After thousands of hours of research, I FINALLY purchased a double stroller. Though the Phil & Ted Vibe Brand NEW! Phil & Teds Vibe Buggy With Doubles Kit- Redwas in consideration for a little while, the final pair I narrowed it down to were the Joovy Caboose UltraLight Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stand On Tandem Stroller, Blackand the Baby Trend Sit N Stand PLUS Baby Trend Silverado Sit N' Stand Plus Double Stroller.
Ultimately, what is good for you is going to depend alot on the age of your kids, how often you plan to use it, and under what conditions. My daughters are 3 months and 2 1/2 years old. Realistically, I didn't think I'd be using this double stroller all that much, but I wanted to have one for the times when I knew I would need it. In my case, the winner ended up being the Baby Trend Sit N Stand Plus. Here's why:
PHIL & TED VIBE:Brand NEW! Phil & Teds Vibe Buggy With Doubles Kit- Red
I was initially attracted to this one because of its compact design and light weight. I also liked the Vibe over the other P&T models because you don't need to take the jumpseat off in order to fold it up (according to the website anyway). But in reality, folding this thing up was kind of a pain. Next-- In the "infant + toddler" mode, I kind of felt like I was putting my infant in the glove compartment. Talk about claustrophobic! Thinking down the line, in the "2 toddlers mode", it seemed that accessing your children in this stroller is not all that easy. The jump seat does not recline, and it is not particularly accessible. I pictured myself trying to squeeze a sleeping toddler into that "underbasket" seat and I figured I was asking for trouble. Lastly, I just couldn't justify the cost (nearly $900 with the doubles kit) given that I didn't think I was going to use it that often. However, it did handle well and was very light. Despite its maneuverability, the cons seemed too great in comparison to the cost (plus it is not compatabile with ANY car seat)
JOOVY CABOOSE ULTRALIGHT:Joovy Caboose Ultralight Stand On Tandem Stroller, Black
Certainly a better price than that Vibe! Was surprisingly light and easy to maneuver. It was actually compatible with my Combi car seat (which is rare). My 2 1/2 year old seemed to really like standing on the platform in the store. I actually almost bought this one except for three major things:
1) The folding mechanism is annoying. You need to use two hands. When you have two kids in tow, you often don't have one free hand-- let alone two. Especially if you are someplace like a shopping center parking lot, or a city street, where you need your eyes and ears alert as well as your hands free.
2) It occurred to me that even though my 2 1/2 year old seemed to enjoy riding in the store during the test drive, what would happen after several hours at the zoo? She stills needs a good 90 minute nap everyday, in the middle of the day. I could foresee that this could be a problem because there is no way to carry an infant AND a napping toddler.
As much as I WANTED to like this stroller, I realized that its probably better if your kids are both over the age of 3 vs. having both kids under the age of 3. But I really liked the idea of a Sit N Stand because I knew it wouldn't be long before my oldest wouldn't need to sit in the seat at all, but I probably had a decent amount of time where I would still need the "full seat" capability.
3) The seat/platform area on the Joovy was really small with the infant seat installed. So even if my daughter wanted to sit and take a break, it would hardly be comfortable. (and she's small too, so I can only imagine what it would be like when she got older)
BABY TREND SIT n STAND PLUS Baby Trend Silverado Sit N' Stand Plus Double Stroller
After much research, I discovered the Sit N Stand PLUS. This is a step up from the basic Sit N Stand, in that it can convert from a compact tandem stroller with 2 full seats to a traditional Sit N Stand. Problem Solved!! The back seat even reclines a bit (but not fully) for the toddler to nap. The back seat removes easily, and can be folded up into the storage basket while still allowing room to carry stuff. Even though it officially is not compatible with the Combi car seat, it actually seemed pretty darn secure when I tried it. I can take my infant along, and not worry about the toddler needing to nap. And when the toddler wants to stand and ride, she can do that too. It only takes a minute to take the seat out. Unlike the Joovy, there is plenty of space on the bench seat and in the standing area. The one-hand fold is easy and effortless to use! It includes both a parent tray and child snack tray (with cupholders) and you can access the basket easily from the sides even if your child is in the back seat. It includes full sun canopies for both seats, which are also easily removed when not needed. I put it right next to the Joovy Caboose Ultralight in the store and they had the exact same wheelbase (length from from wheels to back wheels-- so I'm not sure why people are saying its longer than the Caboose? To top it off, this stroller is about $100 less than the Joovy. This stroller is certainly not perfect... it IS heavier than the Joovy or the Phil & Ted and no, it does not turn quite as easily (though not significantly harder either). However, given the cost difference; the frequency of usage that I think I'll have; and the potential longevity as my daughter grows out of the seat and into the standing only preference... getting this one seemed like a no-brainer compared to the significantly more expensive Phil & Ted and Joovy.