Helping parents with multiple infants get on the move
Our regular readers will know we spend a lot of time here at Globetrotters HQ discussing strollers, (we’re 8 stroller veterans here!). You may be surprised to know that most of our trips with young children were, in fact, undertaken with various combinations of double strollers.
This post is part of our product reviews and recommendations series
We previously looked in great detail at jogging doubles, as well asthe best ultra-light models of strollers (that can even fit on a plane), but wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have the same product for doubles?
OK, it is incredibly hard to fit that much metal and material for two kids into that small a package (most overhead bins have a maximum dimension requirement of 9″ x 14″ x 22″ – discounting event the slimmest 29″ double strollers).
However, there are products that are getting super close to meeting this criterion and make for an amazing lightweight travel solution for those who have multiple children. In this double stroller buying guide, we’ll look at:
- Features to look for in a lightweight double stroller
- Best lightweight & compact traveller strollers
- Useful double stroller accessories
The Best Lightweight Double Strollers for Travel
We summarize and compare the leading brands of double strollers perfect for travel here, or read on for a more detailed description of each:
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Best compact Double Strollers for Travel
BrandMountain BuggyBaby JoggerJoovyEvenfloJ is for Jeep BrandZoe ModelNano Duo City Tour 2Kooper X2Aero 2Destination Side by SideXL2 Best v2 Product Weight20lbs / 9kg23.3 lbs / 10.5 kgs28 lbs / 12.7 kgs23 lbs / 10.4 kg28.66 lbs / 13kgs17 lbs / 7.7 kgs Max child weight33 lbs / 15 kgs per seat33 lbs / 15 kgs per seat45 lbs / 20kgs per seat50 lbs / 22.7 kgs per seat 40 lbs / 18.1 kgs per seat 45 lbs / 20 kgs per seat Folded dimensions11″ H x 28.7″ W x 33″ L7.5″ H x 26.1″ L x 19.5″ W 12.8″ H x 26″ W x 30.3″ L28.5″ H x 28.5″ W x 39.5″ L29.5″H x 36.3″ W x 41.7″ L10″ H x 28.4″ W x 32.2″ L Handles (height)39.3″/ 100 cm40.3″ / 102 cm41.3″ / 105 cm39.5″ / 100.3 cm41.7″ / 105.9 cm40.25″ / 102.2 cm Travel system option YesYesNo NoNoNo Seat & positions 2 x 26″ tall seats with deep recline. Leg rest adjustable. 5 point harnessesNear 180 degree recline, 5 point harnessesCan reline 160 degrees. 5 point harnesses, one-hand recline. H 25″ W12″ D 9″Not great seat recline. 5 point harnesses Multi recline positions, 5 point harnesses165 degree recline. 5 point harnesses ColoursBlack. Optional canopy colors yellow, silver, red, nauticalHet, seacrest, grey, slate, greenBlack, Forged Iron, Olive, Glacier, PaprikaLark (Black), OspreyBlackBlue, red, black Canopy coverageReasonably good coverage. Independent 3 section SPF 50SPF 50 independent canopies2 independent extra-large canopiesIndependent 3 part SPF50 canopiesSPF 50 independent canopiesLarge 4 stage unfold independent SPF50 canopies with peekaboo StorageExtra large gear tray up to 8kgsLarge underseat basketsHuge under seat storage capacity 15lbs limit. Also in built travel trays and zippered seat pocketsPocket and drink holder in each seat back, plus childs drink holder pocket. Seat can convert to storage basket as well as underseat storageLarge underseat basketLarge underseat baskets Wheels5″ single wheels at front, 5″ doubles at rear. All with swivel, foot controlled rear breaks. Front swivel wheels. Size TBCFront swivel wheels. Size TBC4 wheels with rear wheel lock, pedal foot break. Exact size TBC7″ front wheels, 10″ back wheels. Doubles at the front, single rear wheels . Break long bar across foot. Exact size TBC AccessoriesOptional coccon for new borns, car seat adaptor and gate check bag, rain cover, blankets, belly bar Optional carry cotRain CoverTBCSwivel belly bars. Includes carry strapBelly bar Current Price (US)<$500 – Check Here<$400 – Check Here<$400 – Check Here<$250 – Check Here<$300 – Check Here<$300 – Check Here
What makes a double stroller “lightweight” or “compact”?
A very good question! There is no hard and fast rule. As soon as you have double the children to push, your stroller pretty much needs to double in weight from the lightest compacts in the market. That said, our aim was to identify brands that weighed under 30lbs (13.6kgs) and measured in at less than 39.4″/100cm wide when folded.
Remember in the world of strollers, everything is a compromise. What suits best for a single newborn won’t suit your jet-setting 3-year-old twins – and every combination of siblings in between. Every age and stage has it’s needs and challenges and, budget permitting, your stroller needs to flex to these family needs over the years.
Questions to ask yourself before buying a double stroller and important features
Before you invest in a double stroller for travel, you need to consider:
- How often will I be travelling with it vs using it at home? Is it worth investing in something that’s infrequently going to be used or can you borrow/share with a friend?
- Will it regularly need to be folded and stowed? Easy fold functionality and compact fold will be essential
- Where does the ride comfort rate for you vs stroller weight? Compacts, by their nature, will have slimmer, smaller seats that may not recline as far as your regular double stroller.
- Will there be times separating and having two strollers is more convenient than having one? Doubles are permanently attached together so there’s no splitting up.
