Updated February 2017
Convertible strollers can be used as a single stroller for one child, as a double with an added seat for your 2nd child, then as a single again when your older kid becomes too cool to ride in a stroller. If you’re the “getting your money’s worth” type of parent, you’ll be happy with the versatility you get with a convertible stroller.
Whereas a side-by-side double stroller can’t be used (without feeling quite silly) with one child, a convertible stroller gives you options. And options is what conquering parenthood is ALL about, am I right?
Because of this versatility and longevity of use, convertible strollers are a great value.
On the downside, the chassis of a typical convertible is big and heavy, as it has to ultimately hold 90-100 lbs, so when in singles mode, convertibles are larger and heavier than “regular”/non-convertible single strollers.
Don’t underestimate how much an extra 10 lbs (or so) adds to the agony factor of a stroller! Weight matters a lot.
If you are pregnant with baby #1, I’d recommend you buy a regular single stroller unless you are really darn sure you want to have baby #2 within the next 1-2 years or so; otherwise, you’ll be pushing around an unnecessarily large and heavy stroller for no reason. Just want to be super clear about that 😉
Many of these strollers were updated this year or last (2016) to meet the new ASTM standards, so here’s the latest…
Top Convertible Strollers ~ Overview
- Britax B-Ready & Baby Jogger City Select (tie)
- Phil & Teds Sport (and other variations!)
- UPPAbaby Vista – best luxury convertible
- See also Mountain Buggy +one
A complete video review of these in a side-by-side comparison (minus the Sport) can be found here. Mind you, I made this video in 2014, so minor updates have occurred — most notably to the Vista, which has changed a lot. However, the general principles remain the same.
When evaluating the best convertible strollers in 2017, we looked at the value each stroller delivers for the price. The UPPAbaby Vista is amazing, but very few people can drop 1G on a stroller.
Our top favorites, the 2017 Britax B-Ready and Baby Jogger City Select, deliver a lot of bang for our buck ($500-$530 for the single; $150-$200 for the 2nd seat), although they’re not the bargain they once used to be. The Phil & Teds Sport is also priced around $650 for the double. Last but not least, the 2015 UPPAbaby Vista comes in at $840 for the single version only (gasp!), plus another $180 for the 2nd seat or “rumble seat,” pushing it just over the $1,000 mark. Note that that 2017 UPPAbaby Vista is coming out soon and will be even more pricey.
The Britax B-Ready, the Baby Jogger City Select, the UPPAbaby Vista and the Phil & Teds Voyager are all four-wheeled strollers on a luxury(ish) chassis — they look, feel, and behave shockingly similar in singles mode. In each of these strollers, the primary seat can face forward or backward (called a “modular” seat, usually only found in luxury strollers) and you can also use them with a car seat or a bassinet (with adapters).
The bassinet comes standard with the UPPAbaby Vista (and it’s beautiful!) and the Phil & Teds Voyager — and can be purchased separately with the B-Ready and City Select. A bassinet can be used only up to 6 months and tends to be more useful for city dwellers who don’t drive a lot and, therefore, don’t use car seats as a baby-carrying implement on a day-to-day basis. For everyone else, the car seat alone should do the trick.
The Phil & Teds Sport is a bit different: it’s an all-terrain, 3-wheeled, in-line stroller, more similar to a BOB or City Elite. However, unlike the other three above, its primary seat is fixed to the stroller (i.e., it’s not modular and can’t rear-face).
As doubles, they are all quite different!
The 2nd seat for both the B-Ready and all Phil & Teds strollers goes in the rear (below), so they maintain good maneuverability.
By contrast, the 2nd seat for both the City Select and the UPPAbaby Vista attaches over the front wheels, which makes them roomier strollers (length-wise). On the downside, it makes them very front-heavy and harder to steer, maneuver, and pop up onto curbs. Furthermore, you have to remove the 2nd seat to fold the City Select (but not the Vista).
It used to be that the 2nd seat of the Vista could only rear-face, but in the newest model (2015), they’ve essentially made it just like the City Select. Heh.
So now the Vista’s two seats can both rear face, which is pretty awesome – and part of the reason for the high price tag.
Anyway, that’s the executive summary —
Here are the best convertible strollers for 2017 in detail ~ enjoy!
1(a). 2017 Britax B-Ready – Tie for Top Convertible
- Price: Single ~ $499; Doubles kit ~ $169
- Stroller Weight: 28 lbs (single) and 32.9 lbs (double)
- Weight Limits: 55 lbs for primary seat and 35 lbs for the second seat
Here are the updates to the 2017 model — quickie video taken at ABC 2016.
