Hands-on Gear Review

Combi Twin Cosmo Review

There might not be a good application for this product
Price:   $260.00 List
Pros:  Extra storage, light, carry strap
Cons:  Maneuverability, storage, only 1 car seat
Bottom line:  There are cheaper products that are better
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Capacity Limits:  Right seat: 45 lbs, Left seat: 45 lbs
Weight (Lbs):  24 lbs 3 oz
Folded Dimensions (Inches):  25.5 x 16.75 x 41
Manufacturer:   Combi

The Skinny

The Combi Twin Cosmo has been discontinued.

Only two strollers in our review scored lower than the Combi. While this product looks like a pretty neat ride from the outset, its performance and actual day-to-day function was disappointing in our tests. The parent cup holder is hard to use with taller cups and bottles, the split under seat storage means larger items will not be able to go there, and the strange fold resulted in several weak pressure points that gave the overall frame too much flex when pushing. The ride itself is rickety and wobbly from the increased flex, and the general fit and finish is a disappointment. When you combine all of these failings, this turns into a product we can't recommend.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Double Strollers of 2018

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Sunday
November 2, 2014

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The Combi Twin Cosmo is a side-by-side double stroller with fully adjustable flat recline and two independent canopies. It has two under seat storage pockets, as well as dual canopy pockets, and a parent cup holder on the side. This stroller comes with 3 and 5 point harnesses depending on the size of the passenger, and can be used with the Combi Shuffle infant car seat. It folds in 3 steps without bending over, and then folds in half for a more compact final product for carrying or stowing, and it offers a shoulder strap to carry the folded product. This product comes with removable, washable seat pads, and infant safety boots. Each seat has a removable, padded guardrail that features a cup holder and snack tray. The fully extended canopies protect from sun, and weather with ventilation and peek-a-boo windows. It offers lockable, front swivel wheels, and larger rear wheels.

Performance Comparison



Ease of Use


The Twin Cosmo has several features that many of the other strollers we reviewed did not, which gave it an average score of 6 of 10. The stroller with the highest marks in this metric is the Joovy Scooter X2 with an impressive 9 of 10.

Storage
The under seat storage has a divider in the middle that makes it not as useable as it could be
The under seat storage has a divider in the middle that makes it not as useable as it could be
The under seat storage on this product is relatively small compared to the competition, and it was disappointing to testers who felt it was severely lacking. It is split in two and there is a back bar that prevents larger items from being stowed here. Our diaper bag filled with enough supplies for two children did not fit in the bin, and it is possible that a standard sized bag might have trouble as well. These storage bins are only accessible from the rear of the stroller, and they are impossible to access when both seats are fully reclined.
Under seat storage is virtually inaccessible when the seat backs are reclined
Under seat storage is virtually inaccessible when the seat backs are reclined

Luckily this product offers two pockets on the back of the canopies for extra storage. This feature somewhat makes up for the poorly designed under seat option, but the pockets are still only good for smaller items of convenience like keys, phones, wallets, and pacifiers. You might be able to get away with stowing a few diapers and a small pack of wipes in one pocket for quick access, but these pockets definitely will not hold everything you will need for a day out on the town with two children. But all that being said, not every stroller we looked at offered convenience item storage so it's pretty cool this one has something, where others have nothing. The pockets are easy to use and nicely placed.
The back of the canopies have individual pockets for quick access items like phones  wallets  and keys
The back of the canopies have individual pockets for quick access items like phones, wallets, and keys
Sun Shade
The photo above shows Twin Cosmo sun shades. The canopies can be adjusted independently offering individual protection for each passenger.

Mesh peek-a-boo window give visual access to passengers
Mesh peek-a-boo window give visual access to passengers
The Cosmo sun shades open in two segments for adjustable coverage depending on the needs and desires of each passenger. The shades are an average size that are larger than some, but by no means the largest in our review. Each shade has a peek-a-boo window made of mesh that offers easy visual access to the child riding underneath it, as well as ventilation for those hotter summer days. The shades can be removed for cleaning, but most testers felt that busy parents were unlikely to ever do this.

Convenience
Fairly deep parents cup holder
Fairly deep parents cup holder
The twin has a cup holder for parents high and on the side of the frame. It will hold a sippy cup or a water bottle relatively easily, and it takes larger bumps before the items showed the possibility of tumbling out.

