Double Buggies

One of the most difficult and expensive decisions we make when we discover we are having twins (or more) is what buggy to buy. They are of course mostly called “travel systems” now probably to justify the eye watering costs of many of the options out there. I remember when we first went looking Mike constantly muttered under his breath “I’ve had cars that have cost less – and they were actually quite good cars!!!”

Jen Singer actually finalized her choice by walking around Hyde Park and seeing what was out there and more conventionally Clare Brown went to local specialists Happicraft in Twickenham where manager Gabrielle gave very helpful and honest advice. The 10% twins discount didn’t hurt either.

Mike and I went to John Lewis in Kingston and despite the sale assistant looking like he still travelled in a buggy he was very knowledgeable. John Lewis also were very happy to order our choice, keep it in storage for us and not to take payment or arrange delivery until we were pretty close to our own delivery!!

So here are the Pro’s & Con’s of each of our 10. We know mums of multiples can be very protective over their choice so please do forgive us if you don’t quite agree with our assessments. Some of our reviewers bought their buggy up to 4 years ago so the newer models might have ironed out some of the cons. Anyway please do feel free to email the editor with your own views. This would in fact be very welcome as we are putting together an information sheet for our website and for any pre-natal Q&A’s we do to try and help those mums who are following in our footsteps.

1. Out & About Nipper 360 (by Clare Brown)
Pro’s:

  • It’s a dream to push – very light, really easy to steer (you can do this with the heel of one hand while sipping a much-needed coffee with the other), great turning circle (due to being a 3-wheeler), easy to push on grass/rougher terrain.
  • Cheap! (Relatively).  I think ours was about £350, maybe £400 by the time we had added the rain cover and basket.
  • Easy and quick to collapse and put up
  • Narrow enough to fit into pretty much any normal door / lift etc. I think there was only 1 occasion that I couldn’t manage to get through a door and I don’t think any double buggy would have got through it.
  • Side-by-side seats, so each twin gets a good view! Although I did eventually have to stop using mine when they got to about 3 as they kept hitting each other (although technically this isn’t a fault of the buggy – just ineffective parenting 😉 )
  • Suitable from birth as the seats go flat.

Cons:

  • You can’t clip car seats to it.
  • The basket underneath isn’t very well designed – it isn’t that easy to get stuff in and out of it, and you have to take it off with rather stiff poppers every time you collapse the buggy. As a consequence I tended not to use it at all, as there are two other large pockets behind the seats that can take a reasonable amount of shopping. So in retrospect I could have done without buying this.
  • A small thing really – but as my twins got bigger, I think they would have preferred a slightly more upright seating position as even when the seat is up as far as it will go, it’s still slightly reclined.

2. Bugaboo (by Helene Tsouloupas)
Pro’s:

  • A side by side that has a beautiful and functional design. There are lots of colours and extras to choose from to make it look individual.
  • It is easy to use with one hand and it is very smooth and slick to push.
  • The wheels are proper tyres and so it can be easily maneuvered over gravel and rough terrain.
  • It is very comfortable for the little ones and can be used with pram cots as well as the normal buggy formation. When they were under 6 months we were able to use the pram cots as moses baskets/cots when travelling which proved very useful.
  • There are several combinations of seating arrangements so that you can either have them facing you, facing forwards or in fact one of each so they can interact with each other.
  • It scrubs up well and doesn’t scratch easily. The buggy as well as the extras really hold their price for reselling and I would recommend that you keep as much of the packaging in your loft as possible for selling on.
  • Can be changed into a single pushchair, which is very useful if you need to go out with just one baby or if you go on to have a singleton.

Con’s

  • It is wide and I found that a lot of the old shops were difficult to visit unless I had someone with me to wait outside with the babies. However after doing a recce of my local surroundings, cafes, shops etc. I found that as long as a door is built for wheelchair access the buggy would easily fit through.
  • It’s not that good for running with. If the wheels aren’t locked straight they can stutter and it won’t go very fast.
  • It comes apart very easily (takes about 2 minutes) and sits pretty flat. However all the bits do take up a lot of space.
  • It doesn’t fit through our door so it lives in the car. However we have worked out how to keep made up in the back of the car for speed at each end.
  • It’s one of the higher priced on the market and the extras do add up.

3. Silver Cross Vintage Pram- 1970’s (by Helene Tsouloupas)
Pro’s:

  • Often seen as a nostalgic luxury item. However it turned out to be very robust and practical.
  • Babies are high above the ground – well away from fumes.
  • The suspension is amazing and I found that the babies always slept incredibly well in it. It can cope with pot holes etc. – a sort of Range Rover of prams!
  • We used this until they were sitting up and moving around too much. We had them top and tailed and it lived in our bay window when not being used. It became our Moses basket for the day and for those with dogs the height of the pram meant he was unable to jump up.
  • Folds down remarkably compact.
  • Lots of room in a large basket for shopping.

