The Best Double Strollers

Best Double Stroller

Last updated: November 25. 2016.  The Best Double Stroller. After researching and rating 19 double strollers, we picked the Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem as the Best Double Stroller stroller ($280 at Babies R Us).

Scroll down for our picks for Best Budget-Friendly Double Stroller, Best Double Stroller for City Dwellers and Best Double Stroller For Outdoor Adventures. New to double stroller shopping? Read our 7 Things No One Tells You About Buying a  Double Stroller for advice and tips.

The Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem is one of the best tandem stroller options on the market. It can take two infant seats (or one infant seat, one toddler seat), includes a universal car seat adapter and has a standing fold. At under $300, it also quite a bargain.

Scroll down below for more details on this stroller!

The Best Double Stroller

Kolcraft Options Tandem
The Options tandem stroller ($280, 32 lbs.) has seven different configurations with seats that can reverse or mix one (or two) infant car seats and a seat. The Options ships with a universal car seat adapter and features a standing fold, reclining seats, adjustable footrests and decent size canopies.

More details on the Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem

Kolcraft is the exception to the rule that you need a successful infant car seat to succeed in the stroller market—despite the lack of any travel systems, Kolcraft has survived, thanks to an emphasis on underserved market segments (namely double strollers). Kolcraft also has a couple different lines: the Kolcraft strollers are entry-level models, while the Contours strollers are a mid-price offering with upgraded features and fabrics.

The Options tandem stroller ($280, 32 lbs.) has seven different configurations with seats that can reverse or mix one (or two) infant car seats and a seat. The Options ships with a universal car seat adapter and features a standing fold, reclining seats, adjustable footrests and decent size canopies. Here are a few of the configurations the stroller is capable of:

Contours Options Tandem Stroller

Contours Tandem with two toddler seats.

 

Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem

Contours Option with one toddler seat and one infant seat.

 

Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem

Contours Tandem seats facing each other. Can also face out, or toward parents.

 

See the Contours Options in action here–especially note the standing fold:

The Options is a Babies R Us exclusive. There is also an upgraded version of the Options called the Options Elite ($300, 37.4 lbs; pictured below with the blue hoods), which is a Buy Buy Baby exclusive. The Elite adds rubber coated rear wheels, side storage basket access and seat back storage. The Elite also has an extra, extendable canopy with mesh air vent as well as taller seats. Here’s the Elite:

Kolcraft Contours Options Elite tandem stroller

What do parents say about the Contours Options Tandem stroller? The comments are overwhelmingly positive. Parents especially like the versatility of the seat arrangements. Plus you can use almost any popular infant seat on the stroller. Others noted the stroller was easy to maneuver, often a problem with other cheaper tandem strollers.

Flaws but not deal breakers

The Contours Options tandem is an excellent double stroller with one big disadvantage: weight. At 30+ lbs, the Options is bulky when folded (it can easily eat up the entire trunk in a vehicle). While fans loved the multiple configurations and overall ease of use, the lack of a parent console (save one skimpy cup holder) is a bummer.

To remedy this, we’d suggest a universal parent console like this one from Baby Jogger for $26:

 

Baby Jogger Parent Console - Universal

To remedy the lack of parent storage on the Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem, we’d suggest a universal parent console like this one from Baby Jogger. $26 on Amazon,

Best Budget-Friendly Double Stroller

At just $99, the Joovy Caboose is a great deal if you have a newborn and older toddler who prefers to stand or sit in a jump seat.

At just $99, the Joovy Caboose is a great deal if you have a newborn and older toddler who prefers to stand or sit in a jump seat. $99 on Amazon.

