Keith Snyder
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Our long national stroller nightmare is over

The winner:

This is the Mountain Buggy Urban Double. It's hellishly expensive: $579 on sale.

But that's only half the story. The other half is this is our third stroller. The first was a Maclaren. $300-something, plus the bunting, rain cover, etc. That link is to the current model, which looks cosmetically different from what we bought two years ago.

The Maclaren is a perfectly good stroller, though it had its drawbacks--primarily that you can't push it with one hand unless you're making a macho game out of it. (Not that I ever do that.) But it served us well. Until Butch got too wide for it. Before he hit two years, he was starting to wear 4T clothing. (For you non-baby types, that means he's built like a linebacker for the St. Louis Lambs.)

So his shoulders stopped fitting. Butchie's a very sweet-tempered boy when his brother's not stealing his things, so he just adjusted himself and sat kind of off-kilter sideways and didn't complain.

But that wouldn't do, so Mommy got a Joovy Caboose. $130. This is designed for one older and one younger child, with the older one standing on a little step, facing forward. But the step is also a seat that faces backward.

  • Butchie's shoulders fit.

  • Easy to carry one baby and a car seat through an airport.
  • Because it's a pain to always readjust the harnesses and let them alternate riding directions, Butchie rides backwards all the time.

  • Macky learned all he had to do was bang his head backwards and his brother would make all kinds of interesting noises.

  • The front seat is in a fixed position. It's comfortable for the boy facing forward, but cuts into the neck of the boy facing backward.

  • Impossible to play "Boo!" games, since one boy is always facing the booer.

  • Difficult to play learning games on the street, since one boy is always facing away from the OPEN sign, fruit stand, flower stand...

So much for that. So after much research, not the least of which was the navigation of conflicting online width information and repeated re-measuring of our front door and entryway (Daddy learned from the bike trailer debacle), Mommy ordered the Mountain Buggy. $579.

We've had it for two days. The only thing we haven't done with it is travel by air or car, so I can't report on that. When we started this parent thing, we could barely bring ourselves to accept $350 for a stroller. $579? Please--that's for stupid rich people.

But this is the one we should have started out with. We'd have spent half as much by now, and wouldn't have had all the aggravation.

(And the width of this model, according to my tape measure, is exactly 30 inches. For those of you who found this blog post because you're trying to get real data.)

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