Choosing the right stroller can be a difficult task for a new parent. There are so many things to consider – especially if you have an active lifestyle. Where you plan to go with your baby and what you plan to do when you get there are important factors in deciding whether to buy a regular stroller or a jogging stroller.
Jogging strollers and regular strollers are different because of their wheel design, special features, and storage. Jogging strollers normally have three large wheels and allow the front wheel to be locked in place for stability while running. Regular strollers, meanwhile, often include more storage and options for car seat attachment.
Read on to take a closer look at some of the common differences between jogging strollers and regular strollers as well as which one you might ultimately want to purchase depending on your situation.
Differences between jogging strollers and regular strollers
There are so many different strollers on the market today and, while many features can be found on both regular and jogging strollers, there are some common differences that set these two types apart from each other.
In most cases, regular strollers will have a traditional design and they will include features designed to maximize the comfort and usability of the stroller in as many situations as possible. Namely, extra storage, comfortable seating, and ways for the stroller to change as your baby grows. Jogging strollers, meanwhile, are chiefly designed with stability in mind when traveling at higher speeds.
Let’s take a look at each of these design elements individually.
By the way, if you are just looking for an excuse to buy a jogging stroller then I have you covered with some options below but here is a good recommendation to get you pointed in the right direction.
For budget-minded parents, the best jogging stroller combination that I’ve found is the Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System. For a reasonable price, you get a car seat base, car seat, and capable jogging stroller that can last you for at least several years.
You can check out this deal here.
Jogging strollers typically have only three wheels, unlike their four-wheeled regular stroller counterparts. Three wheels allow for better maneuverability over uneven terrain if the user is taking it off-road. The front wheel is also lockable, allowing you to travel faster in a straight line without sacrificing control. The wheels on a jogging stroller also tend to be large, air-filled tires, offering better traction and a smoother ride overall at higher speeds.
Meanwhile, the four wheels on a regular stroller provide greater stability. Regular strollers are unlikely to tip over if bumped into or if your impatient toddler tries to climb in and out on his own. Additionally, the front wheels swivel which allows for tighter turns in small spaces such as indoor malls, shops, or the grocery store. Regular strollers also have smaller wheels, which can be helpful for fitting them in your car or on public transport but are typically made from hard, foam-filled plastic which is more unforgiving on rough surfaces.
When you’re not out and about, you need to be able to store your stroller – either in your car or in your home. Jogging strollers are at a bit of a disadvantage in this area due to their larger wheels and wider base – although they are sometimes lighter than a regular stroller which could be helpful if you have to carry it upstairs. Alternately, regular strollers come in a variety of sizes and compact styles, so it’s easier to find one that works in your storage space.
Many features, such as canopies, storage baskets, wheel locks, and five-point harnesses, come fairly standard across both types of strollers. But there are a few features which are more specific. A jogging stroller will often have a handle-bar brake to help you slow down, as well as a safety tether for your wrist in case you lose your grip. They are also more likely to come with an adjustable handlebar that can be set at the height which is most comfortable for you. They might even have a compartment for you to place your phone inside that allow earbuds to connect easily.
Regular strollers, meanwhile, often have a wider range of seating options to grow with your child – full recline for infants and a variety of upright options for later. Regular strollers are also more likely to have an attachment point for a car seat or bassinet and have different settings that allow it to adapt to your baby as she grows and has different strolling needs.
When purchasing your stroller, it is also important to think about what accessories you may want to add on in the future. Extra storage compartments, diaper bag hooks, and clip-on stroller toys are all great options for a regular stroller, but you may want to think twice about using them on a jogging stroller. Anything that adds weight or swings around could be cumbersome or even dangerous while jogging.
Some accessories you may want to consider are safety lights, a bike bell, and a sun shield for your little one.
Are jogging strollers safe?
Jogging strollers have many safety features designed to reduce the risk to your little one while running, such as a five-point harness, locking front wheel, handlebar brake, and a safety tether. Like car seats, strollers are required to pass safety tests with strict standards and are labeled with safety information. When used properly, your little one should have a safe, fun ride while you run.
However, it is important to note that it is not safe to run with a newborn. According to Mayo Clinic, most jogging strollers are not appropriate for babies younger than six months. Newborns are unable to hold their heads up and require a stroller that fully reclines and provides proper head and back support. Jogging strollers do not fully recline, so as to dissuade parents from jogging with their babies too soon. It is important to read all safety information and wait to take your baby running until they have adequate neck control.
Do you really need a jogging stroller?
Deciding whether to get a jogging stroller is primarily a question of lifestyle. If you like to run, jog, or hike then a jogging stroller is your best choice.
They are more versatile for a variety of speeds and terrains. However, you must also consider that you will have to wait at least six months before using it and there may be weight limits as well, shortening its longevity of use as your baby grows into a toddler. Your use may also be limited if you plan on having more children in the near future. While there are options available for doubles, jogging with two may be a lot more difficult than jogging with one.
Can you jog with a regular stroller?
It is not generally possible to jog with a regular stroller.
Regular strollers do not have the same safety features as jogging strollers. Without proper brakes or locking front wheels, there is a significant risk of injury at higher speeds because the stroller is likely to wobble severely. You will not be able to stop quickly or make sharp turns if the need arises. The smaller wheels are also prone to get caught on uneven surfaces which, at higher speeds, may cause the stroller to fall over.
If you intend to go running with your baby, a proper jogging stroller is the safest option.
Can you use a jogging stroller as a regular stroller?
It is generally possible to use a jogging stroller as a regular stroller.
While jogging strollers are primarily designed for running, they also work well for everyday use. Some jogging strollers offer the option of unlocking the front wheel for casual use at the supermarket or the mall. Keep in mind, however, that you may not have as much storage space for your purchases.
Best jogging stroller for everyday use
To get the most use out of your jogging stroller, it is best to find one that accepts an infant car seat attachment. Attaching your car seat to the stroller will allow you to start using it from day one for general use (remember to hold off on jogging until six months). You’ll also want something with a decent recline for naps and a high weight limit for continued use past the baby years.
I already mentioned the Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System above and I think it’s a solid option for parents that want to go ahead and pick up a car seat and jogging stroller at the same time without breaking the bank.
It’s highly reviewed and should last you for many years and many miles! Check out reviews of this unit from parents like you right here.
If you already have a car seat and you don’t mind spending a little money to get the best product on the market, you’ll want to look for a stroller that accepts the car seat you have and rules the road. The Thule Urban Glide 2 is a great choice for this. While it is one of the more expensive strollers on the market, it has excellent ratings and you can purchase adaptors for 16 different car seat brands so that you can use it with whichever car seat you already own.
You can check out reviews for the Thule Urban Glide 2 right here.