Deciding what stroller to get for your new baby can be a pain. With tons of options on the market, it can be overwhelming and certainly doesn’t help the stress level of welcoming a new baby into the world. As a runner, it’s even more complicated. But what’s the difference between a jogger stroller and a regular stroller?
The main differences between a jogger and a regular stroller are the wheels, the suspension, and the size. Jogging strollers tend to have three large, air-filled wheels that are around 12″ in diameter, a better (or existing) suspension system, and are generally larger and heavier than traditional strollers.
We will break down each of these differences in detail to help you make the best decision possible for your situation. Looking carefully at each detail, you can make sure you don’t spend your hard earned money on something that isn’t a great fit.
What’s the Difference Between a Jogger Stroller and A Regular Stroller?
The three main differences between the jogging stroller and a regular stroller are:
- Suspension System
As with most things, there are pros and cons to both. Most of the pros fall on the side of the jogging stroller, with one large con: size. Jogging strollers are going to be larger, and most likely heavier, than their counterparts.
Running with a jogging stroller, however, is easier than running with a regular stroller. It’s still harder than running without a stroller, but interestingly enough a study published in 2016 found that there are no major differences in gait and stride when running with a stroller. There is, however, a slight increase in calories burned!
However, we’ll dig into that more later.
Jogging Strollers Have Better Wheels and Tires
This one is a big pro. Joggers normally have three larger wheels and tires. They are also, usually, air-filled, sturdier, and detachable for storage. These larger tires are very beneficial for traversing difficult terrain like sand, gravel, or grass. This is also true for the best double jogging strollers that can handle more than one kiddo.
Swivel or Fixed Front Wheel
Another unique feature of a jogging stroller is that there are two options for front tires and how they work. While most jogging strollers have one front tire, the tire can either come fixed or with the ability to swivel.
A fixed front tire doesn’t move at all – it simply points forward. When turning, this can be slightly annoying as you will have to remove some pressure from the front tire to get it to turn by pushing down on the handle. On the other side of the coin, when running in a straight line, it is very stable.
A swivel front tire can, well, swivel. It turns from side to side like a wheel on a shopping cart. This is great for turning, but not so great for running straight as it won’t provide as stable of a base for the stroller.
With a swivel tire, you can find a feature where it comes with a locking mechanism. This is truly the best of both worlds. With this feature, you can use it as a swivel wheel when going around doing normal things, but lock it in for the long-haul when hitting the road to get some running miles under your belt.
Suspension System: Do Jogger Strollers Have Shocks?
Unlike regular strollers, jogging strollers can come equipped with shocks and a suspension systems that compliment the larger and more cushioned wheels. This provides a great ride for baby and keeps the jarring to a minimum on those extra-off-road adventures.
The suspension system on some of the higher end jogging strollers is similar to that of a mountain bike. The Bob Revolution Strollers, for example, promote an ultra smooth ride via it’s suspension system, shocks, and cushioned comfort seat. I’m sure your child will appreciate this – they may as well be comfortable while you suffer gutting out those last two miles.
Joggers oftentimes come with shocks only on the rear two wheels, but some actually include shocks on all of the wheels. This option can really enhance the comfort for the child, but it may be overkill. It’s important to weigh whether or not you will actually be running on overly difficult ground prior to purchasing. It’s easy to get carried away with features, but are they necessary?
Size Differences in Joggers vs Regular Strollers
Jogging strollers are generally bigger, heavier, and more bulky. Due to their enhanced design that is engineered to tackle tougher conditions, including things like suspension systems, shocks, and larger wheels and tires, they can be bigger and less portable.
While not a massive difference in weight, regular strollers generally weight in around the low to mid 20lb range. Some can be significantly lighter, but that is an average best on some of the top-rated strollers on Amazon.
In comparison, the Bob stroller we referenced earlier comes in at 30.5lbs – which is actually on the lighter side of the jogging stroller world. Bob is a quality brand using lightweight and strong materials, but other brands using slightly cheaper materials will weigh even more.
That said, however, one benefit is that you can actually use a jogging stroller everyday removing the need to have two strollers.
Tip: This can not only save you money, but it can reduce clutter and noise from our lives. That is something we can all appreciate – especially as parents who have a demanding hobby like running.
The Final Word on The Differences Between Jogging Strollers and Regular Strollers
The wheels, suspension, and size are the most significant distinctions between a jogger and a regular stroller. Jogging strollers have bigger, or at least existing, suspension systems and are generally larger and heavier than normal strollers because to their larger, air-filled wheels that are about 12 inches in diameter.
While there are pros and cons to each, joggers fulfill more of the requirements that a dedicated runner needs on a daily basis. If I could only purchase one, I’d go with the jogger. Sure, you can run with a regular stroller, but it’s less efficient, harder, and ultimately not as safe or comfortable for your baby.