Life changes a lot when you have children, but when you have a second? It’s an entirely different ballgame. For parents who want to stay active, this means it’s time to evaluate an entirely new quiver of gear that enables moms and dads to get outside while carting around two little humans. For this purpose, there is nothing better than a crossover stroller.
Designed with outdoor enthusiasts in mind, these versatile strollers have four conversion modes: walking, running, biking, and skiing. Walking to running is an easy transition: swap out the two front wheels for one larger wheel and voila! Run as fast as you’d like. Biking and skiing are a bit more complicated, but still not difficult. Bike mode ditches any semblance of front wheels in favor of a hitch that attaches to the back hub of an adult bicycle so it can be towed along any path or road. Ski mode utilizes a harness that goes around one adult’s waist and two cross-country skis that fix themselves to the bottom of the trailer in place of wheels. On snowy trails, the adult acts like the horse in a horse-and-wagon scenario and tows the trailer through the winter wonderland.
Bottom line: a multipurpose trailer is a wonderful thing for active parents, but they are pricey so it is important to understand what you are getting for your money. For those looking for double trailers for two children, there are two main competitors in the game: the Thule Chariot Cross, and the just-launched Burley D’lite X. We took a look at both and did the legwork, so read on if you’re in the market for a badass stroller.
There is no doubt about it: at 32 pounds, the Chariot Cross 2 (the “2" refers to the double seater version) is a behemoth. With a max weight load of 100 pounds, adults can easily tow their two children for many years. An easy one-handed, independently recline option means kiddos can lay back and take a snooze on the thinly-padded cushion if mom’s jogging session bores them to tears (there is a five-point harness to contain them). Full suspension ensures a comfortable ride on bumpy dirt trails, and a large cargo space on the back easily stows away if not needed, but also provides ample room to stash extra clothes, snacks, or water for longer activities.
As with many stroller/trailers of this caliber, the Chariot Cross 2 is fully enclosed with plastic on the sides and a roll-down, zip screen on the front that does a decent job of keeping wind out, if needed. Drawback: The side plastic means airflow is minimal and it can get stuffy during exceedingly hot summer days, but adjustable vents mitigate a bit of the warmth. During particularly inclement weather, a deployable plastic shield wraps around the entire thing so kiddos are snug as little bugs inside.
Price: ~$800-$1,050 (fluctuates)
Weight: 32 pounds
Right off the bat, the Burley D’Lite X is noticeably lighter, clocking in at a tick over 29 pounds which may matter for smaller men and women. The D’Lite X also has a maximum weight of 100 pounds and includes suspension that we found to be equally comfortable to the Chariot Cross. Similar to the Thule, each seat independently reclines and our little found the seat cushion to be just perfect for her small butt. The D’Lite X has slightly bowed-out walls that offer more shoulder and elbow room for kiddos on the inside. An extra-large cargo area in the back provides more-than-enough room to stash extra clothing and toys.
UV-plastic windows line the sides and a fully-mesh front door operates in a similar fashion to the Thule, but a generous back window also opens up to provide plenty of airflow on warm days. To us, this is a huge win that offers increased livability on the inside. Having a back window for a cross-breeze is a huge benefit to these trailers and our daughter certainly enjoyed the fresh air. A deployable plastic shield keeps rain and snow out, operating in a similar manner as the Thule.
Weight: 29.3 pounds
Included kits with initial purchase: one-wheeled walking kit and tow hitch for biking. Parents can buy the jogging kit for an additional $150 and the ski kit for another $249. Or, if parents prefer a two-wheeled walking kit (versus the one-wheeled that is included), they can purchase one for $99.
Both Thule and Burley make an awesome trailer, and you cannot go wrong with either purchase. But, at three pounds less and a whopping $200 cheaper, the Burley looks rather appealing if budget and weight are a deciding factor.