How To Select a Double Stroller: Side-by-Side vs. Tandem

How To Select a Double Stroller: Side-by-Side vs. Tandem

Adding one baby to the mix of your life can be hard, but whether you're adding two at once or just having your second child - well, that can make things a little more complicated! As exciting and stressful as it is though, you will soon realize that you will have LOTS of questions that will need to be answered.

One of the big questions is always "What kind of double stroller should I choose?"  A tandem (tandem strollers seat one child in front of the other) or a side-by-side?  Both strollers have their advantages and disadvantages, so you really need to evaluate what kind of lifestyle you have and which would work best for you!

Luckily, at our store we have all of our strollers out and ready to be test driven! We even have a fancy stroller track (check out our previous blog "Test Drive Your Stroller on our Stroller Track" for pictures) that you can test them on! Our Cubby Moms also have been trained on all their ins and outs, so you know you will get all the info you need! But today, I want to give you a quick run down on the differences between tandem and side-by-side strollers so that you can come in with an idea of what you may need!


UPPAbaby Vista Stroller

UPPAbaby VISTA V2 Stroller


  • The biggest difference between the a tandem double and a side-by-side double is the width. Tandem strollers are in-line strollers and thus are easier to maneuver through doorways or while you are shopping. Perfect for the mall crawler.
  • Tandems tend to fold up smaller, giving you more space in the trunk of your car.
  • Most tandem's have multiple configurations. The Baby Jogger City Select 2 stroller in particular has the most configurations, boasting 16+ between the second seat, the bassinet, or a car seat using their car seat adapters.
  • Tandem strollers are able to be used as a simple single stroller for when you only have one child with you.
  • Tandem strollers like the UPPABaby VISTA V2 stroller grow with your family! They can go from a single stroller, to a tandem, to a tandem with a glider board like the UPPABaby Piggyback board. Hence, you buy a tandem stroller, you may not have to buy another full stroller again.

UPPAbaby Vista v2 stroller
UPPAbaby VISTA V2 Stroller


  • Depending on the configurations you employ, both seats may not be able to recline fully.
  • Tandems like the UPPABaby VISTA V2 or the Britax B-Ready have a smaller "rumble seat" as their second seat. This usually only has a 35 lbs weight capacity, making it so that only smaller children can fit in the second seat. This can create a problem for when you are trying out different configurations.
  • Tandems can sometimes be quite front heavy, depending on which configuration you use. As long as you can put a smaller child on the front, you should be fine.
  • For most models you do need to remove the second seat in order to fold the stroller (one exception is the Britax B-Ready). This does give the stroller a smaller fold, however it is good to keep in mind you will need to take that extra step.


Bumbleride Indie Twin Stroller
Bumbleride Indie Twin


  • Side-by-side strollers have high weight limits for both seats. This means you will not ever need to worry about which child needs to sit in which seat!
  • Both children are "on the same plane" in a lot of ways. Their seats can always recline fully, they always have adequate leg room, and they will always have the shade where they need it.
  • Side-by-sides are often jogging or all-terrain strollers. This makes them perfect for the park, hiking, or areas where you may need that extra suspension.
  • Many, like the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 Double have one-point folds. Literally, all you have to do is pull a strap and lift and the stroller folds itself! Super simple and easy! 


  • Depending on which stroller you get, the fold may not be very compact. Jogging or all-terrain strollers will have a larger fold but provide better suspension and more versatility. Other side-by-sides will fold flatter but may have less features. If you are going for a jogger, I would definitely take a look at the Bumbleride Indie Twin. It has a ton of features and is a super smooth ride! For more information on the Bumbleride, check out our previous blog post "5 Best Baby Strollers for Summer."
  • Because most side-by-sides tend to be more heavy-duty strollers, they also tend to be heavier. Granted, you are only lifting it for a short period of time, but it is something you will want to think about.
  • Because they are so wide (usually about one-and-a-half of the width of single stroller), it is definitely more difficult to maneuver through small spaces. Not ideal for the mall crawler, definitely great for you outdoorsy adventuring family's though!

Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 Double Stroller
Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 – Double – Black

Phew! That was a lot of info, but I knew you could make it! So, the question you really need to ask yourself: are you a Mall Crawler, an Adventurer, or a "Jane" of All Trades? Below, I have listed my favorites per lifestyle. I hope that this helped you and you will be able to get the stroller that will make your life just a little easier!            

  Mall Crawler: 

Jane of All Trades: 

The Adventurer: 

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FALSE! This factor depends on the brand. Valco Baby makes some of the lightest side-by-side strollers on the market with the Snap Duo’s weighing in at just 24 pounds.


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