In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Graco Duo Glider Review

Inexpensive, but fails to compete
Using two car seats with the Duo glide means double the coverage with sun shades from the car seas and the stroller
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Price:   $150 List
Pros:  Can be used with car seats
Cons:  Maneuvering, straps required for car seats
Manufacturer:   Graco
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team  ⋅  Nov 2, 2014
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47
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat - 25% 3
  • Maneuverability - 20% 5
  • Weight/Folded Size - 20% 5
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5
  • Safety - 15% 6
  • Ease of Set Up - 5% 6

The Skinny

The Graco Duo Glider has been discontinued.

The Graco Duo Glider looks pretty good on paper and appears to be an economical purchase. With the ability to connect two infant car seats, and for little ones to ride in it up to 40 pounds, it feels like a long term primary stroller for parents of twins. Unfortunately, it is a relatively cheap stroller that might check all the boxes of desired attributes, but it does very few of them well. The under seat storage is relatively inaccessible, the two seat backs do not recline to the same degree, and the passenger experience is different for both riders after they are no longer in infant seats. Coming in 4th place out of 6 frame style strollers makes this a product we do not recommend.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Graco Duo Glider can accommodate two infant car seat carriers and features two seats in a stadium-style design. With infant seats in place the canopy combination offers almost full coverage of little riders. Both of the seats for older children recline, have their own adjustable canopy, and come with a foot rest. This stroller offers an under seat storage bin, two cup holders, a parent accessory tray, and front passenger tray. The front passenger tray is not useable when an infant carrier is in place. It has a one-hand fold that self-stands, and it works with any Graco Classic Connect infant car seat. The Duo Glider can be used with children from infant up to 40 pounds.

We reviewed the Duo in our double stroller review as well, for more detailed information on the performance of this product, without infant car seat carriers, please read the Graco Duo Glide Classic Connect review.

Performance Comparison


The Duo with 2 car seats in place
The Duo with 2 car seats in place

Ease of Use


The Duo earned a 5 for ease of use, which isn't a great score, but it did manage to rank higher than one other product in our review. The Orbit Baby Helix G3 Infant Travel Collection Plus Double Stroller Upgrade Kit earned a 3 of 10 for this metric.

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
This product has a nice sized bin under the seats, but it is largely unusable. With the seat backs reclined to insert the infant carriers, there is no access to the bin. In addition, the primary opening is not large enough to fit the diaper bag for two easily in it, and when we did manage to stuff it inside, it was hard to get out or put anything else in. The rear seat footrest hangs down into the bin which prevents larger items from being stored there and creates an obstacle for items to get hung up on.

Sun Shade
The Duo Glider with two car seats attached; makes for a fairly snug ride
The Duo with 2 car seats in place
The photo above show the canopies on the Graco Duo Glider.

This product has small sun shades, but when combined with the canopy attached to the infant seats themselves it almost covers the entire carrier. The front canopy is smaller than the back, and has a full tilt option for adjustment. The rear canopy is larger with a vinyl peek-a-boo-window. Unfortunately, the window only gives a view of the back of baby's head which isn't that useful. Overall, you will be relying more on the car seat canopies for protection than you will the stroller shades.

Convenience
This product has a parent tray and cup holder. The cup holder is too shallow to hold most water bottles; most in our tests fell out over rougher terrain. The tray compartment is slightly more useful with nice lid and room for keys and some phones.
The front seat on this product has a child's tray and cup holder. This cup holder will not hold most cups and is probably more useful as a snack compartment. The rear passenger only has a belly bar which does not hold anything. Once again, the disparity between seats could be a problem as twins get older and want similar options.
The rear seat needs to be fully reclined to accept the car seat
The rear seat needs to be fully reclined to accept the car seat

Both seats on this product have 1 position recline option with the front seat reclining less than the back. Once reclined the rear passenger can potentially kick the front passenger in the head if their legs are long enough. Only one seat reclines enough to offer true comfort or potential napping. Seats must be reclined to click in infant carriers.

The seats on this stroller do not have adjustable leg rests. Considering some of the frame strollers didn't have seats at all, this might not be a deal breaker and makes the Duo a little more versatile, but the seats it does come with aren't great and should not be a reason to purchase this option over the others.

