A sleek, stylish and rather large double buggy, the FirstWheels 2009 City Twin Stroller is the Range Rover of the pavements.
FirstWheels is a relatively new name in the baby industry, being founded in 2004 in Amsterdam. It has two strollers in its range, the City Elite and the City Twin. While FirstWheels may not be the biggest company around, it points out that its research and development team is small and enthusiastic, with many parents amongst them. In the UK, FirstWheel is available through Kooltrade
Back to the FirstWheels 2009 City Twin Stroller – like the Range Rover, comfort does not come cheap – with a recommended retail price of £479.99 it is one of the more expensive choices on the market. Its bulk will also mean it may not fit into your car boot – or even your front door.
But those little niggles can almost be forgotten by its large rear wheels and comfort suspension, which will give your kids the smoothest ride around.
Best of all you can – if you so wish – see them enjoying the journey. Its nifty design means that both seats can be either forward or rear facing. You can also insert a special carrycot for a newborn, which will cost £129.99, and weigh 3.5kg each.
What we love
You get what you pay for. The swivelling front wheel, large rear wheels and suspension mean despite its relatively heavy weight (15kg plus any carrycots you use) it feels incredibly light and easy to manoeuvre.
I’ve previously tried a very cheap, very lightweight tandem for my baby, Joe, and toddler, Benjy, and the FirstWheels 2009 City Twin Stroller felt so much easier and lighter to push with its height adjustable handle making it all the easier for harassed parents of two.
It’s comfy for the kids too. The seats have three positions including flat for when your little ones fancy a snooze. They also have built-in cushions while the 5-point safety harness has more covers than you’ll know what to do with.
It looks fantastic – its classic and simple design should make it a huge hit with trendy dads and the yummy mummies who love the Bugaboo (in fact, if Bugaboo made a twin tandem it would be exactly like this).
The stroller has been slightly updated from the 2006 model – the frame is now brushed satin and the colours have been simplified; its now available in red, blue, green, black, sand and brown.
And I loved, loved, loved the fact that you can choose the position your little ones face – and they can even look in separate directions. With a toddler who suffers from verbal diarrhoea and an 8-month-old in the grip of separation anxiety there was only one way my boys wanted to look – straight at mummy.
What to watch out for
Compact it ain’t. The FirstWheels 2009 City Twin Stroller just about fitted through my very average size front door. And when I say just I mean don’t be surprised if the odd fleck of paint falls to the floor as you scrape the doorframe. Its width is 78cm – check the size of your door before even thinking about buying this buggy. All tandems have problems with some shop doors and this one, inevitably, is even more problematic.
The FirstWheels 2009 City Twin Stroller also not incredibly easy to fold up – you have to remove both seats before closing the frame. And the frame doesn’t fold very small. The designers have a little more work to do on this aspect. What this means is it takes up a fair bit of hallway space.
And as for my car boot, it didn’t even come close to fitting in. As I would consider an Audi A3 a pretty average sized car, you may actually need a Range Rover if you want to transport it around.
Despite its size, however, the buggy is small in one area. The shopping baskets under each of the seats are rather stingy and hard to get into if the seats are in the rear facing position.
Finally, make sure you have an entire evening free to set the thing up. I’m not sure why the makers of complex buggy systems have to always give you rubbish instructions in garbled English with tiny little illustrations that you can’t actually see. It took my husband and I hours of trial and error to get it up and running.
Who is the FirstWheels 2009 City Twin Stroller best for?
Mums of two who do lots of walking and want choice when it comes to the direction their little ones face.
The FirstWheels 2009 City Twin Stroller isn’t a cheap option. One of its outstanding features is the removal seats that can face either way. It manoeuvres well and gives a smooth ride. However, just make sure you can fit it through your front door and in your car boot, and give yourself plenty of time to build it.