Sunday, June 14, 2009

The third wheel: researching a double stroller or Baby Trend sit and stand vs. Joovy Caboose

I've been wanting a double stroller, sort of. I currently have 3 children and I'm expecting number 4 in November. The stroller we bought when my first was born is starting to show signs of age and problems due to me trying to fit 2 kids in it.
What I want it for:
  • walking my kids to school (baby and 2 year old would probably ride, but needs to be able to handle the 5-year-old who sometimes decides he is "too tired" and sits down and refuses to move)
  • going on walks with other moms
  • going to the mall
  • going to the zoo/ other outdoor activities
Other things it should do:
  • handle curbs. I dislike walking in the street or having to use people's driveways.
  • fit in my minivan
Options: (first 3 require little or no money expended)
  • keep using the old stroller until it breaks. Tell son to tough it out.
  • front pack for baby, umbrella stroller for who ever else. This works OK. Hard on my back though. If I go this route, I think I'll spring for a new umbrella stroller that has higher handles. This only works for the first 6 months or so, then the baby gets too heavy for me to carry for any length of time.
  • wagon. this is what I used this year. The wagon doesn't handle curbs gracefully. It doesn't fit in the van well. Also, the handle is a little low. I also prefer pushing to pulling since I can see what my kids are doing. But it does fit a bunch of kids. (for reference the bed of the wagon is about 34-36 " long)
  • toddler board that attaches to my current strollers. Those I've seen on-line are expensive, seem to break,and make it harder to push the stroller.
  • sit-n-stand stroller. This could be a good solution. Baby rides and older kid can ride or not as desired. Baby Trend appears to be able to fit 3 kids, but isn't rated for it.
  • full double stroller. I'm not interested in going this route. I was interested in combi double side by side stroller, but I don't like the way it handles. I prefer the tandem models.
Exploring the sit-n-stand options:
I've narrowed it down to 2 strollers: the baby trend sit-n-stand and the joovy caboose.

baby trend sit-n-stand
Weight: 26 lbs
Price: $129
folded dimensions: 36x18x12
dimensions: 21"W x 46.5"L x 42"H
max child weight: 40 lbs
Pros:
  • big stow bag
  • parent cupholder
  • could fit 3 or 4 kids
  • one handed fold
Cons:
  • huge
  • doesn't stand up when folded

joovy caboose
Weight: 26 lbs
Price: $140
folded dimensions: 10.50 x 21.50 x 43.0
unfolded: 41h x 21w x 38d
max child weight: 45 pounds
Pros:
  • takes heavier children
  • shorter than the parent trend (don't let the folded size fool you) by about 8 inches
Cons:
  • more expensive
  • very small basket under the stroller
  • no cup holders
  • folding takes two hands

Analysis:
The Joovy Caboose is smaller, takes bigger children, and costs more than the baby trend. I haven't decided if the smaller size is a blessing or a problem.

I was able to look at the Baby Trend. The thing is a beast, but it has plenty of room and handles well, even when loaded with all my kids (yes, the six year old figured out how they could all ride, although I don't know how the poor stroller would take it.)

If anyone has personal experience, and has a recommendation, I'd appreciate it.

Other resources:
Here's a video comparison of the two strollers.




7 comments:

Ashley said...

I dont have any suggestions, but I wanted to say Congratulations on your Pregnancy! I didnt know you were expecting until I saw you yesterday. so Congrats!

Alicia said...

We were looking into the Baby Trend but like you the size is making me hesitate. I hate having it big and bulky. I hadn't seen the Joovy Caboose yet, so thanks for the heads up on that! Let me know which route you go.

Cayce said...

have you thought about a front back to a backpack? I have always loved the backpack..I can get so much stuff done and they are cheaper and hold a child for a while depending on style/price etc... justa thought!

Anonymous said...

I am in a similar situation, I have a 4 year old, 2 year old, and a 3 month old. I am trying to find a solution to carry all three on a walk when the 4 year old gets too tired. I am curious how you would get 3 or 4 kids on the baby trend stroller.

rcstanley said...

For fitting 3 kids, first thing is that the babytrend has an 80 pound total weight limit. If your 3 kids weigh less than that, then it might work. Second, the stroller isn't really set up for it, so watch your kids since you won't really be able to use all the safety features in the back. Legal disclaimers aside, how I've done it is one kid in the front seat, one kid on the bench facing forward (instead of backwards like they're supposed to),and one kid standing on the step. The kid on the bench will have their feet in the storage basket.

Deena said...

I've been using the Joovy for my now 4yo and my 2 1/2 year old and I've never been sorry that I bought it. Now that I'm considering #3(which may turn into 4, since I'm doing IVF), I'm looking at the Joovy Big Caboose (particularly if we have 4) which although heavier and more expensive, is set up to hold 3 kids and has a total weight limit of 150 lbs, I think. I live in NYC, so this is my main mode of transport for my kids (I jokingly refer to it as my "minivan"), but it's held up to 2 1/2 years of abuse and walking nearly 5 miles a day with two kids, I'd highly recommend the brand.

For those that have fewer kids, I love the look of the new Joovy Ergo Caboose… You can find pics of all of these at the joovy.com website.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

I have the baby trend.. it fits my 8month old in the front and my three year old sits with her legs facing forward and my two year old boy stands... they do fit. HOWEVER! the stroller fabric wear the baby sits is coming apart... the basket is hard to get things in and out of even though it is big and the metal on it is rusting.. it is two years old. The frame is saturdy and has vever come close to tipping. The seat in the front seems to have some type of cardboard in it and bent. Im looking for a new one. Im looking for the Fisher Price Dual rider It is a sit and stand.. Or the Mia Moda? I think that is thew name But cannot find a store that keeps them in stalk. The fisher Price seems to be the best. If I can just find it!Oh the baby trend also never tips backward but almost seems to on slanted drive ways... even with just two kids in it.. in case you were wondering.

~ Cat