"Passenger comfort and amenities are paramount, with a mesh pocket for a bottle or toys, ample leg support, and a padded bar for baby to grab or hold throughout the ride."
Let’s start by acknowledging what everyone is thinking: Running is hard. And running with a baby—exponentially harder. But, if you are inclined to do it, you could do far worse than the Bumbleride Speed. Introduced in 2016, the Speed keeps baby comfortable and makes jogging with your little one as easy and enjoyable as it should be.
The Speed comes tucked expertly into a manageable box and assembly is expectedly minimal—after snapping on the two large, air-filled rear tiles, and bolting on the swiveling front wheel, the Speed demands little more than attaching a few canopy parts. Once assembled, the Speed quickly collapses down to a relatively small (for a jogger, mind you), closet-friendly size, though the large wheels can be a bit cumbersome. It is equally easy to unfold and can go from storage to street-ready in seconds.
Getting baby into or out of the Speed is a snap. The buckle apparatus, a confidence-inspiring five-point harness, opens easily and adjusts to fit kids of various sizes. Passenger comfort and amenities are paramount, with a mesh pocket for a bottle or toys, ample leg support, and a padded bar for baby to grab or hold throughout the ride. For youngsters more inclined to sleep, the backrest can recline comfortable (and is adjustable at a variety of angles). The jogger is topped by an extra large, expandable sunshade. For Mom or Dad’s peace of mind, it also boasts a peekaboo window. Perched on the bottom of the stroller is a spacious storage basket for carrying various child care essentials. We’ve found it readily accomodates a park blanket and water bottles or a medium-sized backpack diaper bag.
Using the Speed is intuitive and—dare we say it—a joy. Until you’re ready to hit the pavement, it stays anchored firmly in place thanks to a large, foot-operated brake bar. The handleswoops out wide behind the stroller, leaving plenty of space for running legs, and the entire handlebar adjusts up and down. We found its adjustments comfortably accommodated mom (5’5”) and dad (6’0”) without issue. The Speed’s three large wheels are virtually resistance-free, providing a smooth and cooperative platform for jogging, walking or anything in between.
The Speed’s signature feature is its three-setting front wheel assembly. With the simple maneuvering of a small rod, the front wheel can be moved between three distinct configurations. The first is the traditional jogging stroller setup, with the front wheel locked in place. This locked setup allows easy movement forward and some small steering adjustments, but is not conducive to quick or significant turns. The second configuration—our favorite—allows the front wheel to swivel 30 degrees either direction, facilitating unimpeded jogging without the constraints of a fully locked wheel. It’s ideal for jogs around the neighborhood, when we’re navigating frequent turns and curves. The third and final configuration allows the Speed’s front wheel to turn freely, rotating a full 360 degrees. This configuration is perfect for walks or more leisurely use. We’ll often jog with the wheel locked or semi-locked to the farmer’s market and then switch it to swivel when arrive and make our way around the various produce and pastry (hey, we earned it by jogging there) booths.
The build quality is fantastic. The Speed’s metal frame feels solid and is welded together at its various joints. The wheels lock firmly onto the frame and, even with considerable effort, we could not get them to come loose (or even wobble). There is a wrist strap affixed to the handle bar so that if mom or dad has to suddenly slow, the Speed does not fly away unattended. Finally, it comes with a charming little bell that can be mounted in various positions on the handlebar and helps you warn others as you aproach.
Our only gripe is a minor one. The manual that comes with the Speed is a perfectly functional multilingual affair that, while user friendly, left us wishing for a bit more detail in a few places. For example, our Speed included a piece fabric with the canopy assembly that we learned was the wrong size and could not zip onto the unit properly. Given the manual’s cursory treatment of the canopy assembly and that piece in particular, it took us a longer than it should have to realize the problem was the piece (as opposed to our assembly skills).
While the manual left something to be desired, Bumbleride’s support was nothing but helpful. We contacted them when we realized the issue with our canopy piece. They responded quickly and offered to immediately ship us an entire new canopy assembly (to ensure color matching on all parts) at no cost and with no questions asked. Particularly in light of the fact that our issue affected a minor piece and did not dimish the general usability of the stroller, we were beyond satisfied with Bumbleride’s friendly support.
Overall, using the Speed is a joy—something we never thought we would say about a jogging stroller. It feels like a product designed to either make your life easier or, at worst, stay out of your way. It is light and nimble and its adjustable front wheel gives it a versatility that many jogging strollers seem to lack. If you are looking to take baby out into the world and get into (or back into) jogging with your little one, the Bumbleride Speed should be at the top of your list
Price: from $549
To buy: amazon.com