Dear Marathon Mom,
My wife and I are welcoming our first child in about two months, and we’re in full-on nesting mode. Unlike my wife, however,, my nesting consists primarily of finding an infant jogging outfit and figuring how I can include our new baby in my daily runs. Running is a huge part of how I am, and I figure the best way to assure that can continue is to find a way to bring Junior along. Plus, that would give my wife a half hour or hour break each day, as well as work as a special bonding time for me and the baby. When I look up jogging strollers on the internet, however, I am overwhelmed. I’d like to know, from one running parent to another, what you think is the best jogging stroller (for a reasonable dollar amount) on the market right now.
-Jogging Stroller Dad
Dear Jogging Stroller Dad,
First, it’s wonderful that you are already thinking of ways to bond with the baby, as well as give your wife a break and chance to catch up on some ‘me time’ or just plain sleep. Kudos and brownie points to you!
That being said, I can completely relate to your sinking feeling while surfing the net in search of the perfect jogging stroller. With brands as impressive and hardcore sounding as Ironman and Jeep, every color imaginable, wheels that swivel or stay put, and even tray and cup holder options, where is a new parent to begin? What actually needs to be considered, and what can be discarded as frivolous extra froo froo there only to further entice you to buy that specific stroller?
While expecting my first child, I started with the same sort of research you’re doing (blind stabbing in the dark, if you will) and didn’t get very far. Then, I spent a couple of weeks on parenting forums, and finally narrowed my research to extreme athlete parenting forums. Once I found the parents as passionate about running as I was, it was pretty easy to discern with stroller I would go with. One name kept popping up, clearly a favorite among serious runners. B.O.B.
Although the name brought visions of a beer bellied bald dude scuffling along the road, shoulders hunched, eyes squinting, and neck glistening with sweat, it was clear the B.O.B. strollers were well-respected and heavily used with endurance athletes who also had children. B.O.B. is actually shortened from the company’s original name, Beast of Burden. Personally, I think the first name was most accurate. These strollers are beasts!
The glory of B.O.B. strollers is that they ride well on pretty much any terrain a runner would be training on. You don’t have to stick to freshly poured cement paths to ensure your child a smooth, comfortable, and safe ride. B.O.B.s can go over anything from gravel, to grass, to trails without a hitch; you won’t have even have to break stride.
Most B.O.B.s eliminate the requirement for you to toil over whether you’re a ‘fixed wheel’ or a ‘swivel wheel’ kind of runner, as the front wheel to these strollers can do both. There is a simple switch that will lock it in place, changing the wheel from a swivel to a fixed position.
They all have sun shades to protect Baby’s sensitive yes, but also with a flexible clear plastic window on top, so you can peek in and know what Junior is up to at any time, without having to stop your run and move to the front of the stroller. Trust me, it’s extremely helpful to know if your child has fallen asleep, or is about to, without stopped the stroller and potentially waking them up, because it means you can go ahead and add those few extra miles. However, if they are showing signs of boredom, you know to head on home before a meltdown occurs.
All B.O.B.s also have rain flies you can purchase separately, which I highly recommend. These are easy to stretch over the top of the sun shade and connect to pegs on the sides, holding the rain fly securely in place and ensuring your child doesn’t get a drop on them – even in a downpour. The rain fly consist primarily of the sheer plastic I mentioned earlier, so Junior still gets the benefit of a view while you’re panting through the rain. Everyone wins.
I think you get my point. I am an avid supporter and personal user of only one brand of stroller. You owe it to yourself to test drive a B.O.B. I’d love to hear back from you on what you went with and how it’s working for you.
Best of luck,