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How to Choose the Best Double Stroller for Your Family

Guest Author - Kris Bigalk

There are many brands of double strollers, and they vary by city, state, and country. However, there are only a few "styles" of double strollers. Which kind of double stroller you need for your twins is affected by family, taste, and developmental stages of the twins. Here are some tips on how to choose the best stroller for your twins.

Travel System Strollers
These strollers are designed so that infant car seats "click" into the stroller seats; then, when the babies grow out of the infant car seats, they can sit up in the stroller. One baby is in the front seat, the other in the back. One of the most commonly used (and inexpensive) brands is the Graco Duo-Glider, which retails in the US for around $150. The Graco SnugRide car seats retail for around $80 each. Other brands, such as Evenflo, also make travel system duo strollers.

Travel System Strollers are great for families who:
- want a stroller that "grows" with their twins and lasts a few years
- have access to car seats that work with the travel system stroller
- want a stroller that will stand up to some abuse, wear, and tear
- want a stroller that works well in stores (the slender design works well in aisles)
- want a stroller with trays in front of the babies for snacks (we also use ours as a "high chair" when visiting relatives)

Travel System Strollers don't work well for families who:
- have a vehicle with a small trunk
- have a parent who cannot lift a heavier, bulkier stroller (though some of these strollers are now a bit lighter and smaller)

Car Seat "Frame" Double Strollers
These strollers are simply a metal frame that accomodates two car seats.Baby Trend's Snap and Go is a popular choice, because it accomodates several brands of car seats. These frames retail for around $100.

"Frame" Strollers are good for families who:
- already have car seats of different brands that fit the frame
- want an inexpensive option for infants, and plan to upgrade when babies grow out of the car seats
- have one parent who cannot lift a heavy stroller
- have a car with a small trunk
- want a stroller that works well in stores (the slender design works well in aisles)

"Frame" Strollers don't work well for families who:
- have older children who may abuse the stroller (these frames are more fragile)
- want a stroller that lasts longer than a year (babies grow out of infant seats by 12 months, usually).

Side by Side Strollers
These strollers come in many forms, from cheaper side-by-side umbrella strollers to expensive, sturdy side-by-side strollers. They fold up differently, steer differently, and have different levels of comfort in the seats, so a "test drive" is advisable before buying. A higher-end example is Combi's Twin Savvy LX, which retails for around $300. A less expensive alternative is Avalon's Side by Side.

Side by Side Strollers are good for families who:
- will use the stroller primarily in outdoor settings
- have twins who kick each other in a front-back stroller
- have twins who prefer to sit next to each other

Side by Side Strollers don't work well for families who:
- need the stroller to accomodate car seats (most will only accomodate one, if that)
- want to use the stroller in retail stores (aisles often are not wide enough)
- want a stroller that is easier to steer (these often are clumsy)
- live in a windy area (the larger surface area makes it harder to push)
- have twins who do not like to be next to each other

Jogging Strollers
These strollers are usually side-by-side. What differentiates them from a regular side-by-side stroller is the wheel design -- one wheel in front, and two in back. These strollers are designed for parents who run, but are also great for parents who want a sturdy double stroller that handles well. An example is Schwinn's Free Runner 2, which retails for around $250.

Jogging Strollers are good for families who:
- are active, and plan to use the stroller outdoors, on streets or trails
- want a stroller that is sturdy and takes some wear and tear
- want a stroller that is easy to steer (though some aren't--be sure to "test drive" any jogger you're considering)

Jogging Strollers don't work well for families who:
- need a stroller to accomodate a car seat
- have a car with a small trunk
- plan to use the stroller in stores (most are too wide)
- want a stroller with a tray for eating or playing (most do not have one)
- have twins who don't like such close quarters

Convertible Bike Trailers
Almost everyone with twins has heard of the Burley Bee, a bike trailer that also converts into a stroller. Other brands are also available at bike shops and some baby retailers. These are not cheap (new trailers of any brand are usually more than $400), but if your family bikes a lot, they are a great choice.

Bike Trailers are good for families who:
- plan to use the stroller/trailer primarily outdoors, on trails or streets
- spend time biking together
- have older twins (they are unsafe for infants and do not accomodate car seats)

Bike Trailers don't work well for families who:
- have a car with a small trunk
- plan to use the stroller in stores
- have twins who don't like such close quarters

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Content copyright © 2013 by Kris Bigalk. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kris Bigalk. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Julixa Newman for details.

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