Below are the best tandem strollers for general use. These are full-time doubles, but some of them have the option to remove a seat to make room for shopping bags and whatnot. These strollers have small to medium-sized wheels and are designed to be used mainly on smooth surfaces. For all-terrain/convertible tandems, please click here.
I’ll be honest, folks: I don’t get excited about any stroller in this category except for, perhaps, the Contours Options. Most of them are long, heavy, and harder to push compared to other types of double strollers; these are really for people looking for a single-wide double stroller (for narrow doorways and such) for an affordable price who are okay with the shitty maneuverability.
People looking for a more maneuverable stroller with better build quality are better off with a classic Convertible Stroller.
Okay, I’ve said my peace. Moving on…
Our Favorites for Infants and Toddlers
$ ~ Graco DuoGlider Click Connect ($169): a good (lightweight) economy pick, especially for parents with Graco SnugRide car seats
$ ~ Baby Trend Sit N Stand Double ($169): This double can also “double” as a sit n stand with the rear seat removed; a solid (but heavy) economy pick
$$ ~ Chicco Cortina Together ($299): a sturdy tandem with nice bells and whistles, especially comfy, tall seating and giant storage space – but heavy and VERY long, won’t fit into smaller trunks
$$ ~ Contours Options Elite ($499): excels in maneuverability and multiple seating options (hey, it’s called the options for a reason); not the best for petite pushers
Recommended Options for Everyday, General Purposes
In order of least to most expensive ~
Price: MSRP $169
Weight: 29.5 pounds
The Graco DuoGlider is a solid option for a great price. The Graco is actually really competitive when it comes to weight (in fact, at under 30 pounds, it’s one of the lightest general purpose tandems available), although most parents still feel like it’s bulky…which is not unusual for double strollers OR Graco products in general. Anyways — just know that it’s on par for a double.
Each seat holds up to 40 pounds and will take a Graco SnugRide Click Connect car seat (these are the ONLY seats that work — if you need something that will take another brand, check out the Baby Trend, up next).
BTW, this stroller has a good amount of storage, but it’s tough to use/access it when there’s a car seat in the rear seat. If you’re past the car seat stage, the seats have 3-point (not 5-point) harnesses, and recline (somewhat…the rear seat will go down flat but the front seat only reclines slightly). It also comes with cup holders for kids and the driver. Yes, you get lots of good accessories.
Some parents report that the seats are not very roomy, especially for larger/older kids, so if your kiddo is out of toddlerhood or off the growth charts, you might find this a little too snug. For most toddlers and young children, the fit is just fine. (This sizing is comparable to the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand.)
*Take note! Tall parents — even dads over 6’ — report easy pushing and striding with the Graco DuoGlider, something that’s not always easy to find in the world of doubles.
If you have Graco seats and are looking for an affordable, sturdy general purpose tandem, this is a solid pick. If you’re in need of something with more versatility, then check out…
Price: MSRP $169 (~ $99 on sale)
Weight: 32.5 lbs
Starting at entry level, Baby Trend begins the list with the Sit N’ Stand Double Stroller. The name of this stroller is a little confusing because it can also convert to a regular sit and stand by removing the rear seat (see the review of their full-time sit and stand here).
The vast majority of people who own this stroller are pleased with it, especially given the price.
Size & Weight
This stroller weighs in at 32.5 lbs, which is on the heavier side for an all-purpose double, and many users take issue with the length of the stroller when folded. The weight, combined with the unwieldy length, make the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand a bit difficult to handle for some.
Simply put, this stroller fits two kids, but not big ones. Although the weight limit is 40 lbs for each seat, the front seat is the smaller of the two and is quite shallow. Many moms complain that the child seated in the front slides right out the bottom of the seat if he’s not buckled in. Some parents also report that the thin, unpadded 5-pt harnesses can cause chaffing on bare skin, especially around the neck and thigh areas.
The reclining rear seat is the more comfortable one for your older child, although it doesn’t even recline terribly far. You could, in theory, have one napping child in the rear seat and an infant in her car seat, but don’t expect it to work for two napping toddlers.
On the upside, the rear seat can be removed completely (above), revealing a small bench and a standing platform if you older child prefers to sit/stand. The convertibility to a sit and stand is pretty nice. You can’t do this with the Graco DuoGlider (above).
Car Seat Compatibility
This stroller accepts one or two infant car seats and is a popular economy option for twin moms.
When used with one car seat, the seat can be placed in the front or back of the stroller, which gives you a lot of options.
The infant seat adapter is compatible with all Baby Trend infant car seats, and you simply click them directly into the child’s tray . The Sit ‘N Stand Double also accepts infant car seats from most other major brands.
**Please note that if you need/want to use TWO car seats simultaneously, you can ONLY do so if you have Baby Trend car seats. If you have any other brand of car seat, the stroller will only take a single seat at a time.
Canopy, Braking, Storage, Accessories
The canopies of this stroller are puny and won’t offer a lot of sun coverage, so plan on augmenting with blanket(s).