Maneuverability


Plastic covers look like suspension  but aren't really
Plastic covers look like suspension, but aren't really
The Duo earned a 5 of 10 in this metric which tied with the Britax B-Ready Double Frame and is the lowest score in the group. The Bugaboo Donkey Twin had the best score in our tests for maneuverability with an 8 of 10.

The Duo Glide is hard to push in general. It isn't easy on hard surfaces, gets harder on grass, and becomes impossible in gravel, and the longer length makes it impossible to go upstairs and curbs. It did manage to make it through the course, but it did not do as well as the others.

The frame is relatively light, but the permanent seats make the whole product heavier than the other more traditional frame strollers in this category. The frame flexes significantly when pushed, and gets worse when the product is weighed down. This results in more wobble than the other products when trying to maneuver it over various terrains.

Bumpy plastic wheels are some of the flimsiest in the review
Bumpy plastic wheels are some of the flimsiest in the review
The Duo has some of the cheapest most flimsy wheels in the group. They are foam filled plastic tires on plastic wheels. The wheels feel poorly constructed and appear cheaper side-by-side with the competition. The stroller has 2 wheel front suspension which evens out some of the wobble for passengers, but doesn't make it a nice ride overall.

Safety


Safety is important to us here at BabyGearLab. We review each product in our tests for obvious potential safety concerns. For this category of products we considered brakes, cup holders, and potential for tipping. Unlike other categories of strollers, we did not review harnesses on these products as most did not have attached harnesses, but rely on the harness in the infant carrier instead. The Duo scored a 6 of 10 in this metric which is on par with most of the products in our review. Only two strollers scored higher tying with a 7 of 10, the Bugaboo and B-Ready.

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

The Duo has a double action brakes and requires pushing of 2 pedals to engage the brakes. The brakes stick a little when releasing, and the pedals are not very friendly to bare feet or sandals. The brakes have about 1 inch of play in them. This is average for this kind of product with two others having equal play.

The brakes require about 8 pounds of pressure pushing forward or pulling back to get the stroller to move with the brakes set. This is not an impressive amount and all of the products required more. The B-Ready did the best in this test needing over 45 pounds of pressure for forward movement, and 25 pounds for sliding back.

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 this product is very shallow and as a result most bottles fall out when strolling. The depth is only 2 ½ inches; only the Baby Trend Snap and Go Double is as shallow. This holder is located fairly high and over the head of the rear passenger. During testing most bottles fell out and into the seat which means potentially onto passengers.

Tipping

Given the longer length of the Duo, it required more pounds of pressure on the handle bar before it tipped than all of the others; 56 pounds total. For side angle tipping it fell when the stroller was at 20 degrees, which is the highest angle. This is not a surprise given the narrow design, and top heavy nature of this product.

Car Seat Attachment


Only the Graco SnugRide Classic Connect car seats can be used with this stroller. The infant carriers can be a little tricky to set into the stroller because the stroller canopies get in the way making it necessary to use two hands. The seats must be clicked in place and then strapped to be secured properly. This is an extra step compared to most of the competition that just click and go. The straps from the harnesses for the main seats are used to keep the carriers in place. Once in, the seats are relatively stable. It is possible to install the seats incorrectly if you skip or forget the strap part of the process.

Weight and Folded Size


Folded Duo Glider
Folded Duo Glider

Weight and Folded Size
This stroller self stands when folded
This stroller self stands when folded
This stroller weighs 27.5 pounds, and measures 25.5 x 20.5 x 47.5 when folded, for a package that is about 24,800 cubic inches. This makes this product one of the heavier in this category. Only 2 strollers came in heavier in our review, the Orbit and B-Ready. Juggling two infants can be a handful, having a heavy stroller to fold and lug around might be more than some parents want to hassle with. Especially when the Joovy Twin Roo is lighter, cheaper, and ranked higher in our review. This product does self-stand, which is a bonus when hands are full, and is not something all the products could boast.

