TOP 5 Jogging Strollers of 2014 – prepare to be amazed!
So how does a jogging stroller get to be in my Top 5? I’m really tough on strollers!
Sports Performance and Real Life Usage – things that make a good Jogging Stroller. In my reviews I analyze what truly matters in a proper jogging stroller: How well it rides and how usable it is.
Walkingmama 5 TOP Jogging Strollers of 2014
For serious running, walking, hiking and rollerblading
You can see each stroller’s review by clicking on the picture
|Top 5 Jogging Strollers in THE US 2014|
|Name||BOB Ironman||Instep/Schwinn Arrow||Joovy Zoom ATS||Baby Jogger FIT||BOB Ironman Sport Utility|
|Handlebar||Non-adjustable, height 40″||Adjustable, height up to 54.75″||Non-adjustable, height 42″||Non-adjustable, height 41″||Non-adjustable, height 40″|
|40x 50x 25||54.75x 40.5x 22.5||45x 50x 25||42.5x 48x 25.75||40x 50x 25|
Drop to footrest
|70 degree recline,
headroom 21″, seat width 14.5″
|Semi-horizontal recline, headroom 20″, seat width 14.5″||70 degree recline, headroom 20-25″ (can be adjusted, check review), seat width 14″. Leg drop 13″||70 degree recline, headroom 24.5″, seat width 12,6″||70 degree recline, headroom 21″, seat width 14.5″|
|Coil spring suspension system with adjustable shock absorbers||Exposed spring suspension||Exposed spring suspension||Front wheel shock absorbers||Coil spring suspension system with adjustable shock absorbers|
|Wheels||Aluminum, pneumatic, 16″ inch, 1.5″ tires||Aluminum, pneumatic, 16″||Aluminum, pneumatic, 16″ inches||16″ molded polymer pneumatic tires||16″ polymer pneumatic wheels, 2″ knobby tires|
|Weight||23 lbs||20.5 lbs||26.8 lbs||25 lbs||26 lbs|
|Capacity||70 lbs||50 lbs||75 lbs||75 lbs||70 lbs|
|Car seat compatible||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Price||from 299 USD||from 165 USD||from 290 USD||from 240 USD||from 315 USD|
|Click for BEST Price||Best Price||Best Price||Best Price||Best Price||Best Price|
|Unique Features||Advanced suspension system with elastomer core shock absorbers. Adjustable shock release knobs, adjustable tracking knob||Adjustable handle bar, lightweight. Built-in MP3 speakers. Cup holders and cover included.||Great one-step fold. No rear bar – for a better running experience. Longest leg drop – accommodates very tall kids.
Lots of extras (bike pump, rain cover, parent organizer)
|Highest headroom thanks to the curved canopy roof.||Advanced suspension system with elastomer core shock absorbers. Adjustable shock release knobs, adjustable tracking knob. Widest knobby tires|
|Weaknesses||Non-adjustable handle bar, short seat back & leg drop. No accessories included.||Semi-horizontal recline, medium grade fabrics, difficult to access shopping basket, some alignment issues. *No reflective tape on canopy.||Quite big & bulky||Non-adjustable handle bar, no shock absorbers. No accessories included.||Non-adjustable handle bar, short seat back & leg drop. No accessories included.|
|User Manual||BOB Ironman user manual||Instep/Schwinn user manual||Joovy Zoom user manual||Baby Jogger FIT user manual||BOB SUS user manual|
|read full review||read full review||read full review||read full review||read full review|
Jogging Stroller’s Sports Performance
it’s all about easy roll, durability and safety
- Performance – how easy it rides. An aluminum frame and large air-filled wheels are the things that ensure a good, easy ride. An adjustable/or high enough handle bar increases your performance as a runner, as it can be adjusted to suit your height.
- Alignment – if the stroller doesn’t pull left or right. If it does, how easy is it to fix while on the go.
- Durability – sturdy frame and all parts of the construction. Fewer plastic joints is better.
- Off-road – how good the stroller’s suspension is at managing rough terrain.
- Safety - a hand brake, wrist tether, quick & firm parking brakes, 5-point harnesses and reflection tape.
- Style: a sporty look is truly an inspiration. The best jogging strollers look hot, sleek and ready for action!
Jogging Stroller’s Real Life Usage
considers how good a stroller is for daily duties. It includes ease of use, child’s comfort, storage and parents’ extras.
- Ease of use is about folding, adjusting and harnesses. Folding – How small does it become and how easy is it to do it. How small is not important for jogging strollers, since there should be fewer plastic folded joints and a one-piece frame. How easy – you should be able to fold it alone and quickly. For amazing super-quick folding check out Joovy ATS. Adjusting: how easy is it to recline the seat. Using a belt is the best. Harnesses: 5-point harnesses that are wide enough, and quick and easy to open and close.
- Child’s comfort includes:
Reclining Seat with roomy interior. Roomy enough to sleep, sit and play in it. Curved canopy roof (as for Baby Jogger FIT) means more space for the child.
Canopy: big and sturdy. The sun shade should go far over. A foot-rest with a longer drop allows bigger kids to extend their legs for comfortable sitting.
Quality of fabrics: thick, preferably water-proof fabrics.
Suspension: for a smooth ride over rough terrain and bumpy roads. An advanced suspension system with adjustable shocks ( BOB Ironman or BOB SUS) or simple but good spring suspensions (Joovy Zoom ATS and Instep/Schwinn Arrow). In fact, Baby Jogger FIT has no shocks and still rides smoothly.
- Extra storage: a good jogging stroller allows you to bring everything you need for an entire day outdoors. A seat back net and a large underneath basket are musts.
