Why you need a jogging stroller (and how to pick one)

As a stay at home mom/running mom, there are 2 very important pieces of equipment that I need to keep running: my jogging stroller and my treadmill.  If you’re better than me, then all you need is an alarm clock to wake up and get moving before your kids and spouse wake up.  For me, I need the to option run with Zain or run when he naps.

This is my favorite view when I run

I love my BOB Revolution jogging stroller.  Love love love.  It is the most used piece of baby gear that we were given while I was pregnant with Zain.  The first time I ever ran with it, I thought it would end up being the most useless item because it was so hard and I hated it so much.  As you can see from the fact that I run with it regularly and have taken Zain on some long runs – 10 (a few times), 13.1, 15, and 20 miles, I got used to it.  It took some practice, but the stroller started to feel more natural when I ran with it over time.  I expect to have another adjustment period when I’m running with a double jogging stroller next year!

The BOB isn’t just any stroller.  It’s a jogging stroller.  I cannot stress enough the importance of using a real jogging stroller for running with your little one.  It’s not just for your comfort and ease of pushing during a run, it is more importantly for your child’s safety.  How about a travel system stroller like the clunky Graco ones, a lightweight umbrella stroller, or a $1000 fancy stroller that has 16 different ways to position your kid? Not going to cut it.  Not only are those types of strollers going to be so annoying to push (I find them annoying to just walk with on sidewalks; I think they’re better for indoor use only, such as at the mall), they will not provide enough shock absorption for the safety and comfort of your child(ren).

I’d also like to note that not all Baby Jogger strollers are meant for jogging.  The name is a little misleading and I’ve seen a lot of parents running with their kids in Baby Jogger strollers that are not jogging strollers.  The wheels are too small and there is not enough shock absorption to run with them.  Baby Jogger does make actually jogging strollers (the F.I.T., the Summit XC, and the POD) though so be sure to note the difference.

When you shop for a jogging stroller, you might be a little intimidated by the choices and probably most significantly, the price.  You can buy a jogging stroller from places like Target and Babies ‘r’ Us for around $100, like this Baby Trend jogger for $110.  Beware that the lower end jogging strollers are going may be a little harder to push because they don’t have the fancier handling features of the higher end strollers.  Keep that in mind when you consider how much you’ll use the stroller.  You might be less-inclined to want to go out for a run with your kid(s) if the stroller is too much of a pain to push!

Here is a sampling of a few brands to chose from in 3 different price ranges.

Budget-Friendly: Baby Trend, InStep, Jeep

Only costs an arm (not an arm and a leg): Schwinn, Tike Tech, Joovy

Empty the bank account (but so worth it): Baby Jogger, BOB, Mountain Buggy

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…shh, don’t tell anyone: you don’t have to pay full price for your fancy jogging stroller.  WHAT?! Yes, I’m serious.  If you want a brand new one, look for sales.  Babies ‘r’ Us is always sending out coupons in the mail and REI has membership discounts that can be applied to your purchase; be sure to shop around.  If you don’t mind a used jogging stroller, check out eBay and Craigslist.  Check this out: an older BOB model for $75 or a newer model for $260 (no, those aren’t my listings I’m trying to advertise!). Check your local listings or local consignment shops and you can find a great deal.

Features you need in a jogging stroller: Fixed or lockable front wheel, pneumatic tires (that means they’re filled with air), a sunshade (I feel so bad when I see babies squinting in joggers without sun canopies), a good suspension system for a smooth ride, and a wrist strap for added safety.  Other features that are useful: a cup holder (or the option to add one), a snack tray for your passenger, a storage basket underneath the seat, easy to fold, adjustable seat positions, and whatever else will make the experience easier/better/more comfortable for you and your little one.

It is important to remember that jogging stroller manufacturers recommend waiting until your baby is 6-8 months old to run with them.  I know that may seem like a long time to wait after you have a baby, but it’s for their safety! I am a huge stickler for this rule so please don’t take your 8 week old out for a run where their poor little head will be rattling around, because then I will have to yell at you.  And please don’t doubly offend me by running with your 8 week old in a Graco travel system stroller (I have seen it done before) because then I’ll be really mad :).

I am completely biased because I have only run with my BOB Revolution.  I have tried walking with a friend’s jogging stroller (from the budget-friendly category) and I didn’t find it all that smooth to even walk with, to be honest.  If any jogging stroller companies want to send me one of each of their joggers to test out, I am available for reviews :).  In the meantime, I’m sticking with my beloved BOB and I am 99.99999% sure I will be getting either the BOB Revolution Duallie or the BOB Ironman Duallie when baby #2 arrives.  I’m hoping to test them both out first.  I know I love my Revolution, but I’m curious about how the Ironman handles (opinions would be appreciated!).

To sum up this post: buy a good jogging stroller, don’t run with a non-jogging stroller, and wait until your baby is old enough to run.

Be sure to check out my favorite tips for running with your jogging stroller!

