Helping parents with multiple infants get on the move
Our regular readers will know we spend a lot of time here at Globetrotters HQ discussing strollers, (we’re 8 stroller veterans here!). You may be surprised to know that most of our trips with young children were, in fact, undertaken with various combinations of double strollers.
We previously looked in great detail at the best ultra-light models of strollers (that can even fit on a plane), but wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have the same product for doubles?
OK, it is incredibly hard to fit that much metal and material for two kids into that small a package (most overhead bins have a maximum dimension requirement of 9″ x 14″ x 22″ – discounting event the slimmest 29″ double strollers). However, there are products that are getting super close to meeting this criterion and make for an amazing lightweight travel solution for those who have multiple children. In this post, we’ll look at:
- Features to look for in a lightweight double stroller
- Best lightweight & compact traveller strollers
- Useful double stroller accesories
This post is part of our product reviews and recommendations series – make sure you check out everything we have from kids pillows and comfort products through to those toddler travel essentials you will need.
What makes a double stroller “lightweight” or “compact”?
A very good question! There is no hard and fast rule. As soon as you have double the children to push, your stroller pretty much needs to double in weight from the lightest compacts in the market. That said, our aim was to identify brands that weighed under 30lbs (13.6kgs), and we have done this for the most part.
Remember in the world of strollers, everything is a compromise. What suits best for a single newborn won’t suit your jet-setting 3 year old twins – and every combination of siblings in between. Every age and stage has it’s needs and challenges and, budget permitting, your stroller needs to flex to these family needs over the years.
Questions to ask yourself before buying a double stroller and important features
- How often will I be travelling with it vs using at home?
- Will it regularly need to be folded and stowed?
- Where does ride comfort rate for you vs stroller weight?
- Will there be times separating and having two strollers is more convenient than having one?
- Can I get away with one stroller and a carrier?
Wheels and terrain
The big compromise on making a stroller light and compact is usually the wheels. By making the wheels smaller, they do not need to be removed when the stroller is folded. This means the wheels may not be as good as larger pneumatic wheels on rough terrain. Those models with very small wheels may struggle on high curbs, particularly when they’re carrying a full load of kids.
Look also at suspension and locking mechanisms on wheels. Although I find double wheels a little clunky and avoid them on singles, they can help with manoeuvrability when you’ve got a heavy load. Compacts really aren’t designed for off-roading but you still want a smooth experience on cobbled streets.
How do you actually collapse the stroller? Most compact doubles work on a fold in half system where you pull from the centre of the seats and it collapses in two. They are actually easier to fold than a lot of single models and smaller compacts. Luckily most companies provide YouTube videos now so you can see it in action and practice!
We are reviewing these strollers for children aged over 6 months. Only one of the ultra-compact double models (so far) is marketed as being adaptable to use from newborn with additional accessories.
Seats height, width & recline
Smaller children can easily fit most models through to 4 years+ but larger children do struggle with compact strollers, mostly on the seat width and depth. We’ve found it difficult to confirm seat height on most models.
Compacts can often lose weight by giving up on some of the recline feature. We find napping on the go to still be a vital part of a good travel stroller. Good news is, side by side models allow each seat to move independently, and most models we looked at could recline over 150 degrees – near flat.
Likewise, getting them to nap is easier when the sun is not glaring in their eyes. Many of the brands we looked at had somewhat compromised on the sun cover to get smaller and lighter, but we still think the sun canopy is an essential travel feature.
Most of the strollers we looked at had handles around 40″ to 41″ but they were not adjustable. A small feature element you have to compromise on for a compact, but not something I would compromise on if you are using as a jogger / off road model.
One thing I love about double strollers is the size of the under seat basket! Conversely, this can increase the temptation that you want to over-stuff your basket adding yet more weight! But it does mean we tend to hang less stuff off the back of the stroller which again helps manoeuvrability. You may still want to use a stroller organiser for important items while you’re travelling without needing to dig in the basket.
Storage Bag & Carry Strap
Not all brands we reviewed came with the travel bag and carrying straps included. As these strollers are too big to fit on the plane still, you will want to gate check. Keeping your valuable goods protected in the hold is essential. If your stroller doesn’t come with a shoulder carrying strap you can always add a generic luggage strap for ease of transportation.
What Does “easy fit through most standard doorways” mean
You can just picture yourself trying to get into that quaint little cafe in Italy and you can’t coz you’re stroller won’t get past the door and it’s peeing with rain outside. Urgh!!!! So what is standard? There’s certainly no universal building code around the world. We take standard as being 32″, meaning any 30″ and under stroller will fit.
