If you were fit before you had a baby, it's a good bet that you'd like to get in shape again, and then stay that way, after the baby is born. That's when a good jogging stroller should be on the shopping list.
Buying a jogging stroller is not as intuitive as it would seem. Serious runners or joggers, or those who can afford to have one stroller dedicated to exercise and another stroller for everyday use, should look for a fixed-wheel stroller. Experts say these are the best strollers to run or jog with because the fixed wheel gives them stability. They also tend to have a multitude of extra safety features as well as adjustable tracking, sturdy frames and a lot of comfort features for parent and child, including good suspension.
For power walkers, light joggers or those who want to walk at a fitness level with their baby but don't want to buy two strollers, a swivel-wheel stroller with a fixed-wheel option is a good choice. It can go from the jogging track to the supermarket with ease.
Jogging strollers have very specific lower age/weight ratings and should never be used to run with an infant. Most manufacturers suggest that a child be at least 6 months old and have full head control before you run with them. For some babies, this may be older than 6 months. At least one manufacturer suggests not running with a child under 8 months old. More experts are suggesting that parents check with their pediatrician if their child is less than 1 year old before they start jogging with him. On the other end of the weight limit, jogging strollers tend to have high weight ratings for a reason. Even a child who has technically outgrown a stroller is still not old enough to run along beside you or be left home alone, which is why some jogging strollers have weight ratings up to 75 pounds.
Just because a stroller has a fixed-wheel option doesn't mean it's a jogging stroller; it may be an all-terrain stroller. Many jogging strollers can also handle difficult terrains, and the difference between an all-terrain stroller and a jogging stroller can be subtle. For safety's sake, never run with a stroller that is not a jogging stroller. The manufacturer's website or the owner's manual will tell you whether you can jog with the stroller. Parents who hike or live where they have to run or walk through gravel, snow or sand will want to see our report on all-terrain strollers. If you practically live in your car, check out our report on car seat strollers. Our umbrella stroller report is great for parents who like to keep a smaller, lighter stroller on hand for travel or quick trips. Having twins, triplets or several children close in age may require a double stroller or a stroller for multiples, and our double stroller report can help you choose the right one.
Jogging strollers can be pricey, with high-end models topping out at more than $400 -- before accessories. Serious runners say these are worth the price for the performance. However, we found a few jogging strollers that retail for around $200 that reviewers say perform just as well as models costing twice as much.
Baby products are often subject to recalls, and strollers are no exception. There have been several recalls among the top jogger brands, including BOB and Kelty. We carefully consider the reason for the recall and the manufacturer's response in our research.
We also consider ease of use and lifestyle features. A jogging stroller has to work for you: Is it easy to push and easy to fold? Will it fit my trunk? Will it fit my child? Will it fit my running/jogging/walking style? We examine all of those factors to find the perfect jogging stroller to help you and your little fitness companion make exercise a family affair.