- Can I get away with one stroller and a carrier? If there’s a good age gap between your kids, maybe only one of them will need the stroller at a time.
Wheels and terrain
The big compromise on making a stroller light and compact is usually the wheels. By making the wheels smaller, they do not need to be removed when the stroller is folded. This means the wheels may not be as good as larger pneumatic wheels on rough terrain. Those models with very small wheels may struggle on high curbs, particularly when they’re carrying a full load of kids.
Look also at suspension and locking mechanisms on wheels. Although I find double wheels a little clunky and avoid them on single strollers, they can help with maneuverability when you’ve got a heavy load. Compacts really aren’t designed for off-roading but you still want a smooth experience on cobbled streets.
How do you actually collapse the stroller? Most compact doubles work on a fold in half system where you pull from the center of the seats and it collapses in two, though we’re seeing more that now collapse in three. They are actually easier to fold than a lot of single models and smaller compacts. Luckily most companies provide YouTube videos now so you can see it in action and practice!
We are reviewing these strollers for children aged over 6 months. Only one of the ultra-compact double models (so far) is marketed as being adaptable to use from newborn with additional accessories (i.e. you need to add the infant bassinet to the seat).
Seats Height, Width & Recline
Smaller children can easily fit most models through to 4 years+ but larger children do struggle with compact strollers, mostly on the seat width and depth. We’ve found it difficult to confirm seat height on most models.
Compacts can often lose weight by giving up on some of the recline feature. We find napping on the go to still be a vital part of a good travel stroller. Good news is, side by side models allow each seat to move independently, and most models we looked at could recline over 150 degrees – near flat.
Likewise, getting them to nap is easier when the sun is not glaring in their eyes. Many of the brands we looked at had somewhat compromised on the sun cover to get smaller and lighter, but we still think the sun canopy is an essential travel feature.
Most of the strollers we looked at had handles around 40″ to 41″ but they were not adjustable. A small feature element you have to compromise on for a compact, but not something I would compromise on if you are using as a jogger / off road model.
One thing I love about double strollers is the size of the under seat basket! Conversely, this can increase the temptation that you want to over-stuff your basket adding yet more weight! But it does mean we tend to hang less stuff off the back of the stroller which again helps maneuverability.
You may still want to use a stroller organizer for important items while you’re travelling without needing to dig in the basket.
Storage Bag & Carry Strap
Not all brands we reviewed came with the travel bag and carrying straps included. As these strollers are too big to fit on the plane still, you will want to gate check. Keeping your valuable goods protected in the hold is essential. If your stroller doesn’t come with a shoulder carrying strap you can always add a generic luggage strap for ease of transportation.
What Does “easy fit through most standard doorways” mean
You can just picture yourself trying to get into that quaint little café in Italy and you can’t coz you’re stroller won’t get past the door and it’s peeing with rain outside. Urgh!!!! So what is standard? There’s certainly no universal building code around the world. We take standard as being 32″, meaning any 30″ and under stroller will fit.
There will always be harder to navigate places that really aren’t designed for strollers (cue just about everywhere we’ve taken ours, but don’t care we take it anyway!!) One thing I will note from many years experience, a side by side is far easier to manoeuvre than a tandem.
Having my time again, and now that these brands DO allow that flexibility to attach either capsules or newborn bassinets, I would get a side by side double from the get-go and forget the tandem.
Will you get value for money out of a compact double stroller for travel?
Will this new stroller only be for your travel adventures a few times throughout the years, or are you looking to ditch your baby stroller and make this your everyday stroller? Think about how much use you will get and therefore the amount you are willing to invest into yet more baby gear.
Disney Compatible Double Stroller?
A common question many traveling families have when investing in a double stroller, will it meet the Disney stroller size requirements? All the strollers we’ve listed here fit within the current requirements set by Disney Parks which is a maximum size of 31″ (79 cm) wide and 52″ (132 cm) long.
Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Double Stroller
Measuring in at 24″ x 26″ x 10″ folded, it has an even narrower design than the ever-popular City Mini. It can, however, be used from birth with carrycot attachments when used in the full recline position. The seats also feature adjustable calf support and a full UV sun canopy.
The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 is a really popular runner up for us from the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo, at a slightly cheaper price point too.
Other Double Stroller Brands and Options to Consider
Being ultra-compact isn’t the be-all and end-all of double strollers. I would only compromise on some of the comfort features if you are regularly travelling or needing to lug your double in and out or cars, upstairs – you name it!
As soon as we became expats with a 2-year-old and newborn, compact doubles have become an essential part of our life. We would also consider within the lightweight doube stroller category:
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Looking for more useful family travel products? Check out all our handy buying guides before your next vacation:
- All the best baby travel products reviewed – a selection of all our best product reviews over a decade of baby travel.
- Best kids travel pillows and seatbelt comforters – helping kids get cozy on the move.
- The best compact airplane strollers – small enough to fit in the overhead locker.
- Kids plane sleep pillows – a comparison of the top brands of leg pillows that create a bed in your airplane seat, and which airlines actually accept them.
- Is it worth investing in a travel high chair? – a look at dining with babies and toddlers on the move.
- How to choose a gate check stroller bag – still want to take your pride and joy or got a double stroller? How to keep your stroller safe when its gate checked.
- Items that travel-loving parents-to-be will actually use – Get clued-in on what to buy new parents that they will get a lot of practical use from for their baby.
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