My husband and I have three children under the age of 3 who constantly keep us on the move. We realized that we were acquiring quite the collection of strollers that met our various needs and decided it was time to find one that could work for most any function (and get rid of the rest to save on some precious storage room). We had some specific criteria and were on the search for something versatile, durable, easy to set up and take down and able to accommodate different ages (including infants). After conducting extensive research, we were happy to give the Valco Baby Snap Duo a test drive.
This stroller seemed to meet most of our requirements and came with high marks from a few of our friends who had previous models. The huge variety of strollers available can make the decision somewhat intimidating and overwhelming, especially since prices and features can vary widely. It’s important to make sure you know what you really want the stroller to do for you as well as what you’re willing to spend—the price point of this particular stroller matches up with some other great brands that made our decision even more difficult.
Our stroller arrived in the mail a few days after an easy and painless online ordering process. It arrived disassembled, much to worry of my husband as he gets easily frustrated by often-confusing assembly instructions. The Snap Duo, however, quickly eased his mind. He was able to follow the mostly wordless directions (the instructions primarily used easy-to-follow pictures) and put the stroller together in a matter of minutes. There were no little parts or screws to fumble with and the stroller was quickly built by snapping the pieces together, as the Snap Duo name implies.
Once assembled, we wasted no time in putting the stroller to use. When looking for strollers, we specifically searched for one that could quickly and easily fold up (both for storage purposes and for fitting neatly in our vehicle). We bring a stroller almost everywhere we go and did not want something we would constantly be fumbling with to set up or take down. The Snap Duo does not disappoint—it easily collapses with the press of two buttons and, if you remove the wheels, is almost flat. With handles and a convenient shoulder strap, it’s painless to put in and remove from our van and it opens up as easily as it collapses. The lightweight aluminum design ensures you won’t break your back carrying this stroller around, and friends of ours have commented that this fact alone makes them wish they had this stroller.
The denim material—we tested the fancy Tailormade fashion—has so far met our durability requirement (and has gotten plenty of compliments!) and the individual sun shades, though not something we originally considered important, have proven to be a valuable feature when one passenger is sleeping while the other is not. There are multiple air vents on the back of the seats which allow for ventilation on warm days and which let us keep an eye on our kids without needing to look around from the front.
The ability to recline the seats was on our list of necessities and this stroller makes it easy with a user-friendly release on the back which can quickly adjust each seat as needed. The footrests easily adjust as well, which is a nice feature to have available depending on whether our kids are sleeping or up and looking around. Obviously, storage for all the extra necessities small kids require is important and the Snap Duo accommodates this well with a large compartment underneath the seats, which is easily accessible, and with convenient storage pockets located on the back of each seat.
We also wanted a stroller that we could use on our gravel road for walking. Although this isn’t set up as a jogger, we purchased air tires (available separately) that allow the stroller to be used on slightly rougher terrain. We had to factor this addition into the overall price, but we felt it was worthwhile since designated jogging strollers are often bulky and heavy to carry. We find that we don’t ever use the stock tires as the air tires are more useful for our needs. The lack of a suspensions system on this stroller didn’t concern us as we knew it would save on weight and size, and felt it wasn’t necessary for our use.
Although we have been more than satisfied with this stroller, there are, as always, a few tweaks we would make given the opportunity. The harness system can be a little frustrating—though it is great at keeping our kids secure, it can be difficult to get the buckle mechanism to click closed. When someone unfamiliar with the design tries to buckle in our kids, we usually end up having to give a lesson on how the buckle system works. Another bummer was that any convenience features we wanted, such as a cup holder or the equipment that allows a car seat to be used with the stroller, cost extra. We did realize this going in, and it seems to be the theme with most brands, but it would be nice if you didn’t have to buy something as basic as a cup holder separately.
Overall, this stroller has met the vast majority of our needs and the versatility it provides, along with its ease of use, makes up for any negatives we have found. We would recommend this product to anyone who would prefer one versatile stroller to a garage full of different strollers.
Where to buy: valcobaby.com