Having kids, while not for everyone, is one of life’s great joys. That said, the transition into parenthood can be a bit jarring as your freedom and spare time are significantly reduced. If you’re a runner with future goals this can be a very challenging time. But, don’t fret. With the right equipment there’s no need to shelve your running goals, and running with your kids is a great way to get them outside and expose them to an active lifestyle at an early age. Below we are going to take a look at the Thule Urban Glide ($479.95). They don’t give this thing away, but we think it’s totally worth it. Continue reading to learn why…
First… Do You Even Need A Jogging Stroller?
It depends. If you already have children, and you’ve already purchased a stroller, and you have a supportive spouse that helps you make time for training, then maybe not. But, if you don’t have a stroller yet, don’t have a schedule that is conducive to training away from your kids, or just want the best dang stroller out there… Read on.
Why We Are Fans Of The Thule Urban Glide
The Thule Urban Glide has been part of our family now for over 2 years. The reason we are huge fans of this stroller is because it’s more than just a jogging stroller for us. It’s our everyday stroller, it’s our jogger, it’s our travel stroller, it’s our grocery getter. The Urban Glide’s versatility makes it a stroller worth considering whether or not you are a runner.
We started our stroller journey with the Chicco Bravo. It came in a package with a car seat and base, and at the time we thought it would be fine. It had wheels, it rolled, it had adequate storage, and it folded up easily and compactly… What else could you want?
Well, you have to consider that your main stroller is a piece of equipment that is going to get used every single day. You’re going to fold and unfold it multiple times every day. You’re going to use it in all conditions, hop curbs, take shortcuts through the park, and wander around the grocery store. You’re going to use this thing a lot! The Bravo was never easy to steer one-handed and quickly stopped rolling as smoothly as when new. It just wasn’t built for they type of everyday use we were subjected it to.
Enter the Urban Glide from Thule. We purchased the Urban Glide because it had a swiveling front wheel. Most jogging strollers have a fixed front wheel and the swiveling wheel allows for more maneuverability. We were hoping this would allow it to replace the Bravo as our everyday stroller in addition to being able to run with it. Now, after over 2 years of use, we’re here to tell you that, while not perfect, it’s been very good, and we’ve been very happy with it. It’s easy to use, handles any terrain we throw at it, and has held up to repeated use and abuse. Continue reading below for a closer look and more details about what we like and what we think could be improved.
One of the best parts about this stroller are the wheels. While not as big as the wheels on a dedicated jogging stroller, but they’re still much larger than what you’ll find on the average everyday stroller. The large size makes the stroller very easy to push and it rolls smoothly over just about anything that gets in it’s way. This is great for running as it handles uneven sidewalks with ease, and will never get hung up on a stone or piece of gravel. All of this makes the stroller a joy to push while providing a smooth ride for your little one.
What’s good for running is also great for everyday use. The Urban Glide’s ability to roll over everything let’s you jump curbs, take that shortcut through the park, cruise around the farmers market, and explore gentle dirt paths and trails with ease. This stroller is comfortable everywhere, and your kid will be too. It’s also very easy to push and steer one-handed which is something we really didn’t think about initially. But, there are so many times when one hand is occupied that the ability to easily maneuver with one hand is something we appreciate time and time again.
In this photo you can see the locking mechanism and tracking adjustment dial for the front wheel. The front wheel has two modes… Locked, and unlocked. In the locked, aka jogging, position the front wheel is held in place so that the stroller will track in a straight line which in theory makes it easier to push while out for a run. The tracking adjustment dial allows you to adjust the trueness of the front wheel so that it tracks where you want it to. As nice as these features are… We honestly never use them.
I did at first. During those first few runs I locked in the front wheel and away we went. However, I found that having the front wheel locked in place wasn’t all that convenient unless you were running on the road on a route that had few turns. Personally, my routes often see us running on bike paths and side walks with many twists and turns and even when on a straight road there are enough obstacles on the side that it’s nice to be able to maneuver around whatever attempts to wake up your kid. So, generally, we found having the front wheel locked in place was not convenient or necessary. With the wheel unlocked I was free to maneuver around other users on the bike path and/or sidewalk, around potholes or uneven bits of sidewalk, and on the straight flat sections I never felt that the Urban Glide didn’t track well.
Here you can see the seat where your child will sit. The harness is easily adjustable and accommodates both our 4 month old son and our 2.5 year old without any issues. There are pockets on either side for toys, food, or bottles. The buckle is easy to lock and unlock, yet is complicated enough that our older son still hasn’t figure it out. The seat also reclines to almost flat and is apparently very comfortable as both of our sons can’t stay awake once strapped in. The fabric is holding up well and has been easy to clean. So far the child containment zone has been very good to us and to our kids.
Note: for the little ones there is a universal carseat adapter which is available and will allow you to place whatever infant bucket you have in the stroller and secure it in place.
Here you can see the under seat storage. This is an area where we feel there could be some improvement. There’s a small stretch mesh panel on the backside of the seat where you can store small, light items. Then the basket underneath has a large main compartment with a decent sized zippered pocket on the back. The red tab is the parking brake.
Our main issues with the Urban Glide have to do with the storage areas, and access to those areas. In the image above you can see how small the gap is between the top of the basket and the bottom of the seat. This isn’t an issue for little items. However, it can be hard to fit a diaper bag into the basket, and full grocery bags will never fit. Side access is also minimal, and the side of the lower basket itself isn’t as big as it could be due to the graceful, swooping front edge. It looks pretty, but beyond that the shape only serves to reduce your useful storage area and not much else. Also, the mesh pocket on the back of the seat is almost useless when the seat is reclined.
It’s actually kind of amazing to me that an item so well designed and thought out in some areas can be so bad at something you’d think would be a top priority of the design team. We feel there are a variety of small changes that can be made that would drastically improve the usability of the storage areas. Hopefully in some of these things will be addressed in future updates to the line.
In this image you can see the handle which is used to collapse the stroller. It’s hidden under a flap and is very easy to use. You can very easily pick up your child in one arm, then grab and collapse the stroller and lift it into the trunk of your vehicle with the other. You have to remember to fold the handlebar down, but after you forget to do this a few times you’ll stop forgetting.
Here you can see the Urban Glide collapsed and ready for transport. It’s in this configuration that we transport this stroller the most. If necessary you can remove the wheels to make things a bit smaller, but for daily use this is mostly unnecessary. We often find that having the wheels attached and unlocked is actually quite convenient as it allows you to place the stroller in the trunk of a car and then roll it back into place. There are definitely more compact options out there, but I doubt any of them work as well and are as durable as the Urban Glide.
Overall we are very happy with the Thule Urban Glide and fully understand why it is often identified as one of the best jogging strollers available. No product is perfect, and the Urban Glide is no exception. But after using it every day for the last 2+ years there are very few things we think need to be improved.
The Thule Urban Glide isn’t a specialized tool that only comes out on special occasions. It’s built to be used everyday. It’s durable, light, easy to use, and comfortable for your kiddo. Whether you’re running errands or running your favorite training loop we think you’ll be hard pressed to find another stroller that can out perform the Thule Urban Glide.