In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

The Best Double Umbrella Strollers of 2018

The Combi Twin Cosmo is more of an umbrella type double product
Tuesday October 30, 2018
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On the hunt for an excellent umbrella stroller for two? Wondering which features are useful on a day-to-day basis? We can help. We researched over 25 potential contenders and selected 10 of the most popular double lightweight strollers to purchase for testing. We evaluated the strollers side-by-side to determine which options are fabulous or disappointing. We tested them for ease of use, quality, maneuverability, and weight and folded size. Real-world daily use combined with our in-lab tests allowed us to compile the essential information you need to find the best lightweight stroller for your needs and Budget. Read on to see how the competition fared and which strollers sport the features and functionality you want.


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Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award Top Pick Award  
Price $330.00 List$500.00 List
$399.99 at Amazon - 20% off
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Pros Easy to use, lightweight, nice qualityVery small, well-made, adjustable leg restsPrice, small, light, easy to stowTop quality, easy to use, easy to push and turnNice quality, easier to use
Cons Harder to push and turnExpensive, harder to fold, no peek-a-boo windowsLower quality, harder to useHeaviest, largestHigher Price, large, heavy, frustrating harness and buckle
Bottom Line Nice, lightweight umbrella that is easy to use and small when foldedSomewhat pricey umbrella that is well made and fits in tight spacesBudget friendly option that is easy to carry and fits in small spacesEasy to use and maneuver, but super heavy and difficult to fit in small spacesLarger option with hard to use buckle and harness strap adjustment
Ratings Categories ZOE XL2 BEST v2 Nano Duo LX Side by Side UPPAbaby G-Link Twin Triumph
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Specs ZOE XL2 BEST v2 Nano Duo LX Side by Side UPPAbaby G-Link Twin Triumph
Weight 19.7 lbs 20.3 lbs 18.5 lbs 24.7 lbs 23 lbs
Folded Dimensions 32.2"W x 10"H x 28.4"L 28.5"W x 13"H x 20.2"L 17"W x 11.5"H x 42"L 19"W x 16"H x 43.2"L 19.7"W x 15.5"H x 41"L
Capacity Limits Minimum: 3 months Maximum: 33 lbs Minimum: 6 months Maximum: 33 lbs Minimum: Must Have Proper Head and Neck Control Maximum: 35 lbs Minimum: Birth Maximum: 55 lbs/45" Minimum: 6 months Maximum: 55 lbs/43"

Update — October 2018
This review has been updated to include a new award for the UPPAbaby G-Link. Given its impressive quality which helps it stand out from the competition, we feel it has earned a place of recognition in this group with a Top Pick for Quality award. This stroller ranks fourth in the group, and scored well in every metric except for weight and folded size.

Best Overall Double Umbrella Stroller


ZOE XL2 BEST v2


The ZOE XL2 BEST v2
Editors' Choice Award

$330.00
List Price
See It

Weight: 19.7 lbs | Folded Size: 9,145 cubic inches
Reasonable price
Lots of features
Giant canopies
Harder to push and turn
Average quality

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 the majority of the competition.

Read review: ZOE XL2 BEST v2

High-end Stylish Double


Mountain Buggy Nano Duo


Editors' Choice Award

$399.99
(20% off)
at Amazon
See It

Weight: 20.3 lbs | Folded Size: 7,484 cubic inches
Adjustable leg rest
Smallest fold
Color-coded brakes
Expensive
Harder to push and turn

The Mountain Buggy Nano Duo is a sleek and stylish side-by-side umbrella stroller. This stroller has the smallest folded size in the group and a fold in half function that helps it fit in spaces where other double options can't go. 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 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 nice compact travel stroller.

Read review: Mountain Buggy Nano Duo

Best on a Budget


Delta Children LX Side by Side


Delta Children XL Side by Side
Best Value Award

$100.00
See It

Weight: 18.5 lbs | Folded Size: 8,211.00 cubic inches
Budget-friendly
Easy to carry
Compact for small spaces
Harder to use
Lower quality

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. The Delta offers few features (including very small canopies) 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

High-Quality Mover


UPPAbaby G-Link


UPPAbaby G-Link
Top Pick Award

$399.99
at Amazon
See It

Weight: 24.7 lbs | Folded Size: 13,133 cubic inches
Impressive quality
Better maneuverability
Easy to use features
Expensive
Heavy and large

The UPPAbaby G-Link is a good looking 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 like the large canopies, easy access storage bin and carry handle that all work as they should without any hiccups.

This product is heavy and larger than most of the competition making it a poor choice for parents who may need to carry it upstairs or over long distances. 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 allows, and parents who may favor a lightweight stroller for two over a full-size option will find the G-Link can get the job done without sacrificing features or functionality with a weight lower than the full-size competition.