There will always be harder to navigate places that really aren’t designed for strollers (cue just about everywhere we’ve taken ours, but don’t care we take it anyway!!) One thing I will note from many years experience, a side by side is far easier to manoeuvre than a tandem. Having my time again, and now that these brands DO allow that flexibility to attach either capsules or newborn I would get a side by side double from the get-go.
Will you get value for money out of a compact double stroller for travel?
Will this new stroller only be for your travel adventures a few times throughout the years, or are you looking to ditch your baby stroller and make this your everyday stroller? Think about how much use you will get and therefore the amount you are willing to invest into yet more baby gear.
Best compact Double Strollers for Travel
|Brand||Mountain Buggy||Joovy||Evenflo||J is for Jeep Brand||Zoe|
|Model||Nano Duo||Scooter X2 Double||Aero 2||Destination side by side||XL2 Best v2|
|Product Weight||20lbs / 9kg||32lbs||23lbs ||28.66lbs||17lbs|
|Max child weight||33lbs / 15kgs per seat||45lbs per seat||50lbs per seat||40lbs per seat||33lbs (claim tested to 50lbs)|
|Folded dimensions||11"x 28.7"x 33"||14"x 30"x 35.75"||28.5"x 28.5" x 39.5"||29.5" x 36.3"x 41.7"||10"x 32.2"28.4"|
|Handles (height)||39.3"/ 100cm||41.75"||39.5"||41.7"||40.25"|
|Travel system option||Can add newborn cocoon and car seat compatible with many leading brands||No||No||No||No|
|Seat & positions||2 x 26" tall seats with deep recline. Leg rest adjustable. 5 point harness||Can reline 149 degrees . 5 point hareness, one hand recline||Not great seat recline. 5 point harness||Multi recline postions, 5 point harness||165 degree recline. 5 point harness|
|Colours||Black. Optional canopy colours yellow, silver, red, nautical||Black, Blueberry, Charcoal, Red||Lark (Black), Osprey||Black||Blu, red, black|
|Canopy coverage||Reasonably good coverage. Independent 3 section SPF 50||Moves as one not independent||Indpendent 3 part SPF50 canopies||SPF 50 independent canopies||Large 4 stage unfold independent SPF50 canopies with peekaboo|
|Storage||Extra large gear tray up to 8kgs||Huge under seat storage capacity. Also in built cup holders and zippered pockets.||Pocket and drink holder in each seat back, plus childs drink holder pocket. Seat can convert to storage basket as well as underseat storage||Large underseat basket||Large underseat baskets|
|Wheels||5" single wheels at front, 5" doubles at rear. All with swivel, foot controlled rear breaks.||Double front wheels, single rear. Exact size TBC.||4 wheels with rear wheel lock, pedal foot break. Exact size TBC||7" front wheels, 10" back wheels.||Doubles at the front, single rear wheels . Break long bar across foot. Exact size TBC|
|Accessories||Optional coccon for new borns, car seat adaptor and gate check bag, rain cover, blankets, belly bar||Belly bar, tray, cover||TBC||Swivel belly bars. Includes carry strap||Belly bar,|
|Current Price (US)|
From those that are currently available on the market, we think the above brands make the most sense for family travellers due to their light construction and easy fold mechanism. We’ll now look at each of them in more detail:
Mountain Buggy Nano Duo Buggy
Yep, our favourite single compact (you can read our full review here) now comes in a double! Like it’s single counterpart the Nano it folds up incredibly small, under 11″deep. Where it does give a little versus other brands is in its weight capacity, capping out at 33lb /15kg per seat.
We do love that it can be used from newborn though with lie flat seats that allow you to add a cocoon, or car seat adaptors making it a great travel system from roughly newborn through to 3 years old. Currently (though read more below!) it is the only ultralight double we review that can be used from newborn.
We love the numerous bright colours that the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo comes in, and we’d always recommend buying the branded storage back to ensure the safety of the product while you’re travelling. It also comes with a shoulder carrying strap which many others in this category did not which is great for travellers and getting on and off
Joovy Scooter X2 Double
Joovy is a great travel stroller for families that want something robust but still lightweight and
It’s a single fold in half, so it is still quite wide folded but under 14″ deep making it super slim for this type of product. It also great handle bar height at 41.75″. We don’t like, however, the single canopy, our preference is that these move individually.
