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Double stroller showdown

Abbi Perets lives in Houston, TX, with her husband and five children.






Are double strollers twice as nice?

Do you need a double stroller? What kind should you get? The choices can be overwhelming. Amazon lists about 800 different models. Your local baby superstore might have 200 of those in stock -- which means you could spend hours, days, or even weeks agonizing. Our Stroller Showdown here at SheKnows gives you a fighting chance of choosing the best buggy for your baby in under an hour.

Double Strollers

In Part 1 of our Stroller Showdown, we looked at 3 high-end strollers, which ranged in price from around $450 to well over $750 -- but our testers didn't necessarily feel they got their money's worth. Next, we looked at umbrella strollers and discovered that $130 buys you a sweet, stable stroller you can use for years. But what happens when you have more than one kid? It's time to look at double strollers. Plus, you'll find our Stroller Showdown wrap-up.

The contenders for this round of the Stroller Showdown were the Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem, the Graco Twin IPO, and Phil and Ted's Classic Inline with a double kit.

The Results

Read on to see what we learned.

Price: A double stroller can run from around $180 to $500 or so, depending on the features and style you want. In most cases, the side by side models are less expensive than other styles, although double joggers (which we didn't consider in the Showdown) are pricey.

Style: If you're after an eye-catching look, the Classic Inline is your stroller. People will actually do double takes when they realize you have two children in this stroller -- the unique one over the other construction is unlike anything else available. The IPO and the Tandem are more in keeping with what people expect in a double stroller.

Safety: The Classic Inline might look make it look like your newborn will be crushed by your toddler, but our testers found the stroller sturdy and stable. The IPO is moderately stable -- one tester noted that she wouldn't feel comfortable allowing an older or heavier child to sit in it. The Tandem looks and feels quite sturdy.

Maneuverability: You get less flexibility in a double stroller than you do in a single. All of our testers stressed that it's critical to test out the stroller in the store to ensure that both spouses can comfortably push it. Because a loaded double stroller can be heavy, it may often fall to Dad to do the pushing. So if the handles are the wrong height, or the rear bar knocks his shins with each step, you'll all suffer. Test drive your potential buy around the store for at least 15 minutes. You've been warned.

Ease of use: The IPO and the Tandem had trouble on bumpy surfaces. Trying to push the IPO over grass was "a real workout" for one tester, but its narrowness makes it ideal for shopping trips. The Tandem was a little harder to manage on outings, but once testers got used to the length of the stroller, they felt more comfortable. The Classic Inline is generally easy to use, but folding it requires removing the double seat, which frustrated some testers.

Convenience features: The Tandem is all about the options. Easy-open armrests and a toddler step for climbing in and out, flexible seating arrangements for the kids, large basket, cup holders, and so on. The IPO, on the other hand, has a large basket… and that's it. The Classic Inline doesn't even have that -- its basket is too small to hold anything useful, said one tester.

Our testers had a hard time estimating the value of these strollers, but most parents said they'd feel comfortable budgeting as much as $400 for a great double stroller.

Next page: The verdict - Who won the double stroller challenge?

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