Before we had babies, we had “To-Do” lists for every NYC day. You know, get some coffee, hit the subway, pick up the beer, and so on. Inevitably during our errand-running, we’d see a gal burdened with a baby and wonder: how does she ever get anything done? And then we had babies. And then I went ahead and had another.
Luckily, we have since learned some tricks of the trade. We now know that you CAN check off every one of those items on your “To-Do” list with a baby…or two. You just need the right gear, and more specifically, the right double stroller.
We recently road-tested some fine two-seaters with our very own NYC kids -- the two-year-old redhead Libby and her new sister Elsie belong to me, and the sweet, handsome boy is Kaity’s son Oliver (yes, that’s who those kids are on our Instagram!). We chose strollers that could accommodate at least one infant and toddler, so they could be used right when the new addition arrived. But with my toddler’s busy social schedule, we also needed the doubles to do the job when the two-year-old wanted to hit the road with a friend.
So whether you’ve got a growing family, a nanny share, or just want to plan ahead, here are some of our favorite double strollers to get us through our “To-Do” lists for every NYC day.
The Coffee Run
Our first stop was the much-needed coffee run. After getting dressed and maybe putting on some makeup, there’s no better accessory (besides totally adorable kids) than the Bugaboo Donkey Twin. We’ve long coveted this beautiful ride, and we totally saw the longing mama stares when we strolled through the hood with our Andy Warhol Donkey Cars printed canopy. But looks aside, this super-smooth stroll passed the “coffee test” with flying colors -- no spills even as we navigated the bumpy sidewalks of NYC. Libby enjoyed the creative configuration, which enabled her to keep an eye on her baby sister, and we were pleasantly surprised that we could fit through the doorway of the coffee shop. Note for first-time parents: The “Twin” version of this stroller is actually a “Mono” converted with a double base, so well worth your investment on Baby #1. bugaboo.com, $1,659.00
The Subway Ride
Once my toddler became old enough to use an umbrella stroller, it quickly became our ride of choice; light, small and easy are magic words when it comes to city living. So when we learned about the Kinderwagon Hop, a tandem umbrella stroller weighing just 21.5 lbs, we had to try it, especially for our playdate that took us into the much-feared-with-stroller subway. The Hop’s infant configuration could not be easier to remove, so out came baby carseat and in went toddler #2. The stroller’s slightly raised second seat worked well for a double-date; the back-seat driver was able to see just as well as her partner in crime. And the close proximity of the seats made Goldfish-passing super easy. Most importantly, Kaity and I were able to haul this stroller up and down the subway stairs without breaking a sweat. Note on weight: The Kinderwagon is so light that Libby was able to push it around the apartment all by herself. She was devastated to learn that it was not, in fact, a toy for her bunny and blankie. kinderwagon.com, $299.99
The Sidewalk Sightsee
In a city filled with so much to see, it’s a shame when we see a toddler tucked in a stroller under a hulking carseat filled with a sleeping baby. When I learned about the Graco Ready2Grow’s 12 configurations -- yes 12! -- I knew there had to be a great way for my curious two-year-old to take in the city sights with her baby sister in tow. After clicking in the Snugride Click Connect 35 carseat (easy!), we positioned Libby front-facing in the stroller and set out for the day. To our relief, there were no “I want to walk, Mama!”s to be heard; toddler was totally stimulated while safely buckled in. We could even tend to baby (who was facing us) effortlessly without ever disturbing toddler’s view, which made for a relaxed and shockingly quiet stroll. Note on price: With the money we saved by purchasing this awesomely inexpensive double stroller, we had enough cash left over to stop and buy ourselves a new pair of shoes. Yay. gracobaby.com, $219.99
The Beer Shop
For the ever-important errand of picking up some adult beverages (trust us, this becomes even more critical when you have two kids), we opted for the Joovy Caboose Too Ultralight. This tandem stroller is so narrow that it actually looks like a single when you view it straight on. While baby napped peacefully at home, we visited our notoriously narrow local beer emporium, Bierkraft, to test it out. We rejoiced as our toddlers entertained themselves in the “Choo-Choo Train” that was their stroller, while we leisurely picked through the impressive selection of bottles. And we nodded proudly when we were passed without so much as an acknowledgement: yes, our stroller is that narrow. Note on length: we were worried that stroller this narrow would have a terrible turning radius -- not so. Totally impressed with the maneuverability of this lightweight double. joovy.com, $299.99
The Apartment Hallway
The true measure of a great city stroller is not always what it does outside on the streets, but rather in our narrow – shared -- hallways. Our holy grail was finding a double stroller that fit neatly outside our apartment door…and sometimes even inside our space-challenged apartment. The Britax B-Agile is as spacious and accommodating as double-strollers come, but has the best fold in the double-stroller business. Not only is the folding action quick and easy (we could do it with one hand, seriously), but its narrow frame takes up so little space that you could barely see it next to our door. The indoor test was equally impressive. With Britax’s chic new hues (the Peacock is pictured here), it almost looked like apartment décor. Almost. Finally, at a width of just 30 inches, we could stroll it right out the door. Note on configuration: This simple side-by-side configuration may not be the most creative, but it is classic -- and loved. Also the carseat adapter has enabled my girls to sit side by side since Day 1. britaxusa.com, $449.99
Photography by Evan Gubernick of 485 Creative.