After weeks of researching double strollers on mommy blogs, YouTube videos, online baby store reviews, visiting local baby stores to test strollers, and most importantly, inquiring of my mommy friends with more than one baby, I narrowed down my double stroller selection to the Baby Jogger City Select and the Phil & Teds Navigator. We chose to go with the Navigator, and here's a detailed run-through.
|My two sons. Big guy up top; little guy reclined in the double kit|
(this position is great for loading and unloading him).
- The stroller had to fit two kids but must be a great single stroller (similar to our Bumbleride Indie) when needed. So that ruled out those double-wide strollers.
- Must have air-tires for an easy push for me and a smooth ride for the kiddos. We LOVE our Bumbleride Indie (oh how I wish they had an inline/ tandem stroller!), whose air tires have never failed us and have taken us through sidewalks, grass, dirt and even snow!
- Must be relatively light and compact. Our Bumbleride weighs a mere 20 lbs and folds small enough to take up less than 1/2 of our Toyota Corolla trunk. It's travelled with me and two kids on airplanes (via gate check) and through airports, malls, libraries, and many a Starbucks runs. I know that a single stroller and double stroller comparison might be unfair, but we were looking for something as close to our Bumbleride as possible.
- Reasonably priced. Here we were thinking about how much we could get for selling our fabulous Bumbleride (less than $300 used) along with how much our double stroller would cost (budget of $500) and how much it could bring us in a few years (hopefully $300).
- Our tall 3.5 year old must fit in the main seat. He's about 100cm/ 39-40 inches tall.
|My view. My big guy chose to use the big shade|
to block him from the wind rather than the sun during our walk.
The City Select wooed me because of its multiple seat configurations and the fact that the seats are exactly the same, which meant the weight limits were equal and there's no need to worry about who's sitting where. Not to mention that it's hot on the market right now; there's not a sale to be found- not even on our local classified ads! What steered me away from this tempting piece of mommy bling was just that- it's pricey! $570 (in Canadian $) for the single stroller plus $200 for the second seat (add 13% Ontario sales tax to that!). Though I loved the thought of its plentiful under-carriage storage and its multiple seating options, I couldn't trade off my need for factors 3 and 4 above. As a double, the City Select second seat would need to be removed for the most compact fold (but where to put that 2nd seat when boarding a plane?!), and it's 2 lbs heavier than the Navigator (36 lbs vs 34 lbs). I'm often the one folding and loading the stroller into the car trunk, so those 2 lbs are significant :)
THE GOOD STUFF
- We got the double kit ($150) FREE with purchase of the single stroller ($500)! This sealed the deal with us. This meant we also got the one-year warranty and it will likely keep more of its value when it's time for us to sell. We wouldn't have either of those if we purchased a used stroller (and there were no used Navigators being sold at the moment of our purchase).
- It's a smooth ride on those three 12" air-filled tires, turns on a dime, and I was able to push it one-handed with my two kids in tow and coffee mug in hand. Winner, right there!
- The second seat has a shade and reclines with a smooth one-hand motion (which also makes it much easier to load the little guy into his seat).
- Hubby & I can use the same height on the adjustable handle bar. He's 6' 2" and I'm 5'4".
- We can get the Freerider Stroller Board for the big guy (and storage space!), which can connect to the stroller or he can ride it by itself.
- It's so narrow! It's more narrow than our Bumbleride and we fit well through small shopping aisles and doors. Fabulous!
- Cool little clever details, for example, the way the straps adjust for the riders height and girth, easy one-hand fold, etc.
- This was a really helpful video to watch since the instruction manual wasn't too helpful: phil&teds instructional video for the Navigator.
- It can fold with the two seats when the double seat is on top. This is fantastic! When the stroller is vertical, the double seat will flip out horizontal, so we just use a bungee cord to hold it in place when we store it.
|This is the double kit on top of the main seat. |
I haven't found another double stroller that can do that!
|These are the connectors for the double kit to go on top of the main seat. They are marked with "R" on "L" and these are intended to guide you for when you are facing the front of the stroller. It took us a minute to figure that out!|
THE "OH I WISH" LIST
1. Storage (see photos above with my boys in the stroller). With most double tandem strollers, this is what is lost. So for now, I'm sporting my handy-dandy backpack until I can decide on other options like the Phil&Teds pannier bag or hang bag.
2. An inward fold (like our Bumbleride) would better protect the seat cushions and top of footwell and sides of the front wheel bar (see the photo on the right). Already, there are scratches on the top of the front wheel cap and the wheel bar because these easily scrape the ground. Be careful with the handle bar, too, as this often rests on the ground when the stroller folds belly out.
|Be careful when folding the stroller.|
The top/ cap of the of the footwell and the side
of the front wheel bar scratch so easily.
3. Include some accessories. I wish a stroller cover and cup holder were included with the purchase instead of the bumper bar that we will likely not use. Again, I know I'm comparing a single stroller to a double, but our Bumbleride came with the car seat adapter, a cup holder, a rain cover and a hand pump for the tires. Phil&Teds brand covers range from $50-65, cup holders are $10-20, car seat adapter $40.
|There are two pockets on the hood for light things like keys, wallet, phone. We used them for empty travel mugs, water bottle, sippy cup, granola bars, etc. Making due with what we have.|
4. I'm not a fan of the wide opening in the back when the seat is fully reclined. My boys sleep well when they can't see out of the stroller, so an easy fix is to use mesh blankets to hang over the front and back of the hood.
|So far these two mesh blankets work for us. I'm still debating on whether I need the |
Phil&Teds mesh cover versus the rain/ wind cover.
|Mr. Long-Legs is a bit more snug in the Navigator than in the Bumbleride|
but that's something we just had to accept: he's going to fit like this in most strollers.
|These are the same pudgy legs in both the Bumbleride and Navigator. I suppose I could have scooted Oliver higher into the Navigator seat but I didn't want to mess with him as he slept.|
6. It's heavier than my single. The Navigator (28lbs) with the double kit (6lbs) weighs about 34 lbs, which isn't terrible in the world of double strollers. But coming from my 20lb single Bumbleride, that's a significant increase. Better start working out those arms :)
Here is a quick video of my two boys in the stroller. Before I was able to try out the stroller, I tried to find pictures and videos of actual kids in it, but no luck (except for a couple of dear friends with other P&T models). So here you go. My big guy is 3.5 years old, 38 lbs and about 100cm/ 39-40 inches tall. The little guy is 10 months old, 20 lbs and about 69cm/ 26-27 inches tall. You can see the second seat upright and reclined. You can see Mr. Long-Legs. You can see the great coverage of the hood.
Overall, we are very pleased with our new stroller. It's as close to the Bumbleride we have loved so much over the past few years, and we are looking forward to making some good memories with this Navigator stroller.