Double buggies are designed to transport more than one small child from A to B. They come in two main designs: the tandem buggy, where one child sits behind or below the other, and the twin buggy, where the two seats are next to each other. Both designs have their own pros and cons to consider.
Types of double buggy
Almost all double buggies are (or can be made) suitable for newborns, and can carry a toddler up to the age of three or four. And many double buggies can be converted into single models (or vice versa) if you want to use the same buggy with future children, or continue to use it even after an older sibling outgrows it.
1. Tandem double buggy
- Easier to manoeuvre on public transport and up and down kerbs
- Double travel systems (including carrycots and car seats) tend to be tandem buggies
- Better for newborns and for two children of different ages
- Can be budget-friendly
- The second, lower seat can sometimes take up storage basket space depending on the design
- The child in the lower seat won't always have a good view, especially if parent-facing
- Can be heavier than a twin buggy
- Less sturdy and less likely to be all-terrain
- Usually need taking apart to fit into the car boot
2. Twin (side-by-side) double buggy
- Good for twins – children can sit next to each other and interact
- Lighter to steer and easier to push than a tandem buggy
- More storage capacity
- Suitable on a variety of terrain – tend to be more sturdy than tandem buggies
- Can be budget-friendly
- Wide and may not fit through all doorways
- Seats are typically forward-facing, but this does depend on the model
Will I need a double buggy?
If your younger child is born while their older sibling still needs to use a pushchair, or you’re expecting twins, a double buggy will almost certainly make your life a lot easier. They’re large and bulky, and usually take a little more setting up than a single model. But being able to get around quickly, safely and in all weathers with two small children is invaluable – not to mention providing a rest-stop for a tired toddler, and a comfortable, sheltered place to nap on the move.
What should you consider before buying a double buggy?
Both tandem and side-by-side buggies suit some circumstances more than others, and the right choice for you will depend on your environment, the age gap between your children, and the kind of use you’ll get out of the pushchair.
Be sure to test different products out in store, including the folding mechanism, reclining mechanism, and adjustable handlebar, before you buy.
1. Your children’s ages
Do you need the pushchair for siblings close in age? Tandem pushchairs can almost always be converted from a single to double buggy (and vice versa), so as one of your children grows out of the pushchair age, you’ll still get some use out of the buggy.
Take note of the weight and age limits for the buggy seats, and whether there’s an option for a buggy board – some pushchair seats are more generously proportioned than others (the Nuna Demi Grow is a good example of a large, padded seat) and you don’t want them to grow out of the seat too soon.
Does it matter to you where each child sits? Many tandem pushchairs relegate the smaller sibling to a seat down by the back wheels (although the iCandy Orange uses elevators to create a ‘cinema seating’ arrangement where both children can see).
For twins, you may prefer a side-by-side buggy so both children can sit next to each other with a good view. If one of your children is a baby, some buggy models include parent-facing options, and some don’t, so if that’s important to you, you’ll want to take it into consideration.
Look carefully at the different seating options available – can the pushchair be used as-is from birth (like the Bugaboo Donkey Duo/Twin), or would you need to invest in additional carrycots, newborn liners, or car seat adaptors (like the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo)? Does that still make the pushchair good value for money?
2. Your environment
Will you be using the pushchair mostly on pavements and busy streets, or down bumpy country lanes? As a general rule, twin buggy models are lighter to steer and easier to push – many come with large, air- or foam-filled tyres (eg the Out n About Nipper Double) and rear suspension to ease bumps and knocks.
Some buggies have been designed for city living – the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo is exceptionally light and easy to carry when folded, and single-width tandems like the Nuna Demi Grow will be easier to manoeuvre on buses and trains. On the other hand, if you spend much time in the car, you’ll be interested in how compact the buggy is when folded into the car boot, and how easy it is to dismantle when not in use.
Top tip: If you’re considering a side-by-side model, don’t forget to measure the width of your doorway, as life will be much easier if you can wheel it straight indoors.
3. Your routine
Will you be using this buggy for the school run? A quick fold and unfold will be invaluable for busy weekday pick-ups. If you often take a double buggy around the supermarket, you’ll want to pay attention to the size of the storage basket – and how accessible it is, when both children are in their seats (the iCandy Orange has an especially capacious basket, while the Out n About double buggy uses storage pouches on the back of the seats instead).
If you spend a lot of time in parks or in the countryside, or have an energetic dog to walk, a pushchair with large, off-road wheels will be more suitable for adventures.
When the toddler is tantrumming and the baby is crying and you just need to get out, you will be grateful of a double buggy.
4. Price and added extras
Double buggies represent a serious investment, whether from the cheaper end of the market (like the Joie Air Twin, RRP £139.99) right up to the most expensive end (like the Bugaboo Donkey Duo/Twin, which costs around £1,500 with accessories).
It’s definitely worth making a list of everything that’s included in that initial price – newborn carrycots, sibling seats, rain covers, sun covers, seat liners, car seat adaptors – and, if they’re a separate purchase, how much it will cost to assemble the pushchair as you’ll need it.
While higher-end pushchairs like the Bugaboo Donkey and the iCandy Orange will cost a serious chunk of change, their resale value does remain high. If you can afford the initial investment, you’ll likely recoup some of that money once you’re ready to sell it on.
5. Warranty and maintenance
Double buggies do seem to take a battering over time, and it’s sensible to look at each manufacturer’s warranty before purchase – how many years is the warranty? What does it include? Will the user bear the cost of sending it back? Some manufacturers include paid-for repair services once the warranty expires, which might make it easier to handle broken parts.
Do bear in mind that air-filled tyres trade their effortless push for an increased likelihood of punctures. Mumsnetters recommend using bike tyre sealant to make air-filled tyres more resilient, but you may prefer a model with foam or plastic tyres instead.
And, since babies and toddlers tend to make messes of one kind or another, it’s important that the fabric of the pushchair is machine washable, or at least wipe-clean.
What does the initial price include and what is your budget? Will I need to buy newborn accessories, sibling seats, rain covers, footmuffs or sunshades?
What’s the age range and weight limit for each seat? Will I be able to use the pushchair for as long as I need it? What are the seating options as my children grow (in six months? A year?), and how much do those accessories cost? Can the pushchair be used as a single model if needed?
What are the folded and unfolded dimensions of the buggy? Will it fit through my front door? In the car boot? Stood up in the hallway? In a train or bus vestibule? And what is the best double buggy travelling?
How easy is the buggy to fold and unfold? Can it be done in a hurry? Will it fold all in one piece, or does it need to be dismantled? How heavy is it to move around when folded?
How easy is it to take off and put on additional seats, carry cots, car seats? Is it difficult to switch between different seating options? And are the seats roomy enough?
How easy is the buggy to push and steer? What's the turning circle like if you're moving through tight spaces? Is it more suitable for smooth pavements or bumpy off-road paths? Which is more valuable to me?
What are the aesthetics like? Does it come in colours I love? Will I (and my children) enjoy using it?
We took all these aspects into consideration as we tested 10 different double pushchairs, so take a look at our double buggy reviews to help find the right model for you.
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