Best Double Umbrella Stroller
Best Overall Double Umbrella Stroller
ZOE XL2 BEST v2
The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is a functional, side-by-side lightweight stroller, outshining others with additional features. Among the competition, it is one of the lightest and is fairly small when folded, making it a good choice if storage space is limited or you have trouble lifting heavier gear. It sports a large storage bin with a high maximum weight allowance, plus it has additional pockets and cup holders for added convenience. The BEST has adjustable leg rests and padded seats for child comfort, along with 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 lightweight stroller for two and makes up for any potential frustrations by sporting a reasonable price and more bells and whistles than the majority 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 is one of the smallest when folded, which helps it fit in spaces where other double options can't go, and this is where the Nano truly outshines most of the competition. Also, this stroller is relatively light, has a nice size storage bin, and adjustable leg rests for passenger comfort.
Some drawbacks of the Nano include the lack of peek-a-boo windows, its canopies are only medium in size, and the storage basket has a bar across the back, which limits access. Also, the price is on the higher end when compared to the competition. However, this stroller is an excellent quality choice that could be the only option 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 travel-friendly 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 eye-catching score for its weight and folded size, and it has one of the lowest price tags in the review. This little option is basic and bare-bones, with no fancy frills, making it a good option for those on a budget who require a travel stroller for occasional use or where space might be limited.
Since the Delta offers hardly any features, it may be challenging to use this stroller on longer adventures. There is no under-seat storage, just storage pockets, and they are not generous in size. So, it is very likely you will need to carry a supply bag, especially with two kids. As for its canopies, they are tiny and offer minimal coverage; in fact, they are one of the smallest in the review. While the Delta 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 public transportation.
Read review: Delta Children LX Side by Side
UPPAbaby G-Link 2
The UPPAbaby G-Link 2 is an excellent double umbrella stroller that impresses with its attention to detail and well-manufactured parts. This stroller goes together nicely and is sturdy in a way not often seen in umbrella style products. We appreciate its large canopies, easy-access storage bin, and its carry handle that all function as they should without any hiccups.
The G-Link 2 is smaller and lighter than the old version, but at 21 lbs, it is still on the heavier side. Its overall size makes it a poor choice for parents with lifting limits or who may need to carry it for a long time. It is also one of the most expensive in this review, so parents on a tight budget or those who may only use a lightweight stroller occasionally might want to look elsewhere. However, the quality of this product may justify the higher price if your budget can stretch. Parents who may favor a lightweight stroller for two over a full-size option will find the G-Link 2 can get the job done without sacrificing features or functionality.
Read review: UPPAbaby G-Link 2
Why You Should Trust Us
The BabyGearLab team has tested all categories of strollers since the beginning, and our years of experience and dedication provide unique expertise and understanding regarding a top-performing stroller with more than 150 hands-on stroller tests under our belts. Leading our team is Dr. Juliet Spurrier, a Board Certified Pediatrician and mother of two. Dr. Spurrier uses her education, background, and experience as a mom to develop BabyGearLab safety standards. Next up is our Senior Research Analyst Bob Wofford, who is a father of seven and a dynamic tester in our stroller reviews. Bob has been conducting testing since 2013. Our team also includes Senior Review Editor, Wendy Schmitz, who is a mother of two and a stroller evaluator since 2014, as well as Senior Review Editor Abriah Wofford who joined BabyGearLab's stroller team in 2015.
Our team searches the market for top products before selecting impressive competitors. BabyGearLab purchases each stroller and puts them through rigorous testing in-house and in the real world. With high-standards and testing protocols, we challenge each stroller to learn its abilities and limitations. We also complete side-by-side comparisons and examine extra features, or, in some cases, lack of features to help you find the right stroller for your needs.
Analysis and Test Results
Finding the right double umbrella stroller comes down to your goals and possible concessions. Several of the options look alike and have similar features, but how they perform is vastly different.
To avoid chronic frustration, you'll need to consider your strolling expectations, the features you need, and your budget. Once you determine these answers, you can look for the products that best match your needs. Our selection of double strollers isn't as wide as single strollers, but it still requires thoughtful consideration. 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 the right one for you.
As most of the double umbrella options in this review were disappointing, especially in our tests for maneuverability, we suggest that you first determine if a full-size double stroller might fit your needs as opposed to focusing only on lightweight choices. We feel you get more for your money in a standard stroller for two and you'll have an better experience overall.