For parent convenience it has the dual canopy pockets we already discussed, but
Passenger trays for snacks or sippy cups
Passenger trays for snacks or sippy cups
no other tray or compartment. For passengers each has a padded belly bar that includes a cup holder. The entire thing is removable, and the cup can be cleaned with a wash cloth. The cup holder itself is probably too shallow for taller bottles and some sippy cups, but it would make a nice snack tray for crackers or similar items. It includes no other storage or accessories for the passenger.

This stroller does not offer an adjustable leg rest, but it does have what it calls infant boots for use with smaller children with the seatbacks reclined for a bassinet type function and feel. The seat backs do recline, but we wondered if it was enough to truly utilize the seats as bassinets, or if it was just a little too upright to work well this way. The seat back does recline fairly far, more than just a few of the competition, we just aren't convinced that it is enough for an infant to sleep on without slipping down into the infant boot. Both seat recline independently to the same angle, which is nice and not always the case for all the products we reviewed. . Older children will probably find the recline angle cozy enough for naps during longer rides. Only 1 side can accept the click in of an infant car seat, and only a 1 specific kind of Combi car seat will fit

Under seat storage is virtually inaccessible when the seat backs are reclined
The photos above show the seat backs of the Combi with the seats in the upright position (right), and the fully reclined position (left).

Maneuverability


This combination of double front wheels scored poorly in maneuverability tests
This combination of double front wheels scored poorly in maneuverability tests
While two other strollers tied for a 4 of 10 for maneuverability with the Combi, only 1 got a lower score of 3, the Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather. Overall, the maneuverability of this stroller is unimpressive and a bit frustrating for parents and passengers.

This stroller has a lot of flex when pushed, seemingly in response to the increased fold points and connection brought on by the unique fold of the stroller for travel and stowing. This flex increases with the added weight of two children and all their baggage. On hard flat surfaces it was hard to push straight, harder to turn, and near impossible to navigate tight spaces without getting hung up on baseboards and furniture. The frame has a tendency to wobble and makes the stroller itself canted of center if you don't apply an equal amount of pressure to each side. For wide open spaces on concrete, it does okay.

On grass and gravel it almost becomes immobile. Sure a double stroller doesn't have to be an all-terrain vehicle, but it seems like it should be able to go at least a few feet over grass if the journey demands it. This vehicle was hard to push through grass and gravel and grew more difficult the harder we pushed as it grew mired down in the depths of the softer surfaces. We also had difficulty getting this product back up and over curbs or stairs, because the brakes catch and lock leaving the stroller stuck in mid-motion. If your journey will include any surface beyond the wide open, uncrowded surfaces of suburbia, this might not be the best stroller for you.

Safety


BabyGearLab likes to consider safety when testing the products we review. We considered several double stroller features with a keen eye for safety concerns. These features included the harness design and adjustments, brake function, and the potential for tipping. The Cosmo Twin earned a score of 6 of 10, which put it at the bottom in our review with a few other strollers for company. The highest rated products earned 8 of 10, and these included the award winners BOB Revolution SE Duallie, and the Joovy Scooter X2.

Brakes
3 individual brakes pedals to engage  which click twice before being fully engaged
3 individual brakes pedals to engage, which click twice before being fully engaged

The Combi has double action brakes that are a little tricky to set correctly. You actually have to hear two clicks before the brakes are properly set, which can be misleading and possible dangerous if you forget. The first click actually means nothing, and the brakes are definitely not engaged when you hear it. We aren't sure why it is set up this way, but it did cause multiple moving accidents during testing even after we determined what the issue was. It just isn't intuitive to press the brakes twice and parents may forget that it is necessary.

The brakes are stiff to set, are not sandal friendly, and the lever is somewhat short making it harder for bigger feet. Once set the brakes have more play in them than most of the products in our review. In addition, it didn't require much pressure to cause the stroller to slide with the brakes on. It took 18 pounds of pressure pulling the stroller for it to move backwards, and only 12 pushing on it for forward movement. These amounts aren't the lowest in our review, but they aren't anything to be proud of either.

