap-N-Go

Tandem strollers
Tandem doubles may seem like an elegant solution for city dwellers since they can slip into elevators and through apartment doors. But legroom is limited for the child sitting in the rear seat and the tandems are pretty large when folded, making them tough to store. And with their longer frames, pushing them can be a challenge—somewhat akin to driving a bus. That’s why none of the tandems in our tests score high enough to be recommended. We do recommend a tandem car seat carrier frame that accepts two infant car seats and folds up compactly.

The newly tested Contours Options LT Tandem, $250, has many handy features. Its two child seating positions can face forward, toward each other, or facing the parent, and the entire seat, not just the seat back, is adjustable. Both seats are infant car seat-compatible, but only one adaptor is included, so you’ll need to buy an extra for two babies. It’s easy to fold, which is a feat, considering that it’s heavier than many double strollers in our tests. The stroller has one-touch brakes and a large storage basket.

The Baby Trend Snap-N-Go Double, $100, is a double car seat carrier frame that accepts two infant car seats. It was very good in overall performance, and a CR Best Buy. For parents of twins or two babies who are both riding in infant car-seats, the value and convenience is hard to beat. The Snap-N-Go Double accepts all Baby Trend infant seats, and a number of seats from other brands as well. You have to remove the car seats to fold it but when you do, the frame is light and collapses easily. Another benefit: The cargo basket is ample.

—Artemis DiBenedetto

   

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