The storage space underneath is fairly large, but the problem is the lack of access: the gap in the back is quite slim and access between the seats is mostly blocked by the back seat’s footrest. The basket is completely open in the rear and many report that their items roll out the back.
This stroller comes with the famous Baby Trend covered parent tray (below), which includes two cup holders (why can’t everyone make a parent tray like this?). Each seat also comes with a swing-away child tray with cup holders.
This stroller has front-wheel suspension to absorb bumps and its 8” wheels actually ride better than you’d expect. Because of the length of the stroller, you will definitely need two hands to maneuver and steer it, but this is typical for tandem strollers.
Folding & Carrying
The folding is a two-handed process, but is still quite easy, and this stroller stands when folded, which is also a nice touch.
Like the Chicco Cortina Together, a big problem with this stroller is its length when folded. You won’t be able to fit the Baby Trend Double in a compact or perhaps even in a medium-sized trunk. As a point of reference, this stroller barely fits into the trunk of a Honda CR-V.
Bottom line: The Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand Double is a fine economy stroller for the price, but only when your kids are smaller. The build quality is so-so. We like the price, the seating versatility, the better than expected wheels, and the easy fold. We like that it can later become a sit ‘n stand. However, the seats, straps, canopies, and the access to storage leave something to be desired. It also may be hard to fit into the trunk of your compact or mid-size car.
Price: MSRP $299
Weight: 34 lbs
The Chicco Cortina Together is similar in form and function to the aforementioned Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand Double, but with a better build quality, as reflected in the price. And, if you already own one (or two) Chicco KeyFit or Fit2 (no adapter needed) car seats? You just won Bingo.
Size & Weight
The Cortina Together is 34 lbs, which is definitely nearing the heaviest end of the spectrum, especially for one that isn’t “all-terrain.” Like the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand, it’s also quite long/tall when folded.
Unlike the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand, the seats on the Cortina are VERY tall and will comfortably accommodate your older/taller kids (up to 40 lbs each) nicely. In fact, they are some of the tallest seats on the market.
Some favorite features of the seats include nicely padded 5-pt harnesses and a fully-reclining rear seat with “bassinet-like” cocoony enclosure. While the rear seat reclines completely, the front seat only reclines a bit, so don’t expect to have two simultaneously napping toddlers.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Cortina Together stroller can take two Chicco KeyFit or Fit2 car seats, so it works well for infant twins. (Although, it’s much heavier than our favorite infant twin frame stroller, the Joovy Twin Roo Plus (34 lbs vs 21.6 lbs)).
When used with just one car seat, that seat can go in the front or back position. There are no adapters or attachments needed (yay!), and the KeyFit seats snap securely into place. Such is the beauty of having car seats and strollers that are made for each other.
Canopy, Braking, Storage, Accessories
The canopies are disappointingly small (below), unless used in conjunction with the complimentary car seat canopies, though they do rotate down to follow the sun (unlike the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand).
This stroller’s giant storage basket is our favorite feature; you can access it through a zippered opening in the back, even when the rear seat is fully reclined. Yes, you can fit a larger diaper bag in the back, woohoo!
The Cortina Together stroller comes with one bumper bar for the front seat, which you can replace with two cup holders (also included) once your child grows old enough to climb in by himself.
The handlebar is height-adjustable and the (included) parent tray has two cup holders, which is fab!
These wheels ride fairly well over uneven surfaces and even better with the front wheels locked. Another big perk is the all-wheel suspension, which makes the ride a little more comfy for your wee passengers.
This stroller’s length is probably its biggest downside, and may make you feel like you’re pushing a bus (especially with heavier kids on board), but this is a very common problem with tandems in general. Do yourself a favor and put your heavier child in the back.
Folding & Carrying
This stroller is super easy to fold and unfold, once you get the hang of it; an automatic storage latch holds it in place and the stroller can stand on its own. But it’s a space-hog in your trunk. Those with compact cars need not apply.
Bottom line: The Chicco Cortina Together is a well-made, versatile stroller that goes oh-so-nicely with our favorite [reasonably priced] infant car seat, the Chicco KeyFit. Whether used for twins or for a baby and a toddler, it’s a nice, all-purpose double stroller that will last for many years to come. We like the quality of the stroller, the storage, easy folding, the parent tray, and the easy way the KeyFit(s) snaps securely in and out (instead of having to be strapped down). We’re not crazy about the weight, the tiny canopies, the long folded size, and the fact that you can’t have two nappers at the same time.
4. Contours Options Elite – TOP PICK
Weight: 34 lbs
~ “The economy alternative to the City Select.”
The Contours Options is our favorite in the “general purpose” tandem category.
With many of the features characteristic of more expensive strollers, such as the Baby Jogger City Select, the Contours Options Elite is almost half the price and still performs very nicely. Is it better than the City Select? No. But for the price?…it’s a very good alternative.
That’s it for “regular” tandem strollers, folks. Next up is Sit N’ Stands.