Some time ago, I invited my brother to read DadProgress review article about the best jogging strollers. Take my wild guess if he ever opened that link:) So it happened that he first heard about running strollers when his kid was already walking. But he was still interested: “Jogging stroller vs regular stroller, what’s the difference?” So I explained to him the main points and wrote this thorough guide for other parents as well.
Jogging Stroller vs Regular Stroller: Quick Overview for Busy Parents
As the name suggests, jogging strollers or joggers are meant for running. They have three big air-filled wheels to offer superior maneuverability and smooth ride even on rough terrain. Compared to regular strollers, jogging strollers are heavier and bulkier to make them more stable. Some other important features include a safety wrist strap, hand brake, and an adjustable handlebar.
Physical Characteristics: Jogging Stroller vs Regular Stroller
The following table gives all busy parents a quick overview of typical characteristics for both types. That said, the subparagraphs present you with a more thorough overview as there are many exceptions.
|FEATURE||JOGGING STROLLER||REGULAR STROLLER|
|Weight||Bulkier, usually weigh over 23lb||Many variations|
|Weight Limit||75lb||Usually less than 65lb|
|Tire type||Air-filled tires||Air-filled, foam-filled, plastic or solid rubber tires|
|Wheels||Three wheels, the front wheel is lockable or fixed||Commonly four smaller wheels|
|Brakes||Foot brake, a wrist strap or even a hand brake||Usually only foot brake|
|Canopy||Big||Can be big or small|
|Suspension||Many models have additional suspension||Usually no additional suspension|
|Seat||Doesn’t recline fully||Reclines fully|
|Handlebar||Usually adjustable||Often adjustable|
Compared to Regular Strollers, Jogging Strollers are More Robust and Stable
Lightweight strollers are not very stable when pushing them in front of you while running. As a result, jogging strollers tend to weigh over 23lb. They are also bulkier (mainly thank to their big wheels) than regular strollers. That said, some models like Baby Jogger X3 (also sold on Amazon) are exceptionally easy to fold.
Regular strollers, in contrast to jogging strollers, can weigh anywhere between 9.5lb and 33lb. Many models are designed for traveling. This means that their primary purpose is to be as lightweight as possible and easy to fold.
Weight Limit of a Jogging Stroller is Bigger Compared to Regular Stroller
As I’ve mentioned (sorry for repeating myself), jogging strollers are more robust than regular strollers. They are also meant for older kids because you shouldn’t go running with your baby when he’s under six months old. As a result, the weight limit (occupant plus luggage weight) of the best running strollers is over 75lb.
Regular strollers, in comparison, tend to have a weight limit of less than 65 lb.
Comparison of Tires and Wheels of Jogging Strollers and Regular Strollers
In contrary to regular strollers, jogging strollers have pneumatic tires. These offer a smooth ride even when running on rough terrain. Most modern models have tubeless pneumatic tires, so a flat tire isn’t a real issue anymore. Regular strollers, on the other hand, can have plastic, rubber, or pneumatic tires. So many of them offer a smooth ride only on even surface.
Number and Functionality
Jogging strollers have three wheels so you can easily maneuver them while running. The first wheel is lockable or even fixed. This feature assures that the stroller doesn’t unexpectedly change direction while on a stroll. Another reason is that a swiveling front wheel may break when you run on rough terrain.
In contrast, there’s a huge variety when it comes to regular strollers. Most of them have four wheels, but the number can vary a lot. For example, Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 (also sold on Amazon) is one of the best regular strollers. It has, similarly to a jogging stroller, three air-filled wheels.
Not all regular strollers have swiveling wheels, but most do.
The wheels of regular strollers tend to be smaller than the ones of a running stroller.
Comparison of Brakes of Jogging Strollers and Regular Strollers
Both jogging strollers and regular strollers have a foot brake that you can engange while not on the move. Hand brakes are usually found on jogging strollers, and these help to control the speed while running downhill.
All good running strollers (in contrast to regular ones) also have safety wrist straps to protect against unexpected movements after a long run.
Seat of a Joggins Stroller Compared to a Regular Stroller
Both stroller types have comfortable padded seats. You can find models that let you mount a car seat on them. Best regular strollers have seats that recline fully. This feature allows infants to sleep comfortably. Running strollers are not meant for newborns. That said, models like BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 (also sold on Amazon) have reclining seats so older kids can sleep in them too.
Adjustable Handlebar is More Important for a Jogging Stroller vs Regular Stroller
You can still find many strollers (even those that are meant for running!) without an adjustable handlebar. This is a big problem when parents are of different height. When you exercise, you want your form to be perfect, so this feature is more critical for jogging strollers. That said, an adjustable handlebar also makes the regular stroller more comfortable.
Are Jogging Strollers Worth it?
If you’re an avid runner, then running strollers are definitely worth it. Big air-filled tires and added suspension allow you to continue training on different surfaces. If you opt for a model with a handbrake, then you can comfortably run even on hilly terrain. Best jogging strollers have all the essential features, so you can definitely also use them if you’re not a runner.
While you can run with a regular stroller, the experience isn’t that good, and you may break it. If you’re running on a rough surface, then they are harder to maneuver and aren’t as stable as joggers. Swiveling wheels may break, or your stroller may unexpectedly change direction.
Many parents buy a jogger as their second stroller, but these are quite expensive. If you want to save some money, then look for secondhand options. Sharing is caring!
I run only three times per week and only about half an hour at a time. My wife isn’t a runner, so for us, it didn’t make sense to buy an expensive jogger. If I went running, she took care of our kid. That said, if you and your partner are both runners, then a jogging stroller will allow you to enjoy some quality family time.
If you Have two Kids
I want to point out that there are both double jogging strollers and regular strollers out there. As these are built for two kids, all tend to be rather bulky. Regular double strollers, in contrast to jogging strollers, are usually easier to transport though. Thule Urban 2.0 (also sold on Amazon) is one of the best double joggers.
Disadvantages of Jogging Strollers
As I’ve said (sorry for repeating myself), modern joggers are so well equipped that they can function as family’s only stroller. That said, they’re meant for older kids, and you don’t get a fully reclining seat for young ones. Thule Glide 2.0 (also sold on Amazon) allows you to buy a bassinet for it though. As a result, you can use this model from birth.
Another con is that compared to regular strollers, they’re heavier and bulkier. If you travel a lot, then you may want to opt for a lightweight regular stroller.
To Sum Up
I hope this article helped to clear the differences between jogging stroller vs regular stroller and make your decision easier. I’ve provided a quick overview in the beginning so feel free to scroll back up if you wish a recap:)