By Jen Garcin
Trying to find the right stroller is tricky enough, and when you are looking for a double it seems like the options are endless! When I was pregnant, I stayed up all hours of the night building my registry. I’ve done my research, so I’ve got your back! If you’re having twins, planning for a second baby, or starting a nanny share, a double stroller is a must. Even before I was involved in a nanny share (two families sharing a nanny with both children cared for together), I kept in mind that we are planning to have more than one child and didn’t want to have to ultimately splurge on cost AND storage space for two strollers.
On top of my own hours of online research, I got the 411 from Althea, Guidepost at Home's resident baby gear expert, experienced nanny, and Care Management Lead. I also did some homework myself—I took my OT BFF, Jay (a pediatric occupational therapist, yes lucky me) and made an afternoon trip to our local giant baby store. That’s where we met Wadlie, the store’s stroller aficionado. Wadlie was an absolute hero, and we spent hours talking through and testing out every feature on every double stroller in the store (about a dozen). Between Althea and Wadlie, we truly have some expert opinions to go off of. The best part is, all four of us—Althea, Wadlie, Jay, and I—agree on our top two picks for double strollers, and we like both for different reasons.
Pick #1: 2019 UPPAbaby Vista
The Vista is our top pick if you are tight on space but not on budget (if you are tight on space, check out these creative double stroller storage hacks). Let me preface this by saying I own and love the Vista. The Vista is amazing as both a single and double stroller. We think this is the only stroller on the market that functions so beautifully as both. Jay recommends this stroller for its more practical features like the one-touch, adjustable, telescoping handlebar. Without this, people with bigger strides often kick strollers. My tall husband goes handlebar fully extended, while I am short and go for the lowest height. It is equally comfortable for both of us.
The Vista is on the more expensive side, starting at $899, but you get what you pay for. When I was building my registry, I was deciding between the Vista and a much cheaper brand, and a mom friend gave me the lowdown. “It depends what you’re looking for,” she said, “a safe, spacious, bulky minivan or an equally safe, but durable and sleek Jaguar.”
Features We Love:
Comes standard with two click-in seats—toddler seat and bassinet
Toddler seat has a luxurious max weight of 50 pounds and a five-point padded safety harness
Bassinet has a generous max weight of 20 pounds and is safe for sleeping, we used as a bed and private changing station while we were out and about for our daughter’s first three months
Toddler and rumble seats are fully adjustable and reversible with five recline settings and three footrest settings (the most available on the market)
Kick-stand sold separately—one of its biggest appeals—with the kickstand, this double stroller transforms into a triple
Compatible with most car seat brands
Comes standard with a rain shield and bug shield
What’s a configuration? See details here.
Extra-large storage basket
Extendable sun canopy with SPF 50 visor and mesh peek-a-boo window
Height adjusting, telescoping handlebar
Large rear wheels
Locking front swivel wheels
One-step fold, free-stands vertically on its own when collapsed
Can be expanded using only one hand (which is great when you’re holding a wiggling toddler)
Easy step-on break
Lightest tandem double stroller we tested
Beautiful, real leather handles
Stroller and seats come in a wide array of both trendy and simple colors
Some configurations require adapters, which are sold separately
Two toddler seats will not fit together on this stroller, which is less ideal for twins or babies of the same age, but certainly not impossible (until both kids are 50 pounds, then one kiddo has to ride the kick stand)
Not limited in other configurations—you can use two car seats, two bassinets, two rumble seats, a rumble seat and a car seat or bassinet, OR the toddler seat plus the rumble, car seat, or bassinet
Toddler seat has to be front-facing in the top position (closer to the parent) with any seat other than the rumble seat—bummer if you want all eyes on the younger child
Lack of standard cup holder, but you can buy one separately (pro tip: get the Skip Hop parent organizer over the UPPAbaby brand)
“The UPPAbaby Vista is great for the city, it has a small footprint for apartment storage, and it is best for bricks and uneven sidewalks,” says Guidepost at Home's Althea.
