Is my Cosco Two-Ways Double Stroller more like the Hindenberg or the Titanic?

Jun 16, 2002 (Updated Jun 16, 2002)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Holds two children either front to back or front-to-front, backseat ideal for infants

Cons:Front seatbelt lap only, wheels hard to attach, some models are UNSAFE!

The Bottom Line: Trouble should be in the name of this stroller!


After my second child was born, I *knew* that I needed to get a new stroller. My single stroller, although a great stroller, just couldn't cut it for long, and it was no longer safe for infants as the kickstand would only go in one position now, and that was down. So I began my search for a double stroller.

Having decided that side-by-side was not my style, due to the sheer width of it, I went looking for a front-to-back model. I tested models in many stores, before I went back to Wal-mart, and found the stroller I decided to go with, the Cosco Two-Ways Double Stroller. I liked it because the backseat can be a bed for an infant, no chances of falling out through leg holes, and they could face each other if I decided to turn it around. I bought it, brought it home, and excitedly put it together. Then the problems just began!

The biggest nightmare with this 'piece of junk' was the wheels. I would think that if you are getting a stroller that is folded up and all in a box, they could at least put the wheels on for you!! But no, I had to attach them between washers and locking clips, and get it on. I thought I had it correct, put it up and tested it. BAM! One wheel fell off. I tried a few more times, and then gave up. I finally did get it on and left it sit. We took it out to the car, and on the first trip out shopping; the darn wheel came off again! Finally, I removed one of the washers put the locking clip in, and it stayed on longer. When I got home, I took a piece of wire, similar to the locking
clip in thickness, and ran it through and tied it shut. No more coming apart for that wheel! YAY!! I wasn't happy that I had to MacGyver that one shut, but hey, that wheel hasn't come off again and it has been 2 years!

I thought great! From here on out we have smooth sailing. Oops! Wrong again! Rule #1, if you have not briefed your spouse on how to fold the stroller up correctly, DO NOT LET THEM TOUCH IT!

We went to a convention one weekend, and needed this stroller of course. When we were ready to leave, I was busy getting the kids settled in the van, and my husband decided to help me by putting the stroller in the back of my van. Well, he did not know how to do it, and well, let's just say he broke a part of the stroller. He grabbed the sides of it, and pushed in the buttons to collapse the stroller, sending it hurtling to the ground. When I collapse it, I push those buttons in while lifting the stroller up into the van, and it collapses right where I want it! Well, gravity sent this stroller down fast and because he did not adjust the rear seat into the upright position,
it snapped the back part off. On this stroller, there is a bar in the back that is the top of the seat. There are clips attached to this bar, and hold another rectangular shaped bar in place, forming an upper ridge about 3 inches high when the seat is fully reclined. Now, mine is snapped off the bar, and will not stay for anything, unless I buy a drill and again, MacGyver it into place, but I think that might cause more problems. Sigh. So when my little one takes a nap in the back, I have to readjust, and try to snap it in place again, and again, and again.


I've heard bad things about this stroller a.k.a. Piece of Junk, or lemon. Is it really that bad?

Well, I do not think that it is as bad as it has been made out to be. This stroller certainly has its problems, but it is not quite a disaster like the Hindenberg or Titanic. The main problem that other people had with this stroller had to do it collapsing after you could hear it click that it was opened and supposedly secure. I personally did not have any of those problems, as the strollers in question were manufactured almost 2 years before mine.

Another big problem with this stroller is folding it up. I've detailed some of my problems with that already. More problems with it are that it does not fold up into an easy shape. Many strollers fold up, and can sit on their back wheels. This one folds so that the wheels are underneath, and there is nowhere to go but down, like a camel. In fact, it kind of does look like a camel, with two humps and all from the two canopies!


Ok, so what come with this stroller?

Front seat reverses so children can ride face to face or both forward facing - This really is the feature that I bought it for. I had options in this stroller about where the kids got to sit! After a little practice, it was not so hard to do it. I did not follow the directions to get it right, I just found the little clips that keep the front seat in place, and move them with a finger, and push it out of the way, and repeat on the other side. All you do from there is to lift the front sections out of place, and turn and snap it into place! Seems simple enough, and it was, as long as you remember how to do it!!

3-position reclining back seat fully reclines to infant carriage position - I only wish it would fully recline in the front seat too! The back seat not only fully reclines, but when in the front-to-back position, you can lock the kickstand in place, and there is a cloth cover for it that snaps into the back of the front seat, creating a protected area for infants! I love this feature.