Finding a high-performing, double lightweight stroller that is a great value is somewhat straightforward compared to some gear types. In this review, a few of the top-performing products sport reasonable prices, including the Delta Children LX Side by Side, with an above-average rank and one of the lowest prices 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 other top contenders but performed significantly better. Plus, it comes with bells and whistles you won't find on most of the competition.
Why Get a Double Umbrella Stroller?
After testing this lineup, we aren't convinced that everyone needs a lightweight double stroller. Whether the stroller is basic or has additional features, a lightweight stroller can make travel simpler, but not if using it is frustrating. We found this type of gear so challenging to maneuver, in comparison to the full-size double strollers, that we think that many parents should skip a double umbrella stroller in favor of a lighter or smaller full-size double option. However, if you are traveling and must have a smaller or lighter stroller, then finding a double umbrella stroller can provide freedom and can make day trips or tourist activities more enjoyable. This kind of stroller can help you round up little ones and get them where you need to go without the weight and size of a larger stroller. Also, they are smaller than standard or jogging strollers, which can prove useful on city sidewalks and in 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 relatively 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 are lighter but were longer than average when folded thanks to the accordion fold, which is 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.
Ease of Use
Ease of use considers the regularly used stroller features that make a stroller easier to use or add additional versatility for convenience or comfort.
The higher-ranking products typically have more features, so parents may be able to use them for longer adventures. Larger canopies or easy to access storage bins translates to a stroller that can carry more supplies and keep passengers comfortable for longer.
Fold and Unfold
Lightweight options should be easy to fold and compact for traveling. Folding small is essential, but folding easily and quickly is also important. 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 2 are the easiest options to fold; both self-stand and have automatic locks.
Several of the double umbrella products have double or even triple action brakes that require multiple pedal engagement before the brake is appropriately set. We worry parents could grow complacent and either forget to set all of the pedals or will choose not to. These decisions could result in unnecessary injuries. For this reason, we prefer single action brakes that require only one pedal push. Good brakes are easy to set and release, without stiffness, do not disengage on their own, and don't hurt sandal-wearing feet to release. The best brakes are on the ZOE XL2 BEST v2. This stroller has a wide bar that can be pressed anywhere or on the pedal near the wheel to set.
Storage is essential; storage for two is even more critical. If a stroller lacks adequate room, you'll be packing a bag someone has to carry. Most of the strollers offer storage, but how much, where, and if it is accessible or even useful varies. Most options have a storage bin under the seats, but many of these were cut in two by a crossbar that prevents putting a larger diaper bag inside. Some have no bin 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 when you recline the seat backs. 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. The UPPAbaby G-Link 2 hits somewhere in the middle with a useful sized basket but the folding mechanism makes getting thing sin and out sort of challenging and you'll be better off with two smaller bags than one large one.
The photos above show some additional storage features, from left to right they are the back pockets on Delta Children LX Side by Side, the child snack holders on the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 and child tray on the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite with Rear Seat.
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 sporting one of the smallest with a simple, direct, overhead canopy and no peek-a-boo windows. The strollers with more features generally have larger sun shades. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 has one of the biggest canopies with shades that curve around with multiple panels, including a pop-out visor and a zippered panel. The ZOE canopies have a useful mesh peek-a-boo window with a cover that has a silent magnetic closure. The UPPAbaby G-Link 2 canopies are also large, yet lack the cocoon effect of the ZOE.
These photos show the various sizes of canopies found on the double products; from left to right the shades are the small Delta Children LX Side by Side, the medium size shades on the Maclaren Twin Triumph, and the giant canopies on the ZOE XL2 BEST v2.
All of the double strollers in this review have 5-point harnesses, except one, the Kolcraft Cloud Double, which has a 3-point harness. Five points are much safer than three with two extra straps on the shoulders that help keep little ones from falling or climbing out. We assessed how difficult the straps are to adjust for length and height, and the level of difficulty to use the buckles. Products earn more points for adjustable crotch straps, easy rethread, and buckles that only require one hand to operate.
