*** I was finishing this review as I went into labour with Evyianne. We have experienced the carry-cot + sibling seat combo just yesterday, love-love-love-loved it - I will write my the thoughts on that soon! the bottom seat rider was thrilled ***
About 1/2 a year or so ago a lovely Crusi joined our stroller family. It has been wonderful to us and I want to share my thoughts here as well (apart from personal emails and questions) about Stokke newest line of strollers. Here is what I have to report.
Half a year later I am more in love with this line of strollers then it would seem to be possible. The Connection Concept is wonderful. As I am preparing for our new arrival ( any day!), I tend to always go back in my memory to the start of each of our beautiful children's lives, their "firsts" and re-live it all over and over. I was going through my pictures ( the entire mega-zillion of them, no kidding) and it caught my attention how much more content, happy yet independent two of my youngest are. Sure, personalities matter, but the two of them are just as much of opposites of each other as black and white are, yet those above mentioned traits is something that they both share.
There is plenty of research to support the theory of baby wearing, parent-child contact, kangaroo care, etc, and while I firmly believe in all (and oh, so sincerely and eagerly try to do it all to perfection, believe me), I am also a human. I love my children to pieces. I spent many nights sitting and looking at their sleeping faces and trying to read their minds and imagine what it is like being THEM. I can't imagine my life without them, but as a mother, I need MY time too. And especially, as a mother of a newborn or a demanding baby. Sometimes, you simply need to not have to carry anyone or anything. Just be somewhat free, but still connected to your child. And here is where I found that Stokke became my life-saver: I could put the baby down, but she still KNEW that I was there, because I was close enough for her to see, smell and be re-assured. It allowed me to have "myself to myself" without feelings of guilt or lack of connection, because my baby was right there in front of me.
I love that this concept was transferred to Crusi's double-seat variation. The child underneath has a great view not only of the surroundings but of the parent in front as well - surprising as it may seem but it IS true. If compared to other single regular strollers on the market, the second sibling seat is not much lower then what a typical seat in other brands is. My "top rider" of the moment has tested the bottom seat as well . We played pick-a-boo, tongue twisters and all sorts of things while she was there, and the world from a different perspective was a fun change for her too. She loved and approved of it so much, that we may or may not have had some tears a few times when I pulled her out of the bottom seat.
Ease of use:
Here is one absolute truth that one is to remember when choosing a stroller. Unless specifically looking for an umbrella-like or compact little stroller, never be thrown off by the "lbs" weight of the stroller - TRY pushing it first and with somebody in it. The numbers can be very deceiving if the proportions and weight distribution is not right. I'll give you an example.
In the dance world it is a simple fact that the skinniest of the skinny dancers are the hardest to work with and are the heaviest to lift simply because they do not hold their weight properly while the average size ones and/or men can feel feather light to carry. Crusi is definitely "the dancer of the day". Two seats with two children and loaded with all the "baby/child necessities"( sometimes it seems like you need to take an entire year's supply of stuff for a day out! ), at 9 months pregnant I went up a rather steep hill while continuously wondering when I would actually have a need to pause to , you know -let myself recharge a little. I went up without a single pause. This says a lot about the weight distribution and the quality of the design.
^^ this is just a portion of what we typically carry in our stroller. as you can see, comparing to crusi visible in the back, this is not a small little load, yet it fits very discretely under ^^
I get asked this a lot. There is storage and quite a bit of it.
Because of how the second seat is positioned ,
a) I have plenty of space underneath it with an easy side access (that is my "secret hiding place" : snacks, small groceries, ipad/computer, blanket and books to read while out - it's all "under"). I honestly love it, because it does not take away from the sleek design of the stroller and is not visually distracting, but everything is there for me to access when needed.
b) The access in front of the sibling seat. The seat part actually LIFTS ( just like is does on Scoot, because it is the actual seat from the Scoot) , so you can easily place a large size camera bag under. And when in single mode - sky is the limit. In words of one of my friends who purchased a Crusi in addition to her Xplory, Crusi is her "farmer's market "must"" : the amount of things you can place under will surprise even the most experienced shopper.
The connection concept between the strollers.
I absolutely love this feature. Crusi ,very literally, is a connection link that allows you to modify your stroller as your family and personal needs, taste and design desires dictate. The top sitting option for Crusi is the same as the one used on Xplory, and the sibling seat is an actual seat from the Scoot, which means that not only your child is using a full size, comfortable seat (a very important and noteworthy feature), but that seat can become a full size one-hand fold smaller stroller when you are ready to "downgrade" and need something lighter. And if you are an Xplory fan that wants the benefits of Crusi too, you can still use your Xplory seat and get just the Crusi frame or vice versa ( as mentioned by Stokke on their FB page - highly recommend the page! It's very informative and fun too).
* another fact to remember : despite of 3 models being different and tailored to wide range of needs/wants, the accessories are interchangeable (all, but one) making it a worth-while investment for your money.
**please, do note that the bassinet portion IS different for Crusi - it has a different configuration and is slightly larger then the one on Xplory. I am anxious to use mine and will write my review on that shortly. **
To summarize my opinion: I am impressed with this Stokke line, and Crusi in particular. There are many controversial battles all over the internet as to whether the sibling seat is good/bad, how maneuverable the Crusi is, etc. From my personal experience and communication with other Crusi owners, I can safely say that those that actually seen Crusi in person and tried it, had fallen in love with it in an instant and most likely are the owners of one as I am writing this review. As a parent of children close in age, but not twins, I have searched the market for quite some time now, and am 100% confident that my and my children needs and desires have been 100% met with Stokke's designs.
If you are on the market, I would recommend trying it out for yourself. There is no opinion better then your own, right? :) I will tell you that the best assistant in opinion forming for me is the one that chooses to express the feelings in this manner:
Absolutely no need to worry if this stroller is comfortable.