Great Stroller-and-a-Half Option
If your older child is a walking toddler when your next baby is born, chances are you’ve shopped for a double stroller, and been horrified at the semi-truck you’d be forced to schlepp around.
Good news! There is a new category of strollers — the Stroller-and-a-Half – that allows you to tote a small child in a standard stroller seat, and offers a smaller backseat ride for the sometimes toddler hitchhiker.
A Stroller-and-a-Half offers all the style and convenience of a standard stroller, with the added bonus of a double ride without the added bulk.
Mia Moda is a fresh, new company that started in 2006 and is based out of a suburb of Charlotte, NC. Their mission is to design the kind of products that appeal to your sense of independence, individuality and desire to simply ‘do things your way’. Every Mia Moda car seat and stroller incorporates leading-edge technology that delivers performance and safety. And that’s why they have given them names like Viva, Energi and Compagno -identities that capture the exuberance of youth and that Roman Holiday-esque “gaiezza” (happiness, joy) that they work hard to build into every one of their products.
The Compagno is Mia Moda’s stroller-and-a-half. Like other stroller-and-a-half strollers, we’ve road tested the Compagno with all manner of kids, and found the perfect combination is a child that can sit upright in the front stroller seat (six months or more), and an older toddler that is happy for the ride, but is mature enough not to jump off without warning (two-and-half years and more). While the stroller will work with other combinations – newborns can ride when their car seat carrier is attached, older children can hop on the back seat – if you have the above combination, this type of stroller is as close to heaven as you can get.
The Mia Moda Compagno has a roomy front seat with a solid, padded 5-point harness that accommodates children up to 40 lbs (about a 4 year old). The front seat has only 2 position reclines, neither which is flat to allow room for the rear passenger. Since the seat doesn’t have a full recline it is only recommended for children 6 months and up. Want to use it with a newborn? No problem. Mia Moda has a universal car seat adapter that allows this to be a travel system with most infant carriers. There is a detachable front baby tray with cup holder that is great for your little rider. There is also a great attached parent tray with cup holder for mom.
Back riders can stand on a platform, face forward and see over their little sister or brother, or relax on a small seat of their own. We were pleased with the Mia Moda’s back seat. The small seat, which is larger than other stroller-and-a-half options, is great for when our older riders need a rest plus it slides out of the way when the child wants to stand. Like all stroller-and-a-half strollers, your child may be a bit squished if your front seat is reclined and your rear passenger wants to sit. When the back rider wants to stand there is a strap that the child can lean back against as well as a great back resting pad for their comfort. We found the resting pad is unique to the Compagno and is a great comfort touch. The back rider also has handlebars to hang onto. Most children we tried it with loved riding along, although younger toddlers can jump off fairly easily, so choose your back riders wisely.
The Compagno comes with a rather small canopy that we found doesn’t sufficiently shade both riders. It is removable as well. The stroller also has a large basket, one of our most important stroller requirements. Note: Like other stroller-and-a-half strollers, the basket will be hard to access when there is a backseat rider.
Folding the stroller is easy to do and can even be done one-handed. It folds up to the size of a single full-size stroller and even has an automatic lock to keep it closed. We love that! Unfolding the stroller is very simple as well – unlock the lock and pull it open. Opens in seconds!
The Mia Moda is surprisingly not too bad to push and maneuver either. It has large wheels with all wheel suspension that allow it to manage different terrain easier. There is a one touch brake in the rear and the ability to lock the front swivel wheels straight. It isn’t light though – weighing in at a heavy 34.4 lbs! This weight is unfortunately heavier than many double strollers but with the more compact fold, we accept the weight. We would like to see Mia Moda shave some weight off this stroller though to make it more manageable for us lightweight moms.
It is available in two colors: Mint Java and Rosso Red. Retailing at approx $199, we found the Mia Moda Compagno to be very sturdy and have some great features for both mom and kids. A great alternative to the bulky double strollers, the Compagno is a top-notch stroller-and-a-half for your growing children.