We think parents are more likely to routinely use harnesses without skipping it on shorter strolls if the harness is easy to use. The UPPAbaby G-Link 2 (above left) is the easiest harness and buckle combination to use, while the Maclaren Twin Triumph (above right) has the most challenging buckle that requires two hands to operate. The ZOE XL 2 BEST v2 is also easy to adjust and buckle.
Having a seat comfortable enough for napping earns products better scores. A reclining seat back 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 your adventure may last longer, the trip will be more successful in a stroller that offers features for comfortable napping. The new UPPAbaby G-Link 2 has padded leg rests but sadly they are no longer adjustable like the old version.
The UPPAbaby G-Link 2 and the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 have the most comfortable seats in the group, with the G-Link 2 offering the deepest recline, something most of the competition doesn't provide. The Kolcraft Cloud Double and the Delta Children LX Side by Side are the most uncomfortable with almost upright seating, little recline, and limited (to no) leg rest.
Why?Lightweight strollers provide the bare minimum for support and protection from bouncing and jostling over uneven terrain. They sacrifice some features like suspension and larger wheels for the sake of achieving a lower overall weight and a smaller footprint. Because babies younger than six months lack muscle control, they can't support their head and neck and could potentially suffer injuries related to the lack of adequate support from the stroller. The only exceptions are products that accept the attachment of an infant car seat, like the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite with Second Seat, where the car seat provides the support lacking in the lightweight stroller.
Car Seat Compatibility
Only the Joovy Caboose Ultralight Graphite with Second Seat accepts infant car seats. The Joovy comes with a universal car seat adapter that works with a variety of infant car seat manufacturers, including the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 and the Chicco Keyfit 30. The Caboose only accepts one infant car seat, making it a poor choice for infant twins. In general, a lightweight product is not the best gear choice if you want to combine your infant car seat with a stroller, and we suggest you consider a frame stroller or full-size option instead, like the Joovy Twin Roo+.
Ease of Setup
Most of the double strollers are relatively easy to put together and have manuals that get the job done even if they are frustrating to use. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 and UPPAbaby G-Link 2 manuals are 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 assemble.
None of the lightweight double strollers performed well in our tests for maneuverability, with only one stroller being a real pleasure to use compared to the competition. A few options are almost as good, but the remainder were largely disappointing.
Being able to push and turn your stroller can make or break how you feel about a stroller. Depending on the ground type you hope to traverse, the stroller you choose can make a big difference in getting there frustration-free. The UPPAbaby G-Link 2 is one of the easiest to push and turn in the group, yet, only average compared to full-size strollers. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 and the Delta Children LX Side by Side come in closely behind, but they struggle to turn quickly, have trouble going through doorways, or have dual front wheels that catch on small bumps.
We assumed most of the strollers would struggle pushing over the grass and gravel, but we were surprised that several options were a struggle to use on flat surfaces. These disappointing strollers all include small plastic wheels, several with a fake tread pattern, and a dual-wheel design (2 wheels on each leg that equal 4 to 6 wheels in front). Plastic tires combined with a double wheel design, in our tests, traditionally equals harder to maneuver strollers. The hardest option in this review to push is the Kolcraft Cloud Double. It is challenging over smooth hardwood and the problems increase when turning with weight in the seat.
Overall product quality encompasses product construction, chosen materials, and attention to details.
Many of the double umbrella strollers in this review include flimsy feeling frames and wobbly wheels, exposed rough fasteners, and construction that feels cheap and uninspired. Other elements in our tests are flexing frames, rough edges, loose connections, and fabric that isn't skin-friendly.
For quality, it appears that you get what you pay for. Which we are happy to say isn't always the case. Sometimes you can get a great product for baby that is budget-friendly. The higher quality options here are somewhat unsurprisingly the most expensive products. The highest scoring product for quality in our review is the UPPAbaby G-Link 2. This stroller combines impressive materials with sturdy construction that feels durable and long-lasting. It is also one of the most expensive options in our tests. The Mountain Buggy Nano Duo also impresses, and it too has a higher price.
After extensive use, and months of testing double umbrella strollers, we have compiled all the information and insider details you need to choose a lightweight stroller for two. In this section we'll share advice and all the details necessary to help you make your decision.
Why Buy an Umbrella Stroller?
