On the hunt for an excellent umbrella stroller for two? Overwhelmed by the options? We understand. We considered over 25 potential competitors and chose 10 of the most popular double lightweight options for testing. We evaluated each stroller side-by-side to determine which products are fabulous and which are disappointing. We tested each choice for ease of use, quality, maneuverability, and weight and folded size. Real-world use combined with in-lab tests helped us compile all the important information you'll need to find the very best stroller for your needs and wallet. Read on to see how the competition fared and which strollers sport the features and functionality you want.
The Best Double Umbrella Strollers of 2018
The review has been updated to include changes to previously reviewed strollers and the addition of the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 and the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo
to the lineup. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is a replacement for the now discontinued ZOE XL2 DELUXE.
Best Overall Double Umbrella Stroller
ZOE XL2 BEST v2
The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is a simple yet functional side-by-side lightweight stroller. This stroller is the second lightest and fourth smallest folded option in the group making it a good choice if your space is limited or you have difficulty lifting heavier gear. It sports a large storage bin with high maximum weight allowance and additional pockets and cup holders for added convenience. The BEST has adjustable leg rests and padded seats for child comfort as well as some of the largest and most versatile canopies in the group.
The BEST isn't the easiest to push off-road and its width can make it hard to maneuver in small spaces or narrow doorways. We also worry that the mesh storage bin may not be as durable as canvas competitors despite the larger maximum weight limit. However, we think the BEST is a great umbrella option for two and makes up for any potential frustrations by sporting a reasonable price and more bells and whistles than most of the competition.
Read review: ZOE XL2 BEST v2
High-end Stylish Double
Mountain Buggy Nano Duo
The Mountain Buggy Nano Duo is a sleek and stylish side-by-side umbrella stroller. This stroller has the lightest folded size in the group and a fold in half function that helps it fit in spaces where other double options won't fit. This stroller is relatively light, has a nice size storage bin, and adjustable leg rests for passenger comfort.
On the downside, the Nano doesn't have peek-a-boo windows and the canopies are only medium in size. The storage basket has a bar across the back which limits access, and the price is higher than the majority of the competition. However, this stroller is a nice quality option that could be the only choice for parents with smaller cars. While the Nano Duo misses the mark to work well as a primary stroller, it has enough of what you need for a nice compact travel stroller.
Read review: Mountain Buggy Nano Duo
Best on a Budget
Delta Children LX Side by Side
The Delta Children LX Side by Side earned an impressive score for weight and folded size and has one of the lowest price tags in the review. The Delta weighs just 18.5 lbs and measures at 8,211 cubic inches making it a good choice for travel and stowing in small places. This little option is a bare bones stroller good for those on a budget who require a travel stroller for occasional use or where space might be limited. This stroller is easy to fold, carry and stow, making it ideal for quick trips and public transport.
This stroller lacks under seat storage, so you'll need to carry a supply bag because the pockets are not large enough to hold what you'll need for a full day. The Delta offers few features which could make it harder to use on longer adventures. While it won't work well as a primary stroller, it can transport children from place to place for a budget-friendly price in a total package you can easily carry, which makes it ideal for occasional use or airport transportation.
Read review: Delta Children LX Side by Side
Analysis and Test Results
Finding the right umbrella stroller for two can come down to priority setting and concession making. Several of the products look alike and have similar features, but how well they perform can be vastly different when you get your hands on them. You can see a summary of each products overall performance in this review above.
To avoid frustration, you'll need to determine your strolling expectations, what features you want, and what your budget is. Once you know these answers, you can sort through which products best match your plans and needs. The difficult part is some options may offer the same features, but they are not created equal, and using them can be vastly different. The selection of double options isn't as varied as single strollers, but it still requires thoughtful consideration as the prices vary widely. We believe there is a lightweight stroller that can work for most families, and our hands-on testing and review is here to help you find yours.
Finding a high performing double lightweight stroller that is a great value is surprisingly easy compared to other gear categories. In this review, two of the top performing products are reasonably priced. This includes the Best Value winner, the Delta Children LX Side by Side, with a third-place rank and the lowest price in the group. Even better, if your budget is somewhat larger, you can choose the ZOE XL2 BEST v2, which has a lower price than the other top contenders but performed significantly better than more expensive competitors.
Why Get a Double Umbrella Stroller?