Best Budget-Friendly Double Stroller: Joovy Caboose Stand-on Tandem ($99, 26 lbs.). This stroller really isn’t a double stroller with two seats, but a “stand-on tandem”—the younger child sits in front while the older child stands in back (there is also a jump seat for the older child to sit on). This is a better solution when you have an older toddler who doesn’t want to ride all the time in a stroller . . . but still gets tired and needs a place to sit on long outings. Bonus: this stroller also includes a universal infant car seat adapter:

At $99, this stroller is a very good value—since most doubles are $200+. FYI: The $99 price is for the red version. Other colors are about $120.

Here’s a look at the various configurations of the Joovy Caboose Stand-on Tandem:

Joovy Caboose Graphite Stand On Tandem Stroller, Amber joovy3joovy2

 

 Best Side-by-Side Double Stroller

The Chicco Echo Twin stroller is our pick for best side-by-side double stroller. $162 on Amazon.

The Chicco Echo Twin stroller is our pick for best side-by-side double stroller. $162 on Amazon.

Best Double Stroller: Side by side. Our top choice for side by side stroller is the Chicco Echo Twin. Based on the popular Liteway stroller, the Echo Twin is a two-handled umbrella style stroller with rear wheel suspension, full recline, padded five-point harness, and a cup holder. Other features include adjustable leg rest and compact fold.

A nice feature for parents of twins (or two kids close together in age): the compact fold and carry handle.

Chicco Echo Twin side by side stroller folded

Another great feature: individually adjustable canopies have zip off rear flaps that allow for additional airflow. The seats have a four position, one hand recline and they can be adjusted individually. As we mentioned above, the recline here is a full recline, so babies as young as six months will be comfortable napping in this stroller. See below:

Chicco Echo Twin side by side stroller recline

The double wheels have both suspension (for a smoother ride) and swivel locks in front as well as a rear wheel brake.

Overall, readers tell us they love this stroller, especially for its compact size when folded. Amazon gives it a 91% positive rating (meaning four and five star reviews).

Flaws but not deal breakers

While the Chicco Echo Twin has mostly positive reviews, some parents (even those who love it) complain that the stroller is heavy. At 30 lbs., it’s not a piece of cake to lift into your trunk, but that’s true of almost every double stroller on the market today. Others note it can be too wide (33.5″) to fit through doors and the canopies are rather small. Another disadvantage: there is no parent console, only a cup holder. And there isn’t even a cup holder for the kids!

 

Also Great: Joovy Scooter X2 Double Stroller

Joovy Scooter X2 Double Stroller, Black is an excellent side by side double stroller. $223 on Amazon.

Joovy Scooter X2 Double Stroller, Black is an excellent side by side double stroller. $223 on Amazon.

The Joovy ScooterX2 is a lightweight side-by-side twin stroller with an elliptical frame. It also features a deep (but not full) seat recline. Like all Joovy strollers, the Scooter X2 features an oversized canopy and large storage basket. There are even two cup holders/storage pockets on the back of each seat. In a recent refresh, the ScooterX2 gained larger wheels (7″ front, 9″ rear), new graphite frame and improved fold.

Best Sport Double Stroller

BOB 2016 Revolution Flex Duallie stroller

Want to go on a hike with your twins? The BOB 2016 Revolution Flex Duallie stroller is our pick for best sport double stroller. $533 on Amazon.


Best Sport Double Stroller. 
The BOB Revolution Flex Duallie is an offshoot of the hugely popular Revolution single stroller. It has the same front swivel wheel, rear wheel suspension and individual multi-position canopies of the original Revolution plus a new adjustable handle and polymer wheels. These features make for a comfortable ride for both parents and kids.

BOB’s strollers are billed as “sport utility” strollers and that’s an apt moniker, as their rugged design (polymer wheels to prevent rust, for example) and plush ride make these strollers best sellers despite their $300+ price tags.

The top selling BOB model is the Revolution, with its front swivel wheel, rear wheel suspension, air filled tires, multi-position canopy and seat recline, plus a padded handlebar. While not as easy to fold as a Baby Jogger, the Revolution’s two-step fold is a close runner-up (see below).

BOB makes four different versions of the Revolution, each with these basic features, plus a corresponding twin model. The models are the Revolution SE, the Revolution Pro, the Revolution Flex and the Stroller Strides Fitness stroller. Our favorite twin version is the Revolution Flex Duallie.

BOB has tweaked the Revolution over the years to improve its features. The latest models feature adjustable crotch straps, new multi-position canopies and a storage basket with easier access.  The Revolution Flex Duallie has polymer wheels (they won’t rust like metal wheels) with an added nine-position adjustable handlebar. This feature is one we’ve been wishing for for years; it makes a huge difference for people on either end of the height scale.

Revolution Flex Duallie

Quality and durability are the hallmarks of BOB strollers. Yes, they are expensive (especially the Duallie versions), but they can take a beating and keep on rolling. Parents love their BOB’s with great enthusiasm. On Amazon, no review is lower than three stars. Four and Five star ratings combined are an astonishing 94% of parents. They love the suspension and air tires because they make it a breeze to push.

FYI: BOB is owned by Britax, after the car seat maker acquired the brand in 2011. Among the first joint efforts between the brands is a revised car seat adapter that now works with Britax infant car seats. And Britax has debuted a BOB B-Safe version of its B-Safe infant car seat—same seat, just new fabric to match BOB’s strollers.

Flaws but not deal breakers

BOB stands for Beast of Burden—and that accurately describes the weight of the Revolution Flex Duallie. At 34 lbs. this stroller is a beast. Yes, all that ruggedness has its price.

And as we mentioned earlier in this chapter, air-filled tires require maintenance . . . and can go flat the most inconvenient times. A bicycle pump and patch kit should probably find a home in your BOB’s storage basket.

Finally, the Revolution Flex Duallie does not include a parent console or kids snack tray. But . . . conveniently the company makes these as accessories. The console (specifically for twin strollers) is $23 while the snack tray is $40. It would be nice, since this stroller retails for $500+, if BOB could at least include a parent cup holder in the price.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing strollers since 1994. In addition to hands on inspections, we also visit manufacturer facilities and met with safety regulators—and when we travel, we pay our all of our own expenses.

Much of our stroller advice and recommendations is based on our reader experiences—our stroller message board boasts 177,000+ posts! Of course, we also evaluate consumer reviews posted on sites like Babies R Us and Amazon.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!

How we picked a winner

Here’s how we came up with our stroller picks. First, we spend a good amount of time with hands-on inspections of strollers. We buy strollers at retail prices and also make trips to trade shows and manufacturer offices to see strollers first-hand. (We pay all our travel expenses, of course).

The weights you see on this web site are from our own measurements with a calibrated scale. We don’t take manufacturer specs as gospel.

We also gather significant reader feedback (our book, Baby Bargains has over 1 million copies in print), tracking strollers on quality and durability.

Besides interviewing parents, we also regularly talk with stroller retailers to see which brands are most trustworthy and other key quality metrics. The reliability of stroller companies is another key factor—we meet with key company executives at least once a year. Since we’ve been doing this since 1994, we have developed detailed profiles of major strollers brands that help guide our recommendations. See below for links.

Double Stroller 101

101

There are three types of double strollers that can transport two tikes: tandem models, side-by-side styles and jogging strollers. Here’s a quick 101 on double strollers.

A tandem stroller has a “front-back” configuration, where the younger child rides in back while the older child gets the view. These strollers are best for parents with a toddler and a new baby.

Side-by-side strollers, on the other hand, are best for parents of twins or babies close in age. In this case, there’s never any competition for the front seat. The only downside: some of these strollers are so wide, they can’t fit through narrow doorways or store aisles. (Hint: make sure the stroller is not wider than 30” to insure door compatibility). Another bummer: few side-by-side doubles have napper bars or fully reclining seats, making them impractical for infants.