I make it look fun, don’t I?

Note: None of these brands paid me to talk about how much I love them.  All opinions are my own.

Comments

  1. says

    I am so excited to use my jogging stroller! We bought the BOB Revolution SE when it was on sale at Babies R Us so it’s great to hear that you love it. We heard it was the best and since my husband and I both run a lot we knew it would be worth the $$$ to get a high quality one. I know it will be a challenge at first but I can’t wait to use it when my baby comes. Don’t worry, I’ll wait the recommended amount of time before running with baby in the stroller :) What did you do before 6 months? Did you just go out alone or run on the treadmill? 

    • says

      Before 6 months, I did walk with my son in the jogging stroller with the car seat adapter.  I really liked that too because I could stare at him :).  I either ran alone or on the treadmill.  That was before we had our own treadmill so I’d walk to our neighborhood gym and park the stroller next to the treadmill.  Zain would just stare at me and fall asleep to the the humming of the treadmill :). I’ll also add that for those first 6 months, I was still pretty sleep-deprived and since I was nursing and my son’s sole source of food, I didn’t want to push myself too much with running anyway.  So before that point, my running was consistent, but not anything crazy.

      You’re going to love the BOB!

  2. says

    When my kids were young, I was the same way–that stroller and treadmill were necessities! We didn’t have the BOB strollers back then, though, so it was a baby jogger brand. Worked well, but sounds like the BOBs are even better. So are you getting a double now? 

  3. says

    Jogging strollers have come a long way it seems! I am going to get a double and we’ll hang onto the single for when I just take one kid out with me.

  4. Cindy Six says

    Thank you thank you thank you! We are starting to do registries for our little one due in Nov!  A good jogging stroller is at the top of our registry and these guidelines will be helpful in our selection process. Thanks so much!

  5. miltarywife23 says

    I decided after asking you which stroller you had to go and get myself a B.O.B. And boy can I say how MUCH better it is than that dang old Baby Trend I was pushing around. I am training for the Marine Corps Marathon and have to do 90% of it with a stroller. I got the Ironman and it was worth every penny. So glad I asked you!! Now to get a stroller cover to run in any condition! 

    • says

       That’s awesome! It’s amazing the difference a good stroller can make. Good luck with your training! You’re going to be so strong on race day from all that stroller running :).

  6. militarywife23 says

    On a side not of the ironman- it does turn nicely with some force, but after a few runs, the fixed wheel is hardly noticeable. I run to and from, not all around so I hardly notice it! The wheel does need to be adjusted from time to time and it can be a lot of trial and error in the beginning. 

    • says

       Thank you for the input! My running route does have a lot of turns so that’s something I’m thinking about.  I’m also wondering if the Revolution makes more sense so we can walk with it and use it as an everyday stroller as well.  Decisions, decisions!

  7. Suzanne Westenhofer says

    Thanks so much for posting this! We are looking at getting a jogging stroller for Allan’s brother and his wife so both of them can run with their daughter.

  8. Jennifer Hajjar says

    Fantastic post, and I couldn’t agree more. The BOB Revolution is by far the best baby-related investment we made. The second best? The handlebar console! I don’t know how I’d run with the stroller if I didn’t have a place to keep my water bottle and phone. 

    Looking forward to reading comments re: the Revolution vs. Ironman Duallie!

    • says

      I completely agree! My one complaint is that the handlebar console isn’t included.  I mean it’s a jogging stroller, I’m going to need somewhere to keep my water! It does kind of suck that you pay so much for the stroller and you have to pay more for all the accessories.

  9. Kara975 says

    I love my Ironman single. I’m a big fan of the locked front wheel. 

    I did start running with Faith when she was 3 months, but that’s when her doctor gave me the ok :) I swear her head wasn’t bouncing around. Hell, she wasn’t even awake for the vast majority of the early runs :)

    • says

      I’m going to have to turn you into the jogging stroller police :).  Three months is early, but it’s not as bad as people who take 6 week old babies running.

  10. Jenny says

    We have a double chariot in preparation for baby number two (due August 5). We went with the Chariot because it can be used for more than just running with additional attachments – the big ones for us are the bike and x-country ski attachments. I have never actually ran with a stroller before but I figure it will be good training :) And yes, I am slightly intimidated by the thought of it!

    • says

      I forgot about Chariot! Those are awesome.  I added that to the list.  Those are great because they have the dual purpose.  I’m sure you’ll do great running with your stroller!

  11. says

    I’m past the point of using a jogging stroller- kids are 8 and 6, but I think this post is excellent. I’m going to post it on my FB page so that others can learn from it.

