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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Totally legit product reviews: Graco Ready2Grow Double Stroller

Part of preparing for the birth of our second child involved choosing a double stroller that Trevor's infant seat could snap into. We've been a Graco family since Audrey was a baby, so I stuck to looking at what Graco had to offer. And as far as double strollers ... there wasn't much. The Ready2Grow stroller was pretty much it.

Its main claim to fame is that it can do all these things. Most of which are useless.

This mobile monstrosity weighs in at 33 pounds empty and is roughly the size of a shopping cart. At Costco. But if I wanted a stroller that I could both strap Audrey into securely AND snap Trevor's car seat into easily, then there wasn't really much other choice. A minor advantage is that the Ready2Grow can accommodate two kids in like 12 different configurations and might be convenient as the two kids get bigger (except it probably won't, because I will ditch it for a much smaller side-by-side double umbrella stroller as soon as Trevor is old enough to sit up on his own).

But. I took this stroller out with both kids for the first time this past week, and MARY MOTHER OF GOD IT IS ENORMOUS. I decided to review it for you, mostly because I have a lot to say about it and I can only update my Facebook status so many times a day.

Here is how that experience worked out for us:

Audrey had some sort of itchy skin thing going on on her scalp, and the pediatrics clinic at the hospital had no appointments available so they sent us to Urgent Care instead. Fearing that we might get stuck with a long wait, I decided I needed to bring the Titanic stroller along instead of just letting Audrey walk while Trevor rode in the Graco Snugrider stroller frame (13.6 pounds empty). I went so far as to ask Jesse to put it into the back of my car before he left for work, because IT IS GIGANTIC AND WEIGHS 33 POUNDS. It's not that I can't lift 33 pounds of giant awkward; it's just that if I can make someone else do it for me, I'm going to.

Here she is folded up in the back of my SUV. It barely f***ing fits. I'm not actually certain that folding it up made it any smaller.

When we arrived at the clinic, I manhandled the beast out of the back of the car and opened it up, marveling again at its girth. I then strapped Audrey into the front seat and attached Trevor's infant seat to the back, facing towards me. We were ready to roll.

First impressions of the stroller: I could not see Audrey at all. I assumed she was still sitting up there in front because I hadn't noticed her flattened under the wheels.

Here's the view from the Captain's seat (by the way, I insist on being called "Captain" whilst piloting this monstrosity, in keeping with the whole "it is a yacht that travels on land" theme). As you can see, even when I step far to the side, I can only barely see Audrey's leg.

This thing handled like a Carnival cruise liner. I tried to drive it with one hand while I responded to a quick text on my phone, and almost ended up in the middle of the Interstate somehow. It is absolutely impossible to open doors while pushing this stroller, because its length exceeds my wingspan. I guess you could maybe manage if you went in front of the stroller and opened the door with one hand, and then pulled on your child's foot to move the stroller forward far enough to block the door from closing. And then you could climb over your children and get to the back of the stroller to push it the rest of the way through the door. 

Or you could pray for one of those wheelchair door open buttons, or just rely on the kindness of strangers. I stuck to the latter two options exclusively.

The storage bin underneath the stroller is massive, which makes sense since there is so much f***ing space for it. So there's that.

I tried to take another photo in the waiting room at Urgent Care, but I don't have a wide angle lens so I couldn't fit the whole thing in the frame.

A few days later, I announced that I was going to take Trevor for a walk since he was all worked up and needed some fresh air. Audrey heard me and said she wanted to come for a walk too, so ... out came the Titanic of strollers again.

This time, I got to experience some rough terrain with the stroller. I took it over some gravel, where it handled like a pogo stick on wheels. Audrey kept shouting "weeee!" while I watched the wheels worriedly. Thankfully none of them rattled off.

And then I had to navigate a slight bump about an inch high, but the stroller stopped dead when I hit it. So I tried ramming with more speed, but once again we stopped dead. I could not do my usual pop-a-wheelie trick with the Titanic so I had to drive through grass until the bump back up to the sidewalk was less than one inch high.

Also my foot kicks the brake on the back of the stroller roughly once every five steps.

In conclusion, here are the stroller's cons:
-- barely fits in my car folded up
-- 33 pounds of awkward when empty
-- can't see the kid in front
-- can't negotiate even minor bumps in the road
-- impossible to open doors
-- handles like an early 20th century steamliner
-- not good for people with a long stride

-- it fits both of my children

So yeah, I would totally recommend it to a friend. Because if you have a baby, a young toddler, and a Graco car seat, what the hell else are you gonna do? CARRY one of them, like some kind of peasant??


Audrey lost this binkie at some point on our walk, but I didn't notice because as I mentioned, I COULD NOT SEE HER.


1 comment:

  1. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
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