Oct. 31, 2012 at 8:19 AM ET
By Kara Reinhardt, Cheapism.com
Anyone expecting twins, or one child soon after another, must double up on a lot of gear. Two babies require two car seats, two highchairs, two Boppy pillows -- but only one stroller. A double stroller, whether side-by-side, tandem, or umbrella-style, lets a parent transport two children at once. Still, with all that other paraphernalia to buy, the household budget can certainly benefit from an affordable double stroller that’s easy to use and keeps children safe and comfortable.
Below are Cheapism’s top picks for double strollers under $225.
Both side-by-side strollers listed above can pass through standard doorways, but their width may make it difficult to navigate certain settings, such as mazes of merchandise at a grocery store. They also don’t offer as much in the way of cup holders and storage/snack trays; the Maclaren lacks these features entirely. On the other hand, the design lets both children see their surroundings and the seats are easy to access. You also don’t have to worry about the child in the back kicking the seat of the child in front.
With a tandem stroller you can squeeze through a narrow doorway, although many models are long enough that it can be tricky to hold open a swinging door as you push the stroller. Umbrella strollers have few frills and typically aren’t compatible with infant seats, but for parents of toddlers and babies old enough to sit up, they’re a relatively compact and easy-to-handle option.
Keep in mind that any stroller you choose has to fit in your car or be light and manageable enough to take on public transport. You may think you have plenty of trunk space, but a bulky double stroller doesn’t leave much room for groceries and other cargo.
Many savvy parents turn to secondhand sources for clothes and other baby necessities, but experts caution against borrowing or buying a used stroller for safety reasons. If you choose this route, you should know the history of the stroller and check the website of the Consumer Product Safety Commission to make sure it hasn’t been recalled.
More from Cheapism: