Once upon a time, there was a girl. She had two beautiful children, but one unfortunate problem. She didn’t have a stroller to accommodate her two little wiggly worms. So she searched online for one that was affordable and allowed her to exercise, as well as stroll with her bambinos. The pool of double jogging strollers was large, but finally she found one that she thought would suit her needs well. Was it her dream stroller? No. But it was practical, and affordable. So she ordered it, and then waited for its impending arrival. Sadly, tragedies abounded from the get-go.
Anybody excited to hear what really happened?
If not, go somewhere else. For those who can’t get enough banter about double stroller options, read on.
Here’s the deal, for the first few months after Charlotte was born, I’d been operating under a stroller and carrier system when it came to going out in public. And actually, I use this carrier as well. I would recommend either, for those who are interested. Anyway, I soon realized that this system couldn’t last. I loved being able to carry Charlotte around (and she loved it too) while still having my hands free to deal with Sophie, but as Charlotte got bigger, I realized that eventually Charlotte wasn’t going to want to stay in a carrier. Babies grow, they want to explore and most of all, they want to be just like the bigger siblings. On top of all of this, with Husband working full-time, and myself staying at home with the girls, working my part-time job and starting Peaches and Bean Baby Boutique (then The Bean House Shop) I had absolutely no time to exercise, and this was fast becoming a problem. Two children may = running around all the time… but it’s not enough running to get your heart rate going the necessary amount for the necessary time, plus the “running around” more often consists of “driving around” aka doesn’t count.
I watched some of the women in my neighborhood walking to yoga with their perfect swinging ponytails and yoga mats in their bags, ready for an hour of awesome, synchronized sun salutations and then glimpsed at my sweatshirt-wearing, baby-wrestling, haven’t-showered-in-four-days self and found myself aching with jealousy. But honestly, in a normal week, I don’t have the time (nor the babysitter) for the kinds of exercise that those ponytail deities have.
Solution? Double stroller must also be a jogging stroller!
At the time, I wasn’t a big runner, but I’d tried to become one several times before (see my “Run-On” posts) to become one but to no avail since it either got too cold to continue outside, or I got pregnant and had to stop. Basically, life happened.
Enter the original stroller we ordered, In-Step’s Grand Safari Double Jogging Stroller. We had scoured the internet looking for jogging strollers within a reasonable price range, and having worked at a baby supply store before, I was pretty aware of what was out there and how they all performed. Unfortunately, our budget was really tight and most of the high-end joggers are $500 on the “cheap” end.
So enter our first stroller:
I had heard good things about it, and on the price scale it wasn’t so cheap that I was afraid it was going to fall apart at any minute, and wasn’t so expensive that I felt like I was giving away my life savings just to jog. After about two weeks worth of searching this is the guy we bought (through Amazon) and then… I waited.
The truth? Amazon changed the estimated delivery time for our stroller three (three!) times. After the second time, I called their help line to ask what the dealy-o was. The person on the phone explained that it was in stock and going to be shipping soon… so imagine my bafflement when I got the email a third time that the shipping was being pushed back again.
Fail Amazon. Fail.
So, I cancelled my order and bought it from Target instead (online) and I had it within a week.
So fast forward about a month and a half from my original purchase, and I was pleased to finally have the stroller arrive on our door step. I opened it like it was Christmas (I think it was actually May-ish or sometime around there) and put the whole thing together in about 10 minutes. I was so excited until I noticed that the plastic part on the top of the front wheel (the big plastic part where the kids feet are supposed to rest) didn’t attach to the stroller. Nope, there was no *click* down or anything, meaning every time we hit a bump, the thing came flying off. I also wasn’t too pleased that I couldn’t get the thing out the front door. I know that some of you might be like, “Duh, it’s a double stroller, those don’t fit through doors.” Wrong. They do. Why would I want to buy a stroller that I couldn’t push through a door? Answer… I wouldn’t.
So my frustration level went to annoyance to mommy-rage in about two minutes.
I know that there are a lot of moms out there that have a Grand Safari and love it, so don’t let this one experience with an item that was obviously just a manufacturer’s error dissuade you from still considering this stroller as an option. Again, I had heard good things about it.
The item couldn’t be returned to a store (per the big “Don’t Return This To A Store” sign on the box) so we had to ship it back to Target.
So there I was. Still no stroller, and still watching those bloody ponytailed women walking all smirky to yoga class like they had something to prove or something (kidding, they didn’t but it sure felt that way!).
So Tim and I sat down and had “the talk”. No, not that awkward sex talk you dread as a middle schooler, the maybe-it-would-be-worth-t0-shell-out-some-extra-beans-for-a-good-quality-stroller talk.
Enter the BOB Revolution Duallie:
This is the stroller I had originally wanted. We see them all the time in the cities, they work great for any kind of surface, gravel, dirt, paved, whatever. So after being disappointed with our first purchase, we started searching for this guy on Craigslist.
The problem? Even two-year old BOBs on Craigslist were over $400 and I never seemed to stalk the List hard enough. These babies get snatched up in a jiffy.
Then, REI was having a 25% off anniversary deal and it was almost too good to be true, still a grit-your-teeth-and-do-it price, but after seeing the resale value on other BOBs and knowing this was one of the best strollers you could get, we finally decided that it was “the one”. It was still an expensive purchase, but it is so worth the money. Diagnosis? We love it, and are so happy with it. It’s such a smooth ride for the girls, it’s really easy for me to push, both for running as well as walking (even through doors!) and Tim has even decided that he thinks it was worth it… something that is hard for a cheapskate er thrifty superman to admit to. Plus, as an extra bonus, it’s easy to fold up and store, it even fits in the back of my Ford Focus. Talk about a hard-working stroller.
We’ve now had the stroller for almost six months, I’m happy to say, I’ve now begun training for a half-marathon and most of the time I’m training while pushing the girls! Take that yoga ladies! Just kidding… yoga is cool too.
After all that, for those looking for a stroller for two, here’s my advice to you:
1) Know what you want.
Is it just to use on shopping outings? Do you want to be able to exercise?Do you care if it’s a side-by-side or would you prefer seats that are front-to-back? Do you care if it folds easily? Do you have a small or a big car? Answer all these questions before setting out on your stroller mission, it’ll make narrowing the field much easier.
2) Name your price, name your quality.
If you have strict budget (Tim wanted cheap, I wanted go-the-distance quality, I won out it then end), maybe instead of going brand new, you should stalk craigslist, or wait for strollers to go on sale at the end of the year (right before they bring out the new models for the new year, most strollers go on super sale to get the inventory out to make room for the new ones).
3) Know that often times with strollers, you get what you pay for.
But again, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy full price all the time. Craigslist. Online. Coupons. Selling your old one to help pay for the new one. There are lots of ways to reduce cost.
4) Enjoy your stroller.
Once you have one, use it. My girls are so happy in their stroller, but not because of the type (though it makes me really happy) but because they get to be outside (or inside at a mall) doing something different other than play with their same old toys, in their same old house, doing the same old things. Charlotte would probably be just as content still be carried in the carrier so long as it meant a change of pace and scenery, it was me who wanted the change. So either way, just enjoy the time you get to spend with your munchkins.
We are really lucky to have been able to get such an amazing stroller, it’s been wonderful to have such a great mode of bringing the kids places, especially since we walk everywhere in our neighborhood and it’s given me the great opportunity of being able to get back into shape after two back-to-back pregnancies. After such a long delay, I am happy to say that the stroller hunt is concluded for us.