What to Look for in a Jogging Stroller
Key features to keep your child safe and ensure a smooth run for both of you
Going for a run with a jogging stroller is one way to squeeze in some exercise while watching your baby.
Of course, you want to make sure your child is safe and comfortable on these long rides and that you have a smooth run, too. Below, we show you the features to look for when you shop for a jogging stroller. And if you're a CR member, you can read ratings and reviews of four impressive strollers in our tests that you can jog with.
If you want a stroller you can push while running, there are two options: a bona fide jogging stroller or a traditional stroller designed to double as a jogging stroller. Both come with three large wheels, but pure jogging strollers have front wheels that are locked in a straight position. “That makes it great for running but challenging for everyday use since the stroller is harder to maneuver when you’re walking, turning corners, and in tight spaces,” says Joan Muratore, the engineer who tests strollers for Consumer Reports.
Tips for Choosing a Jogging Stroller
Think about the weight. Running while pushing a 25-pound stroller and a 25-pound toddler may be more of a workout than you bargained for. So be sure to check how much a stroller weighs before you buy it. Pure jogging strollers typically weigh 24 to 43 pounds. You’ll also want to know the maximum weight the stroller supports so that you can estimate how long you can use it before your child outgrows it.
Check the harness. All of the strollers in our ratings have a five-point harness, which is what we recommend. These have a crotch strap that's attached to a buckle, and two waist straps and two shoulder straps that you insert into the buckle. This is safer than a three-point harness, which doesn’t have the shoulder straps, because it prevents the child from sliding or falling out if the stroller tips. Look for buckles that are easy for you to use but difficult for small hands to unfasten. A strong, durable waist strap is a must, and it should fit snugly around your child. The straps should be height-adjustable for a proper fit, and securely anchored.
Grasp the handle. It should be comfortable, and you should be able to adjust the height to what's right for you. There should be a wrist strap that prevents the stroller from accidentally getting away from you. If you can, take the stroller for a spin to be sure your feet aren’t hitting the rear axle when running. If you’re shopping online, look for a side-view photo of the stroller to make sure the handle juts out far enough from the stroller to avoid the same problem.
Inspect the brakes. Good brakes are essential, so try out the stroller in the store to find out if they work well and are easy to use. A parking brake is standard. On some strollers it’s hand-operated, while on others it's a foot brake. A hand-operated brake offers better control as you jog.
Be prepared for the weather. When you’re out for a run, a stroller’s canopy should shield your child from sun and a light drizzle yet offer ventilation to keep her comfortable but not too warm. Some canopies can be adjusted to a number of positions for better protection, and they have a peekaboo window so you can keep an eye on your baby. Some strollers even offer a pull-down layer on the canopy that shields almost the entire front of the stroller and your child from sun, insects, and wind. You can also buy a plastic rain cover if it’s not included.
Impressive Jogging Strollers From CR's Tests
These four traditional strollers from our stroller ratings can be used when jogging, according to the manufacturers. While we don't test them in jogging mode, we do put them through our usual tests—ease of use and maneuverability when walking, and safety.