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The Magic Number: The Valco Baby Tri-Mode Twin Rides with Two or Three

By Maura Keating

valco_trimodeThe Valco Baby Tri-Mode Twin is a sporty stroller. The Tri-Mode Twin features rugged good looks, enhanced by durable fabric choices with polished piping. When you take the Twin for a ride, the fun really begins. The suspension sets the Tri-Mode Twin apart. As mentioned in earlier reviews, Providence’s city streets and sidewalks are not the smoothest ride, but you wouldn’t know it when you’re pushing the Tri-Mode. The four 12-inch air-filled tires probably help. I can jump small curbs in the Tri-Mode without slowing down, never mind hoisting the stroller up and over as is necessary with other strollers. The Tri-Mode gets its name for the unique dials at the top of the wheels that make it easy to switch between three wheel positions: open, locked, and a semi-locked position that restricts wheels from turning more than 45 degrees.

The Twin’s side-by-side design can accommodate children weighing up to forty-five pounds. The whole stroller is only 29 inches wide, making it easy to glide through the standard 30-inch doorway. The stroller is very agile. I can turn it with one hand when I need to– a frequent requirement when you’re out with two kids and a dog. The independent sun shades are very generous. Each shade feels substantial and has a design reminiscent of a baseball cap with a “flip-out visor,” contributing further to the Tri-Mode’s sporty design. Coverage is great for a seated child, but when the seat is fully reclined, the hood does not cover a sleeping baby. A window on each shade enables you to peek in on both kids.

The metal footrest is genius, providing a wide, stable foothold for toddlers to get in and out of the stroller easily and safely. The metal is perforated with small holes that provide traction while letting dirt slide through. The storage basket is very large, but a bar between the two seats divides the basket making it hard to store larger items and making access tricky. Fortunately, additional storage is available for smaller items in the two ingenious removable pockets that zip onto the back of the hood. Even more small item storage is available in pockets at the sides of the basket.

The Tri-Mode’s deep, padded seats recline flat for newborns or nappers. The recline is operable with only one hand, but requires two to bring it back to a seated position. I also like the variability of the seat. My son can be picky about the angle of some seats. I can adjust the Tri-Mode’s seat to fit his whims. He also does not slump in the Tri-Mode like he does in some strollers. The removable cushioned headrest for infants (“head hugger”) was so inviting that my toddler son wanted one installed on his side too. Two removable, coordinated bumper bars make both kids happy since one likes them and one doesn’t.

The padded five-point harness features a tricky system that I was wary of, but have grown to love. To buckle the seat belt, you must line up two tabs then insert them into the buckle. In order to release the buckle, you must first push down on the tabs while pressing the button. As my son slowly figures out how to free himself from strollers, high chairs, and other containment devices, I am confident that this one will take him a while to crack.

The brake stretches across the entire stroller and is easy to flip up and down. The handle is adjustable to several positions to accommodate most heights. Each seat has its own removable bumper bar with a matching, removable fabric shell. Also standard is a rain cover. Unfortunately, Valco Baby does not include any illustrations or pictures of the rain cover in the instruction manual so it took me a while to figure it out. Once I had it configured correctly, I was impressed by how well the cover fit the Tri-Mode Twin. A zipper across the front allows easy access to both passengers inside. My kids loved going out in this stroller in the rain and in the wind. The cover kept them dry and warm.

valco_trimode_foldedThe Tri-Mode is very easy to fold. When folded, it takes up the entire trunk of my hatchback car, but it still fits–even with the wheels on. The straps that keep the stroller folded can be hard to attach. It is difficult to transport the Tri-Mode when folded because there is no handle that makes it easy to carry to bulky frame.

Valco Baby offers plenty of optional accessories. Car seat adapters for a variety of different models enable you to attach one car seat. Valco Baby’s most interesting add-on is the Twin Toddler Seat, which attaches to the front of the stroller to add yet another passenger. For older kids, the Hitchhiker attaches to the back of the stroller to give tired feet a break. Also available is a foot muff, travel bag, cup holder, snack tray, and a zip-in sun shade.

If you have two or more and are looking for a smooth ride, the Tri-Mode Twin has your number.

The Details: Valco Baby Tri-Mode Twin Stroller, $699. To find a Twin near you, click on the “Find a Store” link at http://valcobaby.com

Will It Fit In My Car*?: Folded dimensions: 29″L 28″W 18″H; Stroller Weight: 33lbs.
Will It Fit Out My Door?*: Assembled dimensions: 29″W 37″L
Weight Limit: Seat Weight Limit: 45lbs. per seat
Color Palette: Scarlett, Brilliant Black, Stone, Plum, and Pistachio

* Information provided by manufacturer

Follow Maura @Mekafoo on Twitter!

ValcoBaby provided a review sample for this article. Neither the author nor Kidoinfo has received any monetary compensation for this review and we have no undisclosed relationship with the ValcoBaby company.

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