Graco Ready2Grow is a tandem double stroller that has a variety of seating configuration including the bench and standing platform, double seating with face time for parents and the ability to connect two infant car seats. It offers a better storage basket than some of the other products of this type, but the rider experience between seats is vast and likely to cause a fight between older children. It has a nice easy fold and self-stands, but it is on the heavy side and takes up quite a bit of space. Overall, we think this stroller is lacking, and its performance disappointed in almost metric. We think there are better options no matter what you may be looking for in a stroller.
Graco Ready2Grow LX Review
Pros: Accepts two car seats, easier to transport with self-stand
Cons: Hard to push and turn in tight spaces, limited coverage from sun
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Graco Ready2Grow LX is a tandem style double stroller that accepts two Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant car seats. It offers 12 different seat and riding configurations with a removable rear seat with bench and standing platform. The rear seat can face parent for extra bonding while the front seat is the only seat with a child's tray. The front seat can recline almost flat, but the rear seat cannot offering vastly different riding experiences for each child. The front seat and rear bench with a platform can hold children up to 50 pounds, but the rear seat only accommodates 40 pounds. This stroller offers a one hand fold, under seat storage with bench seat lift for easier access, parent's tray with cup holder, and lockable front swivel wheels with suspension.
This comparison chart shows the overall score of the Graco (in blue) compared to the overall scores of other strollers we tested in this review.
The sections below provide details on the Graco's performance in our metric tests.
Ease of Use
The Graco Ready2Grow scored a 5 of 10 for ease of use, which is below the average of almost 6 for the group. The UPPAbaby Vista Double earned the high score for the metric with 8. While the Ready2Grow wasn't the hardest to use stroller we looked at, there are certainly easier to use options on the market with less frustration for day to day use.
Fold and Unfold
The brakes for this stroller are single action brakes that are easy to set and release. The pedals are sandal and barefoot friendly.
The storage bin on this Graco is large and fits our extra-large diaper bag with a 10-pound maximum limit. The bin can be accessed from the rear and sides and the top if the rear seat has been removed for the sit and stand configuration. Access is only average with several other strollers offering better storage, but it isn't bad for a tandem style of stroller, and it fits a lot more than the Baby Trend Sit N' Stand Double. This stroller also has a parent's tray that sports two tray depressions and one cup holder. It isn't very user-friendly and is one of those features that seems to check the box more so that it offers a real useful solution for extra storage.
The stroller does have a parent's tray (above left) and one child tray (above right) for the front passenger. This mismatch of trays for passengers could leave little ones arguing for who gets the tray. The cup holder on the parent tray is virtually useless, and it didn't accept any bottle or cup that we tried. It will not work with most baby bottles, sippy cups, or even water bottles. This was the only cup holder in the group that didn't take any items we tried. The cup holder on this stroller is 2.5 inches deep, and it has a low safety concern. This means in our testing we did have some items fall from the holder when strolling or moving to rougher terrains. Parents should take extra precautions to avoid placing hot liquids or taller items in the holders.
The sunshades on this Graco are similar to those found on the Baby Trend Sit 'N Stand, but they are marginally smaller and lack any peek-a-boo window. No window might be a problem for a larger canopy, but the small surface area of these shades means you won't be missing the window because you'll be able to see baby fine without it. Because the shades are so small and barely cover baby's head, they are not good at keeping out the elements. They will rotate forward to protect against the setting sun and even some wind, but at the end of the day, it will be impossible to protect baby from surprise rain or full sun when the canopies don't cover much of baby at all. Some of the sunshades in this review are ample enough to cover baby from head to knee and possible toe, but these do not. The Joovy Caboose front canopy is the largest option for the sit and stand design of stroller, and the rear seat has full front to back coverage with the zip on the shade, but the design doesn't offer any side protection.
The harness on each seat is a 5-point harness that is hard to get on and only marginally easier to get off. It is easy to adjust the shoulder height even though it is a re-thread style of adjustment. The front seat has three height adjustment levels, while the rear seat only has 2, once again demonstrating the differences between the front and back seat potential and experience for riders. The buckle on this Graco has upper and lower straps that must be connected before they can be buckled and we found that they can easily come undone. The release button requires almost two hands worth of pressure to unbuckle. Adjusting the straps is easy with a dual pull system similar to that found on the BOB Revolution Flex Duallie. The crotch strap has one position but is adjustable.
