By peoplestaff225
Updated January 17, 2008 08:00 AM
Advertisement

I’ve been around the block a few times when it comes to double strollers. Literally. Now going onto my fourth child, I’ve owned and been frustrated with at least six or seven doubles over the years. But up until recently, I’d never tested the Valco Runabout Trimode Twin all terrain stroller.

Many parents, when adding a second (or third, or more!) child to their family ask themselves, "Do I really need a double stroller?" Obviously for parents of twins, the answer is a resounding yes! But some parents of toddlers and infants feel they can get away without a double. I am not one of these people. I like to take long walks and go on all day outings with my children. Even though my 3 year old is content to walk alongside me for a short while, he is not able to stand on a buggy board or keep up with me on a five mile hike. I need a good solid double in my stroller stable. In all my years of searching for a good double, none has impressed me as much as the Valco Runabout Trimode Twin.

Click continue reading to read the entire Valco Runabout Trimode Twin review.

Overview:

The Valco Runabout Trimode Twin all terrain stroller is aposh beast, but rugged too. Like a Range Rover, it commands respect andattention and is royally outfitted. Everything about this strollerinspires confidence. The high quality fabrics, trim and finishmaterials give the stroller a solid feel and sharp appearance. In caseyou are wondering why the "trimode" name, it is because there is an addon option for a third jumper seat. We only have two slots to fill atthe moment so we did not test the toddler seat. However Julia Roberts is a fan of this set-up. She recently selected the stroller in Scarlet, along with the toddler seat, to stroll with twins Hazel and Phinneas Moder and baby Henry Moder. Other celebs who push this stroller include Marcia Cross who owns the Trimode Twin in Sunrise for her twin girls, Eden and Savannah.

The Seat
I love the generous height of the seats on all the Valco strollers Ihave ever tested. I have a tall son who has been difficult to fit instrollers since he turned two. He’s not fond of wearing stroller hoodsas a cap. With Valco this is never an issue. He’s pictured above at age3.5, in the 95th percentile for height and you can see he still has room togrow. The Valco Runabout Twin Trimode seats are plenty tall androomy, and have multiple recline positions (seats recline independentlyof one another) that are quick, easy, and silent to achieve with ahandy one touch system. The seats recline completely flat,accommodating infants. It’s nice to know that this is a stroller that youcan use from day one until you are done with strollers. The straps onthe five point harness are amply padded, and there is an extracushion-y headrest included for your infant. The harness straps, hoodand trim have reflective tape on them, for added nighttimesafety and visibility.

The seats themselves are nicely padded and sport "airgo" airflowtechnology to keep your children cool and comfortable. Separate hoodsadjust to cover each child a little, or almost completely. Flip out,visor-like sunshades give your children a little extra solarprotection. Mesh parent peekaboo windows let you see what the tykes areup to in there when the hoods are extended. Should you encounter rain,rest assured the rain cover is included, although how to attach itbaffled us at first glance.Try it before you need it and refer to yourmanual if need be. Once you "get it", it’s easy.

One of my favorite features on this stroller, are the zip off bags that are on the back of each hood.You don’t need to pack a diaper bag when you head out with thisstroller. There is room for sunglasses, cell phone, keys, all your babyessentials and more in these bags. When you put the stroller in parkand go explore on foot, you can just zip off the bags and take yourvaluables with you. As if this were not enough, there are also sidepanniers for items that you need to access quickly. Not to skimp onstorage in any way — a super roomy basket stores all the rest of yourstuff. Valco recently added a zip in the storage basket that makes iteasy to access the contents even when both sides of the stroller arefully reclined.

Both seats are ringed by a single removable padded bumper bar.Individual bumpers are sold separately if you would like to furthercustomize your ride. The included bar is very easy to attach and detachand a perfect place to add on a snack tray such as the Carry You Siena.One other feature we loved about the seating, was the aluminum kickplate. It provides a place for kids feet to rest and prevents themreaching down and fiddling with the wheels – a huge safety concern andpet peeve of mine with certain other strollers. The kick plate wasredesigned for the most recent model in order to be easier to clean. Iwas also glad to see that the seat fabrics are removable and washable.Because messes will happen!

