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Hands-on Gear Review
Baby Jogger Summit X3 Review
Price: $430 List | $429.99 from Amazon
Pros: Easy one hand fold with larger storage for more supplies
Cons: Difficult to run with and hard to lift
Bottom line: Disappointing to run with and harder to use, make it an option we aren't fond of
The Baby Jogger Summit X3 came in 10th place out of 16 products in our review. It has the price of a high end stroller, but failed to perform well enough in our tests to justify the hefty price tag. Without having the features and performance necessary to function as a dedicated running stroller it is hard to find a reason to purchase this stroller. It earned a 4 out of 10 for run-ability making it a product we think parents will be disappointed in. When compared to the competition that included strollers with higher scores and better performance coupled with cheaper list price it is a no brainer to say we do not recommend this stroller.
RELATED: Our complete review of jogging strollers
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
The Baby Jogger Summit X3 is a hybrid jogger/stroller. It has all wheel suspension and a remote wheel lock on the handlebar for quick shifting between jogging and strolling. It offers a one hand fold and has drum brakes that are hand operated. It has a seat that reclines nearly flat with vents and a retractable weather cover. The sun canopy is rated UV 50+ and has two peek-a-boo windows; it can be adjusted to multiple positions and has 2 side vents that provide air circulation when it is hot outside. This stroller can become a travel system with a compatible car seat adapter. It can also accommodate a pram for the smallest of riders (sold separately). This stroller is rated up to 75 pounds maximum weight and recommends that parents not jog with babies under 12 months old.
For run-ability the Baby Jogger earned only 4 of 10. Only 2 strollers scored lower than the Summit for ease of running. The lowest scoring stroller for running is the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger that is so hard to run with that we gave it only a 2. The highest scoring products are the Thule Urban Glide and the BOB Revolution Flex that both scored a 9 and have a nice adjustable handlebar and easy to use features including adjustable tracking and suspension.
This stroller is hard to tip and turn or balance when the wheel is locked while running. It seemed easy enough to turn on long sweeping turns, but was harder to make shorter turns. However, it has one of the lowest rolling resistance averages in the group. It also sports a deceleration brake that should be able to slow you down as you approach intersections or going downhill. The hand brake isn't the best, it is hard to squeeze and doesn't work that well. The stroller feels heavy and we felt the handle is too low for taller runners over about 5'7. We kept hitting our free hand on the handlebar when running, and if you use the safety tether you'll have to keep the same hand on the stroller at all times.
For pushing on and off pavement and hard surfaces is pretty easy. It seemed relatively good at turning through tighter spaces with its shorter wheelbase. We did have a tendency to catch the rear wheels on stuff as we turned through the obstacle course, but not as much as we did with the BOB Revolution Flex. Given its larger weight it does feel heavier and hard to push and maneuver than the lighter options.
It did not perform as well off road as it did on. It was a little tippy on the side hill portions and if you hit a bump with any speed it did tip over. The front wheel got hung up on the edge of the sidewalk sometimes if we put too much pressure on it. It did manage a roll over a large curb with a little help and some bouncing and it fared well through the deep gravel.
For stairs and curbs it is sort of bouncy and could get out of control if you aren't careful. It went off the curb fine with no assistance real assistance pushing, and the stairs were pretty easy.
Ease of Use
For ease of use the Summit scored a 6 of 10. this score tied with 4 other strollers in the group. The Schwinns tied with the lowest scores in the group earning just 4 points in this metric. The Burley Solstice scored the most points for ease of use with a 9.
The Summit has a large canopy that is rated at UPF of 50+. It has 2 windows and vents on each side. We would prefer to have some ventilation through the back and there is some if you detach 2 snaps and 3 hook and loop strips. However, if you do this you won't get much shade. The canopy snaps nicely into place when fully open and stays taut without looking slack and unkempt. The windows and vents have hook and loop closures to hold them closed and toggles to hold them open. You can remove the entire canopy if you need to, but it is sort of a pain. This sun shade has almost as much coverage as the BOBs and what looks like maybe a little more head room than some of the competition which is a good given that it says it is good for children up to 5 years old. However, we found the actual width of the seat to be narrow.
