Got two young children with a bit of an age gap? Then taking them out together can be a daunting task, right?
Bubba is fine but Kiddo is either fussing because he’s too big for the stroller or he’s trailing miles behind on foot. We feel for you.
Enter the sit and stand stroller: Designed with you in mind, these cater to families with one small child and one a bit older. These strollers have a regular seat for the little one and a standing platform/bench for the older one.
The bigger child now has the freedom to hop on and off when they like (unless you’ve chosen to strap them in!) Your older child will love and appreciate riding on it, and your trips will become easier and more fun.
There are only a few sit and stand models on the market, which makes it easy to choose the best one for your needs. Read on and see our top picks, each tried, tested, and loved by loads of families.
Our top choice is the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand Ultra. It’s one of the most affordable on the market and is made by the company that first invented the sit and stand stroller.
Since the early days, Baby Trend has been tweaking and improving the design based on experience and customer feedback. The result is a great all-around sit and stand stroller that simply does what it needs to – really well.
The Sit N’ Stand Ultra is versatile and can be easily adjusted to carry two kids (each up to 50 lbs.) in a variety of positions. The front suspension provides a smooth ride, even when carrying larger children.
All this means that this stroller should last for several years, even while your kids grow and want to ride in different ways. 50 lbs. is average for children 6-8 years old, which is a lot of time with a versatile stroller!
The infant seat can be placed at the front or rear, which is great if your kids are closer in age (say, 2 years apart.)
Your older child can begin by sitting in the front position with the baby at the back. They’ll be more comfortable for longer periods of time, and all the while you can play and interact with your baby, who is within reach, facing you.
As the older one grows and wants to run around more, just make the switch so they ride in the standing position at the back. Great for trips to the zoo, and to provide a place for tired legs.
Note that your older child can be safely harnessed in the front (5-point) or rear (3-point) seats; great if you’re in town or anywhere it’s not safe for them to spring up and run off. Heck, we all know those days when they hear “come back” as a direct invitation to run faster!
The front seat does recline, but will then encroach on the space at the back. This isn’t a problem when your bigger kid is standing but is less comfortable when they sit.
Folding is easy with the Sit N’ Stand Ultra. It has a relatively simple, one hand folding action. When collapsed, it’s dimensions are 21.5″W x 37″L x 15″H, weighing in at 25lbs. This is excellent for a double stroller and will generally fit into the trunk of a compact family car.
The Sit N’ Stand Ultra has various other features aimed at making your life easier. First off, and most important, it has a very large storage area underneath. Perfect for boots, bags, snacks, bottles, diapers, shopping, etc. Basically, it should comfortably handle the crazy amount of things you need to lug around when taking two kids out for the day.
Another bonus; it has five cup holders to accommodate drinks for both you and the kids. It also has a nifty storage compartment on the handlebar unit. This is great for stashing your keys and phone, ready for quick access.
The Sit N’ Stand Ultra is compatible with most brands of infant car seats, including:
- Baby Trend (22 lbs & 30 lbs)
- Evenflo (Discovery, Embrace)
- Graco (Safe Seat, Snugride, Snugride 32)
- Britax (Chaperone, Companion)
- and many more
This Sit N’ Stand Ultra is both affordable and the most popular sit and stand stroller on the market. It does everything that most parents want from a sit and stand stroller and is budget-friendly. It’s a safe bet and our top pick.
There are two reasons that you may want to go for a different stroller. The first is you have a higher budget. If so, then the Chicco BravoFor2 [LINK] beats it. The extra $150+ gets you more quality and attention to detail. It’s our favorite if budget is no issue.
Another reason is that, if your kids are further apart in age, ie, more than 3 years, then the RoomFor2 is a slightly better choice. If you want something a bit sleeker, then the Joovy Caboose is hands down a better choice; with fewer features, it is lighter, shorter, and more maneuverable.
Our second choice
RoomFor2 is Graco’s flagship, affordable, sit and stand stroller and similar in price to the Sit N’ Stand Ultra. The little extra you pay affords a little more quality and design style. Apart from that, weight and size-wise, they are very similar. It measures 40×20.9×34.6 inches and weighs 27.18 pounds.
This stroller also features a large storage area, a convenient handlebar organizer, and a drink holder.
The RoomFor2 is not compatible for an infant seat, which makes it much different from the versatile Sit N’ Stand Ultra. It would not be optional for young babies to sit in by themselves until they have proper head control (at around 8 months,) so check with your pediatrician.
This is a popular stroller among owners. It is high quality and looks great. Your decision is pretty simple: If your kids are less than two years of age apart, then go for the Sit N’ Stand Ultra, which provides more ride positions and can also accommodate an infant seat that can be used as soon as you have your baby.
If, on the other hand, your kids are further apart (around 3 years or more) and you know the older one won’t want to sit down for long periods, then RoomFor2 is a better buy. We think it looks nicer while the quality is a little better.
