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Cheapism: Best budget double strollers

Oct. 31, 2012 at 8:19 AM ET

The Combi Twin Sport is a side-by-side model that starts at $215.

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.

  • The Combi Twin Sport (starting at $215) is a side-by-side stroller that can accommodate one Combi Shuttle infant car seat. Each seat holds up to 45 pounds. This stroller is the lightest on the list, at just over 22 pounds, and parents appreciate how easy it is to maneuver and stow. (Where to buy)
  • The Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand Double (starting at $163) is a tandem stroller, with one seat in front of the other. It fits two infant car seats from a few different brands and transports children up to 40 pounds. An older child can stand or sit in the back. Parents praise this stroller’s versatility in online reviews. (Where to buy)
  • The Graco Quattro Tour Duo (starting at $170) has room for two Graco infant car seats. This hefty tandem stroller can transport children up to 50 pounds in the front seat and 40 pounds in the rear seat. Still, reviewers observe that it rolls along easily and is designed to fold up with one hand. (Where to buy)
  • The Maclaren Twin Triumph (starting at $220) is a side-by-side, umbrella-style stroller that can carry up to 110 pounds but doesn’t accommodate infant car seats. Parents call this stroller agile and portable and note the brand’s reputation for durability. (Where to buy)

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.

The Baby Trend Sit N' Stand Double is a tandem model that starts at $163.

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.

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