As excited as I was to begin my baby registry, I quickly found how overwhelming it can be to choose baby gear. Not only are there so many different items to register for, but there are numerous brands to consider for each item. And within each brand, there are even more decisions to make because models vary in size, shape, ability, appearance, and structure. Some items are even considered unsafe and discouraged while others come highly recommended.
Take strollers for example. There are different kinds to get for each stage, starting from newborn all the way to early childhood. Then within each stroller stage, there are endless possibilities to choose from.
One of the decisions you will have to make in your stroller purchase is whether you would like a stroller with three wheels or one with four. A stroller with three wheels is usually a jogging stroller, while one with four is a more traditional stroller. Here we will be looking at the pros and cons of each to help make your stroller decision a little easier.
Three Wheel Stroller
Pro #1: Good On All Terrain
This was the main reason I chose to buy a jogging stroller. I did not want it to be difficult to push my child on a trail, rocky road, grass, or the park. Jogging strollers are explicitly made with bumpy roads in mind, and therefore the wheels are just better for this than four-wheeled strollers. Some wheels on four-wheeled strollers are made of plastic, while the jogging wheels are made from rubber. If this is important enough to you because you anticipate going on bumpy grounds, all the cons will be worth it.
Pro #2: Easier To Exercise With
As mentioned before, the wheels are better with all kinds of terrain. Therefore, you won’t have to be pushing as hard, and you can then focus on your exercise. Jogging strollers were designed with runners in mind. They will glide across the ground as you run and will be easier on your little one as well.
Pro #3: Sporty Look
Some moms just don’t want to look like the typical mom or have that “mom look.” If this is you, go with the jogging stroller because it immediately gives you a more sporty, adventurous look.
Con #1: Can Be Bulky
The top complaint people have with jogging strollers is that they are too bulky. They aren’t as easy to fold and therefore harder to get inside your car. The rubber wheels are larger and are honestly a little awkward to work with. Sometimes a wheel has to be removed just to fit it inside your trunk.
Con #2: More Expensive
If you are on a tight budget, you may not want to look at jogging strollers. Prices can run anywhere from one hundred to thousands of dollars. Of course, you could choose one for one hundred dollars as I did, but if you are a serious runner, be prepared to spend more cash.
Con #3: Less Options
One quick look in a baby store will show you that there are way more options in the four-wheeled category than there are in the three-wheeled. Less options means less of a chance you will find exactly what you are looking for. Some jogging strollers are only made to be used while running and are unsafe to use for walking. Others are not good enough for serious runners and make running more difficult.
Con #4: Might Not Be Used As Much As You Hoped
Let’s face it, as much as we have hopes and goals to exercise, it sometimes just doesn’t happen…especially with a baby. The jogging strollers can’t be used with a baby until they are at least six months old, depending on the manufacturer. And even if you do frequently exercise as a mom, you might decide you would rather use it as your alone time. Or perhaps you simply find it easier to run without pushing a baby. Whatever the reason, some find that they just don’t use their joggers the way they thought they would.
Four Wheel Stroller
Pro #1: Cheaper
There are a ton of options in the four-wheel category, and they are usually cheaper than jogging strollers. If you are on a tight budget or have spent enough money on other baby items, this is a good pro to keep in mind.
Pro #2: More Stable
While this is an arguable point, some people believe that four wheels are more stable than three. The weight is distributed more evenly and less likely to fall if something were to hit the stroller. These strollers are definitely more stable when moving onto a curb because you won’t ever be left to balance on just one wheel. If you anticipate that this will be a worry of yours, go with the four wheels. There is no sense in adding to the list of worries you will have as a mother.
Pro #3: Easier In The Car
Moms love finding ways to save their limited time, and here is a simple time saver. Four-wheeled strollers tend to fold up more efficiently and are more compact. They can fit in trunks without a big hassle and therefore save time trying to shove it in the car.
Pro #4: More Options
As previously mentioned, there are so many four-wheeled strollers available today. Travel systems (a car seat and stroller combo) are easier to find for a better price. More colors and pattern options are offered. If you can’t find a design you like in the jogger category, I guarantee you will find one in the four-wheeled one.
Pro #5: Can Still Exercise
There isn’t a rule that says you can only exercise with a stroller if it is a jogging stroller. Strollers of any kind were made for walking, which is a perfectly great way to exercise. In fact, high-intensity walking is better than a lot of forms of exercise for a handful of reasons. However, make sure you do not run with the baby in a stroller that is not made for running because it could be dangerous.
Con #1: Not As Versatile
The main trouble with four-wheeled strollers is that they are not made to be pushed on all kinds of terrain. Rides feel bumpy for the child and frustrating to the adult pushing. If you plan to walk on a variety of terrain, go with the jogging stroller. Again, it is unsafe to run at all with the four-wheeled strollers so you will be limited to just walking.
I hope these pros and cons are helpful to you as you make a stroller purchasing decision. As you can see, there are many pros and cons to purchasing a three-wheeled stroller. But when looking at a stroller with four wheels, you can see I have several pros and only one con. Most people do choose to go with the traditional four-wheeled stroller, and it’s easy to see why. But if you do want to go on all types of ground, including bumps, rocks, trails, grass, or anything uneven, the jogging stroller may be the better way to go. It is worth noting, however, that a lot of people buy more than one stroller. Happy shopping!
For more information, check out our Top 10 Double Stroller Reviews of 2018.