The Frame
Rock solid is the description that comes to mindwith this frame. It’s a stroller that is comfortable for almost anyoneto push, as the handlebar adjusts to multiple positions. At 29 incheswide, the stroller fits through most standard 30 inch store doorways aswell as the doorways in our home. My 11 year old was able tocomfortably push this stroller though out the house, and my 6 foot tallplus husband was comfortable pushing the stroller (one handed) aroundthe neighborhood.. The air filled tires easily handle a variety ofterrain challenges. The steadiness of this stroller is incrediblyreassuring.

There is nothing wobbly or tippy about about the Valco Runabout Trimode Twin,whether it is fully loaded or not. It pushes smoothly even with 100pounds of kiddo inside. Parents can customize the push by choosing fromthree wheel position settings. Choose fully fixed for jogging andsnowy/icy conditions, full swivel for regular strolling and shopping(it turns on a dime on this setting), and 45 degree swivel foradditional stability when used with the toddler seat. The wheels, whichfeature rust free aluminum rims, pop off very easily when you want themto. This simplifies storage at home and in the car and allows for amore compact fold. The brake engages easily and disengages from the topas well, so you don’t have to scuff your shoes.

Valco sells an infant car seat adapter separately if you would liketo use this stroller with your infant car seat. The adapter is universaland compatible with multiple models of car seats. Additional optionaladd on accessories include a ride on board, cup holder and matchingfoot muff and stroller bag.

The Fold
You should know that this stroller is not a one handed, fast fold type. Itis not especially difficult to fold but it does require two hands andyour attention, so get the kids settled into their car seats first ifyou are departing the mall. The fold is accomplished in two steps, bothrelatively simple and quick. First you undo two latches at the sidesand fold the frame in half. Then you reach under the basket area tofurther collapse the frame in onto itself. Easy. But the size andweight of this stroller, as well as the number of moving parts in whichlittle fingers could possibly get pinched, means that you do have totake some care. The extra minute or two is well worth the payoff oftraveling with such a well outfitted stroller. With the front wheelsdetached this stroller easily fits in the back of most SUVs/CUVs and inmost midsize car trunks.

Final Thoughts
This is a stroller that is good for neighborhood short strolls,short to medium runs/jogs, and shopping trips to the mall, but it’seven better suited to all day long hikes and all day long hauls to thebeach or park. It’s

comfortable enough to nap in, and roomy enough topack a full day’s worth of snacks and supplies. At long last, ourperfect Disneyland stroller!

Althoughthis handsome stroller drew ample admiration and appreciation from thefriends I showed it to, it was not super showy in a way that would makeme fearful to park it unattended outside a neighborhood cafe or myolder children’s elementary school for five minutes. (Note: I live in arelatively crime free area, and have yet to have had fancy strollers stolen!I’m pretty paranoid!).

I’m really looking forward to taking long walks with my three yearold and new baby in this stroller. Now I have no excuses
not to start afitness regimen this spring!

Pros

  • Works from birth to kindergarten with 1-3 kids, your family probably won’t outgrow it
  • Top quality materials and "they thought of everything" design
  • Tons of storage for all day outings

Cons

  • Sticker shock – this stroller is a significant investment for most families
  • Folds compactly for a double but still requires significant storage space
  • Not ideal for airline travel

Buy Yours
The Valco Runabout Twin Trimode is available at Let’s Go Strolling and other baby specialty stores. Exclusively for CBB Readers: Save 5% off your Valco Runabout Twin Trimode when you purchase it at Let’s Go Strolling and enter code CBBVAL5. Please note that this code is not applicable to the pink/blue special edition version of this stroller.

Specifications:

  • Runabout Tri-Mode Twin Open 28"W x 37"L
  • Handle Adjusts from 30"H to 41.5"H
  • Runabout Tri-Mode Twin Folded 28"W x 29"L x 18"H
  • Folded wheels removed 27"W x 26"L x 16"H
  • Seat Width 11"
  • Seat Depth 7"
  • Backrest Height 30"
  • Footrest Length 14"
  • Height from Seat to Hood 36"
  • Maximum passenger weight (per seat) 45 lbs
  • Overall stroller weight 33 lbs