After testing the strollers, we aren't entirely convinced that you need a lightweight double stroller. Whether the stroller of choice is basic or has additional features, a lightweight stroller can make travel simpler, but not if it is frustrating to use. We found this type of gear so difficult to maneuver, in comparison to their single counterparts and standard double strollers, that we think that many parents should skip this type of gear in favor of a lighter or smaller standard double option. However, if you are traveling and must have a smaller or lighter stroller for sightseeing or visits to grandma's, then finding an umbrella stroller will provide freedom and can make day trips or tourist activities more fun. These strollers can help you round up little ones and get them where you need to go without the heft and size of a larger stroller. They are more compact than standard or jogging strollers, which can be useful on city sidewalks or crowded spaces.
Criteria for Evaluation
During testing we emphasized weight and folded size as having the most impact on the final score; finding the lightest, easiest to carry stroller is the main goal of purchasing this type of gear. The overall scores come from a combination of in-house tests and everyday use. We rate the competition in a side-by-side comparison.
Weight and Folded Size
How much a stroller weighs and how small it is when folded is the heart of what makes one product stand out from the rest. Parents need a stroller that is compact to fit in small spaces and easy to carry or take on public transportation. Some of the doubles we tested are fairly heavy, which makes them harder to carry and not a good trade-off for the lack of features compared to the full-size doubles. Some were lighter but were longer than average when folded thanks to the accordion fold common in umbrella products. This longer length makes them hard to fit in smaller trunks. This metric could be a make or break metric for parents with minimum space or limited strength.
The highest scoring products in the review are the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 (above left) and the Delta Children LX Side by Side (above right). The Delta has the lightest weight in the group at 18.5 lbs, while the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo has the smallest fold at 7,484 cubic inches. The ZOE has a nice combination of being relatively small and lightweight measuring 9,145 cubic inches and 19.7 lbs. Many of the strollers fail to be light or small over 23 lbs and 11,000 cubic inches.
Ease of Use
Ease of use considers the stroller features that you use regularly that make a stroller easier to use or add additional versatility for convenience or comfort. The higher ranking products normally have more features so parents may be able to use it for longer adventures.
Larger canopies or easy to access storage bin translates to a stroller that can carry more supplies and keep passengers more comfortable.
Fold and Unfold
Lightweight options should be easy to fold and compact for traveling. Folding small is important, but folding easily and quickly is also crucial. Strollers with straightforward folds and few steps earned better scores. Automatic locks and standing when folded also earned more points. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 and the UPPAbaby G-Link are the easiest options to fold. Both self-stand and have automatic locks. The most difficult to fold is the Peg Perego Pliko Mini Twin which requires two hands and multiple steps and has three levers to unlock before it can be folded. It isn't difficult, but it is convoluted and time-consuming when it doesn't need to be.
Several of the double umbrella products have double or triple action brakes that require multiple pedals to be depressed for the brake to be properly set. We worry parents could grow complacent and either forget to set all the pedals or will choose not to. These decisions could result in unnecessary injuries. For this reason, we prefer single action brakes, which require only one pedal push. Good brakes are easy to set and release, without stiffness, without disengaging on their own, and are sandal foot friendly. The best brakes were found on the ZOE XL2 BEST v2. This stroller has a wide bar that can be pressed at any point or on the pedal near the wheel to set. The Kinderwagon HOP has the worst brakes. The brakes disengaged on their own; once set, the brakes would pop out of place if the stroller was bumped into or if the rear wheels were lifted slightly and dropped back down. In both instances, the brakes released without warning, and the stroller would roll. This problem only got worse over time, which made the Kinderwagon HOP an option we don't recommend for safety reasons.
Storage is important, storage for two is more important. If a stroller lacks adequate storage, you will be packing a bag that someone has to carry. Most of the strollers offer some storage, but how much, where, and if it was accessible varied. Most options have a storage bin under the seat, but many of these were cut in two by a crossbar that prevents putting a larger diaper bag inside. Some have no bin at all and rely on small pockets or nothing at all. Of those that provide a bin, not all are easy to access, and some are very difficult to use. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 has a good basket that is easy to access, even with the seat backs reclined. It is one bin, with no crossbar but the design will limit you to only a large diaper bag. The Kolcraft Cloud Double and the Delta Children LX Side by Side do not have storage bins and the Delta relies on pockets, while the Kolcraft has none.
