So, your babies are sitting upright now and if you don’t already have one, the time has come for a twin stroller. As with any stroller, there’s a huge array of makes and models, but choosing the correct option does not need to be a difficult decision.
Side-by-side stroller or inline stroller? The first question is which twin stroller design to go for – the traditional side-by-side stroller, or a tandem stroller, which is effectively an ‘in-line’ stroller, with one seat directly in front of the other. Both have their pros and cons, so it really is a case of deciding which will suit your lifestyle the best.
If, for example, you are transitioning from a double buggy, then you will like the fact that with the side-by-side strollers you have both kids within easy reach, which is always handy – if you’re really lucky, the kids can help entertain each other when they get that little bit older!
However, there is the width issue. While modern stores and shopping centres tend to have nice wide entrances, older shops, banks and businesses, and sometimes even your own front door, can be a tight squeeze. If you go for the tandem double stroller, you will enter through doorways with the ease of a single stroller, but you will be that bit further away from the child in the front and may therefore find it more difficult to keep that watchful eye. To counteract this, there are models that allow you to position the second seat unit facing you.
Wide side-by-side strollers are more difficult to accommodate in tight spaces like cafes, or other places where it doesn’t make sense to take the kids out and fold down the stroller. Having said that, the in-line stroller protrudes further forward. Still, with narrow spaces between tables and shop fixtures, it would seem that the tandem stroller is the better option in terms of footprint. If you’re a runner, the inline design is the only option. Opt for a lightweight jogging stroller.
Advantages and disadvantages for a "Side by side" Lightweight Jogging Stroller
PROS • Kids sit beside each other, within easy reach • You can see both children • More compact when folded
CONS • Can be more difficult to manoeuvre in tight spaces • Can be difficult to enter/exit tight doorways
Advantages and disadvantages for a Lightweight "In-Line" Stroller
PROS • Easier to manoeuvre • Easier to get through doorways • Great for joggers
CONS • Can be more difficult to keep an eye on the child in the front • Can take up slightly larger space when folded compared to a side-by-side stroller
Not just for twins Of course double strollers are not solely for twins. You may, for example, only have one child needing the stroller at all times, with an older child who only needs to get into the stroller for longer journeys when he or she inevitably become tired. A good twin stroller will serve these needs perfectly.
Things to look for
• Ease of folding. Look for a model that can be easily folded and unfolded, as some models are better than others in this regard. Read reviews to see how the model ranks on this feature. One-handed folding systems are great as you might well have a child in your arms. Think of who will be using it. Will it be just you, or will grandparents, for example, also be using the stroller? In this case, ease of use can be even more important. Is there an adjustable handle, for example?
• Folded footprint. It sounds obvious, but ensure that your chosen model, when folded, will fit in the space available in your car or public transport.
• On-board storage. Think of all the things that you may need to take with you when using the stroller as well as the things you may pick up or buy in the course of the trip. These can all add up. Many strollers come with mesh net baskets, but some are better than others.
• Weather-related accessories. Check to see if your chosen stroller comes with rain covers, hoods and footmuffs, which are all important for winter use. Remember, during the summer months, parasols, sun covers and sun hoods are a must. While it may seem obvious to include such items with the main product, it is actually now quite common to have to purchase such items separately. There is a huge array of useful accessoriesthat you can get to make life that little bit easier when you’re out and about.
• A ride-on board is a useful feature so your older child can hop on for a quick rest.
So when it comes to choosing your double stroller, don’t just assume that all strollers are equal; some will suit your particular lifestyle far better than others. After that, it’s really about your budget and your personal preferences in terms of design.