Hands-on Gear Review

Graco DuoGlider Classic Connect Review

Graco DuoGlider Classic Connect
Price:   $150.00 List
Pros:  Parent tray, fits 2 car seats
Cons:  Storage, recline, legroom
Bottom line:  Looks good on paper, but it didn't perform well
Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
Capacity Limits:  Front seat: 40 lbs, Back seat: 40 lbs
Weight (Lbs):  27 lbs 4 oz
Folded Dimensions (Inches):  25.5 x 20.5 x 47.5
Manufacturer:   Graco

The Skinny

The Graco DuoGlider Classic Connect has been discontinued. A Click Connect version is still available.

The Graco Duo Glider is great on paper, it checks all the boxes on everything you think you need. Unfortunately, it doesn't really do any of them well. The storage bin is large, but largely inaccessible. The cup holder is too shallow to hold most drinking bottles, and the lack of fully reclining seats and adjustable leg rests means it is likely to frustrate both parents and children alike. So it isn't necessarily a product we recommend, but it might be one to consider for those looking for a cheap ride to use occasionally that they won't mind some deficiencies because it isn't their primary stroller.


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 Graco Duo Glider Classic Connect features two seats arranged in a stadium-style; the back passenger is sitting slightly higher than the front for an unobstructed view. Both seats recline, but the rear seat is the only one that reclines completely flat. Both seats have their own canopy and footrest, but the front seat canopy is significantly smaller. The Duo Glider has an extra long under seat storage basket, dual cup holders, and parent's tray, as well as a front passenger accessory tray. It offers a one-hand, self-standing fold, and accepts the Graco Classic Connect infant car seats, so it can be used with newborns. The Duo can hold two children up to 40 pounds each, and comes in a few color/pattern varieties.

Performance Comparison


Graco Duo Glider Classic Connect
Graco Duo Glider Classic Connect

Ease of Use


The Duo Glider earned an average score of 6 for ease of use. This put it well below the high of 9 of 10 earned by the Joovy Scooter X2, but above other options like the Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather which earned a 4.

Storage
Under seat storage is hard to use when seats are reclined
Under seat storage is hard to use when seats are reclined
This stroller has a very large storage bin that runs the length of the stroller under the seats. It is fairly easy to access when the rear seat back is in the upright position, and it did fit our large diaper bag that contains supplies for two. However, the bin is not accessible with the seat reclined or when using an infant carrier strapped in. The bag just barely fit through the opening, and we suspect some bags might not fit at all. Even though it looks like a giant basket, it is limited by what will fit through the rear opening or what won't push up on the seat bottom above it. Access to the front of the bin is difficult and hard to reach, so it sort of renders the front of the bin unusable. The foot rest from the back seat also hangs low and blocked our bag from being pushed to the front so we could put more things in the bin. We also suspect that the dirt on little feet hanging above is definitely going to end up on whatever you manage to fit in the bin, given the open access between the foot rest and storage.
The rear seat foot rest gets in the way of using the majority of the storage bin
The rear seat foot rest gets in the way of using the majority of the storage bin
Sun Shade
The photo above shows the canopies on the Graco Duo Glider. The front canopy is removable for easier viewing for the back passenger; only the rear shade has a peek-a-boo window.

The Duo offers relatively small canopies compared to the competition. The front passenger canopy is fully adjustable and removable. It does not have a peek-a-boo window, but frankly because it is relatively small, and does not attach to the seat back, it doesn't really need one. The back canopy is not removable and does have a vinyl window for spying on passengers. Both shades sport a tinted vinyl kick-out visor for increased coverage from the sun. The manufacturer does not offer an SPF rating for the canopy or visor.

When used with the car seat in place, the sun shade on the stroller combined with that on the car seat will cover the car seat in its entirety to protect little ones from bad weather.

Convenience
Adult cup holder is relatively shallow and located in a high lace where it can fall on the passenger's head
The photos above show the parents tray with the compartment open and closed.

