When we found out that we would be spending a year abroad, I started scheming about strollers (or, push chairs, as they’re called here). I knew I didn’t want to take our huge, monstrous double stroller with us, so I sold it. (*sniff*) We loved our Kolcraft Contours tandem stroller, and it served us well for three years. But, it was time to upgrade for our trip.
I started my search online and looked and looked at double strollers that were recommended by family travel blogs and similar sites. I didn’t really like them. Everyone recommends the Maclaren strollers, but I’ve never liked them. I decided that maybe the way to go was to purchase two umbrella strollers, but find some that were ultra-lightweight. SO….I purchased 2 Chicco Ct. 6.0 umbrella strollers, one orange and one teal. They were very nice and very lightweight (11 lbs each), and even came with a handy travel bag with a shoulder strap. We thought we were set.
Weellllllllllllllll, a couple of days after these lovely umbrella strollers arrived, I got in touch with a great traveling mamma friend who lives in NYC and travels with her family of four (now two toddlers) all over Europe. I had mailed her to ask for tips, since she seems to really have it together, and is always on the go! She is also a cloth-diapering mom, and I needed advice about using cloth while on the go too, but more on that later. She had all kinds of good tidbits for me, but in particular, she introduced me to the world of modular double strollers, and more specifically, the Phil and Ted’s strollers. I became obsessed!
I sold the brand-new Chicco strollers through Craigslist.
Caprice (my world-travelin’ mamma friend) had a Phil and Ted’s “sport”, which she raved about. I belive this model has been phased out, but there are a variety of others, and holy cow, are they COOL!!! And when I say cool, I also mean expensive. Very expensive. The least expensive model (with the stuff that makes it into a double stroller) runs somewhere around $800 new, I think. Don’t know how much they cost here in the UK. I never thought I’d be the one to get obsessed with the schmancy expensive strollers, yet here I was, glued to my computer for two days, searching on eBay and Craigslist (and not just Seattle Craigslist, but any area where I knew someone) for our perfect stroller, hoping I could find one at a price that wouldn’t force me to sell one of my children (not that I haven’t been tempted, mind you). Well, on the second day of my obsessive search, the Heavens opened and three listings appeared on Craigslist in the Seattle area! I emailed furiously, and made contact with the person selling for the lowest price. It was an older model, called an E3, in bright orange, and the double seat was previously purchased used and was black, but it was in good condition, and it was only $250!!! And it came with a sun-shield that covers the entire stroller (which we’ve used several times already). So we piled into the family station wagon and drove to Snoqualmie to pick it up. The woman selling it was great, and talked us through the basics of folding and opening, and attaching the various parts. She even gave it to us for $10 less than what she advertised, since she didn’t want to make change! We were feeling smug. On the way home, we stopped in Bellevue to pick up a bag that clips to the handle bars and has a zippered pouch and a place for two water bottles. This was another Craigslist find. I felt even more smug!
My obsession didn’t stop there. Now I needed to have the pannier bags to attach to the sides of the stroller so that we could carry things with us even when both children were riding in the stroller. So I spent the $60 or so on a pair of Phil and Ted’s pannier bags. AND, since we were flying on several airplanes, we really needed a way to safely stow the stroller and check it as luggage, so I spent another $80 or so on a fancy padded Phil and Ted’s travel bag (it’s amazing). In addition to the stroller and all its parts, we can get the pannier bags, the handlebar bag, our stainless steel water bottles, the sunshield, and a bunch of diapers and wipes inside of that travel bag.
Since we left the US, we have patted ourselves on the back countless times for our wise purchase(s). This really is the BEST travel stroller for twin toddlers!!! Worth every single penny!
Here in the UK, Phil and Ted’s strollers have been sold for many years. I believe they have been sold here longer than in the states. We see them on the sidewalks every day. Below are some of those we’ve come across. They are almost always being used for two children. I think I’ve only seen one that didn’t have the second seat attached.
Check out the Phil and Teds website. The new models are amazing (and amazingly expensive!!!)