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Hands-on Gear Review

Baby Jogger Summit X3 Review

The Baby Jogger Summit X3 is a swivel wheel stroller that can lock for running
Price:   $430.00 List | $429.99 at 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
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Baby Jogger

The Skinny

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 REVIEW: The race for the best jogging stroller of 2017

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Score Product Price Our Take
84
$400
Editors' Choice Award
Our favorite jogging stroller that is great for running as well as everyday use
76
$500
Editors' Choice Award
Rugged jogger that is easy to run with and good for every day outings
75
$375
Great fixed wheel option that performed well overall, but is harder to turn
74
$400
Top Pick Award
Great jogger that is super easy to use and could work as your only stroller
67
$420
Nice fixed wheel stroller with limited maneuverability in tight spaces
64
$390
High quality, but the fixed wheel makes it harder to turn in tight spaces
63
$150
Best Value Award
Best bang for the buck, but not the best option for serious runners
62
$600
Do not recommend for avid runners
62
$910
Top Pick Award
Top Pick for versatile adventures that allow us to forgive its size and limitations
60
$299
Disappointing choice that doesn't run straight enough and lacks the ability to fix that
59
$430
Disappointing to run with and harder to use, make it an option we aren't fond of
51
$380
Requires excessive wrestling to run straight, making it a no go for us
49
$240
Poor run-ability and wobbly wheel make it a bad choice for serious runners
48
$190
Difficult to push and turn with the worst run-ability
47
$160
While better than similar Tourismo, the lack of run-ability makes it a bad jogger
47
$240
One of the hardest to run with and more difficult to push and turn with fixed wheel

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief
BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
June 14, 2015

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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.

Performance Comparison


The comparison chart below shows the overall scores for the jogging strollers we tested in this review. The Baby Jogger is shown in blue.


The individual metric sections below detail the performance of the Baby Jogger during testing compared to the competition. The individual metric scores were used to determine overall scores and rank.

Some of the top jogging strollers we tested (Grand Safari  Burley Solstice  Mountain Buggy Terrain  and Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight not pictured)
Some of the top jogging strollers we tested (Grand Safari, Burley Solstice, Mountain Buggy Terrain, and Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight not pictured)

Run-ability


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.
The red knob will lock the wheel in place on the Summit X3
The red knob will lock the wheel in place on the Summit X3
This stroller does not have an adjustable handlebar, which might not be a problem for parents who are average in height or don't run regularly, but it could cause a problem with running biomechanics for those who are taller. It offers good suspension and very good adjustable tracking that keeps the stroller on track and easier to push at speed. Our professional runner felt it was a solid stroller that has a good middle of the road feel and has a nice grounded feeling when running.

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.

Maneuverability


The Jogger is not the easiest stroller to maneuver for a swivel wheel model
The Jogger is not the easiest stroller to maneuver for a swivel wheel model
The Jogger scored a 6 for maneuverability which seemed like a low score for a stroller with a swivel wheel. The Thule Urban Glide once again came in with the high score, earning a 9 in this metric. The Graco earned the lowest score in this metric with a 1.

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 under seat storage on the Baby Jogger is easier to access from the side than the rear
The under seat storage on the Baby Jogger is easier to access from the side than the rear
The Summit has a large under seat storage bin that is easy to access from the rear and sides. It has a maximum allowable weight of 10 pounds for this bin and we were able to fit our large diaper bag in from the back, but it fits in better from the side. There is also an additional mesh pocket on the back of the seat that can hold up to 2 pounds and is a nice place to store water bottles for on the go hydration.
The Summit X3 is a swivel wheel stroller
The Baby Jogger Summit X3 is a swivel wheel model that can lock for running
 
The photos above show the canopy closed and open.

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 seat on the Summit X3 reclines almost flat  but it isn't safe for baby to run at this angle.
The seat on the Summit X3 reclines almost flat, but it isn't safe for baby to run at this angle.
This stroller doesn't really offer much else in the way of conveniences. While we like the mesh pocket it is hard to reach into while running, and there is no other parent console or child tray included in the base price of this stroller. The seat back does recline in an infinite number of positions all the way to about 20 degrees from flat which is nice. The ventilation is better with the seat reclined, but this does significantly increase the tipping hazard when fully reclined.

Quality


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 did not offer the kind of overall quality we would have expected given its higher list price
The Summit did not offer the kind of overall quality we would have expected given its higher list price
The fabric on the Summit feels nice and would not snag except for the fabric on the foot rest. It does have a slicker more plastic feeling than most, but we suspect that it will wipe down easier than other options. It did leave us wondering how breathable the fabric is and if it might end up feeling like vinyl seats all hot and sticky after a days run in the sun.

