Looking for a Jogging Stroller? – Get a BOB!

by Nikky Manausa on April 11, 2010

Pregnant and Packing on the Pounds

I didn’t go overboard when I was pregnant, but the scale went up anyway (as it should).  I exercised regularly and looked forward to the day that I could walk away my pounds with my baby in a stroller rather than my pouch.  Mostly, I wanted a healthy baby, cute bedding for my moses basket (got it thanks to Totes by Charlotte) and an awesome jogging stroller.  My first two desires proved to be easier than finding the perfect stroller!

Our First BOB!

Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

 

I do not get to read much, but I do read product reviews.  I trust other people and their opinions.  Before I could read reviews, I had to figure out which strollers met my needs.  If you are in the market for a high quality jogging stroller, you must visit JoggingStroller.com.  The website allows you to compare single, double, and even triple strollers.  You will find reviews on big names like Bugaboo, Baby Jogger, Phil & Teds, and my favorite, BOB. You can also buy your stroller from them at excellent rates, often with free shipping!

 

What to Look For

When looking for a jogging stroller, you need to consider three important factors:

  • Your vehicle
  • Your terrain
  • Your activity

For me, I knew I was not going to invest in a stroller for the sole purpose of shopping.  I just do not make enough trips to the mall to justify a second stroller; however, I do walk 60+ minutes a day most days of the week.  I knew I would want to be able to jog with my stroller, too.

I realized that I needed something reliable, a stroller that would allow me to run at a decent pace, and that would provide my child with more than adequate shade.  Storage space was not a concern for me, nor did I care about the compactibility… or so I thought. More on that with my double stroller later.

Your Vehicle

Yes, you really do need to consider the size of your vehicle (or its trunk space) when getting ready to purchase a stroller.  Most jogging strollers are not all that compact, but some do break down easier than others.  My single BOB Revolution does not need to be taken apart to fit in my compact SUV (2005 Hyundai Tucson).  We can break it down to allow for more car storage space on trips, too; however, my BOB Revolution Duallie takes up ALL my trunk space, even when it is broken down (in fact, I have to take the wheels off in order to fit it in).  If we want to bring our stroller on a road trip vacation, we have to attach our luggage rack.

Your Terrain

Are you planning on taking your stroller to the beach, on hikes, or for a run on the sidewalk in your neighborhood?  You need to determine where you plan on using your stroller to figure out which wheel size is best and whether or not you want/need a fixed or swivel front wheel.  Basically, if the tires are bigger, you can push the stroller through more intense conditions.  Also, if you will be using your stroller over roots or through snow or sand, then you will probably want a fixed front wheel so the wheel does not get stuck sideways.

Your Activity

Wheel size is mostly decided on by activity. Advice from the running world says the bigger the tires, the better.  I really cannot discuss this  any better than JoggingStroller.com did, so here is their advice on wheel size:

The general rule is that bigger wheels are best for heavy running and strolling over rough terrain.  Smaller wheels are better for walking on smooth surfaces.  You will find larger wheels are easier to push over rugged terrain, curbs, and steps.  Larger wheels offer less resistance and more glide ability, while smaller wheels are easier to turn. 

  • 16″ Wheels: frequent jogging/walking with light off-road use. A best bet for most users, great glide and usability.  They can handle anything from walking around town to running on a dirt path with no problem.
  • 20″ Wheels: frequent running/off-road use. Larger wheels offer superior glide, less resistance and easier curb and bump handling.
  • 12″ Wheels / Swivel Wheels: walking around town. They offer superior maneuverability and great improvements over traditional strollers with tiny plastic wheels.  They also take up less room in the back of your car when the wheels are left on.
Now that you have determined your basic needs, let’s look at a couple of other features.
 
Swivel or Fixed Front Wheel
 
A fixed front wheel is ideal for bumpy terrain and hopping up on curbs. A swivel front wheel is perfect for getting around easier because it allows the stroller to turn with very little effort. Again, JoggingStroller.com offers some considerations when determining what you want from your front wheel (told you this jogging stroller decision is serious business!): 
  • You’ll have more trouble using a swivel wheel in sand on the beach or in the snow. Wheels sink in a bit when you’re on soft ground, and the swivel wheel gives you less leverage than a fixed wheel. This can throw you off.
  • A stroller with a swivel wheel is not conducive to heavy running or marathon training. Occasional jogger or suburban walker? You shouldn’t have any problems with a swivel wheel stroller.
  • While most swivel front wheels have a locking option, with the exception of the high-end models (BOB Revolution for example), they still have some wiggle. This can mean wobbly tracking at faster pace – bad news for a heavy runner.
  • Right now, there are no strollers with 16″ front swivel wheels, only smaller 12″ (and even 6″). Some strollers do not have 16″ rear wheels available.

