When we decided to lead a healthier lifestyle, Mark and I found that the hardest thing about adding our child to our jogging trips was finding a safe and comfortable jogging stroller. If you’ve ever visited stores – whether online or in an actual building – there’s no doubt that you have encountered the seemingly unlimited variety of jogging strollers all of which proudly call themselves the best jogging strollers on the market.
With hectic schedules, commutes, and the daily grind many parents experience in our modern age of constant movement, it’s understandable that the search for the best jogging stroller can be time-consuming. With so many to choose from, how do you find the best for your family?
Luckily, we’ll be passing on our knowledge of the market to you, our readers, so that you’ll know where to look and what to look for. After discovering the best jogging stroller for our family through research and trial and error, we’re more than excited to share our findings in this brief overview. But first…
Why Look for the Best Jogging Stroller?
Before we go on to talk about the types of jogging strollers on the market and the accessories that often accompany them, we want to talk about why – if you want to jog with your little passenger in tow – you should specifically buy a jogging stroller. From more durability to waterproof canopies, jogging strollers enhance the exercise experience for both parent and baby, something that a standard stroller is often unable to do. Our three top-ranking features of jogging strollers include weather protection, shock absorption, and of course, safety.
Heat, high winds, unannounced spring showers. Whether it’s swelteringly hot or suddenly raining, jogging strollers have weatherproof canopies that protect your tiny traveler from the elements. Oftentimes, jogging strollers come complete with bug nets or rain screens, ensuring a peace of mind for you and your child. While standard strollers are outfitted with a wide variety of marvelous canopies, these canopies typically aren’t weather- or waterproof.
With jogging strollers, the wheels are designed to withstand the shock from the movement made by the jogging parent. Made from rubber, jogging stroller wheels absorb bumps and rough patches, maximizing your child’s comfort level. As we all know, an uncomfortable, fussy co-driver makes for short jogging sessions.
Jogging strollers are designed not only to be comfortable, but to also protect the precious cargo resting in it. More significantly, these wheels protect your child’s neck and back from harmful shaking and yanking that could result in injury. The wheels of a normal stroller (which could be plastic in many cases) may lack this safety feature.
However, there’s one caveat: children should at least be between 6-8 weeks old before their first jog. The reason? The bones in a child’s neck and back are still developing. It’s best to talk with your pediatrician prior to riding off with your little jogging partner. Just to be on the safe side.
Types of Jogging Strollers
With four major types of jogging strollers, parents have many options to choose from. To figure out which type is best for your family, read the descriptions below to get a better feel for your jogging needs.
Holding up to an average of 75 pounds, jogging strollers for one often come with 16- or 20-inch wheels (later, we’ll talk about the diameter of the wheel).
Some parents worry that jogging strollers for two are for just that – for two. In actuality, these strollers can hold one child without any issues of weight inequality. Durable just as they are safe, jogging strollers for two children can hold between 100 to 125 pounds. Also, parents have the choice of choosing between 16- or 20-inch wheels.
Convertible Bike Trailers
Over the past few years, convertible biking trailers have gained a popular following. Easily transformable with ability to trek across multiple terrains, the convertible bike trailer can be converted into a standard jogging stroller, often with an included kit. With the ability to hold one or two children, this bike trailer typically has a weight limit of 125 pounds.
Did you know babies can race, too? With a multiuse stroller, cyclists, cross-country aficionados, joggers, and bikers alike have the opportunity to practice their athletic craft while enjoying the company of their child. With ready-made attachments that snap onto your choice of mobile sporting gear like a bike, multiuse strollers are ready when you are.
16- or 20-inches? Let’s Talk Wheel Size
Are you a diehard jogger or runner? Or, do you prefer to maintain a slower pace? How about your typical exercising environment? Do you generally jog on rocky surfaces or do you like to take strolls in the malls or on sidewalks? Depending on how you answer these questions, a certain jogging stroller wheel may be best for you and your exercise partner.
There are three different sizes of wheel for jogging strollers: 12-, 16-, and 20-inches. The latter two are easiest to find in stores and can be used on varying terrain levels and textures. The 12-inch wheel is best used for sidewalks and evenly-paced walking.
Bigger isn’t necessarily better in the world of jogging stroller wheels. It is, however, smoother. Why? Twenty-inch wheels provide considerably less resistance, producing the feeling of rolling on a more even surface. With 20-inch wheels expect to jog along with less effort.
This isn’t to say that 20-inch wheels trump their 16-inch counterparts. On the contrary, 16-inch wheels possess their own pluses. In enclosed areas like malls with smoother surfaces, the 16-inch reigns. On the other hand, a 20-inch wheel on a very smooth surface may prove to be more of a hassle for handling and steering as the 20-inch wheel excels on rougher terrain.
Like bike frames, jogging strollers maneuver best when they are made of aluminum – a lighter, more powerful material than steel, iron, and some plastics. Although we won’t impose more on the question of what type of material is best, we do want to say that if you’re shopping in-store for a jogging stroller, take note of its “gait.” Does it shake from being pushed across the store floor? Does it feel flimsy, uneven? If so, it’s best to move on to another jogging stroller. Jogging strollers often trek over terrain that is bumpy and irregular so, a stroller that doesn’t work well on a flat, even surface may not be the best for a rougher one.
Accessories: What Should Extras Should You Consider?
The list of possible accessories that could be added to a jogging stroller is fairly comprehensive. From bug nets to car seat adapters, there’s an accessory out there for every family’s collective imagination. For brevity’s sake (after all, this is an overview), we’ve listed the three most popular jogging stroller add-ons.
Car Seat Adapters
Car seat adapters are simply fabulous. It’s no wonder why they’re so popular, taking the number one spot on our list of fly-off-the-shelves accessories. Why are they so popular? One word: adaptability. Car seat adapters are designed to fit snuggly into several car seat models and strollers. With car seat adapters, there’s no more moving baby from the car seat to the stroller; instead, you simply move the car seat to the stroller, snapping it in place… and off you go!
But, there is one downside to car seat adapters – parents must not jog or run with these attached. They must walk only. The car seat adapter creates a higher center of gravity on the stroller. If you are more of a walker than jogger, the car seat adapter will be a welcome addition to your jogging accessory entourage.
Taking baby out for a jog requires much more than simply placing your child in the stroller. What about diaper bags? Snacks? Even toys? With added cargo storage, parents easily transport sports goods and baby gear without the added hassle of having to leave things at home or in the car.
When the wind’s blowing, the cradle won’t rock – but the baby inside won’t be happy. To keep your little one comfortable and safe from high winds, parents can buy windshields for their jogging stroller as an add-on. We all know that an uncomfortable, fussy co-driver makes for a short jogging session.
On a Final Note…
…jogging strollers can be fairly inexpensive with many starting at or below $200. With so many brands and types of jogging stroller, you’re bound to find the best jogging stroller for you and your family. We’ll be discussing and reviewing jogging strollers on this site to be of a little more assistance.
Both Mark and I hope that our advice shines a little light on the subject of picking the perfect jogging stroller. After all, who wants to be inside researching jogging strollers when you could be out and about, having the time of your life with your bundle of joy?