Tandem vs Side by Side: a guide to buying a Double Pram or Stroller

There’s no doubt that double prams are a convenient way of transporting two children at once. Especially during a hectic day, the ability to strap both kids into the stroller and get going is priceless.

There are many options for two-seater prams and strollers on the market and the first step in starting your research is to narrow down your options by selecting the type of double pram or double stroller that will best suit your family.  

Types of Double Prams

Whether you see them referred to as double pram, twin pram, double stroller, double buggy, twin stroller, 2 in 1 double, tandem double pram, side by side stroller or any combination of these, when we break it down there is are two categories:

Side by side double prams

Tandem (in-line) double prams

What's better? Tandem or Side by Side Prams?

Whether you’d prefer side by side or tandem double prams is a matter of personal preference.
Below are some key functional differences between the two:

Width vs Length

Side by side prams will almost always be wider than tandem or in-line prams. While many side by sides will fit though standard doorways (like the Babybee LUNA), they will be more difficult to navigate on crowded footpaths, shops and in tight spaces.
What you lose in width, you gain in length with a tandem double, which poses its own manoeuvrability issues as outlined below.

Maneuverability

People are often shocked to hear that side by side strollers are actually easier to manoeuvre than tandems. This is due to the length - the shorter the pram the easier it is to turn – and the positioning of weight over the back wheels (rather than further away from you in a tandem).
For the same reason, tandems are also harder (and heavier) to push up and over curbs.

Configurations

Many side by side strollers have fixed, forward facing seats. Some are compatible with car capsules, and many will have a soft cocoon or removable bassinet option for newborns. Tandems tend to have a little more flexibility and are often able to convert from single to double and accommodate both bassinets and car capsules.
For example, our side by side LUNA has fixed, forward facing seats and a cocoon option for newborn. The DUO on the other hand, has over 18 configurations, with standalone bassinets, seats and the option to connect one or two car capsules.

Key things to consider before you buy a double pram

No one pram can be a perfect fit for everyone, but understanding what's going to fit into your lifestyle and make your life easier, will go a long way towards finding the perfect fit for you.

Here are some key things to consider before you make a call:

The age of your children, and how long you expect to use the double pram

Both tandem and side by side prams can have the ability to go from newborn to toddler. Side by sides will often have larger seats, enabling you to use them for much longer.
If there is going to be a large age gap between your two bubs, you may find your elder child growing out of a tandem seat.

Does it need to convert to a single pram?

Many tandems have this functionality, but most side by sides do not. If you want to be able to swap between single and double mode, you’re most likely looking at a tandem.

Do you want your double pram to be a jogger or just a stroller?

Side by side prams will be easier to manoeuvre while jogging, but make sure you opt for one with extra-large, air-filled tyres to make pushing as easy as possible.

What is included with your pram?

Does the pram include both bassinet/cocoon and stroller seat? Do you need to purchase a second seat separately? Do you need to purchase capsule adaptors?

What other accessories will you need or find useful and are they included?

Accessories like removable seat-liners, rain covers, handlebar bags etc can all be extremely useful but can add to the overall cost of your pram.

The size of your car boot

Tandems are usually easier to take apart and “Tetris” into your car, but we always recommend that you check the folded dimensions.

The weight you feel comfortable lifting

Side by sides do tend to be lighter overall, but tandems can often be taken apart before folding to make lifting into the car easier.

How much storage do you need the pram to have?

How big is the basket and do you have access when using the pram with two children? Are there any additional storage areas like seat-back pockets or handlebar bags?

What seat features do you need?

Is it important that the seats are reversible, or that they recline to fully flat?
How tall do you need the seats to be?

Do you want equal space for each child in the double pram?

Often tandems will come with a smaller “rumble seat” as a second child option that may only last a few months until they grow out of it. Check if both seats are the same size.


Ready to stroll!

There’s certainly a lot to consider when buying your double pram, double stroller, twin pram, tandem double stroller, double stroller pram, side by side pram or whatever you want to call it!
All this pram stroller talk can certainly do your head in, but it doesn’t need to be so hard. Simply break it down to the type of double pram you want and then the features that you and your family need most.

We have both a side by side and tandem option at Babybee and we love them both equally. The perfect pram for you will just come down to your individual family’s needs and preferences!

Have a watch of our comparison video to get an idea of the differences between our LUNA side by side and DUO tandem double prams, and if there’s anything further we can do to help with your decision, don’t hesitate to get in touch at hello@babybeeprams.com.au.

Happy double shopping!

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