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Jogging Strollers

Monday, 15 November 2004 | Tags: , , ,

For parents who like to walk or run off the beaten path, a jogging stroller (or baby jogger) is a handy piece of equipment. We take a few for a stroll to see how they hold up.

The Basics

  • The jogging stroller’s larger wheels provide less rolling resistance for a smoother ride.

  • Wheel sizes vary from 12 to 20”. The bigger they are, the better for off-road terrain.

  • A front wheel that swivels makes for easier turning. Fixed wheels are better for the serious jogger because they provide stability and traction.

  • Jogging strollers come with a five-point harness system to keep your child secure. Always fasten the harness when your child is in the stroller.

  • Make sure the jogger has a wrist tether strap or arm leash you wear in case the stroller gets away on you.

  • Though portable, joggers don’t fold very small. Many have removable wheels to make them more compact.

Other Considerations

  • Most models have canopies to protect baby from the elements. Some also come with other accessories such as rain guards, which can also be bought separately.

  • For a lighter weight stroller, buy an aluminum frame. They’re more expensive, but worth it for the easier push, and also rust-free.

  • Some strollers have adjustable handle bars so you can raise or lower the height to reduce the chances of back aches or tired arms.

  • Newer models have extra padding in the seat for a more comfortable ride. Some even have a reclining option for napping.

  • Look for useful storage pockets to keep toys, snacks, water, and any other personal items.

Be Aware

  • Jogging strollers can be difficult to manoeuvre, especially around corners, so you’ll likely need a regular stroller as well.

  • When buying second hand, be sure to take it for a test run. Make sure it rolls straight without pulling to one side — give it a little push then let go to see if it maintains a fairly straight line. If it doesn’t, it may mean the wheel(s) are bent, which makes it uncomfortable to push.

  • Jogging strollers should only be used with babies 6 months old and over, once they’ve developed strong neck and back control.

  • Like a bicycle, a jogging stroller should be tuned-up at least once a year to ensure smooth mechanics. Try your local bike shop for repair and maintenance options.

TEST CRITERIA

We ran, walked and of course shopped, with these four different jogging strollers:

  • Safety 1st (fixed front wheel): $200
  • Chariot (fixed front wheel with suspension system): $540
  • Zooper Zydeco (swivel front wheel): $540
  • Urban Mountain Buggy (swivel front wheel): $619

Usability Test

  • We definitely found the two strollers with fixed front wheels to be difficult to manoeuvre, resulting in sore wrists after a while.

  • We found the Urban Mountain Buggy simple and lightweight, and also compact and easy to fold.

OUR TOP PICK

Top marks went to the Urban Mountain Buggy. It was easiest to manouever, lightweight, compact, and easy to fold and lift into the trunk.

(Please note: this test was done for The Shopping Bags a number of years ago. The strollers themselves may no longer be available, but we hope the shopping tips will help you in your research.)

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