Want to get a bit fitter now that baby is here? We put some of the best running buggies through their paces
It can be hard to get some exercise when you’re a new mum, as leaving your baby with a friend, relative or in a creche may feel too difficult at first, especially if you’re breastfeeding. So, one solution is to get some exercise with your baby along for the ride – quite literally! There are several companies that make great quality, dedicated running pushchairs and whether you’re in training for your next marathon, or just looking for a gentle stroll, one could be just right for you!
What are running buggies or pushchairs?
Running buggies are specially designed pushchairs that are for parents to want to walk, jog or run with their little one in tow. They have a larger, longer chassis than most standard pushchairs and larger wheels, to make the ride smooth. Typically, the front wheel is a single, fixed wheel, to allow the pushchair to run in a line forwards. It should also have good suspension and tyres so that bumps aren’t so noticeable.
They can cost a bit more than regular pushchair and can be an extra expense you might not be willing to make if you already have a stroller. But for many new parents, they are a lifeline when it comes to getting out into the fresh air and into nature, getting some exercise and still being able to be with your baby. They will also help you avoid injury, as they help you run correctly.
What should I look for?
Make sure the buggy you look at fulfils the basic needs of a proper running buggy:
- Good suspension
- Large pneumatic (air-filled) tyres – make sure you also buy a pump and puncture repair kit
- A fixed front wheel (some have a lock that allows it to swivel but only when you are not running)
- An adjustable handlebar height
- A handbrake
- A wrist strap that ties the buggy to you if you happened to slip and let go of the handle
This is a sturdy, well-made running buggy from the Scandinavian company that also makes car roof boxes, bike seats and pushchairs. It is light, which is good for lifting and transporting when folded (it can be folded with one hand), yet it’s good as a serious piece of running gear. The front wheel can be locked in the forward-facing direction and it can also swivel for those times when you just want to nip into the shops after a run. The handle can be adjusted to suit your height – make sure you get it just right to avoid bending – and it has good suspension on the large, 16 inch rear wheels to make it a smooth ride for your baby. The brake is on the handlebar, so you can come to a safe stop even at a fast pace and the wrist strap offers security. The seat is over the back axle, making it more comfortable for your little one and the seat can be reclined almost flat, so it’s good from about six months (you could add a bassinet from birth), plus it has a good harness and generous canopy with side ventilation panels and peek-a-boo window. Last of all, its decent basket means you can combine a run in the park with a shop on the way home.
This is a very sturdy and sleek runner with large, pneumatic bicycle style wheels and it’s designed for off-road jogging as well as city streets. Suitable from birth, it will continue to be comfortable for a four year old and it has a multi-position seat that lies flat for newborns (though they recommend you only start to use it as a runner when your baby reaches six months). The wrist strap keep it tied to you when running and the brakes are mounted on both handlebar and the base of the chassis. It has a lightweight aluminium frame and quick-release wheels and inside is a five-pint safety harness to keep your little one secure. You can also buy this a double pushchair, suitable for twins or siblings of different ages.
One of the best-made running buggies and one that has been around for many years due to its popularity is this sturdy jogger. It’s big and durable, though surprisingly light for its size as the frame is made from aluminium. It has a 12 inch front wheel and 16 inch rear wheels, all air-filled and suited to all terrains. You even get a 12-inch wheel set that’s better for use in town and a large 10kg capacity shopping basket. It has a five-point harness for safety and the sun hood is not only a good size but it has a magnetic peek-a-boo window with storage pockets for your valuables. The seat liner is reversible and the bumper bar can be opened from either side to help you get your baby in and out easily.
This buggy is suitable from six months and has a good suspension system and high-impact wheels that will offer a smooth ride for baby. It can be used for both running and skating, if you happen to live near a rink or streams that freezes properly, and its height adjustable handle comes with a security wrist strap. The frame is nice and light and it folds easily with a two-step function and the front wheel can either be locked in place or allowed to swivel for when you are not moving fast. The backrest has an impressive five positions and a padded safety harness and the canopy offers good weather protection and a viewing window so you can check on your baby.
From premium pushchair makers Cybex is this sporty-looking runner (and they are bringing out a new model in collaboration with Puma shortly). Designed for serious runners, this is not cheap but it will help you continue your fitness regime even when you have a small child in tow. It’s super lightweight with a sleek black chassis and huge wheels. Each wheel has luminous accents to help you be seen in the dark, so it can be as good for winter early evenings as bright days. The seat is hammock-shaped and comfortable for your baby from six months (it’s not suitable before, as the seat does not lie flat) and it can be reclined with one hand. The slip-proof handlebar has an ergonomic shape to make it comfortable to hold, while it is adjustable to suit your height and there’s a bright red wrist strap for safety. The fold is very compact and swift to achieve and there’s a good sized sun canopy with a mesh ventilation window.
This jogging stroller has air-filled tyres, suspension on all three wheels and nice reflective accents to keep you safe when it’s dark out. The fabrics are nice and comfortable with a padded seat and the pushchair can be folded quickly and easily with just one hand. The brake is located on the handlebar, where there’s also a wrist strap and there’s a foot brake too for parking. The seat can be reclined through several positions and it has side vents for warmer days and a large 50+ UV canopy with a peek-a-boo window for swift checks on your sleeping baby. The shopping basket is large too, so it’s a good all-rounder.