Full video review of the previous model ~
As a single
Again, the B-Ready, the Baby Jogger City Select, and the UPPAbaby Vista are incredibly similar in singles mode: a luxury chassis with a primary seat that can face front or back and reclines flat for napping babes, though the 2017 model no longer lies flat! Nay, for a baby under 6 months, s/he needs to be in a car seat or bassinet.
The B-Ready features include:
- Adjustable, rotating (not telescoping) handlebars (yes, the TALLEST of the others just by a smidge).
- A linked parking brake with green and red indicators.
- An expandable storage basket which is accessible from all four sides, thanks to strategically placed side zippers.
- An oversized UPF 50+ canopy with a magnetic peekaboo window.
- 11” rear and 8″ front tires that never need to be pumped up – the Britax B-Ready will gladly go over almost any terrain.
- A reversible main seat with four recline positions and an adjustable footrest.
Car Seat Compatibility
The 2017 B-Ready is compatible with any current Britax car seat (B-Safe 35 & B-Safe 35 Elite) as well as the former B-Safe and Chaperone — without an adapter. With an adapter, you can use this stroller with the Chicco Key Fit, the Graco Snugride 32 or 35 (these are the old ones, doesn’t work with the current ClickConnects) and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio. Hopefully they will update this adapter to work with a larger variety of newer seats, as many of these seats are now discontinued. Yes, there’s usually a lag on the stroller manufacturer’s part to keep up the newer car seat releases, but eenyway. If you have a older car seat, you should be in good shape!
To use with any of these seats in the lower position, which many people prefer (keeping their older child in the larger main seat), you must also purchase the lower infant car seat adapter ($79).
*Note one big complaint of this stroller (probably the biggest complaint) is that the stroller can tip backward with a child (or car seat) in the lower seat if the child in the main seat gets out. If your older child is prone to getting in and out of the stroller a lot, this may be a deal breaker. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya 😉
While not quite as versatile as the City Select or P&T Sport, the B-Ready has 12 different positions (above), as well as the ability to take two infant seats at the same time. Like the Sport (and other P&Ts), it’s not the best convertible stroller for twins due to the different sized seats. See favorite strollers for twins here.
As a double
As discussed, the 2nd seat of the B-Ready stroller goes in the back. If you are a “power strider” (you know who you are!) and tend to kick the backs of strollers, this is probably not the stroller for you. For casual striders, it’s not a problem.
The benefit of the weight in the back is excellent maneuverability, easy turning, and best of all, it folds with both stroller seats attached. YAH! This is my favorite feature of this stroller — for sure.
Let’s face it, getting two kids and a stroller into the car is hard enough without having to take stuff apart.
Back to the maneuvering… because the weight of the 2nd seat is in the rear, this stroller is super maneuverable, especially if you live in the hills!! It is very very difficult to steer a stroller like the City Select in the hills with a child in the 2nd seat, which is in the very front of the stroller. Thus, if you live in this hills, the B-Ready is a great choice for you. It also pops onto curbs MUCH more easily than others in its class.
The primary seat on the B-Ready holds 55 lbs (a 5 or 6-year-old) and the 2nd seat holds 35 lbs, which is roughly the weight of a 3-year-old.
You can also use Britax’s Stroller Board for bigger kids or for a 3rd child.
All in all, the Britax B-Ready is a luxury-ish, all-terrain stroller in singles mode and a compact, easy to fold, easy to transport stroller in doubles mode. These factors, plus an attainable price, make the B-Ready one of the best convertible strollers.
Best for: Children of differing ages. Especially great for people who live in hilly areas, or for people who don’t have very good handicap ramps, and/or have to pop the stroller up a lot. Not great for parents with a long stride.
1 (b). 2016 Baby Jogger City Select – Tie for Top Convertible
- Price: Single ~ MSRP $529; Doubles kit ~ MSRP $170
- Price as Double: MSRP $699
- Stroller Weight: 29.5 lbs (single) and 37 lbs (double)
- Weight Limits: 45 lbs — each seat
Take note! The Baby Jogger City Select “Lux” is coming out in the Spring of 2017. It’s pretty badass, including a rear jump seat for your older kiddo, though they will still continue to make the “regular” City Select. Here’s our video preview:
As a single
Again, as a single stroller, the seat can face forward or backward (can only fold with seat facing forward, FYI), you can use a bassinet (sold separately for $90), or one of a long list of car seats including the Graco SnugRide Click Connect and the Nuna Pipa.