Con’s:

  • Pushing it can be a work-out at times.
  • It has very big old-fashioned wheels with spokes that don’t turn easily or fast-without elbow grease. On the plus side this is where you get a free arm work out thrown in 😉
  • If the hoods up are you have to peek in to see the babies but with the hoods down you can watch over them easily.
  • It is expensive especially as can only be used for a relatively short time. However it totally holds its value for resale.

Finally – this could be a pro or con depending on what mood you are in. Be warned that a quick shop at your local supermarket could take 3 times as long….be ready to have lots of nostalgic exchanges with the lovely grannies!!

4. Maclaren Triumph Duo (by Jo Cowling)
Even though technically this is a stroller it is suitable to use from birth and we found for us it worked so much better than the buggies/prams/travel systems most people have in the first 1-2 years. We in fact started with a buggy but found it far too heavy so we switched to this.

Pro’s:

  • Even though technically this is a stroller it is suitable to use from birth and we found for us it worked so much better than the buggies/prams/travel systems most people have in the first 1-2 years.
  • Really affordable – only cost £100
  • Folds up really small
  • It’s very light compared to a lot of buggies so found it very easy to pull onto a bus even with 2 chunky toddlers in it
  • Fits through most doorways

Con’s:

  • Not quite as sturdy as the more expensive options
  • A bit less storage
  • Not as easy to steer

5. The Mountain Buggy Duet V2.5 (by Yvonne Choat)
I absolutely LOVE this buggy.

Pros:

  • It’s the narrowest side-by-side double buggy at just 63cm so it fits through almost any doorway.
  • So many configuration options so it’s perfect for those with a toddler too, I even managed to find a way to have all three of them in it.
  • Having the babies side by side makes it really easy to feed them.
  • Easy to get up and down the curb as your little ones get heavier.
  • Great wheels perfect for any terrain.
  • I personally find that the two wheels at the front make it that bit easier to get it on and off the bus etc.
  • Very easy to fold.
  • You can clip car seats onto it. I think it’s definitely worth getting the car seat adaptors as being able to do this really does make life easier at times.

Cons:

  • Due to its space saving design some of the elements takes a little time getting used to, particularly the clips for the bassinets and the hoods on the bassinets and parent facing seats. However with practice it all becomes second nature.  It really is worth looking at the demo videos before it arrives just to get everything clear in your head.
  • Although it’s easy to fold it’s still quite bulky.  It will take up quite a bit of room in the boot, particularly when you’re using the bassinets.
  • Normal ‘cosy toes’ are all a little too bulky for it, mountain buggy do sell their own but they’re quite expensive and I ended up adapting some I already had to save a bit of money!

6. Baby Jogger City Select (by Jo Humphreys)
Pro’s:

  • For me one of the best tandems out there as neither child is underneath the other one. So not only can they both see out unrestricted but there is plenty of room for their legs as they grow making it a buggy that can easily last the whole time that you need one.
  • There are a multitude of options for seating combinations and the toddler seats have 4 different settings for the seat angle meaning that post bassinet you still have the choice of completely flat right up to the highest setting which is very upright.
  • The bassinets are a separate piece of material that fits onto the same frame the toddler seats use which means that when you have finished using them its very easy to store them until you are ready to sell the whole buggy.
  • Can be used with car seats (with adapters) making a quick stop easier as well as having the option of transferring sleeping babies from the car to the buggy without waking them.
  • Fits through all doors so I never had to worry about where we were going and if I’d be able to get in or not.
  • Easy to walk along narrow pavements or where cars are parked up on the pavement. Also meant I could easily walk alongside friends with a singleton buggy so no need to try and chat looking backwards over my shoulder.
  • It’s a solid piece of equipment with good sturdy tyres making it suitable for most terrain and weather conditions. I remember being the only one whose buggy made it to a baby music class through heavy snow. Boys had a lovely private lesson!!
  • Has a large shopping basket.
  • Easy to get on and off a bus – can actually get on the front with it if needed and by positioning it at the right angle you can fit on with at least one other buggy.
  • It can very easily be changed into a single buggy so good if you are going out with only one child or you have a singleton later on.

Con’s:

  • It is longer and heavier than many buggies
  • It doesn’t fold down as one piece so takes up quite a lot of room and is not easy to fold up in a busy café or someone’s house.
  • It’s expensive but has a good re-sale value.

7. Baby Jogger City Mini (by Jo Humphreys)
Pro’s:

  • Can be used from birth as the toddler seats have a section at the back that pulls down flat.
  • The hoods when fully extended come down very low so in the hot sun or the rain only the very lower part of their legs and feet are exposed.
  • Car seats can clip into it with adaptors.
  • It has one of the easiest folding mechanisms out there. There are handles in the middle of each seat and you literally just pull and the whole thing folds. It folds pretty flat so easy to store. However if you unclip the wheels, which is extremely easy to do, it folds so flat you barely know it’s there. Particularly useful if going away and you have a car boot full of other things.
  • It is very easy to push.
  • Reasonably priced with a good re-sale value.