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.
While it is nice that the X3 has a hand brake for deceleration during running  we found it to be both quite tight and placement suboptimal  right in the spot where a runner may naturally want to place their hand. In addition  the brake cord also interferes with grip.
While it is nice that the X3 has a hand brake for deceleration during running, we found it to be both quite tight and placement suboptimal, right in the spot where a runner may naturally want to place their hand. In addition, the brake cord also interferes with grip.
The handle on this stroller is not adjustable and not as comfortable under hand as the foam options on other strollers. The rubber handle cover may be better for cleaning, but it is not as comfortable as the foam. The handle has no upward curve to it and the brake cable lays along the handle on the right side which is something that continued to get in our way. The rubber might get hot to the touch in the hot sun. The way the handle curves outward where it meets the back of the seat doe offer added options for hand positions.

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.

Safety


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.
The brake on the Summit is a single action brake that is easy to set
The brake on the Summit is a single action brake that is easy to set
The Summit has a single action brake system that is easy to set and release. The brakes themselves are a littler hard to push down, but they do have a reassuring click once set so you can't think they are set when they aren't. It also sports a deceleration hand brake that while nice to have isn't very effective and we think could use some work because it doesn't really slow the stroller at all and it is hard to squeeze for smaller hands. The brakes have a little bit of play in them once set and they only required about 30 pounds of pressure on average to make the stroller slide front or back.

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.
The 5 point harness on this Baby Jogger is easy to put on and release. It has an adjustable crotch strap and should height adjustments
The 5 point harness on this Baby Jogger is easy to put on and release. It has an adjustable crotch strap and should height adjustments
Summit has a 5 point harness that is easy to put on and take off. It is simple to adjust and has adjustable shoulder strap height options and an adjustable crotch strap. We think that if a harness is easy to put on and adjust that parents will be more likely to use it. Once adjusted to the proper size the long tails of the shoulder straps have nowhere good to go. which leaves them to hang and annoy little ones.

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


The easy pull handle for folding has a backup safety mechanism of snapping sides to prevent accidental folding of the Summit X3
The easy pull handle for folding has a backup safety mechanism of snapping sides to prevent accidental folding of the Summit X3
The Summit is one of the heaviest strollers in the group at 28 pounds. Its folded volume is 13,300 cubic inches, which is one of the smaller options. This makes the Baby Jogger heavy but able to fit in smaller spaces. Only the Baby Trend Expedition is smaller when folded. The heaviest ride in this group is the Thule Cougar 2 with Jog Kit; it also takes up the most space even with the wheels removed.

We wish the fold handle was a little harder to access to prevent little ones from pulling it while climbing inside
We wish the fold handle was a little harder to access to prevent little ones from pulling it while climbing inside
The fold on this model is very easy, but it does require parents to unsnap part of the seat from the frame that acts as a safety feature to prevent accidental folding when you don't intend to. The fold itself is one hand by pulling the handle in the middle of the stroller. It is more difficult to unfold this stroller than some of the others because it takes two hands and it isn't really very graceful. If you lack the strength to hold it in the air with one hand then it will be a hard stroller for you to unfold.
These are the safety snapping straps that prevent the stroller from accidentally folding on the Summit X3
These are the safety snapping straps that prevent the stroller from accidentally folding on the Summit X3
This one earned a higher score than most for commuting with a 7. The swivel wheel makes it more manageable on busy sidewalks and in tight places, and it does conform to the 2X4 rule of some public transport. Because it is heavy it is hard to lift into and out of trunks. If you are not strong or you are recovering from a C-section it will be difficult to travel about with this stroller. However, should you get it out and about it does pretty well in cafes with a seat height that allows it to be pushed up to the table without lopping baby's head off or leaving them looking at the underside gum stuck to the table. it is also a little shorter lengthwise than some of the competition so there is a chance you won't be in the way of other people.

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.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


The Baby Jogger Summit X3 is a locking swivel wheel style stroller that neither wows nor drastically disappoints
The Baby Jogger Summit X3 is a locking swivel wheel style stroller that neither wows nor drastically disappoints
This is not a bad stroller, but it is not a great stroller for the price. Scoring just 59 of 100 points overall it failed to impress us in some of the key metrics that make this style of stroller good for jogging or easy to use. In fact, in our tests this product failed to score higher than average in just about every metric. Given the higher price tag we thought it would perform better or offer things that the competition did not. However, when compared to comparably priced options it just can't compete. With both the Thule options and the BOBs scoring higher and costing less it is hard to recommend this stroller.

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.

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Juliet Spurrier, MD & Carrie Vickers

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Most recent review: June 14, 2015
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Related Review
Sixteen top ranked strollers were put to the test to find the best jogging style stroller on the market (Grand Safari  Burley Solstice  Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight  and Mountain Buggy Terrain not shown).
The race for the best jogging stroller of 2017

by Juliet Spurrier, MD & Carrie Vickers
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 How to Choose the Best Jogging Stroller

by Juliet Spurrier MD, Carrie Vickers, & BabyGearLab Team

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