There was a day back some time ago when the idea of a double stroller invoked an adverse reaction. They were hard to handle, heavy and had questionable maneuverability. If you were a jogger, forget about taking the kids for a run.
Well, all that has changed in the past few years with manufacturers becoming much more responsive to the needs of families with multiple children that require a ride if they want to go out with mom or dad.
Factors that Drive the Motivation to Buy
The factors to consider when looking for a double stroller change with the needs of the people looking for them. It seems that these factors reduce down to three primary considerations.
1. Price – very few of us have unlimited budgets for anything. The choice for a double stroller is not exempt from that consideration. The best stroller, in this case, is the one that presents the best value for the money. Yes, we’d like all the latest gadgets and accessories, but we just can’t afford them. The word “settle” comes to mind, but that’s rather harsh. We live within our means and spend responsibly.
2. Convenience – this is the case where you buy the stroller that meets all the criteria you set forth regardless of price, safety or any other factor that could override your choice. It’s the quick fix for a significant need at the moment, and you don’t have time to put together the four spreadsheets of data to weigh against making a choice. So, you buy the first one that meets your needs and money is no object.
3. The Wise Shopper – this is the one that will develop the spreadsheets describing capability and features of each stroller in a side by side comparison based on a set of priorities that have been thought through so that the choice at the end of the process is the right one. In this case, the stroller with the most checkmarks in their column wins the day. Everything matters from price, to style, to zero turn radius and wheels that can maneuver in off sidewalk conditions.
We’ll examine option number three in depth because it does cover the other two options to some degree with the possible exception of price. The way I think, if you’re buying the stroller on price alone, it doesn’t really matter how it’s made and what kind of reviews it’s getting. You’re going to buy it anyway.
Priority List of Considerations
There are plenty of places to go look at these factors but in my book, it boils down to these seven things. I’ve put them in the order of importance that should drive your decision.
1. Safety – if the children that will ride in this conveyance are at risk for any safety concern that can be avoided by making the right choice, then, your head is not in the right place. If you spend any time at all in looking at reasons to buy a stroller, look at the safety record and consumer reports on the device. The sturdiness of construction plays a role, but the two primary things to look at are the harness restraints and the braking system. A multi-point harness restraint with at least three points of body control but preferably five is mandatory. Yes, the braking system is crucial. You’re trying to control a lot of weight. Forward momentum will prevent a quick stop unless you have a foot or hand brake capability.
2. Weight Capacity – this factor is important for two reasons. First, the physical construction of the stroller is designed for maximum weight. Exceed that and you defeat the safety features of the stroller. Second, these strollers are not cheap, and you want them to last for as long as possible. You need room for growth of the child and the increased weight that comes with it.
3. Seat Configuration – this is about both safety and convenience. The safety issue comes from the visibility of both children. Side-by-side style provides a clearer view if both children still require constant monitoring. Stadium style is better suited to a younger child, older child situation where the older child in the rear seat can be given less attention but is closer in the event corrective action is needed. For twins or children closer in age, the side-by-side seating arrangement provides for beneficial social interaction.
The other four considerations, price, comfort, wheels and folding mechanism fall into the category of convenience so let your gut be your guide on those choices. Get the first three right and you’ll have made a wise choice.