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Double Strollers 101

As your family expands, you’re probably trying to figure out the best double stroller for your larger brood. Great! We’re here to help. We’ve been covering double strollers for 7 years now — I consider it our specialty 😎.

Having your second (or more!) baby is a very different experience than having your first. See also: Bringing Home Baby #2.

You quickly learn that the long, blissful days of staring into your baby’s eyes, the hour-long nursing sessions, tummy time and “napping when the baby naps” (ha!) were first-kid things. After all, you still have to take your firstborn to the library, swim class, or school. But with a baby in a tow.

Difficult? Yes. Impossible, No.

Best double stroller - Vista with Rubleseat

Being able to physically get both/all your children around on your own is not always easy, but it’s key to surviving the early years with multiple children. It’s also paramount to maintaining your confidence and sanity.

You can do it!

Best double stroller, Phil & Teds

The Lay of the Land

With a couple of exceptions, double strollers are generally BIG and heavy. That’s because, well, they have to hold a lot of weight! Most double strollers are rated for 80-100 lbs (or more) of total baby/child meat. I always laugh when I hear people complain about their double stroller, “it’s so much heavier than my City Mini.” No sh*t!?

Generally (sorry to say), double strollers are pretty darn expensive, so it’s not a decision to make hastily.

Age Difference

The first thing you should know is that the age difference between your children matters. The best strollers for twins are different from those for a newborn and a young toddler, for example.

Children who are close in age (less than two years) seem to do well in almost any double stroller, while children who are 2-4 years apart often do better in a side-by-side stroller or in a tandem stroller with one “primary” seat and a smaller seat.

For children with larger age differences… since many double strollers have an upper weight limit of 40 lbs, look for one with 50 lb seats so you’ll be able to use it for longer.

Joovy Scooter X2 – Photo by Kpaxnyc1

If your oldest will be four or older by the time your 2nd baby arrives, you may not even need (or want) a double stroller — or you may only need it on occasion. Outside of the weight capacity problem (usually 40-45 lbs per seat), most 4-year-olds are too big (height-wise) for many double stroller seats. But don’t worry, there are alternatives.

A preschooler who is too cool to sit in a stroller may still want the option to ride in a sit-and-stand. In fact, many preschoolers seem to prefer standing (vs. sitting) in a sit-and-stand stroller (below), but every child is different.

Another alternative to a double stroller is using a riding board (below) or putting your baby in a carrier while your older child rides in a single stroller.

Most preschoolers are just fine walking alongside the stroller, but sometimes it’s nice to have them both contained and under control, like in a crowded market.

The UPPAbaby PiggyBack Ride Along Board

Types of Double Strollers

If you thought it was hard to choose a single stroller, just wait! Mwaaaa.

Shopping for a double stroller is even more confusing, not to mention much mo­­re expensive. Not to worry, we’ve selected our favorite doubles and broken them down into 7 distinct categories (below). We’ve also selected our 10 Best Overall Double Strollers for 2021.

Like asking, “What’s the best car?”, the question of what’s the best double stroller depends on your needs and your budget.

Tandem vs. Side-by-Side

There are two basic styles of double strollers: tandem and side-by-side. Each has its pros and cons.


Best Double Stroller - City Select

A tandem, or “in-line” stroller, has one seat behind the other. Sometimes they are stacked up stadium-style, other times not. The main benefit of a tandem stroller is that it’s the same width as a single stroller, allowing you to get through doorways with ease.

The big downside is that they are harder to maneuver due to their length. This “length problem” also makes it tough to fit some of them into smaller trunks. Another downside of tandems is what I call “seating inequality,” where one seat is more desirable than the other. Once your youngest is old enough (about 2.5) to recognize this fact, it could be a source of tension (until then, they are blissfully unaware).


best double stroller - joovy scooter x2

A side-by-side stroller is double wide, like two single strollers smooshed together. Side-by-sides are generally easier to push and steer, but much harder to get through doorways. They can also monopolize a narrow sidewalk, which many people feel is discourteous to others, especially in crowded urban areas. On the upside, the seating equality of a side-by-side means less fighting.

They both have their pros and cons, so it’s just a matter of lifestyle and personal preference.

Types of Double Strollers

Click on a category name for our favorites of each type ~

I. Side-by-Side

A. Double Umbrella Strollers are lightweight strollers with small wheels that fold compactly and are very easy to get in and out of the car, but few bells and whistles and limited storage space. Perfect for airline travel and car outings. (Though for our favorite double strollers for travel, go here.) Prices range from $100-$500.

Maclaren Twin Triumph front
Maclaren Twin Triumph

B. General Purpose Double Strollers have medium-sized wheels, mid-range weight, and more storage and features than an umbrella stroller. Prices range from $200-$580. Best when used on smooth, paved surfaces; not great for all-terrain use.

Joovy Scooter x2
The Joovy Scooter X2

C. All-Terrain Double Strollers have heavy-duty all-terrain wheels, usually with a front wheel(s) that will swivel or lock. Many can be used for “light” jogging. All terrain side-by-sides are all pretty heavy and bulky, and they generally take up a lot of trunk space. But they are downright delightful to push and steer. They are full-featured and tend to be the most expensive. Prices range from $200-$750, except for the Bugaboo Donkey (~$1,300).

* These are the most popular in the doubles world.

Bumbleride Indie Twin
The Bumbleride Indie Twin, oooh la la

D. Double Joggers are for serious runners and have either a permanent fixed front wheel or a high-quality swivel/fixed wheel and large, 16″ air-filled tires in the back. If you’re a serious runner, this is where you want to look. These strollers range from $300-$650.

BOB Duallie Jogger

II. Tandem

A. Twin Car Seat Frames are designed to carry two infant car seats at the same time. They are lightweight (as lightweight as possible), compact, easy to fold, and will last for roughly 0-12 months. They run $100-$300.

Joovy Twin Roo+

B. Convertible (All-Terrain) Strollers can be used “normally” as a single, or with a 2nd seat added on to make it a double. Even in singles mode, convertible strollers are bulkier and heavier than regular single strollers, but they are very versatile and last a long time. “Convertible” typically denotes all-terrain as well. They run around $500-$1,000 and are very popular.

Baby Jogger City Select

C. All-Purpose Tandems have smaller wheels that won’t go over heavy terrain and are generally less expensive. They are typically loaded with convenience features and are best used on smooth surfaces. They run from $160-$300.

Contours Options
Contours Options

D. Sit and Stand strollers are good for those who have an infant and an older child at least 2.5 years old (minimum!). Older children often want to hop in and out of the stroller on their own. Your older child can sit or stand in the back with (or without) being buckled in. They run from $130-$400.

Joovy Caboose Graphite Lifestyle

III. Strollers for 3 or 4 children

There are a few strollers for 3 young kids, triplets, or twins and a singleton. Our favorite is the Valco Baby Tri-Mode Double plus Joey seat. Another option is a double stroller with a riding board.

Valco Baby Tri-Mode Double with Joey Seat
Valco Baby Tri-Mode Duo X with Joey Seat

Ok folks, those are the categories of double strollers. You can click each category to drill down and see what our favorites are.

Realizing this may be too much information to digest (I understand, believe me), we narrowed it down to this summary, the Top Double Strollers for 2021.

Top Double Strollers for 2021, by Category

Top Double Strollers for 2020 - Baby Jogger

By the way, it was REALLY hard to narrow it down to just a few because there are SO many different kinds of double strollers, and so many of them are fabulous.

Please leave us a comment and tell us about your favorite double stroller.

Good luck out there!! ~ Meg and Marissa


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