With two young children in tow, I always make sure that I have a double stroller in the back of my vehicle. Until I got a chance to check out the Bumbleride Indie Twin Natural Edition stroller, none of the double strollers I have used on a regular, daily basis have been of the side-by-side variety, so I was definitely looking forward to checking it out when Bumbleride said they'd be giving me the opportunity to review it. I had some reservations about the width prior to using it, but in the end, they proved to be unfounded and I would recommend the Bumbleride Indie Twin to anyone looking into purchasing a new double stroller. Let's see how the Bumbleride Indie Twin stacks up:
Size I took my two kids - a 2-year-old boy who currently weighs 33 pounds and is 38.5 inches tall, and almost 1-year-old girl who weighs in at 23 pounds and is 29.5 inches tall - out for their first ride in the new stroller. The 2-year-old was excited to try out the new "big stroller", as he calls it. Both of the kids fit in it well, and there is still plenty of head and leg room for my son, so he won't be outgrowing the stroller anytime soon. The Bumbleride Indie Twin is a bit of a beast folded up and weighs in at 34lbs. It folds up nicely, and takes up no more room in the back of my Pontiac Torrent than my Joovy Caboose (sit n stand double stroller). Pushing it around with two kids in it with a combined weight of 55lbs. plus the 34lbs. of stroller weight did give my arms a bit of a workout, but it wasn't too bad. If they could find a way to shave off 8lbs. it'd be perfect, but it works for now and with its maneuverability it still outshines the competition. It glides along smooth surfaces, and handles the bumps, curbs, and rough terrain amazingly well. I never have to struggle to get it over a large bumps, which is great. One of the biggest concerns I had about the Bumbleride was its ability to fit through doorways easily. After all, if it couldn't do that it would be totally useless to me as I'd primarily be using it while out shopping at the mall or other stores, and only occasionally using it for outdoor leisurely strolls. The literature for the stroller touts its ability to fit through most doorways, so I hoped for the best. I assembled the stroller in my children's room because there is more open floor space there. Once put together, I tried to push it through the doorway, but it did not fit. But then I realized that the doorway is on the smaller side, and nowhere near as wide as even our front door or the doors at various shopping centers and stores. Getting any double stroller, whether its a sit n stand or a side-by-side, through doors is a little tricky. I found the Bumbleride Indie Twin to be on par with the Joovy Caboose, and easier to get through doors than the Baby Trend Sit n Stand LX.
Features The Bumbleride Indie Twin is sold in its most basic form, and doesn't come with all of the bells and whistles that other high-end strollers give you in the package by default. The particular model we were sent is the Bumbleride Indie Twin Natural Edition in Ocean, which comes with a $729 price tag. Each seat is independent, so you can have different recline settings for each seat. The foot rests for each seat are also adjustable, as are the canopies. You could have one or both set up as regular seats, or if you purchase the carry cot accessory, you could use one side to push around a newborn bassinet-style. It can also be used with a car seat (wih optional accessories). The stroller comes with two bumper bars, which can be swapped out for other accessories (purchased separately) such as the snack tray, or to attach toys to. The snack tray is a zippered, soft container attached to a bar that goes over the lap and has two compartments. I love this feature, and it has gotten positive feedback in public from passers-by. I had to take the two kids to the doctor with me, and brought them in the Bumbleride with a snack tray installed on one side. Filled with snacks and a drink, they were quiet and occupied almost the entire time and I didn't have to worry about a container getting knocked over. Hallelujah! Other optional accessories include a foot muff and liner, which I have yet to use. I'm surprised I haven't needed to use it yet, but we here in Cleveland are still, strangely, experiencing 50 to 60 degree temperatures even in mid-November. That will soon change, and I may try the foot muff when we attend some outdoor holiday events and I want to keep the kids as warm as I can. A carry cot, aka bassinet, can also be purchased to use with the stroller. As my kids are too old to use one, I do not have this accessory. If I have another baby in the future, I will most definitely get a carry cot. They are a must-have for newborns. Because it is detachable from the stroller, you can carry the sleeping baby inside without disruption. There is a plastic cup holder attachment that comes with the stroller. I installed it, but because of where it attaches on the frame, it made it so that I could not fit through door ways with it. That is a bit of a bummer as I always like to have a drink on me. So, I instead have to make sure I have a bottled drink and throw it in the large storage area under the seats. I hope Bumbleride can come up with a better cup holder in their next edition, something up near the handle area that doesn't stick out to the side. A double cup holder would be even better, so I could keep one of the kid's drinks out for easy access.
Price The Bumbleride Indie Twin Natural Edition starts out at $729. The Natural Edition line features organic fabrics, and is available in just two colors - Ocean and Walnut. The regular line starts at $699 and has a few more color choices. Optional accessories for the stroller include a carry cot ($149 to $159 each), a snack pack ($44.99 each), a foot muff ($59.99 to $69.99 each), various car seat adapters ($39.99 each), a rain shield ($39.50 to $44.99) and extra fabric sets ($99 to $109).
How it compares to the competition The Bumbleride is definitely a high-end stroller with is nearly $700 base price (and that doesn't include accessories, which can put you well over the $1,000 mark). Another stroller in this high-end, side-by-side double stroller category is the Bugaboo Donkey, which I have also had an opportunity to test out and will be formally reviewing soon. I have to say that given the choice between the Bumbleride Indie Twin and the Bugaboo Donkey, the Bumbleride would hands-down be my top choice. It's not only a better price, but I found it to be constructed much better. The Donkey was sent to us with pieces already broken, and just has an overall cheaper feel to it. I was actually surprised because I am a former owner of a Bugaboo Cameleon, which I loved, and expected basically a double version of that. The Donkey did not compare to the Cameleon, and featured a lot more breakable plastic pieces throughout the design. The seats were also incredibly small, and there is no way that my two-year-old could fit into it. It is not a good stroller for those with children of different ages. It'd be fine for twins, but even then it wouldn't be able to be used for very long due to the small size of the seats. Interestingly though, the Bumbleride Indie Twin reminded me a lot more of the Cameleon -- it's tough, has an awesome design, larger seats, and is easily maneuverable. Tlhe only downside of the Bumbleride is that it didn't come with many of the extras (like the rain cover, etc.) that the Donkey does. Conclusion: Compared to most other double strollers, Bumbleride is definitely in the top echelon. I have found that the saying "you get what you pay for" tends to hold true when it comes to strollers. The higher priced ones have nicer designs, but more importantly, hold up and just overall work better. The Bumbleride Indie Twin is in the top of it's class and I would highly recommend it if you're looking to purchase a double stroller and have some extra money to invest. It'll hold up well over the years, and looks built to last. http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/17805
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