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Double stroller zen?

Back when I was pregnant with Caroline, I wouldn't even look at strollers and I didn't even register for one! Nope, just babywearing for me.

STROLLER 1 - Chicco snap-n-go
Then came Caroline and carrying the bucket. Maybe because that got old, real fast we ended up at Buy Buy Baby buying the Chicco snap-n-go. It was glorious and had a super large basket. I could grocery shop alone with just that!

STROLLER 2 - Uppababy G-Luxe
After the bucket seat, in Caroline's baby board, there was chatter among strollers. Someone mentioned the Uppababy G-Luxe and it looked perfect. Chris and I headed to Buy Buy Baby and after comparing strollers, walked away with our Uppa. Caroline in her first big girl stroller:

The G-Luxe served us well and even went to Disney and was quite a great stroller as she could nap almost flat, it was a quick fold AND it was super light!:

I didn't really think about strollers after that. It was the fall of 2013 when I was perusing Target and I discovered a stand of 8 Graco tandem double strollers on clearance for $35. I scooped up one and went home and went back 2 hours later and grabbed the last one. I gave one to my sister who had two little ladies at the time and was saving the other in the garage, for a rainy day. Chris was adamant I sell it, since we were not having a second child at the time and it was taking up garage space. Need I remind you we have a ginormous storage space in the basement, but okay. I sold it on Craigslist to a nice lady who was expecting her second in the next few months and then a week later, we tested positive with our second.

Again, I don't need a double stroller, I'm going to baby wear (roar!). When we'd go out and about I usually wore Abby and we'd stroll Caroline in the G-Luxe. And then came Disney 2015.

STROLLER 3 - Kinderwagon Hop
As we were going to embark on our first family of four vacation, I knew a double stroller was needed. I HATED the idea of a side-by-side stroller but liked the idea of a tandem stroller. I also HATED the idea of having a huge bulky stroller so I was looking at umbrella strollers. I discovered the Kinderwagon Hop and thought oh this looks perfect!

When I opened the stroller at home, I was quite surprised with how large it still seemed, even technically being an umbrella stroller. I didn't like how it didn't have the kickstand like my G-Luxe so it'd fall over. It may have had a locking mechanism but it certainly didn't stay clasped. Both seats did not recline and in fact, the front seat didn't recline at all; however, I did like how the seats were completely upright. When we went to Disney, Caroline was still able to nap in it, but her legs were dangling into the under basket and not comfortable for her. The worst part, it felt as if we were driving a Mack truck. It was incredibly hard to push with both ladies in it (who were only 2.5 and 8 months at the time!) and was DEFINITELY not a single push by any stretch.

STROLLER 4 - Uppababy Vista 2014
We came home from Disney and one Saturday were up at Buy Buy Baby perusing and there was a 2014 floor model Uppababy Vista on clearance. Since I had joined the Stroller Group on Facebook, I knew this model wasn't nearly as great as the 2015 model in that the second seat couldn't do all the configurations. BUT, it pushed like a damn dream boat. The Vista just glided along the store unlike any other stroller we owned previously. The main seat could completely recline or sit completely upright. The leg rest was adjustable. The basket, oh lordy, that basket was huge. I knew I'd be able to get the rumble (second seat), so after debating, we brought it home. I found the rumble seat on Craigslist for a steal and the next day, we pushed it to the park and wow. Caroline told me she loved it.

Chris then told me we only needed one stroller, and while he pushed for me to sell the G-Luxe I was like never, a single umbrella will always come in use, but I sold the Kinderwagon. While my heart ached to see it go, it really wasn't that great.

While the Vista pushed like a dream, it didn't handle curbs well at all. You basically have to lift the whole thing to get it over, so it's a lot of pressure on the forearms trying to walk around the neighborhood. The 2014 Vistas and prior have a god awful fold. In fact the girl who sold me the rumble actually showed us the best way to fold it, HAHHA! You can't fold the Vista with the rumble attached. And, last but not least, Caroline was starting to getting annoyed sitting at the back as she couldn't ever see out and if we flipped Abby to face her, well then there was debates about the sun visors. Let's not also forget the one time Caroline actually fell asleep on a walk and that rumble seat also doesn't recline, sigh.

