Mom Goes Camping

Best All-Terrain Strollers for Hiking

best all terrain strollers for hiking

Buying an off-road stroller definitely made transitioning to life with a new baby easier for me.  Instead of being stuck in “baby prison,” I was still able to get outdoors and do things like camping and hiking with my baby.

Even with an off-road stroller, getting outdoors with a baby still isn’t easy.  There’s a lot to figure out. You’ll definitely need to carry a bunch of crap around with you (literally and figuratively!).  But a hiking stroller can be looked at as a tool which makes it all easier.

Oh, and if anyone tries to say you are crazy for getting outdoors with a young baby or little kid, just casually remind them of all the benefits that come with getting kids outdoors from a young age like lower incidences of asthma, allergies, and even fewer mental disorders like depression.  😀

 

Quick Picks:

*Keep reading for the full review of these all-terrain strollers plus a buying guide for strollers for outdoor use.

 

Best All-Terrain Strollers Reviewed

1. BOB Revolution Flex 3.0

Verdict: Great stroller for really tough terrain and has fully upright seating. The lack of hand brake means it’s not good for jogging on hills.  While not as good as the #2 and #3 picks, it gets my vote because it is more affordable.

Features

  • 12.5” front wheel; 16” back wheels
  • Air-filled tires
  • 28.5lbs
  • 75lbs capacity
  • Foot brake
  • Adjustable handle
  • Lockable front wheel
  • Folded dimensions: 39”L x 24.5”W x 16”H
  • Open dimensions: 45”L x 24.5”W x 43”H
  • Interior seat width: 14.5”
  • Max child height: 44”
  • Buy here at Amazon or here at REI

Review:

BOB stands for Beast of Burden and, yes, it lives up to its name.  The stroller has a great suspension system which allows it to handle tough terrain better than any other similar stroller.  The tradeoff is that the BOB Revolution is very large.  It takes too steps to fold down and, even when completely collapsed, might not fit in the trunk of some small cars.

The brand did a good job of designing this off-road stroller.  It has so many extras like an adjustable seat, padded handles which adjust to 9 positions (which really saves your wrists going up or downhill!), a wrist strap, reflectors, huge basket and pockets.  Your child will be comfortable because of the great ventilation and canopy with UV 50 protection. Read the full BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 review here.

Pros

  • Car seat compatible (with adapter bar)
  • Seat position is adjustable
  • Adjustable suspension
  • Handlebar has 9 positions
  • 5-point harness
  • Ventilation in multiple areas
  • UPF 50 canopy that goes all the way down
  • Wrist strap, huge basket,Peek-a-boo window and other nice extras

Cons

  • Two-handed folding
  • Very large and bulky, even when folded
  • No hand brake

Buy the BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 Here


 

2. Thule Urban Glide 2.0

Verdict:  Great for ease-of-use, car seat compatibility, hand and foot brakes, and compact size when folded. The fact it doesn’t sit fully upright might be a deal breaker though! It’s also pricy.

Features

  • 12.5” front wheel; 16” back wheels
  • Air-filled tires
  • 25.3lbs
  • 75lbs capacity
  • Hand and foot brake
  • Adjustable handle
  • Lockable front wheel
  • Folded dimensions: 34.2”L x 27.2”W x 13.3”H
  • Interior seat width: 13.5”
  • Sitting height: 21”
  • Buy Here (Amazon), (REI)

Review:

The Thule Urban Glide 2.0 off-road stroller is a favorite with outdoorsy parents.  It’s tough enough for hiking trips but (at least compared to other hiking strollers) still lightweight enough for everyday use.

I love that you can fold the Urban Glide with just one hand. You just need to pull a blue bar located under the foot rest.  Once the stroller has been folded, you can even fold in the wheels.  This makes the stroller fold down very compact, so it could even be brought in smaller cars.  There is a universal car seat adapter (sold separately), so you can use this hiking stroller with babies too.

The 2.0 stroller has both a hand and foot brake.  (the original version of the Urban Glide only had a foot brake). The hand brake is great for going on hilly terrain.  Just twist the brake to slow down the stroller for better speed control going downhill.

As for downsides, it is annoying that the stroller folds with the fabric outwards, which is a problem if you need to fold it somewhere muddy.  I also wish it had more extras like a cup holder.  You can read a full review of the Thule Urban Glide 2.0 here.

