Help Me Choose a Double Stroller

E and J with little sisters C and G. It's hard to believe my two big kids were ever small enough to share a stroller. But they were!

None of my babies has much liked riding in a stroller until he/she could sit up and look around. Before that, they all liked a sling or front pack better. Thus, we have not yet even tried to put Baby G in a stroller. Of course, another reason is that we currently do not own a truly functional stroller; the one we were given as a wonderful shower gift before 3 year old C was born has now pretty much gone to stroller-heaven, after several years of very regular use.

But now that G is five months old, I figure it won’t be too long before she is sitting up, at which point I think I’d enjoy going for walks with both of my youngest girls – at the same time – around our neighborhood, which has good sidewalks and greenways.

At the moment, I cannot carry G in either our beloved sling or the frontpack because doing so would seriously aggravate my painful, baby-induced back problems.  So I am beginning to think about getting a new stroller – a double stroller. Jon and I are thinking we may even ask for one from the grandparents for Christmas.

I last had a double stroller when J and E were little (they are now 15 and 12 years old, respectively). They were born only 28 months apart, so we strolled them around together a fair amount, although at that time I wasn’t living in a walkable neighborhood, so the double stroller was mostly for shopping and such. It was some kind of basic side by side umbrella stroller, and it worked okay, I guess.  I have absolutely no idea what eventually became of it.

Since those ancient days, stroller design and options have come a loooong way, so there are many more double strollers from which to choose. It’s really a bit overwhelming to try to find one. So I figured I’d mention the criteria I have in looking for a double stroller, and maybe you smart blog-reading mamas can suggest some particular models and brands for me to check out. Or maybe you will tell me that the idea of getting a double stroller to accomodate a 36 lb 3 year old is a dumb idea. I don’t know. In any event, I welcome your input.

Here’s what (I think) I am looking for:

  • Under $300
  • Back to back, rather than side by side
  • Ability for each child to recline or sit up separately
  • Wheels that can handle rough city sidewalks with bumpy patches, etc
  • Folds relatively easily; does not weigh 6000 pounds
  • Wipe-clean fabric (as opposed to cotton or something that has to be removed and washed and then maddeningly re-stretched back onto the frame)
  • Five point harness that isn’t impossible to figure out, adjust or use
  • A nice basket would be a bonus
  • Drink holder would be excellent, but not a deal breaker

So what do you think? Does such a stroller exist? Do I even need a double stroller, with C getting so big? Tell me in the comments below what you like and dislike about specific brands and models of double stroller models . (I’ll let you know what Jon and I decide to go with.)