At 3, 5 and nearly 7 my children do not normally ride in strollers anymore. But 10 days in Disney World at the end of August almost guaranteed they would all want to hitch a ride at some point. Our double umbrella stroller just wasn't up for that so I search Craig's List and found the Baby Trend Expedition Double Jogger for our trip.
Recommend this product?
The Baby Trend Double Jogger is a large side-by-side jogging stroller with double 12" rear wheels and a single 16" front wheel. Both seats have waist and shoulder harnesses and are rated for children up to 50 lbs and 42" tall. The seats recline independently to almost horizontal. Speakers for connecting an MP3 player are built into the single large canopy that covers both seats. There is a parent tray with a small lidded compartment and two cup holders. For storage there is a bin under each seat as well as several pockets in the canopy. The stroller features a foot break on each wheel and a hand brake. The stroller folds and the wheels are easily removed for storage and travel.
What I Needed
I was essentially looking for a stroller to "rent" for two weeks. I needed a stroller large enough to hold my two younger children and some storage for a day in the theme parks. Clean, reasonably comfortable and cheap were my major criteria. This stroller certainly fit the bill. It retails for $169 - $199 brand and I picked it up for $50 dollars looking almost brand new except for a flat tire.
The stroller did not come from a "smoke-free home." I could not figure out how to remove the sling style padded nylon seats. Instead I took the stroller outside and aimed the garden hose at it. I scrubbed it down with some laundry soap diluted in water and rinsed it off. I then let it dry outside. That took care of most of the smell and any dirt that might have been on the stroller. Once it was dry I sprayed it down with Lysol and that removed every last bit of smoke smell.
One of the reasons the woman was letting the stroller go for only $50 was the flat tire. She didn't want to bother replacing it. The hand break never worked right and it tracked slightly to the right. I new all of those problems could be easily fixed with minimal additional expense. As it turned out, no expense. My husband filled up the flat tire and it never leaked. A look at the Baby Trend website and we found the instructions to tighten the handbrake and to get the front wheel to track straight. Both adjustments took my husband about 10 minutes and the stroller was ready to go.
There is no doubt that this is a huge stroller. Of course, it sort of has to be to allow an adult to push 100 lbs of children without a lot of effort. That task it performed flawlessly. Three and Five could climb in and out of the stroller independently, ride in comfort out of the hot sun, and dry from sudden afternoon downpours. The canopy even has a short visor to help keep sun out of the kids' faces and since the canopy ratchets in any direction not even a low setting sun will get in your kid's eyes.
Although the bins under the seats looked small, they held an awful lot, namely our soft-sided 30 can cooler under one seat. We also fit our smaller cooler, a hand pump, five rain ponchos and a change of clothes for Three under the other seat.
Pushing was reasonably easy; considering the seats held a combined weight of over 85 lbs. Steering does require pushing down on the handle to remove some weight from the front wheel to redirect the stroller. With some practice this does become easy and second nature. While a swiveling front wheel would make it a little easier to maneuver, that does need to be balanced against the significant added expense.
Travel with a stroller that large can be a challenge. We were driving our own van so we were able to make room for it, but I would not want to try and fly with it. We did remove all of the wheels, which made it easier to fit everything else into the van. To remove the front wheel you only need to lift a lever and slide out the tires. The rear wheels require pressing a double spring clip and pulling the tires off the rear axle, but it isn't much of a trick once you have done it once.
The seats recline almost flat, certainly flat enough for even young babies to nap. Baby Trend does not recommend using the stroller for jogging until children are at least 6 months old, but for a gentle walk even an infant should be fine. The straps are thick and comfortable to ensure a child won't slip out.
My children said they were comfortable and didn't complain at all about riding. Despite approaching the 42" mark, Five had plenty of head room and the width of the seat seemed comfortable for both children. They both liked the mesh pockets inside their seats to hold drinks, snacks or small toys.
Would I Buy it Again?
The Baby Trend Double Jogger served its purpose. We used it on vacation to hold kids and stuff at Disney World. If money was no object I would have purchased a double jogger with a front swivel wheel when Five was born for trips like this. As a day to day stroller, this, and just about every other double jogger is just too large. They take up lots of trunk and cargo space and do not fit easily down store aisles or through doorways. Double joggers are primarily for outdoor use and for that the Baby Trend Double Jogger works great.
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