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Hands-on Gear Review
Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Review
Price: $190 List | $157.03 from Amazon - 17% Off
Pros: Nice looking, easy to fold with self-stand capabilities
Cons: Hard to run with as it doesn't roll straight, front wheel randomly locks
Bottom line: Difficult to push and turn with the worst run-ability
The Graco Fast Action Fold Jogger earned the third lowest score out of the 16 products we tested. In our opinion this easy on the eyes stroller only has that going for it. With a front swivel wheel that continually locked when we didn't want it too, combined with an inability to track straight and a general consensus that we'd like to burn it as opposed to push it, this is definitely a stroller we don't recommend. Despite the Graco brand being known for budget friendly options that are relatively good quality, this model fails to really bring anything useful to the table no matter what your goals are. In addition, if you are a serious runner, we suspect its lack of solid tracking and suspension will have you leaving it by the curb and carrying baby home.
RELATED: Our complete review of jogging strollers
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
Graco's new jogger is what they call a crossover stroller that combines many features of a traditional stroller with jogging features. This stroller has air-filled, rubber tires and a lockable front swivel wheel for transition from strolling to jogging. This stroller has the one-second FastAction and it self stands. The seat can recline in multiple positions and has a child tray for snacks and treasures. It comes with a convertible 3-5 point harness and reflectors for safety. And it has a parent's tray with a smartphone cradle, 2 cup holders, and a covered storage compartment. It accepts all Graco Click Connect with a one step attachment.
Alternatively the Thule Urban Glide (our Editors' Choice winner) and the BOB Revolution Flex both earned 9s for run-ability. Even the Baby Trend Expedition , our Best Value winner, earned a 5 of 10 in our tests for run-ability and it sports a lower list price, proving a stroller doesn't need to be spendy to be somewhat runnable.
This stroller is very hard to turn on the pavement, especially with one hand. It did manage our obstacle course without running into anything, but it was tight and a more slow go than much of the competition. Some testers felt this stroller is almost as difficult to maneuver as a fixed wheel product because of its heavy size and randomly locking wheel; it is simply a chore to steer and maneuver. Considering this test was on a hard flat surface at a walking stroll that isn't a good sign.
For pushing on grass or off road terrain this stroller is the hardest to turn on the grass and the heaviest to push. Our weighted "baby" fell out when we pushed the stroller off the curb (oops!), and it was harder to push on gravel too. We were able to push most of the other products with one hand, but not this one.
Overall, we found the Graco to be so difficult to maneuver that we were thankful when its testing was over.
Ease of Use
The Graco earned a second place score for ease of use tying with a couple of other strollers earning a 7 of 10. The top scoring stroller is the Burley Solstice with an 9. The Schwinn models both brought up the rear with score of 4 for ease of use.
Thule Chariot Cougar 2 with Jog Kit has a larger bin that will hold more weight.
Graco is kind of known for offering a pretty good quality product at a reasonable price. They aren't likely to win and big points when it comes to quality, but they aren't usually so poor that they can't last through one or two babies. The Fast Action Fold is consistent with this history earning a 6 of 10 for quality, a score that is 1 point below the average for the products we looked at. The BOB products and most of the Thule strollers all earned 9s in this metric with the Thule Glide coming in with a perfect 10. The lowest scoring product for quality in our review was the Schwinn Arrow which struggled with a wobbly feeling frame.
The handlebar on this stroller isn't the best. The profile is a little rectangular and it is not ergonomic in design. The handle is flat and covered in foam for hand friendliness, but we think most serious runner with find the shape, design, and height to be extra fatiguing over time because it doesn't really conform to the natural runner position most bodies take. It isn't as bad as the Chicco Tre in our opinion, so it might not be the reason you choose not to buy the stroller, but it can certainly be used as an added bonus reason not to.
The overall fit and finish of this stroller isn't bad. It has a better look than most Graco strollers, with a more contemporary edge than their usual lineup. It isn't as nice as many of the brands, but we are hopeful that it means Graco is making new strides in a positive direction to stay competitive. This stroller might last through many children, but we think its longevity is more a reflection of parents not wanting to use it than a result of its attention to detail and quality construction.
