By Maura Keating
Last year, I wrote about my love for the Bumbleride Indie. I might have even raved a little. One year later, I STILL love my Indie, but in case you didn’t guess already . . . we have another on the way and we are starting to see double. Thank goodness, Bumbleride is one step ahead of us with the Bumbleride Indie Twin.
I was a little wary of taking out a side-by-side double stroller. They seem huge and, well, they kind of are. There’s no getting around the fact that you are transporting two, but through some sort of magic or sleight of hand, at twenty-nine inches wide, the Indie Twin slides through most doorways.Â And the Bumbleride Indie Twin is easy to push (something my aching back truly appreciates), and unlike many double strollers, even tandems, the Indie Twin turns and maneuvers very smoothly. Like its single cousin, the Indie Twin could become my stroller of choice for cruising our Providence neighborhood. With its air-inflated tires, Bumbleride makes it easy to navigate curbs, potholes, grass–even sand. The Twin features two front swiveling tires that can be locked for brisk walks. A jogging wrist strap is also included.
My son loves the Twin as much as he loves the single Indie. Bumbleride has transferred all of the best features of the Indie and made them independent so that each child has a customized ride. The Twin’s backrests adjust separately and can fold flat–making the Twin usable from infancy on up. Baby can sleep while your Toddler sits upright. The five-point safety harness is easy to use and easy to adjust single-handedly. Coordinated cute shoulder pads and a headrest for Baby provide a comfy fit. Each seat also has its own canopy. The canopies are large and offer great protection from the sun and the elements. The rear panel zippers off to extend the canopy forward or to increase air flow on hot days. Each footrest is adjustable from flat to vertical.
You can attach an infant car seat to the Twin using the included Infant Carrier Adapter Bar. (A list of compatible car seats is available on the Bumbleride website.) The car seat adapter is not perfect. We tested it with a Graco Snugride Infant Seat and our friend tested it with a Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Infant Seat. Although both seats are compatible, the adapter bar never felt truly stable with either seat. Our friend comments, “I never felt that the car seat was securely attached. It would have felt better if there was some kind of click/lock mechanism vs. the universal bar/strap attachment.” The car seat adapter is a bit of a disappointment, but not a deal breaker for me. I use strollers mostly in the neighborhood for walks around town. My kids have never been content to stay in their car seats for errands.
There are also plenty of features to keep the drivers happy–including a cup holder. My favorite Indie feature is the zippered pocket at the back of the canopy and with the Twin, there are TWO! The pockets are surprisingly spacious–large enough to hold everything you might need for a quick walk (keys, wallet, sunglasses) or leave the diaper bag at home and stash a few diapers and baby necessities behind each kid.Â A clear window at the top of each canopy lets you sneak a peek without breaking your stride. The Twin’s padded handle adjusts quickly from 32 to 45 inches high with two buttons at either side, making it easy to adjust when switching drivers (or pushers). The storage basket is huge and is ideal for walks to the Farmers’ Market or a busy day at the mall. The one-step brake stretches across the width of the stroller and is easy to operate with one foot.
Folding the Indie Twin stroller requires a slight learning curve but comes easily (and quickly!) with practice. We tend to be lazy with our strollers and leave them set up. A clip keeps the stroller locked and a padded handle makes it comfortable to carry the Twin once it is folded. The fold is pretty compact for a double stroller and fits into the trunk of my compact car, though it doesn’t leave room for much else. To unfold, pull on the handlebar and the stroller reappears. A quick unfold is important when impatient kids are waiting in the car!
We tested the 2008 Indie Twin. The 2009 model has a few changes and improvements that should be noted: it has lighter three spoke wheels with a new backrest recline mechanism that allows for an even more compact fold.
The 2009 harness release buckle features a one push button for quick and easy entrances and exits. The sun canopy has been enlarged, and because the sun doesn’t always shine, all strollers now come standard with a rain cover. Sadly, the footmuff is now sold separately, butÂ it is a little more substantial for cold winters in the north. The bumper bars are also gone in the 2009 model.
After riding with the Twin, I have changed my thinking about the side by side. I like to have both kids next to each other, allowing them to interact. I suppose that could be a bad thing, but with the Twin’s customizable features, the kids won’t be in each other’s way. When your kids ride tandem, the younger child usually has a terrible view. When riding in the Twin, both kids get to see the world and I can quickly pop around the side and talk to both kids at once.Â You won’t need to play musical chairs if the older child wants to get out of the stroller to walk. Storage is the real difference. There aren’t many places to stash your stuff with a tandem stroller, but the Bumbleride Indie Twin has storage in spades–from the cupholder to the spacious basket underneath.
What can I say? Bumbleride has done it again.
The Details: $659.99 “Dealer Locator” link at http://www.bumbleride.com