Overall, everyone I know who has chosen the Vista has been so glad they did. It is sleek, has all-wheel shock-absorbing suspension and massive tires for the smoothest available ride, and it is lightweight enough that I am easily able to fold it up and throw it in the trunk without a struggle. Vistas also have amazing resale value—I’ve seen them vanish off of my local mom exchange and the marketplace for nearly full price.
Guidepost at Home’s Althea says, “The UPPAbaby Vista is great for the city, it has a small footprint for apartment storage, and it is best for bricks and uneven sidewalks, so that the babies aren’t in a shake machine.”
Local Baby Store’s Wadlie says, “This would absolutely be my pick for a double stroller. It has a smooth ride, lots of configurations, and most importantly for me, it’s the lightest weight. The others are all too heavy for me.
My 8-month-old Eloise in the UPPAbaby Vista’s toddler seat with her 4-month-old nanny share buddy in the Mesa car seat. This Vista is the 2018 version in a denim shade, “Henry”. Those brown leather handles are what sold me. *Swoon*
Pick #2: Contours Options Elite Tandem
The Contours Elite is our top pick for a budget-friendly double stroller if you’re not tight on space. From $399, this stroller is a favorite with nannies and twin moms because both seats have equal weight limits. The stroller seats are comfortable and max out at 40 pounds. The frame has stadium-style seating, so unlike other in-line double strollers both kiddos have an equal and ample amount of space—and a great view. Jay loved the flexibility this stroller provides. When you are out and about with two kiddos, it is ideal to have flexible and comfortable configurations for both kids. During our test drive with Wadlie, we also noted that the Elite feels super sturdy and has a nice ride.
Features We Love:
Comes standard with two stroller seats with a max weight of 40 pounds each
Most car seats can click-in (with universal adapters sold separately)
Bassinet sold separately
Stroller seats have a padded five-point safety harness and are fully reclinable with adjustable footrests
Seats come with removable infant headrests
Multiple, flexible configurations
Enormous storage basket that is accessible from all sides
Sun canopy with mesh peek-a-boo windows
Large, coated wheels with front-end suspension
Easily collapsible with both seats attached, free-stands when folded
Comes standard with adjustable parent cup holder
Mesh pockets for the kiddos
Comes in two chic gray colors (dark carbon and light graphite), and one more fun—Aruba Teal
Bonus feature: an attachable “shopping cart” (sold separately) that clicks into the car seat adapter when you are using the stroller as a single—holds up to 40 pounds of groceries!
Weight and bulk—this is one heavy stroller, and it takes up a lot of space when using and storing
Due to weight and size, not as good of an option as a convertible single to double stroller
Overall, we love the Elite. It is the lowest-priced in-line double on the market with stadium seating, fully adjustable seats, and the ability to hold two bassinets, infant car seats, stroller seats, or any combination in the most ideal configurations.
Guidepost at Home’s Althea says, “This is my number one pick for nanny shares if families have the space. Not only do I love the large canopies, but the enormous storage baskets are amazing, especially for summertime when you are carrying a ton of gear. While it is the bigger option, it is still suitable to take on trains and buses.
Local Baby Store’s Wadlie says, “This is a great double stroller, because both babies can be the same weight. This is what I recommend to families with twins.
From Contours website, the Contours Options Elite Tandem Stroller
“The Valco Snap Duo has been huge in making our nanny share easy. I can't express how impressed we've been with this stroller,” says Guidepost at Home Mom, Tiffany.
For side-by-side options, the Valco Snap Duo is our favorite. This double is tried and true and a Guidepost at Home fan favorite. It is the widest option (though still easily fits on narrow sidewalks and through doorways), but by far the lightest stroller in this review. It collapses easily with a one-handed fold that is pretty small and great for storage. Both seats are appropriate from birth up to 45 pounds. It has a smooth, one-handed push and wrist strap. From Guidepost at Home Mom Tiffany, “The Valco Snap Duo has been huge in making our nanny share easy. I can't express how impressed we've been with this stroller.”
