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Adventures of Finding a Double Stroller

Lil lady is almost here. She’s due to arrive in six weeks. With the arrival of a second child and having a 2-year-old, hubs and I decided we needed a double stroller.

I forewarn you…this is going to be a long one.

There are a lot of strollers out there. Seriously. prices range of course as well and it depends on what features you want and your budget before you can really narrow it all down. One feature we wanted was a tandem stroller instead of a side-by-side. While most side-by-sides do fit into doorways these days many don’t fit in between aisles in stores. Especially not the children’s stores (which we don’t quite understand because you would think they would want you there shopping if you have children). Manuevurability was important to us.

Being that we already have a Graco stroller system, we figured we’d stay with the brand for a double stroller so the carseat would transfer without issue. The price was right, comes with all the accessories and has the features we want including a second seat which can be converted to a stand or sit seat for lil manĀ as he gets older. It’s easy to steer and I really like Graco because they’re seats truly recline (not just tilt) for kiddos to lay down during naps. It also auto-locks which hubs really loved. There was only one problem… it’s too long for the trunk of our car. Bummer. The Chicco had the same set back.

So, now we really had to look for a stroller. Friends gave us a couple suggestions, but many told us we should get the City Select. It’s definitely a nice stroller, but that price tag is really hard to swallow at $500-some and hubs was not happy at needing to spend more money for the accessories we wanted. But, we settled on it for pretty much one reason – it fits into our trunk.

Now, I know some would say that’s a crazy reason to buy a $500 stroller. Why not just get the Graco and put it sideways into the trunk? We thought about this and basically, the biggest issue is if we do this, I’d literally have no space in the trunk for anything else. Not even the bare essential of getting groceries home.

A friend of ours had a a second seat for the City Select she didn’t want so that saves us $130.

For the last two months, we’ve been staring at the price of the City Select watching for sales, search craigslist & ebay and checking out garage sales. Nothing. Except the sale on the diamond color which was only about $50 difference and sucking up the idea that we’d have to wash the seats a lot.

The problem was the more I looked at the stroller the more I didn’t really love it. Several of our friends have it so each time I was out with them I’d notice something else I didn’t like besides the need to pay for more accessories.

For such an expensive stroller I really don’t understand why some of the basic accessories aren’t included and now I realize many of the expensive strollers are like this. After the last two months, I can’t justify spending $600-700 on a stroller. I don’t know that I could justify it even if we had bought it when we first had lil man.

So, last week I started looking at strollers – again. It can get a bit frustrating looking at the same things over and over again. There seem to be more SBS strollers than tandem strollers. And as I was about to give up after a week of staring at the computer screen I stumbled over a review online about a stroller that sort of looked like the City Select, but not quite – it was the Kolcraft Contours Options Tandem stroller.

What really caught my eye in the review besides the photo … the price … under $250. I checked out the Kolcraft site directly for more details on the stroller. The more I read, the more I liked it.

Double tandem stroller
Large wheels
Large undercarriage
Different ways to set the seats
Cup holders
Easy to fold
Bars that snap onto the seats
Easy to maneuver
Car seat adaptor kit

Features I would like:
Auto-lock
Trays instead of bars

It was on sale for $199! Wow. That did me in. They even have a light version for a little more that had the auto-lock. I was sold.

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I checked the drop down links of retailers to see where I could buy the stroller. After checking every link I discovered no one had either stroller in stock. Fail. And a serious let down from my happiness high.

The Burlington Coat Factory site said we could contact a local store to see if they had it in stock even though the website didn’t. So, I called a couple stores. They were all very nice to check their inventory, but no one had it. I kept calling stores with hubs encouragement (that price tag really got him). One store said I was the 5th person to call them. That sale price really caught a lot of attention.

After 10 stores, I finally find ONE. The sales person said there was one listed in stock. She transferred me to the baby department. The new rep said she’d check. After 15 minutes on hold, she confirmed there was one in stock, but it was open box. She said she checked the box, everything looked like it was in the box and was still wrapped like new. Told us she would put it on hold for us if we wanted to check it out. Yes, that would great!

Lil man was napping, so we didn’t trek there until three hours later. It was about a 25 mile drive & some toll, but at that price it was definitely worth checking out at least.

The rep was very nice when we got there. Showed us the box and everything. Very helpful and friendly.

Hubs checked the box, everything appeared to be there. The rep said we had 30 days to return if we realized pieces were mixing and we could return it to a store closer to us.

What can I say – we took it home. The rep even went to get a shopping cart for us.

We were excited. We had to take it out of the box to fit into the trunk, but already it looked like the size was right.

Hubs put it together with lil man’s help that night. Took about 30 minutes. All the pieces were there. Yay!
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Pushing it around the house on hardwood and carpet, it moved well. It’s a little heavier than the City Select, but will be doable once I’m not preggo. It collapses pretty easily. I found it easier than the City Select. Seats are easily removable like the City Select. When open fully it looks a little longer than the City Select, but not by much. The car seat adaptor works well and easy to remove to fold the stroller. The cup holders are on the handle and there’s a little area to put a phone or anything else of that size. And wholly moly the under carriage is HUGE!
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The next day we tried the stroller into the trunk and what can I say … we weren’t disappointed. It fit! Have to remove the carseat adaptor and if we have two seats we can fit both, but it’s a little more compact if we remove one seat.
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And this past weekend, we strolled around the neighborhood. It was great. Very smooth and took curbs and bumps without problems or struggles.
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We saved ourselves $500 dollars. How exciting is that? Don’t have to spend $700 on a stroller and accessories. Woohoo!

That’s $500 for diapers for lil man and lil lady.

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