Helping parents with multiple infants get on the move
Our regular readers will know we spend a lot of time here at Globetrotters HQ discussing strollers, (we’re 8 stroller veterans here!). You may be surprised to know that most of our trips with young children were, in fact, undertaken with various combinations of double strollers.
This post is part of our product reviews and recommendations series
We previously looked in great detail at jogging doubles, as well as the best ultra-light models of strollers (that can even fit on a plane), but wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have the same product for doubles?
OK, it is incredibly hard to fit that much metal and material for two kids into that small a package (most overhead bins have a maximum dimension requirement of 9″ x 14″ x 22″ – discounting event the slimmest 29″ double strollers).
However, there are products that are getting super close to meeting this criterion and make for an amazing lightweight travel solution for those who have multiple children. In this double stroller buying guide, we’ll look at:
No time to read? Here’s the lowdown on lightweight double strollers!
The Best Lightweight Double Strollers for Travel
We summarize and compare the leading brands of double strollers perfect for travel here, or read on for a more detailed description of each:
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Best compact Double Strollers for Travel
|Brand||Mountain Buggy||Baby Jogger||Joovy||Evenflo||J is for Jeep Brand||Zoe|
|Model||Nano Duo||City Tour 2||Kooper X2||Aero 2||Destination Side by Side||XL2 Best v2|
|Product Weight||20lbs / 9kg||23.3 lbs / 10.5 kgs||28 lbs / 12.7 kgs||23 lbs / 10.4 kg||28.66 lbs / 13kgs||17 lbs / 7.7 kgs|
|Max child weight||33 lbs / 15 kgs per seat||33 lbs / 15 kgs per seat||45 lbs / 20kgs per seat||50 lbs / 22.7 kgs per seat||40 lbs / 18.1 kgs per seat||45 lbs / 20 kgs per seat|
|Folded dimensions||11″ H x 28.7″ W x 33″ L||7.5″ H x 26.1″ L x 19.5″ W||12.8″ H x 26″ W x 30.3″ L||28.5″ H x 28.5″ W x 39.5″ L||29.5″H x 36.3″ W x 41.7″ L||10″ H x 28.4″ W x 32.2″ L|
|Handles (height)||39.3″/ 100 cm||40.3″ / 102 cm||41.3″ / 105 cm||39.5″ / 100.3 cm||41.7″ / 105.9 cm||40.25″ / 102.2 cm|
|Travel system option||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Seat & positions||2 x 26″ tall seats with deep recline. Leg rest adjustable. 5 point harnesses||Near 180 degree recline, 5 point harnesses||Can reline 160 degrees. 5 point harnesses, one-hand recline. H 25″ W12″ D 9″||Not great seat recline. 5 point harnesses||Multi recline positions, 5 point harnesses||165 degree recline. 5 point harnesses|
|Colours||Black. Optional canopy colors yellow, silver, red, nautical||Het, seacrest, grey, slate, green||Black, Forged Iron, Olive, Glacier, Paprika||Lark (Black), Osprey||Black||Blue, red, black|
|Canopy coverage||Reasonably good coverage. Independent 3 section SPF 50||SPF 50 independent canopies||2 independent extra-large canopies||Independent 3 part SPF50 canopies||SPF 50 independent canopies||Large 4 stage unfold independent SPF50 canopies with peekaboo|
|Storage||Extra large gear tray up to 8kgs||Large underseat baskets||Huge under seat storage capacity 15lbs limit. Also in built travel trays and zippered seat pockets||Pocket and drink holder in each seat back, plus childs drink holder pocket. Seat can convert to storage basket as well as underseat storage||Large underseat basket||Large underseat baskets|
|Wheels||5″ single wheels at front, 5″ doubles at rear. All with swivel, foot controlled rear breaks.||Front swivel wheels. Size TBC||Front swivel wheels. Size TBC||4 wheels with rear wheel lock, pedal foot break. Exact size TBC||7″ front wheels, 10″ back wheels.||Doubles at the front, single rear wheels . Break long bar across foot. Exact size TBC|
|Accessories||Optional coccon for new borns, car seat adaptor and gate check bag, rain cover, blankets, belly bar||Optional carry cot||Rain Cover||TBC||Swivel belly bars. Includes carry strap||Belly bar|
|Current Price (US)|
What makes a double stroller “lightweight” or “compact”?
A very good question! There is no hard and fast rule. As soon as you have double the children to push, your stroller pretty much needs to double in weight from the lightest compacts in the market. That said, our aim was to identify brands that weighed under 30lbs (13.6kgs) and measured in at less than 39.4″/100cm wide when folded.
Remember in the world of strollers, everything is a compromise. What suits best for a single newborn won’t suit your jet-setting 3-year-old twins – and every combination of siblings in between. Every age and stage has it’s needs and challenges and, budget permitting, your stroller needs to flex to these family needs over the years.
Questions to ask yourself before buying a double stroller and important features
Before you invest in a double stroller for travel, you need to consider:
- How often will I be travelling with it vs using it at home? Is it worth investing in something that’s infrequently going to be used or can you borrow/share with a friend?
