Can You Use A Jogging Stroller For Everyday Use

The Baby Jogger Summit XC Jogging StrollerIf you’ve never tried out a real jogging stroller then you probably did’t fully get the advantages of using it. They are incredibly sturdy and many are very capable of going off road. They are very durable and are likely going to last you through a few kids if you kept it long enough.

What you may not fully get at first either is whether or not you can or should actually use them for everyday activities. Using a true jogging stroller everyday can be somewhat more difficult than a standard city stroller. They tend to be long and have large front wheels. Real joggers use a fixed front wheel too which makes it easier for the stroller to go straight with little effort on the part of the parent.

In fact this is one major reason why jogging strollers shouldn’t be used for every day use. They are impractical in many situations.

In crowded malls or sporting venues they can be very challenging to maneuver. Because the front wheel is fixed you have to tip the stroller to get it to make turns which complicates everything but the open trail or road.

They are also frequently heavier than many lightweight daily use strollers. They certainly aren’t doomed to be the heaviest but you can’t get one lighter than 20 pounds. See my list of the lightest joggers made today. You’ll see the lightest one on the list is still 20+ lbs.

You can however use a jogging stroller for everyday use if you get one that has a swivel front wheel that can be locked in place. I personally don’t like locking swivel wheels in place but that is what they were made for and you certainly can do it.

I would also only advise people who don’t typically find themselves in crowded spaces to use a swivel wheel jogger as a primary stroller because the negative aspects of using these as a go to main stroller are not that bad. Plus using a jogger as a primary means you have one less stroller to have to buy. That’s always a good thing.

If you do want to use a jogging stroller for your main every day activities I suggest taking a look at my page on swivel wheel jogging strollers. I recommend first and foremost the Baby Jogger Summit XC Jogging Stroller but there are other great strollers featured on that page.

Is The City Mini A Jogging Stroller?

The City Mini: Is It A Jogging StrollerWhen our son was getting ready to turn one the first thing we really started thinking about doing was getting him out of the house in a nice big jogging stroller and going for runs and hikes. We had been using a stroller car seat frame by Graco for a long time and then upgraded to the City Mini by Baby Jogger but when we bought the thing in the very beginning we really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into.

We didn’t realize that the City Mini wasn’t really a jogging stroller and that it wasn’t exactly awesome at handling anything other than pavement. This ended up really limiting us when we wanted to go out on hikes.

Somewhere not long after our son turned one we decided to try an off road hike in the City Mini and we were constantly getting stuck in the mud (it had rained a couple days prior) and the wheels just made traveling on uneven dirt paths very difficult.

The City Mini is not a jogging stroller and it’s not an all-terrain stroller however Baby Jogger has made a beefier version called the City Mini GT. It’s a bit bigger, the wheels are larger, and the entire stroller is better designed for off road hiking.

Although the GT is not a true fixed wheel jogging stroller like the FIT stroller it is a better option for runners and hikers that may want to go off road or jog a bit faster from time to time.

If you love Baby Jogger and you have to have a jogging stroller than you have to take a close look at the F.I.T. stroller. It’s going to be your best option of them all. The front wheel is a single wheel that doesn’t swivel at all. This means it is not likely to get bounced around on bumps on the pavement and if you should choose to take it off the path it will be a bit easier to maneuver.

As is always the case with fixed wheel strollers they aren’t very fun to handle in a mall, store, or any tight situation so they will almost never be a primary stroller.

If you are looking for a decent jogger that won’t ever go off the pavement then you may be perfectly happy with the City Mini. It is after all a very well made and loved stroller by parents everywhere – myself included.

Take a look at this review of the City Mini and you’ll see what I mean.

How Do Jogging Strollers Work?

How Do These Things Work?

New parents can easily be overwhelmed by all the products you need to buy or might want to buy when a new baby comes into your family. The building your first baby registry often is a wild experience for parents and a shock to those with no experience sizing up baby gear. In many cases new parents have no idea what they need or even want and little idea of how to size up products and compare them against one another.

Strollers for instance are one of those items that every parent needs but no parent really knows exactly which stroller is best or right for their needs until well after the first stroller is ever purchased. When I become a parent my wife and I went through about four strollers in the first six months before we really knew what we liked.

When new parents start thinking about jogging strollers a few questions almost always pop up:

  • what is a jogging stroller exactly,
  • how do jogging strollers work, and
  • should I get a jogging stroller.

The other two questions are answered elsewhere on this site but the third is easy to explain.

True jogging strollers are designed to make it easy for someone to actually jog with their stroller. They usually have fixed front wheels so that the stroller goes straight even when you don’t have your hands on the stroller. They typically have good suspension systems to keep your child from bumping around too much and they should be lighter and very easy to push or retain forward momentum.

When you jog with a stroller you should have a strap attached to the handle of the stroller and to your wrist. This ensures that the stroller doesn’t get away from you. You could hold the handles but that would make it harder to actually jog.

The speed of jogging compared to running basically causes a lot of jostling in the seat so you really shouldn’t jog in a stroller without good suspension… especially if you have a younger infant in the seat. The bumping could be too much for him.

See Are Jogging Strollers Safe For Infants for more on this topic.

Lastly good joggers need to be lightweight enough for them to be easy to jog with. You don’t want to have to strain to push a stroller while you jog. If it’s light it will be easier to push along and if the wheels are good the forward momentum of a moving stroller should require minimal effort to keep up.

See this post for more details on the differences between jogging strollers and regular strollers or just take a look at Jogging Strollers 101 for more of the basics.