Harness
5-point harness has adjustable shoulder height straps
5-point harness has adjustable shoulder height straps
The Combi has a 3 or 5-point harness option depending on the height of your child. A 5 point harness is considered safer and passengers should use the 5 point harness as long as is it comfortable to do so. The harness is fairly easy to put on and take off but we couldn't get it adjusted small enough to fit our stunt baby, who is relatively small, but fit well in other products. This product does not offer an adjustable crotch strap. The buckles are easy to use and can be released with one hand.

Cup Holder
Fairly deep parents cup holder
The cup holder on the Twin Cosmo is deeper than most of those we tested with a depth of 3.25 inches. Only a few had holders deeper, while many were shallower. This increased the odds that beverages would stay where they should when riding, but we still feel that for true safety the holder could be deeper and placed at a level lower than baby's head, instead of higher than the baby, this might result in the cup or bottle toppling out and landing on the passenger.

Tipping
The side-by-side design of the Cosmo helped it earn a fairly good score for tipping sideways. Given its lower center of gravity, and overall girth, this stroller didn't tip until the angle was deeper than 33 degrees. This placed it above the average of 30 degrees, but not close enough to the highest rank in this metric, the Chariot Cougar 2 with an impressive 45 degree angle. In fairness though, these two strollers have almost nothing in common and most parents looking at the Cougar will not have the same objectives in mind as those considering the Combi.

It took just over 25 pounds of weight hanging from the handle bar before this product tipped over backwards. This is less than almost all of the competition with the exception of the Cougar which ironically had the worst score for this metric, requiring only 13 pounds before it fell back.

Quality


The Combi has a frumpier look than most of the products in our review
The Combi has a frumpier look than most of the products in our review
Only two other strollers came in as low as the Twin Cosmo for quality and those were the Graco DuoGlider with Classic Connect and the Jeep. All three earned just 4 of 10 for quality in our tests. This product just fails to impress, and the closer you look, the more you see.

The fabric of the Cosmo is stiff and a little rougher than most of the competition. The seat backs are a little floppy and the padded sides never sit flat against the back of the seat. Overall, the seat itself looks frumpy like the clothes of a successful dieter before they get a chance to buy new things. It looks as if the seat is actually designed for a larger framed stroller. While the frame looks pretty clean, the fabric looks so frumpy you almost don't notice anything else. However, even though the fabric is frumpy, the seats can be removed and washed in the machine, so some users felt they could overlook the fit for the convenience of keeping things clean.

The frame has a lot of parts and connections points thanks to the strange fold in half feature of this product. These connection points and extra pieces prevent the frame from looking as nice as some of the other strollers that sport fewer pieces or welded junctions instead of rivets. It also looks like more plastic is used on this frame and connections than on most of the products in our review.

The wheels for this stroller had the most flex and random movement that any in the group. The tires are made of foam filled plastic wrapped on hard plastic wheels. The handle bar is also just plastic and it isn't covered in any kind of softer product like many of the other products. This may or may not be a bad thing, but it definitely felt less comfortable when pushing and it might get hot sitting out in the sun. The height of the bar is okay, but some users did find they were kicking the center wheels on the back of the stroller. The design might have been improved by using a cross bar from two sets of wheels instead of having 4 sets of wheels.

This product has front and rear shocks, but the suspension isn't great and the thin padding on the seats covers a relatively hard plastic seat back and bottom which means passengers are probably not going to be that comfortable for longer rides. If the frumpy look to the seat padding had been an indication of thicker or more deluxe padding we might have been able to get over the looks, but it really just gives the illusion of padding as opposed to the real thing.

Weight and Folded Size



Weight and Folded Size
This side-by-side ride weighs in at just over 24 pounds which makes it one of the lightest in our review. Only the Jeep Wrangler was lighter at 18 pounds, but it doesn't have as many accessories or as many nods to comfort and convenience as the Combi. If you are looking for features, it is certainly worth the 6 extra pounds to have storage and larger sunshades. In addition, the long should carrying strap makes the extra weight "doable" for most parents by giving you a convenient way to lug it around. By comparison the heaviest product in our review is the Orbit Baby Helix G3 with Helix Plus Double Upgrade Kit which weighs in at a whopping 53 pounds. Needless to say you are probably not carrying that bad boy anywhere.

