Want to get a bit fitter now that baby is here? We put some of the best running strollers through their paces
It can be hard to get some exercise when you’re a new mom, as leaving your baby with a friend, relative or in a creche may feel too difficult at first, especially if you’re breastfeeding. So, one solution is to get some exercise with your baby along for the ride – quite literally! There are several companies that make great quality, dedicated running strollers and whether you’re in training for your next marathon, or just looking for a gentle walk, one could be just right for you.
What are running strollers?
Running strollers are specially designed strollers that are for parents to want to walk, jog or run with their little one in tow. They have a larger, longer chassis than most standard strollersand larger wheels, to make the ride smooth. Typically, the front wheel is a single, fixed wheel, to allow the strollers to run in a line forwards. It should also have good suspension and tyres so that bumps aren’t so noticeable.
They can cost a bit more than regular strollers and can be an extra expense you might not be willing to make if you already have a stroller. But for many new parents, they are a lifeline when it comes to getting out into the fresh air and into nature, getting some exercise and still being able to be with your baby. They will also help you avoid injury, as they help you run correctly.
What should I look for?
Make sure the strollers you look at fulfils the basic needs of a proper running strollers:
- Good suspension
- Large pneumatic (air-filled) tyres – make sure you also buy a pump and puncture repair kit
- A fixed front wheel (some have a lock that allows it to swivel but only when you are not running)
- An adjustable handlebar height
- A handbrake
- A wrist strap that ties the buggy to you if you happened to slip and let go of the handle
This is a sturdy, well-made running strollers from the Scandinavian company that also makes car roof boxes, bike seats and strollers. It is light, which is good for lifting and transporting when folded (it can be folded with one hand), yet it’s good as a serious piece of running gear. The front wheel can be locked in the forward-facing direction and it can also swivel for those times when you just want to nip into the store after a run. The handle can be adjusted to suit your height – make sure you get it just right to avoid bending – and it has good suspension on the large, 16 inch rear wheels to make it a smooth ride for your baby. The brake is on the handlebar, so you can come to a safe stop even at a fast pace and the wrist strap offers security. The seat is over the back axle, making it more comfortable for your little one and the seat can be reclined almost flat, so it’s good from about six months (you could add a bassinet from birth), plus it has a good harness and generous canopy with side ventilation panels and peek-a-boo window. Last of all, its decent basket means you can combine a run in the park with a shop on the way home!
This beast of a stroller is perfect for keen runners and it can hold your child up to 50 lbs. It can also take an infant car seat, with adaptors, making a handy travel system. It folds into a compact bundle and the quick-release wheels make it even smaller when you want to put it in your car’s trunk. The seat is comfortable, with a reclining back and a tray for your child’s drinks and snacks. The handle is adjustable, with a leather cover to make it good to hold, plus there’s loads of storage space for your baby gear and shopping. There’s a double cup holder for the parent too, plus a place to stash your cell phone. The canopy is a very good size, with UPF50 protection, a sun visor and peek-a-boo window and the large 16 inch rear and 12 inch front wheels will ride smoothly over the bumpiest terrain.
One of the best-made running strollers and one that has been around for many years due to its popularity is this sturdy jogger. It’s big and durable, though surprisingly light for its size as the frame is made from aluminum. It has a 12 inch front wheel and 16 inch rear wheels, all air-filled and suited to all terrains. You even get a 12-inch wheel set that’s better for use in town and a large 10kg capacity shopping basket. It has a five-point harness for safety and the sun hood is not only a good size but it has a magnetic peek-a-boo window with storage pockets for your valuables. The seat liner is reversible and the bumper bar can be opened from either side to help you get your baby in and out easily.
This stroller is suitable from six months and has a good suspension system and high-impact wheels that will offer a smooth ride for baby. It can be used for both running and skating, if you happen to live near a rink or streams that freezes properly, and its height adjustable handle comes with a security wrist strap. The frame is nice and light and it folds easily with a two-step function and the front wheel can either be locked in place or allowed to swivel for when you are not moving fast. The backrest has an impressive five positions and a padded safety harness and the canopy offers good weather protection and a viewing window so you can check on your baby.
From premium pushchair makers Cybex is this sporty-looking runner (and they are bringing out a new model in collaboration with Puma shortly). Designed for serious runners, this is not cheap but it will help you continue your fitness regime even when you have a small child in tow. It’s super lightweight with a sleek black chassis and huge wheels. Each wheel has luminous accents to help you be seen in the dark, so it can be as good for winter early evenings as bright days. The seat is hammock-shaped and comfortable for your baby from six months (it’s not suitable before, as the seat does not lie flat). It can be reclined with one hand and the slip-proof handlebar has an ergonomic shape to make it comfortable to hold, while it is adjustable to suit your height - and there’s a bright red wrist strap for safety. The fold is very compact and swift to achieve and there’s a good sized sun canopy with a mesh ventilation window.
This jogging stroller has air-filled tyres, with the choice of a locked or swivel front wheel. You can add an infant car seat to make a travel system and there’s a parent tray with two cup holders to keep you hydrated as you run. The well-padded seat reclines through several positions and has a good safety harness for baby, plus there’s a safety strap for your wrist. The canopy is a good size to protect your little one and the fold is effortless, using a handy trigger release. The handle is ergonomically shaped and nice to hold and there’s a very large shopping basket for all your baby needs for the outing.