Getting into nature with kids can be a challenge. For years my wife and I have used “rugged” strollers to stay active beyond the pavement and onto hiking paths.
This summer we are test-driving a different kind of off-road model, the Indie Twin from San Diego-based Bumbleride. Made with high-end components and unique fabrics to block sun and regulate temperature for kid passengers inside, the Indie Twin is a “luxury SUV” of a stroller.
At $730, it comes with a price tag relevant to the Lexus or BMW analogy. Indeed, you can spend $500 less and get a solid stroller.
But you will not get recycled PET nylon canopies or a bamboo-derived fabric used on the seats that “naturally absorbs moisture and regulates temperature,” as the brand guarantees.
The Indie Twin’s aluminum frame is built as solid as a bike. A svelte design offers two seats, pockets, fold-up canopies and a basket area for gear underneath.
The stroller is made mainly of metal and cloth. There is very little plastic. It feels solid to grip its wide handle with kids inside.
Its 12-inch tires inflate with a bike pump and roll over almost anything in a path ahead.
Granted, this is no jog stroller. There is no hand brake, and with four wheels it’s less maneuverable than I prefer for exercising with kids taking a ride.
That said, I do run some with the stroller. It excels as an all-around baby pusher, from short jogs to trail hikes to everyday use.
This summer, we have put the two-seater through some heck with our 3-year-old, an infant and a kindergartner who hops in and out as we push ahead on a path.
Though it’s not marketed as a stroller for the outdoors, the Indie can work in the woods. We load up its gear basket under the seat and push off-road at parks or campgrounds through grass and mud.
Rear suspension absorbs the bumps. The wheels are wide enough to roll through sand on a trail or across stretches of a beach.
The seats recline. Huge sun canopies fold over little passengers, creating a cave under dark, moisture-wicking fabrics where a kid can sleep.
When it’s time to drive home, the Indie folds up incredibly small. Its bulk stows away via an origami-like hinged frame that shrinks the stroller to a fit-in-the-trunk 32 x 29 x 15-inch package.
It weighs 34 pounds. That’s acceptably light for the stroller’s size. Its capacity is 90 pounds, allowing for a couple kids and some gear to come for the ride.
Are all the niceties worth the big bucks? Bumbleride doesn’t shy from the “luxury stroller” theme – the company uses that exact term in its marketing campaign.
If you want to get a top-end ride for kids, the Indie Twin is a solid choice. It’s also not too far out of line pricewise with similar double strollers from Chariot and Bob.
You can buy any number of other models to save some serious dough. The “luxury SUV” has its perks. But no doubt for most parents and kids, a common minivan-like model will do.
Stephen Regenold writes about outdoors gear at gearjunkie.com.