After having baby # 2, we tried to get by using our beloved single strollers + a sibling “ride along board” in the back, but finally admitted to ourselves we were overdue for a double. The ride along board was fun until Nori jumped off every 30 seconds, and while I love baby carrying, it didn’t replace having a stroller. Not every family with two little ones will need a double stroller, but for us, living in a Northeast city where we walk miles each week with our kids aged 2 years apart, it’s been a game changer!
The choices were overwhelming to say the least. Front & back configuration versus side by side? Modular construction versus one piece? Infant carseat compatibility or no need? After extensive research, we narrowed down our long list of contenders to a small handful, and were able to borrow them and try thanks to our thoughtful parent friends in the city. Before purchasing the model that was the winner for our situation, we connected with the brand which ended up kindly gifting us this stroller. As always these are our honest opinions, and we tried to provide as much info as possible from our research and trials!
1. Convertible Double: Cybex Gazelle S
Included: 1 Stroller Seat, Car Seat Adapters (for Nuna, Cybex, Maxi Cosi), Double Stroller Conversion Adapters that are built-in, Rain Cover, Cup Holder, fun Shopping Basket (see below pic!). Additional stroller seat is $200+
This stroller was released toward the end of 2020, so we didn’t even really know it was an option until we popped into our helpful local kids/baby store @ShopTadpole and they highly recommended it! Functionality wise, it’s similar to the popular Vista but 2 KEY benefits are that both seats have a 50 lb. limit (versus 35lb for the lower seat on the Vista), and the 2nd seat adapters are all ingeniously built into the stroller frame. As added bonuses for us, it doesn’t come with a baby bassinet that we don’t need, and it included car seat adapters that work for our Nuna car seats (which would otherwise cost another $50 for the Vista).
What We Like:
- 50 lb. limit for both seats
- Includes built-in 2-seat adapters
- Comes with Nuna car seat adapter
- Handlebar is taller in the highest setting, and shorter in the lowest setting than Vista
- Folding with 2 seats is possible (although cumbersome)
- The basket (when using stroller as a single seater) is so cute and useful
- A unique configuration that allows kids to face each other, which my little ones oddly like and request often
- The seat it comes with can be used on both the top and bottom positions, but extra seats purchased only fit on the bottom.
- Not much available in the pre-owned market if you want to save $$ on the stroller or accessories
- Slightly more complex fold
A new, seemingly sturdy & durable double stroller full of innovative features for our needs.
Vistas are on every block here in Boston, and for good reason. While we didn’t go with the brand again, we loved our single stroller Cruz and how well it’s held up. As a major benefit, UPPABaby offers free tune ups at certain locations, which ensures your stroller stays in top shape especially after a messy winter. This is especially nice if you live somewhere like Boston that has an UPPABaby service hub location.
One thing to note is the lower seat only has a 35-lb. limit, which Nori is already at. And another consideration is you need to buy adapters to use it as a double stroller (all adapters are included with the Cybex Gazelle S) or with other branded carseats, and the costs can add up. The different types of converters to buy was a little confusing to almost all of our friends who own the Vista.
Cruz vs. Vista: We got our UPPABaby Cruz (their single stroller that does not convert) when Nori was born, and we chose our stroller based on the tight confines of our apartment storage closet and having to lift it up & down stairs. Every oz of weight mattered, so for that reason we have no regrets getting the Cruz initially. The latest Cruz model is now almost 5lb heavier than before, though, so less reason to choose it over the Vista now!
What We Like:
- A proven parent favorite
- Durable, sturdy construction and wheels
- Deeper stroller seats
- UPPABaby free tune ups (major!!)
- 35 lb. limit on lower seat
- Requires buying adapters to achieve all double configurations, and it can be confusing which adapter you need to purchase.
- Sold with 1 seat + bassinet (not an issue for some, but we didn’t need the bassinet)
A proven, versatile choice that can take a beating season after season and still look great after a free tuneup.
UPDATE – One of our friends own this stroller, and since so many of you had questions about it, she let us try it out so we could share our thoughts!
Convertibility wise, the Mockingbird has comparable features to the UPPABaby and Cybex strollers. You can do multiple double child configurations with a second seat ($100), an infant car seat adapter ($30), or infant bassinet ($100), although it cannot do 2 bassinets if that’s a consideration for you. Both seats have a 45 lb. weight limit, compared to 50 lb on the Cybex and 35 lb on the Vista second seat. To us, the UPPABaby and Cybex have a leg up when it comes to the feel of the build quality, steering, and overall styling, but this stroller does give you a good value and functionality at its price point.
What We Like:
- Good value single-to-double stroller < $500
- Large under basket with useful pockets
- 45 lb. weight limit for both seats
- A little harder to steer on city sidewalks
- Frame does not feel as high quality as the more premium priced UB Vista or Cybex Gazelle S
A functional, more budget-friendly option if you live somewhere with relatively smooth sidewalks.
4. Double side by side: Zoe Twin+
This is the quintessential “Disney World” stroller – light enough to bring on a trip yet durable and comfortable enough for a day of riding. We were hoping it could supplement our single strollers for times when we needed to stroll both kids for long periods of time.
Ultimately, we had trouble navigating narrow and bumpy Boston sidewalks with this, and it has no infant carseat adaptability which (as you can see above) we use a lot. If both your kids are 6+ months, and most of your strolling is happening over smooth, wider pathways, then this is a reader favorite option.
What We Like:
- It’s one piece
- Each seat reclines independently
- No arguing over who sits front vs back
- Lightweight compared to a few other double strollers in our comparison
- Hard to maneuver on city sidewalks and in narrow aisles and doorways
- Can only be used for kids older than 6 months
- No car seat attachment compatibility
Good choice if you live somewhere with smooth and wide pathways, and both kids are over 6 months.
Why did we decide on the Gazelle S?
We first decided we needed a convertible single-to-double stroller rather than a fixed double like the Zoe Twin, due to our changing needs throughout the week. For example I use the single configuration to take Nori to daycare, and expand it to a double for family walks. Living in a city, a narrower front-to-back double made more sense than wider side-by-side. And living somewhere with harsh winters and bumpy sidewalks, a more premium, sturdily built stroller with large wheels was a must for durability compared to travel style ones.
From there, the Cybex Gazelle S edged out other contenders for its higher max weight limit for both seats, built in converters, and ease of rearranging the seat configurations (there is a convenient color coded guide on all configurations, sewn right into the stroller under basket). The build quality, wheels, and suspension seem excellent. UPDATE: 1.5 years later, we’re still very happy with our choice with no issues yet.
The Vista V2 was a close runner up and also a great choice, especially with their complimentary tune-ups. Ultimately, the main considerations for our situation were the lower weight limit and the superfluous bassinet (which others enjoy using the first few months! We prefer using our infant carseat instead), plus the need to buy several adapters.
I hope this is helpful for anyone trying to make a similar decision, and please let us know any questions and other double stroller favorites in the comments!