Launching a 3 Person Rocket Stroller

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My wife IS pregnant AGAIN after giving birth to twins about
9 months ago. I soon realized that someone is gonna have to move three little humans around in a very efficient manner, and that someone is me.

Since we already have a couple of decent twin strollers which were easy finds I figured that tracking down a GeekDad triple stroller shouldn’t be all to difficult. Boy was I wrong!

I quickly learned that there were only a few readily available choices. (As a back story, triple strollers are available in two variations. Side by side and inline. Most inline twins strollers have small plastic wheels as do the side by side. The twin jogger strollers normally have large rubber tube wheels. Good rule of thumb is that “the larger the wheels, the more useful the stroller”. However “the larger the wheels, the more difficult the stroller is to compact and stow in your vehicle.”) Back to the choices for triple strollers. I pored over the usual sites, Froogle, Babycenter.com, Babies R Us and Epinions.com. They all had the same brands and styles all of which were side by side with the exception of a couple of very ungainly looking inline models. Each had a sizable price tag into the multiple hundreds of dollars. I tried to envision maneuvering them in and out of shopping malls, food stores and then onto trails and the beach. No way was this going to be an easy task for me let alone my wife and I was going to have to buy a vehicle larger than my Ford
Explorer to carry the triple stroller.

Rather than making this post into a comparison of triple strollers, I’ll just say that all the sudden I began to think that I would have to submit to the mediocrity of poor design, form and function. As a diversion,
I surfed over to Craigslist.com to search for beer related items in my area. I typed in “triple stroller” and one entry popped up (without a photo). Normally I don’t even click on a posting without a pic, but something drew me to the posting. It was the possibility of buying a sub par triple stroller for a
Craigslist price. As I read the description I realized that I was not seeing the same words that were common to the normal strollers. What the heck is a
Runabout?

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My dad and I drove 15 miles to the owner’s home. After some small talk, we paid our money, thanked them and went on our way. The seller called out at the last moment, “One last thing. Add an extra hour to whatever you do with the stroller. ” I leaned my head out of the truck and asked him to explain. He told me that the Runabout is so cool and unique that you will have people stopping you all the time to talk about it and your children. No problem there. It is always fun to have people tell you that your children are cute.

 We renamed our Runabout “The Rocket!” figuring that this name would sound better than “baby stroller” to future 4 year olds. Our first test flight was throughout the 200 year old streets of historic Annapolis, Maryland.

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I easily pulled The Rocket off the hitch extender and it landed on the sidewalk. I clicked the twins in with a 5 point harnessing system. (One of the cool geeky parts of the The Rocket is that the seats are Bell brand children’s bicycle seats which normally are attached behind the seat of an adult bicycle. The inventor created a carriage system for off the shelf items.)

I setup the canopy and the sun shade which completely removes the babies from direct and indirect sunlight. I attached the safety leash and off we went.

We didn’t get more than 20 feet before the comments started.
Walk bys with people saying “cool” , “awesome” and “did you see that?” became commonplace. As we effortlessly traversed broken sidewalks and cobblestone well wishing and friendly people started to talk to us. Since we are both pretty type “A” it’s no problem. The previous owner was correct however. At least 15 people spoke with us in 3 hours.

We have been using The Rocket for the last couple of months and it never fails to impress us. After the pony ride, it was the next favorite at a 5 year old’s birthday party.  We are the 3rd owners of The Rocket and it looks and acts brand new. It is a worthwhile investment and when we sell it, we will certainly get all of our money back.   

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List price from Berg Design with all the included accessories is about $1200.00 new, but the Craigslist price was $300.00. It is 24" wide and can seat children up to about 40+ pounds and is available in 2-6 seaters. The owner is making us a newborn car seat adapter for The Rocket.

Update #1 – The Rocket has ample storage between the rear wheels. It can easily hold our secondary diaper bag and a day’s supply of toys, food and water. DB

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