Best Jogging Stroller 2021
Best Jogging Stroller 2021 For serious runners and joggers, our top pick for Best Jogging Stroller 2021 is the Thule Glide 2.0 Performance Jogging Stroller (21 lbs.). This model is a fixed wheel jogger with large 18″ rear wheels and a 16” tire up front for a smooth glide. The lightweight 23.8 lb frame and one-step fold make it the best option for folks who want to run with baby.
With rear-wheel suspension and a twist-action handlebar brake, the Urban Glide 2 also features a covered storage basket with zippered top—this helps keep stored items dry just in case. An adjustable canopy with zippered extension features air mesh for ventilation.
Why is this model better for serious runners? The Glide 2 Performance Jogging stroller has a fixed front wheel, which is better/safer for running.
(We prefer fixed-wheel joggers as opposed to strollers that have a lockable front swivel wheel. Why? Even when locked in a forward position, strollers with swivel wheels tend to vibrate at running speed—that is not acceptable for runners. The disadvantage: to turn the stroller, you have to rock the stroller back on its two wheels to pivot it in a new direction. This may be a pain if your running route has lots of turns.)
Thule Glide 2 Performance: More details
Thule is probably best known for their bike carriers and storage racks. In the last few years, the company rolled out their first strollers—and the results have been impressive.
Readers have been effusive about these strollers’ quality and performance . . . as a result, Thule has muscled aside other brands like BOB to win the crown for best running stroller, in our opinion.
The Thule Glide 2 Performance shares many of the same features as the brand’s Urban Glide—the main difference is the Performance’s front wheel does not swivel while the Glide’s front wheel has a lockable swivel front wheel.
Differences between the Glide and Glide 2
In 2018, Thule updated the Glide with a revised version, dubbed the Glide 2 or 2.0. Here is an overview of what changed with the Glide 2:
• New integrated brake. The Glide 2 added a brake that is integrated into the handlebar—twist the blue portion and the stroller slows, which is helpful when going down a hill.
• Extended canopy. Thule redesigned the Glide 2’s canopy to offer an extension with mesh ventilation in back. There is still a sun visor up front.
• New accessories including a bumper bar and rain cover as well as car seat adapters for the Maxi Cosi and Chicco infant car seats. The lack of these accessories was major negative for the original Urban Glide.
• Secure folding strap. When folded, a new catch ensures the stroller stays folded.
Otherwise, the Glide is very similar to the original model, which is still for sale online.
What we liked: Thule Glide 2 Performance Jogging Stroller vs. the competition
Cheaper jogging strollers have steel frames—as a result, these strollers can tip the scales at 30 lbs. With its alloy frame, the Glide 2 Performance weighs just 23.8 lbs. That’s a critical difference when you are running.
The Glide 2’s 18″ wheels are bigger than the BOB Ironman’s 16″ rear-wheels. Larger wheels give a smoother ride, in our testings.
Another key difference: the Thule has a 75 lb. weight capacity; other joggers like Graco’s Fastaction Fold are only 50 lbs. That’s important because you often use a jogging stroller with older children on longer outings—and a 75 lb. weight capacity would work with kids up to age 7 or 8.
Finally, compared to the BOB Ironman, the Thule Glide 2 Performance has an easier, one-step fold, in our opinion.
What’s not to like: downsides but not deal killers
The Thule Glide 2 Performance is at the top end of the jogging strollers, price-wise—and to make matters worse, items like a parent console, bumper bar or child snack tray are optional accessories. That will push the price of this stroller significantly higher.
While the fold on the Glide 2 Performance is quick, it is quite bulky when folded and will take up a good amount of trunk real estate. Yes, that’s true for most strollers in this category, however. To mitigate the bulkiness, the wheels release for more compact storage.
We wish the Glide 2 would stand when folded—instead, it folds down to the ground, which guarantees the fabric will get dirty/muddy too easily when you do that in a parking lot.
Unlike some competing strollers, the Thule Glide 2 Performance doesn’t work out of the box with any infant car seats—you have to buy a separate adapter to use this stroller with an infant car seat. The Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger, for example, works out of the box with most Graco infant car seats.
While we liked the reflective fabric on the Glide 2, we thought Thule could have hidden the brake wires that are visible on the handle bar. That’s a small quibble, of course, but when you are paying this much for a stroller, this would make the Urban Glide look more sleek—and less like a mad-scientist experiment.
Finally, the parking brake on the Glide 2 Performance is not flip-flop friendly—to release it, you have to push up from under the button, which will most likely mess up that pedicure.
Best Stroller for Power Walking
Best Stroller for Power Walking. Our pick for the best stroller for power walking is the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect (27 lbs.). It has a swivel front wheel that can be locked, plus a quick fold feature that earns kudos from readers. Add in a generous storage basket, parent console with cup holders plus an affordable price and you’ve got a great stroller for extended walking.
