Kinderwagon Hop strollerWeb:

Shopping for a double stroller can often be a choice of lesser evils. In Column A, you have tandem (front/back) strollers that are expensive beasts, weighing slightly less than a young adult hippopotamus. A tandem’s long wheel base can make them difficult to steer when fully loaded with kids and diaper bags. And you’ll need a huge trunk to haul it around.

In Column B, you have side-by-side strollers, which tend to be lighter in weight. The trade-off is width—at 30″+, these strollers may not fit through doors or around shopping racks.

Into this void comes the Kinderwagon Hop, the first lightweight tandem that is the same width as a single stroller, yet can hold 50 lbs. of kid per seat. Invented by parents of multiples, the Kinderwagon Hop weighs just 21.8 lbs. and features stadium seating—the back seat is higher than the front. This prevents that inevitable fight between twins over who gets the view. (FYI: despite the German sounding name, Kinderwagon is actually based in Rhode Island and imports its strollers from China).

The Hop’s back seat features a partial (130 degree) recline and the front seat is basically fixed. For $300, the Hop includes a large number of features that are often extras: diaper bag, cup holder and rain cover. When folded, the stroller is 47″ tall, 11.5″ deep and 10″ wide—basically, long and narrow, which should fit well into most trunks.

Kinderwagon has expanded its line to include the Skip (a single umbrella stroller) and the Jump (with a toddler seat in the rear like the Baby Trend Sit N Stand and the Joovy Caboose).

Kinderwagon Strollers by Justin and Jennifer Shull 2014

Kinderwagon Skip

The Skip ($190, 14 lbs.) features built in car seat adapter straps, partial recline, aluminum frame, four wheel suspension, compact fold and removable canopy. It includes a removable cup holder and rain cover. It’s wheels are larger than other, similar umbrella strollers on the market and the front wheels can be locked.

Kinderwagon Jump with canopy removed.

Kinderwagon Jump with canopy removed.

The Jump ($260) also has car seat adapter straps included and a partial recline. In fact, it has basically the same features as the Skip but just adds a jump seat at the back from toddlers 2.5 to 5 years of age. The added jump seat brings the weight up to 18 lbs.

Parent feedback on the Hop is positive, with kudos to the light weight and overall smart design. Negatives to the stroller include a rather stiff folding mechanism that takes some time to loosen up. The fold itself requires a few steps but can be done with one-hand. The lack of fully reclining seats means babies under six months will probably need head support to sit in the Kinderwagon Hop’s seats.

And there is just a single canopy for the Hop—that means the front seat doesn’t get full coverage.

In many ways, the Hop feels like a version 1.0 product. It is a good first effort, but small improvements would make the Hop better (example: the front napper bar isn’t removable, so toddlers can’t climb in/out of the stroller by themselves). The cup holder pops off too easily. And smaller moms may notice their visibility of the stroller’s front blocked by the canopy.

As for the Skip and Jump, they still don’t have much parent feedback available on them, even after being out on the market for a while. We like the light weights of these strollers, but their canopies seem rather skimpy. We’ll have to wait for more feedback on these strollers before we recommend them.

Bottom line: the Kinderwagon Hop is an innovative and unique stroller, with a few rough edges. At $300, it is hardly a bargain—but for parents of twins (or two babies close in age), this may be the best choice for a ligthweight and compact stroller. Rating: B