A users double buggy review

I have now had 4 different double buggies and am considering a fifth and final one.  I think buggies have become like a new pair of shoes to me.  If I don’t need the fancy shoes anymore as I don’t go out much I am fine as a I get the same enjoyment out of a new buggy – loser!!!  Anyway, I thought it might be useful to share a double buggy review for the ones that I have had.

double stroller

Phil and Ted’s Explorer

This was the first double buggy that I had and I wasn’t convinced about it from the start to be honest.  I didn’t want an inline double as I was concerned about the child in the back seat.  I thought it was a bit mean that they couldn’t see where they were going, but I was persuaded by the sales person and my husband and so off we went.

After getting the buggy I was pleasantly surprised and the sales person was correct the littlest one didn’t care.  He was a new-born!!  The best thing about this buggy, in my opinion was the cocoon for a new born.  This is an extra, but is worth every penny.  It is great!  Not only do-little babies look so cosy and protected in this mini carrycot, but also it just lifts out and so the baby isn’t disturbed.  We used it all the time and it lasted until our little man was around 6mths.  My babies are always giants though.

City Living

It was really easy to push at the beginning and totally workable for city living except if you need to get onto a bus and it needs to be collapsed.  Forget about it as this is not a quick process!  Honestly, I could never get to grips with collapsing this buggy it was such a palaver so it stayed up in my hallway and I ended up buying another single and a buggy board (once my eldest was old enough) for times we needed to go by bus or in the car.  I think in a city where you are walking everywhere this works well and is a comfortable ride for little people, but if you need to use a car a lot this would be a hassle.

Arguments

Once my youngest got to around 15mths old the arguments started!!  He no longer wanted to be in the back.  This is what I had feared from the start.  He didn’t like not being able to see where he was going.  He wanted to see what was going on and so they fought all the time about who got to go in the front.  It was painful!  This was ultimately the reason we sold this buggy on and switched to a side by side.

Pushing two toddlers

The other thing I found difficult with this buggy was as they got bigger it became hard work to get up kerbs as there was so much weight right over the wheels.  I was having to lift the weight of both of them and it was a killer.  Once it actually tipped backwards with them both in it.  I think the bigger boy was messing about, but still it fell over as I was locking the front door.  Our second born is a tall child who grew quickly and so was not much smaller than his brother two years older than him and it could be this that caused the issue.  In my experience though this type of buggy works best when there is a good size differential between the two children so great for a toddler and a baby, but not so good for two toddlers unless you are pretty strong.

Tyres

This for me is the worst thing about this buggy.  The inflatable tyres are a totally mare if one gets a hole.  This happened to me at London Bridge station.  We had obviously rolled over glass or something and we got a puncture, but here’s the thing, this makes the buggy immobile.  You can’t push it.  So, there I was with a baby and a 2-year-old and a buggy that I was trying to push which wouldn’t move.  It was hideous and I ended up crying in a bike repair shop.  Not my finest hour.  This made me nervous of using the buggy and I never left the house without a spare inner tube, a puncture repair kit and a tyre pump.  Just what you need when you are the mummy of two littles – extra stuff to carry!

This type of buggy is not for me, but I know that this model is now fairly old and looking at the Phil and Teds website they seem to have much lighter options now available.  The buggy was certainly made to last so I would definitely consider them if I was into the inline double buggy, but I just prefer a side by side.

City Mini Jogger Double

This is one of my favourites in my buggy collection.  The city mini jogger double is narrow enough to fit through every door I have ever tried to go through and is easy to push and does the bounce up the kerb thing so that you don’t have to keep lifting it.

Newborns

I loved it when my twins were tiny as the deep seats created a really safe and dark space for them to be safe and cocooned from the world.  I felt like they were well protected.  We didn’t use it when they were really newborn as you needed the carrycots and I already had a single buggy with a carrycot which they both fit in together.  The girls went into this buggy when they were a few months old and as the seats lay flat and the cosy toes are very cosy I think it was perfect for them. Having the seats operate separately is perfect with twins or different aged children as they don’t have to lie down together or both have their sun canopy up.

