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a stroller expert answers:

A double stroller for Canada terrain, short parents and siblings, usable right from birth without a car seat

Brett • 27 Sep 2021

Hi there,

I am on the hunt for a double stroller.

Here's our situation:
-We currently have a Graco Modes Click Connect. It was great value and I love how light it is for getting in and out of the car, but does not convert to a double and I wish it felt smoother when pushing.
-My daughter will be just turning two when our next child is born. My husband and I are small, and she is small (25th percentile for weight)- weight limit is not a huge factor for us.
-We do walk a lot (~1 hour daily). We live in a city and live next to a paved trail, so that is our primary walking route however we do often go for walks on local gravel trails.
-I am comfortable babywearing/continuing to use the Graco for things like shopping and road trips.
-We live in Canada, so we're talking snow, less available options, and a loooot of online shopping - so, limited opportunity to try most strollers out in person, especially higher end ones.

Features/Priorities:
-I would love a stroller that is suitable right from birth without having to attach a carseat or bassinet but I am open to buying a bassinet attachment. Because we walk so much right from home, I don't really want to buy a stroller where we need to be attaching a carseat every time. I would say that this is our number 1 priority.
-Upgraded tires. Don't necessarily need rubber/airfilled if there are alternatives, but having suspension or really anything that feels smoother and better than the Graco wheels would be fantastic. This would be priority #2.
-I know that double strollers are by default heavier than singles but I would need to be able to at least lift it out of my door by myself.
-A standing fold is a must.
-I do prefer the concept of a convertible stroller so that I have the option of using it as a single but while it is a strong preference, I wouldn't say it's a top priority given that we already have a single
-I am willing to spend ~$1200 CAD, or approximately $1000 USD, (including any accessories that need to be purchased, ie a second seat, bassinet, etc) but something cheaper would be welcomed!
-Strollers that I have looked at closely online are the Maxi-Cosi Lila, the Joovy Qool, and the Snap Duo Trend Double Stroller. Unfortunately, these strollers seem like new / uncommon models and I haven't been able to find much about them online...
-I looked into the Baby Jogger City Select but didn't like that I can't use it from birth without the bassinet (which I couldn't find available to buy in Canada), and looked into the Uppababy and was definitely turned off by the price tag, and the fact that the bassinet has to be placed on the bottom when in double mode.

Thank you so much, I hope that is enough info!!!

Eli • 28 Sep 2021

Hi, Brett!

Fantastic prioritization! Wow, I am impressed and happy you read our stroller guides 😊 Seriously helps you as well as me in my thinking and suggestions. Bravo!

Moving on to the best options for you. Unfortunately, the first that came to mind, even if maybe not ticking all the boxes, was actually the Bugaboo Donkey. The thing is, yes, it features a bucket seat, so it's not a from-birth seat unit per see, BUT the bucket-style shaped seat CAN be used from birth if you get an insert that will flatten it (e.g., a Joolz or a Babystyle Egg one fits, or the Quinny cocoon). Also, it is almost always sold with a bassinet attachment that is ONLY FABRIC so super easy to store after you re-do the carrycot into a seat. The issue here is, imo, certainly the stroller's price, which is HIGH, higher than the Uppababy Vista's. On the other hand, Bugaboo strollers are quite easy to find in classifieds and also so well made they are actually very nice to get even if pre-owned. I had to suggest this, because truly, push-wise, tires-wise, and practicality-wise, this is one of the best options you can get for your situations.

Next in line, I will suggest a Mountain Buggy Duet V3, which is PERFECT for terrain and for a good push even over snow... BUT is not a reversible-seat stroller, and also not with the largest of canopies. Other than that, it should suit you even right from birth (with a good footmuff), and tick most of what you need for about 1000 USD with fees (I found one shipping for so much here on Amazon, for example).

From your choice - or around it, I would definitely think about the Valco Snap Ultra Duo, which is much better from birth than the regular non-ultra Snap line - but you say the availability is questionable. Still, look around, the reversible model should be very fine with you - and even more so if you find a seller that also offers inflatable wheels with it. The main pro here is lower weight and the nice price. This one, however, won't stand alone when folded. Also, just check lighter models like, ie, the Peg-PΓ©rego Book For Two or the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 Double (a fantastic choice btw, quality-wise)... or the longer, more all-terrain Thule Urban Glide 2 Double, if you can get one.

I wouldn't go for cheaper prams here, as for worse terrain, wanting comfort from birth as well as a good push, the cheaper prams will be worse, maneuverability-wise - just like your Graco, which is exactly like that. And with two kids in a double stroller, it is even worse, really. Do read this choosing a double stroller guide for sure to know more of what is imminent and why, perhaps, really not choose a tandem in your case (really bad maneuvering, for the start). Do consider the better pushchairs even if second-hand-bought - you'll sell an expensive one much better and sooner, so the end price will actually be better (and the experience as well). And I would definitely recommend a carrycot for from birth use, if possible. The more so if the baby will ride even in Canada winter! Stay safe, and write if anything comes up πŸ€—

Your -very berry- Eli.

Now, this is your place to ask. I'm listening.