Review of the Graco Modes Jogger Travel System

Best Jogging Stroller Travel System for Runners

by Michelle Hand -

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 at the lower price range is the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System. It has so many great features, like versatility, safety, and a solid car seat, that make it a great everyday stroller and an even better jogging stroller. On the high-end I recommend the BOB Revolution Pro Jogging Stroller combined with a Britax B-Safe 35 car seat.

Here is my list of the Best Jogger Travel Systems:

Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System

The Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System makes this list because it easily provides more bang for the buck than any other jogger travel system currently available.

Image of the Baby Trend Expedition Jogger Travel System, Phantom 

The price of the combined travel system is less than the individual price of the car seat OR stroller of many of the selections in this article. While it doesn’t have all the features or the absolute highest level of quality of the high-end alternatives, it is still a very solid choice.

Easy to Push and Steer

The Expedition has several features that make it easy to run with. First is the big swivel wheel up front. Single front-wheels are the ultimate in simplifying quick and sharp turns. You can actually do a standing 180, not that you would ever need to do that.

If you are trying to go fast and straight on a jogging trail you can lock the wheel in place to provide more stability.

It has large, 16” rear bicycle, all-terrain tires. The front wheel is 12” and the tires are the same style as the back.

Typical Specs

Like most of the travel systems in its class, the Expedition takes kids from birth up to 50 lbs. The Flex Lock car seat that comes included is an infant car seat intended for rear-facing use up to 30 lbs and after that, the child can ride in the stroller seat itself.

It comes with a stroller, infant car seat and base. That is the basic travel system that makes it easy to transfer car seat from home to car to stroller and back again. While it works fine, the clicking of the car seat into the base and also into the stroller sometimes requires a bit more force than you might expect it to.

Other Features

The stroller itself has a nice fold mechanism that leaves the stroller fairly compact considering the size of the wheels. It also has a decent canopy, cup holders and storage. It has a 5-point harness and the seat reclines to several different positions.

Complaints

The overall system is not the highest quality and may not last as long as the more expensive brands. Some people don’t like the swivel wheel, claiming it shakes too much for their taste.

Overall, however, the Expedition has solid reviews.

Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System

The Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Travel System is one Graco’s better rated and best selling car seat and stroller combo’s for running. It compares roughly to the Baby Trend Expedition in price but doesn’t get quite as good customer reviews overall.

Image of the Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Baby Travel System, Gotham 

Still the Fastaction Fold is a great choice and should probably be your goto choice if you love Graco. It has many of the same features as the Expedition; notably the bicycle style tires and the single, swivel front-wheel.

Great Car Seat

This travel system comes with the Snug Ride Click Connect 35 infant car seat which is safe and easy to use. As an infant car seat it is intended for rear-facing use. It will accommodate newborn babies up to 35 lbs.

Stroller Folding Action

As you might expect from the name, Graco is proud of the super easy fold mechanism. There is a strap in the center of the seat and when you pull it, just like Graco says, the whole thing folds up in one second. It really works and you can do it with one hand.

A Bit on the Big Side

If you aren’t tall, the handle height may be too much for you. Although this stroller isn’t that heavy compared to the other options, it is big and many people complain that it is a bit bulky.

So if you are using it primarily to jog, the size probably won’t be a problem, but if you are thinking about trying to get away with this stroller as an all-purpose system, it will end up frustrating you.

To avoid this issue check out the next recommendation.

Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight Jogging Stroller

Made a Travel System with Your Choice in Car Seats and an Adapter

The Joovy Ultralight Jogging stroller made this list because it has the unique combination of being lightweight, holding bigger kids and having a decent price compared to higher-end strollers.

Image of the Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight Jogging Stroller, Black 

Notice this isn’t a complete travel system. To get a complete travel system you have to order:

Obviously, it is a hassle to have to select and order three things instead of one. But on the positive side, you open up your options on which infant car seat you want to use.

The downside is that the adapters may not work quite as well as those on travel systems that are all made to fit together by the same manufacturer.

One other thing to think about is that you can get a fabulous regular travel system like the Britax B-Agile / B-Safe 35 Elite for normal day to day stuff, and the Joovy Zoom 360 for jogging with an adapter and be all set for both kinds of activity.

Nifty Stroller Features

The Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight holds kids up to 75 lbs. There are some other strollers like the BOB Revolution Pro and Flex that do that too, but it is pretty unusual.