This stroller does not offer a leg rest, much less an adjustable one. It does have hard plastic footrest, but only some children will be able to reach them because they are not moveable and sit fairly low on the frame for the front seat. The front seat on this product does recline, but the rear seat does not. The recline feature can be operated with one hand and has infinite positions; it is only average for ease of use compared to the other recline options in the product group. The vast difference in the rider experience for passengers could be a problem for some families if little ones are the same age or old enough to recognize the disparity. For some parents, the inability of the rear child to nap is a deal breaker.
The rear seat attaches to the frame with a hook and is easily removable. It faces toward the parent and isn't the most sturdy of seats, clearly it is intended to be used only sporadically or for a limited amount of time.
Ease of Setup
If possible, the Ready2Grow is even harder to assemble than the Graco FastAction Fold. This stroller took us over 14 minutes to put together, which is the second longest time in the group. The instruction manual for this stroller is poorly designed and hard to follow. This Graco has more parts to put together than the other Graco in the review. We feel like most of these parts could come preassembled and still fit in the same box, so it feels like Graco is trying to cut corners by pushing it off on the buyer when much of the competition comes fairly preassembled.
The Ready2Grow is one of the hardest strollers to push in this review, tying with the Graco Fast Action Fold Duo and the Chicco Cortina Together with scores of 3 of 10 for each. The high for the group is a 9 earned by the Thule Urban Glide 2 Double, Thule Chariot Cross 2 and the BOB Revolution Flex Duallie, both side-by-side designed stroller with three wheels. The inline strollers in this group all seemed to struggle with maneuvering with the only inline options scoring well having a stadium style seating with one seat higher than the other to shorten the footprint.
Pushing the Ready2Grow on a hard surface is difficult, and you need to prepare and plan ahead of time if you are going to make a turn or you won't be able to make it. It does negotiate smaller space fairly well, but the more weight it has inside, the worse it gets. The pushing gets harder when you move off the flat and hard surface with it struggling a little over grass and then stopping altogether with gravel and small bumps or curbs.
Weight and Folded Size
The Ready2Grow weighs in at 33 pounds and 1 ounce on the BabyGearLab scale used for all strollers. The manufacturer weight is listed as 33 pounds, so it comes in pretty close. This weight is higher than the average for the group which is 32 pounds. The Baby Trend Navigator is the heaviest product in the group with a weight of 39.7 pounds. The lightest is the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite which is 23.4 pounds. While we expect double strollers to weigh more than their single counterparts, we still like the idea of finding the lightest option that also meets your needs, because you will need to lift this item at some point and the lighter, the better. If a sit and stand option is what you are looking for, then the Joovy Caboose is almost 10 pounds lighter, a significant difference that translates to a much easier to push and lift product.
The folded size of the Ready2Grow is 25,625 cubic inches, making it a bigger lug than much of the competition. The average for the group is closer to 17,000 cubic inches with the smallest folded stroller being the Britax B-Agile Double that is closer to only 10,600 cubic inches. Once again, if a sit and stand type of stroller is what you want, then the Joovy Caboose outshines the Ready2Grow by being both smaller and lighter than the Britax B-Ready.
Many parents think of Graco has a nice quality product for a reasonable price. This may be true for some aspects or in the past, but in our tests, Graco has struggled to keep up with the competition when compared side-by-side for quality. The Ready2Grow tied with the Baby Trend Sit 'N Stand for the last place for quality with a 3 of 10 score. The high score for this group is 9 earned by the Thule Urban Glide 2 Double and the Thule Chariot Cross 2. While the Thule Urban Glide 2 Double cost significantly more than the Graco and therefore might be nicer in part thanks to more expensive materials used in construction, the average for the group was 6 and both Joovy products scored higher than this Graco with a similar price range.
The Ready2Grow's fabric is thinner than much of the competition, and the seat offers very little padding. The lighter accent fabric with mesh looks like it will snag and the piping on the seat is poorly placed in an area that will likely chafe the back of baby's legs. The frame is similar to the Baby Trend Sit 'N Stand and the Chicco Cortina Together in design and quality, and it isn't much to look at nor a feat of engineering. The overall fit and finish of this stroller are cheap. When sitting by the competition, it looks rumpled, wrinkled and undone, as if very little thought was put into its design or construction.