Lightweight umbrella products are designed to be a secondary stroller that is good for travel thanks to a lighter weight and a smaller folded size. This type of stroller should provide parents with a simple, compact product that is easy to fold, lift, carry, and stow to use when bringing your standard stroller is not an option. Most of the lightweight products collapse like an umbrella, which makes them relatively small compared to other kinds of strollers. This makes them an ideal gear choice for commuting, tourist adventures, grandma's house, or navigating airports.
Types of Double Lightweight Strollers
There are two general styles of lightweight double strollers: the basic umbrella with few features, and the lightweight product that offers more for comfort and convenience. The latter type is often (but not always) heavier, as it places more importance on features as opposed to weight and folded size.
A double umbrella stroller should be small, easy to fold, and easy to transport. This stroller type has few features and focuses more on getting children from A to B without the troubles of a heavy, bulky stroller that may not fit where you want it to go. This kind of stroller can reduce the hassle of traveling with little ones, but its lack of features could cause problems if the trip is a long one.
The lightweight products are not as heavy as a standard stroller or jogger, but they tend to be heavier than the pared-down umbrella options. This type of stroller usually includes larger canopies and storage, reclining seatbacks, and occasionally adjustable leg rests. In general, this style of stroller sacrifices some weight for comfort and convenience. However, the lightweight strollers are still easy and quick to fold, are compact when folded, and should be able to fit where a larger stroller can't. These products often, but not always, take up more space than their umbrella counterparts, which can make them harder to transport and store.
Doubles come in a side-by-side seating design, as well as an inline style where the second seat is behind the first. The inline style is better for negotiating doorways and crowded walkways, but they often have a huge disparity between seating features that could cause children to fight over who gets the better seat. Side-by-side strollers can be more difficult in doorways, but they have identical seating and traditionally perform better in our tests.
While you can see how the products rank and compare in our full review, it is also important to consider how well they performed during testing. Just because a stroller has a certain feature, doesn't mean that feature works well or is truly an asset. On the contrary, some features seem to be nothing more than the manufacturer's way of making the product look more impressive in a comparison chart, as opposed to a beneficial component that increases usability. Our testing process and review is designed to reveal how well each product performs compared to the competition so parents can narrow their potential buying choices to the best option for their family.
While performance can vary from product to product, we did find some general consistencies you will want to know before making your final purchase. These are factors to consider whether you choose one of the products we tested or another option we didn't review.
This style of stroller was created to solve a size problem for parents on the go, so size is important. If a lightweight option is too large or heavy, then it fails to meet the basic goal and won't be good for travel. If it is too small, it might be lacking features that render it virtually unusable.
The products have weight ranges from 18.5 lbs to 24.7 lbs. This range is a large disparity for one product group, but the differences are more substantial when you consider that most standard double strollers weigh closer to 30 lbs, which demonstrates how much you save by going lightweight for travel. Similarly to Goldilocks, the key is finding the right size for your needs without sacrificing the features you require. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is the second lightest option in the review, the third smallest, and still has most of the features for comfort and convenience that parents want.
How Many Wheels?
All of the products in this review have the dual wheel design with two wheels on each leg except for the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo. For double products, this means they could have anywhere between 4 and 6 wheels in the front and just as many in the back. This design generally translates to poor performance in our maneuverability tests, and this group was no exception. This design struggles with changes in terrain and veering off course when one wheel gets pulled by small objects in the pathway. As a result, none of the products offer impressive maneuverability, and most were difficult to push and turn, especially when compared to the full-size double options.
In our single umbrella review, the strollers with only 1 wheel per leg performed much better than those with the dual wheel design. Therefore, it is unfortunate that none of the double products offered the single wheel per leg design. As a general rule, the pushing performance of strollers seems to increase, as the number of wheels decreases. When looking at strollers keep in mind that fewer wheels are better.
While each product obviously comes with brakes, they are not all created equal. Some strollers have a single action brake with one pedal or bar to engage, while others have up to 3 pedals to push or can be unfriendly to sandal-wearing feet. Discovering which is which is hard to do without actually using them.
These photos show the difference between the single action brakes of the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 (above left), and the triple action brakes of Kolcraft Cloud Double (above right). The Kolcraft Cloud Double requires pressing all 3 pedals for brake engagement.
