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Hands-on Gear Review
Chicco TRE Review
Price: $380 List | $299.99 from Amazon - 21% Off
Pros: Grippable Handlebar, deceleration capabilities
Cons: Uncomfortable seating and hard to run with
Bottom line: Requires excessive wrestling to run straight, making it a no go for us
Coming in with 50 points out of 100, the Chicco TRE doesn't offer much for serious runner, nor did it perform well in our tests. This relatively expensive stroller makes you think you'll be getting something with the same caliber of performance or quality as the BOB stroller or the Thule line, but unfortunately the only thing the TRE share with those strollers is a price range. This stroller scored poorly in our tests for run-ability with the second lowest score and it failed to earn any scores above average no matter what the test metric. All of this, makes the TRE a stroller we do not recommend.
RELATED: Our complete review of jogging strollers
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
The Chicco Tre Jogging Stroller is designed for children 6 months to 50 pounds. It has 16 inch pneumatic rear tires and 12 inch front tires, with a hand operated deceleration brake. The canopy is water resistant with a peek-a-boo window. This stroller has a multi-position reclining seat, 5 point harness, and removable arm bar designed to attach the Chicco KeyFit infant car seats. It has a large storage basket, parent tray with cup holders, and lockable swivel front wheel. It also sports an adjustable suspension system and handle bar. This stroller has a one hand fold, aluminum frame, and quick release wheels for a more compact fold.
The Chicco earned the second lowest score for run-ability in our tests with only the Graco Fast Action Fold Jogger scoring lower with a 2 of 10. Several models scored really well in this metric with scores over 7 and the Thule Urban Glide received a 9.
In general this stroller failed to do be good at the one thing it was designed to do, run. Given that just bout any other stroller in our review earned more points for run-ability, we think it is a no-brainer to pick a different product, especially if you already feel comfortable in this price range.
This stroller earned a 6 for maneuverability which tied with several others. Our runner felt it was a little heavy and harder to maneuver than it should have been. The lowest score in our review belonged to the Graco that earned a 5. The Thule Urban Glide took home top honors in this metric with a 9.
For maneuverability tests we tested swivel wheels with the the wheel unlocked. Inherently, the Chicco is easier to turn and push that the fixed wheels strollers, but it isn't as good as the Baby Trend Expedition, Baby Jogger Summit X3, or the BOB Revolution Flex the other swivel wheel models. It is harder to push on flat ground due to size and turning it is also more difficult. The frame flexes and is less responsive when you turn it, which makes the process even more difficult.
It performed about as well off road in rougher terrain like grass and gravel as it did on flat surfaces. It isn't as easy to turn on grass as some of the competition, and it got tippy on the side hill requiring us to wrestle it upright, but it did perform well in deep gravel.
Taking it up stairs backwards was a bouncy effort similar to the BOB models, but given the frame flexing it felt more out of control and we think it would have been a little dangerous if there had been a squirming baby in the seat.
Ease of Use
Burley Solstice coming in with the top score of 9. So while a 6 might feel like a relatively high score, it is important to realize that it is still lowest score in the group.
The TRE has a large under seat storage bin that holds up to 10 pounds. It would not fit our extra large diaper bag, but it did work with our large bag. The storage bin is easy to access and can be used from the back, sides, and front with no troubles. The basket is a similar size to the BOB strollers, but it is a little shallower and a little further back with a solid bar in the back. The seat sits lower than the BOB which takes away valuable storage space.
The quality on the Chicco looks nice and is similar to other strollers they offer. It scored a 6 for quality tying with a few other products and coming in 1 point ahead of the lowest scoring stroller for quality, the Schwinn Arrow.
The fabric is a heavier coarser weave than most of the competition. it looks like it would catch and collect more crud and debris than most of the other options due to the way the fabric is folded and stitched, but it didn't snag in our tests so we think it will at least stay in one piece over time.
The wheels look made of aluminum with pneumatic tires that have a smooth tread. It has the tightest set of spoke of any of the products that had spokes. The wheels in the back are approximately 16 inches with a 12 inch in the front, a standard size different found in many of the products we looked at.
The frame is a sturdy nice looking aluminum frame with clean lines that only has a little flex, but feels pretty sturdy. The adjustable handlebar isn't as tight as the other adjustable products. It is a foam covered handle with a slight arch that is softer to the touch than the foam used on the BOBs.