The Mountain Buggy is the narrowest side-by-side on the market, with the same width as the in-line strollers (and similar weight as well). Unfortunately, this means you sacrifice the width of each seat. It also has a compact, one-handed fold. Side-by-side doubles are less than ideal if you ever want to use them as a single stroller.
The Nuna Demi Grow is comparable in both price and features to the Vista. The benefit of the Nuna is that it can hold two toddlers simultaneously in seats up to 50 pounds. However, the basket is smaller, and when you add a second seat, the child is essentially squished into the basket underneath and behind the top seat. This makes for a non-existent view, and can get in the way of pushing the stroller. Unlike the Vista, both seats have to face out with the double configuration and don’t have the option of facing forward. On the plus side, getting in and out of that lower seat can be a fun game for a toddler.
The City Select LUX combines some of the best features from both the Vista and Contour Elite. You get a smooth ride when it’s a single, though it’s slightly bulkier than the Vista. You also get multiple configurations for the double stroller. This would have been a top pick, except there are some flaws. The push is just not as nice as the Vista, the basket not nearly as big as the Elite, and it is nearly impossible to collapse. Jay and I were unable to collapse it in the store, and I’ve heard from other moms that they struggle with it too. When you are running around with two babies or toddlers, struggling to pop a stroller into the trunk or get it out of the way and into a closet is a dealbreaker for us. On the plus side, the LUX does come with a handle to carry when collapsed. You can also purchase a bench seat which holds up to 65 pounds. Moms rave about these two features, and I definitely wish my Vista had them!
Guidepost at Home’s Althea says, “If a convertible Nuna is in your budget, this stroller is a great option for the smoothness of the ride. But it’s costly and is missing some of the Vista’s key features.”
Local Baby Store’s Wadlie says, “The new Baby Jogger City Select LUX is great as a double stroller. Parents are really seeming to love it. However, I can never collapse it on my own. One of my coworkers always does it for me. Hang on while I call him.”
What to Avoid
We highly recommend avoiding some of the cheaper brands that are heavy, bulky, made with cheap materials, and are difficult to configure and collapse. If one of the children will be underneath and behind the other, this is a red flag. If you are left with zero basket space, or the second seat is super low to the ground, skip it. They are also often difficult to collapse, and because they are so heavy, they are a pain to store and travel with.
Guidepost at Home's Althea says, “Don’t go for the big, bulky, cheap convertibles. Just don’t.”
Local Baby Store’s Wadlie says, “Sometimes the super cheap strollers come with what initially seem like some great bonus features, but the benefits don’t outweigh the major limitations of these strollers.”
Our number one pick: UPPAbaby Vista. We think this is the best convertible single-to-double stroller. Plus, it’s a space saver and has the smoothest ride.
Our number two pick: Contours Options Elite Tandem. We love this option for a budget-friendly double stroller with optimized configurations (and an enormous storage basket).
Honorable Mentions: if a side-by-side is a must-have for you, we recommend the Valco Snap Duo Trend or the Mountain Buggy Duet. Other Convertible Tandems we like: Nuna Demi Grow and Baby Jogger City Select LUX.
We recommend avoiding cheap, big, and bulky doubles.
Choosing the right double-stroller is no easy feat! Armed with all of this info, we recommend that you head to your local baby store with your baby or your belly and try our top picks out for yourself. As we were debriefing over a glass of wine following our day-long stroller adventure, Jay notes, “I’m glad we tested them out in person. I think it’s really important to go try out your most-wished-for double stroller. Parents have varying needs, and one family might prefer some features over others (like weight vs. stability). So it’s important to consider your lifestyle when test driving your baby’s new ride.”
Jen Garcin is a proud mom of a human baby and two kittens. She had an exciting and fulfilling career in criminal justice reform before transitioning to her favorite job ever, being a stay-at-home mom to her daughter & boss, Eloise. Jen is passionate about all issues related to motherhood, social justice, and dabbles in freelance writing and marketing consulting. She is super active in her local community, and hosts a monthly cookbook club.
Jen + Eloise