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Double pushchair advice needed - tandem or side-to-side?

(55 Posts)
mistressploppy Tue 02-Aug-11 19:43:59

Argh, I'm reading every thread I can find on this and am still confused confused

DS will be 2.2yrs when DC2 arrives and I can't figure out what would be best - veteran advice needed....here are my criteria:

I'm 6ft so need high handle/'kick room'
DS1 pretty leggy too
We live in the country on a gravel road so need decent tyres
Would prefer newborn to lie flat and have removable papoose-thingy if poss
Not bothered about fitting a car seat to it.
Have an Audi estate so decent amount of boot space
Don't use buses/trains much

Any ideas? People here seem to favour the ubiquitous red P&T but I think I'd kick the baby in the bottom bit blush. Would I? Are side-by-sides really cumbersome, is that why they seem to be avoided? Are tandems are better choice generally?

I already have a Quinny Buzz which is....ok, and used for walks up to the park etc, and a Maclaren XT for the car boot which I use in town or on days out.

Thanks for your help smile

Tiggywunkle Tue 02-Aug-11 20:04:05

First of all have a look at www.bestbuggy.co.uk As there is loads of info on doubles on there. With DD going to be over 2, I personally would send you off down the sde by side route because by the time your baby is six months old she will be heading for three. The thing to watch is the width because some do not fit through a standard door. To be honest I would send you off to look at the Mountain Buggy Duo and Duet (the Duo has larger tyres and is wider), the Baby Jogger City Elite, Easywalker Sky Duo and TFK Twinner Twist Duo. My reasons are the adjustable handles, large seats and lots of leg room.

Tiggywunkle Tue 02-Aug-11 20:05:35

BTW the Duet is the same width as a single but has two full sized seats so no worries about it being wide.

SilveryMoon Tue 02-Aug-11 20:16:10

I used a tandem when ds2 was first born. Ds1 was 18 months at the time and we used that for about a year when we swapped to a single and a buggy board.
My ds1 (who is now 4) has been compalining of pains in his knees, so he is back in a pushchair for now. I am using a side by side, and I have to say that I much prefer the tandem.
It's easier to push, easier to get into and around shops, easier in terms of dc's not being able to poke and annoy each other etc.
I just prefer tandem.
The only thing that I didn't like about the tandem I used was that the front seat for the older child didn't recline, but because I don't drive and have to rely on public transport, I got the smallest double I could find.

mamadivazback Tue 02-Aug-11 20:19:20

I have only used double pushchairs with twins but I much prefer side by side because a tandem feels like pushing a bus, although the side by sides are wider they are easier to steer and with the longer one I felt like I was constantly going to crash into something as I could'nt judge the distance very well.

acatcalledfelix Tue 02-Aug-11 20:19:40

Am watching with interest as my DS will be 2 when the new bub arrives. i've a bit more awkward though as I'd like parent facing too.....

Tiggywunkle Tue 02-Aug-11 20:28:24

Don't get me wrong, I prefer a tandem too, but by the age of three - or possibly before - children reach the 15kg weight limit of most tandems, plus also leg and head room gets compromised. My daughter is 2.9 months now and given the OP needs a pushchair that will easily cope with gravel and has a tall child, the only tandems I would realistically suggest are the Phil&Teds Verve as the lower seat takes 20kg but leg room is compromised or the Britax B-Dual but my daughter doesn't have a good seating position, or the Jane Powertwin. At the age of 2.2 DD will look fine in most pushchairs and they will be easy to push but six months on makes a real difference in weight.

mamadivazback Tue 02-Aug-11 20:32:16

The Sit and Stand would be good for you and is not quite as big as a full on tandem.

Felix the B Dual might be good for you as it has the removable seat and is parent facing on top.

mamadivazback Tue 02-Aug-11 20:34:23

Oh or if you have the cash the Baby Jogger City Select seems to come out as the best single/double pushchair as there is more space between the seats.

Tiggywunkle Tue 02-Aug-11 20:40:26

I love my Baby Jogger City Select but it's very hard to push now with my two in. By the time baby was 9 months I had pains in my arms every time I tried to go up a slight hill. I absolutely love it and the configurations and options are good, and it's good on gravel, but it's now hard work. the Kolcraft Contours is a much better option for seating options and push ability but there are no carrycots, only car seat for a newborn (the US instructions say suitable from birth but the seats are deep).

Tiggywunkle Tue 02-Aug-11 20:44:32

The B-Dual can't really parent face on top if there is a toddler underneath. There isn't enough room. Fab for the toddler to parent face with the baby in the lovely carrycot type lower seat. Or it's great having the baby in a car seat parent facing on top with the toddler underneath.there is also the Bugaboo Donkey which will be great off road and may suit Felix, but I think the OPs tall DD will quickly outgrow it. Once again the Kolcraft Contours is very good for the money.

Meglet Tue 02-Aug-11 20:45:26

At 6ft you would be kicking (and cursing) the P&T all the way. I'm only 5 6" and while I love my P&T I hate the fact I can't take big strides with it.

We did have a lovely second hand Mothercare Urban Detour double for a while. Huge monster of a thing but great to push, could take big steps, big tyres for parks and tracks and was fine when my dad pushed it (he was 6ft 2").