Spacious storage basket to hold children's needs - Well, it certainly is spacious! It cannot hold a lot of weight, and if you have a child in the back seat, or in both seats facing each other, you cannot fit as much in because their feet will be in the way. My biggest complaint now with this basket is that the snaps are so difficult to get apart and together, that if you do not get it right, it can come unsnapped and then drag on the ground. This happened to us once, and it just wore holes into several pieces of the bag. The front section of the bag is also halfway ripped off, so before long it will be gone for us.

3-point harness in back - I just wish they had strollers with 5 point harnesses available in my area when I was looking! The 3-point harness is better than the lap belt in the front seat, but neither one is easy to adjust. The plastic that it loops through is very difficult to work with also.

Machine-washable fabric pads - This is a very good feature, and used often in our home. Things spill out, diapers leak, and these fabric pads get thrown in the washer as often as I can get them in. These pads are nice, but the back one can be a pain. I have to constantly move it back into place from slipping down. The problem is that there is a strip of Velcro to hold it in place, and it sure doesn't take many washings before that Velcro just does not work correctly! The front one is fin, as it hooks over the top of the seat, so it never budges.

Individually adjustable canopies with mesh side panels for added ventilations; rear canopy has covered window - The two separate canopies are great. The front seat has two parts to the canopy, as it needs to have the back section unzipped for front-to-back seating, but is best to reattach for front-to-front seating. If left on for front-to-back seating, the child in the back can get their head caught underneath it, and freak out. I found this out the hard way! The back canopy is nicer than my single stroller, as it not only has a window in the top, but a matching fabric cover with Velcro on it, so you can take a peak, and it keeps your little one out from the sun. I also love the mesh side panels, as they give ventilation, and younger children get more to look at. My youngest could not sit up by himself at the time, but I had him in that back seat, and he could look through the mesh panels to see more of what we were riding by on our walks around the neighborhood.

Shock absorbers for smoother ride - I've noticed only slightly that it does have a better ride for the back seat, but since I'm pushing from there and not the front, I'm not sure about the front shocks. It certainly appears to be a better ride than what our single stroller gave for us.

Individual rear brakes - Yes, each wheel in the rear has a bright red brake to put on. But no, they are not what I had hoped that they would be! You have to move the stroller while putting it on to make sure that it snaps into a groove to actually stop it from moving. I've pushed down before, and it was not in the right place, and the brake did no good. You must do this with both brakes to get it on correctly. To take them off, you lift up, but sometimes it is not easy to just flick it up with your foot. In comparison to the brakes on my single stroller, these were too difficult and I hate to put them on.

Bottle bag on rear canopy - I do not consider this a bottle bag. First, I do not use bottles, so it would never have them in it. This is a great odds and ends bag though! I put my sunglasses, the kid's sunglasses, my keys sometimes, napkins, treats, and loose change; anything that needs to be in reach at anytime goes into it! A great thing to put in is a map for the amusement park you are at! Be careful how much you put in though, as it can cause the rear canopy to swish forward, or pull back due to the weight.

Cushion grip on handle bar - At least it is not a metal bar to hold on to! Actually, it is not that bad to hold onto this bar, as it is a little cushy, but is plastic so it can get pretty hot.


My recommendation

IF you are desperate, and this is the only double stroller available, then and only then get this product. There are many more models available now, and even this one has been improved upon and upgraded from my version of it. PLEASE, do not buy this stroller unless you want pain and trouble.

Mine has given it's all, but I think even mine was one of the better out of the whole lot, given the number of negative reviews and feelings toward it. I'm ready to retire mine since the bag is about shot, the back is broken, and even the cushion on my handle has a rip in it that is getting larger. I am just glad that I have found Epinions, and I can read up on many strollers before I even consider buying another piece of junk!

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From more information on this and other products from Cosco Inc., please go to:

http://www.djgusa.com/coscocat/costable.html

The specific link for the most current incarnation of this stroller is at:
http://www.djgusa.com/coscocat/strollers/tandem.html

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This epinion has been submitted as part of the "I Can't Believe It Bought This Piece Of Junk" Write Off. This is in celebration of the 2 year anniversaries on Epinions for HawgWyld and Joubert. I am happy to help in the hosting duties with them, and wish them happiness and continued success with their reviews here on Epinions. If you would like to visit the web page for this write off, please go to:

http://www.geocities.com/ariel10575/epinions/ICBPOJWO.html

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