The Duo has a parent tray on the handle bar that has a cup holder and storage compartment with lid. The cup holder is relatively shallow and taller bottle and cups had a tendency to tip out of it. The compartment is on the small side, and we had trouble fitting some of the larger size cell phones in it while still being able to close the lid; it did hold an iPhone 5 and keys.

The photos above show the child tray of the front seat (left) and the back seat containment bar with no tray (right).

This stroller offers one removable child accessory tray for the front passenger. The tray has a small shallow spot for snacks and an equally shallow cup holder for drinks. We wish that both passenger had the same snack tray. Anyone with two kids can tell you this discrepancy is going to cause more than one sibling fight or tantrum. That being said, the tray itself isn't all that useful and other than some small short cups and a few crackers, we don't see it being of much use. While it was nice that the stroller came with one, when most did not, the tray was a disappointment and left us wondering why they bothered.

Both seats on the Duo recline, but only the rear seat reclines completely flat; the front is closer to 48 degrees. Reclining the front seat with a passenger behind it could also prove to be difficult as the rear passenger is then given closer access to the head of the front rider. We can't help but wonder how this will work with siblings who enjoy pestering each other for fun. We also aren't sure how this will work for children of the same age when only one of them can recline enough to be truly cozy. This arrangement might work better for children of different ages where the younger child is in the back seat. Testers remarked that the seats were relatively small and were snug for average to smaller in size two year olds and almost impossible for a 4 year old.

The photos above show the seat backs in their upright positions (left) and their fully reclined position (right).

This stroller does not offer an adjustable leg rest for increased position options and comfort. This option, while not necessary, is found on several of the models we reviewed and could come in handy for longer trips were naps are more likely to occur.

Maneuverability


Plastic covers look like suspension  but aren't really
Plastic covers look like suspension, but aren't really
The Duo scored in the bottom for maneuverability with only the double wide Jeep Wrangler Twin coming in lower. On the whole the side-by-side models did better for maneuverability than the inline models with the top scoring product being the BOB Revolution SE Duallie which earned a 9 of 10 in this metric.

This product is harder to push and turn than most of the others on hard surfaces. The handle bar has a lot of sway in it when the stroller is weighted with two kids and a diaper bag, and while it did fairly well on the straightaway we struggled to push it around corners or in tight spots. The long length meant having to anticipate your turns and initiate the process early or risk the need for a 3 point turn somewhere in the process.

This stroller also had trouble moving over a small curb and managing gravel. It did okay in grass, but only when staying in a straight line, once we tried to turn that was all she wrote and the buggy got mired down in its own weight and flex. Going over curbs and stairs cannot happen with this product given its length and weight distribution when the seats have passengers. And while arguably you shouldn't be going up stairs with any stroller we can't help but imagine some helpless mother roaming the streets looking for a wheel chair access point to get back on the sidewalk with her twins and Duo Glide.

Safety


BabyGearLab always considers safety when testing products. We tested the double strollers for features like the structure of harness adjustments, brake malfunctions, and toppling tendencies. The Graco Duo scored a 6 of 10 in this metric, which was the lowest of any stroller in our review. Several products shared the high score of 8 of 10, including award winners BOB Revolution SE Duallie, and the Joovy Scooter X2.

Brakes
Pedal activated brakes with single connector bar
Pedal activated brakes with single connector bar

The Glide is a double action brake that requires two pedals be depressed separately to properly engage. The pedals are not very sandal foot friendly and have a tendency to stick somewhat when trying to release them. Once set, the brakes have about 1 inch of play in them which means the buggy is still able to creep somewhat. It isn't a deal breaker, and there were other products with more play, but it is enough to mention and you will notice.

Harness
3-point harness in rear seat of the Graco Duo Glider
3-point harness in rear seat of the Graco Duo Glider
Unlike most of the other strollers in this review, the Duo only has a 3-point harness. The 5-point harness really is a safer kind of restraint, and children can and do crawl out of 3-point harness easier than they will a 5. A 3-point harness is just the two waist straps and the crotch strap, it does not have any shoulder straps.

