No two strollers are made the same, so it is important to know what to look out for when purchasing one. After all, you’re probably going to be using it for the next two to four years (and even longer if you have more kids!), so it better be exactly what you want. Here are some tips on how to pick the right one:
1) Fixed for Swivel Wheel?
Jogging strollers come in two varieties: those with fixed front wheels and those with front wheels that swivel. Depending on how and where you plan to use your jogging stroller will dictate whether you should get one or the other. Swivel wheels allow for quick, sharp, and easy turns – probably ideal if you plan on taking your stroller to a busy, crowded mall or along smooth sidewalk surfaces. Most jogging strollers have a fixed front wheel. Though they don’t turn as easily (you have to push with force using both hands to turn them), they are great if you actually plan on jogging long distances and taking your stroller on various types of terrain, rough and smooth. Getting your swivel wheel caught in a divot in the dirt is never fun, but a fixed wheel will glide right past!
2) Alloy or Steel?
Most strollers are made of either alloy or steel. If you can, try and find one made of alloy even though they tend to run pricier than their steel counterparts. Not only is steel heavier, but it rusts quicker, which is never good if you live in a salty, wet climate like myself.
3) Wheel Size
Wheels run in three different sizes: 12, 16 and 20 inches. Twelve-inch wheels are okay for occasional walkers, those who go on smooth sidewalks and bike paths and mall-walkers. If you want a little more flexibility with what type of terrain you can use your stroller on (such as down a dirt road) and are a light to moderate jogger, then buy one with 16-inch wheels. Twenty-inch wheels are ideal for hardcore marathon runners and those who take their strollers across sandy beaches, icy sidewalks and grassy fields.
4) Easy Folding
I cannot stress the importance of an easy foldable stroller. I’ve had one that I had to fight with and flop my entire upper body over along with the stroller to fold it and I’ve had another that clicks and collapses. Ask the store salesperson to demonstrate how to fold the stroller before buying it and practice yourself at the store.
5) Aluminum Frame
Want a stroller that’s going to last the duration of this child and the throughout the next? Get a stroller with an aluminum welded frame. Avoid those with plastic joints as they crack, wear and break over time and with heavy use.
These are five important things to keep in mind when shopping for a jogging stroller. If you’re a serious walker or jogger like myself, then please take note that you don’t want to spend a couple hundred dollars on something that isn’t right for you.