Here’s a little secret: When I bring my daughter jogging with me at least once a week, I don’t use our jogging stroller.
Rather, I strap her into our Uppababy Vista stroller and off we go, jogging on the sidewalks in our San Francisco neighborhood. So far, the Vista has worked just fine; so fine, in fact, that I wish we hadn’t opted for a separate jogging stroller.
This is why today’s hint is this frugal baby gear shopping strategy: Skip buying a separate jogging stroller and use your everyday stroller on jogs, a tip I cover over at U.S. News Money’s Frugal Shopper blog in a piece on “How to Make a Pricey Stroller Worth the Money.”
To be sure, there are a number of important caveats to this hint. First, you need to make sure the stroller you have is sturdy enough to handle jogging (there’s a reason I never take our basic lightweight Chicco umbrella stroller out on jogs). You’ll also want to double check that the stroller you have is in fact okay to use for jogging (you can make sure there are no warnings against using it for that purpose in the instruction manual, and check with the manufacturer).
Luckily, I’m okay on that front. Uppababy says that while the Vista is not a traditional jogging stroller, “if you lock the front wheels you can absolutely jog with the Vista.” (Jogging strollers have fixed front wheels in order to make controlling the stroller easier and to help keep it going in a straight line, but this same feature can make turning a jogging stroller a bit of a challenge).
That you’ll want to use an everyday stroller for jogging also assumes, of course, that you’re not a performance runner who really needs and wants all the running-specific features (think larger wheels, a hand brake, a smoother ride, etc.) you might find in a separate jogging stroller.
In fact, I’m what they call “a casual jogger” because I don’t run (running is sprinting to me); rather, I jog slowly, since I’m pushing my daughter up and down San Francisco’s hills. You might also call my jog a trot or a shuffle.
That said, other popular stroller models can also double as jogging strollers, as long as you lock the front wheels.
For instance, a number of all-terrain strollers can do double-duty as everyday carriages and jogging wheels, and they’re likely to perform much better on trails than convertible strollers. The Bob Revolution SE, for instance, comes with a swiveling front wheel that can be locked for jogging or walking on rough terrain. Other all-terrain strollers with a similar feature include the Baby Trend Expedition LX and the Joovy Zoom 360.
In fact, stroller review site Stroller Envy notes that one main difference between so-called jogging strollers and their all-terrain counterparts is that an all-terrain “has a front wheel that swivels around or locks straight, while a jogger’s front wheel is permanently in place.”
Meanwhile, in its stroller buying guide, Consumer Reports notes that if you’re not a serious runner, “an all-terrain stroller whose manufacturer has approved its use for running may be a better all-around choice,” as the wheel locking and unlocking function can make the stroller work for both jogging and everyday use.
You may be wondering, however, whether you can use these sorts of double-duty strollers with infants. You’re not really supposed to run with your little one until he or she is at least six months to a year, depending on who you ask. In addition, these strollers all generally can work with infant car seats, though before purchasing a stroller and infant car seat, you’ll want to make sure they are compatible with each other.
What about price tags? Many of these models are somewhat on the expensive side. But the fact that they can double as joggers makes them well worth the expense. In addition, though jogging can be tough on stroller wheels, replacing just wheels is a lot cheaper than buying another stroller.
Finally, you don’t necessarily have to pay full price for these double duty strollers – read more on how to buy strollers for less in my full piece over at The Frugal Shopper.
What are your thoughts on jogging with everyday strollers? What are your stroller shopping tips?