The Doyenne of Double-Wide Strolling, A BOB Ironman Duallie Review

I am a mama. I have two boys… that I know about. So it is my firm belief I should buy things that say “Mama of 2" on them at every available opportunity. But not those stick-people decals for rear windows on cars that say "stick mom, stick kid & other stick kid". I would rather light my ear lobes on fire with a Bic travel lighter.  However, I do love, love, love this BOB Ironman Duallie run stroller because it’s the doyenne of double-wide strolling. It's bright sunshiny yellow, and it says "Super Mama of 2". If it said "Distant-3rd-Cousin-Twice-Removed" on it, I would still think it’s neat but I probably wouldn’t want it as much depending on the price. This one is from bobgear.com.

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via bobgear.com

You can buy this regular priced for $559 if you like. Sure you’re going to be eating ramen noodles for a month, but sometimes you just have to do something for yourself.

First off, let me say there's no place for a BOB Ironman Duallie like Florida in 90-100 degree heat. So I thought I'd personally test this stroller to see if it could keep the kids high and dry and help them stop hollering and/or brawling. Now I can say that the BOB Ironman Duallie is one of my favorite running items. Deciding on this stroller was not a decision I took lightly when I learned my second boy was on the way, however. When I read stroller reviews, so many of them would start off listing all the strollers they had previously owned that didn't work and how they wish they had just gotten a BOB stroller in the beginning.

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My neighbors said this brand was about as reliable as a 99 Cent Only plastic container in the microwave.

So when selecting a two-seater stroller to run with, I thought I'd do it right the first time. I knew I wanted a BOB because of the reputation, and because I only planned to use it for running, I chose the Ironman Duallie, which is designed strictly for runners since the front wheel is locked and not completely collapsible when folding for storage and travel. Original and retail pricing ran upwards to around $700! As a stay-at-home mom on a budget I have to pay attention to spending, budgeting, and saving money. Just like fun-sized Butterfingers, money doesn't grow on trees.  So I snagged a prior year's model much cheaper. Sometimes you can find them for $235 on eBay "gently used" but only if you keep an eye out for them. It’s kind of like the ice cream truck. You know it’s gonna stop by sometime during the day, but if you wait to get the money out, throw on a decent sports bra and flip flops, and unlock your front door, that dog-gone thing is going to be long gone before you even get out of the house. So it's always best to put your future marathon and ultra race running career ahead of the game by being prepared for any opportunity that might arise to get that BOB stroller during the day and night.

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Xavier chose a bottle over a cone.  I guess I could've made ice cream from breast milk but that would've been an udderly bad idea.

So, why the BOB Ironman Duallie?

Honestly, the Duallie was just too big and bulky to really use as an everyday stroller but if I weren't using the stroller as an everyday one anyway, I figured I should get the stroller intended specifically for running. Plus, this double-wide held a massive amount of storage for kid and dog snacks and running stuff that I like to pre-pack the night before a morning run. I'm a ditz at 6am, about as flaky as pie crust, so I have to pre-pack. Cell phone, keys, wallet, the dog - I have to keep an eye on her as well.

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I also have to check to make sure I've got that leash latched before I take her out for a run. One good thing has come out of my ditziness. I've finally gotten to see what everyday life is like for Hugh Hefner's wife.

Oh, and the color is nice and cheery for a long run. This Caution light yellow #41 makes me feel good inside, as if I’d eaten a ray of sunshine or swallowed a butterfly.

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Please know I would never actually swallow a butterfly because that would be insect cruelty and these boys are cute and need their mama at home instead of in a lockup facility. So please don’t report me to Citizens Against Butterfly Cruelty.

Pros

Running with the Ironman Duallie is ten kinds of Omygod sauce and I cannot imagine a better running stroller. I am going to avoid the technical features like the pneumatic tires or describing the suspension system because I've never had the urge to google and learn what that means so, instead, I'll tell you what I like about it in layman mom terms.

Here's my list:

It has tires like a 10 speed bike and, I don't know why exactly, but that makes a huge difference. The stroller feels like it is floating even with a 40 and 25 pounder riding inside and it is honestly not as hard to push as you would think, especially when you consider I'm pushing almost a hundred extra pounds (the stroller is 34lbs and the boys are over 65lbs together). However, I have to admit on the first run I was a little nervous about the fixed front wheel and wondered if it would be hard or awkward to turn. It's not. It was easy to adjust to and simple to turn the stroller by adjusting your weight or pushing on one side. To make a right or left turn, I normally pop a slight wheelie in the front and turn on the back wheels. The kids enjoy the stunt and it makes all the difference in their ride. And when the ride is 10 miles long, they'd much prefer to be flying higher than their mama at an open martini bar.

