Graco’s FastAction Jogging Stroller definitely gives other brands such as Phil and Teds and BOB a run for the money. There are a lot of things to like about this stroller, with a few cons – but these cons are highly subjective (you’ll see why later in the review). I experimented running with this stroller with both my kids (a little over 30 lb 3 year old and a 40 something pound 5 year old). I did not test this stroller with the FastAction carseat. Here’s a quick overview before I delve more into detail about the pros and cons of this stroller:
Set up for the stroller was fairly straight forward, and most items on the stroller were preassembled. Each item would loudly click into place, so you’ll know if a piece is in or not. The only piece I had a little difficulty inserting was the kickstand piece. This piece requires you to snap a plastic piece on a metal bar on the underside of the stroller – thankfully my husband had no problem pushing that piece in! Disassembly is also very easy – many of the components can be removed by pushing a button and pulling the component out. Some pieces are optional (arm rests for the kids, kid tray, and parent tray). The parent tray includes a spot to securely hold you cell phone in both a horizontal or vertical orientation, as well as an closeable compartment for keys, chapsticks, GUs, etc. There is an arm tether strap attached to the bottom storage basket area, in case you want added security when running down hills.
Each brake can be locked individually on the back tires. There is a huge storage basket that is made out of fabric, so you can store towels, diaper bag, diapers, water bottles, and other sundry items. The seat is adjustable to 3 positions – fully sitting up, partially reclining, and lying down.
Adjusting the seat is very easy – simply push the seat up until it clicks to get the seat in an upright position, then squeeze two bars located on the back of the seat to recline. To collapse the stroller, you just pull up on a strap located in the crease on the child’s seat. To assemble, just unlatch the large plastic clip on the side of the seat and lift the stroller’s handlebar upwards. Folding and down really took minimal effort.
With an air filled 12\” diameter bicycle wheel in the front, and a pair of air filled 16\” diameter bicycle wheels in the rear, the wheels allow for a smoother ride for the child. When taking my kid out for a run in the park, the ride seemed smooth with very few bumps. This stroller would be great for running on jogging trails and for going over rougher terrain. The distance from wheel to foot is also good. Because the handlebars are set further back, I had no issues with bumping the basket or wheels on the stroller while running.
Control is a huge issue when maneuvering anywhere with a stroller – even when not running. I found that I was able to maneuver this stroller easily when running, and had an equally easy time when just rolling with this stroller through the zoo, where slightly smaller aisles are sometimes. The front wheel allows for good turns, and unlike the Phil and Ted’s Sports V.2, we didn’t have issues with a locked wheel on smooth surfaces like linoleum.
This canopy is awesome. The canopy is large, has a closeable flap parent view window (uses mesh to look through instead of plastic, and can be covered with more material so no light goes down), and has mesh openings on the sides so the kids can see to the sides of them without having to lean forward to look around the canopy. Our old Phil and Ted Sports stroller didn’t even cover half the amount that this canopy does. If you happen to have a carseat clicked into place, this canopy would allow for full coverage of the top of the carseat/stroller, and because of the mesh sides, your kid will be able to breath easy and have a little diffused light going in, just so you can keep an eye on him/her.
The Parent Tray
This is the first parent tray I’ve seen that actually has the parent in mind. There are two cup holders for drinks – to go coffee cups, water bottles, soda cans, and so forth will fit in there fine without fear of tippage. The cup holders are deep, and are made of rigid plastic. The smartphone/iPod holder is a nice touch. With many parents using apps like Runkeeper, iFit, etc on their phones to track mileage, it was about time that someone put a designated holder for the phone. There is a spring loaded bar that will hold the phone in place. Underneath the phone holder is a compartment for all those other items you want to bring, but don’t necessarily want in plain view for everyone. I was able to stow my keys, my phone, a small wallet, and a pack of candy I didn’t want the kids to see in there. This is probably the best thing about the parent tray – I can keep my stuff close at hand without having to resort to using the cup holders to hold everything.
