It doesn’t make any unique claims – it’s not the smallest, the lightest, the one with the shiniest wheels – but the Graco Stadium Duo can boast that it’s a good basic all-rounder in the world of double buggies. There are even some smart little extras thrown in – and all for just under £150!
Graco, founded in the USA over 60 years ago, is an established name in the world of pushchairs. Its Stadium Duo is a tandem, so it seats one child behind the other, rather than side by side (which is called a “twin”). The advantage of the tandem layout is that it’s the same width as a single pushchair.
It’s good to see that Graco hasn’t skimped on comforts in order to produce a tandem buggy for under £150. The Graco Stadium Duo’s upholstery is smart, stylish and comes in two colourways: Autumn and Midnight. Both seats are padded and will recline; the front seat has two positions, while the rear seat has four positions, including flat for a newborn. For such a modestly priced double buggy, I’m also impressed that the rear seat can be used as a travel system by adding a Graco Group 0+ car seat.
What we love
I like the Graco Stadium Duo for the little extras – and so do my boys. The play trays are a big hit. Fynn, 3, stores supplies of raisins in the cupholder, while Harry, 9 months, fills his with soggy rice cakes. The footrest on the rear seat will be a big bonus when Harry’s legs are long enough! The apron is a useful addition too, though Fynn does occasionally kick it off. I think it will be welcome when the weather gets really cold.
My favourite accessory is the large shopping basket, which opens out at the back of the pushchair and is so easy to access.
The rear seat is slightly elevated so Harry’s view isn’t totally obscured by his older brother at the front. I can keep an eye on both of them, even when the hoods are up, as the rear one has a window in it, while the front hood has a see-through back.
The Graco Stadium Duo is easy to fold, thanks to a twist mechanism on the handle, and can be managed with one hand after some practise. It has an automatic storage lock that clicks into place once the pushchair is folded.
The Graco Stadium Duo will also fit into the boot of our family car, which can be a problem with some double buggies.
What to watch out for
In general, tandems can be difficult to lift up kerbs. With the older child at the front (as recommended by most manufacturers), you need quite a bit of upper body strength to tilt the pushchair. As I’m tall, I don’t tend to have a problem, but it’s worth considering this when buying any tandem. I find the Graco Stadium Duo quite heavy to lift up onto a pavement, but easy to bump down from one.
Weighing around 14kg, the Graco Stadium Duo is weighty, too. It’s like lifting another toddler! To be fair, most double buggies are on the heavy side. The Graco Stadium Duo is easy to push, but heavy on the steering, especially with a 3-year-old on board. It veers off alarmingly when the pavement has a camber.
While Graco has included the cosy apron with the Stadium Duo, it has left out a raincover. Living in rainy British climes, I consider a raincover to be an essential accessory for any pushchair. I’d rather forego the apron and have a raincover instead – but it can be purchased separately. Hmm!
Though the shopping basket is my favourite piece of kit, there is a snag when using it with the rear seat fully reclined for a newborn. The seat blocks the top of the basket – its main access point – so you have to push the shopping through the sides, or lift the baby out! Also, the rear seat footrest does run across it though, which restricts storage of bulkier items at the front of the basket.
Who is the Graco Stadium Duo best for?
Mums-of-two and childminders after a budget-conscious tandem for everyday use.
This value-for-money tandem comes with a small price tag without sacrificing all the comforts. The Graco Stadium Duo has great storage space, good visibility for both children and will even convert to a travel system for one of your little ones. It’s heavy, but feels sturdy, and is easy to fold.