  12. Sarah says

    So I have an instep…and I don’t really care for it….it’s soooo big and bulky! I just wish I had known how much better the BOB’s were! Let me ask you this…Until what age of the child do you think I will be running with a jogging stroller? This is my first and she will be 1 1/2 at Christmas and I was thinking of getting a BOB then…Do you think it would be worth the money still? I’ll be training for my first half at that time, and would love something better….Plus I do almost ALL of my runs with my daughter. My husband works odd hours and I don’t have access to a treadmill. What do you think? And Thank you for the great review and tips! I really wish there was more like this out there over a year ago! I was just clueless! lol :)

    • says

       I believe the weight limit is 70lbs so that means there are many years of stroller running ahead :).  My 2.5 year old is about 31lbs so he’s got a while to go before he outgrows it.  I think it would still be worth it to get the stroller at that time.  I’m sure you’ll still get a lot of use out of it.

  13. Kathleen D says

    I agree so much with this post!!  Everyone looked at me like a CRAZY person for ponying up for the BOB.  Greatest.investment.ever.  That stroller is amazing for running, hiking, you name it.  It has the shocks, the great tires, and I don’t find it that bulky.  I have a ‘umbrella’ type stroller and I take the Bob even to a mall trip over it any day.  And it’s perfect for running!  I second all the posts about the fact that it stinks you have to buy all the extras – handlebar cup holder, infant adapter – but they are worth it.  And the canopy is awesome – I never have issues with sun in the eyes (for James, not me)!

    • says

       We have an umbrella stroller too and rarely use it.  Zain is much more content in the BOB since the seat is so much comfier I think.  It would be kind of cool if there was a canopy that could cover the runner too :)

  14. says

    Great tips! I’m glad you pointed out that the BabyJogger strollers are not for running, it’s so misleading! That was really confusing for me initially when we were exploring the options.  It’s too hot now for me to run with the stroller, but we love ours the rest of the year!

  15. jan says

    I adore my BOB stroller! We also have the weather shield and that thing is a lifesaver in both rain and cold. I run w/ my daughter here in the midwest all year long!

  16. Kim says

    I have a Reebok jogging stroller I got secondhand. I am not much of a jogger but it’s so nice for walking outside. We’re in a rural area and the roads are crummy. The shocks are nice and my daughter loves to ride in it. I ordered a weather shield for it that should be here soon. If I were a serious runner I’d get a BOB or something, but mine will be fantastic for my purposes. (and I can run with it…Z loves to go fast!)

  17. Amy says

    This was super helpful, I used to run a lot and now that I will be at home full-time once baby#1 arrives in July then I plan on going again as part of our daily routine. I want to use the baby adapter to put the infant car seat in the jogging stroller just to walk until she is 6 months old, do you see any issues with this?

  18. says

    hey there
    i came across your blog when trying to hunt down a suitable – running pram that accommodates a 1 year old and 2 year old. i have currently been using a 3 wheel phil + teds double pram. it has been great but i run every day around 10km and the load is heavy, the track is hilly and i need something that is shock absorbant, steers easily. i have used my current pram to death. finding it hard to find the right double pram. i would really love your advice?
    thanks
    sarah
    sarah recently posted…Affirmations Required Stat!!My Profile

  19. says

    Jogging is quite beneficial for health. You might have seen in daily life that people who jogging are quite energetic than others. We must do jogging and now days it has become much difficult to take out the time even for our health and thats why stroller comes to action. Kristen, you have come up with an awesome post. Thanks for sharing.

  20. says

    I own a BOB Revolution and I must say it’s really good. I actually did a review on this particular jogger and other models.

    My sister-in-law has a Mountain Buggy and according to her it’s even better.

  21. says

    Great blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a
    little lolst on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform liike WordPress or ggo for a paid option?
    There aare so many choices out thsre that I’m completely confused ..
    Any suggestions? Thank you!
    airsoft snipers recently posted…airsoft snipersMy Profile

  22. lydia says

    I’d love to hear your opinion on the Graco FastAction Jogger, which I believe has come out since this article was written. It seems to fit the “approval” criteria per the points in your article, yet you mention the “travel systems” that are too clunky. Is this stroller lumped in with those? Baby and I are anxious to hit the pavement once he is old enough and I’d love to hear your take!! Thank you!!!

  23. sarah says

    have a single B.O.B. and would like to trade it in for a double to use with my 1 year old twins, any suggestions?

  24. Gourav says

    I have a dilemma.
    I recently started running again (about 3 months ago) and often take my 16 month old with me in the mornings to give his mum a chance to sleep in. I have been borrowing jogging strollers from friends to do so, as there are so many choices – I’m down to the BOB revolution or iron man.
    We are expecting our second in December, so the two kids will have about 20 months between them. I don’t know if it’s worth getting a double or a single? My wife doesn’t run with me and I don’t know how often I would or wouldn’t take both kids out together. My wife does go out on LONG walks and I imagine that won’t change.
    Not sure how running with one child in a double feels or if it’s worth just getting a single. I’d just keep borrowing from friends, but I actually use it, opposed to owning one that’s barely used.
    We also don’t like having too much stuff, we just have one stroller and borrow an umbrella when we travel. We plan on getting a double for when the new baby arrives.

    Should I get a single or a double?
    Any opinions welcome.

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