Road Test – Jogging Strollers

Road Test – Jogging Strollers

Looking at Jogging Strollers

In this article, Running 4 Women contributor Nicole Feliciano looks at the marketplace for jogging strollers, what to look out for and where to find them online.

Congratulations, you’ve had a baby and you’re ready to put your running shoes back on and hit the road. Then a thought occurs to you. Why not bring along the little one as you enjoy the great outdoors? 

In many cases, children as young as three months old can enjoy an outing in a jogging stroller (a child should be able to fully support their own head before starting this activity). This new piece of equipment can be a terrific addition to your baby accessories.  Besides running, a benefit of most jogging strollers is their suitability to many terrains.  Their standard 16”/41 cm wheels are wonderful for off-road strolling.  The optional 20”/51 cm wheel is for perfect rocky conditions and hiking.  

After checking with your pediatrician and getting the green light to begin a running program with your little one, there are a few things to consider before racing out to buy a new stroller.

There are a myriad of brands and models on the market.  When selecting a stroller, safety should be paramount.  First and foremost, a baby jogger should include a five-point harness to keep the child safely secured inside the stroller seat.  Second, the jogger should have a reliable breaking system.  As a backup precaution, many models also include a safety leash just in case of break failure or “runaway strollers” on a steep downhill.   Finally, the overall structural integrity should be excellent.  Check the stroller for loose nuts and bolts and shake it to see if the mechanics are well designed.  Your stroller should be sturdy and make you feel confident that it has been well constructed and will keep your child safe. 

After satisfying these basic standards, the next concern is the stroller’s performance for the runner/parent.  Here is a short list of what to consider when selecting a stroller:

Weight.  All of the strollers are relatively heavy averaging about 20 lbs or 9 kilos.  Add the weight of the child and any gear you may be bringing on your run, and you’ve got a sizeable load.  Try to find the lightest model that satisfies your other specifications.  Check the carrying capacity of the stroller to ensure that your child will be safely supported, as they grow heavier. Storage.  Ask your self how much space in your home you have to stow this item and consider if your will be loading the stroller into your car.  Remember, a jogging stroller will not replace your lightweight everyday stroller!  You may decide you need a quick release model that folds up quickly and takes up precious little closet space or you may opt for a sportier model with a cotter-pin release and larger wheels that requires more storage room. Quick release wheels are a handy if you have a car and plan to bring your stroller on outings.  Carrying capacity.  Consider the weight and age of your child when selecting a model.  Some brands convert to double strollers that accommodate two children.  Another factor to consider is the stroller’s space for your gear.  Is there room for water bottles, diapers, extra blankets, etc. that you may want before, during or after your run? Suspension system.  Select a stroller that dampens bumps and vibrations.  Try to take the stroller out for a test drive before purchase to check wheel resistance. Now that your have your list of things to consider, its time to start shopping. Strollers will range in price starting at $200 dollars or 105 British Pounds.  Deals can sometimes be found by purchasing last year’s model. Begin your search either online or at your local running shop. Specialized running stores can be a wealth of information regarding the strollers. 

Shawneay Ocasio at the Super Runner’s Shop in Manhattan, NewYork recommends Baby Jogger.  Ocasio likes the one pin action to close the jogger and its lightweight construction. “We only carry Baby Jogger.  Our customers tell us it’s the easiest one to close, and the easiest one to store,” says Ocasio.

“Weight is important. The Baby Jogger holds up to 100 lbs. (45 kilos) and weighs 18 lbs (8kilos), it’s one of the lightest strollers on the market,” says Ocasio.

Lee Silverman, owner of Jack Rabbit, a running store in Brooklyn, New York, has two children and swears by “BOB” strollers.  Silverman raves about the BOB’s ability to quicklycollapse for storage—a perfect design for city dwellers.  “One of the great things about BOB is that all the wheels are quick release, if you have to put it in your car, it fits very easily,” says Silverman.

Silverman uses his jogging stroller on snowy streets instead of a standard stroller. “Their wheels are designed to be a lot tougher than a regular stroller.  They will survive a lot more,” says Silverman. 

Here is a sampling of what is currently on offer and where to find more information:

B.O.B.

www.bobgear.com

Company started in 1994 in California by running dads

HIGHLIGHTS:

Easily collapsible Redesigned harness for safer and easier use. Plenty of storage space Rear wheel brakes

NordicTrack

www.nordictrack.com

Apex Elite stroller

HIGHLIGHTS:

Ergonomic handlebars Adjustable recline seat

InSTEP

www.joggingstroller.com

More than eight models of strollers

HIGHLIGHTS:

Lightweight aluminum frame Retractable canopy 

GOZO

www.joggingstroller.com

1×2 stroller

HIGHLIGHTS:

Mountainbike style wheels Padded seats with three levels of recline Adjustable handlebar

Road Runner Sports

www.roadrunnersports.com

Internet home of the world’s largest running store

HIGHLIGHTS:

Glide suspension technology Will ship internationally call 858.636.7652

Kelty

www.kelty.com

Joyrider series

HIGHLIGHTS:

One handed folding mechanism Fits easily into car’s backseat or trunk Bicycle style caliper brakes 

Baby Jogger

www.babyjogger.com

Inventers of the three wheel jogging stroller, in business for more than 20 years.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects Staged assembly process to ensure quality Available in the UK contact info@kidsense.co.uk  As a final note, don’t forget to maintain your stroller like any other piece of sporting equipment. 

Keep the wheels inflated. Check the brakes periodically. Every so often, lift the stroller up and shake it to see if things are moving around, then tighten the loose nuts and bolts on the stroller. Spring is right around the corner and it’s a great time to start exercising with your family. Jogging strollers are a wonderful way to get out there and enjoy a terrific run while taking your kids along for the ride.  Happy strolling!

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