The wheels on this stroller are made of plastic and somehow manage to look even cheaper than the other plastic wheels in the review. It sports the dual front wheel design that many of the cheaper strollers offer and it is wobbly when you push it with imprinted tread that does nothing but adds bumps to the ride. The limited padding and the front wheel suspension mean a jarring ride for baby where they will feel every little crack in the path. Add to this minimal recline in front, no recline in the back, and you have a rider experience that is less than comfortable.
The handlebar on this Graco is not adjustable and measures 40.9 inches from the ground. The shape is fairly nice, and it is covered in sturdy foam that both feels good in the hand and like it is durable enough to last. The downsides are the handle feels even more narrow than the stroller, and the frame release for the folding mechanism is in the middle of the handlebar so it limits where you can place your hands to push comfortably. Overall, it has a feeling of a stroller designed on paper that was never tested in real life.
Ease of Car Seat Attachment
The Ready2Grow is only compatible with Graco brand infant car seats. We tested it with the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 and the Graco Snugride Click Connect 40. This Graco accepts two car seats and doesn't require any adapters. Both seats are about the same for installation with one in the front and one in the back. It is a snug fit that requires aggressively pushing on the seat for installation. We feel like it should be easier for a native brand seat, to fit in its same brand stroller. The Peg Perego Book for Two also only accepts its own brand of car seat and they attach easily making it feel like this Graco should be able to offer car seat connection that is easy and secure.
This Graco will work for twins because it can accept two Graco Click Connect infant car seats. It also has the option of two toddler seats and one seat with a sit and stand bench and platform. Because it is limited in the kind of car seat you can use, and the rider experience is vastly different between the front and rear passengers we don't recommend this option for twins. In our experience twins or children very close in age will want the same kind of riding experience and will likely end up fighting over one seat or another. Also, only one seat offers a recline feature which means that only one child will be able to nap comfortably. This might be ok if you have a baby and an active 4-year-old who is unlikely to nap anyway, but with twins, it means one will be resting reclined while the other struggles to sleep with a floppy head and upright posture. Strollers like this one really are a better bet with children of various ages than for twins.
The Graco Ready2Grow doesn't have a best application. While parents who recognize and trust the Graco name might be drawn to this stroller, it simply fails to offer parents what they need for strolling. Even if you are looking for a sit and stand style of stroller, the Joovy Caboose scored higher and had a similar price with a better rider experience for both passengers. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option for twins still in car seats, then you are better off going with the Joovy Twin Roo+, a frame stroller that holds almost any infant car seat and is only $130.
This stroller has a list price of $220 making it one of the cheaper options in this review. And while it is a nicer choice than the similar Baby Trend Sit 'N Stand, it still isn't a great value despite the lower cost. Given how poorly this stroller performed in our tests we feel that it isn't an option parents will enjoy using no matter what the price. This means that sometimes less expensive doesn't translate to a better value. The Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite has a list price of $250, just $30 more than the Ready2Grow, and it scored 11 points higher overall. We think this makes the Caboose a better value. Our Best Value winner, the Joovy ScooterX2 with Tray is just about $60 more than the Graco and scored 17 points more overall, making it also a good value.
The Graco Ready2Grow looks and feels like an inexpensive stroller. It offers a better storage bin than the Baby Trend version of this type of stroller, but it struggles in almost every other way with a vastly different rider experience and a hard to push frame with dual plastic front wheels that veer off course when they encounter the slightest bump. This stroller has an easy fold and unfold, it self-stands and auto-locks, but this is about the only good thing there to say about this stroller. With front only shocks, limited padding on the seats, a heavy and large size it is a stroller that most parents will struggle with and few passengers will like. The infant car seats that work with this stroller didn't score well in our infant car seat review, giving us another reason to hesitate before recommending this stroller. Given all of this, we do not recommend this stroller.
Other Versions and Accessories
Graco makes a plethora of products, and we also reviewed the Graco FastAction Fold Duo. The Duo scored higher in this review than the Ready2Grow, but only by 7 points, and it costs $80 more. The Duo is a side-by-side double stroller that has a quick one step fold and is smaller and lighter than the Ready2Grow. Overall, however, we weren't impressed with either Graco option we reviewed, and while we didn't look at any other Graco option, we worry that their remaining lineup would be similarly disappointing. We reviewed the Graco DuoGlider Classic Connect, and the Graco RoomFor2 Classic Connect in our previous double stroller review and they failed to perform at the same level as much of the competition, so we decided not to include them in this year's review.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team