Upon receiving the Contours Options Elite Tandem Stroller and taking the parts out of the box, I must admit I was a bit concerned that the stroller was going to be time consuming to assemble. But, I quickly realized that the sturdy parts clicked together easily, assembly didn’t require any tools and the step-by-step instructions and illustrations in the user manual were very straightforward. With the help of my mom, I had the stroller assembled in around 20 minutes, and we were ready to put it to the test.
Evaluating the looks of the stroller, I noticed right away that it appears stylish and sleek. Aesthetically, it stands up to more expensive double strollers I’ve seen. Ours is graphite gray, but it also comes in black, laguna blue and tan. It’s reasonably lightweight at 34 pounds, and considering it can accommodate two children up to 40 pounds each, the aluminum frame is durable and strong. Lifting it into our SUV isn’t too difficult, and I can easily do it on my own when I’m alone with my kids. While it is, of course, larger than the single strollers we had before having twins, it still fits well in the back of our SUV and leaves plenty of space for other baby equipment or groceries. It’s a tighter fit in our compact sedan’s trunk, but when we occasionally drive that car with the kids, the stroller does fit inside.
In terms of folding the Options Elite to store or transport it: When the seats are in the forward facing and upright position, it folds relatively flat and conveniently. It stands upright on its own assuming the front wheels are aligned with the rear ones. To fold the stroller, one must pull up on the side triggers while at the same time stepping down on the foot brake and pushing the stroller handle forward. It’s important to be sure the front wheels come in straight, or it can be a bit difficult to rotate them while folded to get the stroller to stand upright on its own. When unfolding the stroller, there’s an auto-lock rubber latch on the right side of the stroller that must be released. It took a few times practicing to get the hang of the folding and unfolding, but once I’d done it a few times, it became quite easy.
Next, it was time to buckle my 2 ½ year old in to see how he liked it. At 34 pounds and 37 inches, he is still within the weight and height limits (40 pounds and 40 inches) but may in the coming months outgrow the height limit. For now though, he climbed right in the front and said he seat was “very comfortable, Mommy!” Our infant twins also seemed comfortable in the seats, and though infant inserts are not included, with the ability to arrange the seats in three positions (upright, middle or fully reclined) the twins can both lie flat for naps in the fully reclined position. The canopies are also very generously sized when expanded, with both a UV protected sheer section and a peek-a-boo window to keep the kids nearly fully shaded when desired.
Another great feature I appreciate about this stroller is the ease at which the seats can be reconfigured. It is very simple to unclick and remove the seats and rearrange them so that they both face front, both face back, face one another or face away from one another. I can also remove one or both seats, attach infant carrier adapters and mount our infant carriers into the stroller. A universal carrier adapter is sold separately as well as other adapters specific for certain car seats, and it appears around 15 popular brands of infant carriers become compatible with this stroller using the adapters.
Additional features I love about this stroller include the parent cup holder, the extra-large basket underneath with easy zippered access from both sides, the front and the back and napper bars that reach across the front of the seats and can be released from either side of the seats for easy in and out access to your children. The seat restraint system is also very secure and fully adjustable for various sized children. And while there are not separate cup holders for the stroller seats, a sippy or snack cup can be held in the mesh pocket on the inside of each seat. Additionally, the adjustable footrests are an excellent feature that can help younger babies very comfortably rest in the stroller.
In terms of cleaning, the metal parts of the stroller can be wiped with a damp cloth, and the woven fabric and vinyl parts can be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution. My son spilled juice on the fabric, and it cleaned up very easily.
Taking the Options Elite to the streets, I thought right away that it was easy to maneuver with rubber coated, swiveling wheels and the ability to turn on a dime. I’ve mostly used it on city streets, but with its 10-inch back wheels and 8-inch front wheels, it will roll easily through grass, mulch and gravel as well. This stroller is not made for jogging, skating or running; however, its dual suspension makes it a very smooth ride for city strolls or playground trips for the babies and their older brother. I also appreciate the foot braking mechanism, which is sandal-friendly and easy to flip up and down to lock and unlock the brakes.
One suggestion I’d make to the manufacturer is to include the parent console (as there’s not a place to store your phone, keys or garage door opener) and snack trays with the stroller rather than selling them separately, but overall, this product is a great value for the price when comparing it to other double strollers with similar features and styling.
In summary, I am very happy with this highly functional, extremely adaptable, easy-to-maneuver stroller, especially considering it accommodates up to 80 pounds of children. I would definitely recommend this product to someone looking for a stylish, reasonably-priced, easy to operate stroller for twins or two siblings close in age.
To buy: buybuybaby.com