Stroller Insanity

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Lately I’ve been kind of obsessed about strollers. As the twins are now 3 months old, and I HATE the double Snap-n-Go that we currently use, I’m ready to get a nice double stroller. I feel so insane scouring the internet for stroller reviews and watching YouTube comparisons for hours. It’s not a small purchase, but if I could just make a decision already I’d be able to spend more time playing with my kids or sleeping!

With our first I bought a travel system. I looked for a 3 wheeled one (called a jogger, I now know), because I think I once saw one at the mall and was intrigued that it looked different from the traditional 4-wheeled ones. I must have been more frugal then, because I looked for the cheapest one I could find and didn’t consider the others at all. I don’t think I even test drove any at the store. We ended up with a Baby Trend Expedition, which cost all of $199, including the carseat! But I soon learned that it was pretty bulky and heavy. Recovering from a c-section in the first few weeks, I opted to use the Bjorn when going out with baby. It didn’t get much use as a travel system either, since I ditched the carseat at 6 months, but it’s still a pretty good stroller. Nice big wheels, very comfortable to push and sit in.

When baby was about a year old, we decided it was time for a family trip somewhere out of town. We picked a place not too far, San Diego, and planned some kid-friendly activities like going to the zoo. Suddenly, I realized that our stroller wouldn’t work. It would fit in my car, but with a pack-n-play and all our luggage for the trip, that was a lot to move around. Plus what if we took a tram at the zoo, or used any other sort of public transportation? So, at the last minute, the night before we planned on leaving, I searched Craigslist for another stroller. I happened to find a Maclaren Quest that was a couple years old, made the deal for $100 early in the morning, and picked it up as we were leaving town. I didn’t even know how to open/close it, so we just figured it out as we used it. I think it weighs something like 12 lbs. I liked it so much that after the trip I considered buying myself a new one, but at $100 and in good condition, there really wasn’t any need. It’s serviced us well.

Both those strollers are now collecting dust in the garage. Toddler doesn’t need to be pushed in a stroller anymore as she likes to run around, and though we think of “jogging” in our jogger now and then, laziness always overtakes us.

It’s time for a new stroller. This time a double. This time more pricey. This time more well-researched. This time, weighing somewhere between the last two. Loving our Maclaren, I was all set on getting the twin version. It’s been sitting in my Amazon cart for months. Grandpa has already given us money to pay for it. But the more I thought about it, the more I read about strollers, the more I was doubting my choice. I’ve come to the conclusion that a double just doesn’t work as an umbrella stroller. Too much to fold up and bulky anyway. Plus it weighs almost 24 lbs, which puts it in the range of non-umbrella doubles.

So, I’ve been looking into other types of double strollers. Turns out there are sooooo many! Tandems, side-by-sides, stacked, re-positionable, carseat adaptable, forever-air tires, one-hand fold, independent recline… one can get sucked into the madness that is stroller comparison. The problem is, since twins are not as prevalent as singles, double strollers are not usually out on sales floors, and for the same reason, you wouldn’t have a “friend’s” to see/test. And the reviews are never-ending, sometimes contradictory, and always refer to yet another previously unresearched stroller for comparison. UGH!

I am leaning towards the Baby Jogger City Mini Double. At under 30″ wide and less than 27 lbs, it’s not too big to stroll around nor too heavy to discourage use.

So the shopping begins. Currently the newest model is the 2012 version. It retails for $450 and I haven’t seen it on sale for much less. The 2011 model is being clearanced, and I have found an orange one for $300. What a steal, right? But I can’t decide if I want to the better seat padding, easier access to the underbasket, and the auto close clip in the newer version. Plus buying the older version would be like buying last year’s car model. A little anti-climatic. Still haven’t decided…

What are you all pushing around?

lunchldyd is mom to a toddler girl and 3 month old b/g twins. She is also a high school teacher. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, 3 children under 3, and two neglected dogs who would probably enjoy a walk outside with a new stroller.

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lunchldyd is mom to 3 year old boy/girl twins and their 5.5 year old sister. She is now teaches part-time to juggle the needs of her young children. When not at work and the kids are asleep, she is addicted to watching TV and sometimes sacrifices sleep to read in bed. She lives in the Los Angeles suburbs with her husband, three kids, and two dogs.

16 thoughts on “Stroller Insanity”

  1. I wrote a post about the double stroller we ended up buying for we had our twins –

    and then about how we ditched them for two single strollers later –

    But we still mostly use the double stroller we bought. We both still hate it, but what are you going to do? Sometimes strollers are super nice. Although, my girls are almost 3 and we don’t really need it most of the time and will have a single baby very soon, so I’m not sure what we plan on doing. I think ideally I’ll just get a great baby carrier and still be able to push my twins around in the double stroller, though it might be time to finally upgrade to a jogging stroller, or at least a double stroller that is easier to push.

