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Having kids might change your life in all kinds of ways, but it doesn't mean you have to give up exercise. If you like to jog or run, a jogging stroller lets you bring your child along for the ride.
Now that you’re considering purchasing a jogging stroller, how do you pick the right one? There are a wealth of makes and models on the market, and it can be overwhelming.
Strollers aren't cheap, so you don't want to waste money on a product that isn't exactly what you want.
Here at BestReviews, our mission is to bring you fair, honest product reviews of the market’s best choices. We test products in our lab, analyze existing data, and consult experts, all so we can help you find the items that best fit your needs. To avoid any potential bias, we never accept free products from manufacturers. Instead, we buy the products we test straight off the shelf, just like you do!
If you’re ready to buy a jogging stroller, please check out the product matrix above to learn more about our top five picks. If you’d like to learn more about the jogging stroller space, please continue reading this shopping guide.
Jogging strollers are specially designed to render a smooth ride and good control when you're pushing the stroller at a fast pace. But how exactly do jogging strollers differ from conventional strollers in terms of design and features?
Jogging strollers have three wheels. The uneven weight distribution makes them easier to turn when running.
Jogging strollers have air-filled tires (as opposed to the solid rubber tires found on conventional strollers) and a suspension system that enable their use on a variety of terrains.
Jogging strollers are lighter than conventional strollers, making them easier to push at higher speeds.
To provide more control, jogging strollers are often wider than conventional strollers.
These features add up to create a jogging or running experience for you that’s safe and comfortable for your child.
To understand jogging strollers in general — and to figure out which one is right for you — it's important to examine product features in detail. Once you know what you prefer in a jogging stroller, it’s easier to narrow down your choices.
Jogging stroller tires range in diameter from roughly 12" to 24". Bigger tires are better for anyone planning to go off the beaten path, as they render a smoother ride over rough surfaces.
The tradeoff, however, is that strollers with larger tires are harder to fold down flat and will consume more trunk space.
The larger the tire diameter, the better the stroller handles over rough terrain.
You'll also notice that some tires have more grip than others. Smooth tires help you glide over flat surfaces, whereas knobby tires are beneficial if you plan to do a lot of off-roading.
Some jogging strollers have a fixed front wheel, whereas others have the option to unlock the front wheel so that it swivels.
Having the front wheel locked in a fixed position is the only safe way to jog with your stroller. The reason: it's easy to lose control at high speeds with a swiveling front wheel.
To use your jogging stroller during grocery store trips or casual jaunts around town, consider one with a swivel wheel option. Remember, though, that you should never jog or run with the front wheel set to swivel.
High-end jogging strollers tend to have proper shock-absorbing suspension systems in place that make the ride smoother and more comfortable for the child. Cheaper models often omit this feature. If you opt for the latter, your child is in for a slightly bumpier journey.
Jogging with a stroller is harder work than regular jogging, as you've got the weight of your child, diaper bag, and any other necessities to push along in front of you. And that's before you've factored in the weight of the stroller itself. For this reason, lighter jogging strollers are more highly sought-after than heavier jogging strollers.
During the course of our research, we found jogging strollers as light as 23 pounds and as heavy as 30 pounds.
If you're hoping a nice run will rock your baby to sleep, look for a model with good suspension for a smooth ride.
All strollers have foot-operated parking brakes, but some jogging strollers also have hand brakes built into the handlebars.
Having the handlebar at a comfortable height is especially important when you're jogging with your stroller.
If you're particularly tall or short (or the stroller is going to be used by multiple people of varying heights), we recommend that you select a jogging stroller with an adjustable handlebar.
Most people don't find a hand brake to be more beneficial than a regular parking brake, but it can provide a bit of extra control in hilly areas.
Many of today’s top jogging strollers include a built-in sun canopy to help protect your child from damaging rays and keep the sun out of his or her eyes. Consumers who appreciate having a sun canopy tend to favor one that is large and adjustable.
In the majority of jogging strollers, the seats are slightly more reclined in the most upright position than the seats of conventional strollers. However, most also have the option to recline to a fully or nearly supine position — ideal for napping children.
Seats are fitted with three- or five-point harnesses to help keep your child safe and secure in his or her seat.
If you run regularly, be advised that your pace will be slower with a jogging stroller in tow. That said, you will still burn lots of calories, as pushing the stroller requires extra exertion.
Newborns and young babies may not be secure and supported enough in a regular stroller seat, but many jogging strollers are compatible with infant car seats (usually of the same make as the stroller).
Anyone who has used a stroller that’s difficult to fold understands how frustrating it can be, especially if you're also trying to hold a baby or wrangle a toddler. Fortunately, some of today’s strollers are thoughtfully engineered to include the option of “one-hand folding.”
If you plan to use an infant car seat in your jogging stroller, you must first buy the right car seat adapter. Unfortunately, there are no “universal” car seat adapters that fit all jogging strollers. Before investing in a car seat adapter, do your research to make sure the one you buy is compatible with your jogging stroller.
The color you choose depends on your personal preference, of course. For parents who hope to use the same buggy for another child in the future, we recommend a neutral shade.
During the course of our research, we found jogging strollers in an exciting array of colors, from bubblegum pink to neutral black.
You could spend anywhere from $50 to $600+ on a jogging stroller. To some extent, you get what you pay for.
There are some decent jogging strollers in the $75 to $100 range, but they often hail from lesser-known manufacturers. As such, they may not match the quality of the offerings from top brands such as Thule and BOB, which will set you back anywhere from $300 to $600+.
For safety’s sake, stick to non-busy roads and other areas that see little car traffic when you’re running with your little one.
If you plan to use your jogging stroller strictly for jogging, a fixed wheel should suit you just fine. Bear in mind, however, that you may also wish to keep a stroller with swivel wheels on hand for other occasions.
Before you take your first jog, make sure you know how to properly fit the safety harness so that your child is correctly secured.
All jogging strollers should have the option to lock the front wheel in a fixed forward position. If you come across one with a front wheel that doesn't lock, avoid it at all costs. Jogging with your wheel set to swivel is unsafe.
Q. Are jogging strollers suitable for both jogging/running and regular use?
A. Some jogging strollers are better suited for regular use than others. If you want a jogging stroller for regular use as well as for jogging, make sure you can unlock the front wheel so it will swivel. Strollers with fixed front wheels aren't very maneuverable when you're not running.
Q. Are jogging strollers safe?
A. Jogging strollers are specifically designed to be safe, stable, and comfortable for your child while you're jogging. Therefore, you're much safer running with a jogging stroller than a regular stroller.
Q. Do jogging strollers come with built-in storage?
A. Some do. If a jogging stroller with built-in storage appeals to you, look for one with an organizer or mesh pockets that can accommodate keys, drinks, snacks, and toys.
At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.