- Will it regularly need to be folded and stowed? Easy fold functionality and compact fold will be essential
- Where does the ride comfort rate for you vs stroller weight? Compacts, by their nature, will have slimmer, smaller seats that may not recline as far as your regular double stroller.
- Will there be times separating and having two strollers is more convenient than having one? Doubles are permanently attached together so there’s no splitting up.
- Can I get away with one stroller and a carrier? If there’s a good age gap between your kids, maybe only one of them will need the stroller at a time.
Wheels and terrain
The big compromise on making a stroller light and compact is usually the wheels. By making the wheels smaller, they do not need to be removed when the stroller is folded. This means the wheels may not be as good as larger pneumatic wheels on rough terrain. Those models with very small wheels may struggle on high curbs, particularly when they’re carrying a full load of kids.
Look also at suspension and locking mechanisms on wheels. Although I find double wheels a little clunky and avoid them on single strollers, they can help with maneuverability when you’ve got a heavy load. Compacts really aren’t designed for off-roading but you still want a smooth experience on cobbled streets.
How do you actually collapse the stroller? Most compact doubles work on a fold in half system where you pull from the center of the seats and it collapses in two, though we’re seeing more that now collapse in three. They are actually easier to fold than a lot of single models and smaller compacts. Luckily most companies provide YouTube videos now so you can see it in action and practice!
We are reviewing these strollers for children aged over 6 months. Only one of the ultra-compact double models (so far) is marketed as being adaptable to use from newborn with additional accessories (i.e. you need to add the infant bassinet to the seat).
Seats Height, Width & Recline
Smaller children can easily fit most models through to 4 years+ but larger children do struggle with compact strollers, mostly on the seat width and depth. We’ve found it difficult to confirm seat height on most models.
Compacts can often lose weight by giving up on some of the recline feature. We find napping on the go to still be a vital part of a good travel stroller. Good news is, side by side models allow each seat to move independently, and most models we looked at could recline over 150 degrees – near flat.
Likewise, getting them to nap is easier when the sun is not glaring in their eyes. Many of the brands we looked at had somewhat compromised on the sun cover to get smaller and lighter, but we still think the sun canopy is an essential travel feature.
Most of the strollers we looked at had handles around 40″ to 41″ but they were not adjustable. A small feature element you have to compromise on for a compact, but not something I would compromise on if you are using as a jogger / off road model.
One thing I love about double strollers is the size of the under seat basket! Conversely, this can increase the temptation that you want to over-stuff your basket adding yet more weight! But it does mean we tend to hang less stuff off the back of the stroller which again helps maneuverability.
You may still want to use a stroller organizer for important items while you’re travelling without needing to dig in the basket.
Storage Bag & Carry Strap
Not all brands we reviewed came with the travel bag and carrying straps included. As these strollers are too big to fit on the plane still, you will want to gate check. Keeping your valuable goods protected in the hold is essential. If your stroller doesn’t come with a shoulder carrying strap you can always add a generic luggage strap for ease of transportation.
What Does “easy fit through most standard doorways” mean
You can just picture yourself trying to get into that quaint little café in Italy and you can’t coz you’re stroller won’t get past the door and it’s peeing with rain outside. Urgh!!!! So what is standard? There’s certainly no universal building code around the world. We take standard as being 32″, meaning any 30″ and under stroller will fit.
There will always be harder to navigate places that really aren’t designed for strollers (cue just about everywhere we’ve taken ours, but don’t care we take it anyway!!) One thing I will note from many years experience, a side by side is far easier to manoeuvre than a tandem.
Having my time again, and now that these brands DO allow that flexibility to attach either capsules or newborn bassinets, I would get a side by side double from the get-go and forget the tandem.
Will you get value for money out of a compact double stroller for travel?
Will this new stroller only be for your travel adventures a few times throughout the years, or are you looking to ditch your baby stroller and make this your everyday stroller? Think about how much use you will get and therefore the amount you are willing to invest into yet more baby gear.
Disney Compatible Double Stroller?
A common question many traveling families have when investing in a double stroller, will it meet the Disney stroller size requirements? All the strollers we’ve listed here fit within the current requirements set by Disney Parks which is a maximum size of 31″ (79 cm) wide and 52″ (132 cm) long.
6 Best Lightweight Double Strollers for Travel
From those products that are currently available on the market, we think that these 6 double strollers make the most sense for family travelers with 2+ children due to their light construction and easy fold mechanism:
Mountain Buggy Nano Duo Buggy
Yep, our favorite single compact (you can read our full review here) now comes in a double! Like it’s single counterpart the Nano it folds up incredibly small, under 11″ deep. Where it does give a little versus other brands is in its weight capacity, capping out at 33lbs/15kg per seat.
We do love that it can be used from newborn though with lie flat seats that allow you to add a cocoon, or car seat adaptors making it a great travel system from roughly newborn through to 3 years old. Currently (though read more below!) it is the only ultralight double we review that can be used from newborn.
We love the numerous bright colors that the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo comes in, and we’d always recommend buying the branded storage bag to ensure the safety of the product while you’re travelling.
It also comes with a shoulder carrying strap which many others in this category did not which is great for travelers and getting on and off
You can read a full review of the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo in action here.
Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Double Stroller
Measuring in at 24″ x 26″ x 10″ folded, it has an even narrower design than the ever-popular City Mini. It can, however, be used from birth with carrycot attachments when used in the full recline position. The seats also feature adjustable calf support and a full UV sun canopy.
The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 is a really popular runner up for us from the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo, at a slightly cheaper price point too.
Joovy Kooper X2 Double
Joovy make great travel strollers for families and their new Kooper X2 Double has made us drop our previous choice – the Joovy Scooter X2 – out of our top 6 lightweight double strollers.
Just that little bit lighter and more compact, although granted, it’s at a more expensive price tag, making it comparable with the other leading brands. on a budget, the Joovy Scooter 2 is still a good compromise.
The Joovy Kooper X2 folds in three for a compact finish. It also has great handle bar height at 41.3″, and in an another improvement to the Scooter X2 there’s large, independent sun canopies for maximum coverage.
We’re waiting to give this one a push for ourselves but it could well overtake as one of our favorite lightweight doubles for travel with so many great features, including the travel tray built in (can be removed if required but will still fold with the trays attached).
Our Value Pick: Evenflow Aero 2
We love that you can use the second seat of the Evenflow Aero 2 as storage areas with a snap on the basket. In looks, it appears more like an umbrella stroller but it does the compact fold in half. Each seat holds up to 50lbs
Cons, the recline is not as great as some of the other strollers and its tiny wheels (we couldn’t find anywhere in the
J is for Jeep Brand
Now we’ll admit, until we started this double stroller review it was not a name we were familiar with, but big trusted brand name aside, we think it’s pretty neat.
It has slightly larger rear wheels at 10″, but it also has a good seat capacity at 40lbs each. Folded it’s not as compact as some of the others but value for money-wise this should definitely be on your shopping list, you can learn more about it here:
Zoe XL2 Best v2
Just as they surprised us with their ultra-compact single, we love the Zoe double too. At 17lbs net weight claimed by the manufacturer, it’s lighter than most singles on the market, let alone double strollers!
The wheels have increased in size slightly since the first Deluxe model was released but we believe this is to improve maneuverability with a decent weight limit tested up to 50lbs (but we’ve read conflicting information that its seats are limited at 33lbs).
With large storage baskets, great independent canopy covers, it’s a fabulous value for money pick rounding out our top 6 (though we not as at our last update October 2021 its out of stock – we hope they’ll be back!).
Other Double Stroller Brands and Options to Consider
Being ultra-compact isn’t the be-all and end-all of
As soon as we became expats with a 2-year-old and newborn, compact doubles have become an essential part of our life. We would also consider within the lightweight doube stroller category:
- Valco Baby Snap Duo – super sleek looking model, a little bulky at 29″ x 27.5″ x 17.5″ but adjustable hundle, great deep basket, adjustable basket AND new born attachements. Buutttt… that price tag!
- Summer 3Dpac CS+ Double Stroller – a more affordable model, compatible with multiple brands of car seats (but only one at a time) 23.8″ x 30″ x 14.3″.
If you will be regularly using your Double Stroller for outdoor and off-road adventures, more so than city travel, then we highly recommend you pop on over and look at our Double Jogger Stroller review. These may be a better fit for you beyond city sidewalks and public transport needs.
What about a Double Umbrella stroller?
I’m not completely ruling them out, but having tested many different brands, and owned two single Maclarens which we attempted to use side by side, I can tell you nothing beats the new era of ultra-compacts.
I honestly find the umbrella brands (were referring to the collapsing mechanism here) just too clunky these days. They have their ardent fan club still, but when size and weight matter, as well as durability they no longer compete. Pay that little bit extra and get something that will last the distance.
Can I attach two singles to make a double stroller?
Yes! This is another option if you don’t want to invest in a new stroller but combine two existing products. Do note it DOES NOT work well with many brands, but some have customisable options to make this work.
We have seen families using the Yoyo double attachment and it’s worked like a charm.
Double Stroller Accessories
Especially while travelling, I wouldn’t go over the top on the fancy stroller accessories, but there are definitely a few still to be considered that are actually really useful in your travels.
Double Stroller Rain Cover
Yep, this one is pretty important in a lot of
Gate check bag
Without a doubt, a very worthy investment for your precious cargo. We covered a whole range of gate check bags in our review here.
Again, getting the bag designed to go with your stroller is always best to ensure perfect fit and protection, but there are plenty of generic brands that do a very worthy job.
Double Stroller Organizer
I don’t know about you but one of the most awesome things about the stroller stage is having a dumping ground for everything (I think this is the only reason we still own strollers, nothing to do with the fact my youngest is perfectly happy to walk!!).
Keeping things in their place though is still essential, and I love having nifty pockets for keeping things like my camera phone, tissues, wet wipes in easy reach without having to dig into my diaper bag. We invested in a few double stroller organizers, some more study and reliable than others. You will need to look at the fit to ensure there are no annoying crossbars in the way on your stroller handle.
Over to you, do you have a favourite double stroller? We’d love to hear the pros and cons of different brands you’ve tried and which you would recommend.
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