Sit-and-stand strollers are in-line strollers (i.e., tandems) that have a regular seat in the front (which can also take an infant car seat (below)), and a standing platform/small bench seat in the back for an older child who wants to casually ride along – or stand! Hence, they are perfect for kids who are 3-5 years apart, which is a somewhat difficult age gap in the double stroller world.
Sit-and-stand strollers tend to be narrow, lightweight(ish), and fairly easy to heave in and out of the car compared to other doubles. Best of all, older kids who yearn for a little more independence and don’t want to be strapped into a stroller seat love them. Thus, they’re ideal for an older child who could walk on his own, but may also want the option to hop on when he tires or starts falling behind.
My kids are 2 and 5 years old (at time of publish) and even though my 5-year-old is perfectly capable of walking with us, sometimes it’s really nice to be able to contain both of them on a busy sidewalk, in a crowded area, etc., especially when I’m alone with them. Additionally, sit and stands typically have a large storage basket, which comes in handy on any outing.
On the downside, sit and stands have smaller wheels and less suspension, so they’re fine for smooth surfaces, but not great for non-paved surfaces or major bumps in the road (otherwise, they wouldn’t be lightweight, dig?).
In fact, many of the complaints about sit-and-stands come from parents who expect a sit-and-stand to handle rougher terrain (especially when weighed down with two heavy kids), when in reality they should have opted for an all-terrain stroller from the beginning. Hence, if your everyday terrain is rugged at all, I wouldn’t recommend a sit-and-stand.
Another complaint you’ll read regarding sit-and-stands is that infant seats in the front of the stroller eat up a lot of space for the older child in the back, especially in the sitting (vs. standing) position. This is very true! So, if your older child needs to be seated comfortably for a long period of time while you’re also using the infant seat, think about getting an optional full-sized second seat, like the Joovy Caboose Rear Seat, or look at those models where the infant seat goes in the rear, like in the Baby Trend Sit N Stand Ultra. You may also consider a “regular” tandem stroller.
Lastly, many parents use a sit-and-stand as a backup stroller for car trips and have an all-terrain stroller they keep at home. This works quite well, since they aren’t terribly expensive.
When evaluating the best sit-and-stand strollers, we took into account the value you get for the price. Here goes ~
Our Favorite Options for Infants and Toddlers
$ ~ Graco RoomFor2 ($127): Lighter than BabyTrend, compatible with Graco SnugRide car seat; however, car seat can only go in the front (not as versatile).
$ ~ Baby Trend Sit N Stand Ultra ($156): Economy pick; very versatile (can put the infant car seat in the front or rear). Downsides: longer, heavier, and harder to maneuver than the Joovy Caboose.
$ ~ Joovy Caboose ~ Top Pick — Tie ($169): Entry-level Joovy, shorter and easier to maneuver than the two above, but car seat can only go in the front.
$$ ~ Graco Ready2Grow ($219): Beastly in size and weight, but with the most versatile seating options.
$$ ~ Joovy Caboose Ultralight ~ Editor’s Choice/Top Pick — Tie ($249): 22 lbs, very lightweight for a double — upgraded features like parent console, bigger canopy, and rear canopy for sitting child!
$$$ ~ Chicco BravoFor2 ($299): Good for families with older toddlers/preschool-age kids and a baby with Chicco KeyFit car seat; note that seat doesn’t recline for younger rider in front (biggest complaint).
Ok, let’s start the show!
*Graco has discontinued Classic Connect car seats altogether (i.e., the SnugRide Classic Connect); thus, all Classic Connect strollers will now become Click Connect strollers.
Graco’s entry-level sit and stand, the RoomFor2, is very similar to the aforementioned Baby Trend stroller in weight, quality, and price.
The big difference is that the Graco RoomFor2 (and the Joovy Caboose, for that matter) does not offer the ability to put the infant seat in the back, which narrows your riding options for kids closer in age.
Like the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand, this stroller also has a large storage basket, a parent tray, and a snack tray that acts as a car seat adapter for the Graco SnugRide Click Connect car seat.
Bottom line: I would only pick this stroller over the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand if your children are further apart in age (more than 2.5 years) and if you already own a Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant seat because, all things being equal, it’s guaranteed that your infant seat will fit very securely – and that’s worth something! Otherwise, I’d go with the Baby Trend Ultra or the Joovy Caboose.
Baby Trend actually invented the Sit N’ Stand concept years ago and continues to produce many different models. Our favorite, the Sit N’ Stand Ultra, offers a 50-lb (front) / 50-lb (rear) weight limit with some decent suspension, as well as the ability to put the infant car seat in the front OR back of the stroller (parent-facing). See a video review here. The accompanying child tray acts as a car seat adapter and accepts many infant car seats.
The front seat partially reclines to accommodate a napper, with the caveat that it eats into the space of the child sitting in the back.
Placing the infant seat in the back of the stroller (below) gives mom closer interaction with her baby and allows her older one to sit comfortably in the front (although the front seat is NOT terribly large). This setup is great for kids who are closer in age – a newborn and a 1.5 or 2-year-old, for example.
Then, once your oldest is ready to use the sit and stand feature, your infant can go in the front, either in her car seat or in the regular seat. A switcheroo.
Baby Trend also makes a regular tandem stroller with two seats that also converts into a sit and stand. If you want the option of having a 2nd full-size seat, definitely check it out.
Yes, it is REALLY nice to be able to choose between these two modes and use the stroller with kids who are closer in age. It also permits your older child to be comfortably seated during the period of time you’re using the infant seat for your baby. This is a huge plus in my book.