Pros

  • One-handed folding
  • Hand and foot brakes
  • Universal car seat compatibility
  • Zip storage compartment

Cons

  • High price point
  • Folds with fabric outwards
  • Doesn’t get in fully upright position
  • Cup holder and extras sold separately

Get the Thule Urban Glide 2.0 Here on Amazon or here at REI


 

3. BOB Alterrain Pro

Verdict: The all-around best stroller for handling tough terrain which comes loaded with tons of features.  If it were slightly cheaper and had a better hand brake, it would be the #1 or #2 pick.

Features

  • 12” front wheel; 16” back wheels
  • Air-filled tires
  • 32.3lbs
  • 75lbs capacity
  • Hand and foot brake
  • Adjustable handle
  • Lockable front wheel
  • Folded dimensions: 39.25 x 25.5 x 17 inches
  • Interior seat width: 14”
  • Buy at Amazon, REI

Review:

The BOB Alterrain Pro is the newer, update from the Revolution.  It has an even better suspension system than the Revolution and a lot more features. (See how the Alterrain and Revolution Flex compare here).

In particular, it has one-handed opening – something that makes it much easier to use. However, this means that it (like the Thule Urban Glide) folds with the fabric outwards.  You can also adjust the handlebar to more positions. The Alterrain Pro also has a hand brake (something the Revolution Flex and regular Alterrain do not have).  While the hand brake isn’t nearly as good as the one on the Thule Urban Glide 2.0, it is sitll nice to have. IMO, all these features make it worth paying the higher price for the Alterrain Pro.

There are also some other nice features, like a fully-waterproof canopy, lots of reflector trim, tons of pockets, and UVP protection. It’s also slightly smaller than the Revolution when folded with the wheels off, so fits small cars better.

Alterrain vs. Alterrain Pro

The Alterrain does not have these features which are found on the Pro version: hand brake, waterproof canopy (it’s just water resistant), enclosed basket and venting on canopy.  The Pro version also has more reflective trim.  The price isn’t that much higher for the Alterrain Pro and IMO is worth it for the hand brake feature.  If you don’t need the hand brake, then you will be fine with the Revolution Flex 3.0, which is cheaper.

See the Alterrain here on Amazon and here at REI.

Pros

  • Insanely good suspension system
  • Hand and foot brake
  • One-handed folding
  • Fully waterproof canopy with UPF protection
  • Compatible with many car seats

Cons

  • High price point
  • Folds with fabric facing outwards
  • Handle break in a slightly awkward position

Get the BOB Alterrain Pro at Amazon or here at REI


 

4. Baby Jogger Summit X3

Verdict: An awesome jogging stroller which can also handle most hiking trails

Features

  • 12” front wheel; 16” back wheels
  • Air-filled tires
  • 28.4lbs
  • 75lbs capacity
  • Hand and foot brake
  • Handlebar not adjustable
  • Remote-locking front wheel
  • Folded dimensions: 34.6”H x 25.7″W x 15.35″D
  • Open dimensions: 75”H x 25”W x 40”D
  • Seat height: 21”
  • Buy Here

Review:

Back in 1984, Baby Jogger became the first company to invent a stroller specifically for running.   The Summit X3 is still primarily a jogging stroller, but it has all-terrain wheels and a suspension system suitable for going off-road.

A standout feature is that the Baby Jogger Summit X3 is the remote-lockable front wheel.  There is a lever at the handlebar which connects to the lock on the front wheel.  You can switch from locked/swivel without having to bend down to the wheel.  This is great for people who do a lot of jogging on uneven terrain where you might need to switch back and forth often.

Other great things are the lifetime warranty on the frame. There are hand and foot brakes (though the foot brake is a bit difficult to operate without proper shoes on).   There is one-handed folding but, even when folded, the stroller is massive and won’t fit in many small cars.  Annoyingly, it won’t stand up when folded. Also annoying, like with the Thule Urban Glide, it folds with the fabric outwards.

A major con is that this stroller doesn’t have an adjustable handlebar height (it’s fixed at 40 inches). It does make the handlebars more sturdy, but your wrists will wish you could adjust the height if you go up/downhill often.