Read review: UPPAbaby G-Link


Analysis and Test Results


Finding the right umbrella stroller for two comes 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.

Some of the competing double umbrella strollers we tested in this review. Updated strollers and new additions are not pictured.
Some of the competing double umbrella strollers we tested in this review. Updated strollers and new additions are not pictured.

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 the right one for you.

Because most of the double umbrella options are disappointing in their performance, especially for maneuverability, we suggest that you first determine if a full-size standard double stroller will fit your needs as opposed to a lightweight option. We believe you get more for your money in a standard stroller and you'll have an overall better experience.


Value


Finding a high performing double lightweight stroller that is a great value is relatively 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. Plus, it is loaded with features you won't find on most of the competition.

The Delta Children XL Side by Side (left) and the ZOE XL2 Deluxe (right)  performed very well during testing but the Deluxe has since been replaced with the ZOE XL2 BEST v2.
The Delta Children XL Side by Side (left) and the ZOE XL2 Deluxe (right), performed very well during testing but the Deluxe has since been replaced with the ZOE XL2 BEST v2.

Why Get a Double Umbrella Stroller?


After testing this kind of stroller, 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 full-size double strollers, that we think that many parents should skip this type of gear in favor of a lighter or smaller full-size double option. However, if you are traveling and must have a smaller or lighter stroller for sightseeing or visits to Grandma's, then finding a double 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.

The G-Link has a handy kickstand that works well and offers a true self-stand.
The G-Link has a handy kickstand that works well and offers a true self-stand.

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 are 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.

Though heavier than the stroller it replaces  the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is still one of the lightest in the group and the second smallest.
The delta has a small easy to stow folded size.

The highest scoring products in the review for weight and folded size 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 with measurements over 23 lbs and 11,000 cubic inches.

The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is very easy to use with the highest score in this metric than any other stroller in our tests.
The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 is very easy to use with the highest score in this metric than any other stroller in our tests.

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 normally 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.

The ZOE folds with the pull of the unlock straps under the seats.
The ZOE folds with the pull of the unlock straps under the seats.

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 the competition proves it doesn't need to be.

The Kinderwagon HOP brakes had difficulty staying engaged  and the brakes on our stroller popped loose repeatedly during testing.
The Kinderwagon HOP brakes had difficulty staying engaged, and the brakes on our stroller popped loose repeatedly during testing.

Brakes


Several of the double umbrella products have double or even triple action brakes that require multiple pedals to be pressed before the brake are properly set. We worry parents could grow complacent and either forget to set all of the pedals or will simply 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 sandaled 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. The Kinderwagon HOP has the worst brakes. In our experience, the brakes disengage on their own; once set, the brakes pop out of place if the stroller is bumped into or if the rear wheels are lifted slightly and dropped back down. In both instances, the brakes release without warning, and the stroller rolls. For us, this problem got worse over time, which made the Kinderwagon HOP an option we don't recommend for safety reasons.

The BEST storage bin is large with a 10 lb capacity and it fit our large diaper bag.
The BEST storage bin is large with a 10 lb capacity and it fit our large diaper bag.

Storage


Storage is important, storage for two is more important. If a stroller lacks adequate storage, you'll be packing a bag someone has to carry. Most of the strollers offer some 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 the seat backs are 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.

The rear pockets on the Delta have flimsy elastic at the top that is likely to lose its shape with repeated us in a very short time.
The bumper bar on the ZOE can be replaced with two cup holders and a middle snack tray. This feature is fairly uncommon for an umbrella stroller.
The child's tray on the Caboose seems like a good idea  but it's design prevents it from holding much.

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.

The rear seat on the HOP is hard to use and lacks legroom and a decent canopy for taller riders  but instead traps the rear passenger in a cocoon with no visibility.
The rear seat on the HOP is hard to use and lacks legroom and a decent canopy for taller riders, but instead traps the rear passenger in a cocoon with no visibility.

Sunshade


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 the smallest with a simple, direct, overhead canopy with no window. The strollers with more features generally have larger sun shades. The ZOE XL2 BEST v2 has 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 canopies are also large but lack the cocoon effect of the ZOE.

The Delta has a shallow recline and no leg rests.
The recline on the Triumph is no where near flat  but it should be deep enough for comfortable napping.
The BEST has a nice quality to price ratio with a score of 6 of 10  which is over the average.
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, and the giant canopies on the ZOE XL2 BEST v2.

Harness


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 or climbing out. We tested how difficult the straps are 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 to operate.

The G-Link harness is easy to use and the buckle works smoothly with one hand.
The Twin Triumph's harness is the hardest to adjust and the buckle is super stiff and difficult to use.

