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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Buying Guide : Top 10 Twins Tips for Buying Double Prams
Buying Guide : Top 10 Twins Tips for Buying Double Prams
They come in various shapes and sizes and are known as Double or Twin Pushchairs. Twin Buggies & Twin Prams or Twin Strollers but where do you start your search to find the perfect pushchair? Well. I'm afraid to tell you it probably doesn't exist or it will change as your needs or lifestyle alters but here are a few tips to help you make the decision about the transport to carry the most important people in your lives.<

Many families put as much thought into choosing a double pushchair as they do into selecting the make and model of a new car! And for good reason as when you have multiples. A double buggy is a crucial piece of equipment. Your mobility depends on it. Without one -- or with the wrong one -- moving twin babies from place to place can be a logistical nightmare. The right equipment makes for happy parents and children.

Double Pushchairs come in two basic configurations: tandem (or front/back. inline) where the seats are arranged in a line with one behind the other. In the other model, usually called "side-by-side", the children sit next to each other generally facing the same direction from the same linear position. Prams generally come facing towards you but some models can be changed as the children grow to facing outwards. There are now some very good and innovative models for doubles but it is best to understand how you are going to use it before making this important purchase.

Try out models in all styles to evaluate which you feel most comfortable with. Some families realise the need for more than one style for instance a more robust sturdy model for country activities and a more compact stroller for town and travel. Talk to other parents about their experience with different models your local multiples club is a great resource for this kind of information.

You'll also find some helpful input from our store where we have a full range of double prams buggies and doubles to suit every need and pocket with personal advice is only a phone call away.

Factors to Consider Before Buying

1. Common Usage Patterns

By far the most important consideration when selecting a double is your personal usage patterns. Think long and hard about how you will actually use this equipment. Put aside dreamy notions of leisurely strolls with your cooing infants and focus on the reality of your family life.

How often will you use it? daily? weekly? infrequently?

Where will you use it? Indoors shopping malls. leisure centres. Outdoors trips to local shops. park or further afield ?

Where do you live ? Flat. House. with stairs. storage space ?

Do you have a car ? Do you have a garage ? Do you travel often? Will you need to store it in your car or do you rely on public transportation?

Evaluating your potential usage patterns will help you shape your decision about what kind of double to buy. Once you get an idea in your mind about how you'll use the double consider these other factors.

2. Weight

Doubles constructed of metal are more stable and durable. However, metal doubles weigh much more than their plastic counterparts. and are usually more expensive. Heavier doubles are sturdier last longer and can carry heavier -- and thus older -- children. But they can also be so troublesome to manoeuver and set up that they aren't worth the investment.

3. Size

How big is the double when folded up? Will it fit in your vehicle? How big is it when unfolded? Will it fit on pavements. through doorways. down store aisles? You may want to measure your doorways before you buy to ensure it will at least fit through your doors (last thing you want to do is wake sleeping twins by struggling to get it through the door I had to have patio doors installed !)

4. Accessories

Baskets, footmuffs, carrycots, bumpers, storage, canopies, hand rails, bag clips, drink holders, snack trays. & Some of these options are necessary, some are nice to have, but others are just frivolous features. Let accessories be the deciding factor only if you're torn between two comparable models.

5.Seat Adjustments

If your babies will be sleeping frequently in the double. they may be more comfortable in a seat that reclines. Some double seats recline completely flat. while others only allow for a slight angle. This is a common complaint about many tandem doubles as on some models both seats do not go into a full recline position and leg room can also be an issue. Some side-by-side models have independently reclining seats. however others require that both babies sit at the same incline. For newborn twins. it is important to have fully reclining seats. Carrycot options on some models are available and this can make a cosy environment for newborn twins although they come at a cost !

6. All-Terrain Options

If you will be doing a lot of outdoor walking or running.& look for safety features like oversized wheels. all-terrain tyres. deep seats. locking brakes and a safety wrist strap. Special doubles. with a large wheel base designed for jogging. running. or athletic walking. are available in twin and triplet seating configurations. These have become very popular in the last few years and in particular the 3-wheeled types that are great on rougher terrain and have good manoueverability.

7. Manoeuverability

How well a double manoeuvers is certainly subject to personal opinion. However there are some basic features that will make any double easier to push and turn. Look for swivel wheels (best for indoor use like shopping malls). ergonomic handles that are at a comfortable level for your height. and a stable wheel base that prevents the double from tipping as you turn corners. Locakable wheels are better for rougher terrain but are also& suitable for town shopping.

The best way to determine whether a double will operate comfortably is to physically push it around and test it out. The value of doing so can not be underestimated. Just as you wouldn't buy a car without a test drive. you shouldn't expect to find the perfect double without one. Unfortunately. all the models may not be avialable on your local high street and you can call to discuss you needs and receive independent advice.

8. Infant Seats

A relatively new and inventive advancement in the baby equipment market are the all-in-one transportation systems that incorporate car seats and baby carriers with a double design. Recently. this concept has been extended to doubles and may be useful for parents of multiples. Keep in mind the limitations. however. While it is convenient to be able to transport babies from car to double without removing them from their carrier. the lifespan of the double extends far beyond the lifespan of the carriers. Make sure you're not investing a lot of money in a product that will only serve your needs during infancy.

Also. remember that the recommended time a baby should spend in a car seat should be no more than 2 hours. so you should bear this in mind when considering a Travel System option.

9. Cost

Some doubles for multiples can cost upwards of 600. Most range from 200 - 400. Cost is certainly an important factor. Carefully consider how much you want to spend. A double is definitely a vital piece of equipment during your babies' early years. but its lifespan is limited to a few years at most.

Your transportation needs will shift somewhat as your children grow from infancy to toddler-hood. and you may not want to invest a lot of money in a product that won't serve your needs over the years. An experienced mum advises. "It is very hard to visualise and plan for the obsolesence of baby things. It just happens so quickly. You are thinking. 'We can use this double for years.' and the reality is that most people barely get the seat cover dirty when their children are walking and refuse to ride." Consider buying two -- or more -- less expensive models that serve different needs. for example. an all-terrain 3-wheeler for walks to the park and a tandem or stroller to keep in the car for errands or to nip to the shops.

Used doubles are always a hot commodity. Consult your local multiples club to find great deals on used equipment. Don't compromise just to get a good price. however doubles receive a lot of wear and tear. Make sure all latches. hinges. brakes. belts and other safety features are intact and that any wear won't affect the operation of the double.

Although you'll find plenty of eager buyers. don't expect to resell an expensive double and recoup your initial investment. Used doubles usually go for about one-third of their original price.

10. Order Early !

Don't forget that shops will order to your expected due date. I would advise that you consider bringing the date forward for delivery of your pram/buggy to ensure it arrives in plenty of time. Order to Delivery time varies from supplier to supplier but if you leave 6-8 weeks then this should be ample to ensure you have your pram/buggy and have had a chance to 'test' it before your babies arrive.

Visit the TwinsUK 'Take Us Out' department to see a wide range of prams and buggies for two. three or even four children ! FREE independent advice is available by contacting us at info@twinsuk.co.uk

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