The Fast Action Fold earned a below average score for safety with a 5 of 10. It wasn't alone in its performance in this metric tying with 3 other products and coming in 1 point ahead of the lowest scoring ride, the Schwinn Turismo. The high scoring strollers for safety in our tests were the Baby Jogger Summit X3, Thule Cougar 2, Thule Chariot Cougar 2 with Jog Kit and the Thule Glide with scores of 7 of 10.
As already stated we think the cup holders on this product are a safety concern and we suggest parents just don't use them. Most of the bottles we put in the parent console fell out at some point in our testing, which means the cup itself is too shallow and has no feature to keep the bottle in place while going over bumps and rougher terrain. When the bottle does fall out it primarily falls on baby's head which is certain to cause an injury of some kind, or at least a crying melt down.
For side tipping this stroller tipped at an angle of about 18.9 degrees which is less than much of the competition. We suspect this is due to the more top heavy design and the overall heavier weight of this product compared to the competition. However, the excessive weight of this beast meant it took more weight hanging off the back of the stroller before it tipped over backwards. In our tests it required in excess of 40 pounds before it tipped, so while you should never hang anything from the handle bar, this one is less likely to tip than the competition should you forget or a toddler hangs from the bar without you noticing.
It also has the safety handle strap that goes around the runner's wrist and is mounted low so the stroller can't get "away" should the runner loose their grip on the handle while in motion. We think this is a nice safety feature and should be used when available.
Weight and Folded Size
When folded it measures out at about 19,550 cubic inches which is also on the high side. What it does have as an advantage is a quick easy true one hand fold and kick stand for self-standing. It is the only product we looked at that boasts the self-stand and with the added weight and girth, you'll be glad you have it. Only 2 other strollers out of 12 were larger when folded and one of these again was the double stroller versatile Cougar 2. Unfolding is also an easy process, but it will take two hands to manage it with any grace.
Ease of Setup
This stroller earned the 3rd highest score for ease of setup tying with the BOB Sport Utility. The Thule Urban Glide earned a perfect score 10 of 10 for an easy set up and great documentation. It took just over 7 minutes to get this stroller from box to ready to roll. The instructions are really clear with everything in the illustrations shown in blue and only the relevant step/piece in red. It is relatively intuitive and required no tools to assemble. Most of the strollers were fairly easy to put together and none scored below a 6 in this metric. This was the highest score the Graco would receive in our tests, which doesn't say much given that it is a one time event compared to the potentially daily use of pushing.
Many parents will be drawn to this stroller for the cheaper price and the Graco name. While it does fold easily, has some nice convenience features, and looks pretty sharp there isn't a good application for this stroller in our opinion and we recommend even die hard Graco fans look elsewhere. There really is no best application for this product, even if you don't plan to run with it, we seriously doubt you will want to walk with it either.
While this stroller does have one of the lowest price tags in this review its performance is so poor in our testing that it still is not worth the money it demands. If budget is a factor we like the Best Buy winner Baby Trend Expedition with a list price of $120. The caveat to this is that the Baby Trend is not really a great ride for those who will be running multiple miles several days a week. If are a runner and price is a factor in your buying decision we think you'd do best to save for one of the Bob or Thule strollers so you won't have to compromise safety or quality for a great run. Other ideas are registering for the stroller or asking for donations if it is on your must have list.
Other Versions and Accessories
Graco offers one other stroller for running/jogging. The Graco Relay Click Connect Stroller is the higher end model of joggers for Graco. While we did not test this stroller we assume it has to perform better given the higher price tag and additional features. However, with a list price of $330 we can't imagine it can compare to the BOB products that start at $390 and have a well documented history of offering great performance and quality features for runners.
— Juliet Spurrier MD, Carrie Vickers, and BabyGearLab Review Team
Most recent user review: December 24, 2016
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