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 (above left) is the easiest harness and buckle combination to use, while the Maclaren Twin Triumph (above right) has the most difficult buckle that requires two hands to operate. The ZOE XL 2 BEST v2 is also easy to adjust and buckle with a score only one point below the UPPAbaby G-Link.

The Cloud frame design limits the recline making it a poor option for comfortable napping.
The Cloud frame design limits the recline making it a poor option for comfortable napping.

Seats


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.

The G-Link adjustable leg rest can be moved with the release of a tab lock.
The G-Link adjustable leg rest can be moved with the release of a tab lock.

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 UPPAbaby G-Link has adjustable leg rests creating additional comfort options.

If babies will be sitting for a long period of time  the UPPAbaby G-Link has the most comfortable seating  with a deep recline  adjustable leg rests  and thicker padding than the competition.
If babies will be sitting for a long period of time, the UPPAbaby G-Link has the most comfortable seating, with a deep recline, adjustable leg rests, and thicker padding than the competition.

The UPPAbaby G-Link and the ZOE XL2 BEST v2 have the most comfortable seats in the group, with the G-Link offering the deepest recline; something most of the competition doesn't offer. The Kolcraft Cloud Double and the Delta Children LX Side by Side are the most uncomfortable with almost upright seating, little recline, and a limited leg rest.

While some of the double umbrellas claim to be suitable for infants under six months old, BabyGearLab does NOT recommend using them with children under six months of age.
Why?
Lightweight strollers provide the bare minimum for support and protection from bouncing and jostling over uneven terrain. They sacrifice some features and design 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 and the Kinderwagon HOP accept 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 Kinderwagon HOP works with Graco Classic Connect models and the Combi Shuttle only. Both strollers only accept one infant car seat, making them a poor choice for infant twins. Plus, as we've already stated above, we do not recommend the HOP thanks to brake problems. 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.

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 XL2BEST v2 and UPPAbaby G-Link 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.

The G-Link is the easiest lightweight option to push and turn  but still hard to manage compared to full-size double strollers.
The G-Link is the easiest lightweight option to push and turn, but still hard to manage compared to full-size double strollers.

Maneuverability


None of the lightweight double products performed well in our tests for maneuverability with only one stroller earning a score above 4.


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.

The 6 front wheels of the Cloud make it hard to keep the stroller on course.
The 6 front wheels of the Cloud make it hard to keep the stroller on course.

We knew most of the strollers might struggle on the grass and gravel, but we were surprised that several of them were also challenging to use on flat surfaces. These strollers all have relatively small plastic wheels many with a fake tread pattern, and a dual wheel design (2 wheels on each leg that equal 4 to 6 wheels in front). These kinds of wheels and this double wheel design, in our tests, historically equals difficult to maneuver strollers. The hardest doubles to push are the Kolcraft Cloud Double and the Peg Perego Pliko Mini Twin. Both options are hard to push on smooth hardwood and more challenging to turn with weight in the seat.

Because of our difficulties with maneuverability, we feel that unless you absolutely need a lightweight stroller for travel, that you are potentially better off buying a full-featured full-size double stroller that is easier to push. The Britax B-Agile Double is a good example of an easy to push option that doesn't weigh much more (27.9 lbs vs. the heaviest umbrella that is 24.7 lbs) than some of the umbrella products.

The Kolcraft Cloud Double earned the lowest score in the group for quality in our tests with a 1 of 10 score.
The Kolcraft Cloud Double earned the lowest score in the group for quality in our tests with a 1 of 10 score.

Quality


Quality encompasses how well a product is built and the materials used to create 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.

Thanks to higher quality parts and construction the UPPAbaby G-Link earned the highest score for quality with a 9 of 10.
The Hop's front seat has limited recline because the rear seat is already too close to the front seat back limiting the rear passenger's space.
The highest quality options were unsurprisingly the more expensive choices, in a baby gear category where what you pay for appears to be what you get. The UPPAbaby G-Link (above left) earned the high for quality and is the most expensive, more than some of the standard double strollers. The Mountain Buggy Nano Dup also impressed with a score of 7 and a high price tag. However, the Kinderwagon HOP (above right) has a price of about $200 less, and a quality score of 1 thanks to the ineffective and often faulty brakes.

Double umbrella strollers come with a variety of features and quality levels.
Double umbrella strollers come with a variety of features and quality levels.

Conclusion


We can't say that there is one best stroller for everyone and their specific needs. Especially in a gear category where the majority of competition leave us feeling disappointed. Because parent and passenger needs vary, there could be an option here that would work 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 provide the information you need to make the best decision, even if that decision is a lightweight option isn't right for your family. Still confused? Read our article on how to pick a double umbrella stroller for help narrowing the competition.


Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz