As my husband would say, “The Bugaboo Runner is the BMW of jogging strollers.” It is very well made and has a very sleek look—just like his favorite cars.
The Runner is a winner for several seasons, which I’ll get to in a minute. But first, for families who already own a Bugaboo stroller, it offers a special incentive. If you currently have a Bugaboo—Bee, Cameleon3, Donkey, you name it—you can purchase the Runner chassis ($400) and use it with the seat from your current stroller. Not only does this cut the price in half, it also saves on space. Instead of two full strollers taking up space in your garage (or tiny city apartment), you have only one and a half. Plus, the chassis alone can fold very compactly when you remove the wheels.
This is our first Bugaboo, so we reviewed the Runner as a complete stroller. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
To my (very pleasant) surprise, assembly was easy. There were only a few things to put together, and it was so straightforward I probably could have figured it out without the directions. However, the instruction manual was great—a completely different experience from most. Rather than words, there are illustrations showing each step. Some may say this makes it more difficult, but I personally thought it was more helpful. Getting the stroller run-ready took about 30-45 minutes from start to finish, including taking everything out of the box and unwrapping it.
From our first run, I could tell we were going to love the Runner. It has a fixed front wheel, so it’s designed solely for jogging. Because its front wheel doesn’t turn, it rides effortlessly on runs without requiring any energy to keep it moving forward in a straight line. (This also means it would require a lot of energy to steer it around the mall—don’t try it!)
The wheels are air-filled, and a pump comes with the stroller. The built-in suspension system ensures a smooth ride for our little guy—even over curbs and trails.
We often find we are running faster with the stroller that we do without because “it just goes.” When we can’t keep up, the speed-control handbrake (located just below the handlebar) makes it easy to slow the stroller down or stop with one hand. The handlebar is height adjustable—a nice touch. My husband and I are on the smaller side, so we like that we don’t have to have our shoulders up by our ears when pushing the stroller, as we often do on fixed-height handlebars.
One of our favorite parts of the Runner is the seat. The seat is plenty large enough for when our son gets bigger but also fits him very well right now at 11 months. He is snug and not slumping down, as he often is in other strollers. The fabric of the stroller is very durable and easy to wipe clean.
Our little guy can never be too upright, and no stroller we’ve used sits up enough for his liking—no stroller, that is, until the Runner. The seat is adjustable but can sit almost straight up if you want it to, which our little guy absolutely loves. When he wants to chill, we move the seat to a reclined position. (It can practically lay flat.) The seat is also reversible, so our little guy can face us or face the world. We alternate between both options depending on his mood.
We’re also super pleased with the canopy. Any parent knows how annoying it is when the canopy doesn’t cover enough ground and the sun still manages to end up in baby’s eyes. With the Runner, that’s never a problem. The canopy is extremely sturdy, doesn’t budge with bumps or turns, and opens so far it can come almost completely down over your passenger. When my son is sleeping or the sun is setting, this is ideal.
Like most jogging strollers, the Runner takes up a good bit of space when folded. The seat needs to be removed first (this may be my least favorite thing about the Runner), and the chassis folded separately. Aside from requiring multiple steps and two hands, the fold is simple enough once your figure it out. We manage to fit it in the trunks of our sedans, and the chassis itself is actually quite compact when you remove the wheels.
The stroller is designed to accommodate children from 9 months to 3 years, and the maximum weight limit is 37 pounds and height is 40 inches. The included rain cover with protects my little guy completely and is great for those of use who aren’t afraid of a little mist.
This high-end stroller isn’t cheap, but we’ve used cheap and there’s a very clear difference. If your budget can afford it, the Runner is really a top-of-the-line jogging stroller, and we can’t recommend it enough.
Price: $400 chassis; $815 complete jogger
To buy: bugaboo.com