Jogging Stroller vs All Terrain Stroller

June 06, 2022 6 min read

So you're a new dad - pretty awesome, right? Kids are wonderful, bizarre, exciting little balls of potential, and involving them in your fitness pursuit is great! Kids exposed to nature and exercise early will learn to love it later in life, which is always a great thing.

One of the most effortless ways to get out into nature or on the jogging path with your kids is with a jogging or all-terrain stroller. With that said, however, both types of stroller aren't interchangeable - you wouldn't go hiking with a jogging stroller, for instance. If you're on the cusp of purchasing a new stroller to bring your little soldier along for a jog or hike, it's important you make your decision with the best possible information.

Let's take a look at the difference between jogging and all-terrain strollers, and which would be best for your particular goals.

How do jogging and all-terrain strollers differ from regular strollers?

First off, let's understand the differences in strollers at a basic level. Most general strollers you see at malls or stores are just built to easily cart around kids and some bags. They're only designed to make it easier to get from point A to point B with your kids.

All-terrain and jogging strollers differ from traditional strollers in these four main points:

  • Frame
  • Wheels
  • Suspension
  • Safety

Traditional strollers are bare-bones in all of these respects, but both joggers and all-terrain strollers have robust, intentional layouts in these four categories.

Jogging Strollers

These strollers are designed to be lighter, more maneuverable, and more capable of traversing rough ground than a traditional stroller. Jogging strollers are focused on helping you exercise with your baby but without slowing you down. If you've ever been walking with a regular stroller and cursed softly as the wheels went goofy, then you know how annoying that can be.

Jogging strollers are often designed in a 3-tire system, in an angular configuration that gives you better control over where you're going. Additionally, they will usually have a handbrake, so you can control your speed better as you run. While jogging strollers work far better on rough ground like trails, snow, sand, or gravel than a traditional stroller, they are not as good as all-terrain strollers for handling off-road strolls.

Jogging Stroller Frames

As we said before, joggers tend to have triangular frames because this configuration gives you better control over where the stroller is going. The frames tend to be lighter than other strollers as well, so that when you're jogging uphill or on uneven ground it's not going to add too much impedance. The goal with a jogger frame is ultimate mobility without slowing you down.

Jogging Stroller Wheels

Jogging stroller wheels differ from traditional strollers in that the tires are filled with air. This makes the ride smoother, more comfortable for your baby, and easier for you to push. Often these strollers will have a lockable front wheel as well, so you can better direct the handling of your stroller. Finally, a jogging stroller should have easy-to-use brakes that work extremely well in the event you need to stop in a hurry.

Jogging Stroller Suspension

These strollers will have a great suspension that makes the ride smooth and comfortable for your kid. The hard, plastic wheels and lack of suspension in a traditional stroller will have your baby feeling every bump and rut in the road, but a jogging stroller should distribute impact evenly throughout the frame. This keeps things pleasant for your little one and easier for you.

Jogging Stroller Safety

You want your stroller to have a five-point harness, as you're going to be moving faster and in more complicated terrain with a jogging model. It should also have the capability to interface with a car seat if you're taking an infant for a jog, as well as a canopy to protect your children from the elements.

As you can see, the design of a jogging stroller is extremely deliberate, safe, and more comfortable than a traditional stroller. With an emphasis on maneuverability and safety, you should feel confident taking your baby out for exercise with a jogging stroller.

Downsides to a Jogging Stroller

There are two main downsides to a jogging stroller:

  1. The tires of a jogging stroller are inflated which adds a layer of maintenance to the equation. You will need to ensure they are inflated correctly before each outing. There is also the risk of them being punctured when you're out and about, especially if you're taking your stroller on rough ground.
  2. The lightweight, triangular design of a jogging stroller isn't great for complicated terrain. While these strollers are certainly better capable of handling trails than a traditional stroller, they can't hold a candle to an all-terrain stroller for going off-road.

If you're jogging mainly in parks, on the roads, or on sidewalks, a jogging stroller is great. If you like to brave the forest, beach, or mountainous areas, then read on to learn about all-terrain strollers.

All-Terrain Stroller

All-terrain strollers are designed for snow, rocky ground, mossy forest trails, and breezy, sandy beaches. They're the ultimate in getting out and exploring and taking your kid with you. The point of this is that an all-terrain stroller is like a little 4x4 for your baby while you get out into nature.

All-Terrain Stroller Frames

An all-terrain stroller frame is going to be heavier and more sturdy than all other strollers. This is simply because you're expected to be using this on some tough ground - you want it to be as durable as possible. A sturdier frame also provides better safety in the event of a tip-over or accident, and more storage space than a jogger, where lightness is key.

All-Terrain Stroller Wheels

The wheels on an all-terrain stroller are inflated like with a jogger, but they're more like tractor tires, capable of withstanding extremely unforgiving terrain. This gives the ride a great cushion like a jogger, but they're far less likely to be punctured by obnoxious ground hazards like rocks or nails. More often than not, an all-terrain stroller will be in a four-wheel configuration but you can find ones with a triangular design, in what amounts to a marriage of jogger and all-terrain designs.

All-Terrain Stroller Suspension

These strollers are designed with more emphasis on suspension than joggers or traditional strollers because it's expected you'll be on some chunky terrain. You don't want to rattle your little one's brain and forget what color is blue as you make your way through a forest trail. The better suspension also makes it easier for you to push the stroller, as the impact and rattle of the terrain aren't distributed into your hands and wrists but rather evenly across the stroller.

All-Terrain Stroller Safety

Even more than a jogging stroller, safety is critical with an all-terrain stroller. Since you'll likely be in bumpy areas, these strollers should have a five-point harness, as well as car seat interfacing. A canopy is standard to keep your baby protected from wind, sun, rain and snow.

If you find yourself out in nature a lot, this is a great stroller choice. It can handle troublesome terrain and still hold all of your necessary equipment, like snacks, bottles, a tactical diaper bag, and more.

Comparing Jogging Strollers and All-Terrain Strollers

The biggest points of comparison between jogging strollers vs all-terrain strollers are how the strollers handle your preferred exercise. If you find yourself on rough terrain, uneven ground, sand, or just anything other than concrete, an all-terrain stroller is going to be a better bet. It can handle rough rides and the difficulty those trips throw at you.

If you usually run or jog in the city on concrete roads or sidewalks - especially on largely flat expanses with little-to-no incline - then a jogging stroller is likely your best bet. These strollers are lighter and more streamlined for easier pushing during runs.

Both types of strollers are safe and great choices for exercise with your little ones - it ultimately comes down to how and where you like to get your cardio in.

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