When I started looking for a stroller, I learned that there is a wide variety and while many of them look the same, they don't all perform the same. Which one I would pick depended largely on what my personal criteria were. There is a difference between needing a stroller that will simply allow you to traverse a grass field at a wine festival and a stroller that will allow you to run fast. And everything in between.
I went with the Baby Jogger Performance Series. As a brand, they've been targeting runners for a long time and still have a great product. The stroller comes with 20-inch wheels, which make all the bumps in the road that much smaller and popping over a curb that much faster. The canopy can shift all the way to my Emma's feet, allowing me to keep the direct sun off her fair skin. Running with it is extremely smooth. I feel as though I'm simply pushing the weight of the stroller, not fighting against friction in the wheels.
Assembling and breaking down the stroller are also quick and easy after doing it a couple times (all the wheels are quick release). The best part is it fits in both of our cars--Toyota Matrix and Corolla. With my Corolla, it fits in either the trunk or the back seat. So you don't need a minivan to own a jogging stroller.
Other features include:
- Reclining Seat: Okay, but not all that important since the seat in it's upright position is fairly reclined anyway.
- Handleash: Definitely a must to prevent the stroller from getting away from me in case of an accident or lapse of attention.
- Handbrake: Sounds like it would be really useful, but I found I never used it while running. I actually disengaged it because it was required a good deal of fussing to make sure it didn't rub against the tire and slow me down. I haven't missed it.
- Parking Brake: There are two: one through the handbrake and the other at the base of the wheels like conventional strollers. So even though I got rid of the handbrake, I can still part the stroller when I'm not running.
- Zipper pocket at the back/top where I put a little money and my cell phone.
- Bigger net on the back where I can put a hat, gloves, water bottle, etc...
- Cargo net on bottom, which is almost useless. Small items will slip out, but for now the diaper bag is a good fit (though I don't take the bag when I go for a run).
- When going over bumps, pushing down on the handlebar prevents the front wheel from bouncing up--much more comfortable for the passenger.
- Run with the dog (leashed) or the stroller, not both.
- I've heard starting early with your kids helps. So if you wait until Johnny is three years old, you may find Johnny is fussy with the whole thing. Starting at the right time makes it seem like a normal thing, so they can ease into it. (I'll have to see if this is right in a couple years.)