Tandem Stroller vs Side by Side

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Last Wednesday, Mia and I went to the park to the kids’ playground.

I sometimes get Wednesday afternoons off work, and it’s great to spend half a day with my daughter.

I always try and go to the park with her, whether it’s to have a run around on her scooter and go to the swings, or give her some fresh air and see the ducks in her pushchair.

Anyway, last week we went for the latter option..

..and unfortunately Mia wasn’t playing ball.

baby crying

She had been in a bad mood all day (I think she was just tired) but I wanted her to get some fresh air.

So after some persuading (and bribery – I said she can watch her favourite cartoon when we came back!), I convinced her to come along.

At this moment in time, one child feels enough for me and Sasha..

..but we may consider a second one in the future.

Sometimes you can’t plan such things.

When I see parents using double strollers in the park, I sometimes think is having 2 children twice as hard as having one? Or is it twice the joy? 🙂

Obviously parents with two children know that having a single stroller that can fit both kids is much easier than trying to push two strollers at the same time.

However, making the choice between a tandem stroller and a side by side stroller can be tricky, which is why educating yourself before buying one is an important decision.

Tandem stroller vs side by side. Which is the better choice for your family?

What are tandem strollers?

Tandem strollers are a good option for parents who want to have a skinnier stroller with a footprint that is similar to a single stroller. They are generally very compact, making them a great choice for working your way through a crowd with both of your children.

Most tandem strollers now have versatile seating options, which is great for parents whose children are a few years apart in age.

black tandem stroller

Image via Flickr | Stroddler | License

Many brands have a dozen or more seating variations, which will ensure that children are safe and comfortable, and some will even handle two infant seats at once, which is great for twins.

Tandem strollers that have “stadium” seating allow the child in the back to sit higher than the child in the front. This allows them both to see.

…and decrease the likelihood of arguing when you’re on the go!

Another type of tandem stroller is a sit and stand stroller.

These strollers have a platform at the back where an older child can stand or kneel while the younger child is pushed in a sitting position. These are great for taking long trips where the older child will want to be able to walk sometimes, but still needs to rest.

Here’s a popular and highly rated tandem stroller..

Zoe XL1 Best Tandem Stroller System

What are side by side strollers?

Side by side strollers are much wider than tandem strollers, but most modern strollers have been designed to fit easily through a doorway. They are great for families with twins, as both children will be able to see the same thing when they are being pushed..

..which can help reduce bickering!

However, there are very few side by side strollers that are able to hold two infant car seats.

This means that parents have to be willing and able to transfer the babies from the car seat into the stroller before they can start walking, which can take time and be frustrating.

two babies in a side by side stroller
Image via Flickr | Dion Hinchcliffe | License

One thing that is important to remember with side by side strollers is that they work best when the children in them are around the same size. This will prevent the stroller from becoming unbalanced and threatening to tip over, which is very dangerous.

Additionally, these strollers are generally a little more shallow than tandem strollers. This means that you will have better access to the kids and can get to them both at the same time when you’re in a hurry.

While side by side strollers aren’t as flexible in terms of seating, they are a good option for when you are going for long, uninterrupted walks and want both children to remain in their seats and be able to see, such as around the park or in a city.

Here’s a popular and highly rated side-by-side stroller…

Joovy Scooter X2 Double Stroller

Pros and cons of tandem strollers

Pros

  • Some can accommodate two infant car seats
  • Generally are easier to navigate
  • Come with standard accessories, including snack trays and storage baskets
  • Can easily fit on an elevator and through narrow hallways

Cons

  • Due to the length, it can be tricky to reach the child in the front of the stroller
  • Most rear seats won’t fully recline
  • Tend to be very heavy

Pros and cons of side by side strollers

Pros

  • Great option for children that are the same age
  • Makes it easy to feed babies at the same time
  • Not as long as tandem strollers, so they are easier to control

Cons

  • Many do not have accessories such as trays and canopies
  • Children need to be similar in weight so that the stroller can be maneuvered easily
  • Children often tend to fight when placed side by side
  • Not possible for one child to stand and one to sit while being pushed

FAQs

How will you use the stroller?

Parents who are going to be using their strollers for long outings may want ones that have two equal seats for their children to stay in. On the other hand, traveling to an area where children will be in and out of the stroller as they want to walk and then get tired may be better suited by a tandem stroller.

How much can you push?

Double strollers tend to be really heavy, and not everyone can easily push them. Tandem strollers, while also heavy, are generally easier to maneuver and the weight is more spread out, making them easier to push.

How much space do you have?

Both tandem and double strollers are large and will stay large even when fully collapsed. Tandem strollers are a bit smaller, which is something to take into consideration, as you need to make sure that the stroller will fit in your trunk.

How old are your kids?

The age of your children will play a huge role in what type of stroller you choose. Twins are often better off in double strollers, especially when they are out of their infant seats. Kids with a larger age gap, however, may be much happier in a tandem stroller.

Does the stroller have enough storage?

No matter what type of stroller you choose, if you have two children that you’re traveling with, you need to make sure that you not only have ample storage, but also that you can easily access it. Storage in a double stroller is generally more easily accessible.

Conclusion – Tandem Stroller vs Side by Side

Both tandem and double strollers have a number of advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the one that is right for you is a personal decision.

Make sure to consider the age of your children, as well as what type of traveling you will be doing on a regular basis.

Above all, safety is paramount when choosing a stroller, which is why opting for a reliable company is a good idea and this may help you narrow down your shortlist and pick the right stroller for your needs.

What double stroller did you choose?

Please leave any comments below.

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Author: Dad Racket

Graham runs the place around here. He likes making a "little noise" about all things to do with tennis and parenting. Check out his about page to learn more.

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