Ease of Folding

This product has a one hand fold and unfold. It is 3 or fewer steps to operate both ways, and it auto-locks and self-stands. The company website video shows the stroller being folded without bending over, but we had trouble following this method, and think it will take practice to do it the way they show. Certainly if your plan is to fold and unfold while holding a child we recommend practicing at home first. We did rate this product as very easy to fold and unfold.

Commuting

This is not the best frame stroller for commuting. Because it already has permanent seats and then you add infant carriers, it is heavier than most of the competition that does not have other seats attached. The fold is also bulkier with the two seats attached, and while all the frame strollers required the carriers to be removed before folding, this one just resulted in a larger package to carry and stow (thought the Orbit and B-Ready are bigger). In addition, it would have been nice to see this product with some kind of carry handle or strap. This stroller does meet the bus 2'X4' rule, so you do not have to fold it on public transport, but it will be difficult to get on the bus and train open given the longer length.

For cafes and stores this product is going to struggle more than some of the others because of its size. The smaller frame strollers are just easier to maneuver in small spaces. At least the seating locations on this stroller are relatively high which allows children to have a nicer view than much of the double stroller competition.

Ease of Setup


The Duo is about average for difficulty of setup. It scored a 6 of 10 in this metric, with 2 products scoring lower and 3 higher. The documentation for this stroller is good, with color coded language options and important portions of pictures highlighted in red. It took over 11 minutes to get this product from the box to ready to stroll. The assembly is easy, but it did require the use of tools, where most of the competition did not.

Best Applications


This stroller did not do well as a frame stroller for locking two car seats in place. It also did not earn high scores for a standard double stroller. This makes it a product that may just not have a best application. The price is attractive (for a double stroller) and the perceived versatility can be misleading if you think it will be a good product for long term use. However, given the inability to use many of the features (storage and cup holder), and the lower scores in just about every metric, it is hard to see this product being used as a frame or double stroller option. It is more expensive than the higher ranking dedicated frame strollers, and while you will need to purchase a second double stroller when children out grow their infant carriers with the other frame models, we think the extra expense is worth it to get products that work well for every stage.

Value


This product costs just around $150, which makes it one of the cheapest double strollers, but not the cheapest frame stroller. The perceived versatility may draw in parents who want to save money by getting a product that works as a frame stroller and primary ride, but this stroller is not likely to work well for either application and therefore will not be a good value over time. Purchasing the Joovy Twin Roo and the Joovy Scooter X2, both award winners in their categories, might be a better overall option

The Joovy offers a unique face to face seat attachment
The Duo Glider with two car seats attached; makes for a fairly snug ride
The photos above show the Joovy Scooter 2X Double (left), Joovy Twin Roo (middle), and the Graco Duo Glider Classic Connect (right).

Conclusion


The Duo has many features that make it look good in theory, but it fails in practice. The lock in place infant carrier design only works with Graco Snugride products, and it requires a click and strap process which adds steps and hassle. When seats are locked in place the storage bin cannot be accessed, and the fold and weight is heavier than the top scoring products in this category thanks to the permanent seats. The disparity in function and features between the front and rear seats is also a problem, and the poor maneuverability is sure to frustrate most users. In general, the Duo disappoints in most ways and its bottom rank in this category makes it a product we do not recommend.

Other Versions and Accessories


Graco offers a few different strollers for 2 children, with a couple of others working with 2 car seats at once. We reviewed the Graco Room For 2 Classic Connect in our double stroller review, but it does not accept 2 carriers. We have not reviewed any of their other products in either of these categories. Graco Ready to Grow models, and the Graco Fast Action Fold Duo Click Connect are the primary remaining options available by Graco, and both will accept two infant carriers.

Graco Fastaction Fold Duo Click Connect Stroller
Graco Fastaction Fold Duo Click Connect Stroller
The Graco Fast Action Fold Duo Click Connect is a neat option that accepts 2 car seats, has a one second fold, and works from infancy up to 50 pounds per seat. It has nice storage and cup holders for parents and passengers. This product is a versatile option that is easy to use and fits in narrow doorways. This product is listed for $300.

We could not find accessories for the Duo Glider Classic Connect.

Video




Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team