Our third choice
The Joovy Caboose is the most affordable of our top-pick sit and stand strollers. It looks great, comes in various colors and features a slimline aluminum frame. The Caboose is also the shortest stroller of the bunch (almost a foot shorter than the Sit N Stand Ultra), making it easier to maneuver.
Like the RoomFor2, it only has one position for an infant seat. This, again, provides fewer options than the Sit N’ Stand Ultra if you have two young children who are close in age.
Also, a bit of warning… if you take a look at the picture opposite you’ll see that, with an infant seat in place, there’s almost no room for your older kid to use the bench seat. With an infant and a very young toddler (eg, a 2-year-old), this isn’t the stroller for you.
It will be an uncomfortable ride for your older child till your baby outgrows it and you can ditch the infant seat.
There are a couple of other things to be aware of. Firstly, some parents complain that the metal frame can be a bit squeaky. The second is that the organizer isn’t included, so you must buy that separately. If so, the overall price will be similar to the RoomFor2 and Sit N’ Stand Ultra.
The Caboose is compact and folds neatly away into a space of 10″ x 45″ x 21.25″ while weighing 27.5 pounds.
Without the organizer, the Caboose is the cheapest stroller, is easier to maneuver, and comes in a funky array of colors. If you’re on a budget, have kids further apart in age, and your look is more sassy than mumsy, then the Caboose is for you. Otherwise, go for one of the other strollers.
The best premium and lightweight sit and stand strollers
If you have about $100 - $150 more in your budget, here are the best premium sit and stand strollers you can buy. They tend to be lighter and more mobile which is why you are paying more for superior materials and engineering. It’s worth it if you can afford it.
Our fourth choice
There’s no denying it, the BravoFor2 is one sexy stroller. It’s the sports car of the sit and stand world but, as with cars, great quality and good looks come with a high price tag. It costs around $100 – $150 more than the others
Before we go on, the BravoFor2 only accepts Chicco car seats, which could make or break your decision.
That said, if you have the budget and have a Chicco infant car seat, then the BravoFor2 is definitely an awesome sit and stand stroller. I would have gone for it if I could have! Here’s all you need to know about it:
This is a quality stroller that has been designed to high specifications. You can’t help but notice the solid feel and attention to detail. Many parents comment that it maneuvers more like a regular stroller than a double.
Good ol’ double strollers have a bit of a reputation for handling like buses. They are heavy and long, making them awkward and cumbersome. The BravoFor2 isn’t anything like that, and handles beautifully!
If you use an infant seat, you’ll find there is still plenty of room for your older child to sit comfortably on the bench (see picture above). This means you can stay out longer without them needing to stand all the time.
The main stroller seat includes a 5-point harness, an adjustable canopy, and a detachable child tray (the bench seat also has a secure 3-point harness if needed.) A really useful design feature is that the bench seat folds away when not in use.
This provides much better access to the storage area, which can be awkward for other strollers.
Both the parent organizer and storage area are well designed and sizable. There is even a small pocket where your older child can keep a few toys.
As you would expect, there’s a smart “one-hand” folding mechanism. Some parents reported that it was a little tricky to get the hang of, but when you do, you’ll find that it’s quick and easy to fold. It measures 45.7 x 23.3 x 42.8 inches and weighs 29lbs.
One thing to consider is that the front seat is relatively small. It’s okay for a 2 or 3-year-old, but I once tested this stroller with my 4-year-old in the front and she had to squeeze herself into it.
This is a seat for the smaller child, though may not be a problem for you if not planning to use this stroller when they are 4 years or older.
The BravoFor2 is alluring, well thought out, and nicely designed. It even handles more like a single stroller than a double. If I had the budget, this is the one I’d go for.
That said, it’s 4 lbs heavier than the Caboose Ultralight, so if you have an issue with heavy lifting, you might opt for the Ultralight (below) instead.
Our fifth choice
In fairness, the Caboose Ultralight is pretty similar to the regular Caboose. Both look great with a choice of multiple colors.
The main difference – you guessed it – is it’s lighter! 4 lbs lighter, to be exact. Stripped back, it weighs in at only 22 lbs. Folded, it measures 45.25 x 21.25 x 10 inches.
But wait: All is not quite as it might seem. Once you’ve added the extras, including the canopy, the weight is back up to 25.9 lbs. That’s about the same as some of the other strollers. I guess that, by removing the extras before you load it, it’ll be easier to get in and out of your car.
This is a game-changer if you have a bad back or some other reason that makes heavy lifting a problem. Where the Ultralight does excel is in the following:
- Larger canopy: This is great if your kids are tall. It also extends backward over your older child’s head.
- Larger storage area: Enough said.
- Parent organizer included: It’s probably a little harsh that this isn’t included with the regular Caboose. It costs the better part of $30, after all!
Since a recent price drop, the Caboose Ultralight is more affordable than the BravoFor2. In fact, it now sits between the premium and regular price ranges. The pros and cons remain largely the same as the regular Caboose.
That is, the bench seat gets cramped if you are using an infant seat or if you recline the front seat. Also, the aluminum frame can get a bit creaky.
However, if you need the lightest stroller possible, your kid’s ages are spaced apart, and you want a funky design, then this stroller is a great choice.
What is a sit and stand stroller?
Sit and stand strollers are a special breed of double strollers designed to carry one small and one older child. They manage this by having a seat at the front (for your younger child) and a standing platform/bench seat at the back (for your older one).
If your smallest is a baby, then most sit and stand strollers will accommodate an infant car seat. Make sure that the stroller you choose is compatible with your brand of car seat.
The beauty of this design is that your younger child rides normally (as they would in any other stroller), but now your older child has the flexibility to jump on when he’s tired and leap off when he fancies walking or running about. It makes things much easier and (dare I say it!) fun.
Is a sit and stand stroller right for my family?
If your kids are separated by an age gap of 3 to 5 years, then you should seriously consider a sit and stand stroller. Traditional double strollers are good if your kids are close together in age.
Does this sound familiar?
“Mamma, I wanna walk. Please, can I walk.”
[Repeat for 15 minutes.]
“Okay, you can walk.”
[Five minutes of fumbling around with the buckle, then she’s walking.]
“Mamma, I don’t wanna walk anymore. I wanna get in the stroller.”
[Repeat for 15 minutes.]
“Okay, you can ride in the stroller.”
[Five minutes of fumbling around with the buckle, she’s back in the stroller.]
“Mamma, I wanna walk. Please, can I walk.”
[Repeat for 15 minutes.]
If you can relate to this, then a sit and stand stroller is for you. Your older child will have the freedom to hop on and off when they like. If you don’t want this to happen, you can buckle them in. Also, all that walking makes for a good nights’ sleep!
What are the benefits of sit and stand strollers?
Your older child maintains independence
In our family, this is huge. We have a highly independent and willful 4-year-old. She loves feeling grown up and being able to choose whether she walks or rides.
Things run more smoothly when she isn’t unnecessarily strapped in, which normally ends in her getting frustrated and then melting down.
The beauty of sit and stand strollers is that your older child can easily walk if he wants to. When his little legs get tired (which they will), then he can hop back on again. Genius.
They are generally lighter and more mobile than double strollers
Because they have one fewer full-sized seat, they are generally more compact and lightweight than double strollers. This makes them easier to maneuver. Great for busy sidewalks and shops.
Safer and easier to keep kids contained
If you’re somewhere busy and don’t have the help of another adult, then things can get pretty stressful with two children. I’m thinking of the times when the older one is trying to run off but you can’t leave your baby and give chase. I’m sure I’ve had a nightmare about this before!
If your big kiddo is in a defiant mood (mine often is) or if there are lots of people about, then you can safely strap them both in. A trip to a mall or train station is instantly less stressful and safer for everyone.
More room for parent things
A sit and stand stroller frame is larger than a single stroller’s. It is also missing the second seat found in a double stroller. The result is more space underneath the chassis which is typically filled with a large storage basket. More storage space = WIN!
Are there any drawbacks?
Can be cumbersome
This drawback is shared with all double strollers, even the lighter umbrella ones. The reality is that any vehicle designed to carry two people (however small they may be) is going to be fairly big.
And so, they are generally longer and heavier than their single counterparts, which makes them cumbersome, eg, harder to handle and pack into your car trunk.
That said, if you are comparing them to double strollers – which you probably are, given that you’re reading this article – then they are actually lighter and more maneuverable.
No rough terrain models
At the time of writing, we found no all-terrain sit-and-stand strollers. If your lifestyle involves frequent hikes and off-road activities, then you’ll need to look into double jogging strollers which have large inflatable tires and are better suited.
They’re less comfortable for the older child
Sit and stand strollers assume that your older child is more independent, presumably walking. The idea is that they’ll find it fun to hop on and off.
If your older child is very young and isn’t confident on her feet, then she’ll want to sit down a lot. Just bear in mind that the bench seat will not be as comfortable as a ‘proper’ stroller seat. If you think this could be a problem, then you could probably use a double stroller.
Sit and stand strollers are a clever and welcome addition to the overall family of strollers. They’ve been designed to work for families who have two children with a large age gap (eg, 2.5 years or more).
If this describes your family then, perhaps, your older kid is too big to sit with his sibling while not quite old enough to last a whole trip walking. With this scenario, sit and stand strollers come to the rescue.
They’re extremely versatile and give your older child the option to hop on and off at will. This can be both fun and practical, making your life easier.