Tiggywunkle Tue 02-Aug-11 20:47:18

The Mima Kobi is worth a look too smile Expensive but gorgeous and pushes like a dream across most surfaces.

FlubbaBubba Tue 02-Aug-11 20:50:21

I used and loved my twin techno (mclaren) - each seat was independent of the other and lie-flattable (it is is a word! grin) - narrow enough to fit through shop doors.

However [spanner being chucked into the works here...], do you really need one? I barely used my twin after the first six months (i.e once DD1 was about 23m) as she either walked everywhere, or we used a buggy board on occasion.

mistressploppy Tue 02-Aug-11 20:54:46

This is really really helpful, thank you everyone.

It seems to me that the side-by-sides tend to have a fixed carrycot, rather than a squidgy removable papoose. Is this true, or do the carrycots come off easily? I can't tell on the best buggy site. I'm thinking that a side-by-side could be the better option but that I might have to leave it outside sometimes and grab the little one; it would be much easier if he/she was in a portable vessel of some kind! Is it only the Phil and Teds that do these removable soft cots?

mistressploppy Tue 02-Aug-11 20:57:47

See, this is what I'm thinking, Flubba.....Tiggywunkle makes some excellent suggestions but I'm wondering how much I'll use a double once DS1 is bigger. But I just don't knooooow...

I do think it's worth getting though, even if just for the early days. I can always sell it...

Also, the stupid Quinny apparently can't have a buggy board attached to it angry grin

Tiggywunkle Tue 02-Aug-11 21:00:01

You can put a soft cot into any side by side. Some soft cots attach onto the D rings, some use the harnesses. I prefer a baby to be strapped in so used a Bugaboo cocoon. But Petit Zia, Graco, Britax, P&Ts, and others all have soft cots or Cocoons which could well work or you can buy baby nests from places like Snunkies. Some can even parent face. I believe that almost all side by sides have seats that lie flat (I can think of a couple that don't) so the baby can go on the seat in a soft cot / cocoon from birth. But the proper carrycots all detach relatively easily on the side by sides and they should be no problem to simply carry into the house.

Tiggywunkle Tue 02-Aug-11 21:03:47

A Buzz can have a Lascal board on it. Whether you need a double depends on your lifestyle. My DD is 2.9 but for what we do ie shopping and walking by a busy road right now and for the foreseeable future I want the choice to strap her in. It's not easy juggling a shopping basket, pushchair, helpful toddler p, paying etc in a shop! Also my toddler is very good at throwing the odd spectacular tantrum or dawdling, or running away, or even a sit down protest when she doesn't want to go home. Having a double was one of the best decisions we made. Equally I have cared for children for twenty odd years and on only a few occasions did we have a double due to age gap or lifestyle.

mistressploppy Tue 02-Aug-11 21:13:51

Tiggy, you are confirming a lot of my niggling thoughts and answering a lot of niggling questions - thank you thank you thank you smile

FlubbaBubba Tue 02-Aug-11 21:16:33

How old is DS now? We got DD1 onto a buggy board (which fits maclarens) before DD2 arrived so we could tell if it was something a)she would like and b) how much we could use it (also so she didn't feel that she was being turfed out of the buggy just because of the new baby coming along). She loved it. We also used a baby bjorn a fair bit at the start so still had the option of a buggy for DD1.

We bought and sold our twin buggy on ebay so you're right, it's easy to sell on if you realise you don't need it for long..

mistressploppy Tue 02-Aug-11 21:26:09

He's 21mo Flubba - that's a good idea

Tiggywunkle Tue 02-Aug-11 21:26:56

I am sorry if I am monopolising this thread but I have something 13 of these doubles / tandems here at present and finding one that is right for a baby and toddler is hard. One issue I have with many tandems is that now my toddlers feet can touch the ground eg in stadium style tandems (like the graco, jane, umbrella type tandems) and so she is better in the rear position where she is higher BUT the front seats in most are designed for the toddler, not the baby, and so barely have a recline on. My favourite right now is by far the iCandy Peach Blossom but I have the new Blossom kit. I loved the Mima Kobi and it impressed me lots. The Duet arrives this week and I think it is definitely definitely one to consider. With your age gap, DD is unlikely to torment her sibling whilst she still needs a double, but you could put a carrycot on it anyway. I also like the B Dual a lot. We have a Joovy Ultralight that DD loves but I find it relatively hard to push and very trolley like. One thing it does have over most other sit n stands is the front seat has a deep recline for a sleeping baby. But I still stand by what I said at the start, for what you are saying re space / car boot not being an issue, and for gravel and for a tall DD a side by side would give you longevity and be easier to push. Lol now I will sit on my hands and stop typing - but trying to find a suitable way to transport two older children is my mission at present!!!

FlubbaBubba Tue 02-Aug-11 21:28:55

Tiggywunkle are you a Serial Buggy Buyer? smile

mistressploppy Tue 02-Aug-11 21:29:28

No, no, don't worry, I'm so grateful Tiggy!

mistressploppy Tue 02-Aug-11 21:30:28

I think Tiggy writes for Best buggy - is that right?

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