Chicco Echo Twin Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Chicco Echo is a side-by-side design stroller that has a compact fold and carry handle. It has dual canopies that adjust individually with zip off rear flaps for added ventilation or protection from the elements. It offers a one hand reclining seat back with 4 positions, and adjustable leg supports. It has an under seat mesh storage pocket, dual front wheels with suspension, and a 5 point harness in each seat. This product will only work for children age 6 months to 40 pounds.
Ease of Use
While the Echo definitely offered more than the poorly scoring Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All Weather, it just isn't enough to really compete with the big boys.Storage
The Echo offers a medium sized under the seat storage bin that does not fit our large diaper bag (filled with things for two). The storage compartments can be accessed from the side or back of the stroller, but they are virtually inaccessible if the seat back is fully reclined. While this ride does offer more storage than the Jeep it will probably leave parents frustrated by the lack of space and the necessity of carrying more items themselves.
There is no additional storage options on this product. While some others had pockets on the back of the canopies, like the Joovy Scooter X2 and the Maclaren Twin Techno, this one did not offer extra storage for quick access items like keys, wallet, or mobile phones.Sun Shade
The Echo has the second smallest canopies in our review. It is a true minimal canopy with little coverage that might not be suitable for smaller shorter passengers. It does offer some ventilation with a removable back flap that zips on and off. It offers no peek-a-boo window, but unzipping the back flap can allow a quick visual of passengers and what they might be up to, though with a shade this small you may not need to peek since most of the passenger will be visible at all times.
The Echo Twin offers a single cup holder high on the outside frame of the stroller. It is a no nonsense simple cup that holds most standard sized water bottles. It is detachable for easy cleaning.
This stroller has dual independently adjustable leg rests. They are easy to operate, but need help really locking into place and can easily drift down if not properly adjusted. The leg rest has two positions straight out and down offering a little more variety for comfort should passengers need to catch a nap or are smaller and need the leg support.The photo above shows the seat back fully reclined.
The Echo has a 4 position seat back recline that can be operated with one hand to recline, two hands to raise. The seat back does not recline as far back as some of the others, with the Maclaren Techno Twin laying almost flat, but with an angle of about 28 degrees it should be enough for most children to at least prevent the dreaded head hang and bob. Other passengers, or younger riders might find it harder to take a full on nap given the lack of deep recline.
The Chicco Echo came in close to the bottom with the Combi Twin Cosmo earning a 4 of 10 score, only the Jeep scored lower in this metric.
This product is difficult to push and turn on most surfaces regardless of their structure. When we started the initial push it seemed to do well, but once the slightest turn or obstacle was placed in its path, it started to suffer considerably. The dual front wheel design on each frame leg meant we hit just about everything in our wake that was even remotely close to the stroller. We ran off course and into more things with this stroller than any other product we tested in this category. It is harder to push and turn than most of the others we reviewed.
The distance between the dual wheels means it is almost doable on grass and gravel by being somewhat more stable. It still isn't a joy to push, but it isn't as difficult as we anticipated given the trouble we had on the hard flat surfaces of the initial test. We were unable to push it over a 1 inch curb during tests, and going up stairs was also difficult. The brakes did rub somewhat when going backwards up stairs, but they didn't lock out like some others. It is not as heavy and hard to manage on stairs as the Maclaren.
Safety is an important consideration when deciding which product to purchase. We test products for safety features that include the harness adjustments, brakes functionality, and the tipping potential. The Chicco came in with the lowest score tying with 2 other products for last place with a 5 of 10. The Britax B-Agile Double, our Editors' Choice winner, scored the highest in this metric with a 7 of 10. Users felt it was relatively unstable and likely to tip over. One user stated "…it is a little shaky and easy to tip backwards."Brakes
The Echo Twin requires depressing three different pedals for proper engagement. This is less desirable than a single or even double action brake system. The tendency might be for parents to inadvertently forget to engage all three brakes, or to only engage one or two out of habit and to make it easier to get going again. The brakes were average to set and release, and are sandal foot friendly. There is a little bit of play in the brakes once set, with only 1 product having more play, the Combi Twin Cosmo.
The 5-point harness on the Echo has adjustable shoulder straps and height. It does not have an adjustable crotch strap, which isn't a big deal except this crotch strap is strangely long. When we compared products side-by-side and with our test baby, it appeared that the crotch strap might be so long that it would be uncomfortable or make proper adjustment difficult.
The harness itself was only average for ease of putting on and taking off. The buckle clasp is stiff and it is covered in fabric. The buckle can be opened by depressing the clasp over the fabric, but the compulsion to stick fingers into the fabric to push the buckle directly is overwhelming. With time parents can probably get used to this, but it is a little weird at first.Cup Holder
The cup holder on the Echo is one that gave us a little pause for safety. Given the location and tendency for cups and bottles to topple out of it, we felt it could potentially injure passengers sitting on that side of the stroller should it fall out going over a bump or back over a curb. Not all of the cup holders gave us pause, but given that this holder is one of the shallowest in our review, items seemed to fall out more frequently than on other models.Tipping
The Echo required at least a 39 degree angle before tipping over. This was one of the steepest angles in our review for this category. The Jeep matched this angle before succumbing to gravity, and the Joovy had the worst tip angle in the bunch at just 29 degrees.
Weight hanging off the back of a stroller can be a safety concern because it could lead to the stroller tipping over backwards. The Chicco required in excess of 76 pounds hanging off the handle bars before it would tip. This is better than any single seat stroller and better than many of the double strollers depending on type. The Joovy Scooter did best in this metric.
The Chicco looks like a quality product and stands up to the more expensive competition when displayed side-by-side. However, upon closer inspection it starts to show its flaws.
