How to choose a running buggy

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Running Dad Buggy

Choosing a running buggy.

A Running Buggy / Running Stroller / Running Pushchair / Jogging Stroller.

Yes they are pretty much the same thing but depending what you use to do your research, the results retuned may vary.

I put a considerable amount of time into checking out reviews of various buggies before I settled on one that suited my needs. Now that I get out with one I get some interesting questions like what is is like to run with? How do you push/steer etc?  Well I intend to cover that in another article …but for now I’d like to help you pick something that’s right for you. You found this article while doing research right?

First things first. You need to establish a budget of what you are comfortably prepared to spend as at the end of the day running buggies ain’t cheap! That said, they can be considered an investment as they hold most of their value and there will certainly be a runner looking for one wherever you happen to live if and when you come to sell.

With a budget in mind, you then need to set out what you want from the running pushchair you are about to purchase. Well for me it had to be a dual purpose front wheel. What that means is a front wheel that can be fixed in place for runs then released to swivel for more everyday use. Pneumatic tyres and suspension were also a necessity for a comfortable ride over those gravel trails and potholes.

My son was rapidly outgrowing his regular travel system so we needed something to run with AND cover the trips to and from school in the morning with our daughter.

This reduced the number of choices which was a good thing really as the list of possible options was getting long. So in one fell swoop it chopped off all the fixed wheel running buggies like the BOBs or the Out n Abouts.

So with a budget and your needs in mind you have a better idea of what will and won’t be an option for you. Now you can read product reviews, watch videos on YouTube etc. and make an informed choice of your own.

Now I’m sure you want to know what I ended up buying so I will happily tell you.

I opted for the Graco Relay Jogger which was being sold in the US as a Jogging Stroller (a quality which Graco seem to want to ditch with the UK model).

Here is a link to the product on Amazon UK – Graco Relay Pushchair – Panther

For me there were a number of factors that made me commit to buying it.

  • Price – it was actually a little under my self-imposed budget;
  • What came in the box – chair, rain cover and an organiser for phone/keys/water etc.;
  • Suspension;
  • Pneumatic tyres;
  • Dual-purpose fixed/swivel front wheel system with adjustable tracking.

What it didn’t have was a wrist tether (unlike the US model) or a handbrake – I figured I could buy a tether and given that I’m not planning to descend Mount Everest any time soon, the brake to become not that big of a deal. Oh and lastly it was being sold by Amazon UK, which for me is a no-brainer as their customer service is second to none.

On the whole, I am happy with my purchase as it is value for money, fits our needs as a dual-purpose stroller for walks with the front wheel released to move and running with the front wheel fixed for stability. The single hand pull function to collapse the buggy is well thought out and the whole thing fits into the back of my car (MK7 VW Golf) fairly easily once you remove the quick release wheels.

Is it perfect? No. What would I have chosen if budget wasn’t a factor? Well I would say the Baby Jogger Summit X3 based on what I read, multi-function front wheel, and handbrake – which is nice to have but not a necessity. The reason I was put off going after the Baby Jogger over the Graco was that once you bought the Baby Jogger you would have to purchase various extras that came in the box with the Graco such as a rain cover or a place to store a drink, phone, keys etc. On balance the Graco was the better value for money for what we needed.

I will be writing about it in length in another article, I can tell you it lets me get round the local 5K parkrun in 26-27 minutes so it’s not slowing me down too much!