Con’s:

  • As with quite a lot of the side by sides they don’t fit through all doors. It’s not that wide and certainly not the widest on the market and generally I found most places accessible however it didn’t fit through our front door.
  • The material over the frame can tear if you catch the edge of it on something.
  • Sometimes the wheels lock whilst you are walking with it and you have to unlock them so you can turn round corners. Not difficult to do but slightly irritating.

We bought this buggy as our 2nd buggy to accompany the City Select when the boys were about 18 months old. We got it mainly for holidays (as it packed so flat) but I ended up using it if I was walking some distance as it was lighter or if I thought I might need to fold it quickly. I personally would not have used it from birth but as the boys got bigger it ended up pretty much replacing the City Select, which I then sold.

8.  Oyster Max (by Lisa Devine)

Pro’s

  • It is very lightweight and easy to steer.
  • It collapses down very easily and was easy to fit in my car (a Vauxhall Meriva).
  • I found it excellent to fit newborn seats on and could attach the Maxi cars seats straight from the car to the frame with the use of adapters.
  • It was easy to go through all shop doors, as it’s the same size as a single pushchair.
  • You have a choice of a variety of combinations for the seats forward facing and rear facing.
  • The price of this pushchair was a big thing for us as it was much cheaper than other similar pushchairs – the iCandy for example – which seemed to have a very similar design.

Cons.

  • The bottom seat can only be used from six months, as it does not recline flat.
  • There really is not a lot of space for the bottom seat especially when you recline the top seat fully back.
  • As the girls got bigger it became much heavier to push so when the girls were around a year old we swapped it for the Out and About Nipper.
  • We only ever used one carrycot and I wouldn’t think there would be much space when used with two carrycots.

9. Uppababy Vista (by Kate Meakin)
Pro’s:

  • Fits a buggy board even with 2 bassinets. We found that most of the other options only could do that when it was in seat mode. I can even fit my 3yo & 5yo on the buggy board at the same time so all 4 kids are contained & makes the school run so much more manageable.
  • Biggest storage basket on the market. It’s enormous!
  • Built in sun visors. They just pop out of the hoods so no need to clip muslins or buy extra accessories.
  • Folds down simply & pops up with one hand. The frame folds down so small so easily fits in our car.
  • It has a very compact wheelbase. Shorter than City Select but not quite as small as iCandy. It has better sized bassinets & seats than the iCandy.
  • Bassinets have proper mattresses so can be used as a Moses basket. You can buy a stand, but I never used it for that.
  • All parts of the bassinet come off and are machine washable (tested this at the weekend after Sienna vomited all over hers), base cover, side cushioning and top apron.
  • Good break – one foot press on/press off next to the right wheel so not in the way of the buggy board and also sandal friendly as you don’t need to use your toes to click it off.
  • Can click in car seats as the Brackets are comparable with Maxi Cosi

Con’s:

  • It’s expensive – probably looking at £1000+. However we have felt that the benefits have outweighed any cost concerns and as we use it every single day so a worthwhile investment.
  • It’s not a side by side so I can’t see both babies however with the footpaths around where we live this just wasn’t possible.
  • The bassinets and seats are separate units rather than just a change of fabric on the same frame. This means you have to store bulky components until you need them.

10. iCandy  (Pear & Peach Blossom 3)
Peach Blossom 3 (by Claudia Bruen)
Pro’s

  • It’s the same width as a single pram.
  • Fantastic manoeuverability round corners and in general.
  • It has a good range of colours to choose from and is modern and stylish (in my opinion!!).
  • There are lots of accessories to choose from.
  • It has newborn carrycots and buggy seats from 6 months old.
  • The carrycots can be tilted which helps with newborn reflux issues.

Con’s

  • The twin at the bottom has a restricted view.
  • It is expensive.
  • The chassis is heavy to lift into and out of car.
  • It is difficult at first to work out how to use it.
  • The carrycots appear to be smaller than other carrycots I’ve seen such as the bugaboo.

Pear (by Tammy Cooksley)
I loved this pram when the twins were small. As it was a pain to get in and out of the car I found myself walking more which was good for us all. However it is heavy and they grew out of it quickly so I had to change prams earlier than I hoped. I would give it 3 out of 5 stars.
Pro’s

  • It looks great
  • It can be used as a single or double pram, which is great if you only have one child with you or you go on to have a singleton.
  • To assemble it the seats are colour coded so you know which bits go where making it easier to put together.
  • It is narrow so you can zip around town easily.
  • Swivel wheels as well as lockable wheels make it easy to push
  • As the children are not side-by-side you do not get the fighting of siblings.

Con’s

  • It’s expensive especially as you have to pay for all the extras such as foot muffs and adaptors etc.
  • It is quite heavy especially to get up and down curbs.
  • It takes a while to get it in and out of the car due to the many component parts you need to assemble it.
  • One seat is smaller than the other so I found they out grew it quickly
  • The bar across can make it harder to get the little ones in and out. They are also very tempting for them to eat, as they are foam covered.
  • It doesn’t allow a buggy board.