Sun canopy

The sun canopy or hoods are fantastic on this buggy.  The best I have seen.  They come down so far that they create a great environment for on the go naps and also mean that I rarely used the rain cover.  It just wasn’t necessary unless it was really pelting down.  These sun hoods were so good that even after I decided this buggy was too heavy for me to use we kept it for our summer holiday.

Weight

I used this buggy for my singleton boys and then my twin girls and I found that it worked better with the boys.  As one was older I could ask him to jump out if it got hard to push and he was always looking to walk as well, but once I had the twins and they got to around 18 months old it was hard work for me to push this up hill.  We also had to have a buggy board on the back for our younger boy and I know that this would not be a requirement for most people, but for us it made this buggy no longer work.  It was also too heavy for me to lift in and out of the car.  It did fold down really easily though which is a huge plus and makes it way easier to store and fit into a boot.  We could fit this in the back of our Ford S Max with all seven seats up.

Joie Aire Twin

This buggy weighs only 12kg and when we bought it was the lightest double on the market.  It folds in the same way as the city mini and can stand up independently when folded which makes it great for storage. Size wise it is great for city living as it fits through all shop door ways and on narrow pavements.  The basket underneath is also huge so no need to hang anything on the back. I really like this buggy and at only around £150 it is a bargain option, but it does have negatives.

The negatives

The wheels on this buggy are very small and you have to lift it up and down kerbs.  This is countered by the fact that it is light to start with, but with my girls being over 2yrs old now that is becoming harder and harder and now that there is a lighter competitor on the market (Mountain Buggy Nano Duo) I am thinking of making a switch

It does feel a bit rickety and the maneuverability is not as good as the other buggies I have reviewed above.  The other issue I have had is with the break.  The first one of these I had the break broke completely and I had to get a replacement buggy within a few weeks of purchase.  On the replacement the break has not broken, but doesn’t always work.  For me this is not really an issue as there is no time that I am not holding the buggy, but if I did need to go on a bus I would be a bit concerned.  You have to make sure the mechanism is properly lined up for the break to work which is not ideal!

There is no division between the two seats and this allows twin wars about whose space is whose.  Very annoying for mummy!

The positives

It folds very easily and is very compact.  It fits in the boot and there is still some space for a few other bits.

There are viewing windows on the sun canopy which are great if you are trying to get them off to sleep and want to see what they are up to

The price point is great and the buggy performs really well considering the price

The frame is lightweight and the buggy is easy to push as a result

It looks nice and comes with reversible seat liners which are great for any spillages.  Also good for differentiating one twin from another 😉

Maclaren Twin Trimuph

I should say at the start that I bought this buggy second hand and it has now broken. I did not buy it new I cannot say whether this is due to overuse or mishandling by the other party.  So I write about it as I am about to send it off to buggy heaven!

The Fold

Before its demise this buggy was essentially our holiday and in car buggy.  It was the extra buggy used when it was necessary to be able to fold it and shove it in a corner. The one carted with us when we visit parents and so the folding mechanism was important.  It is not tricky to fold or open, but it is a multi step process.  This cannot be completed in ugg boots or flip flops without some difficulty.  A major downside to me.

  1. You have to use your foot to release the catch
  2. Press down on two further levers to extend the two seats
  3. In my experience a bit of jiggling of the handles to help open it out a little is also necessary.

I think the fold and open could be better, but it probably takes less than 30 seconds so hardly a deal breaker.

Tough Steering

I would not want to be using it everyday as for me it is too hard to push and steer.  The two handles seem to make steering harder than one bar that goes all the way across the buggy.  I have to say though the girls liked it.  They liked the way that the seats move when they lean forward.  It seems to give them a feeling of freedom.

I found the umbrella fold a good feature.  This works well for going on holiday and travelling on buses.  It could be a good option for city living where space is at a premium  I believe it would work well if you had a smaller car too.

I think that this type of double buggy is more suitable for toddlers.  The seats looked aren’t that padded so don’t seem very comfortable for little ones.  For me it is certainly better for little people who want to get in and out.

So that’s it onto undoubtedly my final buggy.  I am hankering after the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo and I think it is true love….

You might also like to read:  The lament of a double buggy user

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