Any parent who enjoys the outdoors will want to take their new baby with them into the great outdoors as soon as possible. After a baby is a few months old and your pediatrician gives you the green light, what better way to share your love of nature than buying a trail stroller and taking your baby with you on adventures!
What is a Trail Stroller?
There are a multitude of stroller types:
- Carriage Strollers
- Travel System Strollers
- Umbrella Strollers
- Jogging Strollers
- Trail Strollers
- Double Strollers
There are loads of websites that can help you decide what type is right for your needs. Here at Hiking Baby, I will be discussing Trail Strollers, which are ideal for Moms and Dads who want to stay active with their new baby or toddler!
Trail and Jogging strollers are often lumped into the same category; however, a careful inspection of the product details makes it clear that some are far better for hiking than just jogging. If you’re an avid runner and all you plan to do is run on paved surfaces without quick turns and steep inclines, look for a Jogging Stroller. For the rest of you, I’ll explain how I decided on which trail stroller would be right for me, Hiking Lady, and my son, Hiking Baby. 🙂
Jogging Strollers Vs. Trail Strollers
Jogging strollers and trail strollers share many characteristics: 3 wheels, air filled tires, a suspension system, and a harness to keep the baby or toddler safe inside. The major difference between a Jogging Stroller and a Trail Stroller is that Jogging Strollers always have a fixed front wheel, whereas Trail Strollers are more versatile and often have a smaller front wheel that can be locked in place or unlocked.
Why would you want a front wheel that locks? For die-hard runners, you’ll want a large front wheel that locks. It provides a lot of stability, at the expense of maneuverability and ability to use for any other sports besides jogging. Every time you turn you’ll have to pop up the front of the stroller to turn. Don’t even think about using a Jogging Stroller as an everyday stroller!
Trail Strollers are more versatile. They have front wheels that can be locked in place, or unlocked if you’re on a trail that is curvy, or if you decide to make it serve double duty as your adventure and everyday stroller.
When Is My Baby Old Enough to Use a Trail Stroller?
This varies by child. You should always check with your pediatrician first, and realize that not all trail strollers are compatible with infant seats. If your child is still an infant, be sure not to run. Once a baby is out of their infant seat and is able to sit up and support his or her head on their own can you start more aggressive paths and speeds.
Most manufacturers have minimum age guidelines.
Why Hiking Baby Uses the Thule Urban Glide Trail Stroller
As you’ll see in the comparison chart below, there are some great trail strollers on the market. There are some that I did not include in this comparison that are at lower price ranges such as the Schwinn Turismo Swivel Jogger and the Graco Fast Action Fold Jogger.
They lack so many of the features of the ones I compared below that it did not make sense to include them. Anyone who wants to go on any sort of dirt path or uneven surface will need to really consider a moderate to higher priced trail stroller.
The best value for the money in my view is the Thule Urban Glide Stroller. That’s why it is the one I use! First, you get the top notch engineering from Thule, the maker of car carriers, bike accessories, backpacking packs, and more. They have a strong reputation for excellent engineering and quality, and it carries through with their strollers.
The Urban Glide stroller is one that is reasonably priced at $399 retail, which is definitely in line and slightly below some of its competition. The stroller glides smoothly on uneven surfaces because of the excellent shocks, it is easy to maneuver thanks to the swivel front wheel, the handlebar is not only ergonomic but adjustable for petite or super tall moms and dads, and it is fairly easy to store and transport it. Plus, it weighs 23 pounds, which is on the lighter side for a trail stroller and makes unloading into and out of a car or SUV much less back breaking.
See the comparison chart below for more details, and be sure to leave comments or questions below with your thoughts on trail strollers!
Hiking Baby’s Trail Stroller Comparison Chart
|Thule Urban Glide||Baby Jogger Summit X3||BOB Revolution Flex|
|Unique Features:||The Thule Urban Glide is Hiking Lady (and Hiking Baby’s) top trail stroller choice. Why? Not only is it designed extremely well, it handles well on and off the trail.
The suspension system provides a smooth ride for Hiking Baby, the ergonomic handle bar is very comfortable to use and ideal for hikers/parents of all heights, there is a large storage compartment with a water resistant cover for my First Aid Kit, extra diapers, change of clothes for Hiking Baby, snacks, and a jacket for me!
|The Baby Jogger Summit X3 has a remote front wheel lock (so you can change from locked to swivel mode) from the handlebar.
If you live in a hot climate, you’ll appreciate the vents at the side of the canopy and the back panel that rolls up to keep baby cool.
There is an awesome handlebar brake!
|The BOB Revolution Flex is similar to the very popular BOB Revolution stroller, but the Flex has an adjustable handlebar. If you are petite or super tall, then you’ll want to consider the Flex. Plus, since the Thule Urban Glide stroller has an ergonomic and adjustable handlebar, it only makes sense to compare a comparable model.
The BOB Revolution Flex has an a great suspension system with a fine tune control, which means that it can be tweaked precisely for your baby’s weight or if you notice pulling. This is more relevant for joggers than hikers, but a nice feature to have.
|Drawbacks:||None. Hence, the reason this is the one I use.||Too heavy.
The handlebar height is not adjustable. I’m petite, and I found the Baby Jogger Summit to be a bit too high for me.
|To switch between swivel and fixed front wheel mode you have to manually adjust the front tire.
Canopy is bunchy.
Folding it and locking it is more challenging than with others listed here.
|Weight:||23 lbs||28 lbs||26.2 lbs|
|Dimensions when folded:||
14 in x 21 in x 34.5 in
15.25 in x 25 in x 31.5 in
|With wheels on in “Swivel” Mode:
Length = 39 in
Height = 16 in
|Baby Size Limits:||75 lbs||75 lbs||70 lbs|
|Sitting Height:||21 inches||21 inches||NA|
|Shoulder Width:||13.5 inches||12.5 inches||NA|
|Swivel front wheel?||Yes.||Yes.||Yes.|
|Swivel Wheel Adjustable from handlebar?||No.||Yes.||No.|
|Front wheel diameter:||12.5 inches||12 inches||12.5 inches|
|Rear wheel diameter:||16 inches||16 inches||16 inches|
|Color options:||Red (Mars), Black (Dark Shadow), Blue||Black and Gray, Green and Gray, Orange and Gray||Blue (Lagoon), Orange, Green (Wilderness), Black|