Sunday, July 27, 2008

Choosing a Jogging Stroller

If I had a nickel for every time someone has asked me about what type of jogging stroller I think is best...I would have at least a dollar. But that is a lot of times to write the same email. If only I had saved them...

Anyway, here are my thoughts on jogging strollers:
1. Terrain: Do you primarily jog on smooth roads or bumpy trails? Knobby tires will only require more energy to push so you don't need them if you aren't on bumpy roads that require greater traction and resistance to flats. Furthermore, though suspension sounds great, unless you are actually running on very bumpy terrain, it will just make more work for you to push through the suspension in order to make turns. Your kids can take it.
2. Storage: No problem here if you just roll it into the garage, but if you have to fold and/or carry the stroller at all, consider weight, ease of collapse and folded dimensions. Stick with 16" wheels rather than 20" which will take up much more space.
3. Cost: You could easily spend over $500 on a double stroller, but consider if you really need that. If you anticipate that your stroller will get relatively light use, there is no need to buy the most expensive on the market.
4. Wheels: The swivel front wheel makes turning easier if you primarily walk, but it is inferior to the fixed front wheel for running. Though you can usually lock the swivel wheel into place, the chances of it tracking crooked are greater than a fixed wheel and these strollers are often heavier.
5. Uses: Is this stroller exclusively for exercise or does it also go on errands and such? Lots of storage space and pockets plus a slimmer width for doorways are both helpful if this stroller is going to the grocery store.
6. Separate sun shades: If you have 2 kids, you'll want to be able to adjust seat backs and sun shades separately.
7. Accommodating an infant seat: Personally, I consider this totally unnecessary. How fast do you really think you are going?
8. Where to buy: has a huge selection and fantastic customer service.

Some brands to consider:
Baby Jogger Performance strollers are ideal for high mileage road runners.
The cost of a BOB stroller is not necessary unless you actually run on trails - which I do without a BOB anyway.
Dreamer Design and Kelty are good compromise options.
In Step is a good low cost alternative, but may not hold up well to heavy use.
Would YOU want to be the kid in the bottom seat of a Phil and Ted stroller?


Olivia said...

Hey! I saw you left a comment on my latest entry. Sorry if that entry may have scared you was just something about one of my neighbors. Ugh...just some people, huh?

Thanks for the comment. :) I appreciate it!

Crumbs said...

This should be mass distributed! (and probably will end up being!)

I bought a Mt. Buggy Urban as my one and only stroller when my boy was a month old. We don't have sidewalks in my neighborhood, and the roads are a mess. It's easy, cleanable, looks cool, let's the boy sleep flat, and has a locking/swivel tire (as you said, not perfect, but works well enough when running). It also goes up to 100lbs - actually, it goes up to at least 130 because I've trained my boy to push me. It's expensive ($400+) but indestructible.

Anonymous said...

I never thought about the advantages of a fixed front tire. The front tire on my jogger is fixed, I'm constantly having to manipulate the jogger to make turns, and I had always thought this was a disadvantage. I just have to put in a plug for my beloved jogger, JEEP. Totally rockin'.

ptg said...

I can't believe what great timing this is - Hubs & I just started to look at jogging strollers and I've been wondering all these things. Thanks for a great post!!

John said...

We bought one used and never got to use it since the front tire was out of line and couldn't be fixed. Waste of money. We ended up giving it away for free. Lesson is, test drive them first.