Running for moms is a great way to keep your mind and body healthy – and it has the added bonus of benefiting your little one. Fresh air and exercise can have a positive effect on your mental health, and it’s the same for your baby! Taking your child out in a running buggy can boost their mood and (if you’re really lucky) soothe them off to sleep.
But with so many running strollers on the market, sometimes it can be hard to pick the right one. In this article, we will guide you on how to choose the right running stroller for you.
Jogging Stroller Vs Regular Stroller
Running buggies aren’t necessarily cheap, and you may even be thinking ‘why can’t I just use my traditional stroller for running?’. There are a few reasons why a jogging stroller should be used vs a regular stroller. Basic strollers, even the best ones, are just not designed for high speed. Whereas running strollers are specially made to give your baby a safer, and more comfortable ride. They’re also engineered to encourage proper running form, keeping you injury-free as a running mom.
When buying a running stroller, it’s always best to consider how often you’re planning on running, and what you’ll be using it for. If you are an aspiring athlete and you want to take your baby with you on your epic mountain runs then you will need to buy a more premium, durable product. However, if you’re planning on a quick cardio blast with baby-on-board, then go for a fitness-oriented model. If you want to use your running stroller for everyday activities, as well as running, then go for a more practical model with plenty of storage space and adaptability.
Key Running Buggy Features
While style, brand, and budget can be down to personal preference, there are certain features that you need to have in a good running buggy. Look out for these key features when you’re trying to pick the right running stroller for you.
Three wheels. This helps to keep the running stroller more streamlined and makes it easier to handle, especially at a faster pace. The front swivel wheel should also be one that can be set to fixed mode. A fixed wheel in the straight-ahead position is great for running because it makes it easier to steer (doesn't need constant correct at higher speeds) and more comfortable for you and your baby when you’re going over rough terrain or uneven surfaces, such as gravel. If the wheel is allowed to swivel it will cause instability and you could risk a crash. There's nothing worse cruising along at a great clip and hitting a bump and the front wheel flipping out. The fixed front wheel is great, however, you will want to switch to swivel mode if you are using the running stroller for more everyday activities like shopping.
Hand brake. This lets you ease or squeeze on the breaks without having to break your stride. This tends to be a lever on the handlebars and, although rarely required, may come in handy when traveling downhill and you want to avoid picking up too much speed. Also look for a wrist strap on the handle, an easy safety measure that a stroller should come with.
Parking brake. Not the same as a hand break, a parking break, or foot brake, will lock the wheels so the stroller can not move.
Sturdy five-point harness. The 5-point safety harness keeps your precious cargo safe, comfortable, and secure in the running buggy while you are traveling.
Wheel suspension. A good suspension system helps to absorb any bumps that you’re speeding over for a smoother ride. The better the shock absorbers, the smoother the ride; and the smoother the ride, the more comfortable (and happy) your baby is as you run!
Large air or foam tires. Large wheels makes for a more comfortable ride than hard plastic wheels. The larger wheels and air-filled tires allow you to handle bumps at speed without the ride becoming rocky for your baby. However, just like any other vehicle with air tires, there is a risk of punctures. We recommend taking a bicycle puncture repair kit with you on your runs…just in case.
Adjustable Handlebar. A good jogging stroller will have adjustable, vs fixed position, handle bars. Depending on your run, the weight in the stroller, and the terrain you're on, your arm swing will adjust and you'll want your baby stroller to adjust accordingly to keep you running with good form. Doubly important if you share your stroller with a spouse and they are a different height.
There are some things to look for that aren't a necessity in a jogging stroller but may be nice to have. A list of extra features to look for:
Cup holders. These not standard in all jogging strollers. Some will just hold water bottles (they are not upright and will spill drinks with open lids), some are options as add ons for an additional cost.
Storage. Storage may not be important to you, maybe you just need a pocket for snacks, a diaper bag and few toys, then storage may not be a determining factor. However, if you're needing to store groceries, winter coats and multiple water bottles, a large storage basket may make or break they types of strollers you're looking at.
Age of Child. This will help you pick out some features that may be important to you, or your child more likely. Do you need a child tray? What kind of safety strap is needed for the months of age of you kid. If you children are larger, the extra weight will be a factor. Do you need the seat to recline? infants need a flat reclining seat, not all strollers offer this.
Remember jogging strollers can be good for serious runners or recreational runners alike, the best stroller is the one that works for you and fits into your active lifestyle. Included below is a list of the strollers I own and some notes/thoughts on each.
Mountain Buggy Terrain - LOVE this stroller. It was my first running stroller and will always be my favorite. I trained for a marathon with it, I ran everywhere (groceries, post office, to my in-laws). The Mountain Buggy team is fantastic and I can't recommend this stroller enough. Storage space is large, water bottle holders, rain cover option, all around a great stroller.
B.o.b. Double Stroller - Another great stroller, and I know it's for two but I put all three of my kids in here for runs. The front feet section fits a third when we need. It's a bit heavy and cumbersome if you're putting in/out of a car, but since we run everywhere this isn't really a concern for me. Definitely have put more miles on this stroller than my car.
Once you've found the perfect stroller, get started with our Best Tips for Running with a Stroller.