We’ve worked our way through a few twin prams since the boys were born, each time thinking we’d found the ultimate solution, only to be disappointed. I thought I’d do a post about how to pick the perfect twin buggy so that my wasted money might help someone avoid the pitfalls of buggy buying.
When my boys were born we bought a Jane Twin Two tandem pram with lay flat Matrix car seats that act like carry cots and face towards you.
It came with forward facing stroller seats which were suitable from birth but we found this set up pretty hopeless until our boys were a few months old and had grown a bit bigger, so the car seat carry cots were essential for us.
What made this buggy great was that it fitted through every doorway and meant I could get into pretty much any shop I liked. The boys could sleep in there for hours as the seats were flat and as it was a travel system I could take the boys from the car to the buggy and buggy to the car without taking them out of the seats (although the car seats were very heavy and fiddly to fit in the car). The pram had loads of storage underneath, was very sturdy, folded easily and had a simple lever to change the stroller seat positions. It never had a puncture, had perfectly fitting rain covers (we had a big one to go over it when set up as a stroller and two small car seat rain covers which we could use when in carry cot mode), and although it was a four-wheeler, it wasn’t too bad at turning corners.
But as with everything it had its problems. The big downside was that we ordered it online and when it arrived we realised that even folded up it wouldn’t fit in the boot of our medium-sized hatchback. The buggy cost more than our ancient car so we bought a bigger car rather than return the pram. Another problem was that it was heavy. The car seats made it even heavier (although they now do lightweight Matrix car seats which are probably much better). It was also a nightmare trying to get up pavements without a dip (you have to go up backwards which on a road is dangerous with such a long pram).
After about ten months of using the Jane, when the boys had outgrown the car seats and when the twin in the back stroller seat started kicking the seat in front, we decided it was time to move to a side by side.
We bought a second-hand double Out n About Nipper 360 at the end of last summer. This is the preferred buggy at my twin club and everyone raves about it. I don’t deny it has some great features but here is an honest review.
It’s lightweight, goes up pavements and steps easily, is easy to turn with one hand and is great for off roading. However, it’s a faff to fold away and put up, it doesn’t go through the doors of my house (and most others) and the bucket seats are so tilted backwards that as soon as my boys were about 16 months they started leaning forwards in it trying to get out as they didn’t want to sit back so far. The understorage (purchased as an add on) rubs on the front wheel all the time and gets in the way when you fold the buggy up, and when it is closed it doesn’t actually stay together even when the closure clip is in place – the seats flop back, so we have to use a bungee cord to tie it when it’s in the boot to keep it together. It has had at least twelve punctures in less than a year just walking through the park and into town. Also the Nipper is its own worst enemy – it’s so lightweight that if you let go of it for a second it rolls away which can be dangerous near a road.
I’ve grown to hate the Nipper as I think it’s so nearly a perfect buggy but it just falls short it too many ways. It’s problems are ones I’m sure the designers could fix. I have an older second-hand model so perhaps to more recent versions do have some improved features but the bucket seats seem part of the Out n About trademark.
So over the weekend I found myself being dragged by Hubby around the baby shops of Southampton, hunting out the elusive perfect buggy for twin toddlers. We think we may have found it – a Baby Jogger Double City Mini 2011 model*. Folds like a dream, seems to manoeuvre easily and has upright seats. For little babies you can get carry cots to attach to either one or both sides making it a really flexible piece of kit. In hindsight, if we’d seen this before the boys had been born maybe we could have saved ourselves a lot of time and money. (*Pre 2011 models don’t allow the Baby Jogger carry cots and also don’t have a back board in the seats).
Last night I bought a City Mini which I’m collecting later today. I hope this is the last buggy I ever have to buy. I’ll keep you posted when I’ve put it to the test!
You can read how I got on in my review of the Baby Jogger City Mini Double.