  2. I love my City Mini Double GT for my 8 month old twins. If there is a Buy Buy Baby they have a handful of doubles, including the City Mini Double, to “test drive”. If you go to Buy Buy Baby, you can also use a 20% off coupon which brings down the price a bit. Definitely pricey, especially since you have to buy all the “extras” separately, but I like some of the features of the newer version (specifically the wheels that are better for my walking/jogging).

    On the even pricier side is the Stroll Air, which allows you to switch the direction the babies sit in (facing you or facing out). I considered it slightly, but it was too expensive for me.

  3. We had a McClaren double umbrella style. It worked well enough and it was for situations where travel storage was tight, but it didn’t push as well as jog types. Especially after the twins grew and started weighing 25-30 lbs.

    So we got a Bob. I forget the model type but it pushes and maneuvers very easily. The problem is its size. It’s huge and it doesn’t fold down all that well so it’s not easily transportable.

    We sold the McClaren when our twins hit about 3, but we still have the Bob now that they’re 5 and we occasionally break it out. It’s the one we took to Disney World. It went everywhere we needed to go and the kids like it, but we did get some ugly looks when we took it on the crowded monorail.

    I recommend either/both. They’re just about exact opposites when it comes to strengths and weaknesses.

    We did consider getting two cheap umbrella types. There’s a piece you can get to connect them together. That would probably work fairly well for older kids, but it would have been a nightmare with infants.

  4. I had a Grace Duoglider. I also had an umbrella-style side-by-side, but it didn’t fit through doors very easily, so I never used it. The Duoglider was bulky, but served our needs until about age 2, when I switched to our Radioflyer wagon on the rare occasion my girls couldn’t just walk.

  5. We use the Baby Jogger City Select, with an added seat. It’s bigger than the City Mini, but it’s tandem and it drives like a dream. We use it as a double-stroller 95% of the time, but we can take a seat off and use it as a single when the situation arises, as well.

  6. I echo exactly what “W” said above. We started out with the Maclaren Twin triumph, then ditched it when the boys got too heavy and we were going outside off-sidewalk more often to parks, pumpkin patch, apple orchard type stuff. It was a pain to push on anything but completely even ground. We got the BOB and we love it. It’s not small though, It is unwieldy when folded and takes up a huge amount of space.
    When we took our kids to Disney World for their 3rd birthday we rented a City Mini and loved it. It folded super easy, was lightweight enough to deal with on the buses wihtout much trouble, and handles well. (though in all honesty the BOB handles MUCH better.)
    I think the City series would be good for an only-stroller for sure, since it has bigger tires, folds up well, has large canopies and seemed comfortable for the kids who napped through every parade we attempted to watch, despite not having napped in a stroller in years.

  7. Well I’ll be the boring one and say that there was no perfect stroller for our twins, who are 3-1/2 now. We ended up with 3 different ones, used them depending on where we were going. They were all bought used (from other twin moms – check out your local twin moms club’s sale and support them) and we made it! My twins stopped wanting to do strollers right at 2 years old. So I’d save that money for other things and buy gently used, which would be only 1-2 years old. After checking for recalls of course. The stroller phase goes by very quickly. Enjoy it!

  8. I LOVED my Mountain Buggy. Pricey, but I put so many miles on that thing. Was still using it when my girls were 4 years old. Steers and pushes like a dream. In fact, one of my criteria was that I would be able to push and steer it with one hand in case I had to hold one baby and push the other (which of course happens). If nothing else, get something with air-filled tires and swiveling front wheels. And if you live anywhere near Santa Fe, I will be putting mine up on Craigslist soon!

  9. I used a snap n go when the babes were in their first car seats (loved how simple and light it was!) and now I use the City Select. It’s costly and heavy but it drives like a dream and is the only tandem stroller where one baby is not sitting under the other. A tandem stroller was a must for me. I live in an urban place where parking spots are small and traffic is large. I wanted a stroller I could push between cars so my kids were not hanging out at the back end of the car while I was loading and unloading. This seemed way too dangerous and made my decision a no brainer.

  10. The city mini looks like a great stroller. Because my budget was smaller I went with the combi sport side-by-side, and it has served us very well. It’s so easy to fold and unfold, and it’s comfortable for the kids. It’s light and fits easily in my car. It’s my everyday stroller.

    Once the boys turned two and were heavier I also got a used babytrend expedition (double jogger). It’s easier to steer and push and I like the storage space and console, but I hate how the boys’ seats lean into each other, causing fights. We only use this stroller when exercising or when we know we’ll be on rough terrain. It’s also handy that my four-year-old can perch on the footrest if she’s really tired!

  11. Oh I have a stroller obsession :X Since writing this post- We ended up with a Kolcraft Contours Options one day while out shopping with the Combi while visiting family and having the twins continuously unbuckle themselves and jump out- totally a spur of the moment purchase of the only double in the store with a decent basket. It’s great except for the fact it’s so heavy to get in and out of the van. Then I was sent a Hauck Freerider to review- and I was not impressed with that stroller AT ALL.

  12. Last month I bought a cheap double stroller which i found very heavy and bulky. Also it was not smooth to push. So I had to buy a new one which is bob revolution. And I can clearly feel the difference.

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