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So you’re thinking about purchasing a jogging stroller? Fantastic! A good jogging stroller can be the key to maintaining a healthy and independent lifestyle while caring for young kids. However, you’ll quickly see that there’s a lot to think about before you make the investment. Is your child ready to run with you? Which jogging stroller features are most important? Is it worth it to by an expensive stroller? Don’t fret! I’ve done the research for you, and scoured the internet for the best jogging stroller models.
Who am I, exactly? I’m not a professional runner by any means, but I am a twin mom who went from “running isn’t for me” to “I only ran 3.5 miles today” in a few short months. (Click here to read more about how I learned to run and lost 30 pounds in the process.)
Alright, let’s talk about what you should consider before you purchase a jogging stroller, and compare some models!
Your Child Might Not Be Ready To Run
If your child is under six months of age, then they are probably not ready to run. Jogging stroller manufacturers most likely recommend a minimum age or weight for children, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to actually run with a child that size in the stroller. Confusing right? Your best bet is to clear it with your child’s pediatrician. No need to schedule a visit, just call them up and ask!
One Stroller Probably Won’t Cut It
If you’re like me, you’re looking for a unicorn stroller. An amazing jogging stroller that can handle a marathon, fold with the touch of a finger, and be easily tossed in the car for running those quick errands. I hate to break the news, but you have a better chance of time-traveling through a stone and meeting a sexy Scotsman than you do of finding that stroller. (Outlander, anyone?)
I’m a frugal person–so it gives me heartburn to say this–but it’s worthwhile to invest in 3 different strollers: A Snap N Go stroller for baby carriers, an umbrella stroller for when your baby is a bit older, and, of course, a jogging stroller.
Now, let’s move on to what you’re really here for!
Must-Have Jogging Stroller Features
Don’t waste your money on a stroller that doesn’t offer these perks.
Higher Weight Limit
A single stroller must carry up to 50 pounds to be a good investment.
Just say “no” to pushing a stroller with hard, tiny wheels. Running is hard enough already!
Storage Under the Stroller
Kids need stuff. A lot of stuff. You’ll definitely want a place to store extra clothes, blankets, and other diaper-bag type materials.
Fixed Wheel or Locking Swivel Wheel
You need to be sure that the jogging stroller you purchase is actually meant for, you know, jogging. If it doesn’t have a fixed wheel or a swivel wheel that can be locked, then it’s not meant for running. Always run with the wheel locked. It doesn’t take much to send a swivel wheel out of control at higher speeds.
The more the stroller weighs, the more you’ll feel those hills! The lighter the better, but don’t settle for a stroller that weighs more than 30 pounds.
Nice-to-Have Jogging Stroller Features
Don’t be thrown off by the term nice-to-have. Strollers with these features tend to be more expensive, but are definitely worth the money if you can swing it.
I hesitate to put hand breaks in the nice-to-have category, but unfortunately there aren’t that many affordable jogging strollers that have them. They are an important safety feature, so avoid running on any significant hills if the stroller you choose doesn’t have a hand break.
Running with your arms too high or too low is pretty uncomfortable, so an adjustable handlebar is an amazing feature that helps the stroller work well for all the adults in the household. Unfortunately, it isn’t available on a lot of models.
Good Sun Protection
A large, adjustable canopy is important, but you’ll have to be very cautious of the sun and hot weather no matter how nice your stroller canopy is. I covered my babies with sunscreen and muslin swaddle blankets to keep them safe from the sun during my runs.
It’s a bit of a pain to keep your water bottle under the stroller, so parent cup-holders are very nice to have. However, most stroller companies offer a stroller console that can be purchased separately.
Car Seat Compatible
This feature is great, but only matters until your child is about 6 months old. Be sure to consider that before paying more for a stroller that is compatible with your child’s car seat.
Child cup-holders are a bonus once your child is old enough to use them, but definitely not essential.
Jogging Stroller Models
I compared several jogging stroller models against these must-have and nice-to-have features using the principle that the more a stroller costs, the more features it should have.
These are the strollers that made the cut:
After examining several Baby Trend strollers in the same price range, the Expedition was the winner. All the models were similar, but the Expedition was the lightest and had the highest maximum rider weight. Also, you get every feature listed above except the adjustable handlebar and the hand break. This is a perfect stroller for the everyday walker and occasional runner.
This stroller is made for serious runners with it’s fixed front wheel, adjustable handlebar, and hand break. It’s missing the parent and child cup-holders and isn’t car seat compatible, but the most notable con is that the canopy doesn’t adjust.
The Joovy Zoom has a lot to offer with it’s amazing canopy, lightweight construction, and handy parent organizer. It’s only missing the hand break, adjustable handlebar, and child cup-holder.
Because you can’t have a list of strollers without an amazing BOB stroller. This stroller doesn’t have a hand break or cup-holders (you can always purchase the BOB handlebar console), but it does have an extremely adjustable handlebar and a full-coverage canopy.
Thule makes a stroller? Now that’s worth a look. As it turns out, this stroller has it all. It’s crazy light-weight with a twist hand break and adjustable handlebar. The stroller organizer and snack tray don’t come standard, but you can opt to purchase them.
For the most part, a good pair of shoes and a stroller are all you need, but there are a few extra items that make running easier.
Keep a rain cover under your stroller just in case you’re caught in a sudden downpour. Covers are also great for protecting your child from the wind on a breezy day.
This is a great option for phone storage if the stroller you choose doesn’t have a parent console on the handlebar.
You know what’s not fun? Getting your arm caught in earbud wires while you’re running.
So there you have it! You can hit the pavement feeling confident that your child is ready to run and you have a stroller that will work for you.
Already have a jogging stroller that you love and didn’t see on this list? Let me know!