It was immediately clear that we had ordered the wrong double stroller. I knew it as soon as I could barely lift the box off our front walk just to get it into the house. How was I supposed to carry this up the steps on my own, while also wrestling a squirmy 2-year-old and a bowling ball–shaped infant? Add in that I often stop at the grocery store on the 12-block walk home from day care, and it was obvious that unless I started an emergency weight-lifting program and grew an extra arm, the stroller needed to be returned.
Researching baby gear while I was pregnant with my second child, I concluded that much of the industry is geared toward people planning to transport their children in cars, on ramps (is that a thing?), or via elevators (would like one installed, stat, please). The result, in the double stroller category, is a lot of huge, heavy stroller SUVs, outfitted with tons of accoutrements and seemingly slightly wider than a sidewalk. Some of these weigh 35 pounds! But I live in an extremely walkable, well-transited part of a large city, and I do not like to drive.
After returning that wrong stroller, I knew what it was I needed from the new one: I needed it to fold easily, be light enough that I could carry it in one hand when I had the baby in the other, fit through a normal-size doorway, and have at least a little bit of storage space. Oh, and it needed to not cost a small fortune. At first the search seemed to follow a variant of the adage that, of fast, cheap, and good, you can pick only two. Lightweight, has storage, and doesn’t cost more than a cross-country plane flight—pick two. We loved our light, portable umbrella stroller when we only had one kid. Wasn’t there a similarly no-frills option for a pair?
Then I discovered the Delta Children LX Side by Side. It basically offers all the benefits of a standard umbrella stroller—light, easy folding, no bells and whistles—plus a cup holder (which I hadn’t even known I needed until I had it) and a mesh pocket sewn onto the back of each seat. Though wide enough to comfortably fit two kids, it still fits through most doorways. Most importantly, it rocks a price tag with only two figures. We got ours for about 60 bucks because we don’t care that it’s an extremely uncool color!
I’ve been walking my kids the 12 blocks to and from school in it for a year now, and other than a few stains, it’s held up perfectly. The pockets won’t hold everything, but they can fit a six-pack and whatever clothes my children soiled that day. Plus, the handles are sturdy enough to hang a grocery bag on each side. In this year, I’ve also discovered the mesh pockets have an added bonus: If I keep the kids’ art in it on the walk home, any glitter shakes out to the ground before it enters the house.
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