Parents’ organizers (cup holder consoles) and inner pockets are indeed very convenient, however, not essential.
6 things that make a stroller a jogging stroller
Check if your jogging stroller features the following:
|3- large, fixed, air-filled wheels||Stability, smooth ride, easy to push, less rolling resistance, easy to maneuver. Snowy roads & beaches.||Small wheels, solid wheels, swivel front wheel, double front wheel|
|One-piece aluminum frame||Durability, safety, high weight capacity. Sporty look, lightweight and sturdy||Rough edges and joints secured by plastic fittings. Metal frames – they are heavy and rust in humid climates.|
|Reclining seat||Makes it possible for the child to sleep||Vertical sitting canopies|
|A trunk/shopping basket||For storing things and keeping your hands free while walking. To spend the whole day out with a fully-stocked stroller||Models without a trunk – as they allow you to go out for just a short time|
|Handbrake & parking brakes||The handbrake maintains form and pace when running downhill. Critical for rollerblading – for emergency braking||Models with no parking brakes – as jogging strollers may roll off when left unattended.|
|Adjustable handle*||To suit your height while running. Rollerblading requires a higher handle than running.||A fixed handle that doesn’t suit your height.|
*I found that only 1 out of the 5 best US jogging strollers have an adjustable handle – Schwinn/Instep Arrow. Jeep Overland and Tike Tech X3 Sport aren’t in my Top 5, though they all have an adjustable handle! Joovy Zoom ATS and Baby Jogger FIT strollers have a quite high handlebar that allows taller parents to have a decent run vs. BOB models.
All the best jogging strollers are equipped with a 5-point safety harness, safety wrist strap, have air-filled road tires and a good weather shield.
A weather shield (rain cover) is a must. Get a little pump so you can fill tires right on the go.
Jogging strollers look cool
I can’t help it – I just love them! If jogging strollers were cars, they would all be Ferraris!
How To Choose a Jogging Stroller
I often get requests for suggestions or recommendations on buying a jogging stroller. In response to these inquires, 3 things need to be crystallized to get parents to the right track:
- Ignore the Price & Brand Name
What matters is the material and construction. Good strollers tend to cost more but are worth every penny. Still, remember: a fancy brand name is just a name, but a good sized seat, large air-filled wheels and a decent shopping basket is the stuff that matters. Think in the direction of the best that you can afford. A proper jogging stroller is going to be your best friend for years – so savings should not really dominate your choice.
- Match the Purpose
Figure out what you will be using the stroller for: spending the whole day out hiking or daily one-hour jogging near home? Marathon runners and rollerbladers need a fixed front wheel, high performance stroller, while moderate joggers can even get by with a swivel wheel.
Real life demands a shopping basket and a reclining seat to be able to jog anytime – whether your child is awake or having a nap.
- Big is Beautiful
Jogging strollers must be a decent size. I should be free to load it up and just go anywhere for a full day. It’s a little riding home for your child so it should be big and comfortable. Think less of whether it folds small enough to save space in your trunk. Some strollers are designed to take up as little as possible space in a trunk but are useless for even moderate walking. Make sure your stroller can take a full shopping bag on board on your way back home.
If you are willing to read some more tips on choosing a jogging stroller, here you go:
Cup holders and built-in mp3 players don’t matter that much
A lightweight frame, large underneath basket (never buy a stroller without this) and a roomy reclining seat are far more important. Focus on whether a stroller is reliable (simple and sturdy construction), good for sleeping (reclines quietly), and has enough storage space (backseat net and underneath basket) to load it up and keep your hands free. Think less about maneuvering in crowded areas or collapsing the stroller in one second (after a while, you should be able to do this with just your two hands).
Take a fixed wheel if you’re serious about sport and swivel if you’re not
If you’re going to run or do inline skating with the stroller – you never want a swivel wheel. For sandy trails (beaches) or snowy roads – a swivel is okay since you will be fixing it anyway. A swivel wheel jogging stroller is acceptable for walking, if you really have to have it.
Test drive it if you can
When testing it:
- check how easy it rolls
- whether it goes straight (just push the empty stroller forward and check that it doesn’t pull left or right)
- how well is it balanced - it should stand firmly on the ground with a full diaper bag on the stroller’s handle.
- does the handle fit your height – can you run freely, stretching to a maximum step length?
- check extra seat space - for your child’s head and legs. Children grow very fast. So put your child in and recline the seat to get the full picture.
If buying online – read reviews and pay attention to these points rather than how much the stroller weighs or if the model has a rain cover included (you can always buy it separately). Can this stroller be loaded up for a whole day out? Can you let your child sleep in the stroller and store all the stuff you usually need? Can you still squeeze in some stuff from the grocery store on your way back home? Read the stroller’s user manual if you have any doubts.
If you have any questions on choosing a stroller – please pop over to the Just Ask section and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.
It’s personal and it’s free.
No Sweet Expert Jogging Stroller Reviews
In my reviews, I totally ignore parents’ complaints about a jogger’s heavy steering just because of a fixed front wheel. Jogging strollers are designed for straight lines, not for the hustle and bustle of a shopping mall. For easy maneuvering, choose a swivel wheel jogging stroller but forget about serious running or rollerblading with it. See my swivel post on why.
I also don’t pay attention to the flat tire complaints– it’s not the stroller’s fault. It happens with any air-filled tires. Use a tire sealant and forget about it.
I’ve done more than 5,000 miles with my stroller during 4 years of intense daily walking, stroller fitness and rollerblading with the stroller. Since my son was used to having his daily nap in the stroller, I walked every single day for hours on end – in all seasons, in any weather and on all terrains: city streets, parks, beaches, forest paths, up-hill/down-hill and on snowy roads.