Cut to us deciding to go back to Disney this spring. I started to think what would be our best plan for strollers. We always stay on property using the bus transportation, most of the time we have the last gate at the airport which is a lot of walking, lots of walking at Disney, hmmm. I knew the Vista would never work. Between us fidgeting with trying to fold it down, then take off the rumble seat to carry with two little ladies, no reclining for Caroline and if Abby is fully reclined her feet or head will be in Caroline's face who at Disney World won't be able to see anything but that bloody main seat! Chris didn't believe it, but he finally came to his senses when I explained how the Vista would never work for this vacation.

Let's discuss my girls' current stats so you can see how the strollers would measure up for them (god are they not dang adorable!):

Caroline - 3.5 years, 38 inches tall, and 38.5 lbs. When sitting, her torso/head heigh is 22 inches
Abigail - 18 months, 28 inches tall and 26.0 lbs

I found the perfect stroller on line which I had deemed in my mind to be the most perfect double stroller, the Baby Jogger City Mini Select....in purple, god isn't it gorgeous?! (I mean it's like this was meant for me, it was calling out to me):

This my friend's was a no-brainer. Tandem seating, YES! TONS of adjustments like the new Vista, YES! Can technically fold with both seats (in one certain configuration), YES! AND, best yet, Baby Jogger was having a manufacturer sale so I could get this on sale! Seeing as how expensive it was, I still needed to test it out so off to good ol' Buy Buy Baby we went one day after ballet.

And, then my hopes shattered. This stroller was never going to work for Disney. I didn't have any issues with the push, though I read it's not the greatest with two in the stroller, but do you see that? Caroline barely fits! Her head is PAST the top of the canopy, so this means it's got a year life with us if we are lucky, sigh:

Neither girl would be able to recline at Disney for naps and the fold wasn't perfect for all the transportation.

The new Uppababy Vista was completely out of my budget, but I thought, well maybe if they both fit, I could figure it out. The Vista seat was even shorter on Caroline than the City one. It actually folded with both seats and turned as well, but for that kind of money, I need longevity people!

I turned my head to try the Uppababy G-Link. It's the new double, side-by-side (shudder) to the G-Luxe we have. In my mind, this was my backup. I love our G-Luxe, so this is just the same, just two strapped together. Er, um, not really. (AND IT'S A SIDE-BY-SIDE, ugh!) While I could push it around and it didn't seem THAT wide, and was light enough, the sides are much narrower and shallower than the G-Luxe; therefore, my girl can barely lie down! But it does fold like a dream, which would be great for Disney, sigh:

This is when my heart starts to flutter and I panic. Oh no. It feels like college acceptance all over, the safety is NOT the safety! One of the workers advises the Baby Jogger City Mini Double GT would have the highest seat back for Caroline but in all honesty that we should just rent while at Disney. (I'm not knocking renting for you, but it's not in the cards for me). Well as it turns out they don't have the double in stock but the regular, so we try it and Caroline does fit, but it feels like a big stroller:

We go home empty handed and deflated. Caroline asks over the next few days when we are going back to try strollers. She got a kick out of it. We went a few days later with Chris and he liked the G-Link the best. I was all set to order it, but, it just didn't feel right. Like if she barely fits now, it will be like the Select where she'd outgrow it so soon.

