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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Choosing the Right Jogging Stroller for YOU + REVIEW


We don't do very many posts dealing with babies and toddlers, but since I have a baby, I wanted to share with you some tips to finding the right jogging stroller for you. I read TONS of articles and reviews, as well as, "test drove" several before making my final decision. After all, if you are like me, you will use your jogging stroller at least 3-4 times per week for cardio and maybe even for the occasional jaunt at a local festival or fair.


Here are 7 things to consider when choosing the right jogging stroller:

1. Determine Your Strollers Function - What will you be using the stroller for? Is it strictly for running or will you need something to attach to your bike or even cross country ski with?

If the stroller is strictly for running, proceed with a jogging stroller like the Bob Revolution or the Baby Jogger FIT.

If you need your stroller to function in multiple ways, perhaps a jogger/bike trailer is more appropriate for you. Consider brands like the Allen Sports Premier or the Aosom Elite II.

2. Fixed Wheel vs. Swivel Wheel -  This is your number one concern when determining which stroller you will buy. NEVER run with a stroller that does not have a fixed wheel or a mechanism so that the wheel can be locked in the fixed position. This is VERY dangerous and could harm your child. Strollers with swivel wheels are made for walking and strolling.

3. Frequency of Use - How often you will use your jogging stroller really will determine the quality you will need to purchase (and most likely, the money you will spend on the jogger). If you are a marathon runner and plan to take your child on long distance jogs, you will need a more durable stroller designed specifically for this purpose. Strollers like the Bob Ironman and the Mountain Buggy Terrain may be more appropriate for you. On the flip side, if you are planning to use your stroller on days that you can't get to the gym to do your cardio, you can go with a more fitness oriented model, such as the Jeep Overland Fixed Wheel Jogging Stroller.

4. Storage Space - If you are tight on space in your home or plan to transport the stroller in a smaller vehicle, you will want to ensure your stroller folds down. If it doesn't, you will need to find a place to keep it fully assembled in your home and have a vehicle such as an SUV to transport the stroller.

5. Handlebar Height - Since I am short (5'2''), I really pay attention to this one! My husband is on the taller side (6'2''), so if he and I are both using the stroller, we either have to find a comfortable height for both of us or find a stroller with an adjustable handle.

6. Child Positioning - This is something you really can't afford NOT to look at! First off, think about your child. Do they like to take naps in the car or stroller? Will jogging be any different? Do they need a cup holder or a belly bar to hold on to so they can comfortably look out the stroller? Finding a stroller that offers a range of positions from upright to reclining may be your best bet. If you plan to use the stroller to walk prior to your child's 6 month birthday, I suggest looking for a system that also allows you to clip an infant seat into the stroller. Just remember: You shouldn't jog with an infant seat attached!

7. Brake vs. No Brake - Do you like in a hilly area like me? Your stroller should have a tether strap that you will wear, but if somewhere along your normal route, you encounter lots of downhills, I would suggest a brake. Momentum can be fierce, especially when you are pushing 50+ pounds of jogging stroller and child!

REMEMBER: Most pediatricians, as well as jogging stroller manufacturers recommend that you do NOT jog with your child until 6 months of age.

Review of Baby Jogger FIT

The Baby Jogger FIT. Price: $299.
(Baby Jogger Strollers are currently 30% off on Amazon! You can pick up the FIT for $209!)

From the moment I received the stroller, I knew I was going to like it! It was very easy to put together - no help from the hubby required! The best part - I could use it right away. I didn't have to go to a bike shop to have the front wheel inflated. 

To test it out, Bryce and I went on a short run - a 2.5 mile jaunt in the nature preserve in our neighborhood! I have to admit, I have a snazzy Britax stroller system for everyday use and was a little anxious to try the fixed wheel of the jogger. I had visions of not being able to turn and potentially tipping Bryce over in the stroller. NOT the case at all! The fixed wheel of the Baby Jogger FIT seems to have a little give in it. I did have to rear back on the handlebar to turn, but much less than I expected! Speaking of the handlebar, it doesn't adjust but it is comfortable for myself and also for my husband. 

At 7 months and 20lbs, Bryce seemed comfortable in the stroller and has tons of room to grow. The stroller adapts to a reclining position and has a nice angle for its upright position.  The sunshade is adjustable and quite substantial. It did wonders for keeping the wind off of his face since we did a later afternoon run. The stroller seemed to effortlessly glide along our jogging path, with little disturbance at a bump or crack in the path. It was challenging pushing it up our monstrous hills in the neighborhood but nothing I couldn't handle. The brake was a MUST for the downhills of the same size - it provided some much needed reassurance that I wouldn't lose control.

Do you have a jogging stroller? If so, which did you choose and why? What types of activities do you do with your stroller?



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