The ride comfort on this stroller is probably only average and we suspect little ones sitting in for longer runs will grow uncomfortable and start to complain. The bottom of the seat is hard plastic and despite some extra padding is not as comfortable or shock absorbing as the more common sling style seat that has significantly more give over rough terrain. The TRE does have adjustable suspension, but the manual suggests putting it on the stiffest setting when running so we doubt it will do much to help ride comfort.
The Chicco earned a 5 for safety which is 1 point below average. The highest scoring products in this metric was the Baby Jogger Summit 3X, Thule Glide, Thule Chariot Cougar 2 with Jog Kit all earned a 7 for safety. The lowest scoring stroller was the Schwinn Turismo with a 4.
While we feel the cup holders on this stroller are too shallow and don't conform to bottles, thus resulting in bottles falling out, we don't consider them to necessarily be a safety concern because the console and cup holders are located low enough that the bottle just falls on the floor, not on the baby in the seat. Safety hazard or no, you aren't likely to enjoy using the cup holders for cups and are more likely to use them for holding keys and other random small items.
The TRE side tipped at 22.8 degrees which was better than average for this style of stroller. However, given how much compensation for poor tracking we had to do while running on uneven surfaces we worry that adjustments to tracking while running might result in an accidental tip over situation. In addition, possibly due to its strange upright top heavy design it didn't require much weight on the handlebar to topple it backwards. Twenty one pounds applied to the handle caused the stroller to tip, the average weight required in our review was 22.5 pounds. The most weight required for back tipping was 40 pounds for the Graco Fast Action Fold Jogger.
This stroller does have a safety wrist strap and recommends children be 12 months old before running in the stroller. Of course you can casually walk with them at a younger age, and they can even be in the stroller with car seat attached as a newborn.
Weight and Folded Size
The Chicco weighs 30 pounds 3 ounces and is over 15,800 cubic inches when folded in a standard fold. If you remove the wheels it does fold more compactly, but we assume most parents will be too overwhelmed and busy to remove wheels regularly. You will want to double check your trunk space before purchasing this stroller because we suspect it might not fit in some smaller cars or will require wheel removal to squeeze in.
The TRE is an easy to operate 1 hand fold that auto locks and self-stands. It might take a little practice to be able to fold and unfold it gracefully, but it isn't difficult, just awkward.
For commuting this stroller earned points for its easy fold, but lost points for being heavy and taking up so much room. it does conform to the 2X4 rule for use in public transport in some areas which is nice, but it doesn't function in a café that well with a longer wheel base and a short seat height that puts baby looking at the underside of the table should you stop for a bite to eat. Overall we think it is not a good contender for those who will need to use it for commuting or regular city dwellers. It earned the second to the lowest score for commuting. The only stroller to score lower is the wide and long Thule Cougar 2, a double stroller designed for outdoor adventures.
Ease of Setup
It took about 12 and 1/2 minutes to get this stroller out of the box and rolling. Over it is had about double the amount of assembly required, but it doesn't require any tools and is relatively easy. The hand brake handle on ours was very loose and had to be tightened after the fact. It has a 2 language manual that is very clear and thorough with good illustrations. It is a tad longer than other manuals, but it didn't feel like giant useless book.
Parents who like the Chicco brand might be drawn to this stroller. However, given the inflated price tag for what you get, we don't think it is a good buy. Even if Chicco is your brand of choice it simply did not perform well in our tests for running or jogging. In addition it doesn't offer enough convenience features to be good s a primary stroller. For less money you can get a better jogging product or a better everyday stroller, there is no need to be saddled with a product that really isn't great at anything.
This Chicco has a list price of about $380 dollars. This puts it in the same price range as many of the top scoring products in this review. Given that you can purchase a product that scored significantly better for the same price or significantly less money we see no real value in choosing the Chicco TRE. First, our Best Value winner the Baby Trend Expedition cost less than half of what the TRE does with a list price of $120. Plus, it scored 13 points higher with a better score in almost every metric including run-ability and maneuverability, which makes it a better value.
If your goal is a serious running stroller then the Chicco is not only over priced, but not a great running option. For $30 less list price you should consider the Thule Glide, a fixed wheel option that came in 3rd place overall in our tests. Alternatively, if you need/want a swivel wheel stroller for $20 more list price you can purchase our Editors' Choice award winner, the Thule Urban Glide, which came in first place and earned 34 more points overall.
Other Versions and Accessories
This is a Chicco produced video of the features found on the TRE.
— Juliet Spurrier MD, Carrie Vickers, and BabyGearLab Review Team
Most recent user review: June 14, 2015
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