The Kolcraft Contours® Options® Tandem Stroller, Ruby
The worst double stroller in the world
Um, why are you so upset about a double stroller?
This particular double stroller is everywhere. It pops up continually on Craigslist, it’s still sold on Amazon and listed on the Kolcraft website. All the the minor advantages are magnified through good marketing to make it appear to be a great, budget-friendly stroller when it’s really the stroller from Hades.
But it looks so spiffy..
Let me break it down:
- This monster weighs 48 pounds. That’s embarrassingly heavy for Kolcraft, so they don’t mention its weight in the product description. Pop in a 32 pound 2.5 year old and a 20 pound nine month old and you know what you’re pushing? 100 pounds. A hundred freaking pounds.
- You have to take it apart to fold it. That’s right–take off the seats, lay them in the car, then fold up the stroller and put it in the car. Oh wait–you need to put the stroller in first and then lay the seats on top of it. Just lay the seats in the gravel then. Now the seats are dirty, but at least they aren’t crushed by the stroller frame. Oh, did you pull your back out trying to put that thing in the car? Why don’t you just leave the darn thing where it is and back over it. That would be fun.
- At 52 inches in length, it’s too long to steer. This mommy said: “The stroller was very awkward and hard to steer because of the weight of the 2 yr old in front.” This stroller is best used when you don’t have your kids with you.
- It’s poorly made. As another mommy said, “My child is 11 months old: One of the harnesses have broken, one of the seats are bent downward, one of the locks doesnt lock very good anymore and the tray broke off.” It’s not going to make it through the next kid, so there goes your “budget-friendly stroller.” It costs twice as much to buy two strollers, you know.
- The seats are really short–another mommy reviewer said “Seats are SOOOO shallow and short- my 22 lbs baby just barely fits.” For all you self-righteous folks thinking “A bigger kids should be walking anyhow,” have you ever tried to do anything with toddlers? The second you grab one the other wiggles away to destroy something. Not conducive to grocery shopping, walking off the baby weight, or doing anything outside the house.
Amazon shows an average review of 4 stars. If it’s so awful, Miss Eclectic Mothering Smartie Pants, why do the masses love it?
Ignorance and some “free” accessories.
The Kolcraft Contours® Options® Tandem Stroller, Ruby includes a few features that parents really love: two parent cup holders, seats that can be faced forwards or backwards, a big basket, and an INCLUDED (not “sold separately”) car seat adapter. With the average price tag of $250 new, this was a steal compared to the $660 Baby Jogger City Select that looks almost identical after purchasing all the extras. Reviewers ooh and awe over it’s “manueveablity” but that’s just because they’ve never pushed anything besides a Graco.
When the Contours Options first came out in 2000, it was revolutionary. There were not many strollers that would accommodate multiple brands of car seats and certainly no strollers that had two seats facing the person pushing. Walking and cooing at your baby without even taking them out of the carseat? Hot diggity dog!
But let me share a little story with you. Last year we went on an extended family vacation with my husband’s siblings and their families. My sister-in-law had this stroller. To get it to the cabin, she actually had one of the other siblings carry the stroller frame in their car, since the frame and seats and the vacation luggage wouldn’t fit in the trunk of their sedan. Then, while we were at the cabin, the stroller and its accessories took up tons of space in their room, even while folded. When we went out on the town, my sister-in-law opted to take the Baby Bjorn carrier instead of the stroller just so they wouldn’t have to pack it up and get it out of the car because it was so heavy and inconvenient. What should have been a relaxing walk turned into musical babies in which those two poor parents took turns holding the children while the other ate, walked, shopped, or tried to visit with family.
The purpose of a stroller is CONVENIENCE. For my poor sister-in-law, the stroller promised much needed relief but failed to deliver. Although this stroller might have filled a niche twelve years ago, there are far better options available and that’s why I believe all Contours Options Tandem Ruby strollers should be re-purposed as boat anchors.
PS–Kolcraft strives to produce affordable products with the best features and they do a pretty good job. Over the past ten years they’ve worked out lots of kinks and produced the Contours Options LT that weighs a lot less but still has the accessories parent’s like.