In the past, I’ve maintained a healthy dislike of strollers. I have preferred instead to carry my tyke. In my mind, strollers, like umbrellas, have the same issue – by the time you’ve unfolded them, gotten yourself situated, and started toward your destination, you could have been there and back three times. That was before I had three kids under sixteen-months-old. When you’ve got three narrow butts that cannot walk or cannot or will not obey commands regularly, your whole perspective view on strollers changes. Even with helpers, I have only so many hands (two, if you’re counting or curious).
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Enter the dream stroller! The Joovy Big Caboose. A double stroller, plus a sit n stand. Drool. Oh, wait. I don’t own that one yet. Yet.
Until I get my dream stroller, I need something else to make due. I bought the Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather Stroller late one night because the next morning I had to, for the first time, handle getting across a parking lot and into a building fifteen-month-old Bunny Mei Mei & her younger seven-week-old twin brothers, Bread & Butter – all by me wee lonesome. I nearly died of fright. So off to The Giante’R’ Toy Store I went, and for $89.99 +tax, brought home the Jeep Wrangler Twin All-Weather Stroller by Kolcraft.
The Jeep Twin is essentially two really sporty-looking umbrella strollers riveted together side-by-side. It’s got six double-wheels made of hard plastic, three in a row up front and a matching set in the rear. The front wheels swivel 360°. All three rear wheels have a standard stroller brake. Coincidentally enough, the Jeep Twin also has three not-too-short-not-too-tall (I'm 5'9") foam-padded u-shaped handles (but remember, I still only have two hands).
Assembly was easy. We simply slapped on the wheels, canopy, and parent water bottle holder, and we were in business. No tools, no instruction reading (important for those figure-it-out-all-by-myself dads out there), a minimal amount of swearing. Like I said, easy.
The website states that the Jeep Twin weighs about 23 pounds (with no kids, kid paraphernalia, or parent water bottle), and I’ve no reason to disbelieve. At the time I bought this, I was driving a 1997 not-my-first-Rodeo. Now I’m driving a large pickup. For either vehicle, it was not too much work for my out-of-shape self to get the stroller in and out. Also, in case you’re one of those weird “Car People,” the Jeep Twin folded is 15” W X 18” D X 44 ½” H, again according to the website info. You’re on your own measuring your trunk.
To make a long story short(er) (too late), I get to the place I need to be, and begin the task of seating the twins in the stroller. I chose the reclined position (again, super easy, just unclip the seat from the frame), with the mesh seatback exposed. (There is also the option of folding down the headrest to cover the mesh seatback, but as it was approximately a kajillion degrees in the shade…) I buckled them into the three-point harness (center crotch piece, latches on either side), grabbed Bunny Mei Mei and tried to away-we-go.
I had to carry Bunny Mei Mei in one arm because she’s a sprinter with selective hearing. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know how many hands I then had free to push and steer the Jeep Twin. It was probably entertaining to watch me as I alternated my one free hand between the three handles to go up and down curbs, avoid oak tree roots, and otherwise navigate to my destination less than a football field away from my vehicle. Thankfully, the Jeep Twin is fairly responsive to one-handed steering (with the occasional hip nudge). In short, it steers like a dream.
The Jeep Twin has got almost no storage. It’s got two dinky little “hip pouches” on either side that might maybe be big enough for a pacifier and a bottle or drink cup. If you’re going to use this stroller for shopping rather than outdoorsing, be prepared to play pack mule (or bring a pack mule with you).
To speak to this stroller’s use indoors, I need to say that unfolded, at its widest point (the front wheels), the Jeep Twin measures a fat 31 inches. In Florida, doors are required to have 29 inches of clearance to accommodate a wheelchair. I’ve noticed that most doors, thankfully, are wider than that, though not by much. That does not leave a lot of clearance – a vulgar form of measurement involving body hair comes to mind. If you’re not a tight driver, you’re going to play bump-and-adjust getting through doors. Tight driver or not, God help you if you come at that door at an angle. If you’ve put anything in the “hip pouches,” you may have to empty them. Just a word of warning.
To speak to this stroller’s use outdoors, the packaging states that the Jeep Twin is All-Weather. I’m thinking they just threw that in to fit with the Jeep image. I don’t think it’s something to be taken seriously. For one thing, the canopies are like a Jeep bikini top – small, flimsy, and essentially useless. In the short trips I’ve used this stroller for, I had to either constantly reposition the canopies or get creative with receiving blankets to help the babies dodge the sun. I’ve never tried it in the rain, but I’m not even hopeful. Next, there are metal pieces on the stroller that don’t look aluminum (I could be wrong), and that means rust after a period of time. Lastly, I really don’t believe that the foam on the handles would survive an entire summer of use in Northwest Florida. I predict that between the humidity, regular thunderstorms, and vicious heat and sun, the foam will start flaking before the season is out.
Folding the Jeep Twin is pretty straightforward. Undo the latch under each seat, squeeze the handles in accordion-style, the front wheels jump up to meet you, and it has the standard stroller hook lock on the side. To unfold, reverse the process. Easy.
The Jeep Twin’s nylon seats and canopies should be easy enough to clean with soap, water, and a hose. I don’t think I’d try them in a washing machine.
The Jeep Twin is rated to hold up to 70 pounds of total kid weight at 35 pounds max per seat. No mention is made as to a height limit. My two older children are at extreme opposites of the height/weight percentiles, so I can only guess that 35 pounds is an average three-year-old? In any case, the Jeep Twin will probably do ya until the kids refuse to ride anymore anyway. At just about eleven pounds each, my three-month-old twins are probably on the small side to have any comfort in the seats. As they grow, that may change (if I haven’t listed the Jeep Twin on Craigslist by then to defray the cost of my dream stroller).
For the price, the Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All-Weather Stroller by Kolcraft is a good outdoor stroller. With some care and planning, it is a good indoor stroller. There are better indoor and outdoor strollers out there, but not for ninety bucks. So, if you need fairly inexpensive twinportation, and you, too, have only two hands, take a look at the Jeep Twin.
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Amount Paid (US$): 89.99
Age Range of Child: 12 to 36 Months