Note: There is no one universal “best,” especially when it comes to parenting. These are “The Best Convertible Strollers” based on Also Mom's strict criteria, detailed here.
Think of convertible strollers as transformers. With one seat, it looks like your typical full-sized or luxury stroller, but with the addition of some adapters and a second seat, voila, it’s magically transformed into a tandem double stroller, accommodating two (or more) kids. For growing families with children less than three years apart, convertible strollers are the way to go. They are extremely versatile, easier to manage than side-by-side strollers, and are suitable from birth. Beware their folded size though, because not all convertible strollers will fit in all trunks!
Without further adieu, these are the best convertible strollers in loose order of preference…
- UPPAbaby Vista ($1050 as a double, including one bassinet) – Beautiful and functional too, it's no surprise the UPPAbaby Vista is one of the most popular strollers on the market today. The newest UPPAbaby Vista has a modern look with leather accents and on trend colors. It rides smoothly, maneuvers well, accommodates up to three children at once (two seats plus a ride-along board), folds and unfolds simply, and comes standard with all the important accessories, including a bassinet. The only downside (which is a direct tradeoff of what makes this stroller so great), is that like other strollers in its category, the Vista is large and not ideal for tight spaces or small trunks. [full review]
- Baby Jogger City Select Lux ($1030 as a double, including one bassinet) – A popular alternative to the UPPAbaby Vista, the City Select Lux has a modern look, a more compact fold than the Vista and the City Select, accommodates up to three children at once (two seats plus a ride-along board), has a handbrake decelerator great for large hills, and is compatible with all the best car seats. On the downside, it is heavier and has a more industrial, unfinished look than the slightly more popular Vista. [full review]
- Nuna Demi Grow ($1160 as a double, including one bassinet) – A gorgeous, well-designed stroller with a classic European look, the Nuna Demi Grow converts to a cozy double stroller with the addition of a sibling seat (sold separately). Compared to the Mixx2, the Demi Grow has a bucket seat recline versus a nearly flat recline, a different folding mechanism, and accommodates a second seat. Compared to the UPPAbaby Vista and Baby Jogger City Select Lux, the Demi Grow is very similar in terms of quality and size, the main difference being that the second seat on the Demi Grow is situated below and behind instead of below and in front of the main toddler seat. Many kids find this positioning to be cozy and love it. Shorter parents may find that this seat gets in the way when they try to push the stroller. [full review]
- Joovy Qool ($820 as a double, including one bassinet) – This is an affordable convertible, modular stroller that accommodates three children, looks nice, and is compatible with our favorite infant car seats. Given the price, there are some compromises– the fold is bulky, it is heavy, the footrest is not adjustable, and the large storage basket is difficult to access. [full review]
- Baby Jogger City Select ($920 as a double, including one bassinet) – A less expensive alternative to the City Select Lux, the City Select is similar but lacks suspension, doesn't have a decelerating hand brake, has a bulkier fold than the Lux, and has limited good-looking color selections. Like the Lux, it accommodates up to three children at once (two seats plus a ride-along board) and is compatible with every infant car seat we recommend. It also costs less, which is why many choose it despite it being a bumpier, less on trend ride. [full review]
- Britax B-Ready ($840 as a double, including one bassinet) – With a similar modern look to the more expensive UPPAbaby Vista when used as a single stroller, the Britax B-Ready is a plausible option if you're okay with a few compromises. The B-Ready has solid suspension, a nice bassinet, and even converts to a double stroller– but the configuration for the double stroller is suboptimal, with the second seat going behind and underneath the primary seat, making the stroller more difficult to push. [full review]
- Joolz Geo 2 ($1250 as a double, including one bassinet) – The Joolz Geo2 has a modern Euro look, rolls smoothly, and is compatible with our favorite infant car seats… but it has some flaws. As a double stroller, the Geo2 is designed somewhat sub-optimally, with the second seat attaching behind and below the primary seat. Thanks to the extra long handlebar, the second seat doesn't get in the way much, but it does take the place of the storage basket (meaning in double mode, there is zero-zilch-nada storage). Additionally, this stroller is not modular, the footrest is not adjustable, and the fold is quite bulky. We love the way it looks, but there are better options out there. [full review]
- Thule Sleek ($1350 as a double, including one bassinet) – This stroller won't be available until June 2018, but it looks like it's going to be one of our faves. Thule is known as an active, outdoorsy brand, and this stroller's design and aesthetic definitely takes a cue from that active life, while still looking modern and (ha) sleek. With the same configuration options as the UPPAbaby Vista and Baby Jogger City Select (including a ride-on board option), the Sleek also features a covered storage basket and reflective, foam-filled wheels. We'll get a full review up as soon as the stroller is released!
Why a Convertible Stroller Might be Right for Your Family
A convertible stroller might be a strategic purchase for your family if you…
- Have enough space for a large stroller.
- Plan to grow your family in the near future (less than three years between children).
- Plan to use your stroller during the newborn stages and not just during the older toddler years (if you plan to rely on babywearing during the first year, a standard stroller with a ride-along board for an older child is possibly sufficient).
- Plan to do a nanny share and will eventually need a stroller that accommodates two children (even if you only have one yourself).
- Do not need to haul it up and down stairs or into and out of trunks frequently, because these things are heavy (if heaving is part of your lifestyle and you need to transport two or more children, check out other lighter double strollers).
What to Consider When Choosing a Convertible Stroller
- Do you love the way it looks?
- Do you want your children facing you or facing the world? Strollers where children can face you include the UPPAbaby Vista, Baby Jogger City Select Lux, Baby Jogger City Select, and Joovy Qool. These strollers also allow your child to face the world, but do not allow for a great recline (or much legroom) in a double forward-facing position. Strollers situated with the second seat below and behind the primary seat– including the Nuna Demi Grow, Britax B-Ready, and Joolz Geo 2.
- Is there sufficient leg room between the two seats? Will both children be able to recline deeply enough for a good nap? (See above for positioning.)
- Is the second seat below and behind or below and in front of the main seat? (Those with seats below and behind the main seat are typically more difficult to push for shorter parents.)
- What is the weight limit of the second seat? Strollers with second seat weight limits dramatically lower than main seat weight limits are not ideal for twins, for example.
- How much under-stroller storage space is available with the addition of the second seat? Some second seats eat up all the storage space, while others leave enough storage available for some essentials.
- Will this stroller fit? In your trunk? Wherever you plan to store it?
What Didn't Make the Cut
This is the only convertible stroller we know of that we don't recommend emphatically…
- Bugaboo Donkey (~$1800 as a double, including one bassinet) – Holy expensive. The Donkey is an expandable side-by-side convertible stroller, that goes from a “mono,” supporting one child and an additional small side-storage basket to a “duo,” supporting two children side-by-side. This stroller might be great for you if you live somewhere with wide sidewalks or pathways, don't plan to navigate any tight spaces, and want a super luxury ride for your babes. Otherwise, we prefer the Vista, City Select Lux, or Demi Grow strollers, which are all still plenty fancy, but support a narrower strolling position for better maneuverability.