What’s not to like? Well, this stroller is heavy—30% more than our pick for serious runners. And you can see from the picture above, when folded, the Graco FastAction Fold is quite large: 39”(!) in length, 23.6” in width and 15.3” in height. You might measure your vehicle’s trunk before buying to make sure it will fit!
Why is this stroller recommended for walking and not running? That’s because Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Click Connect has a turnable wheel that can be locked in a forward position. That’s not ideal for actual running because even when locked that wheel can vibrate. (This is true for more than just Graco’s model). Joggers and runners will be happier with a fixed wheel jogger like the one we recommended above.
Also: the Graco is heavier than the Thule we recommend—that isn’t as a big deal for walkers, but runners will want the lighter weight option!
Why Trust Us
We’ve been rating and reviewing strollers since 1994. In addition to hands on inspections of strollers, we have also visited manufacturer facilities and met with safety regulators—and when we travel, we pay our all of our own expenses. We look to our reader feedback to give us a real world perspective on car seats—our message board on strollers has over 27,000 (!) threads. We also evaluate consumer reviews.
Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Baby Bargains is your independent and unbiased source for expert baby gear reviews. We’ve been writing and reviewing baby gear since 1994. Yes, that long!
How we picked a winner
We evaluated strollers with hands on inspections, checking seats for ease of use (folding and unfolding, etc.). We also gather significant reader feedback, tracking strollers on quality and durability. Besides interviewing parents, we also talk with engineers and industry experts.
We’ve been rating and reviewing strollers since 1994. During that time, we have also visited manufacturer facilities and watched them test strollers. While we don’t personally test strollers, we carefully check our reader feedback with safety groups and the government.
7 Things No One Tells You About Buying A Stroller
1. What’s your stroller lifestyle?
Before you fall you in love with a designer stroller, ask yourself HOW you will be using a stroller. Yes, you.
Think of strollers as tools—the wrong tool for a job isn’t going to help, no matter how shiny it is. It’s the same for strollers.
Because we all live in different environs and want to go varied places, the key to stroller happiness is to understand how different stroller options fit your lifestyle. Hence, the perfect stroller for hiking in Colorado isn’t the right one for a simple spin down the sidewalks Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.
Climate plays another factor—in the Northeast, strollers have to be winterized to handle the cold and snow. Meanwhile, in Southern California, full canopies are helpful for shading baby’s eyes from late afternoon sunshine.
2. The perfect stroller doesn’t exist.
Your stroller needs will change over time. Babies/toddlers use a stroller from birth to age four and sometimes beyond. The perfect stroller for a newborn isn’t necessarily great for a toddler—although some strollers make a valiant effort at bridging the years.
And what if you add a second child into the mix?
The take-home message: no one stroller can meet all these needs. Most parents end up with more than one stroller. Let’s review over the stroller landscape to determine the right stroller for your baby/toddler.
3. There are six types of strollers on the market…
Here are the six basic styles of strollers: umbrella/lightweight strollers, full-size strollers, multi-function strollers, jogging (or sport) strollers, all-terrain strollers and travel systems. A quick overview:
- Umbrella/lightweight strollers are generally under 20 lbs. in weight. Some feature two handles and a long, narrow fold (like an umbrella; hence the name!). Most umbrellas strollers are very cheap (under fifty bucks), although some upper end manufacturers have spruced them up to sell for considerably more money (UPPAbaby and Peg Perego have “luxury” umbrella strollers). Premium lightweight strollers boast features like extendible canopies, storage baskets, and high quality wheels. Because seat recline can be limited, many umbrella/lightweight strollers are designed for kids six months and older.
- Full-size strollers used to be called carriages or prams. These strollers are more like a bed on wheels with a seat that reclines to nearly flat and can be enclosed like a bassinet for newborns. All that stroller goodness comes at a price: hefty weight, as much as 30 lbs. As a result, getting a full-size stroller in and out of the vehicle trunk can be a challenge. Entry level full-size strollers are pretty affordable, but high end versions can break the bank. In recent years, full-size strollers have fallen out of favor, replaced by . . .
- Multi-function strollers work from infant to toddler with either an infant car seat adapter or bassinet accessory for newborns. Some multi-functions are even expandable into a double stroller with a second seat attachment. Expect to pay more for multi-function options (and accessories like second seats are almost always an additional cost). This stroller type has increased in popularity in recent years, as parents increasingly have kids that are close in age.
- Jogging strollers feature air-filled, bicycle-style tires and lightweight frames perfect for jogging or brisk walks on rough roads. The best strollers for running have a fixed front wheel for stability. Jogging strollers with lightweight aluminum frames are expensive although there are some cheaper, steel framed options on the market too.
- All-terrain strollers are eclipsing jogging strollers for all but the most devoted runner. In fact, they often look like joggers but have a swivel front wheel. Big tires take to hiking trails better than typical stroller wheels, but these strollers are bulky and heavy. All those features will cost you some bucks.