I actually was getting irritated and thinking, you know what, I don't need a double stroller! Sure, I've done Disney a dozen plus times, but I baby wear, humph, I have a single luxurious umbrella stroller, we will be fine. I then talked with Jessica who was like c'mon Lisa, don't forget all the walking, you need one, and she really was right. I messaged my old grade school friend Joy and Emilie and we discussed strollers. I asked the Chicago Stroller community which was best and was told to go to downtown to Galt baby and try out strollers. Here I am, oh hell nah, we have everything we need in the suburbs, trust I don't need to drive 45 minutes to try a stroller (major eye roll I gave that girl). Nothing seemed quite right but despite not being able to try a stroller, I ordered the:

STROLLER 5 - Baby Jogger City Mini Double GT
I actually became ecstatic thinking about the stroller. Air tires, YES! It's the most common rented stroller at Disney so it has quite the longevity, YES! One handed fold, YES! Super long canopies for napping, YES! Oh god, I was sold, sold, sold, sold.

I placed the order and tracked it every 10 minutes. It was Thursday, the one day I don't have anything after work. It was raining and I was so ecstatic. I was going to go home and try out this amazing stroller! Then, as I trolled Facebook Stroller group on my break I read about the Valco Snap Duo2. Oh god, did I make a mistake?! Why didn't I know about this stroller beforehand?! I have a stroller being delivered to my house any minute, and it doesn't seem as perfect as this Valco. Bloody Valco, where did you come from?!

Well I came home and opened it and wow, baby pushes like a dream. I mean it's not like there are grooves or nooks on my hardwoods to simulate outside conditions, but wow, it was as lovely as the Vista. It did fold easily, BUT it's not a one-handed method, you definitely have to use BOTH hands at the same time. I actually knocked my knee a few times with the folding. Caroline spotted it the minute she got home and loved it. She fit well with room to grow which made me pleased, AND, when I pushed her alone, it wasn't awkward! She wanted to be pushed all around and have her seat reclined with the shade up. My girl travels in style:

Abby was calm every time I pushed them around in it, which wasn't often. We finally got to test it outside on Easter day when we walked around the neighborhood with my mom and it did push really, really, really well:

One thing that drove me a bit batty with the CMGT is that the seat wasn't in a fully upright position. Our G-Luxe is the same way and I find it tends to lead the girls not as pleased, not to mention, I HATE being at a recline. So, I would push the seat up as far as I could while pulling on the mechanism to lock it. So, after walking, I get all show boaty with mom. Mom, this is such a piece of cake, it folds up with just two hands just like this and I pull up the straps and um, I jerked my back as the bloody stroller didn't fold whatsoever! So I keep pulling the straps and nothing and now she's smirking like oh yeah, I see it, Lisa. I then recline the seats back a bit and then it folded up. (way to boost my ego there CMGT, pfft!)

I continue to think about the Valco in my mind and read reviews and look at the stats, but I can't afford another expensive stroller and good god, Chris will kill me.

We had taken off April Fool's Day to just spend the day together and travelled to the city to eat at our favorite BBQ place. I had made plans to get my ear lobes pierced for the 4th time (long story, for another time) and so it was quite an eventful day for us. As we were getting dressed, I googled for where the Galt baby store was and oh my goodness, it's really quite close to where the tattoo/earring place is. I ask Chris if we could go to a baby store and he knew what I was fetching and boy was he disappointed with me!

We had our delicious BBQ and it was now 12:15p. I looked up the directions to get my ears pierced. I was starting to get nervous, but I have been wanting this done and to my surprise Google Maps tells me it's not open until 2p! Well shoot, this throws off the whole afternoon I had planned. I checked their actual website and yup, shoot, soooooo, baby store?!

Off to Galt we go! Hip hip hooray! Who is excited?! You know I am! I've been dreaming about this stroller for 2 damned weeks, I need to know that I didn't make a mistake!

STROLLER 6 - Valco Snap Duo2 - oh yeahhhhhh
I spotted it sitting there the second I walked in. Hellllllo beautiful. I finagle it off the rack and oh god, this thing isn't as boat like (long) as the CMGT. Oh god. This baby is so dang light (it's either 8-10 lbs lighter). Oh god. Look at the footrest come up and extend the seat. Oh god. Look at that huge basket that's easy to get to.

Oh, are you oogling too? Chris is like, wait, the handlebar doesn't adjust!? I'm like no, silly, it's high enough, you don't need it to adjust. Oh god. Chris, did you see these magical hidden pockets!?