The surprising thing is that the stroller is made to be light even though it can also hold older, taller and bigger kids than the Expedition and the Fastaction Fold strollers.

It has the front, swivel wheel, bicycle styled tires and nice accessories for parent and child. It has a larger canopy than some of the others and a decent fold mechanism.

The Not-So-Good

This stroller is nice or it wouldn’t be on this list, but despite having a higher price than the Graco and the Baby Trend options, its quality isn’t consistently great. The biggest complaints are about wheels shaking or not being straight. But there are a range of other criticisms as well.

Bob 2016 Revolution Pro Jogging Stroller

Made a Travel System with the B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat (requires infant seat adapter)

Since I left the possibility open that you might want to get a jogging stroller that converts into a travel system, I have to mention the BOB Revolution Pro. That’s because it is an exceptional jogging and running stroller from the perspective of a smooth ride for baby and runner, and high quality.

Image of the BOB 2016 Revolution PRO Jogging Stroller, Black 

It is certainly the most expensive option I’m discussing here. The BOB products are part of the Britax group so the Britax B-Safe 35 car seat is compatible. It does require an adapter but it is all the same company.

Image of the Britax B Safe-35 Infant Seat, Black 

Also, unlike most jogging strollers, many people use the BOB Revolution (both Pro and Flex) as their everyday strollers and not just for running. They are lightweight enough and versatile enough to make this a good option.

Safety Note: BOB recommends that you do not run with a baby until they are 8 months old, even though they may be in an attached infant car seat. The main concern is that babies don’t have the necessary neck strength to absorb all the bumps and back and forth. Do your own research on this.

Advanced Features

This stroller has some extras that make it more comfortable. It has a special suspension so it takes bumps and high speed better than other strollers.

The handlebar has 9 different positions so you don’t see the complaints from parents who are too tall or short about the handlebar height.

It has rear drum brakes which make stopping more certain. This would come into play if you are going down a steep hill for example.

With the compatibility with the Britax car seats, it is easy to declare this one of the safest, if not the safest of jogging strollers available right now.

Travel System

Because the stroller is sold separately you will need to order the stroller, the Britax adapter and the Britax infant car seat (with base) of your choice to fully create your travel system. Might sound like a bit of an extra hassle but most everyone is very happy with the purchase of this stroller.

If you prefer another infant car seat, there are also adapters for Graco, Chicco and Peg Perego.

BOB Revolution Pro vs Flex

If you want a BOB Revolution jogging stroller you can choose between the Pro and Flex versions. There are three differences between these two strollers:

  1. The Pro has hand-activated brakes and Flex does not. This means the Pro will be easier to stop if you are running because you are already holding on with your hands. To be fair, this is a rare feature. The Flex has foot brakes but so do the vast majority of other strollers.
  2. The Flex has a green and red color option that the Pro doesn’t have.
  3. The Pro is a little more expensive due to the hand-braking ability.

Graco Modes Jogging Travel System

While the Modes Jogging travel system, quite frankly, is not our favorite, it is quite popular and deserves some discussion.

 

It is Versatile

Graco makes quite a few jogging stroller travel systems, we covered the Fastaction Fold above, so why this one? The 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.

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.

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.

 Image of the Graco Modes LX Click Connect Travel System in Tuscan

Demo Video

A Good Car Seat

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 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.

 

Other 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 starters, it has a nice big canopy that features UV50 fabric that’s breathable, too. Next up, it 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.

 

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.

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. Like the other strollers we’ve listed this one has air-filled tires. 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.

Safety Features

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. You can’t be too safe, after all.

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Michelle Hand
Michelle Hand is the mom of a very busy preschooler and a sweet new baby! She splits her time between writing and hanging out with her family. Her degree in Business has helped her hone her research and writing skills. She loves helping new moms find the best products. When she has some free time, she likes hiking, singing and playing piano, reading, and taking her dog for walks.

Comments 4

  1. I was looking for a jogging stroller which I can also use for travel purposes. And I think I have found the perfect one from your post. I have read the full review and this stroller you have recommended fulfills my expectations.

    1. Michelle Hand Post
      Author
    1. Michelle Hand Post
      Author

      The Graco Modes Jogger Travel System has 5 ways to ride. The Fast Action Jogger Travel System only has 2 ways to ride and works more like a traditional travel system, but it does feature the fast action fold. Hope this helps!

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