As a single, it weighs 28 lbs, which again is heavy compared to a “regular” single. As a double, the weight is 37 lbs, which is typical for a double.
As a single, the stroller can be folded fairly easily with a 2-handed fold. When folded, it’s fairly compact – a bit more so than the B-Ready or Vista. However, as a double, the 2nd seat has to be removed to be folded, unlike the B-Ready which easily folds with the 2nd seat.
Features of the City Select include a hand-operated parking brake, a beautiful canopy with a magnetic peekaboo window, 12” forever air tires that don’t need to be pumped, a telescoping handle for taller parents and a 4-position recline, including a flat position for newbs.
We love the build quality of Baby Jogger strollers — they have a luxury “feel” without the luxury price.
Car Seat Compatibility
You must purchase a car seat adapter to use your car seat with it (or 2 for twins). There is a nice long list of seats (yay!).
- Britax/BOB B-Safe
- Chicco KeyFit and KeyFit 30
- Cybex Aton(s)
- Graco Click Connect
- Maxi-Cosi Cabrio, Mico, Mico Nxt, and Mico AP
- Nuna Pipa
- Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30
As a double
The big difference between the City Select and the Britax B-Ready is that the 2nd seat of the former is installed over the FRONT wheels of the stroller. On the plus side, this makes it spacious and gives your children MUCH more room than others; it also gives you a tremendous amount of versatility (below).
It also means that taller parents with a longer stride won’t constantly kick the back of the second seat, as some report doing with the B-Ready.
However, because the second seat attaches over the front wheels, the City Select is more front-heavy, so it’s harder (nearly impossible) to pop up onto a curb or steer on a hill. In fact, it can really get away from you when turning on a hill. If you live in a flat area with great handicap ramps, this is less of a problem. This problem can be mitigated (somewhat) by putting your heavier child in the back.
Again, the seats are identical, so you don’t have to worry about which seat goes where, and each has a 45-lb weight limit and they both recline. Yes, very spacious indeed! Identical seats also make this a great stroller for twins (my girls are not twins but they think they are).
All in all, the Baby Jogger City Select is a beautiful, VERY well-made, versatile stroller that is SUPER spacious for your kids. The fit and finish is top notch. Although the stroller is a bit harder to steer and maneuver due to the front-heavy weight distribution, parents with a long stride will enjoy the extra “kick” space. These factors make the Baby Jogger City Select a top pick (tie) for best convertible stroller.
Best for: Twins! A baby and a toddler, people who live in a flat area with good handicap ramps, and tall parents with a long stride. People who value roominess for their kids, above other things. Not good for people who live on hilly terrain or who need to pop the stroller up on the curb a lot.
Read the FULL review here, along with reviews of other Phil & Teds inlines —
- Price: Single ~ MSRP $499; Doubles kit ~ MSRP $149
- Price as Double: MSRP $650
- Stroller Weight: 27 lbs (single), which is pretty light for convertibles (in singles mode), and 31 lbs (double)
- Weight Limits: 44 lbs (a 5 y/o) for primary seat and 33 lbs (a 3 y/o) for the second seat
As a single
The Phil & Teds Sport (formerly known as the “Navigator”) is a sporty, 3-wheeled, inline stroller that’s more similar to a BOB than the others listed here. It’s an inline, BOB-like stroller. Yea, that’s it! LOL.
This stroller features an adjustable handlebar, a highly adjustable canopy, a plastic footwell for easy cleaning, and the Autostop braking feature.
The Autostop feature is like a kill switch bar on your lawnmower: you let go and everything comes to a screeching halt. This is super useful, especially for those who live in hilly areas like San Francisco.
The primary seat of this stroller does recline, but you can’t remove it and turn it to face backward like you can for the others reviewed here. However, you can cobble together a rear-facing seat (using the 2nd seat) if you already happen to own the doubles kit.
The Sport has an exceptionally tall seat, which also allows the use of the cocoon carrycot for newborns (0-6 months), which I REALLY love. It’s really easy to lift a newborn in and out of the stroller with the carrycot; I used it when Alice was a newborn and ended up using it as a portable napping venue all over the place. On the downside, you can’t use the rear seat when the primary seat is fully reclined. Instead, you can use your car seat…
Car Seat Compatibility:
For $50(ish), you can get a car seat adapter for the following seats: Peg Perego Primo Viaggio (model 4/35 excluded), Graco SnugRide 22, 32, 35 Classic Connect, Graco SungRide Click Connect 35, and the Chicco KeyFit. Note that some are designed to go on top — and some are for the rear seat.
