The Thule Chariot Chinook 2 is the ultimate stroller for active people. In fact, I hesitate to call it a stroller because it does so much more (which explains why Thule calls it a “multifunctional child carrier”). And, I was blown away by how easy it is to use.
I was able to put it together in about 10 minutes (excluding inflating the tires). Once the Chinook 2 is assembled, it is easy to figure out how to convert it to its configurations (including stroller, jogger, bicycle trailer and hiking/skiing trailer). The manual is very simple to understand and has good illustrations.
My wife and I have used the Chinook 2 countless times to take our 2-year-old and 1-year-old together to various places in the bike trailer. When we get to where we’re going, we quickly convert it to stroller mode and are able to walk around and explore at our destination. (The front tire tucks beneath the stroller and simply rotates down for stroller use.) We even rode our bikes to the beach and were then able to push the stroller out through the sand! The cargo bag that attaches is great too. When we got where we were going, we had everything we needed packed in that bag. There are several distinct zipper pockets to accommodate things you may want to keep separate. It even has a small cooler section. The bag is very secure, so you’re never worried about it falling off while cycling.
Another great feature is the ease of traveling with the Chinook 2. The wheels each pop off and on in literally just a couple seconds each for more compact storage. Plus, the cargo bag can be used to hold the wheels. So, with the wheels off, the Chinook 2 folds down to be small enough to fit in a car trunk or even check on an airplane! Of course, as is typical with Thule products, the Chinook 2 is very durable, very safe and very easy to maintain. I think it could last through several years and probably a couple generations of kids!
As far as the seats, they are easily adjustable to different sizes and heights. They even have padding to allow for very small babies. There is padding around the midsection, but most importantly surrounding the head too. (Although this provides excellent support, Thule advises that the Chinoook 2 should be used in stroller mode only until baby had strong head control, usually around the 1 year mark.) Also, when the Chinook 2 is in stroller/jogger configuration, there is the ability to attach a carseat to the top, allowing it to function as a sort of travel system. This obviously makes it super easy to keep an eye on your baby and know she is safe! The passenger weight limit is 100 pounds, so I’m sure this will last quite a while before the kids weigh that much combined.
Another great feature is the option to enclose the “cabin” differently, depending on the weather. It can be enclosed with just mesh to provide maximum ventilation, or it can add a layer of transparent vinyl to eliminate cold wind and rain. (Plus, it’s tinted to reduce sun exposure.) There is also a light flap that can be folded down to completely block the kids from the sun. These layers all simply fold down and zip into place, and they can also be completely removed but are very easy to reattach.
In stroller/jogger configuration, the height of the handlebars can be adjusted to three different settings. The tallest setting is taller than on most joggers, which is great for avid runners. I’m six feet tall, and I’ve run 30 marathons, completing up to 20-mile training runs with one or both of our kids using other joggers, and most do not have a high enough handlebar. So, the Chinook 2 is really great!
Additionally, the front wheel can go from swivel mode (for strolling) to locked (for jogging/running) with a simple turn of a switch. And, there are several pockets for all the stuff you may need to bring along for the ride (i.e., bottles and snacks for the kids, water bottles for you, a special zipper pocket for wallet, money, phone, etc.)
The Chinook 2 converts to hiking or cross-country skiing configuration in less than a minute, just like into bicycling configuration. It is surprisingly ergonomic to tow, and it doesn’t add stress to your back. Although, it does provide a good workout—especially if you’re doing a lot of hills.
The only feature I would want to add to the Chinook 2 is a drink holder. Fortunately, to my good surprise, they offer both a cup holder and hydration cage for separate purchase. Also worth noting: The Chinook 2 is also available in a single passenger version (the Chinook 1), which offers the same great features for a slightly smaller size.
The Chinook 2 is a premium product with a premium price tag. Everything about it is top of the line, and our family loves that it has the ability to quickly transition between bike, jog, ski and hike modes. Overall, if you are seriously active as I am, this is the best and only stroller you will need for two kids.
To buy: thule.com