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. This article will provide you with all the details necessary to make your decision. We purchased over 10 (including now discontinued options tested in the past) of the top double lightweight products to test and compare so you can make an informed decision about what is most important to you for this kind of stroller and your family needs.
You may also want to read the The Best Double Umbrella Strollers of 2018 to see how the 10 competitors fared against one another in our side-by-side comparison tests.
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 over 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 sandaled 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 (below left), while the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 canopies (below right) 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.
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.
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 and the ZOE XL2 BEST v2. ZOE, the Editor's Choice winner, has a lower price than the G-Link 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 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 you plan, 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.
Choosing a double umbrella stroller can be difficult as many strollers claim similar features and functionality. However, it is worth the effort to learn more about each option, as features and performance vary greatly from one product to another, making it nearly impossible to compare based on a list alone. While the differences between products may seem subtle, the impact on everyday use may be significant. Staying focused on how you intend to use your stroller will go a long way in finding the best option for your family. We feel the performance and features of our award winners offer parents options that meet the needs of every budget and just about every kind of use or user.