- Travel systems combine a stroller and infant car seat which snaps into the stroller. Typically sold at discount and big-box stores, travel systems are aimed at first-time parents and gift givers. Most feature basic infant car seats and full-size strollers. Travel systems have waned in popularity in recent years as more lightweight strollers added infant car seat compatibility/adapters.
4. Beware these common stroller safety hazards.
Just because a stroller is on the shelves at the Baby Megastore doesn’t mean it is safe. 12,000 babies each year are injured by strollers, according to the most recent government safety data.
Here are our top safety tips:
- Never hang bags from the stroller handle. Yes, it is tempting to hang that diaper bag or purse off your stroller handles. The danger: your stroller can tip backwards—and even if your child is in the five-point harness, injuries can still happen. Solution: put that purse in your stroller’s storage basket. Or use a backpack diaper bag.
- Don’t leave your baby unattended while sleeping in a stroller. Newborns, infants and toddlers all move around when they’re sleeping. Injuries have occurred when babies creep down to the strap openings, so keep an eye on them. Or take a baby out of a stroller and put them in a full-size crib for naps.
- Don’t trust your brakes. The best stroller models have brakes on two wheels rather than one. But even if a stroller has the best brakes on the planet, never leave a stroller unattended on an incline with your baby inside.
- Follow the weight limits. Forty pounds is typically the maximum for most strollers.
- Jogging strollers are best for babies over one year of age. Pediatric experts tell us the neck muscles of infants under one year of age can’t take the bumps of jogging or walking on rough terrain.
- Fold and unfold your stroller away from your baby. The opening/closing mechanisms of a stroller can be a pinching hazard, so don’t open or close your stroller with baby nearby. Graco recalled over 5 million strollers in 2014 for just such hazards.
5. The secret to a smart stroller test drive: add weight.
Don’t test drive that stroller empty. Take a backpack and put in about 20 lbs. worth of books. Stick that in the stroller seat and you’ll see how that stroller actually steers/handles with a baby. And yes, practice folding and unfolding the stroller with the backpack in your arms!
6. What stroller features really matter . . . for babies.
The Dreaded Wall of Strollers—more than one parent-to-be has been reduced to tears staring at a baby store’s mind-boggling display of 37 stroller models. So let’s break down what’s REALLY important when stroller shopping for baby:
- Reclining seat. If you plan to use this stroller from birth, the seat must fully recline. That’s because babies can’t comfortably ride in a sitting position until around six months. And most newborns spend their time sleeping—so seat recline is a necessity.
- Extended canopy. There are three types of stroller canopies: skimpy, extended and fully enclosing. Skimpy canopies only block the sun if it is directly overhead—great if you live at the equator. For everyone else, an extended canopy (also called extended sunshades) are better at blocking all sun angles. Baby Jogger’s canopies are a good example of extended canopies (see stroller at top of this page). The best canopies have multiple positions for flexibility. Fully enclosing canopies go a step further—they completely block out the sun from a stroller. These are great, but somewhat rare in the market. If you live in an area with active mosquitos, a bug net accessory is highly recommended.
- All wheel suspension. Stroller wheel suspension works like your car’s shock absorbers, smoothing out life’s little (and big) bumps.
7. What stroller features really matter . . . for parents.
- It’s all about the storage. Like napkins and toddlers, you can never have enough of the former—ditto with storage and strollers. We’re not just talking about the size of the storage basket (but that helps). It’s HOW you access the basket. Pro tip: recline the stroller seat as far as it goes with 20 lbs of weight and then try to access with the basket. Some of the most expensive strollers have difficult to access baskets when the seat is reclined. Also: best strollers add storage in areas you wouldn’t think—on the hood, the back of the seat, a storage compartment with lid in a parent console for your phone and so on.
- The right wheels. Going for a nature walk on a dirt trail? Air-filled 12″ rear tires are best. Navigating tight spaces at the Pikes Place Market in Seattle? Small 6″ wheels enable tight turns.
- Removable seat pad for washing. Crushed-in cookies, spilt juice and the usual grime can make a stroller a mobile dirt-fest. Some models have removable seat cushions that are machine washable—other models let you remove all the fabric for washing.
- Reversible seat. When baby is young, you can have your child face you. Then when your toddler wants to see the world, the seat flips around.
- Height adjustable handle. If you and your partner are two different statures, an adjustable handle is a must have.
- The one-hand, flip flop friendly, standing fold. The fewer the steps and hands you need to fold a stroller, the better. The best models have one-hand folds that stand when collapsed. If your stroller has a foot brake or release, make sure you can do this in a flip flop—and the pedal doesn’t mess up a pedicure. A “flip flop-friendly” stroller brake lets you set and release it by pushing down (not up) with your foot.