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Valco Baby Tri Mode Duo X Review

Price $679

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  • Price: MSRP: $679       
  • Stroller Weight: 34 lbs
  • Weight Limit: 90 lbs combined

Looking for a stroller that can handle up to four kids like a dream? Check out our Valco Baby Tri Mode Duo X review. We caught up with Valco Baby at the last JPMA Baby show to see its latest and greatest. It’s an Australian company whose strollers are often hard to find in the US, though most of the line is now on Amazon and pretty reliably at Albee Baby in New York City. That’s about it! When they sell out, they’re gone for a while. 

To say I love this stroller would be a complete understatement. In a nutshell, it is “the” all-terrain stroller for growing families (and at a pretty decent price, all considered). The Duo X is a great stroller for two kids; but you can also attach the Toddler Seat (sold separately) if you have three kiddos, like me (I have twins and an older singleton). Got four kids? No problem: attach Valco’s Hitchhiker Ride-On Board for your oldest child; and all four can ride in style. 

Valco Baby Tri Mode Duo X Review
My girls in the Valco Baby Tri Mode Duo X with the Toddler Seat attached

Size & Weight

This stroller weighs in at 34 lbs, which is certainly heavy, but for a full-featured all-terrain like this one, it’s also not surprising. Note that the Mountain Buggy Duet weighs 32.4 lbs, and the Bumbleride Indie Twin weighs 36 lbs (!!!), so the Duo X is right smack dab in the middle. Let’s just say you’re not going to get a lightweight stroller that can hold this much weight — it’s physically impossible. 

The seats are 12” wide, so your kids will have a ton of room to wiggle around and settle in. The overall width of this stroller is 29.2 inches wide, so in theory, the Duo X should fit through standard doorways (and I’ve never had a problem with this myself). However, Amazon reviewer HD NY says, “The stroller is actually slightly more than 31″ wide with the canopies attached. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you are trying to squeeze the stroller through doorways, every little bit counts. The BOB Revolution Flex Duallie is 30.5″ wide, so it is kind of crazy that this stroller is wider than a jogging stroller…”  Comparatively, the Bugaboo Donkey2 Duo and Twin are both 29” wide, and the City Mini GT Double is approximately 29.5” wide. If you live in the city, the stroller width is definitely something to consider. 

Seat height: there’s about 29” from the seat to the canopy on the Duo X, which means it will grow with your kiddos (my neighbors used their Duo X for 6 years with no complaints from their children!). For comparison’s sake, you get more head height with this stroller than some other double side-by-side all-terrains: the Indie Twin has a head height of 23”, the Mountain Buggy Duet has a head height of 25.1”, and City Mini GT Double has a head height of 26”. 

Note that each seat can hold up to 45 lbs, for a total of 90 lbs combined. This is the same as the Indie Twin, less than the City Mini GT Double (up to 50 lbs per seat), and more than the Mountain Buggy Duet (up to 40 lbs per seat). Again, the Duo X is right in the middle.

Car Seat Compatibility

Like the City Mini GT and the Neo Twin, the Tri Mode Duo X only accepts one car seat at a time (brands include: Graco Snugride “Click Connect,” Chicco Keyfit 30, Maxi Cosi Mico, Nuna Pipa & Cybex Aton). Alternatively, because the seats lie flat and the stroller comes with infant head huggers, you can put your infant twins directly in the fully-reclined seats — this is what I did when my twins were infants. 

Seats

The seats on this stroller are fantastic. The tailormade fabrics are beautiful and soft, and the seats recline independently and fully flat using an adjustable belt recline system. They also each have a 5-pt harness and adjustable footrest, making it the ultimate nap space for wee ones! 

Valco Baby Tri Mode Duo X Review

The seats have a swingaway, removable bumper bar — not sure they serve a ton of purpose, but for some reason, kids LOVE these (maybe because it’s like being on a ride at Disney?!). Or, perhaps they love them because they are a fun, squishy (yummy?!) thing to chew on when they get hungry?! HA!

As previously mentioned, there’s the awesome Toddler Seat (sold separately) that transforms your Tri Mode Duo X into a triple stroller. 

Valco Baby Tri Mode Duo X Review
Voila! Now it’s a triple!

Like the stroller, the Toddler Seat was also updated in 2016. The seat just clicks onto the stroller frame (in front of the stroller’s regular seats, and into the spot the bumper bars click in — the front bumper bar housing) and can fold with the stroller (on my older model, you could not fold the stroller with the Toddler Seat attached — this is what was updated on the 2016 model). 

Valco Baby Tri Mode Duo X Review
Me and my gals

Kiddos must be 6 months or older and have solid neck control in order to ride safely in the Toddler Seat (weight limit on the Toddler Seat is 40 lbs), since the Toddler Seat does not recline.

This 3rd seat does not come standard with a sunshade, but you can buy one separately. I highly recommend this as without it, your toddler won’t get a lick of shade. 