As a double
The second seat attaches in the rear lower position and holds your smaller child, much like the B-Ready, up to 33 lbs (the lowest weight limit of the four), and must be removed to be folded.
Both seats do recline about 45 degrees, so you can accommodate two napping children at once. See all the seating options in the complete review here.
The big downside to this stroller is that the storage disappears with the addition of the 2nd seat, although you can buy pannier bags for the side(s). You can also hang your diaper bag from the handlebar.
With three 12” air-filled tires (instead of four) and the weight of the 2nd child in the back, this stroller reigns supreme in the area of maneuverability. For the roughest terrain, the front wheel can be locked for better tracking. Furthermore, the Sport folds very compactly for a double stroller chassis and fits into almost any trunk.
All in all, this is a compact, sporty, maneuverable, 3-wheeled double stroller. Read the FULL review here, along with reviews of other Phil & Teds inlines: the Dot, the Dash and and the new and exciting Voyager.
Best for: Those looking for a compact, yet sporty, all-terrain inline stroller; those who value maneuverability above other things. *Not designed for jogging or running.
3. 2017 UPPAbaby Vista – Top Luxury Pick
- Price: Single ~ MSRP $839+; Doubles Kit ~ MSRP $189
- Price as Double: MSRP $1,079
- Stroller Weight: 27.5 lbs (single) and 35 lbs (double)
- Weight Limits: 50 lbs for primary seat and 35 lbs for the second seat
As a single
One of our favorite luxury single strollers, the UPPAbaby Vista, offers the same features as the B-Ready and City Select, but it comes with MORE: a beautiful bassinet (that can also be used anywhere in your house) with a bug shield, rain shield, and a bug shield for the stroller itself.
The Vista has superb four-wheel suspension, a large accessible storage basket and hands down, the best sun canopy on the market.
Car Seat Compatibility
If you have the UPPAbaby Mesa infant seat, you don’t need to buy an adapter (woohoo!). If you don’t have a Mesa, your car seat compatibility is somewhat limited to…
- Chicco KeyFit and KeyFit 30
- Maxi-Cosi (Mico, Mico AP, Mico NXT, Mico Max 30, Citi, Cabrio, and CabrioFix)- NOT the Maxi-Cosi Prezi
- Nuna Pipa
- Cybex Aton, Aton 2, and Aton Q
The Vista comes with an AMAZING bassinet (yes, whether you want it or not). The bassinet is an industry favorite, as it can be used inside the home and is even approved for overnight sleeping. It has a removable, breathable mattress pad with a vented base and mattress for breathability. It even has its own sun canopy!
You can also buy a stand for the bassinet to get baby off the floor ($149). Yes, the Vista bassinet is truly badass.
As a double
The Vista underwent a major re-design in late 2014. The new Vista 2015 can now take two infant seats, two bassinets, and the rumble seat can face forward or backward (the previous Vista’s rumble seat could only face backward). In this regard, the new Vista is more like the City Select, except not quite as long. The new Vista also folds easier (more like the Cruz) and has a larger storage basket. No, you can’t use the new rumble seat with the old Vista chassis (sorry).
With this upgrade, the stroller gained about 2 lbs and an additional $120, making it one of the more expensive strollers on the market ($1,000-ish for the double).
The Rumble Seat holds up to 35 lbs and can now face forward or backward, and can even recline – a HUGE improvement from the previous model. See all the configurations here:
Again, because the rumble seat goes in the front of the stroller, it doesn’t impede the stride of a taller parent.
For an older child (or a 3rd kid!), you can also get the UPPAbaby Piggyback Ride-Along Board ($99).
The Vista has incredible features, as you would expect for the price! For starters, the handlebar telescopes to adjust for height, which is one reason it’s so popular with taller parents (and parents of differing heights). The storage basket was amazing before and is even better now. Seriously, the storage basket on the Vista simply can’t be beat — it’s ginormous!
The new fold is even easier — and now you can fold it with the 2nd seat on. You know I’m a big fan of that!
The canopy is amazingly huge — one of my favorites, in fact. This canopy is actually SPF 50 to keep the burning rays off little kiddos (not all canopies are truly UV protective!). Even the bassinet comes with a canopy. Shoot.
Bottom Line: The 2017 UPPAbaby Vista is an incredible convertible stroller for those who can afford it. The fit and finish is top notch and the features are incredible: the telescoping handlebar, the HUGE storage basket, the badass bassinet, the easy (standing) fold and now, a more versatile rumble seat. Thus, if you’re looking for a luxury convertible stroller that you can use for years to come, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Holds up nicely on the resale market as well.
Next: Best Everyday Tandems
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