Given the lack of straps, and limited complexity, the harness is fairly easy to get on, take off, and adjust for size. The buckle is a little stiff to release and might be difficult for some to do with one hand, but it is easy to buckle children in and the clasp is readily accessible.

Cup Holder
Adult cup holder is relatively shallow and located in a high lace where it can fall on the passenger's head
Adult cup holder is relatively shallow and located in a high lace where it can fall on the passenger's head
The cup holder on the Duo has one of the shallowest depths in our review. Measuring only 2 ½ inches deep the cup holder failed to hold most cups and bottles securely. Given that the cup holder is located relatively high on the stroller and near where an infant car seat could be stationed, we felt it was a possible hazard for baby. During our tests the item in the cup holder fell out and into the seat more often than not.

Tipping
Eventually all this succumb to gravity and strollers aren't any different. While the backward tipping weight required to tip the Duo back was great at over 54 pounds (not a big surprise given the length), the side tipping angle wasn't really impressive. The side tip angle is 24 degrees and the highest in our review. This means that parking or pushing this ride on a hill isn't the best idea, and is certainly worse than many other products which had an average tip angle of 30 degrees.

Quality


The Duo Glider did not score well for quality
The Duo Glider did not score well for quality
The Graco Duo Glider came in at the bottom for quality with a 4 of 10 score and a little bit of company in the Jeep and Combi Twin Cosmos. This product just doesn't impress on first blush and continues to disappoint as you look closer.

The fabric is lighter than just about any other in our review accept perhaps the Jeep. The fabric on the sun shade is slightly heavier, but given that the seat bottom and back will be taking most of the passenger abuse this seems like an odd choice to make. The feel of the fabric is sort of stiff and might be harsh on sensitive toddler skin. The seat bottom is removable for delicate cycle machine washing, but it does need to be line dried. The fit of the seat fabric to the frame felt loose like an old beloved chair that has seen better days. However, the overall fit and finish isn't that bad considering the lower price tag, and at least one tester reported that the back seat folds flat and is great for changing diapers.

The frame on this stroller is lighter than most of the others, but what we gain in less weight we lose in functionality as the frame also flexed and wobbled more than most as well. These problems just got worse the more weight we carried in the stroller. With 2 mock children of 20 pounds each and a diaper bag, the flex and wobble gets even more pronounced.

Bumpy plastic wheels are some of the flimsiest in the review
Bumpy plastic wheels are some of the flimsiest in the review
This product has the cheapest, flimsiest wheels of the group. The foam filled plastic tired on light plastic wheels appear much like many of the others in our review, but the quality and thickness of the materials felt cheap in comparison and poorly constructed.

Foam covered handle bar with rubber center grip
Foam covered handle bar with rubber center grip
The handle bar on this stroller is a one piece that goes the length of the back of the frame. It has a cup holder and small storage tray in the center. The handle is covered in dense foam and curbs around and down in a way that feels natural to relaxed arms or for pushing. The foam is a little coarser than some, but this did make it feel sturdier overall like it might last longer under pressure. The size and diameter of the bar is nice for multiple hand sizes.

This stroller has 2 wheel front suspension which gives it a little bit of a smoother ride, but nothing compared to the 4 wheel suspension found on many of the other products we reviewed. There isn't a lot of cushion on the seat bottoms or backs, and the flexible hard corrugated plastic insert can be easily felt and might be uncomfortable for passengers on a longer ride. Overall the comfort of this product seemed to be lacking and we questioned how well two children will really fit in the seats without feeling trapped and closed off.

Weight and Folded Size


The Duo Glider is relatively lightweight compared to the other products in our review
The Duo Glider is relatively lightweight compared to the other products in our review

Weight and Folded Size
This inline stroller weighed in at a mean 27 pounds, which put it below average for this category of strollers and definitely a contender if your only goal in double strollers is finding a lightweight model. Only a hand full of strollers in our review came in with lower overall weights. The heaviest product we tested is the Orbit Baby Helix G3 with Helix Plus Double Upgrade Kit which was over 53 pounds, and probably not something you want to take on travel.