Another benefit about the suspension system is the extra smooth ride for the boys even when I pop the front tire up or go over bumps. In addition, both seats independently recline and have their own sun visor, which I personally think is good shade and sun protection in the Florida heat. The visor shades also have a large viewing area squared off so I can check on the boys from above. A weather shield is also available online which is at the top of my wish list because of the everyday-at-noon pop-up showers here. The shield would also allow me to be able run with the boys in the winter. I also used an infant head and body insert to help support my littlest when I began running with him alongside big brother.

Potential Cons:

The Dualie is heavy (a common trait of all double strollers).
It's bulky.
It's expensive when purchased brand new and is not accompanied with any accessories. All accessories (car seat adapter, weather shield and snack tray) are extra.
Traveling is tough to nearly impossible. Attempts to fold and carry on a plane lend to first world problems and fit mom hatred.

My first run with both kids strapped down was a 6 miler and I felt as if I could keep going when it was over. The best way to describe my initial impression was that it felt comparable to Kirk Cameron finding God and doing bad movies. There was an adjustment period with the next run extending to 9 miles and then up to 12 miles. Then I decided to split mileage during the day into two or three runs to total up to whatever mileage I set out to do each day making the duration of the run easier on both the boys and myself. Initially, one of my biggest concerns was having to go to the bathroom while both boys were in the stroller with me on the run. I found a solution in the wooded neighborhood nearby. The stroller is too big to get in a gas station or grocery store bathroom stall with me but it can easily serve as a shield for a quick pee on a tree so no one can see. Now that I can shield myself with stroller and kids in tow, there really is no drama in executing a long run with pit stops. Every day is filled with peace, happy thoughts, snacks and Gatorade. I'm about as happy as Billy Ray Cyrus when he cashes his daughter’s checks. All in all, every pit stop is good.

Now here's what I loathe about double stroller running:

It's not all unicorn droppings and rainbows when you run with 2 kids in a stroller. Beside occasional meltdowns in front seating, hills and wind can kick your @ss. Forget about running uphill in the wind with a Duallie stroller. It also requires more effort to push the stroller while running. I thought this would pay off in a similar fashion of how a weighted vest strapped on the body pays off and I'd be surprisingly fast when I'm stroller-free in races.

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I duallie stroller trained for this 50 miler (on sand) but it was still as challenging as Shakira’s English.

Sad to say, I'm just as average slow as the next recreational runner. However, I have an inhuman amount of endurance to run past the marathon mark and make progress in the ultra world. It's sheer delight to pass the 18-34 year old women in a 50 mile race. The Dualie has done that for me by allowing me to jump in weekly mileage from 55 miles to an average 90-110 miles per week. A nearby kids' park, grocery run, dog-on-leash run, one-kid-sits-while-the-other-runs-with-mom run, the running list of running possibilities with the Dualie is endless.

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The BOB Ironman Dualie is the best bang for the bucks in the running stroller business. No lie, because I wouldn't be dishonest with another adult. I do, however, tell fibs to my boys to encourage them to sit still and enjoy the 10 mile ride. I lie to them – a lot. I'll have to break the news when they are much older that their hands won’t fly off if they stick them outside the moving stroller, there is no pizza fairy, and I’m not at all confident there really are starving children in China who want their veggie chips. Especially since I sold the Chinese government my invention to solve the over-population problem - birth-control rice.

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Keep Calm and Sleep On

You’re an awesome running stroller, BOB.

P.S. Sorry for the right front seat urination.

So if you have kids I want to know - do you run with a double or multi-seat stroller? What models or features are your favorite?

If you liked this review on the BOB Ironman Duallie stroller, I’m ecstatic. I’d be super ecstatic if you shared it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and at the next big thing you have to bring a veggie tray to.

Oh, and if you have mounds of money lying around that you wish to give me just for some awesome product placement on my review blog page you can contact me and I will tell you how to throw money at me. I will also wear your company T-shirt, drink your Kool-Aid, ride in your car, wear your athletic swag and sing the praises of your brand of unicorn poo. Truly. The only thing I won’t do is say your running product is good when it's really crap, because that would make me a liar. I have my morals.
But, on the other hand, if you’re offering free stuff to run in, send me a proposal. I said I have morals – not that I’m a freakin' saint.

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