On the downside, this stroller is longer (49 inches) and more front heavy than the Joovy Caboose, and therefore, a bit harder to steer and maneuver, especially with your heavier child in the front.
Bottom line: The Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand Ultra is affordable, versatile, and extremely highly rated. You can put the infant car seat in the front or rear. However, this stroller is longer and a bit harder to maneuver than the Joovy Caboose.
Ah, the give and take.
* Baby Trend makes other Sit N’ Stands as well. Check them out here.
3. Joovy Caboose Graphite Stand On Tandem — *TOP PICK – TIE
Weight: 28.5 lbs
Dimensions: 21.5″ W X 37″ L X 42″ H
The Joovy Caboose is Joovy’s entry-level sit-and-stand, though most people buy the “ultralite” version of it (below), which is 4 lbs lighter. The Caboose is now made with a lean graphite (dark grey) colored frame.
Although it does not offer the option to put the infant seat in the rear (like the Baby Trend Ultra), this is my favorite stroller for kids more than 2.5 years apart, especially as a backup/lightweight/throw-in-the-car stroller.
A universal car seat adapter is included and accepts most major car seat brands (with a strap). Again, the infant seat takes a lot of space from the older child if they are sitting in the back, but you can remedy this issue by purchasing the “Rear Seat” for this period of time.
I like Joovy. Their products are well designed and constructed using lightweight metal, which generally holds up better than the plastic used by the other two strollers mentioned above. Plus, Joovy’s design and color offerings are a bit more trendy and their customer service is superb. Other nice details include deluxe foam handles, reflective straps for night walking, and a one-year warranty plus a “call us if anything goes wrong” promise. Joovy is a small, family-owned company and they have never let me down (yes, these things matter).
As a reference point, this stroller fits nicely into the back of a Hyundai Elantra.
4. Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite — TOP PICK – TIE
See the complete video review below:
Joovy shaved 4 lbs off the regular Caboose by constructing this stroller of graphite-colored, lightweight, aircraft-grade aluminum. The Caboose Ultralight Graphite registers at just 22 lbs, making it a lightweight, versatile stroller for any parent of two.
The Caboose Ultralight Graphite comes standard with a parent organizer, a removable child tray, a universal car seat adapter, and a large, sturdy sun canopy.
It is car seat compatible with Baby Jogger, Baby Trend, Britax, Chicco, Combi, Cosco, Cybex, Eddie Bauer, Evenflo, GB, Graco, JJ Cole, Lamaze, Maxi-Cosi, Mothercare, Mountain Buggy, MUV, Nuna, Peg Perego, Recaro, Safety 1st and UPPAbaby, though the adapter is simply a holder that the seat is strapped into. Some say it doesn’t feel very secure.
The front seat reclines in three positions and also holds your infant car seat, while the rear is a sliding bench seat where your older child can sit in a 3-point harness or stand (facing either direction) while holding onto sturdy, metal handles.
For children who are closer in age, you can also purchase the optional “Rear Seat.” This option will give you two full-size, reclining seats (pictured below), although the rear seat does not recline as deeply as the front seat.
While the folded size is pretty long, the Caboose Ultralight Graphite still fits into most trunks, even smaller ones like a Chevy Malibu or Toyota Prius. You can also remove the sun canopy to make it even more compact. Note that it can be folded with the seat adapter still connected, but it will add another 5 inches or so to the overall folded length.
Just to reiterate, without the Rear Seat (below), this stroller is not the one you bring on long excursions when you have a child in the infant seat (front position) and a child who needs to sit comfortably for a long period of time in the back. Without the Rear Seat, this is more of a hop on/hop off stroller.
Bottom line: The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite is the lightest, most maneuverable sit-and-stand stroller on the market, which makes it our top pick. The newest model even has a canopy option for a child in the rear seat, which isn’t found on any other sit-and-stand.
Runner Up: Graco Ready2Grow LX Stroller
The Graco Ready2Grow did not make the top 3 due to its weight (33 lbs), LARGE folded size, and inability to fit into many trunks. The long length also makes it very difficult to steer.
However, the Ready2Grow has very cool seat configuration options (the best of the sit and stands, in fact), including a rear-facing seat for baby (below). If seating versatility is of the utmost importance to you AND you drive a minivan, large SUV, or other large car, add this one to your search as well.
Weight: 26.5 lbs
Dimensions: 23.25″ W X 45″ L X 42″ H
The Chicco BravoFor2 is worth a gander if you have older toddler/preschoolers or a Chicco car seat you want to use with a sit ‘n’ stand. Parents tend to either think it “drives like a dream” or is a little difficult to handle, but we think it pushes nicely (for a double). It’s easy to fold up and has a good amount of storage.
I’d say the build quality of this stroller is a step up from both Graco and Joovy.
The big downside with this stroller is the front seat — it works great with a baby in an infant KeyFit car seat, but once that child outgrows the seat, you should know that it barely reclines.
Here’s the video that we shot at the baby show right before it came out:
The fold of this stroller is superior to the strollers mentioned above. It simply collapses down into place and stands on its own. It has a cupholder and storage for parents — yes! Little niceties like this do add up.
Bottom Line: The Chicco Bravo for 2 is sleeker and better designed than the competition, as reflected in the price tag. It is well-built, folds easily, and has many parent conveniences. It works very well for a baby in a Chicco Keyfit seat, but many people are disappointed in the comfort of the seat (once the car seat days are over).