Buying a stroller can be a difficult process, even for just one baby! But buying a double stroller, especially when you live in a condensed city like Tokyo, can feel like an impossible task. Before buying my double stroller, I did a lot of research on the available options and asked in my local twin moms group for their recommendations. The top considerations for me when buying a stroller were:
- Narrow enough to fit through my apartment door
- Tall enough for me to push comfortably (my husband and I are both tall so this was a big deal for us)
- Lightweight enough to be able to lift onto curbs, trains, and navigate general city living
- Ability to be used from newborn with either a bassinet attachment or by itself
We already had a Baby Zen Yoyo stroller so I knew I wanted something like it but in a double version. I was however, undecided on if a side by side or tandem setup was best. From what I gathered from my research, side by side strollers are easier to get on to curbs and trains but the width can be tricky in small spaces such as narrow supermarket aisles. Tandem strollers don’t have this issue but can be too front-heavy to lift on to trains and I also heard that as the kids get older they might fight over who sits where more than a side-by-side. If you have an older child, many of the tandem strollers will allow you to use a boogie board attachment for them to sit on where as none of the side-by-side strollers I found had that capability. I think if you live in a more suburban environment and don’t need your stroller to fit through small spaces, you may find a tandem stroller easier to use. It seems contradictory because a side by side stroller is technically bigger but the maneuverability plays a bit role as well! Also if you have a car, many of them have a carseat attachment or travel system where as the side by side strollers usually don’t have that capability.
In this post I will only cover the strollers you can find easily in Japan. I realize there are many more models in the US and Europe but they can be difficult to source here. I’ll start with the stroller we bought.
- Works from newborn (with the bassinet “Cacoon” attachment, which we bought secondhand on Mercari)
- Handlebar height is 100cm which was ideal for us
- Only weighs 9kg and can be carried over your shoulder with a strap if necessary
- Folds up very small to fit into small cars or apartments. Ours stay unfolded in our genkan.
- Narrow enough to fit through our door and train ticket gates (73cm wide)
- Tons of storage space in the bottom compartment (and with three kids it’s always full!)
I wish the seats had more padding. I think they could be more comfortable, especially for months 6-10 or so when baby can’t sit up on their own yet. During that time, we just put a blanket under their bum to solve that issue. Also the attachments, such as the crossbar, are expensive. Our rain cover is just a generic double stroller rain cover but we did buy the specific Mountain Buggy cross bar attachment.
Okay, now for the other contenders:
- The fancier version of the Nano I would say and definitely a great stroller if you have the money for it.
- 65cm wide so the narrowest of all the side by side strollers.
- Still 100cm handlebar height.
- Comes with a cross bar so that should be considered with the price.
- Suitable from newborn with the use of the cacoon or carseat.
- Stands up by itself when folded.
- Weighs 14.7kg so definitely a more hefty design than the Nano.
- Works from newborn without a bassinet
- The narrowest side by side option at 71.5cm
- Sturdy build and sleek design
- Handlebar is 95cm tall which may be better for shorter parents
- Fully collapsible
- Rain cover and cross bar are included in the sale price
- Works from 3 months (no bassinet attachment though)
- Handlebar height is 102.5cm so even taller than the Mountain Buggy if height is a concern.
- 79cm wide so a bit wider than the previous two options. Would be good if you have a wider door frame.
- Much more cost-effective option than the other two.
Joie also makes a tandem version of this stroller that looks good as well. The only downside is that only one seat can be used from 1 month old or with a carseat attachment (the other seat is from 6 months) so it’s more made for parents of one older and one younger child I think.
- Can be used from 1 month.
- Stands up when folded which is useful when you are in a restaurant or someplace where you don’t want your stroller laying on the ground.
- 80cm wide making it the widest of all the strollers listed here. Some people said they struggled to get it into a narrow elevator.
- Undercarriage storage but not much.
- 106cm handlebar height.
- Midrange pricing.
- Tandem setup so no need to worry about doorways and train gates.
- Age is from one month however both seats cannot fully recline (if the front seat reclines it doesn’t give space for the back one) so the front seat is actually recommended from about 6 months old.
- Personally, I feel tandem strollers are more suitable for older twins or one older and one younger child.
- Economical price point.
There are several popular double strollers available from overseas such as the Baby Jogger City Select or Phil and Teds Voyager. I was able to find them for sale in Japan but at a very expensive price. They are also both tandem strollers so the same pros and cons apply to them as I previously mentioned. You may be able to find these strollers secondhand either on Mercari or in a local twin parents group.
What double stroller do you have? I’m sure there are some good ones I’m missing!