Single pedal options are easier to use. We worry that double and triple action brakes will result in errors over time as parents forget or become complacent about engaging all the pedals every time they park. While we like to believe that users will religiously set brakes as the manufacturer intends, we also know that if something is hard to use human nature could potentially kick in and lead to mistakes and misuse. Brakes should be quick and easy to operate.
Most of the double umbrella options do not offer much in the way of versatility. They do only one job, get baby from A to B in a seat with wheels. These strollers offer the bare minimum to get the job done, so they can remain light, small, and easy to carry. Unfortunately, this means that some miss the mark of being practical. It is important that features work the way you assume they will, otherwise having them does nothing for usability. Canopies are a good example of this; while every model in the review has sunshades, some are very small and offer virtually no protection, like those found on the Delta Children LX Side by Side, while the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 canopies are very large.
It isn't helpful to compare features, or the number of features, without considering whether or not they perform as expected. If a stroller has a feature you want, but that feature fails to meet expectations, then your experience with the stroller will likely be frustrating.
Narrowing the Field
There are a few things to consider when narrowing your lightweight options down to the best stroller for you. Keeping your goals in mind will go a long way in getting the stroller you need without going over budget or buying more than you need. While features are important, we feel that how you plan to use this kind of gear is more important and will give you the features you need by default. In the long run, it will save you time, money, and possible frustration if you know your goals before you buy.
Where are you going?
The first thing to consider is where will you be using this stroller and why do you need a lightweight product? Is this for semi-regular commuting in an urban environment, or is it a tourist helper for museum strolling? How you plan to use your stroller, where you plan to go, and the kind of surfaces you cover, should influence your buying decision.
If you need an option strictly for travel, then the smallest, lightest option with fewer features may be all you need. If you plan to use the stroller for trips to the park or a full day at the zoo, then you may need features for carrying supplies or sun protection. If you plan to stroll mainly indoors, then the canopies may not concern you, if you hope to find a place to stow it traveling on a bus, then size will be your limiting factor.
Knowing how your stroller will be used can be the difference between buying a product that fails to meet your needs, and finding the perfect fit. Being honest about how you plan to use your stroller will go a long way in determining which style is going to meet your needs the best.
How long will it take?
The next question to ask is how long your usual trips will be. Will you use the stroller from gate to gate in the airport? Or will the baby be sitting in it for hours as you stroll the city sidewalks taking in the sights? How long baby will be expected to sit in the seat, will influence which comfort features you want. The number of supplies you will need could also influence your choice based on the storage options the product features.
If little ones are sitting for hours, you will want a deeper reclining seat, possible adjustable leg rests, and nice canopies. The UPPAbaby G-Link 2 and the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 both have nice features for comfort, with the ZOE featuring child cup and snack holders. However, the G-Link comes with the highest price tag, so if your babies are only sitting for a quick ride through the airport, then a stroller without recline abilities and small canopies, may suffice and save you hundreds of dollars. The Delta Children LX Side by Side is about 1/5 th the cost of the UPPAbaby, but it has everything you need for a quick trip with few supplies, as it has pockets instead of a storage bin. In short, the longer your trip, the more features for comfort and convenience you are likely to need. Alternatively, shorter trips require less, and finding a budget-friendly, lighter weight product will be the winner.
You know where you are going, you know how long you will be gone, now you need to know how often you plan to go. If your plans include regular use on a weekly basis, you will probably want a quality stroller with more features, and you won't mind paying a little more to get more. If you think you are only using it for one trip to Disneyland, then finding an inexpensive option might be a better fit.
It can be difficult to justify a higher priced item if you only need it for a few occasions. You may be able to "make do" with fewer features if the stroller use is infrequent. However, if you plan to use your lightweight stroller semi-regularly, then it might be worth spending extra to get a higher quality item with more features or better performance. How often you use this kind of gear can help you decide how much stroller you really need, and how much you want to spend to get it.
Buying the less expensive, high-ranking, Delta Children LX Side by Side may be all you need for the family vacation. Given that the stroller scored fairly well in our testing, it is likely to meet your needs without serious frustration. However, if you plan to use your stroller semi-regularly, then it will need more bells and whistles to get the job done without frustration and inconvenience, so you may want to choose a stroller with more features to avoid disappointment.