Evenflow Aero 2
We love that you can use the second seat as storage with a snap on the basket, In looks, it appears more like an umbrella stroller but it does the compact fold in half. Each seat holds up to 50lbs Cons, the recline is not as great as some of the other strollers and its tiny wheels (we couldn’t find anywhere in the
J is for Jeep Brand
Now we’ll admit, until we started this review it was not a name we were familiar with, but big trusted brand name aside, we think its pretty neat.
It has slightly larger rear wheels at 10″, but it also has a good seat capacity at 40lbs each. Folded it’s not as compact as some of the others but value for money-wise this should definitely be on your shopping list, you can learn more about it here:
Zoe XL2 Best v2
Just as they surprised us with their ultra-compact single, we love the Zoe double too. At 17lbs net weight claimed by the manufacturer, it’s lighter than most singles on the market, let alone double strollers!
The wheels have increased in size slightly since the first Deluxe model was released but we believe this is to improve manoeuvrability with a decent weight limit tested up to 50lbs (but we’ve read conflicting information that its seats are limited at 33lbs). With large storage baskets, great independent canopy covers, it’s a fabulous value for money pick rounding out our top 5.
Other Double Stroller brands and options to consider
Being ultra-compact isn’t the be all and end all of
In our next product guide, we will be bringing you our favourite JOGGING double strollers. These may be a better fit for you beyond city sidewalks and public transport needs.
Now I don’t want to sound like too much of a fan girl…. Ok who am I kidding of all the brands we have used over the years, the one that stole our heart and has been our best all-rounder is Baby Jogger. The name is a bit of a misnomer as most of their products aren’t actually joggers. And a lot of their “city” branded products are excellent off-roaders.
We have owned both their City Select tandem for the newborn stage and their City Mini side by side. Now they have announced they are entering the ultralight market too. Introducing…..
Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Double Stroller
Measuring in at 24″ x 26″ x 10″ folded, it has an even narrower design than the ever-popular City Mini. It can, however, be used from birth with carrycot attachments when used in the full recline position.
The seats will also feature adjustable calf support and a full UV sun canopy. The only bad news and reason it’s currently not in our top list, it’s not on sale yet!
Watch this space we will update with more specs and purchasing details once they’re available, but get this top of your wishlist for Summer 2019!
What about a Double Umbrella stroller?
I’m not completely ruling them out, but having tested many different brands, and owned two single Maclarens which we attempted to use side by side, I can tell you nothing beats the new era of ultra-compacts. I honestly find the umbrella brands (were referring to the collapsing mechanism here) just too clunky these days. They have their ardent fan club still, sure, but when size and weight matter, as well as durability they no longer compete. Pay that little bit extra and get something that will last the distance.
Can I attach two singles to make a double stroller?
Yes! This is another option if you don’t want to invest in a new stroller but combine two existing products. Do note it DOES NOT work well with many brands, but some have customisable options to make this work.
Double stroller accessories
Especially while travelling, I wouldn’t go over the top on the fancy stroller accessories, but there are definitely a few still to be considered that are actually really useful in your travels.
Double Stroller Rain Cover
Yep, this one is pretty important in a lot of
Gate check bag
Without a doubt, a very worthy investment for your precious cargo. We covered a whole range of gate check bags in our review here.
Again, getting the bag designed to go with your stroller is always best to ensure perfect fit and protection, but there are plenty of generic brands that do a very worthy job.
Double Stroller Organiser
I don’t know about you but one of the most awesome things about the stroller stage is having a dumping ground for everything (I think this is the only reason we still own strolelrs, nothing to do with the fact my youngest is perfectly happy to walk!!).
Keeping things in their place though is still essential, and I love having nifty pockets for keeping things like my camera phone, tissues, wet wipes in easy reach without having to dig into my diaper bag. We invested in a few double stroller organisers, some more study and reliable than others. You will need to look at the fit to ensure there are no annoying crossbars in the way on your stroller handle.
Over to you, do you have a favourite double stroller? We’d love to hear the pros and cons of different brands you’ve tried and which you would recommend.
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Looking for more useful family travel products? Check out all our handy buying guides before your next vacation:
- Coolest new travel gear for a family trip – for travel with younger children, all our best recommendations on sleep products, strollers and car seats.
- Getting cosy on the move – best kids travel pillows and seatbelt comforters.
- The best compact strollers – that can even fit on a plane.
- Kids plane sleep devices – a comparison of the top brands and which airlines actually accept them.
- How to choose a gate check stroller bag – still want to take your pride and joy or got a double stroller? How to keep your stroller safe when its gate checked.
- Items that travel-loving parents-to-be will actually use – Get clued-in on what to buy new parents that they will get a lot of practical use from for their baby.
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