You can’t hit the road without the right system, so which one should you choose?
So, you want to be a parent who goes on nice jogs with their baby. It’s an ideal way to workout- you get some great cardio and baby gets some fresh air. Well, you are going to need the right travel system. Certainly not all jogging strollers are created equal, and maximum usability is a must. My pick for the best jogging stroller travel system has to be the Graco Modes Jogger Travel System. It has so many great features, like versatility, safety, and an amazing car seat, that make it a great everyday stroller and an even better jogging stroller.
- 1 It’s Incredibly Versatile
- 2 Demo Video
- 3 It Has One of the Best Car Seats
- 4 It’s Got Some Fantastic Features
- 5 Bottom Line: It Makes for a Smooth Run
- 6 Customer Reviews
- 7 Pros
- 8 Cons
- 9 Conclusion
It’s Incredibly Versatile
Graco makes quite a few jogging stroller travel systems, so why is this one my favorite? It’s because of its versatility. You aren’t limited to just a front-facing stroller that a car seat can click into with this travel system. It can accommodate the car seat just like all other travel systems. You can also have the infant car seat facing the parent or the world and the toddler seat facing the parent or the world. It’s the best features of all strollers rolled into one great system.
Car Seat Modes
Three of the modes use the car seat. When you are just using the stroller frame to hold any Graco Click Connect car seat, you simply put the car seat into place facing you. You’ll hear that nice, comforting click that I love so much about Graco’s Click Connect systems. If you want to switch it outward, then you just push the release lever on the car seat and flip it around. Click it into place and you are good to go! I love these two modes because they are a more lightweight option for running with a baby since you don’t have any extra bulk in the stroller.
Also, the stroller folds up really small when broken down like this, so it’ll fit a bit more easily into a small trunk.
For the traditional travel system mode, you use this travel system just like you would any other. The car seat clicks down into the snack tray of the fully assembled stroller. For this mode, you can only have the infant seat facing you. You still get that comforting click that lets you know that the car seat isn’t going anywhere during your run.
This option is so good for traveling. If you aren’t sure whether you’ll need the travel system or just the stroller, you can use this mode and always have access to both modes. Good for when baby gets a bit older and might want to experience life out of the car seat when their nap is over.
Regular Stroller Modes
The stroller is without a doubt the most important part of this travel system. That’s why two of the modes are focused on the stroller sans car seat. The stroller features a seat that is completely removable and flippable. When the seat is facing the parent, you can go into a sort of bassinet mode, where the seat is reclined flat and the shade canopy covers most of your sweet baby. This mode is great for when baby is small and you don’t want to have to strap them into their car seat.
If you want a traditional stroller, just make sure the seat is facing forward like a normal stroller. Be mindful that you’ll have to velcro some of the seat into place depending on which direction it faces, so be ready to spend a couple of minutes doing that. Although the seat does add more bulk when folding, it will still fold down pretty flat when you are ready to store it.
It Has One of the Best Car Seats
The stroller is what makes it a jogging system, but the car seat makes it a true travel system. The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 is a no-fail car seat that won’t disappoint. You could write a whole post about this great car seat and all its features. So let’s just do a quick breakdown of all the important specs:
- Fits infants 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches for a couple of years of good use.
- Top rated for safety- meets or exceeds all US safety standards by utilizing EPS foam and side impact protection.
- Car seat and base use latch system for safety and easy car installation.
- Click Connect technology- an audible click lets you know when the car seat is safely placed into the base or the stroller.
- Compact in size and only weighs 7 pounds!
- Great canopy, durable material, infant insert, and 5 point safety harness to keep baby cozy and happy.
- Only complaint: the buttons that move the car seat handle can be a little stiff and hard to push.
It’s Got Some Fantastic Features
We’ve covered the basics of the stroller and the car seat, so now let’s look at some of the fun little extras that are featured in the Modes Stroller.
For the Kids
If baby ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So what does this jogging stroller travel system offer to keep baby happy? For starters, it has a nice big canopy that features UV50 fabric that’s breathable, too. Next up, the Modes stroller offers a seat that can be reclined to a few different positions, including totally flat when facing the parent. This means that baby can be comfy and out of the sun at all times. And for those moments when your child is starving and needs a snack and a drink? The child snack tray has not one, but two cup holders and a large snack spot. Consider all kid bases covered.
For the Parents
Baby is happy in this stroller, and mommy or daddy will be too. The parent snack/storage tray is fantastic. The cup holders are a great size, and there is two of them. The middle of the tray has room for a smartphone, and yet again, it’s actually large enough to fit all of today’s big phones (yes, the iPhone 6 fits!). I have a place for my phone, my keys, and my water, but I can also take a lot of other things with me if I need to.
The storage basket under the seat is a really nice size. It’s there and easily accessible no matter what mode you are in. Finally, it’s a breeze to fold and unfold with one hand. But, the stroller does weigh about 25 pounds altogether, so hopefully you aren’t too tired from your jog to lug the thing back into your trunk.
Bottom Line: It Makes for a Smooth Run
So this system is really great on paper. It has all the features you’d want in a great stroller. But since we’re looking at jogging strollers, let’s get down to business and discuss this stroller’s road-worthiness. After all, that’s what makes it better than all it’s competitors.
Wheels and Tires
This is the most important feature in a good jogging stroller. This has air filled tires, which are a must. The rear tires are bigger and have good suspension, which is also a must. Both of these things mean that you’ll get a smoother ride on different terrains. This stroller runs smooth- baby won’t feel every single little crack in the sidewalk and rock in the path. You’ll get a better run, too, with less resistance and less stopping. As for the front wheel, you can lock it into place for jogging or unlock it for 360 degree maneuverability.
Even though steering gets tricky when the wheel is locked, it’s better for running because the front wheel can’t get stuck in the wrong direction and cause you to faceplant into your suddenly-stopped stroller. Be aware that when the wheel is locked, you might feel your stroller pull slightly to the left or right. The alignment on this thing isn’t perfect.
Any time you have a stroller that will be moving at a decent speed, you have to consider some extra safety features. The Graco Modes Jogging Stroller features a safety tether, which you can and should use. Don’t try to see if you are quick enough to catch a runaway stroller that took the hill much more quickly than you did. Just put the safety tether on!! Also, it has reflective tabs for those early morning or late evening outings. Can’t be too safe after all.
- 4.5 stars, 243 reviews, Babies R Us
- 4.2 stars, 30 reviews, Bed Bath & Beyond
- 4 stars, 31 reviews, Target
- 5 different ways for babies/toddlers to ride
- Super safe car seat included
- Nice snack trays for both kiddo and parent
- Well-made with durable material and big, sun-protective canopy
- Wheels and suspension make for a really great run
- Have to re-inflate tires every so often
- Front wheel pulls to the left or right when in lock position
- Front wheel may get stuck going the wrong direction when not locked
There are a ton of jogging stroller travel systems out there, and most of them look and act the same. The Graco Modes Jogger Travel System stands apart because it’s a great system for a great price. It would be nice to be able pay an entire month’s salary for a top-of-the-line jogging stroller, but for us mere mortals, it doesn’t get much better than this Graco system. You’ll get an amazing stroller that has 5 different modes of use to get you through pretty much any run or any errand. You’ll get one of my favorite car seats on the market, the Graco Click Connect 35. But most importantly, you’ll get an amazingly smooth run that’s comfy for both you and baby due to the wheel and suspension system. For real runners and runners of errands, the Graco Modes Jogger Travel system is the way to go.