All of the double strollers offer a sunshade, though the coverage of the shade varies widely from barely there to cocoon coverage. The more basic strollers had smaller shades, with the Delta Children LX Side by Side having the smallest with a simple, direct, overhead canopy with no window. The strollers with more features have larger sun shades. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 has the biggest canopies. The shades curve around with multiple panels including a pop out visor and a zippered panel. The canopies have a useful mesh peek-a-boo window with a cover that has a silent magnetic closure.
All of the double strollers in this review have 5-point harnesses. Five points are safer than three with two extra straps on the shoulders that help keep little ones from falling out. We tested how difficult the straps were to adjust for length as well as height, and how difficult the buckles are to use. Products earn more points for adjustable crotch straps, easy rethread, and buckles that only require one hand operation.
Having a seat comfortable enough for napping earns products better scores. A reclining seatback and adjustable leg rest go a long way in making passengers comfortable. Some of the double options offer reclining backs, while the in-line options have seats with different recline angles and levels of comfort.
Depending on the strolling you plan to do, a product with few features for comfort may work, but if adventure may last longer, the trip will be more comfortable in a stroller that offers more comfortable napping. The UPPAbaby G-Link has adjustable leg rests creatingn additional comfort options.
The UPPAbaby G-Link and the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 have the most comfortable seats in the group, though the G-Link has the deepest recline something most of the competition didn't offer. The Kolcraft Cloud Double and the Delta Children LX Side by Side have the lowest scores with almost upright seating, little recline, and a limited leg rest.
Car Seat Compatibility
Only the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite with Second Seat and the Kinderwagon HOP accept infant car seats. The Joovy comes with a universal car seat adapter that works with a large variety of popular infant car seat manufacturers, including the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 and the Chicco Keyfit 30. The Kinderwagon HOP works with Graco Classic Connect models and the Combi Shuttle only. Both strollers only accept one infant car seat, making it a poor choice for infant twins. As already stated above, we do not recommend the HOP thanks to brake problems.
Ease of Setup
Most of the double strollers were relatively easy to put together and had manuals that got the job done even if they are frustrating to use. The ZOE XL2BEST v2 manual is simple and easy to follow. The components requiring assembly usually consist of attaching wheels, canopies, and storage features to the frame. None of the products require complete construction, and only the Joovy Caboose needs a tool. The Caboose took the longest to assemble, with a time of almost 11 minutes. The Delta Children LX Side by Side took under 3 minutes and was super easy to put together.
None of the lightweight double products performed that well in our tests for maneuverability.
Pushing and turning can make or break your experience with a stroller. Depending on the terrain you plan to cover, which stroller you choose will make a big difference in getting where you want to go frustration-free. The UPPAbaby G-Link earned the highest score in the group, but it only earned a 5 of 10. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 and the Delta Children LX Side by Side both came in second place with 4s. These strollers struggle to turn quickly, have difficulty through doorways, or have dual front wheels that get caught on small bumps.
We knew these strollers might struggle on the grass and gravel, but we were surprised that several of them were difficult to use on flat surfaces as well. The strollers all have relatively small plastic wheels several with fake tread, and the dual wheel design (2 wheels on each leg that equal 4 to 6 wheels in front). The hardest doubles to push are the Kolcraft Cloud Double and the Peg Perego Pliko Mini Twin. These strollers were hard to push on the smooth flat hardwood and are more difficult to turn with weight in the seat.
Quality includes how well a product is built and the materials used to form the entire package. Many of these products have flimsy frames and loose wheels, lots of exposed fasteners and connection points, with construction that feels cheap and uninspired. Other items we test are frame flex, wheel wobble, rough edges, loose connections, and rough or unfriendly fabric.
It is difficult for us to say that there is one best stroller for everyone and their specific needs. Especially in a category where the majority of the contenders had us feeling disappointed. Because the needs of parents and passengers vary, there might well be an option here that would work for your family, even if it didn't impress us. Our testing process reveals some real-world problems and considerations that we think can make this decision easier so you know what you are getting before you open your wallet.
Whether you are looking for an inexpensive bare-bones double seater or a higher end buggy with features for convenience or comfort, you can find a stroller to fulfill your needs. Our goal is to provide enough information for you to make the best decision even if that decision is a lightweight option isn't for you. Among the award winners, there is a good option for full day adventures or quick trips. Still confused? Read our article on how to pick a double umbrella stroller to help narrow down your options.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz
Still not sure? Take a look at our buying advice article for tips.