We decide to try to figure out the fold and since I did massive research, I remembered how it worked and I was like oh that's pretty nice. They coincidentally had the CMGT right next to the Valco so I show Chris, remember this is how our's folds and no joke, I pull up those levers and their CMGT locked too! But, since I'm a pro at that now, I pull the seat back a little and ta da as it starts to fold the bloody wheel banged my knee cap. I was cursing the CMGT at that point. Bloody CMGT!

At this point one of the employee comes over and is showing us other things like how one side can become a bassinet. Whaaaat?! I mean, I am not PLANNING a third right now, but well that feature could sell me on a third (hahaha I'm crying, imagine the laughing with tears emoji please). And I'm all, I will give it to the CMGT to have a better sun shade, what's that he says, the Valco sunshade zips around to become longer. SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

Oh god. I'm salivating. I can't think straight. I need this stroller. This is the double stroller to end all strollers. This coming from me, Lisa K. Falcone, the girl who thoughts strollers were deplorable, I mean long-live babywearing for god sakes, and a side-by-side stroller, well, I mean, this, this can't be happening. Who have I turned into?! Who am I?! And oh god, how do I tell Chris that I made a gigantic mistake ordered the CMGT because I hadn't even heard of a bloody Valco and this stroller is so much better?! He's going to kill me, right here. I mean at this point I have TWO double strollers at home! TWO people! And, then he says what makes me love him more, "I can't believe how much I really like this one (Valco)." Oh, that's right baby, you drank the koolaid, too. This is THEE stroller to end all strollers. And then like the amazing man he is he tells me I can get it if I sell the other strollers.


Yes sir, I'll take that fine gorgeous Valco over there, and because we can, we carried it out on it's strap, bwahahha!

Seriously, it's the best. I adore it. The girls love it. The free handlebar for holding on when we ask daddy to go fast:

Different sun shade lengths and footrests popped!

And, look at that height, Caroline still has plenty of space!:

Ladies, I've found my double stroller zen. I'm all over here, "you need a Valco! you need a Valco! you need a Valco!" I mean if you think about it, it's almost like it was meant to be mine. Val-Coe. Fal-cone. I have give some serious considerations to puffy painting Falcone in purple (of course) over Valco, because I mean, how perfect would that be!

And true to my word, the Vista and CMGT are up for sale.


When thinking about the best double stroller, you really need to figure out what you are using it for. Had we not had our Disney vacation planned, I wouldn't have been shopping for a double as the Vista worked for what we needed it to work for. Had we been using our own transportation at Disney, I probably wouldn't have considered the Valco, because the CMGT is fine to lug in and out of a trunk.

All three I presently have: Vista, CMGT and Valco really are great and all push really well. The CMGT has the worst basket and most difficult basket to get to. It's very awkward and almost crawling on the ground and tweaking your back (would be fine for the mall, but not in and out at Disney since I'm paranoid about leaving anything in the stroller!). Vista is great for the mall, but when walking in the neighborhood and we come to an area that doesn't have the ADA sidewalks, whoa, forearm workout time!

If I were pregnant with my very first, I'd get the new Uppa Vista or the City Mini Select. Ladies, buy a GOOD (read not at Babies R Us, they may have it on their website, but their store strollers are shudder worthy) stroller that can be converted to a double. I see (and myself included) everyone buying an okay stroller for the first and then going through 5-6 strollers and then getting the stroller that can become a double once they/we already have 2+. Save yourself the time and heartache now! If you have a great baby boutique in driving distance, GO! I really should have listened to that fine woman's advice and gone to Galt before going to Buy Buy. Buy Buy is a step up from Babies R' Us, but Galt had so many more brands including our once beloved Kinderwagon (har har). And, well if you already have two babies or 1 and 1 on the way, GET THE VALCO!

We've gone...

to Disney World, I wish! No, but this journal is now friends only. Comment here if you'd like to be added. Unless you're a troll, I'll add you

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