For some families, the budget will be their first consideration. For others, it may be further down on their list of priorities. Either way, it is hard to ignore budget for some baby gear items. Luckily, this type of gear offers options at a large variety of price points. Once you've answered the questions above, you will likely be looking at only a couple of choices. Narrowing it down from here could be achieved by looking at price, overall performance score, or both.
If you need more features, because the stroller will frequently be used, then you may consider the UPPAbaby G-Link 2 and the ZOE XL2 BEST v2. ZOE, the Editor's Choice winner, has a lower price than the G-Link 2 and scored higher overall with a lighter weight and a smaller folded size. Alternatively, if you need the stroller to last for several years to come, don't mind lifting more weight, and money is less of a concern, the G-Link 2 might be a better fit as it offers more in the way of rider comfort and is easier to push. However, some parents will balk at a secondary stroller with a high price tag and would be happy with the less expensive ZOE that has similar features, larger canopies, and a bigger storage bin.
If you need a bare-bones option for quick, infrequent trips, then the Delta Children LX Side by Side has the third highest score, the lowest price, and won the Best Value award. This option can get the job done without spending more. Keep in mind that both the ZOE and the Delta earned top marks for weight and folded size, which is the primary goal for this type of gear.
These double strollers traveled through city sidewalks and neighborhood parks so we could compare them in a one to one manner. The hands-on testing provided information about how each performed in real scenarios. Some of the options look interesting on paper but disappointed during regular use. Others were flimsy and difficult to use, with almost no features. To be thorough, we perform a series of in-house controlled tests in our lab to compare specific features and performance side-by-side.
In the end, we designed specific tests to look at key performance metrics. These ranged from the ease of using the safety harness, to pushing products across the grass, gravel, dirt, and even curbs. Our testing provided the information we needed to rate the products based on a combination of actual use and detailed analysis, as opposed to speculation and manufacturer specifications.
Testing Weight and Folded Size
We took measurements of each product in-house at BabyGearLab, instead of relying on manufacturer specs. By doing this, it ensures that all of the products were compared equally by using the same scale and the same measuring methods. We weighed the products fully assembled with all the included accessories, and measured with the same device by the same tester. The results were compared to one another to determine scores. The smaller and lighter products earned better scores.
Testing Ease of Use
We tested and compared the features and convenience items of each product. Products received more points for large easy to use sun shades, peek-a-boo windows with covers, useful cup holders, large storage bins with easy access, harnesses that are easy to adjust, adjustable leg rests, and reclining seatbacks.
Most of the double umbrella strollers didn't offer much, while a few had bells and whistles. Each product was assessed side-by-side, and we considered who has the best storage, largest canopies, most convenient storage, and which bins were impossible to access thanks to stabilizing crossbars. Products were ranked against each other to compare what each has to offer. Specifics like how deep the recline is and whether or not there was an adjustable leg rest helped us differentiate between products.
All of the products experienced a series of maneuverability tests using various surfaces in different environments to determine agility and ease of pushing and turning; thus, pushing the limits of their designs. We used them two-handed and one-handed over a variety of different surfaces, including concrete, hardwood, grass, gravel, and up curbs to determine which options were easy to move and which we found frustrating. A product in this gear category must be able to move well in tight spaces and crowded locations. Easy flat surface pushing is a must, but moving on other surfaces is a bonus, as it is likely to come up in the real world. We ranked each option against the others to determine which were the best and multiple surfaces. The double strollers that were the easiest to push earned better scores, the choices that performed well on different surfaces scored higher. Products that were difficult to turn or had trouble with transitions earned fewer points.
To determine quality, we considered the overall experience during testing and how the strollers compared. We reviewed features like fabric durability and comfort, stain or water resistance, snag-ability, and the stitching. We looked at the frame design and materials, connection and transition points, and if the frame flexes or if the handles pushed in during use. We assessed the size and material of wheels and inspected if they had worn well through our review period. Strollers were compared to each other, how well the products held up during testing, and how well we think they will do in the future.
We can't say there is one best stroller for everyone and their specific needs, especially in a gear category where the majority of competition leaves us feeling disappointed. Since parent and passenger needs vary, there could be an option here that works for your family, even if it didn't win an award. However, our testing reveals some real-world problems and considerations that we think can make this decision easier, so you know what you can expect 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 an option that fulfills your needs. Our goal is to complete the hands-on testing and provide you with information so that you can make the best decision for your family.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz