Got two young children with a bit of an age gap? Say, a baby and a 3-year-old? I’m guessing that taking them out is often a struggle. Your baby is fine, but your big kiddo is fighting because he’s too big for the stroller or he’s on foot and trailing tiredly behind, whining because he wants picking up.
The good news:
You’re not the first parent to have this issue. There is a solution just for you: it’s called a sit and stand stroller.
Sit and stand strollers cater for families with one small child and another slightly older. Picture a stroller with a regular seat for the little one and a standing platform/bench seat 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. This makes it easy to choose the best sit and stand stroller for your needs. Read on to see our top picks. Each has been tried, tested, and loved by tons of families.
Complete beginner? Skip to our buyer’s guide »
Best Sit and Stand Strollers: Popular and affordable
Our top choice is the Baby Trend Sit N’ Stand Ultra. It is one of the most affordable on the market and is made by the company who first invented the sit and stand stroller. Since the early days, Baby Trend has been tweaking and improving the design based on lots of experience and customer feedback. The result is a great all-round sit and stand stroller that simply does what it needs to – really well. There’s no real need to splash out more.
The Sit N’ Stand Ultra is versatile. It can be easily adjusted to carry two kids (each up to 50-lbs) in a variety of positions. Some surprising good front suspension means that the ride remains smooth even when carrying larger children. All of this means that this stroller should be good for several years even whilst as your kids grow and want to ride in different ways.
The infant seat can be placed at the front or rear…
… great if your kids are closer together (say, 2 years apart).
Your older child can begin by sitting in the front position with your baby at the back. They will be more comfortable for longer periods of the time, whilst you can play and interact with your baby (who is within reach.)
As the older one grows and wants to run around more, you can make the switch so they ride in the standing position at the back.
Note that your older child can be safely harnessed in the front (5-point) or rear (3-point) seats. This is great if you are 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 challenge to run faster.
Whilst the front seat does recline, be aware that this encroaches on the space at the back. This isn’t a problem when your bigger kid is standing but it’s 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. This is pretty good for a sit and stand stroller and will generally fit into the boot of a compact family car.
The Sit N’ Stand Ultra has various other features aimed at making your life easier. First off and most importantly 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 accomodate 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 one of the cheapest and most popular sit and stand strollers on the market. It is affordable and does everything that most parents want of a sit and stand stroller. 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 your kids are further apart in age, ie, more than 3-years, then the RoomFor2 is a slightly better choice and, if you want something a bit more stylish, then the Joovy Caboose is hands down a better choice; with fewer features, it is lighter, shorter and more maneuverable.
RoomFor2 is Graco’s flagship, affordable sit and stand stroller. It is similar in price to the Sit N’ Stand Ultra. The little extra you pay affords a touch more quality and design style. Other than that, weight and size-wise they are similar.
This stroller also features a large storage area and convenient handlebar organizer and drink holder.
What really separates the RoomeFor2 from the Sit N’ Stand Ultra is that there is no option for an infant seat to ride at the back. If your kids are close together in age, then you are really reducing your options.
This is a popular stroller among parents who own it. It looks good and is of decent quality. Your decision is pretty simple: If your kids are close together (eg, less than 2 years apart), then go for the Sit N’ Stand Ultra which provides more ride positions. On the other hand, if your kids are further apart (say, 3-years or more) and you know that the older one isn’t going to want to sit down for long periods of time, then RoomeFor2 is a better buy; in my opinion it looks nicer and the quality is also a little better.
The Joovy Caboose is the most affordable of our top pick sit and stand strollers. It looks great, coming in various colors and featuring a slimline aluminum frame. The Caboose is also the shortest stroller of the bunch (almost a foot shorter than the Sit N Stand Ultra) which means that it is also 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 together in age.
Also, a bit of warning! Take a look at the picture opposite. As you’ll see, with an infant seat, there is almost no room for your older kid to use the bench seat. With an infant and a very young toddler (eg, 2-year-old), this isn’t the stroller for you. It will be an uncomfortable ride for your older child until your baby is older and you ditch the infant seat.
There are a couple of other things to be aware of. Firstly, some parents complain that the metal frame can get a bit squeaky. The second is that the organizer isn’t included, you have to buy it separately. If you do, the overall price is similar to the RoomFor2 and Sit N’ Stand Ultra.
The Caboose is compact and it folds neatly away into a space of 10″ x 45″ x 21.25″.
Without the organizer, the Caboose is the cheapest stroller. It is easier to maneuver and comes in a funky array of colors. If you are on a budget, your kids are 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.
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 stroller you can buy.
There’s no denying it, the BravoFor2 is one sexy stroller. It’s the sports car of the sit and stand world, but just like cars, great quality and good looks come with a high price tag. It’s around $100-150 more than the others
Before we go on, the BravoFor2 only accepts Chicco car seats. This can make or break your decision.
With that said, if you have the budget, 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 have commented 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. It 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 the picture above). This means that you can be out for longer without them needing to stand the whole time.
The main stroller seat includes a 5-point harness, an adjustable canopy, and detachable child tray (the bench seat also has a secure 3-point harness if needed.) A very handy 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 a pain on the other strollers.
Both the parent organizer and the 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 is 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 should find that it is quick and easy to fold.
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 fold herself into it. But this is the seat for the smaller child, so you may not be planning to use this stroller when they are as old as this.
The BravoFor2 is sexy, 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 is 4-lbs heavier than the Caboose Ultralight, so if you have any issue with heavy lifting, then you might opt for the Ultralight (below) instead.
In fairness, the Caboose Ultralight is pretty similar to the regular Caboose. Both look great in multiple colors.
The main difference – you guessed it – it is lighter. 4-lbs lighter, to be exact. Stripped back, it weighs in at only 22-lbs.
All is not quite as it seems. 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 by removing the extras off before you load it, then 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 heavy lifting is a problem.
Where the Ultralight does excel is 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! Anyway, it’s included with the Ultralight.
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.
Buyer’s Guide to Sit and Stand Strollers
What is a Sit and Stand Stroller?
Sit and stand strollers are a special breed of double strollers. They are designed to carry one small child and one older one. 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 one is a baby, then sit and stand strollers will accommodate an infant car seat. Just check that the stroller will be compatible with your brand of car seat.
The beauty of this design is that your younger child rides normally (as she would in any other stroller), but now your older child has flexibility. He can 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. Double strollers are good if your kids are close together. However, if one of your children is walking and running, they may hate being strapped into a stroller next to their baby sibling.
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.
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 or shops.
Safer and easier to keep kids contained
If you are 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, there was no all-terrain sit and stand stroller. 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 are less comfortable for the older child
Sit and stand strollers assume that your older child is more independent, presumably walking. The idea is, they will 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 may be a problem, then you are probably looking for some type of double stroller.
Don’t miss the rest of our On-The-Go series
We understand that getting around with a baby or small kids is no easy task. Bet it used to take five minutes to get out the door but now it takes 50, right? Let’s face it, getting anywhere on time requires military-style logistics.
Don’t despair! With a bit of know-how and the right gear, it gets a lot easier.
The other articles in our On-The-Go series:
- Stroller Buying Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Picking the Best Stroller
- Umbrella Strollers: Choosing a Lightweight Umbrella Stroller
- Double Strollers: Choosing a Double Stroller for Two Kids
- Jogging Strollers: Choosing a Jogging Stroller That Will Keep up With You
Sit and stand strollers are a clever and welcome addition to the overall family of strollers. They have 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 but isn’t big enough to last a whole trip walking. In this scenario, sit and stand strollers come to the rescue. They are 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.