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Although you have so much more parenting expertise now, figuring out what double stroller to get can be just as tricky as picking out a stroller for your first. It’s very much like the difference about planning for your first kid vs. your second.
When you have your first child, you’re choosing the stroller that you’ll want while you’re learning the ropes of being a parent, while adjusting to having a new person in your family. So when you shop for your single stroller, you’re still thinking to some extent about your lifestyle as a childless person.
You think about talking urban strolls with your new baby so you get a Bugaboo Cameleon, or you think of yourself as a runner so you get a BOB Revolution jogger, or you are a busy errand-running mom or dad so you get a City Mini. But when it comes your second child, now you’ve learned to think of yourself as a parent with kids, and with another child’s needs to balance, so it makes the decision process a little more complex.
There are three general types of double strollers: Side by Side, Tandem, and Inline. You can see my article about the the different types of double strollers here.
I remember when the City Select first came out: I was so excited about it! It has this revolutionary stadium seating setup with so many combinations of seating positions. Our customers were really looking for what the City Select had to offer. Consumers wanted a stroller that wasn’t as long and cumbersome as a tandem stroller, and they didn’t want a stroller as wide as a side by side double. You could go for an original inline like a Phil and Ted’s, but at that time you couldn’t really add an infant car seat adapter, which was a requirement for most of our customers. So with the City Select, you have a stroller that isn’t as long as a tandem, but you can add an infant car seat to it to use it as a travel system.
At around the same time, UPPAbaby came out with its original rumble seat for the Vista, but the rumble seat had no recline, and you could only put it in one position. So it didn’t really work for all toddlers.
The interesting thing about the City Select is that even though it worked perfectly well as a single stroller, most consumers purchased it as a double stroller. When given the choice between the City Select and a Vista, a Cameleon, or a City Select, most consumers went for the UPPAbaby or Bugaboo. But nevertheless, the City Select has been a top choice when it comes to double strollers. It’s a fine double at a reasonable price point, with two generously sized seats for big kids – all great selling points.
But the City Select isn’t quite the perfect stroller. Even though it isn’t as long as a traditional tandem stroller, it still feels long when you push it, and it doesn’t go up curbs seamlessly. Like I said, people love that you can have a car seat and a toddler seat, but the adapter is a bit finicky. The stroller also gives the impression that it is very flexible in terms of the ways that you can position the seats, but the reality is that it’s more limited that you might think at first glance.
Finally, I don’t love the way it folds. It folds in one step (like all Baby Jogger strollers), but I don’t find the folding mechanism to be engineered as well as it could be. The plastic rubs against plastic, which sometime causes the stroller to stick when you try to fold it.
But the City Select has pretty much been the only game in town for years… until now. The 2015 UPPAbaby Vista really addresses many of the flaws of the City Select.
I know that consumers love buying the UPPAbaby as a single stroller. It has a very attractive look, it comes with a sleep-safe bassinet included, and UPPAbaby did a great job with the new fold. The Vista has always pushed well, but consumers are going to find the Vista to be easier to maneuver with two seats than the City Select. Finally, the car seat adapter attaches more elegantly to the Vista than the City Select, and in 2015 it works perfectly with the UPPAbaby Mesa, so you don’t have to use an adapter at all!
However, before you jump to conclusions about which stroller to buy: you always, always, always want to try a stroller in person before you buy. I would be skeptical of all of the pictures of combinations for both the Vista and the City Select: sometimes the toddlers are kept way too upright, or the infant car seat doesn’t allow for much head space for the toddler, so I definitely suggest that you come to see both side by side, in person.