Pros

  • Hand and foot brakes
  • Front wheel lockable from handlebar
  • One-handed folding
  • Lifetime warranty on frame

Cons

  • Handlebar not adjustable
  • Foot brake not flip-flop friendly
  • Folds with fabric outwards
  • Big and bulky when folded
  • Doesn’t stand when folded

Buy the Baby Jogger Summit X3 Here


 

5. Thule Chariot Bike Trailer/All-Terrain Stroller

Verdict: Good if you want just one stroller for biking and hiking

thule chariot all terrain stroller bike trailer

Features

  • 8” front wheels (12″ with jogging kit); 20” back wheels
  • Air-filled back tires
  • 25.8lbs
  • 75lbs capacity
  • Foot brake; hand brake on Sport model
  • Adjustable handle
  • Lockable front wheels
  • Folded dimensions: ‎34.2” x 31.5” x 15”
  • Door pass through: 25.6”
  • Buy Here

Review:

The stroller comes with a conversion kit so it turns into a four-wheel stroller.  You can also buy conversion kits to use the stroller as a jogger or for skiing.  The “Thule VersaWing system” means that you can quickly convert between activities.

The only real bad things I can say about the Thule Chariot is that its lineup is a bit confusing.  There are currently 4 options in the Chariot line: Sport, Cross, Lite, and Cheetah XT. Each model of Chariot includes the trailer, rear wheels, stroller conversion,  and cycling attachment.  Here’s the difference between them:

  • Chariot Sport: This is the model with the most features. It has adjustable suspension, reclining seats, padding, removable side panels, and comes with a hand brake and lock kit.
  • Chariot Cross: Has a seat which can recline, padded seats, removable side panels, and adjustable suspension. It differs from the Sport in that it doesn’t come with a hand brake or lock kit (sold separately).
  • Chariot Lite: Does not have adjustable suspension or reclining seats and has less padding
  • Chartiot Cheetah XT: Does not have any suspension, does not have seat padding, and the handlebar only has 2 heights. The rain cover isn’t removable.

Pros

  • One frame for multiple activities
  • Easily switches between stroller and bike trailer
  • Fast and easy to collapse
  • Front wheels come off for storage
  • Great suspension
  • Lots of storage space

Cons

  • Confusing options and extras
  • Pricy

Buy the Thule Chariot Here


 

6. Britax B-Free Stroller

Verdict: More budget-friendly stroller for everyday use and occassional hiking

Features

  • Rubber tires
  • 22lbs
  • 65lbs capacity
  • Foot brake
  • Adjustable handle
  • Lockable front wheel
  • Folded dimensions: ‎32″x24″x 15″
  • Buy Here

Review:

As far as strollers go, the Britax B-Free is very affordable.  But, as you’d expect with this price, the suspension system isn’t great and it doesn’t have many features for hiking.  However, the large tires does mean it can handle stroller-friendly trails and some off-roading.  It’s pretty easy to maneauver and I love the many handle positions.  If you have a small budget and want just one stroller for everyday and occassional hiking, this is a good pick.

The brand doesn’t list the wheel size but I think they are 12″ (back) and 8″ (front).

Pros

  • One-handed folding
  • Lightweight
  • No need to pump tires
  • Good storage space
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Not for rough terrain
  • No hand brake
  • Small wheels

Buy the B-Free Here


 

7. Jeep Deluxe Patriot Open Trails

Verdict: Budget hiking stroller for kids up to 50lbs

Features

  • Air-filled tires
  • 27lbs
  • 50lbs capacity
  • Foot brake
  • Lockable front wheel
  • Folded dimensions: ‎19″x 24″x 36″
  • Buy Here

Review:

Considering it is so cheaply priced, the Jeep Patriot Open Trails actually gives a pretty smooth ride when walking. However, you start to notice the failings of the suspension when you jog or run: the stroller starts to wobble. Likewise, your wrists will feel the wobbling on very bumpy terrain.

The handle also isn’t adjustable, so you won’t want to use this on any sort of hilly terrain, nor if you are short or taller than average.  Still, it is okay enough to recommend for occassional hiking on slightly-bumpy terrain and jogging on smooth terrain.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • One handed folding
  • Cup holder and tray

Cons

  • Suspension not the best
  • Only for 50lbs
  • Handlebar not adjustable

Buy the Jeep Patriot Deluxe Open Trails Here


 