The Duo measures at 20.5 x 41 x 36 when folded and takes up around 24,800 cubic inches of space. It self-stands and does best if the wheels are pointed backwards and brakes are locked in place.

Ease of Folding
The Duo auto-locks and self-stands
The Duo auto-locks and self-stands
The Duo is a one hand fold that auto-locks and self-stands. It is incredibly easy to fold and has fewer than 3 steps to go from upright to standing on its own. The company website has a video that shows the stroller being folded with one hand and easily locking into place without having to bend over which might come in handy if you are holding a child. We found this method to be a little difficult and it will take some practice to execute it well.

Commuting
The lighter weight gives this stroller an edge in the commuting department and the one hand fold and self-stand don't hurt. It would have been cool to see a carry handle or strap with this product, but you can carry it by the frame. While it is a little bulky folded and in the trunk, it does meet the bus 2'X4' rule of not having to be folded if it can fit in a 2'X4' space. However, you will likely need help lifting it up and into a bus if you choose not to fold it and there is no ramp.

For cafes and stores this stroller is going to cause trouble because of its overall size. While it will fit through doorways, and even bathroom doors easier than a double wide, it will have trouble moving in tight spots or getting out of the line of traffic in a busy coffee shop. The up side is both seat bottoms are higher than many of the other products, so at least both children will have a better view than ankles and under table gum.

Ease of Setup


This stroller earned an average score for ease of setup with a 6 of 10. Overall, the documentation for this product was good and it took us 11 and ½ minutes to get the product from box to ready to roll. The instructions come in 3 languages, but the languages are color coded which is a nice way of keeping the user on track and a big plus compared to other manuals that don't offer clear delineation. The illustrations in the manual are clear and the important pieces are highlighted in red. The assembly is easy, but it does require the use of some tools, unlike many of the others we tested.

Best Applications


This stroller is marketed as a primary stroller for two children. Given its overall lighter weight and fewer conveniences, it might actually do better as an umbrella or secondary stroller that isn't used very frequently or for longer duration trips. Because it lacks the ability for both seats to recline, and it doesn't have adjustable leg rests, little ones might not find it cozy enough for napping or long trips. The lack of useable storage or accessible storage when the seats are reclined, might be a concern for parents trying to make a day trip. While this product didn't impress us, it does have a cheap price tag, so that coupled with its lighter weight might make it an acceptable option for budget conscious parents looking for a double stroller to use infrequently.

Value


This product costs just around $150, which makes it one of the cheapest strollers in our review. So it might be a good option for a secondary stroller or for a stroller that won't be used very often.

Chicco Echo Twin
The photos above show the Joovy Scooter X2 Double (left), Chicco Echo Twin (middle), and the Graco Duo Glider Classic Connect (right).

Conclusion


The Duo Glider is a budget friendly stroller with many attributes that make it look good in pictures or on paper. It has under seat storage that is large compared to the competition and accessory trays for both parents and kids. The stadium style seating is nice for both children to get a good view of the passing scenery, and the ability to strap in car seats makes it seem like a good ride for newborns to 40 pounds. Unfortunately, the Duo fails to execute any of its features very well. The cup holders for parents are shallow and the bottles repeatedly fall out when in use. There is only 1 child tray, which means the second passenger must go without. The large storage is difficult to impossible to access depending on the position of the seat backs. The back passenger has no leg room and the ability to kick the front passenger with ease, and the front passenger cannot recline fully for a cozy nap. This ride lacks adjustable leg rests, full size canopies, and great maneuverability. In short, it disappointed in almost every way, which is why it is a product we do not recommend.

Other Versions and Accessories


Graco makes a few different double models including the Graco Room For 2 Classic Connect, Graco Ready to Grow models, and the Graco Fast Action Fold Duo Click Connect.

We could not easily find any accessories listed for this product.

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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