While made of mesh sides and nylon material for the bottom, this basket is quite durable. You can easily stow a diaper bag in there, or in my case a bunch of jackets, bags of snacks, and my purse in there. When we took this stroller to the zoo, we were able to stow our full Case Logic dSLR camera backpack in the storage basket with enough room to spare for an extra jacket for each of my two kids, as well as a couple of small snacks. This would be a good stroller to take along for long hikes.
The Kickstand and Setup/Fold down
Most strollers are like puzzles when setting up and breaking down. You have to take multiple steps and push multiple buttons in the correct sequence to get it up or down. This stroller really is the easiest to set up a break down. Unlock one latch and lift up handlebar to set up, and pull one handle and lift up to break down. The kickstand is the best thing about the whole breakdown process…when you pull the handle up, the stroller folds and the kickstand keeps it in the upright position. This means that when your stroller is folded, you don’t have to tip it over gently to lay it down on the floor, then later bend over to pick it up off the floor. My husband raved about this, simply because he was the one who usually has to load this in the car, and bending over to pick up a 30 something pound stroller isn’t fun.
Huge Buttons to Remove the Wheels/Armrests/Trays/Etc
I hate having to search under, under, behind, etc to find those tiny little metal \”buttons\” to push into the plastic in order to release the wheels and other pieces from a stroller. I hate having to use a screwdriver to push pieces in because my fingers are just too fat/delicate to mash those buttons in. Thank you Graco, for making those release buttons HUGE and easily accessible. Now I can take off those extra pieces when I need to without having to struggle. Best part – just because the buttons are huge doesn’t mean than pieces will accidently get triggered and fall off. You still need to work to remove pieces – just not insanely hard to do so.
It’s easily spot cleaned and durable. What’s not to like? From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t stain easily, either.
Normally I wouldn’t include this in a review, however, Graco really got something really right with this footrest. It’s all rigid plastic, with a small dotted texture for grip. This allows for easy cleanup. The other thing I like about it is that it’s not this huge blocky footrest like the old Graco systems. It’s just large enough for my kids to rest their feet, but not so large that it’s bumping into everything when I happen to use this stroller in smaller spaces.
Nonadjustable Height for Handlebar
At a lofty 5′ tall, this is a slightly difficult stroller for me to maneuver. Because the handlebar is part of one long bar that extends down the side of the stroller, there is no way to adjust the bar up or down. When I hold onto the handlebars, my hands are positioned at about chest level – not a terrible position, but not entirely comfortable either. When the canopy is up, I cannot see directly in front of the stroller wheel, and therefore have a tough time gauging how far I have in front of me before bumping into something. For taller people, this won’t be an issue. My husband, who is 5’7\” didn’t have a problem with the bar height.
If you have an iPhone 5 with a case on, or any phone larger than an iPhone 5, your phone will NOT fit well in the cell holder. I tested out the phone holder with both the case on and off my phone (I have a Belkin Clear Case on my phone Belkin View Case / Cover For New Apple iPhone 5 (Black)) and my phone would not fit in either the vertical or horizontal orientation. When I remove the case, the phone fit fine in the horizontal orientation, but was a very VERY tight fit for the vertical orientation – the iPhone 5 is just too tall. My friend just laughed when he saw the opening and didn’t even try to put his Samsung Galaxy in there. iPhone 4s, iPods, and other smaller phones will fit in there, just fine.
Weight & Size
I found this stroller to be too heavy to want to lug in and out of the car. It practically takes up the entire trunk of my Prius (that said, Prius trunks are not very big), and to get maximum fold down, you have to take off the kid tray. However, my husband and I agree that if you are going on a day trip with the kids/going on holiday with the kids, this stroller is totally worth is – Disneyland or the zoo is 100% more enjoyable when you don’t have to haul all the kid’s bags on your back, and the kids can relax a little in the stroller. But again, at 5′, this thing is a bear for me to get in and out of the car. Most people probably won’t have a problem with this, but I certain did.
All in all, I really like this stroller. The biggest cons I have with the stroller really are because I’m short – for most people who average out at 5’4 for women and 5’10 for men (according to Google), this stroller is parent perfect. It has a lot of great features for both the child and parent. Highly recommended.
