You can blame Philip Baechler for this invention, jogging with baby! He wanted to spend time with his son and carry on running so in 1984 he came up with the ideal solution, an aerodynamic design.
So if you are into your running or even if it is for Dad there are a few considerations before you go out and buy this expensive piece of equipment.
So what is different about jogging baby strollers?
- Three wheels as opposed to four!
- The wheels are much larger
- The wheels have tires and you will of course need to carry an air pump
Fixed wheel v Swivel wheel
Fixed wheel is just that fixed and larger than a swivel wheel and is good for
- Serious joggers
- Handling over rough terrain
- Steering is harder, you need to learn to tip it back when you need to turn
- Running in a straight line, training in other words
But not for
- Regular use such as shopping or local walking
We all make mistakes and this has been known to happen, going for looks and not function! They may look state of the art but try lifting the back wheels every time is no fun at all.
Swivel wheels are good for
- Less serious running
- Combination strolling, shopping, walking etc.
But bear in mind
- The swivel wheel can throw you of course on bumpy ground
Metal or plastic spokes and rims?
- may be less attractive but offer more comfort
- Look out for stainless steel or aluminium to keep rust free
- Look like car tires
- Are nice and lightweight
- Will get scuffed in some terrains
Size of wheel diameters
- 12” wheels are suitable for pavements, sidewalks and indoor shopping
- 16” wheels are suitable for concrete and light off-road usage
- 20” + wheels are unstoppable, they will roll over curbs, bumps and even loose soil and sand
Remember that large wheels make your stroller less portable and for flat ground is just a plain nuisance
- Lumpy bumpy tread for rough and/or slippery ground
- Smooth (slick treads) for maneuverability on flat ground, crowded areas
Use wheel reflectors if you are jogging after dark!
- Jogging strollers come with foot brakes; always use it whenever you stop
- Look out for hand brake as well, it can be very difficult to stop or slow down otherwise
- Less expensive (not so serious) strollers may not have any shock absorbers
- So double check you have good shock absorption on the back wheels (or both front and back for twins!)
Fixed or adjustable?
- Fixed for stability
- Adjustable for more obvious sharing of equipment or anyone who is taller/shorter than average
- Look for decent padding
- Five point harness is essential, look for smooth and adjustable
- Reclined option for infant comfort
Folding or compact?
- Quick folding, one hand mechanism is easy (but more bulky)
- Compact is kind of fiddly and requires dismantling and use of both hands, maybe good for real outdoors people
- Just make sure your jogging stroller has enough space for your extras
Canopy and window
- Needed for sunshade and window is great for keeping an eye on baby’s comfort
- Another safety mechanism (wrist strap) may come as standard or may be an extra accessory and very useful if there are any falls or lapses in braking
You just really need to think about what your needs are and decide if you need a
- Cup holder
- Baby tray
- Not enough padding, perhaps you can add sheepskin for comfort or just extra padding
- Bicycle bar tape is good for making handles more ergonomic
- Canopy not enough protection? Get a stroller cover
It is always best to check with your paediatrician first before you start out; make sure your baby is ready.
Think if this as resistance training, you will be running with extra weight.
There are dedicated stroller trainers out there so don’t be afraid to get some additional professional tips especially in the beginning. If you don’t own one yet I recommend you go through some baby stroller reviews first to get an idea about the how & what.
The benefits of sharing your passion with junior are many, but do take it easy, don’t expect to be able to run a marathon until you and little one are ready for such a challenge!