A popular option for infant transportation is a travel system, a combination of an infant car seat and a stroller that makes it easy to transport a baby with minimal disruption. Baby is securely buckled into an infant car seat that snaps into a base installed in your vehicle when you're on the go, and then attaches onto a stroller frame when you're out and about. It reduces the amount of handling for the baby; there's less buckling and unbuckling, and baby isn't jostled around when moved from car to stroller. The baby remains in the seat, which can be carried by a handle, and the seat is secured in and out of the car or stroller.
This is less disruptive for baby, and also easier for parents. So you would think that a travel system would be a no-brainer for parents of twins, who are managing two babies with only two hands. However travel systems for double strollers are not as common as you might think.
Problems with Travel Systems for Twins
The basic problem with travel systems is that they tend to sacrifice features on both the infant seats and the stroller when used in combination. Rather than choosing the ideal infant car seat and the ideal stroller for your needs, your choices are limited to the options available in the travel system products.
The other inherent problem is that infant seats have a very short lifespan; your babies will outgrow them long before they outgrow the stroller. Infant car seats are designed for babies up to about 20 pounds. Some models may extend that range to 30 pounds, but after that, you will have to buy two new car seats. Where you will use the travel system for a few months, you will need a good double stroller for your twins for years to come. This means you either have to make do with a less-than-ideal double stroller, or invest in another one when the travel system becomes obsolete.
In order to accommodate an infant seat, the frame of a travel system stroller tends to be bulkier than a regular stroller. It is less streamlined and usually has a bigger footprint. Given that double strollers are already big, bulky and heavy, the products that can be used as a travel system tend to be among the most massive on the market. Some families find that the inconvenience of dealing with that bulk outweighs the convenience of utilizing a travel system.
Finally, although it seems like twins and multiples are everywhere these days, manufacturers are slow to recognize that they need products specific to them. Many strollers are not truly "twin" strollers; they are also intended for use with two different-age siblings. So many double strollers with a travel system function can only accommodate a single infant seat. They may be advertised as a travel system stroller, but they're not designed for travel with twins.
Should You Buy A Travel System Stroller for Twins?
A stroller is a crucial piece of equipment for parents of twins. With two same-age children, most families with twins use it frequently and for several years. So it is important to purchase a double stroller that will serve your family's needs. Double strollers can cost several hundred dollars, and parents want to ensure that they get the most for their money.
When deciding whether to purchase a travel system double stroller for your twins, consider the features that are most important to your family. How, when and where will you use the stroller? Do you need it on a daily basis, to transport twins to daycare or school? Will you use it indoors or outdoors? Do you plan to invest in a single double stroller, or will you need to buy several models for different purposes? Where will you store your double stroller?
A double stroller with the capability to serve as a travel system will provide much-needed convenience to parents while their twins are infants. It is much easier to manage with two babies when they are secured in the infant car seats. However, consider whether the stroller itself will serve your purposes beyond that. Most infant car seats accommodate babies up to 20 pounds or so, although some models can range up to 30 pounds. After that, you will not only have to buy two new car seats, but will you also have to buy a new double stroller?