Hiking Strollers Comparison Table

 Thule Urban Glide 2.0BOB Alterrain ProBOB AlterrainBOB Revolution Flex 3.0Baby Jogger Summit x3Thule ChariotBritax B-Free StrollerThule Chariot
Max child weight49lbs75lbs75lbs75lbs75lbs75lbs65lbs50lbs
Stroller weight25.3lbs32.3lbs31.3lbs28.5lbs28.4lbs25.8lbs22lbs27lbs
Hand BrakeYesYesNoNoYesYesNoNo
TiresAir-filledAir-filledAir-filledAir-filledAir-filledAir-filledRubberAir-filled
Front wheel size12"12.5"12.5"12.5"12"8" or 12"8"*12"
Back wheel size16"16"16"16"16"20"12"*16"
Lockable front wheel?YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Adjustable handlebar?YesYesYesYesNoYesYesNo
Folded Size34.2”x27.2”x13.3”39.3"x25.5"x17"39.25"x25.5"x16"38"x25"x16"34.6"x25.7"x15.35"34.2”x31.5”x 15”32"x24"x 15"19"x 24"x 36"
One-Handed Fold?YesYesYesNoYesNoYesYes
Unique FeaturesTwist hand brake for controlling speed;
Universal car seat adapter
Insanely good suspension system and loads of featuresInsanely good suspension systemFully upright position;
Adjustable suspension
Remotely switch front wheel from locked to swivelBike trailer that converts into stroller, jogger, or for skiingLightweightVery affordable
Buy AtAmazonAmazon,REIAmazon, REIAmazon, REIAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon

 

How to Choose an All-Terrain Stroller for Hiking

all terrain stroller on hiking path

 

Baby Carrier or Off-Road Stroller?

Hiking strollers are awesome at navigating trails and going off-road.  But you need to be realistic.   Even the best off-road strollers aren’t going to be able to handle tough trails. If you want to do any serious hiking on small pathways or steep inclines, you’ll need a baby carrier.

Also bear in mind that all-terrain strollers are heavy. Add in the weight of your child and it’s going to be tiring to push on a bumpy path.

On the flip side, it’s also tiring to carry a baby in a carrier.   My second kid had to be born with an emergency C-section, so I definitely wasn’t carrying her in a carrier the first couple months!

Read more about strollers vs. carriers for hiking here.

Whoops! This trail is definitely not stroller accessible (all-terrain or not).

 

Size and Practicality

Sorry to break it to you, but you won’t find a lightweight, compact all-terrain stroller.  These strollers have to be made from heavy-duty construction in order to navigate tough terrain.  They also need to be big enough to remain stable.

Unfortunately, this means that most hiking strollers are too big for everyday use. Don’t be surprised if the all-terrain stroller won’t fit in narrow supermarket aisles, elevators, and other tight places.  Once I even had a sitcom-worthy incident where my stroller knocked over a giant display in a store!

When folded, the hiking stroller might not even fit in your car. You might have to remove wheels just to get it inside, which is super annoying when those wheels are covered in mud.

tiny elevator not stroller accessible

An all-terrain stroller definitely isn’t fitting into this hotel elevator in England!

 

My family’s solution? We have two strollers.

Our main stroller is the “beast” which we use for hiking as well as everyday tasks and trips to the playground.

Then we also have a much smaller stroller that can be opened/closed with one hand.  This is the stroller we use when we will be going anywhere by bus or are traveling by airplane. It’s also the stroller that we take when going anywhere by car because it’s much easier to get in/out of the trunk of the car.

I know that having to get two separate strollers sucks.  But, realistically, you aren’t going to find one single stroller that meets all of your needs.

Tip: Be cautious when switching back to a smaller stroller.  After you get used to an off-road stroller, it’s easy to forget that you can’t just plow over broken sidewalks! My poor kid has gotten a lot of jolts this way. 😮

 

Suspension System

Unfortunately, the most important feature of off-grid strollers can’t be seen: the suspension system.  This is what is going to absorb the shock and ensure the wheels can maneuver well over obstacles.

I usually don’t care about brand names when shopping for gear.  But, with hiking strollers, this a time where brand reputation matters.  When you get an off-road stroller from a brand like Thule or BOB, you can count on the suspension to be a good quality.

 

Wheel Size

If the stroller is going to maneuver over tree roots, grass, gravel, and old cobblestone streets, it needs to have big wheels.  The best all-terrain strollers have back wheels that are around 16 inches in diameter, and a front wheel which is around 12 inches.

Yes, these wheels are large- and thus the stroller is going to be large.  But smaller stroller wheels simply don’t handle as well.

 

Weight Capacity

Most all-terrain strollers can hold children up to 70lbs.  However, there are many that have weight limits of only around 50lbs.

Remember that the weight capacity is for the passenger PLUS anything you’ve got in the basket.  If you are like me and use your stroller to haul a week’s worth of groceries, you can quickly surpass this limit.

 

Air-Filled or Rubber Tires?

All the best all-terrain strollers will have air-filled tires.  Yes, you do have to pump them occasionally.  But they really do maneuver much better than rubber tires, especially when it comes to handling bumps.  Likewise, they are much better on the beach.