For folded size the Combi loses some points because of the bulky package that results after you collapse it and then fold it in half. It measures out at 25.5 x 16.75 x 41, which is about 17,500 cubic inches of stroller you will need to find space for in your trunk or closet. It has the biggest fold of the lightweight models and is bulky in a way that may be hard to shove in some compact or mid-size trunks. However, at least one in-house tester liked that it can be rolled around when folded which makes it a better option for travel than some of the other strollers that have to be carried when folded.

Ease of Folding
The Combi has a unique fold in half collapse that makes it narrower than most of the folded side-by-side products  but bulkier overall
The Combi has a unique fold in half collapse that makes it narrower than most of the folded side-by-side products, but bulkier overall
The Combi has a truly unique fold that does not require bending over but does require a manual lock. The product takes 5 steps to fold, cannot be done with one hand, but it does self-stand. It has a shoulder carry strap we already mentioned that means you can carry it hands free for holding onto little ones or other packages. This is a feature unique to this stroller in the double stroller group. This product is equally easy to unfold, and we think it is nice that it starts from a standing position. It is not a one hand unfold, but it takes only 3 steps and is super easy to execute.

Commuting
This product did not do well for commuting possibilities. The unique fold of this stroller does not make it harder to load into a trunk given the lighter weight, but it does take up more space in a trunk and might not fit in some smaller cars. The carry strap makes it easier to use on public transportation and keeps hands free for holding little ones hands, but the bulk might make it hard to maneuver on a crowded bus or subway without hitting innocent bystanders. It does not conform to the public transport 2'X4' rule so it will have to be collapsed when on public transportation, which means it is going to be a bit of a hassle no matter what.

For coffee shops and stores this product is a mixed bag. It will be harder to maneuver in smaller shops, but it is small enough to avoid being in the way of most foot traffic when sitting at a café table. However the seat bottoms are so low little ones will mostly be viewing shoes as opposed to faces and you will not be able to pull the stroller up to a table for them to use. If you pull the stroller in to the table little ones will be under the table, not near the top.

Ease of Setup


This product is pretty easy to assemble and took just over 12 minutes for us to take it from box to boogie. It has good documentation with adequate pictures, but we think it would be more user friendly if the assembly instructions were separate from the operating instructions instead of interspersed. No tools were required to set up this product and it only lost points for the amount of time it took compared to the others we reviewed.

Best Applications


There might not be a good application for this product
There might not be a good application for this product
There probably is not a best application for this stroller given its poor performance in our tests. The only likely good fit for this product would be for parents who must be able to carry their stroller hands free so they can keep better track of little ones on foot. This product doesn't have enough strengths to merit it as a good purchase and the price is too high to consider it for value alone. Even budget conscious parents would do better to look elsewhere.

Value


This low ranking product costs more than our second ranked product and Best Value award winner, the Joovy Scooter 2x. It is simply not a good value when you consider that you can get a better quality product, with more features, for a lower price.

Attention to detail helps the Joovy stand out next to the competition
The Combi has a frumpier look than most of the products in our review
The photos above show the Joovy Scooter X2 Double (left), and the Combi Twin Cosmo (right). The Joovy won Best Value and costs about $30 less on average than the Combi. It also scored 15 points higher overall than the Combi.

Conclusion


The Combi Twin Cosmo is not an impressive stroller. The initial look is okay and the unique fold intriguing, but even the lighter weight isn't enough to sway us after test results came in. This product failed to perform as well as the competitions in every metric and offered nothing spectacular in return. Other than the shoulder carry strap, there isn't a lot to love about the Combi. While it does seat two, it can only accommodate 1 car seat so it isn't good for twins, at least not newborns. The fit and finish is frumpy, and the padding inadequate for a truly comfortable ride over time. Its maneuverability is difficult, and the storage is small and hard to utilize. This product just doesn't measure up to competition that is both cheaper and higher in quality. This makes the Cosmo a stroller we cannot recommend.

Other Versions and Accessories


Combi offers one other double stroller, the Twin Savvy E. We did not review this product but it looks to be a cheaper umbrella type product with fewer features.

Combi offers an addition storage option they call the Stroller Pack. On initial consideration it is hard to say if this product will work for the Twin Cosmo.

Video


Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

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Most recent review: November 2, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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Average Customer Rating:  
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