There are a lot of important things to consider when you pick a double stroller. Will it be side-by-side? Tandem? Will it be a pain to fold up? How heavy will it be? Will it fit through doorways or in the trunk of your car? Will it fit two kids of different ages and sizes, or only twins? Buying a double stroller can be daunting, so before you drop $300-750 on a stroller, read through this article to get some helpful buying tips.
Below we detail some of the most important considerations when finding a double stroller, and then we review over a dozen double strollers to find the most comfortable, most convenient, safest, and lightest weight option. We narrow the options down to give you a listing of the Top 5 Best Double and Tandem Strollers of 2016.
Flexible Infant and Toddler Configurations. Modern double strollers can be reconfigured to satisfy even the pickiest moms. Take the Contours Options Elite Tandem Stroller as an example (#3 on our list), which can be reconfigured in seven different ways. You can have an infant car seat and a toddler seat, one facing you and once facing forward. Or you can have two infant car seats facing you, two toddler seats facing forward. And the list goes on! When selecting a double stroller be sure to think a bit about how you'd like it to be configured, and make sure there's some flexibility because, as it turns out, kids start to get a little demanding as they get older!
Comfort. Many double strollers, whether tandem or side-by-side, compromise comfortable seats to keep the weight and size down. But there is a happy medium between an enormous and heavy stroller with super comfortable seats, and a sleek lightweight stroller with seats that feel like sitting on a piece of wood. Because manufacturers try to keep weight and cost down, some double strollers have very uncomfortable seats. We've done the testing and picked out the seats that are the most reasonable compromise of comfort and weight/bulkiness.
Size and Weight. Double strollers can be huge and inconvenient. About 5 years ago a good friend of mine, Amy, had a side-by-side double stroller that she couldn't fit through the front door of the local coffee shop! So there she was trying to get herself an iced coffee to reward herself after a morning full of fusses and tantrums, only to find that she couldn't even get in the door. She just about threw the stroller in the dumpster at that moment. Don't end up like Amy. Our review and list considers width and length, finding the right balance between big enough to be comfortable versus too big to fit in doorways. We also consider weight. Double strollers can get very heavy, especially if you're attaching infant car seats. You can tip the scales over 50 pounds with two infant car seats. Think you could get that down a set of stairs, or into the trunk of your car? Only if you've been spending some time at your local CrossFit!
Folded Size. Manufacturers have gotten really clever with folding double strollers, making them not quite as cumbersome as they used to be. A good double stroller will fold to about 1.5 times the size of a single stroller. But that's still quite large. We tested the Options Elite in the back of a CR-V and it just about took up all the trunk space. While they will all be quite large, some are better than others. If you plan on fitting it into a regular trunk, you might want to grab that measuring tape and check on some sizes before ordering. We provide folded sizes in our reviews.
Compatibility with Infant Car Seats. If you plan on including at least one infant car seat on the stroller, you need to be sure that it is compatible with your particular brand and model of infant car seat. The best double strollers that reconfigure between infant and toddler use "universal" car seat adapters to accomodate most of the major brands. Be sure to check the details.
Here are the Best Double Strollers of 2016!
1. BOB Revolution Flex Duallie Stroller. Usually under $650. This is a side-by-side or "duallie" double stroller with some great flexibility, smooth ride, great features, and good size and weight. This is the smoothest riding double stroller we tested, it really glides like a dream and it's not just for jogging. Unlock the swivel front wheel and it makes an awesome around-town stroller. And BOB makes some of the best quality strollers out there (it's also at the top of our best jogging strollers list). We broke out the measuring tape and at its widest point this stroller is just under 31" wide. The standard exterior door opening is 35" wide, with interior doors being about 29" wide. So while you won't be able to get it through the door to your bedroom, you'll definitely fit it into the door of your house or the local coffee shop. If it doesn't fit, they are violating fire code! Folded up, the BOB Revolution is still quite large: we measured about 39" long and 16" high. The width is the same at just under 31". The size (and weight at 34 pounds) scared us, but in our testing we were able to easily fit it in the trunk of a Toyota Corolla and Honda Accord, so that made us more comfortable. We didn't even have to remove the wheels. If you pop the wheels off, you can fit a lot more in the trunk as well, like some groceries or beach gear. Some features we loved: adjustable handlebar height to accomodate mom and dad, relatively easy two-step folding, suspension keeps bump smooth, comfortable seats, large diameter wheels for jogging, and it felt stable and well made. We also loved how far out the canopies came on their second extended setting, blocking not just sun but also doing a pretty good job blocking rain. The cons? Well, it is an expensive stroller and the add-on features can rack up some considerable cost. For instance, if you want to add the BOB infant car seat adapter or snack trays, that will be an extra $99, and if you want the BOB cup holder that will be an extra $25. Also, instead of swapping a toddler seat for an infant car seat, the infant seat sticks up sort of awkwardly from the stroller when using the attachment. So if you have the cash and want an excellent stroller, this is the one for you.
2. Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double Stroller. About $500-600. At a similar price point to the BOB Revolution Flex, this side-by-side option is a close second place. There are two available right now: remaining stock of the 2015 version, and the newer and slightly more expensive 2016 version. This stroller has very similar features to the BOB, but with some important distinctions. First, both have adjustable handlebar height, an easy folding sequence, suspension to keep things smooth over the bumps, far-reaching canopies (the BOB wins here by a small margin), comfy seats, and high build quality and stability. In terms of size, the Baby Jogger folds to a considerably smaller size than the BOB, into a 30" by 31" rectangle only about 13" thick. Recall that the BOB had a dimension nearly 40" long when folded. So this fits more easily into smaller trunks: we got it easily into the Accord and Corolla, but also easily into the Civic trunk as well. This is partially because the wheels are much smaller than the BOB. Where that saves in size, it hurts in the smoothness of the ride. While the BOB is a dream glider, this is a bit more finicky and not as smooth. Opened up, this is 30" wide, a bit slimmer than the BOB. So overall this stroller is a more compact package, but the trade-off is not having as smooth of a ride, particularly for jogging when you want those large diameter wheels. On our scale it was 33 pounds, coming in just under the BOB by 1 pound. So the BOB wins overall, but only by a slim margin, and if you're looking for something a bit smaller and lighter, this is the stroller for you. Trying adding on the Baby Jogger infant car seat adapter for another $99. If you have a bigger budget and are actually interested in jogging (this one says "not intended for jogging" despite the name), the Baby Jogger Summit X3 Double Stroller is a better option, but it will cost you.
3. Contours Options Elite Tandem Stroller. About $300. To be honest, we are partial to the side-by-side options for one silly reason: once the kids get a little older they will inevitably start fighting about who gets to sit in the front. If your kids are anything like mine, that fight never ends well! But here is an awesome and incredibly versatile tandem option. Tandem means that one sits in front of the other, rather than side-by-side. In our tests, the Options Elite is the best tandem stroller on the market. Tandem has a few advantages to the side-by-side: first, with this stroller you can configure how your kids are sitting. Want the infant facing you, but the toddler facing forward? Want both facing forward? That's fine too. When you have an infant and toddler, the tandem feels really great. You can put the infant in back up higher facing you, making feeding and helping your baby super easy. And the toddler can face forward to see all the action. The side-by-side isn't great with an infant car seat, as it's hard to reach over and forward to where the infant car seat attaches. So the tandem wins in that regard. Second, at only about 26" wide, this tandem is great for fitting into relatively narrow places. As a silly example there is a narrow side entrance to our local children's museum that only the tandem could fit through. But the tandem has some down-sides. It doesn't fold as flat as a side-by-side. In fact, the Options Elite folds to 21" x 26" x 39" which is even larger than the BOB in terms of overall space taken up in the trunk. Even though it is quite large when folded, it is also very well equipped. It has a cup holder for parents, a huge storage compartment with side zipper access (!), stands on its own when folded, and has really nice seating surfaces with padded headrests and adjustable footrests to accomodate growing babies. The Options Elite also includes one infant car seat adapter that works with most of the major infant car seat brands (Graco, Chicco, Britax, etc.). If you need to attach two infant car seats, you'll need to buy an extra Contours brand car seat adapter at a very reasonable $20. Note that the Baby Jogger City Select Tandem is another great (but expensive at $650+) option, but the seating is more crowded than the Contours and we think the price is a little excessive.
4. Thule Urban Glide 2 Stroller. Usually under $700. This is a beautiful and sleek stroller with an awesome looking aluminum frame, large diameter wheels, and an understated design. This is the real urban stroller for those who want a side-by-side stroller that looks and functions great, and are willing to pay the price. Not only is it beautiful and comfortable, it has some great features. A hand-operated parking brake, adjustable ergonomic handlebar, smooth riding rear suspension, big canopy with peek-through window, and reclining seats. Some fun extras include a storage area that can be fully closed to protect from the elements (and from sticky fingers), real air-filled rubber tires, and a truly awesome smooth folding design. Folded up, the Thule is one of the smallest on our list, folding down into a 35" by 31" rectangle with about 14" of thickness. That's less trunk volume than the BOB or Contours, but not quite as compact as the Baby Jogger. Opened up, the Thule is about the same width as the BOB, just under 31", so you won't have any issue with exterior doors on houses or businesses. Unlike the Baby Jogger and Contours, the Thule is actually built for jogging. The large diameter wheels, hand-operated brake, and rear suspension make this super smooth and low rolling resistance for long runs on pavement or trails. The weight is on par with the others, at 32 pounds. Cons? Well, it does stand nicely on end when folded, but it can't be rolled when folded (the old Thule 1 was able to do that). And unlike the Contours, it doesn't include an infant car seat adapter. Finally, it's a little expensive for our taste. Otherwise, it's one of our all-time favorite side-by-side strollers if you can stomach the price!
5. Baby Trend Navigator Double Jogger. About $250. Here is an awesome option for the (relatively) budget-conscious double stroller buyer. Coming in lowest on our price list, this stroller offers a lot of bang for the buck. It's no BOB or Baby Jogger in terms of style or overall build quality, but it offers a wallet-friendly alternative to the otherwise dauntingly expensive double stroller market. The Baby Trend wins overall for the number of included features. It has an awesome parent tray with two cup holders, storage, and built in speakers for your MP3 player! It has real air-filled rubber tires, locking front swivel wheels for running, a medium sized canopy with peek-through window, reclining seats, parking brake (not a hand-operated brake, just for parking), large storage basket, and a reasonably easy folding sequence. It's also the only one on our list that includes the two kids trays! It also fits two infant car seats, the Baby Trend ones (with the Flex Loc attachment) will snap right in. But with these features comes some limitations that are expected given the price. The rubber tires are nice, but there is no suspension to help over sidewalk cracks or trail bumps. The canopy doesn't come out as far as the other options, and the parking brake can't be used to help slow down on a hill (it's only for parking). Also, the divider between the two kids is relatively small so the kids can easily see and reach each other, for better or worse! In our test, we also found the reclining feature a bit awkward to adjust when a kid was in it, and thought it was a little wobbly/unstable when running. This stroller is a little excessive in its width (just under 33" wide), about 2" wider than most, which might make it a pain to line it up perfectly for fitting through a door (with under an inch clearance on each side). It's also the heaviest on our list at 43 pounds! Overall though, if you can look past some of the little drawbacks this is a real winner for the price point!