What Should I Consider When Buying a Twin Stroller?

wiseGEEK Writer

It can take some thought to select the right twin stroller, and people should first understand that a twin stroller is not the same thing as a tandem stroller. A tandem stroller lines up seats vertically, and usually has one seat in back that will recline, and is more suitable for a younger child or infant. Twin strollers have seats that are situated next to each other, and meant to be used for children of about the same age, though they can certainly accommodate kids of different ages.

Twin strollers may not be a wise idea for children who are combative.
Twin strollers may not be a wise idea for children who are combative.

The first thing people should think about is whether a twin or tandem stroller is more appropriate. Some advantages to tandems include that they are narrower, which may make them easier to navigate through doorways. Tandems may also be better suited when a large difference exists in child age, and when parents want a fully reclining back seat for infants. Yet, these strollers may be of less use if kids are about the same age, and the reclining feature usually becomes less important once children are over the age of one. Tandems may also be heavier to push and navigate because of their length.

Twin strollers with reclining seats are suitable to newborns and older children.
Twin strollers with reclining seats are suitable to newborns and older children.

A twin stroller can have dual reclining seats too, making them suitable for newborns to older children. For twins, these strollers can have the natural advantage of keeping babies close together. They may not be as effective if the kids in the stroller are combative and wish to fight with each other. Having to break up fights or teasing can render any walk or trip unpleasant.

Another issue with some of these strollers can occur when one child greatly outweighs the other. With some models, extra weight on one side can make the stroller much more difficult to turn. This effect is somewhat mollified if the stroller is built on the jogging stroller design, with a large swivel wheel in front instead of two wheels in the front section.

Things to look for in a twin stroller include ease of turning regardless of baby weight, best achieved when the front wheel or wheels swivel, and suitable restraint systems of the five-point harness variety. Clearly any stroller purchased or borrowed from a friend should conform to current safety standards, and used strollers should be checked to make certain there are no safety recalls pending against them. Lighter weight strollers may be preferable and some follow the umbrella design and can be collapsed for easier storage. Other desirable features include sturdy wheels, good suspension, washable fabric, ample storage space or a storage basket, and a reliable frame and braking system.

Price is certainly a consideration when evaluating twin stroller models. Most will be more expensive than single strollers. On the other hand, buying twin strollers may eliminate the need to purchase two single strollers instead, and this can ultimately save money.

It also makes it easier for one person to stroll two babies at the same time, which can enhance exercise opportunities. Another feature that some twin strollers possess is an extra step, upon which an older child can ride if he/she gets tired during a walk. This may be a good thing to look for if a person will be walking babies and a toddler or preschooler over long distances. Adding more weight to the stroller will make it harder to push, however.

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