So, what to buy—a tandem or side by side? Our reader feedback shows parents are much happier with their side-by-side models than tandems. Why? The tandems can get darn near impossible to push when weighted down with two kids, due to their length-wise design. Yes, side by sides may not be able to fit through some narrow shopping aisles, but they seem to work better overall.

Finally, if you want to exercise with your stroller, look to the sport stroller category for the best options. Most of the strollers in this category are commonly referred to as jogging or running strollers although most parents don’t actually run with them. We prefer to use the terms “sport” or “all-terrain.”

After years of researching this category, we realize the best strollers to run with are those with a fixed front wheel and an aluminum frame. However, the most popular sellers in this category are strollers that have a swivel front wheel which can be locked. Although you can lock the front wheel, that doesn’t mean they’ll perform well as a running stroller because there will be at least some vibration at running speeds. This vibration will drive most runners crazy.

 

7 Things No One Tells You About . . .

7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Stroller

1. What’s your stroller lifestyle?

stroller in snowstorm

Before you fall you in love with a designer stroller, ask yourself HOW you will be using a stroller. Yes, you.

Think of strollers as tools—the wrong tool for a job isn’t going to help, no matter how shiny it is. It’s the same for strollers.

Because we all live in different environs and want to go varied places, the key to stroller happiness is to understand how different stroller options fit your lifestyle. Hence, the perfect stroller for hiking in Colorado isn’t the right one for a simple spin around the mall in Miami Beach.

Climate plays another factor—in the Northeast, strollers have to be winterized to handle the cold and snow. Meanwhile, in Southern California, full canopies are helpful for shading baby’s eyes from late afternoon sunshine.

2. The perfect stroller doesn’t exist.

the Bat stroller

Your stroller needs will change over time. Babies/toddlers use a stroller from birth to age four and sometimes beyond. The perfect stroller for a newborn isn’t necessarily great for a toddler—although some strollers make a valiant effort at bridging the years.

And what if you add a second child into the mix?

The take-home message: no one stroller can meet all these needs. Most parents end up with more than one stroller. Let’s review over the stroller landscape to determine the right stroller for your baby/toddler.

3. There are six types of strollers on the market…

strollermemebabybargains

We kid. Here are the six basic styles of strollers: umbrella/lightweight strollers, full-size strollers, multi-function strollers, jogging (or sport) strollers, all-terrain strollers and travel systems. Here’s a quick look see:

  • Umbrella/lightweight strollers are generally under 20 lbs. in weight. Some feature two handles and a long, narrow fold (like an umbrella; hence the name!). Most umbrellas strollers are very cheap ($20 to $40), although some upper end manufacturers have spruced them up to sell for $100 to $300 (UPPAbaby and Peg Perego have “luxury” umbrella strollers). Premium lightweight strollers boast features like extendible canopies, storage baskets, and high quality wheels. Prices range from $150 to $300. Because seat recline can be limited, many umbrella/lightweight strollers are designed for kids six months and older.
  • Full-size strollers used to be called carriages or prams. These strollers are more like a bed on wheels with a seat that reclines to nearly flat and can be enclosed like a bassinet for newborns. All that stroller goodness comes at a price: hefty weight, as much as 30 lbs. As a result, getting a full-size stroller in and out of the vehicle trunk can be a challenge. Entry level full-size strollers start at $200, but these can top $1000. In recent years, full-size strollers have fallen out of favor, replaced by . . .
  • Multi-function strollers work from infant to toddler with either an infant car seat adapter or bassinet accessory for newborns. Some multi-functions are even expandable into a double stroller with a second seat attachment. Expect to pay $300 to $1000 for multi-function options (accessories like second seats are almost always an additional cost). This stroller type has increased in popularity in recent years, as parents increasingly have kids that are close in age.
  • Jogging strollers feature air-filled, bicycle-style tires and lightweight frames perfect for jogging or brisk walks on rough roads. The best strollers for running have a fixed front wheel for stability. Jogging strollers with lightweight aluminum frames usually run $300 and up although there are some cheaper, steel framed options on the market too.
  • All-terrain strollers are eclipsing jogging strollers for all but the most devoted runner. In fact, they often look like joggers but have a swivel front wheel. Big tires take to hiking trails better than typical stroller wheels, but these strollers are bulky and heavy. And expensive: they can run more than $400 for popular brands.
  • Travel systems combine a stroller and infant car seat which snaps into the stroller. Typically sold at discount and big-box stores, travel systems are aimed at first-time parents and gift givers. Most feature basic infant car seats and full-size strollers at prices that range from $200 to $300. Travel systems have waned in popularity in recent years as more lightweight strollers added infant car seat compatibility/adapters.

