This post was created in partnership with Bugaboo. As always, my my thoughts regarding the stroller are my own and uninfluenced by my partnership.
Each one of my kids (now ages 7, 4 and 18 months) has accompanied me on many runs. As they get older and more capable on their bikes I am quickly realizing that our stroller running days are numbered-which makes me want to do it all the more while I still have time.
I love brining my kids along with me for a run, it’s a great opportunity to get outside and explore the stunning landscape we live in here in New England. So I was thrilled when Bugaboo offered to send me their Bugaboo Runner to test out.
I had a great time taking my youngest (18 mo. old, Liam) out for several spins in the Bugaboo Runner. We had a chance to test it out on a short run along the beach and then later for several longer runs on the roads. My review is based on the miles I logged with the Bugaboo Runner over the last several weeks.
Assembly and Construction
The stroller arrived in two separate boxes, one for the frame and another for the seat and seat attachments (these are the pieces that allow interchangeability between other Bugaboo strollers-more on that later). From Start to finish it took about 35 minutes (with some interruptions from curious kids) to assemble the stroller. For the most part the assembly steps were straightforward and directions were easy to follow: picture IKEA-like instructions with images and no-words.
While it was a pain to toggle back and forth between two books, one for the seat and the other for the frame, it makes sense when you consider that all Bugaboo stroller seats fit on the Runner frame it makes sense that these items are shipped separately and come with separate assembly instructions.
On first impression, the aluminum frame seemed solidly built and all of the moving parts operated smoothly. The “click-able” pieces attached firmly. Overall the stroller seemed well-designed and quite sturdy to me. I’ve tested quite a few strollers and you can tell when the materials and construction are “cheap” and this one was most definitely not, both materials and construction seem to be of the highest quality. The wheels were easy to install and once assembled, it was easy to make tracking adjustments to the fixed front wheel.
The durable seat fabric attached easily to the seat frame-I love that the seat itself comes off the frame, it would make cleaning up spilled snacks, spit-up or potty training accidents easier than a seat that is fixed to the frame (or if you’re being pro-active you can purchase the Bugaboo Seat Liner separately).
Wheels: 16″ (rear) 14″ (front)
Weight limit: 37.5 lbs
Folded Dimensions: (lwh): 46 x 28 x 18″
Once assembled we blew up the tires with the tire pump that is included with the stroller (total bonus!) and took it out for the first spin.
I was able to adjust the stroller handle to a comfortable height, although it took me a bit to figure out how to do this since the mechanism to close the stroller frame is also the mechanism to adjust the handle height. I quickly checked the Bugaboo YouTube channel and found a helpful video there that clued me in on how to make the adjustment.
On the sand, the large tires easily maneuvered over soft terrain and pebbly surfaces. I would imagine that the stroller would function well on a stone-dust or packed-dirt trail-that’s where we’re headed for our next adventure! On the roads the ride of the stroller seemed incredibly smooth and it was light and easy to push.
The front fixed wheel made for a speedy ride and it was surprisingly easy to turn and maneuver around corners. I have used several strollers with a fixed wheel and this one is by far the easiest to maneuver. It is important to note however, that the fixed wheel does not have a swivel option.
The Bugaboo Runner features a five point safety harness that is easy to adjust. Some stroller straps are designed to be adjusted at the top of the trap towards the back of the seat, close to the child’s head or ears (not comfortable for your kid). But the Bugaboo straps are easy to adjust with a single pull from the front, close to the buckle. The harness also easily comes un-done with a single click.
The generous sunshade, that extends with a zip increase comfort and “nap-ability,” since it blocks sun from all angles. I also love the many adjustments the seat can make. You can recline the seat to two different positions and also change the direction the seat faces: it can face out, or you can position it facing towards you so you can see your child while you run. A great feature, in my opinion that many other strollers are lacking.
The Bugaboo Runner also comes with a rain cover, which is a nice addition that doesn’t require another purchase and is sure to keep your babe dry and warm.
The Bugaboo runner has many great features including:
- generous sun canopy-with zippered extension
- fixed front wheel-for safety and smoother ride
- handbreak-great for downhills
- option for rear facing-perfect for little ones who want to see you
- reclining front seat-adjusts with a click for napping babes
- easily accessible storage basket
The adjustable seat is a great feature.
One of the biggest features of the Bugaboo Runner is its compatibility with other Bugaboo stroller systems. The Bugaboo Runner frame is easily compatible with four other Bugaboo seats. It is possible to purchase the Bugaboo Runner frame by itself, making it a great stroller system to invest in from the start.
While I LOVED the smooth ride of the stroller and the countless features as well as the bonus tire pump and rain cover, there were a few drawbacks to the stroller.
Not an all-in-one Stroller: Many jogging strollers in the same price range as the Bugaboo Runner feature an adjustable front wheel, that both locks and swivels. If you are looking for an “all-in-one” stroller that can go about town and function as a jogging stroller, I would consider the fixed wheel a drawback.
Handle Durability: The design of the Bugaboo Runner is such that it allows for interchangeability with other Bugaboo stroller products as well as adjusts for rear or front facing seats, however this construction means that the handle pivots from and is secured to the rest of the frame at a single point on the stroller. While running with the stroller I noticed that there was side to side motion on the handle as I made a turn. I would imagine that prolonged, frequent use might cause some loosening of the stroller handle as the pull and push would cause wear at that single attachment point.
Packability: The stroller folds in three separate motions: one to release and remove the seat and two others to fold the handle and frame. Many other strollers on the market fold with a single step or two steps.
While the frame can fold down quite flat with the removal of the wheels, the seat remains somewhat cumbersome.
If you don’t have the ability to leave the stroller assembled in your home or garage and have to drive to a trail to run, the 3-step breakdown and assembly may become cumbersome.
Water Bottle and Small Storage: It is my personal opinion that all jogging strollers should come standard with water bottle holder and cell phone/key pocket. Why it is not industry standard to include these two items is a bit baffling to me-these items are absolutely essential on the run and not things you want have to stop and reach into the storage basket for. I think it is unfortunate that most major running stroller brands, including Bugaboo require you to purchase these separately. I love that they add the rain cover and bike pump, but a water bottle holder and cell phone/key pocket should be there too.
At $815 for a single jogging stroller, it is definitely on the higher end of industry averages. However, if you already own Bugaboo products or are starting fresh with your first stroller purchases (or baby registry) investing in the Bugaboo stroller system and purchasing the Runner Chassis is a great way to go.
Bugaboo Runner (frame and seat) $815.00
Bugaboo Runner Chassis (frame only) $400
Water bottle holder $24.95
Smart phone holder $24.95
The ride of the Bugaboo Runner was exceptionally smooth and I kind of wish there had been a local race to run, because I feel like I could have really “flown” with that thing-I would attribute that to the large fixed wheel.
The Bugaboo Runner is a great for first time parents looking for a versatile stroller system where they can purchase two frames and swap out a single seat for different purposes. It’s a very economical choice if you’re a new parent just starting out and want two strollers each with a designated purpose.
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Email: RunFarGirl [at] gmail [dot] com