A Few More Considerations

  •  Seat Recline: Do you want your child to have the option to lay down while you are out? FYI, most strollers do not actually fully recline.
  • Handlebar Height: Are you 5ft while standing on your tiptoes, but your spouse is an NBA basketball player? Some strollers, like the Schwinn Free Wheeler Stroller, offer the feature to adjust the handlebar height.
  • Aluminum vs. Steel: Aluminum is lighter and does not rust like steel.
  • Stroller Width: Beyond fitting in your trunk, you may have a hard time getting in and out of doorways or in between trees with wider strollers.
  • Canopy Shade:  Besides providing the obvious protrection from the sun’s harmful rays, a good shade also helps keep your child cool and the sunlight directly out of his or her eyes.
  • Car Seat / Newborn Compatibility: Many jogging strollers do not advise you use them in “running” mode until your infant is 6 months old. I do not know about you, but I wanted those pregnancy pounds shed way before my baby’s 6 month checkup! Many strollers allow you to purchase accessories to support your infant car seat.  Some strollers, like the Zooper Boogie, actually give you the option to face your baby/child towards you or away from you. (I thought this was a fantastic feature, but went with my BOB because it offered bigger rear wheels.)
  • Shocks: Make for a smoother ride, plus this just adds to the “cool” feature.
  • Weight Capacity: This may be a more important factor for double strollers, but I love that my single BOB Revolution can hold up to 70 pounds, no questions asked!
  • Warranty: If you are going to possibly spend hundreds of dollars on a stroller, then your warranty should last at least through your child’s toddler years.
  • Long Family Life: Phil & Ted’s line of Inline Buggies actually allow you to buy a single stroller, then later for about $150, buy an accessory that converts it into a double stroller.  Now that is definitely getting your money’s worth!

Here is my family’s version of our BOB’s adaptation to imitate Phil & Ted’s Inline Stroller for two (I’m sure this is not recommended):

Our single BOB CAN accommodate two!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best.Stroller.Period.

Finally, Why I Went with a BOB

Literally after months of research, I decided that our first stroller should be the BOB Revolution. In fact, we loved it so much, that when baby #2 came around, I researched for about an hour (probably less) and felt very comfortable with our decision to get the BOB Revolution Duallie. (Especially after I took the InStep Safari Double Swivel Wheel for a test drive in Babies ‘R Us and realized very quickly that the front wheel wobbled… a lot!) Thankfully, both strollers were a generous gift from my husband’s family, but if I had to, I would have bought them myself!

 

 

 

 

 BOB Revolution Cons
 I always like to end on a positive note, so I’ll start with the cons.
  • Price, woo-wee are these strollers expensive! If you really plan on using it, it is worth every penny. My gym membership costs about $720 annually. Guess which one I use more (and I really do go the gym!)? Shop around!
  • Size. BOB strollers are more like Hummers than they are Smart Cars.
  • Hard to take a BOB for a test drive. BOB dealers are not available everywhere. I never got to try mine out before I bought it. I’m glad I trusted my gut (no pun intended).
  • Accessories are expensive, too.
  • No Triple Stroller! Guess we won’t be having another baby anytime soon
 
 
 
 
 

Peek-a-Boo!

BOB Revolution Pros

On to the Good Stuff!

  • AMAZING feel. These strollers literally glide off your finger tips and turn on a dime.
  • Comfort. My children are very content in their stroller, regardless of an hour long neighborhood run (95 minutes yesterday!), or a zippy trip to the zoo.  The straps are padded and can easily adjust.
  • Shocks, I dig the cool factor, plus I like knowing that I am not causing Shaken Baby Syndrome to my newborn angel.
  • HUGE Canopy. The shade on this puppy comes way down, and it also provides a plastic window “sneak peak” up top for me to see my child.
  • Reclining Seats. This feature was actually not available with our single BOB Revolution at the time, but we have it with our duallie. I like being able to easily let the kids lay down at any given moment.
  • Lockable Swivel Wheel. I typically run a 10 minute mile pushing my duallie, and because I am running on the streets of my neighborhood, I leave the front wheel unlocked. There was one time that I nearly flipped my single stroller on a curb when the swivel got caught sideways. I know now to take it easy when it comes to the big bumps! I prefer the swivel to having to slightly lift the front wheels to turn it.
  • Extended Life. BOB comes with a 5 year warranty, many jogging strollers only come with a 1 year warranty.
  • Quality Fabric. The fabric is like canvas but softer. It is also pretty easy to clean.
  • Dude’s Seal of Approval. This isn’t a girlyman’s stroller!

I promise that your family will LOVE the BOB!

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