4. Beware these common stroller safety hazards.

stroller safety tips

Just because a stroller is on the shelves at the Baby Megastore doesn’t mean it is safe. 12,000 babies each year are injured by strollers, according to the most recent government safety data.

Here are our top safety tips:

  • Never hang bags from the stroller handle. Yes, it is tempting to hang that diaper bag or purse off your stroller handles. The danger: your stroller can tip backwards—and even if your child is in the five-point harness, injuries can still happen. Solution: put that purse in your stroller’s storage basket. Or use a backpack diaper bag.
  • Don’t leave your baby unattended while sleeping in a stroller. Newborns, infants and toddlers all move around when they’re sleeping. Injuries have occurred when babies creep down to the strap openings, so keep an eye on them. Or take a baby out of a stroller and put them in a full-size crib for naps.
  • Don’t trust your brakes. The best stroller models have brakes on two wheels rather than one. But even if a stroller has the best brakes on the planet, never leave a stroller unattended on an incline with your baby inside.
  • Follow the weight limits. Forty pounds is typically the maximum for most strollers.
  • Jogging strollers are best for babies over one year of age. Pediatric experts tell us the neck muscles of infants under one year of age can’t take the bumps of jogging or walking on rough terrain.
  • Fold and unfold your stroller away from your baby. The opening/closing mechanisms of a stroller can be a pinching hazard, so don’t open or close your stroller with baby nearby. Graco recalled over 5 million strollers in 2014 for just such hazards.

5. The secret to a smart stroller test drive: add weight.

Don’t test drive that stroller empty. Take a backpack and put in about 20 lbs. worth of books. Stick that in the stroller seat and you’ll see how that stroller actually steers/handles with a baby. And yes, practice folding and unfolding the stroller with the backpack in your arms!

6. What stroller features really matter . . . for babies.

The Dreaded Wall of Strollers—more than one parent-to-be has been reduced to tears staring at a baby store’s mind-boggling display of 37 stroller models. So let’s break down what’s REALLY important when stroller shopping for baby:

  • Reclining seat. If you plan to use this stroller from birth, the seat must fully recline. That’s because babies can’t comfortably ride in a sitting position until around six months. And most newborns spend their time sleeping—so seat recline is a necessity.
  • Extended canopy. There are three types of stroller canopies: skimpy, extended and fully enclosing. Skimpy canopies only block the sun if it is directly overhead—great if you live at the equator. For everyone else, an extended canopy (also called extended sunshades) are better at blocking all sun angles. Baby Jogger’s canopies are a good example of extended canopies (see stroller at top of this page). The best canopies have multiple positions for flexibility. Fully enclosing canopies go a step further—they completely block out the sun from a stroller. These are great, but somewhat rare in the market. If you live in an area with active mosquitos, a bug net accessory is highly recommended. Here’s an example from Baby Jogger for their Select stroller:Baby Jogger® City Select UV/Bug Canopy
  • All wheel suspension. Stroller wheel suspension works like your car’s shock absorbers, smoothing out life’s little (and big) bumps.