I purchased this stroller a week ago after spending quite a long period of time researching a budget-friendly stroller that I could run well with. I have an In-Step Safari jogging stroller which I’d received -used- from a friend about two years ago. Let me just say that I loved the In-Step stroller and it held up so very well for all the miles and terrain I ran through with it; however, the tires recently wore completely out!! SO much so that the inner tube was protruding through the outer tire! Seeing how it lasted me so long though, it was only a matter of time before the tires gave out. Well, after looking online for replaceable tires for that jogger and realizing it’d be more cost-effective just to purchase a completely new stroller (the one I had was probably 5 or so years old), I began looking online and comparing to see what would be my best option. I first noticed that the new In-Step Ssafari strollers had plastic – not spoke like the older version – wheels, and I continually read how that was a hinderance to jogging strollers. So, I ran across this Graco, and seeing as how they have never made a jogger before, I guess I should’ve taken that as a warning sign not to get it. HOWEVER, so many people rated this stroller well compared to many other joggers in it’s price range and many said that they chose it over a BOB… Well I don’t know who would ever choose this stroller to run in PERIOD. I guess that if you JOGGED a few miles here and there it would be a good option, but to RUN with your child in this stroller frequently is NOT fun! I am honetly telling you would be disappointed!
First of all, this stroller is very heavy! I read many reviews complaining about it’s weight, but I didn’t notice how it would truly effect running with it!
Because it is so heavy, I had a tough time keeping it steered well even with the wheel locked straight (which obviously you have to do in order to run with it). The problem with this was that my wrists and arms actually were irriated from having to use the strength to steer the darn thing!
Also, when I would take sharp turns with my In-Step stroller it would turn effortlessly. This Graco was horrible!!! Not only would it take a longer turn to actually TURN, lol, but the wheels opposit the side that I turned would literally lift off the ground. I worry that the dang thing could’ve toppled over with my daughter in it!!!
ALSO – the UNIVERSAL phone holders are NOT universal! My smartphone did not fit! And that wouldn’t have even bothered me, but I had nowhere else to store anything up top if I didn’t keep the cupholder on the jogger while running. Another problem with the cupholder was the storage bin; if you are using the stroller just to walk around or go somewehre like the store it would be handy, but if you are running down the street and you hit any kind of bump it clanks so loud because it doesn’t have a hook to stay closed. So annoying.
The front wheel also makes a loud clank when you hit bumps (not even big bumps). I think a lot of this has to do with the lack of a shock system on this stroller, which my In Step had.
Finally, the last negative thing I have to say, the morning that I went to return it, I found that one of the wheels had lost all of it’s air!! I hadn’t even had the thing but a WEEK! Guess it was a sign that I needed to get rid of it! lol.
I really was excited because I read so many great reviews on this – and it IS a well-made stroller – but it is NOT good for someone who is trying to run well with their kids. For walking and shopping tripes, it is indeed nice because it has good storage and comfort. I kept it for a week to try to see if it was just me trying to get used to the differences, but I ended up just getting more angry the more I ran with it.
About the only thing I absolutely loved about it was the comfortabilty for my daughter while we ran. She loved all the cushion and the full coverage of the canopy.
Other than that, I wish I would have paid a little more money for the Schwinn Turismo in the beginning – because it is basically the In-Step Safari I have but with better features. Those strollers are a reasonable price and they are phenomenal for durability, smooth rides, etc. I wanted something new for a little less and.. I ended up retuning it! You live and you learn I guess.
Anyway, I never make it a point to spend time writing reviews, but I think it is important that people who are looking for a truly GOOD jogging stroller to RUN in be able to find one that they will actually be satisfied with while they are running. There is nothing more annoying than going out on a run with a stroller that doesn’t make your run enjoyable but rather stressful… I hope this review helps someone. I don’t mean to be all negative, I just was so completely upset that this stroller was such a disappointment. In my eyes, if Graco wants to appeal to runners, they have many adjustments to make.