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Review: Life with a Double Stroller in Brooklyn

August 17, 2011

My oldest on top and my youngest asleep

When I found out that I was pregnant with my second I knew I was going to have to look into double strollers. Yes, another stroller- and a bigger, more expensive one at that. Sure wish I had thought about a stroller system with second seat additions way back when! I really didn’t know anything about double strollers except that I needed one for my daily excursions. I had to bite the bullet.

Which one?
I decided to do some street research: which double strollers were populating most of Brooklyn’s sidewalks? Phil & Teds, City Mini, and the UPPAbaby….I liked them all, except the Phil & Ted’s seemed like it had minimal storage.  After a little research on my own, I decided on the Britax B-Ready Stroller ($499.99) in black and quickly entered into a whole new world as a mom of two with a double stroller.

It seems like the Phil & Ted's is the most popular stroller in Brooklyn

When the package arrived, my husband was instantly frustrated by the size of the boxes- how big was this thing?  But after unveiling its contents, he was surprised by how easy it was to assemble. Thanks to the stroller’s click and go system, the B-Ready easily connected to the Second Seat ($149.99) with its two interlocking pieces and built-in receiver – creating a secure and tangle-free attachment. With a few clicks the single B-Ready became an in-line double stroller. This modular function also makes is easy to detach and configure the stroller into a different positions such as front-facing or rear-facing – without needing extra parts or adapters.

The Second Seat

First reaction
My 3.5 year old toddler instantly LOVED the double stroller- I liken it to an adult getting a new car: she immediately climbed in to take it for a cruise.  The seat, suitable for babies from 6 months (or from birth when used with an infant car seat) up to 55 pounds was ideal for her as she sat back and kept saying how comfortable and cool the stroller was. We strolled in a seated position (level 1) but the stroller is adjustable so that it can go into a more reclined position (level 2) to full on sleep mode (level 3). Out in her own private chariot, the sun visor provided Cleopatra with sufficient coverage from the sun’s harsh rays and the mesh ventilated window in the back – enabled me to check-in on her.

The sun visors have been essential this summer

Second Seat
The second seat has been ideal for my two-month old. Suitable from birth until a baby or toddler is 35 pounds, the second seat has been great for naps and strolls around Brooklyn. Since my baby is only two months old, I really like that the second seat is so snug and secure – creating a mini nest where she can rest and look out from the side of the stroller. She has even taken a few naps in the second seat where she rests her head on the comfortable head pad. Like the first seat, the second seat also has adjustable levels – from seating to lying down. The second seat also has a fantastic canopy with a sun-visor to protect her face and eyes as well as a padded seat strip to keep her safe and secure.

Second seat attached

Folding and Carrying
Since we live in a small Brooklyn apartment that is growing smaller by the minute, the stroller has to be folded up every day. I really love that the entire B-Ready could be folded without having to remove the second seat thanks to its chassis lock. My one gripe is that the stroller is heavy so I rarely drag it upstairs and have come to learn (very quickly) where the elevator stations are located in the subway.

Here it is folded up

Another cool thing about the stroller is that the seats can be adjusted into numerous configurations (see more about the configurations here). It can be reversible or used with a car seat or used as a stand alone stroller.

A configuration with infant car seat on top and older toddler seat on bottom

Smooth ride?
The stroller also provides a smooth ride – even on some of Brooklyn’s rocky streets – thanks to its all-wheel suspension. This has made it really easy to lock the stroller in place – especially before I am crossing a busy street by securing the wheels with one flick of my feet on the wheel and doing the same motion to release the lock for movement.

As I have been getting the handle of strolling with two, the next test for the stroller was a biggie for me. How much storage did it really have?  I went into our local grocery store and I could easily fit three bags plus my baby and toddler gear in the stroller. It in the past it was always a struggle where I would have to place some bags on my shoulder or on the bottom of the stroller – making for a very bulky and awkward ride. With the B-Ready I didn’t have any bags weighing me down; which enabled me to be hands-free so I could focus on pushing the stroller, picking up the baby or giving my toddler her water or a snack. In addition to having great storage, the B-Ready is also accessible from both sides – making it easy to grab what you need from any angle.

You can see the storage space well in this promo photo

Now that I am a mom of two I still want to be able to explore the city and travel around with my girls as much as possible and I like this stroller for doing that.

Disclosure: I was given a B-Ready Britax stroller to try out for a review. All opinions expressed here are mine.