7. What stroller features really matter . . . for parents.

  • It’s all about the storage. Like toddlers and napkins, you can never enough. We’re not just talking about the size of the storage basket (but that helps). It’s HOW you access the basket, especially if the seat is reclined. The best strollers add storage in areas you wouldn’t think—on the hood, the back of the seat, a storage compartment with lid in a parent console for your phone and so on.
  • The right wheels. Going for a nature walk on a dirt trail? Air-filled 12″ rear tires are best. Navigating tight spaces at the Pikes Place Market in Seattle? Small 6″ wheels enable tight turns.
  • Removable seat pad for washing. Crushed-in cookies, spilt juice and the usual grime can make a stroller a mobile dirt-fest. Some models have removable seat cushions that are machine washable—other models let you remove all the fabric for washing.
  • Reversible seat. When baby is young, you can have your child face you. Then when your toddler wants to see the world, the seat flips around.
  • The one-hand, flip flop friendly, standing fold. The fewer the steps and hands you need to fold a stroller, the better. The best models have one-hand folds that stand when collapsed. If your stroller has a foot brake or release, make sure you can do this in a flip flop—and the pedal doesn’t mess up a pedicure.
    A flip-friendly brake allows you to set and release the break with the same motion. No messing up the pedicure!

    A flip-friendly brake allows you to set and release the brake with the same motion. No messing up the pedicure!

  • Height adjustable handle. If you and your partner are two different statures, an adjustable handle is a must have.

Eco-friendly stroller certifications

There are three international organizations that test and certify textiles. These are OEKO-TEX, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and IVN Naturextil. All three of these certifications are optional—there is no legal standard for organic, non-allergenic, chemical free textiles in the US. Many of the companies that are certified are European, with only a few US brands certified. Here’s a bit about each of the three organizations.

1. OEKO-TEX is a German organization that offers a Standard 100 certification program for textiles at all steps in the manufacturing process. Here’s a direct quote from the Oeko-Tex web site:

“Products marked with the label ‘Confidence in textiles (Standard 100)’ provide effective protection against allergenic substances, formaldehyde, heavy metals such as nickel or for example forbidden plasticizers (phthalates) in baby textiles.”

OEKO-TEX offers a second certification called Green by OEKO-TEX, which means the “materials (were) tested for harmful substances,” the product was “made in environmentally friendly facilities” and it was “made in safe and socially responsible workplaces.”


screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-12-57-38-pm

2. GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certifies textiles as organic. To meet their qualifications, “Only textile products that contain a minimum of 70% organic fibres can become GOTS certified. All chemical inputs such as dyestuffs and auxiliaries used must meet certain environmental and toxicological criteria. The choice of accessories is limited in accordance with ecological aspects as well. A functional waste water treatment plant is mandatory for any wet-processing unit involved and all processors must comply with minimum social criteria.” Basically, beyond using organic materials, companies must also be socially responsible to their workers and the community.

GOTS logo

3. Textile Exchange. Previously referred to as the Organic Exchange (OE) Standard, the international Textile Exchange certifies textiles according to their Organic Content Standard (OCS). They verify the steps in the supply chain to make certain the materials used in end products like diapers are sustainably sourced/grown, processed and manufactured.

Textile Exchange Logo

There are only a few stroller manufacturers we can find with one of these international certifications. These companies typically sell strollers with fabric that is conventionally grown as well as organic, so you’ll need to check their web sites to see which models feature certified textiles:

Bumbleride (OEKO-TEX)

Orbit (OEKO-TEX). FYI: Orbit has discontinued all their strollers, but you may see them on eBay and second hand.

Nuna (OEKO-TEX)

Reviews of 50+ stroller brands

The Best Double Stroller

Kolcraft Options Tandem
The Options tandem stroller ($280, 32 lbs.) has seven different configurations with seats that can reverse or mix one (or two) infant car seats and a seat. The Options ships with a universal car seat adapter and features a standing fold, reclining seats, adjustable footrests and decent size canopies.