The fabric is heavier than some of the products we tested and it felt durable yet softer than some others. The fabric came out of the package wrinkled, and still looked wrinkled two weeks later after sitting on the frame stretched taunt. The fabric fits tight to the frame and doesn't travel. It is equal on both seats and had consistent stitching.
The frame on this stroller had a little bit of rattle to it, but that might have been the treaded wheels fault more than the frame itself. The frame is pretty sturdy and stable with not a lot of flex. The frame is black, not a common color for this type of product, but the color does help hide the connection points somewhat, giving the stroller a nicer fit and finish feel than its price tag would indicate.The wheels on this product were larger and sturdier that some of the really lightweight wheels. Unfortunately they aren't as sturdy as we would have liked. The "tires" are foam filled plastic wrapped around plastic wheels.
The handles on the Echo are pretty similar to the handles on the Maclaren, but they aren't executed as well. The button end caps on the handles had a tendency to dig into our hands, especially when steering one handed. If the foam cover had extended all the way to the end covering the plastic cap it would have been a nicer feel and more natural in hand.
This stroller has 4 wheel suspension, but the rear suspension had the tendency to stick at random moments. The sling style seat and adequate padding help increase the overall comfort of the ride, but it still didn't seem as cozy as some of the others we looked at.
Weight and Folded Size
Weight and Folded Size
Most of the double strollers are on the hefty side and can be difficult to manage. The Echo is no exception weighing in at 31 pounds, the second heaviest in our review. The interesting part is it looks like it should be lighter. Given the lack of lots of convenience additions and large canopies, it seems odd that this product weighs so much. The heaviest in our review was the Maclaren at over 32 pounds, and the lightest was the Jeep. The Britax B-Agile Double, Editors' Choice winner, is 3 pounds lighter than the Echo, which can feel like a lot when you lift the strollers side-by-side, or at the end of a long day out with two toddlers.
At just over 12,000 cubic inches when folded it measures out at 19 x 15.5 x 41.5. This makes it smaller than most of the products in our review, but it didn't stand out for this metric. It isn't as small as you might think an umbrella product would be, but it is on the smaller size for a double stroller in general.Ease of Folding
The Chicco has a one hand fold with 4 steps that folds in on itself much like other umbrella strollers. It is easy to fold, but is not sandal friendly. It self-locks on one side which means it doesn't stay folded as tightly as it would if there were locks on both sides. It requires the user to bend all the way to the ground to click the lock in place, and it does not self-stand. The brakes do need to be engaged if you plan to lean it against the wall, otherwise it will just roll away from the wall and fall. The product also has a one handed unfold that is easy to execute and fairly intuitive. It is 4 steps but more or less just falls open and requires activating the extension tension bars. If your hands are full of baby or bags, this stroller is easier than most to fold and unfold.Commuting
It's difficult for any of the double strollers to do exceptionally well for commuting given their overall size and folded bulk. This product had one of the lowest scores in this metric. It is hard to load and unload from a trunk given its weight. It is longer than some products when folded meaning it can be a tight squeeze to fit in small trunks. It took up almost the entire width of the trunks we tested it in, not leaving much room for other baby supplies.
The heavier weight also means it isn't a great choice for carrying long distances or for taking on public transport. It can be somewhat unwieldy, which is a surprise given its lack of additional accessories. It also did not fare well in cafes, sticking out further from the table than other strollers and having lower seat bottoms than most, which leaves little ones staring at knee caps and table legs.
Ease of Setup
The Echo had the lowest score for ease of setup out of all the products in this category. It earned just 5 of 10, with the top ranking Combi Twin Cosmo and Britax B-Agile Double tying with a 7. It took just over 12 minutes to assemble the Echo. It had good documentation compared to the other products in our review, but it would be better if all of the assembly directions were lumped together and appeared before the operation instructions, instead of them being sprinkled in together. No tools are required for assembly which is nice for those mechanically impaired. It lost points primarily for how long it took to get it ready to stroll, the longest time for any product in this category.
This product does not offer enough conveniences to be a primary stroller for two children. It has very little storage, no accessory pockets or tray, and the canopies are too small for full coverage or for smaller passengers. The size/age limitation of 6 months to 40 pounds also means it isn't suitable for the entire stroller lifecycle of most children from newborn to 50 pounds on average. The best application for this stroller is a secondary product for occasional use or for travel. The cheaper price tag makes it one that parents might be able to fit in their budget as a secondary stroller to a larger primary one with more accessories. However, the caveat to all of this is that there are products that can act as a primary ride as well as a lightweight travel stroller. Editors' Choice, the B-Agile, is one of these products, and while more expensive it could save you money overall by avoiding the purchase of two products as opposed to one.
The Chicco has one of the cheaper prices in this category of products, but with the cheaper price comes a lack of storage, smaller sun shades, and heavier materials. While it is a budget friendly choice at the outset, it fails to impress overall and its size/age limitations mean you will likely have to purchase another product for newborn to 6 months, or for the later years. This means the value of the product starts to shift when all things are considered. Don't be swayed by the smaller price tag, it will likely frustrate most parents over time because of what it fails to offer. For around $40 more the Joovy Scooter X2 is a better purchase. It has more storage, is lighter, folds smaller, has a larger canopy, and works for children up to 50 pounds.
The Chicco Echo Twin did not fair that well in our review. It came in 12th place out of 14 products we tested. With average scores across the board, and a serious lack of storage and convenience options, this stroller is sort of disappointing. When you tack on the difficulty we had with maneuverability, and the not flat enough for a nap recline, it just feels like a product we couldn't recommend, even with its attractive price tag.
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