Are Jogging Strollers Safe For Infants And Newborn Babies?

Jogging Stroller Safety For Newborns

This question comes up a lot in my line of work. New parents (who are active joggers and runners) want to take their baby out with them when they jog; they wonder if it’s OK.

In all honesty it’s not a good idea for at least the first 6 months or so unless you are using a very plush head support that holds baby’s head tight so that it doesn’t rock and roll while you are moving.

Diono Head Support PillowOf all the support pillows out there I think the Diono 2-in-1 Head Support is the best because it’s meant to hold the heads of preemies still in the car or stroller and adjusts in size to infants weighing up to 15 pounds.

Without a good head support pillow in place reps from virtually every brand of jogging stroller would probably advise that you do not take an infant out with you while you jog, even if you have a top of the line jogging stroller.

To some extent jogging strollers are safe for newborns and infants due to extremely well thought out design but no jogging stroller is going to do much for an infant that can’t keep his or head straight and under control.

Super small babies also are more difficult to properly secure in a stroller. Even with a 5-point harness a 5-10 lbs baby is just hard to strap in securely. It’s far better and safer to wait until your baby is a bit older and stronger before you take him or her out in a jogging stroller.

One thing to note is that some strollers which are designed for infants may be alright for light jogging but they are most likely not real jogging strollers. A real jogging stroller rarely lays flat in a bassinet position. They are usually bigger too to accommodate control needs of the parent and runner. Of course with the extra size and upright seat a real jogging stroller is tougher for small newborn babies to sit in.

If you do use a jogging stroller on an infant it’s best to not actually jog or run. They are safe for new born babies if the baby’s head is controlled in a safe position but the riggers of jogging should be reserved for older children.

For more check out this post on the differences between jogging and regular strollers.

If your child is a few months old already you may want to check out these infant friendly jogging strollers. They aren’t going to work from birth but they will be better for 3-6 month old babies as opposed to older kids.

If you don’t get one of the infant strollers then a full sized jogging stroller designed for older kids or toddlers would be best.

These are usually reserved for kids 9-12 months and older as children this age are a bit bigger and more stable in all respects.

What Is The Difference Between A Jogging Stroller And A Regular Stroller

differences

There are a few notable differences between jogging stroller and regular strollers which may not be obvious at first to everybody. The main difference is that jogging strollers have frames which re designed for jogging and control at fast speeds while regular strollers are designed for maneuverability first and foremost.

What dies this mean?

This means that joggers:

  • are typically wider than regular strollers
  • have more leg room for a long stride
  • have a fixed front wheel for improved control
  • have a braking system on the handlebar
  • come with a hand strap
  • are a bit heavier than standard strollers for stability
  • usually have larger wheels
  • usually have better suspension
  • almost always require your child to be sitting upright

Basically jogging strollers are designed to make it easier to jog rather than do anything else. because of this maneuverability outside of an open road or trail is more difficult. Fixed front wheels are hard to turn on a dime compared to standard strollers.

Jogging strollers are alsom much harder to store and transport because they are usually bigger and heavier and because their wheels don’t make life easy on your trunk space.

Most people with joggers usually have to store their stroller in full standing position in a garage or remove the wheels entirely to break it down into a smaller state proper for storage.

The typical owner of a jogger will almost always own a standard stroller for everyday use too because true jogging strollers aren’t usually the most comfortable strollers to use when you are not jogging or running long distance.

In short, it’s best to get a true jogging stroller if you actually intent of jogging frequently but not if you plan on occassionaly going out for a run.

A real jogger will also not accommodate a small infant very well either because usually babies need to be a bit older before you should jog with them. Once a baby can control head movement and sit upright is when it’s best to take them for a a run. If you find a jogging stroller appropriate for infants then most likely it’s not a true jogger.

Why Do Jogging Strollers Have Fixed Front Wheels?

Schwinn Stroller With A Fixed front Wheel

Ever noticed that real jogging strollers have fixed front wheels rather than the customary swiveling wheel? The reason for this is because when you are jogging it’s much easier to keep a stroller in line and going straight when the wheel is fixed. The stroller is much easier to keep under control.

The best example of this being nessesary is to consider jogging with a stroller than didn’t have a fixed front wheel. If you were to roll the stroller over a small divet in the road or over a small rock or even change in the pavement the swivel front wheel could easily veer off to one side or the other temporarily putting the stroller into a state where it’s not being controlled.

Another common reason jogging strollers have fixed front wheels is because it’s really hard to jog with good form while pushing a stroller. You almost always have to have at least one hand on the stroller or stroller strap so that you can keep the thing under control at all times. With a swivel front wheel you typically have to use your hands on the handlebar more often as it slightly veers one way or the other.

The thing is that even swivel wheels that lock into one position simply aren’t locked in position good enough. There’s always some jiggle in the wheel one way or the other. This is fine for walking but when jogging the stroller can easily veer one way or the other depending on the topography or the way the stroller is aligned.

With a jogging stroller that has a front wheel fixed in one position you don’t have the jiggle and the stroller won’t veer nearly as much if at all. This is important as you will be traveling farther and faster and won’t want to have your handles on the handlebars at all times.

A real jogging stroller will almost always have the front wheel that doesn’t swivel. You can jog without it but it does make the experience better. Just keep in mind that with a fixed front wheel you give up a lot of conveniences of a swivel front wheel. For this reason people who own jogging strollers typically also own a main stroller that they use for other purposes. Not always but this is common.