Review of the 2009 Bumbleride Indie Twin September 27, 2009Posted by Judy in parenting.
We have been looking for a double stroller few several weeks now. Being diehard babywearers, we never really used a stroller or really wanted one. A confluence of factors changed our minds (two herniated discs in my lower back, it’s REALLY hot to be babywearing DD in the summer, it’s super tricky to go on long outings with the two bambini without DH), so my search for the perfect double stroller began. I learned many things about shopping for strollers in the process and in the end, decided on the Bumbleride Indie Twin. Is it the perfect stroller? No, but it’s really very close. As far as I can tell, this is only the second year that Bumbleride has made the Twin version. This means that it’s tricky to find reviews of the stroller. The review done by babygizmo.com was the most comprehensive and helpful to me. I found a few other tidbits of info here and here, and several other useful vids here.
I decided to go ahead and post my own review of the Bumbleride given that there are so few reviews available, and it’s pretty tricky to find the stroller IRL. At least it was tricky for me, and I live in the DC metro area. I was really surprised that NO-ONE for miles and miles around had it on display! Anyway, without further ado, here are my very detailed thoughts on the Bumbleride. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll be talking about ALL of the positives as well as ALL of the negatives. Let’s start with just some general info.
The Bumbleride Indie Twin (BIT) comes almost fully assembled, so it takes 15 minutes or less to put it together. In addition, you don’t need any tools to put it together. Most pieces just snap into place. This is REALLY nice. It weighs 34 pounds and has a weight limit of 90 lbs (45 lbs per side). It comes with a rain cover, an air pump, an infant adapter bar, headrest and shoulder strap pads. You can purchase the following accessories (CAVEAT: I haven’t seen any of these accessories in IRL, so take this with a grain of salt!):
- a snack pack – functions like a bumper bar and has two sections that can hold a cup and some snacks
- Jam pack – this is an all-purpose backpack-type thing which can be used as a diaper bag or your toddler can wear it as a backpack
- Carrycot – like a bassinet that snaps onto the stroller so that you can move baby from stroller back into the house without having to jostle them around.
- Footmuff/liner – if you want to go out in the cold, these footmuffs will keep your kiddos tootsies nice and warm.
The things I LOVE
- The BIT steers like a dream, even with uneven weight distribution (toddler on one side infant on the other). SUPER easy to push and you can certainly steer it with one hand. In addition, it turns on a dime, which is useful for maneuvering in and out of tight spaces.
- To the best of my knowledge, this is the only double, all-terrain stroller with an adjustable handle, adjusting from 32″-45″. This is great for our family since DH and I are not exactly the same height. I also love it because I can adjust the handle depending on where I want my hands to be.
- Each seat has individual, HUGE canopies that provide a significant amount of coverage and have peekaboo windows. I have found that sometimes the canopies don’t block the sun, but I’ve solved that problem by making an additional flap that attaches to the canopy to provide complete coverage.
The canopies are also quite tall, so most kids, even tall ones, will have plenty of headroom.
- The footrests are adjustable, which is great when you have babes of different sizes.
- Being an all-terrain stroller, it has 12″wheels, two in back and two in front (which gives it more stability, IMHO). These large, air-filled wheels swivel 360 degrees, which makes it REALLY easy to push off road. The only time I’ve had trouble is when trying to push it through grass that was like 6″ tall! The wheels can be locked for jogging, and you can lock them in the forward or backward position. The wheels are also easily removed. The front wheels employ the traditional bicycle tire quick release system while the back tires have a knob that you pull to release the tires.
- The BIT is equipped with a one-step foot brake that is quite easy to use.
- Both seats fully recline, with infinitely adjustable backrests. The seats recline with one hand but require two hands to bring back up.
- Coming in at 29.5″ wide, it’s a fairly narrow stroller as far as double strollers go. You can get through most standard doorways without much trouble.
- The rain cover is great! Really easy to put on and keeps the babes dry. I took it for a spin one day when it was pouring . . . I came back soaked and kiddos were dry as could be!
- A large and easily accessible storage basket. I went on an all day zoo outing with the kiddos and the basket was stuffed to the gills with two diaper bags, a potty seat, a snack bag, and two baby carriers.
- Last, but not least, the BIT is a sturdy stroller, made of anodized aluminum. From an aesthetic point of view, I appreciate the sturdy zippers found throughout.
The things that are only so-so
- The pump for the tires is a little funny. The size is such that it’s tricky to get it to fit and get a proper seal. It works, but seems like the design could’ve been a bit better.
- Initially, the seats were a little difficult to sit back up with a child in the seat. For me, this was due in part to the large size of the knob, making it hard for me to hold it in my hand. It took me a bit to figure out how to work the adjuster with minimal effort. Hold the D-ring in one hand and pull towards you while simultaneously squeezing the knob and pushing it towards the stroller.
- The adjustable handle bar is tricky to adjust if you have short arms like me. I have a wee bit of trouble getting my arms around it, pressing the button, AND raising or lowering the bar. BUT, I’d rather it be tricky than not have the option of adjusting the bar at all.
- Although the BIT provides a cupholder, it’s attached on the side, which increases the width of the stroller just enough that you can’t get it through doorways without removing the cupholder . . . . kind of a pain. Having said that, I’m not sure where else the cupholder could go.
- Folding the BIT isn’t too bad, but it took me about 10 tries to figure out the trick to collapsing the stroller enough to be able to use the locking clip and to have the locking clip stay clipped. (This is the first year that Bumbleride has provided a locking clip and IMHO, they need to work on the design.) So the trick is to lock the front wheels in the forward position so that they will not be in the way.
- It’s a little hard to get it up on a sidewalk as there is nothing to step on to boost it up. Not a big deal, but something that is only so-so.
- The shoulder harnesses are just giant. I have them adjusted as tight as it they will go and on the lowest setting, and they are still too big for my tall 2 yr old. You can imagine how they fit, or don’t fit, my 11 month old! I’m wondering if maybe I’m doing something wrong, so I’m planning on calling Bumbleride about this and a few other things.
- This leads me to the next little thing . . . the documentation is woefully inadequate. I was really surprised that such a nice, high quality stroller came with such a cheaply produced manual that was lacking in information. Alas, I suppose everything can’t be perfect!
- The headrest, shoulder pads and crotch strap pads are not the same quality as the rest of the stroller. The pads and not really all that padded, and the crotch strap pad falls off VERY easily. This could be easily fixed by adding some elastic. The headrest is also lacking in padding, and it’s not sturdy enough to actually function as a headrest. I have yet to decide whether or not it is useful or necessary.
The things that are interesting and/or cool
- As I mentioned before, the canopies are fantastic. They offer two other cool features. You can unzip them partway to provide airflow to the kiddos on hot days.
You can also completely unzip the back part of the canopy, which allows the canopy to move forward a little more to help provide more sun coverage.
- The seats have these mystery loops on the backrest portion. I have yet to figure out what they are for. (Another thing I’ll be asking Bumbleride about.) Close to the loops are some D-rings, which I think might be used for an added seatbelt when using the infant car carrier or the Carrycot.
- The footrests have these flaps that you can snap to the seat to create a little basket-like thing for infants.
I suppose you could use it with the footrest flat or up, but probably safer with them up. You do have the crotch strap to keep them from sliding down, but this is just an extra precaution.
All in all, this is a fantastic stroller! I’m definitely happy with our purchase and am looking forward to seeing what Bumbleride comes up with for the 2010 version!