The Summit scored a 7 of 10 for quality and continued its below average scores by coming in 1 point below the average for this metric. The Thule and the BOB strollers set a high bar for quality in this review and given that this year the Thule brand was able to surpass our previous favored BOB strollers it proves it isn't impossible for a different brand to take the reigns and run with it. The lowest scoring product for quality is the Schwinn Arrow with a 5.
The Summit has a good solid feeling frame with little flex. It is a nice looking stroller and the canopy and seat fabric fit snugly on the frame. The plastic parts seem well made and fit well. It has one of the better looking canopies.
The wheels on this stroller have a nice tread design compared to the rough and rugged designs that do little more than increase vibration in the handlebar. The molded plastic wheels are sturdy enough, but aluminum spoke wheels will definitely be lighter and could have helped this heavy beast drop some weight fairly easily. There it more play in the axle on this model than many in this group, but still less than the Baby Trend Expedition or the Schwinn strollers.
The Summit does offer three wheel suspension, but the suspension is not adjustable. It is similar to that found on the BOB strollers stiffer setting. The stiff sling style seat has good padding and the minimal padded shoulder straps aren't bad. The seat fabric is machine washable which is a nice touch, but not enough to seal the deal or make up for all the other things missing in this jogger.
The Summit did score well for safety tying for the top score with a 7; the Thule Glide and Thule Chariot Cougar 2 with Jog Kit both shared this high score with the Summit. The lowest scoring products earned just 5 points and multiple strollers tied with this score.
Given that there is no cup holder on this stroller there are no cup holder safety concerns. however, should you purchase the accessory cup holder we caution you to keep it free of hot liquids and taller bottles to avoid injury to baby.
This stroller tips at an angle of about 23 degree, this is better than a lot of the competition that tips more easily and at a shallower angle. It requires about 18 pounds on the handlebar to tip the stroller backwards. This is less than the average for this review, and some of the strollers required significantly more weight like the Graco Fast Action Fold that needed 40 pounds.
This stroller does have a safety wrist strap located low on the frame in case you should trip or loose hand contact with the handlebar. The manual says it is good for birth to 5 years and says babies should be 6 months before running with them.
Weight and Folded Size
Ease of Setup
This stroller earned a 6 of 10 for ease of setup, tying with several other strollers for the lowest score in this metric. The Thule Urban Glide earned the high score with a perfect 10 by being the easiest stroller in the group to get rolling.
The Summit took us 8 minutes and 40 seconds to get from the box to ready to use. The setup is pretty simple with 3 wheels and a canopy to snap on and it doesn't require any tools to assemble. The manual is good enough, but not as clear as some of the competition. It is a tri-language manual with clear pictures of what you need to do and the English portions are highlighted in gray. Given the length of the instructions it is sort of surprise that there aren't that many steps to execute. This product lost a few points for having less than great instructions and for the longer assembly time compared to the competition. The Urban Glide took less than 5 minutes to take out of the box and put together.
There isn't a best application for this stroller. Designed as a nice hybrid of a jogger and an everyday stroller it sort of fails to meet either genres needs. It did not score well in our tests for run-ability, and it failed to score as high overall as our Editors' Choice, the Thule Urban Glide that has a lower list price.
This product has one of the highest prices in our review, with only 2 other strollers costing more. While we can appreciate that in some products you really do get what you pay for, it doesn't appear to be true of this particular stroller even if it is true of this type of stroller in general. It lacked the performance scores in key running metrics to make it a real contender for the price. Our Editors' Choice, the Thule Urban Glide is a similar product that features a locking swivel wheel, adjustable suspension, and scored a 9 for run-ability but costs $20 less than the Summit. Overall, it is a better value for what you get than the Summit.
Other Versions and Accessories
Baby Jogger offers two other jogging style strollers, including a double version of the Summit X3 and the F.I.T. Jogger. The FIT Jogger is labeled by Baby Jogger as an "intermediate trainer" and has a list price of $300. It has a similar fold and hand brake to the Summit X3, This model looks to have a smaller storage bin and a fixed front wheel unlike the Summit. We did not review this stroller.
Baby Jogger offers several accessories for this stroller including a parent console, cup holders, and weather shield. Some parents might also be interested in the available cooler bag, car seat adapters, child tray, belly bar, and baby pram.
— Juliet Spurrier MD, Carrie Vickers, and BabyGearLab Review Team
Most recent user review: June 14, 2015
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