I really wanted to like this stroller, but I suppose it just wasn't meant to be. I like so many of the great features this stroller offers but using many of these features is cumbersome at best.
Assembly for this stroller wasn't bad. It took me about ten minutes to snap it all together. No tools are required so that's a plus. If you are familiar with the pictogram instruction manuals from Ikea, then you'll feel right at home with the instruction manual for this stroller. I wasn't impressed with their pictogram instruction, especially since it failed to tell you how to use the universal car seat adaptor that is included with the stroller. I had to figure out how to attach that by trial and error. Maybe it's just me, but something that has the important job of holding your infant should have some clear instructions on how to use it.
The "lightweight steel frame" for this stroller is HEAVY. I was shocked at the weight of this stroller. It's not something I would want to be lifting in and out of my van on a regular basis. I thought the Britax B-Agile double was a bit weighty for a light weight double, but next to this behemoth, the B-Agile seems like a feather weight.
Folding this stroller is cumbersome. You need two hands to press the releases to fold it, and because of the stroller's weight I felt like I was getting pulled down with the stroller as it folded. The stroller doesn't self latch when it folds up, so you'll have to manually latch it with a latch the likes of which I haven't seen on a stroller since the old Graco strollers from 11-14 years ago. Between the massive weight and ancient style latch, I felt like I was time traveling.
I do like the upholstery for the stroller. It's very nice. The seats are also nicely padded. My eleven month old seemed to find the stroller comfortable in both seats. She had plenty of leg room in the rear seat, but I think an older child might feel cramped in that seat. It's important to note that the weight limit for the rear seat is 33lbs and the front seat can hold up to 40lbs. I was a bit surprised to see that the box for this stroller says it's for infants aged 6 months and up.
The recline on the front seat is quite nice. Simply pull up on the metal bar to adjust the back rest. This is actually the type of seat recline that I prefer on a stroller. It's much nicer than the "infinite recline" features that utilize a mesh strap. The rear seat has a zipper recline where you pull down a zipper that is located on either side of the seat. It's does the job, but it doesn't recline very far.
The "generous" canopy isn't anything to write home about. It's a big canopy, but it doesn't offer full protection for the child riding in the front. The child in the rear seat can be fully covered by this canopy, but you'll have to unzip it to get to your child.
The included rain hood it a nice touch, but whether or not you'll need it depends on how frequently you get stuck out in the rain while using the stroller. I have a Chicco stroller that has a rain hood that has been used just once in seven years. Rain hoods like this are really only worth the effort it takes to put them on if you're actually going to be out in the rain for an extended period while it's raining (think a day at an amusement park or a soccer game, not a quick run through the parking lot from your car to the store).
The stroller handles nicely and offers a smooth ride. The front wheel swivels well and offers good maneuverability. The one touch break is nice, but I found the one on my stroller to be a bit stiff. Maybe with use it will loosen up a bit. The adjustable handle bar is a nice feature, too.
Aside from the massive weight of this stroller my biggest annoyances with the stroller come down to it's inability to be folded up with it's attachments in place. If you add the second seat, you'll have to take it off to fold it up. The idea of having to install and remove the second seat anytime the stroller is being used is very unappealing. The same goes for the universal infant seat attachment. You can't fold the stroller with that attached so you'll have to go through the process of attaching and detaching that every time you have to lug this stroller in and out of your car. I suppose the people who designed this weren't too worried about how convenient this stroller would be for the parents who would be using it.
Surely there are better double strollers out there for those seeking a tandem model. Testing out this stroller gave me a newfound appreciation for the Britax B-Agile double. That one is lighter, folds up easily and bit more compactly and can hold up to 50lbs per seat. It also has better handling.
For what this stroller costs, I would pass on it and find something else. Sometimes it's best to visit a local baby store and test drive several models to see which one will best suit your lifestyle. The Hauck FreeRider just isn't a good match for our family.