Choosing a double buggy can feel like a minefield – they’re almost always bigger and heavier than a single buggy model, and both twin (side-by-side) and tandem designs come with their own pros and cons.
As they also represent a serious price investment, parents expecting a second addition to the family (or, of course, twins) need to feel like they’re completely informed before making that vital purchase. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our Buyer's Guide for all the tips you'll need when buying a double buggy.
When it came to finding the best double buggies on the market, we wanted to see how easily they slotted into everyday life, and how practical they were for those daily chores: how did the buggy arrive at the doorstep, and how was it assembled? Did the width and turning circle make it easy to get through doorways, up and down stairs and on buses and trains? How difficult was it to put up and down quickly, under pressure? Did it fit folded up in hallway corners and car boots?
After much in-depth research including review sites, bestseller lists and the parent recommendations on the Mumsnet Talk forums, we chose 13 double buggies of varying designs and at a range of prices, and got going immediately.
Which double buggies did you test?
Over the course of six months, our parent tester put the double pushchairs through their paces, scoring them based on six key areas: assembly, day-to-day use, safety and stability, cleanliness, aesthetics and value for money.
Following the extensive testing process, we awarded five pushchairs a Mumsnet Best Badge, which represents the products that we feel offer the best value for most parents.
Who tested the product?
Our tester is a mum of two with a four-month-old and and four-year-old. The age gap between her two youngest children meant that she was able to test the reactions of a baby and a toddler to the seating options in each buggy, and was used to multitasking around multiple small children – ideal for assessing the convenience of a double buggy and also its longevity.
How did you test for assembly?
We began with the ordering process – was it easy to see exactly what was included with each purchase, and which additional conversion kits would be needed, if any? Did the manufacturers list crucial specifications like width, length and weight, both of the pushchair itself and the maximum load of the seats? Did the pushchair come with a warranty, any servicing options or customer service help?
Once the pushchair arrived, we sprang into action. Did the buggy come partially assembled? How many pieces were in the box? How thorough were the instructions? And did the assembly require any tools? We looked for digital versions of the installation booklet and additional assembly videos online – as with buggies, it’s often more helpful to see the assembly in person. We also timed the assembly from the moment we opened the box to the moment the buggy was wheeled out of the room.
How did you test for day-to-day usage?
Our tester used the buggy for school runs, supermarket shops, trips to town, and park outings over the course of the test, covering at least 10 miles with each buggy.
During that time, there were many questions to answer: how were the fold and unfold mechanisms? Did the seats need to be clicked in each time, or could the buggy be folded in one piece? How much space did it take up when folded? Could it fit comfortably in the car boot, and was it easy to lift in and out?
We paid particular attention to the wheel performance off-road and on, and to the weight distribution when using public transport, bumping down stairs or popping up and over kerbs.
We wanted to find pushchairs that were effortless to push, comfortable to sit in (as well as liked by both toddler and newborn) and convenient to store when not in use: three of the hurdles double buggies often struggle to clear.
We put each component of the double buggy under a microscope, assessing the durability and comfort of the seat materials, how easy it was to recline or adjust the seats to suit the child, how capacious was the storage basket when holding changing bags and supermarket groceries, and how effective were the rain covers and sun hoods.
As double buggies tend to represent a serious investment, we also wanted to measure their longevity. How long could it be used? What were the options as a newborn baby grew into a larger baby and then a toddler? How long would a toddler be comfortable in the seat? Was there a buggy board option for afterwards?
How did you test for safety and stability?
We conducted an extensive topple test, hanging heavy bags from the buggy handle and measuring the stability of the buggy when children were in or out and in various configurations (using an equivalent weight as a child stand-in, not the child itself!).
We assessed the stability of the pushchair in motion, on sloping ground and when being used as a climbing frame at home, making sure it wouldn’t tip over unexpectedly.
We examined the seat material, the five-point harness, the reclining mechanism, the bumper bars, the footrests and how the seat (and carrycot) attached to the chassis in great detail, watching for shoddy workmanship or badly designed functionality. We measured the handle, and made sure that it was suitable for various heights and stride lengths.
And as child safety is, of course, paramount, we assessed the coverage of the sun hoods, the protection of the rain cover, and the security of the brake pedal.
How did you test for cleanliness?
And at the end of the test we assessed how the materials had worn, deliberately dirtying the fabrics and washing them where possible, checking for damage to the wheels and scratches to the chassis, and generally evaluating how fast the buggy might deteriorate with the heavy usage small children require.
And what about aesthetics?
While safety and practicality are, arguably, more important than looks, we looked at the design and colour of each buggy and whether it came with any extra features and accessories that made it stand out from the crowd.
How did you measure value for money?
By the end of the testing process, our tester had weeks of data about each buggy, which had been tested in the same conditions, by the same people, making comparisons as detailed and objective as possible. She was able to use the data and her own experience to make an evaluation of whether the buggy was worth its price, regardless of whether it stood at the cheaper or more expensive end of the market, and what the resale value might be if it needed to be sold at a later date.
Each of the buggies was scored in various subcategories, and awards given based on those totals.
Why you should trust us
Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and in those years we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products. We’ve watched trends come and go and safety features and engineering become more and more slick. We tested each double buggy with real children in real situations, as well as standardised lab style testing and we're confident that our testing left no stone unturned.
Do brands pay for these reviews?
All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing – brands can't pay to win a Mumsnet Best award. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.
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