*What if you get a flat?

Instead of calling your hike quits and rushing off to the bike repair shop, you can just carry a little container of Slime Tube Sealant.  The stuff is awesome at fixing flats, even when you are in the middle of a long hike!

Tip: Make sure you get good tubes for your stroller wheels. A lot of parents said their stroller wheels were constantly going flat.  Then they got better tubes and the problem was solved.

 

Lockable Front Wheel

If you want to jog with the hiking stroller, you’ll need one with a lockable wheel.  It is more stable for your baby. However, when hiking on tough terrain, the unlocked position is better because it’s easier to maneuver around obstacles this way.

*The Baby Jogger Summit X3 stroller has a really cool feature where you can lock/unlock the front wheel with an integrated brake at the handle. That means you don’t have to bend over each time you want to go from locked to unlocked.

 

5-Point Safety Harness

Pretty much every off-road stroller is going to have this feature.  On a side note, I think that ALL strollers (off-road or regular) should have 5-point harness.  Maybe your baby isn’t as squirmy as mine, but I know that the harness has kept her from falling out of the stroller on several occasions!

 

Adjustable Handlebar

When you push a stroller with handlebars at an awkward height, it can put a lot of strain on your wrists.  Now imagine pushing the stroller over uneven terrain while your wrist is in a weird position!

You might get lucky and find a stroller which has the handlebars at the exact right height for you.  But is your partner at the same height?  Probably not.  So, I believe that an adjustable handlebar is a must-have feature in all strollers (not just hiking strollers).

 

Car Seat Compatibility

Some all-terrain strollers come with adapters that allow you to put an infant car seat over them.  This is useful because you’ll be able to use the stroller from day 1.  Without a car seat adapter, you’ll probably need to wait until your child is 8 weeks to put it in the all-terrain stroller.

The car seat adapter is also nice if you don’t want to wake your sleeping baby (and who wants to wake a baby?) when transferring her from the car seat to the stroller.

Just be warned that an off-road stroller with a car seat on top is going to be even bulkier and heavier.  You definitely don’t want to push the stroller off-road with the car seat on top.  This is only for situations like grocery shopping!

 

Seat Type

When going over tough terrain, it’s best to have your baby sitting at an incline.  This will help distribute the impact over her entire body instead of focusing it at the head and spine (as would happen when sitting straight up).

However, it’s also nice to be able to adjust the seat back so it goes all the way down (for sleeping) or up (such as when eating).

Some all-terrain strollers have hammock type seats. The idea of these seats is that the hammock configuration prevents the baby from banging against the stroller.  I personally think these aren’t great options though.  You can’t adjust them and there are times when you’ll want your kid sitting upright or lying down.

 

Accessories (especially for a second kid)

The big thing you want to consider is whether you will have a second kid.  If this is the case, then it’s nice to get an all-terrain stroller that can attach a ride-along board.  The ride-along boards don’t exactly handle well on off-road terrain, but they are a great option to have around town.

 

Other Nice Features

  • Tether/Safety Wrist Strap: If the stroller doesn’t come with a tether, you can use something like this instead. Just attach one side to your wrist and another to the stroller handlebars.
  • Snack tray: These are nice. Though I find that the baby cup holder is always useless.  Your kid will probably just toss the cup out of the stroller.  Instead, I use a piece of paracord and the two-half hitches knot to tie my baby’s sippy cup to the stroller.  The knot slides, so I can easily remove the cup.
  • Cup holder (for parent): Coffeeeee!!!! Though note that your coffee will probably slosh around on uneven terrain. I usually end up using the cup holder for holding trash or random things that come with parenthood.
  • Pockets: You’d be surprised how much a few pockets in your stroller will make your life easier. It’s nice to be able to have things close at hand, and to toss random items in there.

We use one of these (above) instead of a tether for our stroller.  I like that the coil expands long, so we don’t have to worry about pulling the stroller down with us if we fall. 

 

Also read:


Image credits:
Elevator” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by tim ellis,
Road Warrior 4: Jogging Stroller” (CC BY 2.0) by ChiefG_G,
IMG_5719” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by ebmarquez,
Hike at Waldron Fen” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Odalaigh
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About the author /


Diane Vukovic grew up camping and backpacking in upstate New York. Now, she takes her own daughters on wilderness adventures so they can connect with nature and learn resiliency. With dozens of trips under her belt, Diane is an expert in minimalist camping, going lightweight, planning, and keeping her kids entertained without screens.

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