The Best Double Stroller 2018
Best Double Strollers 2018
Last Updated: After researching and rating 19 double strollers, we picked the Contours Options Elite Tandem as the Best Double Stroller 2018 ( . $400 on Amazon).
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 Contours Options Elite 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 $400, it also quite a bargain.
Scroll down below for more details on this stroller!
More details on the Contours Options Elite Tandem
Contours (owned by 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, Contours has survived, thanks to an emphasis on underserved market segments (namely double strollers). Contours is a mid-price line with upgraded features and fabrics while their sister stroller line, Kolcraft makes entry-level models under their own name.
The Options Elite tandem stroller ($280, 32 lbs.) has rubber coated rear wheels, side storage basket access and seat back storage. The Elite also has an extendable canopy with mesh air vent.
But here’s where the rubber hits the road: the Elite 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:
See the Contours Options Elite in action here–especially note the standing fold:
What do parents say about the Contours Options Elite 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 Elite tandem is an excellent double stroller with one big disadvantage: weight. At 34 lbs., the Elite 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:
Best Budget-Friendly Double Stroller: Joovy Caboose Stand-on Tandem ($93, 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 $93 price is for the graphic version. Other colors are about $110.
Here’s a look at the various configurations of the Joovy Caboose Stand-on Tandem:
Best Double Stroller: Side by side. Our top choice for side by side stroller is the Chicco Echo Twin. Based on the popular Chicco Liteway stroller (which is replaced by the Chicco Mini Bravo in 2018), 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.
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.
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. 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. The Thule Urban Glide 2.0 Double Jogging Stroller is the double version of the popular Urban Glide 2.0. It has the same front swivel wheel, height-adjustable handle, robust wheel suspension and an extendable canopy with air mesh ventilation.
One cool feature that the Thule has that the competition lacks: a covered storage basket. The zip-top cover keeps your items dry in case it is raining or there is mud on the trail—very nice!
In a previous version of this review, we picked the BOB Revolution FLEX Duallie Jogging Stroller as the best double stroller. While the BOB still has it strong points, the newer Thule Urban Glide 2.0 Double Jogging stroller has a much easier, one step fold. The BOB requires two steps. Here’s a look at the fold (at the 1:29 mark):
Another difference between the Revolution and the Urban Glide 2.0: the twist action hand break. We think this is easier to use than the lever on the Revolution. The Revolution costs $40 less than the Thule double, however.
Thanks to quick release wheels, the Thule Urban Glide 2.0 Double folds down into a relatively narrow space (30.7″ x 34.2″ x 16.1″). Even so, it takes up a good amount of trunk space, especially in a smaller vehicle. Regardless, this compares favorably with the Revolution, whose fold is a few inches bulkier (34.5″ by 34.5″).
In the past year, Thule upgraded the Urban Glide 2.0—the double version shares these same improvements:
• New integrated brake. The Urban Glide 2 Double added a brake that is integrated into the handlebar—twist the blue portion and the stroller slows, which is helpful when going down a hill.
• Extended canopy. Thule redesigned the Urban Glide 2’s canopy to offer an extension with mesh ventilation in back (the new version still has the front sun visor too).
• New accessories including a bumper bar ($30) and rain cover ($40) as well as car seat adapters for the Maxi Cosi and Chicco infant car seats ($60 each). The lack of these accessories was a major negative for the original Urban Glide.
• Secure folding strap. When folded, a new catch ensures the stroller stays folded.
Flaws but not deal breakers
This stroller is not lightweight—clocking in at 34.2 lbs., it is even one pound heavier than the BOB Revolution Flex Dualie.
And as we mentioned elsewhere on this site, air-filled tires require maintenance . . . and can go flat at the most inconvenient times. A bicycle pump and patch kit should probably find a home in your Thule’s storage basket.
You’d think that a stroller that costs nearly $700 would include a parent console or kids snack tray . . . but no. Yes, you can buys these separately as accessories ($50 and $40 respectively) . . . but it would have been nice to have these items thrown in. To be fair, BOB doesn’t include these either, however.
Finally, let’s talk about the Urban Glide 2.0 Double’s seat size—it is on the smallish side. Yes, the stroller has a maximum weight capacity of 100 lbs., but squeezing two 50 lb. toddlers into these seats will be a challenge. That’s because the seat’s are somewhat narrow and not that deep. Hence, we see a few complaints from parents of larger toddlers that just didn’t fit well into the Thule.
Our suggestion would be to take your kiddos to sit in this stroller to make sure it is a good fit, especially if your toddler is on the higher end of their growth chat. This stroller may work better for twins versus a younger/older kid configuration. That’s because twins tend to be on the smaller side compared to singletons.
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 Buy Buy Baby 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
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 Buying A Stroller
1. What’s your stroller lifestyle?
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.
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…
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.”
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.
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.
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:
Orbit (OEKO-TEX). FYI: Orbit has discontinued all their strollers, but you may see them on eBay and second hand.
Reviews of 50+ stroller brands
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