Updated July 2018
Regular side-by-side strollers have “normal” sized wheels – bigger than what you’d find on an umbrella stroller, but smaller than on an all-terrain stroller. They’re made to be used on smooth surfaces, like smooth sidewalks, roads, and indoor floors (for shopping and such).
These “regular” side-by-sides fall somewhere in the middle in the weight department and generally have better storage, steering, and handling than umbrella strollers.
Best Side-by-Side Strollers
$$ ~ Joovy Scooter X2 ~ Economy Pick ($210): roomy double with amazing storage and large canopies, but on the heavier side
$$$ ~ Britax B-Agile ($249): A high-quality double side by side, but people are super upset that it no longer takes a car seat. Marked down because of this (presumably).
$$$ ~ Baby Jogger City Mini Double ~ Editor’s Choice ($320): a top-notch double with desirable features, including car seat compatibility and a standing fold
$$$ ~ Zoe XL2 Best V2 ($249+): Best lightweight general purpose SBS double with solid features, but not the easiest to maneuver — choose this if weight is your biggest consideration
Price: MSRP $280, Amazon $210
Weight: 32 lbs
*Check out our full review here.
The Joovy ScooterX2 is a neat economy side-by-side stroller whose chief bragging right is TONS of storage. For the price, this stroller is a great value! The thing that makes people wild about this stroller is the amazing low price — about half of what you’d pay for a City Mini double or the like. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that everyone loves saving money!
Our favorite features include a large sun canopy, big seats (45 lb weight limit each seat) made with durable 600-Denier polyester that recline (nearly flat) independently, and did I mention the storage?? Good storage is REALLY hard to find in double strollers, but Joovy really nailed it with this one.
The ScooterX2 has 7 inch front wheels and 9.5 inch rear wheels. These larger wheels add a few pounds of weight to this stroller, unfortunately, but it’s well worth it for the better handling.
See the complete written review of the ScooterX2 here and the video review below (for the older model, but you can get the gist):
Bottom line: The reviews for the new Scooter X2 are overwhelmingly positive. There are very few complaints, other than the weight. The Joovy ScooterX2 offers great features, such as large seats for bigger kids, a fabulous canopy, bigger wheels and an incredible storage basket – all for a great price. It won’t do very well on rough terrain (especially when loaded down with heavier kids), but for smooth surfaces, the ScooterX2 is a top pick. It’s also one of our top choices for a nanny-share stroller. See FULL review here.
2016 (current model) Baby Jogger City Mini Double ~ MSRP $449 – Sale Price $430
Weight: 26.6 lbs
2017 Britax B-Agile Double ~ MSRP $449, Sale Price $249
Weight: 26 lbs
It used to be that these strollers were very comparable and we had a tough time picking a favorite, but now that the B-Agile is no longer car seat compatible, our top pick is the City Mini double.
HOWEVER… if you don’t need to use it with your infant car seat, this point is moot and you can scoop up the B-Agile double for a low price (presumably, due to all the complaints about this matter).
So there’s that. Onward…
Baby Jogger has offered a wonderful double version of an all-time favorite stroller, the City Mini, since 2007.
Enter Britax a few years ago, who came out with a stroller called the B-Agile (right), which was SO similar to the City Mini (left), it made us wonder if we were seeing double.
Then we realized wow! Britax just totally copied Baby Jogger. Can they do that??
Part of me thinks it’s not fair that Britax came along and ripped off technology another company developed.
Then… another part of me sees the improvements Britax has made to the City Mini concept and says, “Viva la competition!” I mean, there’s Coke and Pepsi. Xbox and PlayStation. Mac and PC. Mets and Yankees.
RIGHT – you’re here to shop for a stroller, not to debate patent law. On with it.
The City Mini and B-Agile doubles are some of the best (durable, high quality) side-by-side strollers for the money. No, they aren’t all-terrain strollers, but they’re better than your typical side-by-side stroller. In fact, you’ll be able to roll over grass and bumps MUCH more easily with these than you would with an umbrella stroller or a cheaper side-by-side.
Size & Weight
The City Mini is 29.75” wide and the B-Agile is 31”, both of which will get you through a standard door frame, but not with a ton of room to spare (standard door widths range from 32 – 36 inches). In the weight department, the B-Agile weighs 26 lbs, while the City Mini weighs in at 26.6 lbs.
They each hold an impressive 100 lbs of total baby meat (50 lbs in each seat).
In case you missed it, the 2017 B-Agile is not car seat compatible. Like, at all (whhhhy???) This is a deal breaker for many who are looking at the B-Agile to use with a baby and a toddler. However, if you can find an older 2016 model, those do take a Britax B-Safe car seat.
Thus, only the City Mini accepts a car seat.
In fact, the City Mini is compatible with several car seat brands, with the exception of Britax infant seats (is someone holding a grudge??). There are adapters for the City Go infant seat, the Graco SnugRide ClickConnect, Maxi Cosi and Cybex seats (no Chicco, booh!).
