Valco Baby has been producing baby products in Australia for over 20 years and has recently started selling their baby strollers in the USA.
If you have triplets or twins and another baby then this is the ideal stroller. The Valco Baby Tri-Mode Twin Stroller EX is a side by side, double stroller designed for all terrains. It can hold two babies (each weighing up to 45 lbs) and with the optional toddler seat, a third baby (also weighing up to 45 lbs) can ride along. By fitting the optional “ride-on board”, a fourth child can stand and be pushed. The large wheels make this a comfortable stroller. This stroller really comes into its own when you go onto rougher surfaces. If you never intend to leave paved surfaces then there are probably better strollers available to you. This stroller is sturdy and well built and will handle jogging over any surface. It is available in four colors:
- Black – Raven
- Red – Candy Apple
- Blue/Gray – Artic
- Brown – Hot Chocolate
Valco Trimode Stroller EX Specification
- Tri Mode Twin Open 28”W x 37”L x 43”H
- Tri Mode Twin Folded 27”W x 26”L x 18”H
- Seat 11”W x 9”D x 20”H
- Max passenger weight, per seat 45 lbs
- Total stroller weight 33 lbs
Tri-mode Twin PROS
- Comfortable ride
- Can convert easily to a three seater
- Very easy to push
- Very adjustable seats – recline from fully upright to completely flat
- Large canopy
- Adjustable handlebar
- Removable storage pockets
Tri-mode Twin CONS
- Heavy – 33 lbs is heavier than most double strollers
- Shopping basket can be difficult to access
- When folded, it is still quite large
Valco Baby Tri Mode Ex Stroller Reviews and Features
On paved surfaces, this stroller can be pushed with one hand but if you had two 45 lb children in the seats and the frame weighing 33 lbs then you end up pushing 123 lbs around and this would be a lot more difficult. The adjustable front wheels (see below) makes steering a lot easier. When in the “free to swivel” mode, it is very easy to steer on paved surfaces. The large wheels make the ride comfort extremely good, even over rough ground. At 28″ wide, it fits through standard doors but it is still about 10″ wider than a single stroller such as the UPPAbaby Vista. which is produced by UPPA Baby. This can make it a little awkward in stores with small isles. Each seat has a metal footrest that looks great, is extremely sturdy and also easy to clean. All of the fabrics are designed to be easily wiped clean but I could not detach the fabric for washing.
Each seat reclines from the fully upright position to the totally flat position. This is done by using a strap system at the rear of each seat. The seats can be set at any position (see Valco Baby Tri Mode Single Stroller).
Folding is not simple as it requires both hands. However once you have done this a few times, you soon get the hang of it and it is quick. Like most double strollers, it takes up much more room than a single stroller when it is folded. Check the dimensions of your car trunk before you buy one to make sure that it will fit in your car. It is a heavy stroller but as it is actually more than a double stroller and is designed to carry up to four children, I think this is acceptable.
The seats are a good size (see specification above). They are well padded and come with five point safety harnesses. The safety harness buckles are child proof so there is very little chance of a toddler accidentally or even deliberately unfastening them. The seats can be used for newborn babies when the “headhugger” infant head rest is attached so you do not have to buy the optional bassinet unless you wish to. The padded “headhugger” works really well and when your baby is approximately 4 months old, it can be easily removed. Each seat has a bumper bar. There is a small pocket underneath one of the seats at the rear and this holds a tire pump.
Car seat adapters are available but they cannot be used if the toddler seat is attached. Only one car seat can be used at a time. See “Accessories” below.
The toddler seat is optional but very practicable if you have three babies. It is easy to attach or to remove and fits to the front of the stroller.
There is an optional bassinet called a “husssh”. This is not a conventional bassinet but it converts the seat into a bassinet. I did not have access to the bassinet so unfortunately I cannot review it.
Each seat has its own canopy and the canopies are very big. The canopies provide superb protection from the sun and the elements and each one has a viewing window. Attached by a zipper to each canopy is a decent size shopping bag. When these bags are removed, there is a large mesh viewing window which is also useful for seat ventilation when it is hot outside. The bags are very practicable and I use them a lot. They are easy to unzip but a little more fiddly to zip on again. The designers have thought about this and designed them to be also attached to the handlebar with straps attached to the bags.
The shopping basket is probably my least favorite part of this stroller. The base of the basket is made from plastic and it is gradually stretching due to the folding process. I think that over time, the base of the basket will be very close to the ground. Although there are zips to help improve access to the basket, it is still very difficult. It is large but getting anything large into it or out of it is still difficult and this is mainly due to the structural frame bar that runs through the center of the opening for access to the basket. The Valco Zee Two has more accessible basket that is also larger.
There are four, 12″ wheels. The tires are all inflatable and this really helps absorb the bumps making the ride much more comfortable.
The front wheels can be adjusted using two knobs located on the footplate. By rotating the knobs the wheels can be adjusted to one of three modes hence the “Tri-Mode” name:
- 45 degree swivel: useful with the toddler seat and hills
- Locked: for use when jogging or on uneven terrain
- Swivel: for use on paved areas for greater maneuverability
The handlebar is adjustable. Although it is not telescopic, it hinges up and down. This design is good and it works well providing and adjustment that ranges from 27″ to 40″ from the ground. It is very easy to adjust and will accommodate both tall and shorter parents.
The brakes are similar to the Valco Baby Tri-Mode Stroller. They are foot operated and lock both rear wheels at the same time.
Of all the strollers we have used, the Valco Baby Twin Tri Mode Stroller Ex has to be one of the most versatile. We only tested it with two children but it can easily adapt to carry a third seat and a “ride-on board” for a 4th passenger. I imagine this would be very heavy with 4 on board but nevertheless, it is capable of doing all of this. Like the Tri-Mode Single, the shopping basket is not good and access was difficult. Maneuverability was good and it was very easy to push for such a heavy stroller. This stroller is designed with rough ground in mind and it handles rough terrain well. The hefty price tag is justified by its versatility.