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Cheap Double Strollers Buying Guide

Our best cheap double stroller picks include side-by-side and tandem models. Among the former, we chose the Combi Twin Sport (starting at $215) as our top choice due to its slim profile, safety features, and excellent mobility.

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The Maclaren Twin Triumph (starting at $220) follows in the runner-up slot for its quality ride and generous carrying capacity despite limited features and a design that precludes infant car seats. In the tandem category, our first choice is the Baby Trend Sit N' Stand Double (starting at $163), which is lauded for its multiple configurations for kids of different ages. We then honed in on the Graco Quattro Tour Duo (starting at $170) for its array of features and overall ease of use. We were put off the Safety 1st Two Way Tandem (starting at $150) by user reviews that assert this buggy is a bear to maneuver even as it garners favorable notice for its feature set and passenger comfort.

As you begin shopping for a cheap double stroller, there's a lot to consider. Do you prefer a side-by-side stroller, a tandem stroller, or an umbrella-style stroller? Side-by-side strollers are sometimes too wide to pass through doorways and narrow store aisles, but both seats afford an unobstructed view and easy access and there's no chance of unwanted kicking from behind. Tandem strollers take up less horizontal space, but infant car seats sometimes snap into the front seat only, placing the baby beyond arm's reach. They're also quite long, which might create problems holding open a door while pushing the stroller through, and the rear passenger only has sidelong views of his/her surroundings. Umbrella strollers are the least bulky of the bunch and tend to be the most user-friendly. That said, they generally don't accommodate infant carriers and they offer fewer frills than their more substantial counterparts.

Do you own a car or take public transportation? If you'll be transporting the cheap double stroller from place to place, you'll want to be sure you can lift it in and out of the car trunk without difficulty. Just as important, you should check that the stroller fits into the trunk; we read numerous reviews from parents commenting about how little space is left for groceries and other items once the stroller is placed inside. Parents and caregivers who rely on busses and subways will need a buggy that's compact and light enough to carry while wrangling two children.

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How old are the children who will ride in the stroller? If you have one or more newborns, you probably want a cheap double stroller that accommodates an infant carrier, or two. If you have a toddler or preschooler, you may want a model with a jump seat option. Also think about how long you expect to use the stroller. As children age, they gain weight. Among the models we researched, the maximum weight capacity ranges from a total 70 pounds (35 pounds per seat) up to a maximum 110 pounds (55 pounds per seat).

In short, there's a cheap double stroller for every lifestyle. But ultimately, ease of use for parents and caregivers and comfort for the passengers are the factors that distinguish the best cheap double strollers from the also-rans; that is, from the strollers that are quickly returned to the vendor or consigned to a resale shop before the kids outgrow them. The four models that made our list all satisfy these two basic requirements.

One important note: Safety standards and product design and engineering continuously evolve. For that reason, experts recommend buying a new model rather purchasing a second-hand stroller or accepting a hand-me-down that's more than a few years old. Thrifty parents who do opt for a pre-owned stroller should know its history -- where it's been and how it's been used -- and whether it's been subject to a recall. (Check CPSC.gov for up-to-date information.)

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by Gina Briles (Google+ Profile)

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