**Remember also that you can use either of these strollers from birth without any car seat because the seats lie nearly flat (below).
The seats on these strollers are very similar – both seats recline independently and nearly flat, so they can be used from birth. Both strollers have flaps you can roll up for ventilation, which expose a mesh backing.
A note about the seats: due to the design of these strollers, the seats don’t sit totally upright, even in the most upright position. This is a complaint you’ll occasionally see for their single counterparts as well. If being slightly reclined will annoy your child (or you), then look elsewhere. While it’s a deal breaker for some, most kids don’t seem to notice it.
Both strollers have adjustable height harnesses. To adjust the City Mini’s harnesses, simply twist the stopper, feed it out, and feed it back in at the desired height. For the B-Agile, simply unzip the back of the seat and pull the harness height up or down with a clever no-rethread harness.
Canopy, Braking, Storage, Accessories
The canopies on both strollers are amazingly huge and have two peekaboo windows each. In fact, these are some of the biggest canopies on the market and do not disappoint.
The handlebars on these strollers are both fairly tall. The handlebar on the B-Agile adjusts by rotating up and down, whereas the handlebar on the City Mini does not adjust. However, it was elongated in the 2016 model to make it better for “the tall.”
Both strollers have easy, one-step braking.
Now let’s talk storage baskets: if you own a regular City Mini, you know the storage basket isn’t huge and the same holds true for the double (below). Rather, the storage basket is pretty big, but not very accessible.
The storage in the B-Agile may not be much larger (although it feels that way), but is much more accessible from the sides (shown below). The B-Agile even has zip-out sections in the front of the stroller (where your child’s legs go) where you can peek through and access items in the front of the basket. Clever!
Both strollers also have pockets in the back of the seats for smaller items. Neither of them come with a parent console, but these accessories can (and should, for your sanity) be purchased separately.
Wheels & Suspension
Again, the wheels on these strollers are quite good for “regular” strollers.
To make for an even smoother ride, they both have front-wheel suspension. They both maneuver quite nicely and turn on a dime, although when weighed down with two heavy children, you’ll undoubtedly have to use two hands.
Folding & Carrying
Both of the strollers fold the same way, thanks to Baby Jogger’s patented Quick-Fold technology. The fold for he 2016 City Mini was improved, along with the new autolock mechanism.
The fold: with one hand on each of the fold handles, simply pull up and – BAM! – the stroller folds in half (above). Turn the front wheels to the side for a tighter fold. The B-Agile has a convenient standing fold; the City Mini does not. The size of the folded stroller is somewhere in the middle for a double, and will fit into any large trunk and even medium-sized trunks like that of a Ford Focus. Micro trunks, not so much.
* Note, all strollers in this category have roughly the same folded footprint.
In their most recent versions, these strollers are almost exactly the same weight, so unless you care deeply about 0.6 pounds, it’s a moot point.
Bottom line: Both of these strollers are pretty great. The big downside to the 2017 B-Agile is that it doesn’t take a car seat, which is a huge bummer (people were quite upset about this!). Thus, you can get a deep discount on the B-Agile right now, which makes its a great value. The BJCM, as we call it, is rated higher, takes a number of different car seat brands, and has a beautiful build quality. At the end of the day, the car seat issue will probably be the deciding factor.
Price: MSRP $349, $249 on Amazon
Weight: 17 lbs (!!!!)
See full review here.
The Zoe XL2 Best V2 is a perfect convenience and travel stroller. Yes, you read that right, it’s only 17 lbs — half the weight of most strollers in this category. It’s HIGHLY loved by people who own it.
- 17 lbs and 29” wide
- Lots of storage in the one large basket underneath
- FOUR panel canopies covering all the way to the belly bar
- 50lb weight limit for each seat
- Includes a belly bar, cup holders (for parents & kids), snack holder, and strap pads
- Quick & compact fold, can stand upright when folded
- Lifetime guarantee & replacement on the wheels,
- On the downside, the wheels are not the sturdiest for off-roading, however they are 50% bigger than the previous model, so a little better for going over bumps
- Recessed brake bar & higher handle bar for taller parents
- Flip flop friendly brake bar
All in all, they hit all the high points on this stroller: lightweight, amazing canopy coverage, big storage basket, high weight limit, and a wheel replacement guarantee. The only drawback is the tradeoff of performance for weight.
Please note: Zoe calls this a double umbrella stroller, but it is not due to its larger, rectangular fold — which means a MUCH bigger folded footprint for your trunk or whatnot (see below).
Read our full review here.
Bottom line: The Zoe Best V2 is SUPER duper lightweight and retains all the convenience features parents want — excellent canopies, storage, etc. The big tradeoff is that because of the small wheels, it falls on the “less maneuverable” side, especially if your kids are older/heavier.
…That was fun, no? Onward.
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