Review: Bugaboo Runner – our first thoughts

The thing about running, is that kids aren’t keen on it. At least, not when it comes to the adult type of running – pulling on some slightly too snug clothing, sticking sadly neglected trainers on your feet and then pounding the pavements in a loop around the local area.

And adults look vaguely silly running rings round and round and round the local playground – which is where the kids DO like to run around. Plus, there are lots of tiny tripping hazards in the way!

But you can’t exactly leave your toddler sitting around at home while you go out on your own…

The Bugaboo Runner provides the solution to this – you can go out running, and take your 9-months-or-older little one with you!*

bugaboo runner jogger chassis review

The Bugaboo Runner is a chassis that has been carefully designed with running in mind, and – in contrast to other running pushchairs on the market, it works with your existing Bugaboo pushchair seat. Something that is a big consideration when choosing a pushchair, because anyone who has a small child will know that in general, the smaller the child, the bigger the STUFF. Finding the space to store not one, but two potentially larger sized pushchairs can be a bit of a dilemma when you’re living in a house that’s already bulging at the seams. The opportunity to halve that space sapping requirement is a definite bonus! And because the Runner chassis is first and foremost a  dedicated running pushchair rather than a hybrid all-in-one, you get all the features you would want without compromise – unlike those that have been developed for life outside and life inside a shopping mall too.

Another key consideration for pushchair selection is the comfort of your child. If they’re sitting facing the world in a basic, lightweight seat whilst you’re dashing around at speed, it can be hard to tell if they’re screaming in delight or in fact rather more upset by the whole experience.

This is also something that has been addressed by the Bugaboo Runner. Because the chassis is interchangeable with your existing Bugaboo Chameleon, Buffalo, Donkey or Bee (2010 models onwards) pushchair, it means your child can use their usual comfortable seat, facing either forward (to watch the scenery fly by) or rearward (to laugh at their red faced parent while you keep an eye on them). bugaboo runner with bee 3 seat

That is the theory, anyway.

So we have been testing out how it actually works in practice.

There are several things that we look for in a running pushchair:

  • safe and secure for Little B – comfortable seat, good quality harness, recline, and some way of viewing/interacting with her. Plus of course some excellent suspension!
  • easy to manoeuvre
  • robust but lightweight
  • excellent braking system (with handlebar brake)
  •  as small as possible for storage
  • somewhere to stow all the bits that might be needed while we are out.

The first thing I thought when I saw the Bugaboo runner is how elegant it looks, in an elongated kind of way. Most running pushchairs look more utilitarian, with chunky exposed suspension, random brake cables, big robust wheels and ruggedly upholstered seats.

bugaboo jogger run free (1024x683) (1024x683)The Bugaboo Runner has the big (beautifully spoked) wheels, the suspension and the handlebar controlled brake – but it somehow still manages to look sleek and clean. In standard Bugaboo style everything is cleverly crafted to cover all the functions you might need from a running pushchair, but without compromising on aesthetics. Obviously, function for a running pushchair wins over aesthetics every time – but if you can have both, even better!

It also has lots of little details included to maximize the experience:

Mudguards clip on over the wheels to stop your baby/you being splattered in gunk.bugaboo runner wheels (1280x873)

Bands of elastic span the generously sized shopping basket, so you can tie down your stuff and not worry that it’s going to go missing when you go quickly over bumps or around corners.

bugaboo runner basket straps (1280x767)

The brake calipers and wiring are all sealed away in a handy little flip down compartment too, keeping them safe and away from tiny fingers. With a brake handle that spans the entire length of the handlebar, it is easy to operate whichever hand you are pushing with as well.

bugaboo runner jogger front brake review

And it has the usual foot friendly Bugaboo parking brake.

The Other Half is the kind of guy that you won’t find heading off to the gym. He prefers to get on his gear and go out running, and he was keen to find out if the Bugaboo Runner would help him to do that. (Finding time between various his-work, my-work, extracurricular kids activities, other stuff we are doing commitments can be a bit of a challenge as often one of us needs to be somewhere with the older two whilst the other looks after Little B).

bugaboo runner review

Happily, it is working well so far!

He has been out a few times, and found the experience on the whole positive. Little B is comfortable in the seat, and having the bumper bar means that she can have her ‘headlights’ attached, and we can also tie on her bluetooth speaker, which she likes to hold and listen to when she is out in the pushchair. Because the seat reclines easily, she usually comes home fast asleep too – the ride is comfortably smooth for her even when travelling over bumps or at speed.

The five-point harness is nice and secure, and each part clips in individually, meaning she can be strapped in even when she is in ‘wriggly octopus’ or ‘plank’ mode.

Best of all, for the Other Half (and for me, although I am more of a slow jogger than a runner) the handlebar is height adjustable. Being 6’5”, he needs it on the highest setting; I on the other hand have it nice and low because I am more than a foot shorter than him.

The fixed wheel is a very different experience to our usual stroller – you have to put a little pressure on the handlebar to lift and turn. This is different to the running pushchair we have used before, which has the option for a fixed or swivel wheel. It also feels a bit heavier than other running pushchairs we have used. At the moment we are still getting used to it, but I think just like any pushchair (they all push and steer differently) we will soon find it is committed to muscle memory and comes completely naturally.

Folding is also a little bit awkward. Again, I get the feeling it’ll become far more efficient with practice, but at the moment both getting the frame unfolded and folding it back down again takes a bit of time and the odd bit of mild cursing. Once it is folded it is beautifully compact and easy to store though, in comparison to other running pushchairs 🙂

bugaboo runner folded (853x1280)

Overall we are enjoying the experience so far and the Other Half is certainly loving being able to get out running again.

We are looking forward to dashing around amongst all the daffodils and bluebells in the next couple of months – check back and find out how we get on 🙂

 

*9 months is the minimum recommended age for the Runner, as by this age babies have enough head, neck and spinal control to ride safely. This means that the Runner is not a standalone pushchair that you would buy to use from birth (but it does highlight how useful it is that you can use the seat from another from-birth Bugaboo pushchair with it!).

 

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.

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