Canopies

Oh my gosh, Becky… look at those canopies! Seriously though, these sunshades are huuuuuuuge! With the ability to unzip the canopies to create a 4-panel hood, your kids will be fully covered. The mesh paneling allows for increased airflow for your children on those hot days, but it also offers UV protection. 

Wheels/Suspension/Maneuverability

With four low profile, air-filled 10″ all-terrain tires, the Valco Baby Tri Mode Duo X is a fab side-by-side, all-terrain stroller.

With real air-filled tires, these puppies will roll over anything: grass, mulch, gravel – whatever. (Note that because they are air-filled, they will need to be re-inflated from time to time). Yes, this stroller is big and beefy, and it is a great option for parents in rural areas.

What does Tri Mode mean? The term is a little confusing. It doesn’t mean it holds three kids (though it can with the Toddler seat…), it means the front wheels have three positions: full swivel mode (great for everyday use), locked mode (for when maneuvering over bumpy terrain), and the elusive 3rd mode: a 45-degree swivel — that limits the range of motion so the tires don’t get stuck or start spinning out of control on uneven terrain. This provides added stability when using the Toddler Seat.

There you have it: the three modes. The funny thing is…. I don’t think anyone who owns this stroller really even fully understands the “45 degree mode” option for which the stroller is named, but it’s there if you need it. 

Onward.

The Duo X has a foam-covered adjustable handlebar which makes it easy to push for tall and short parents alike. For instance, I’m 5’2” and my husband is 6 feet tall. The handlebar adjusts to both our heights just fine. It also comes with a safety wrist strap — this guarantees the Duo X won’t roll away from you. 

Photo by Whitney

Sure, the stroller does push and maneuver quite well over a variety of terrain, but its weight (especially when holding three kids) can make it tough to push. Our neighborhood is a bit hilly, and pushing this bad boy up and down hills definitely is a serious workout! 

Storage/Accessories

The Duo X has awesome storage! The underseat storage basket is huge and can fit pretty much anything you need. In one review I read, a mom said she could fit two large diaper bags in the basket. Nice! The sides of the basket are elastic which allows you to access your belongings from all angles. 

Look at that storage basket. Soooo big! 

The Duo X also has nice back seat pockets (below) for those little things you don’t want to throw under the seat — phone, keys, maybe some smaller toys or a pack of wipes, etc.

The thing I love about Valco Baby strollers is that they come with a ton of great accessories that you don’t have to purchase separately. In this case, it comes with a rain cover, bumper bars, carry handles, tether strap and infant head huggers. 

However, If you want to add a cup holder, tire pump or any accessories for your Toddler Seat, you’ll have to purchase those separately. 

Took our Duo X trick-or-treating — more room to store candy! 

Braking

The brake mechanism is simple on the Duo X. Step on the flip-flop friendly foot brake to lock the entire stroller into place. Easy. 

Photo via IG @valcobabyusa

Fold

Oh my goodness did I DESPISE the fold on the pre-2016 Duo X. So much so, that I never folded it. Like, ever. I just kept it open in our garage at all times (so I never threw it in the trunk either). I am so thrilled that Valco updated the Duo X’s fold — this is probably the BEST update they made. It’s so much simpler to fold, and also much more compact. 

Now all you have to do is lift two levers on either side of the stroller, push forward just a bit, and voilà! It folds inward (aka a “clean fold” because the fabric doesn’t touch the ground/get dirty) and locks into place. The Duo X also stands on its own once folded. For a stroller that’s meant for multiple children, the simpler fold and self-stand features are a huge win for parents with multiple kids. It’s so easy to use! 

It should fit in most trunks (be sure to test it out before you buy!), but for more compact storage, the front and rear wheels on the Duo X do come off. However, at 34 lbs, this is not a lightweight stroller — just know that it will be heavy (but not impossible) to heave in and out of the car.

Our twins pretty much lived in this stroller during their first summer!

Bottom Line

People who own this stroller love it. Even though I have the older model with a clunkier fold, I still love it too. Like the Bumbleride Indie Twin and Mountain Buggy Duet, this stroller is a rugged, 4-wheeled, all-terrain stroller that will ride over anything. While it doesn’t take two car seats at a time, you can easily lay two infants in it in full recline mode, using the included infant seat pad and head huggers. 

The Duo X has tons of great features, including an easy, “clean” self-standing fold, huge canopies, a giant underseat basket, and the ability to add a third seat. Unlike the Indie Twin and Duet, this stroller has taller, wider seats that will last you a little longer. It may not be as fashionable as the Indie Twin, but it comes with some great accessories, and the fact that you can add a third seat and even a riding board is super unique. 

This is an awesome pick for twins, twins and a singleton, or even three (or four!) kids who are all somewhat close in age. Enjoy!

Comments

  1. Avatar

    I have an infant and a toddler. Is this a functional everyday stroller or is it too much for everyday?

    1. Marissa

      Hi! Okay being honest here — I LOVE this stroller so much, but truly, I do think it’s a bit too much/bulky for an everyday stroller. But it’s amazing for walking around the ‘hood, going to farmer’s market, etc. I hope this helps!!
      ~ M

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