Graco FastAction Fold Jogger Review
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
Our Analysis and Test Results
Graco makes a variety of baby gear popular with budget-minded parents across the globe. The company began in 1953 when the metal product designer hired an engineer to create juvenile products. Graco created the first baby swing launching the company into baby gear history. The company continues to create swings and also includes car seats, stroller play yards and more in their product album.
The Graco is the most difficult option for running. Attempting to take this stroller for a run, in our opinion, is a patience lesson and a strength training workout. This stroller doesn't have tracking adjustment, so you are at the mercy of whatever alignment it has standard.
Ours wasn't good, and we tried multiple times to adjust the front wheel and ensure we had it assembled correctly. It tracks relatively straight when walking, but when you pick up the pace, it pulls dramatically to the right. Once the pull started, it required all our strength to keep it on a course, and it is fatiguing to wrestle. This product's front wheel randomly locks itself without warning. One of our runners felt that this stroller is "unusable" as a running stroller.
If that isn't enough to turn you off, it has no suspension, so you feel every bump in the handle and up your arm. Increased rolling resistance, jarring vibrations, and wrestling the beast straight make it a product we loathe.
Ease of Use
The Graco is similar to much of the competition for ease of use with more straightforward features than some of the competitors.
Fold and Unfold
It has a quick and easy one-hand fold with a kickstand for self-standing. Unfolding is also effortless, but it takes two hands to manage it with any grace.
The brakes are double action which requires setting each side individually. We aren't big fans of this because parents may forget both sides, or become complacent that one is enough.
The Graco's large bin has access from the sides and back and fit our extra-large diaper bag with some wiggling. It is one of the most useful in this review. The parent console is disappointing with cup holders too shallow for water bottles.
The bottles fell out over each bump and landed on our "baby," raising a significant safety concern, suggesting parents shouldn't use them. The center tray doesn't hold larger phones. The child tray is also disappointing with shallow and narrow cup holders. The storage bin's weight allowance is 13 lbs, and the parent tray is 2 lbs.
The Graco has an average size sunshade that covers your child's head, but it won't cover to the knees. It sits high on the frame so that the sun will peek in underneath. It has good ventilation, but this means little wind protection. The design is similar to other inexpensive products, but it seems like less protection. The peek-a-boo window is part of the ventilation system.
We have some concerns about the harness system with shoulder straps that seem too loose for smaller riders. When buckling the shoulder straps, they continually slip off of the waist strap at the buckle. We think parents will find the design frustrating, but it comes with an adjustable crotch strap not found on most of the competition.
The seat is strange because it tilts forward like it is trying to dump the baby out. We can't come up with a single reason why a forward tilting seat is a good idea, and the majority of the other products have a slightly reclining seat.
Ease of Setup
This stroller took just over 7 minutes to get from box to ready to roll. The instructions are clear with everything in the illustrations shown in blue and only the relevant step in red. It is intuitive and requires no tools.
This Graco is challenging to maneuver earning a below-average result for tests in this metric.
This stroller is hard to turn on the pavement, especially with one hand. It managed our obstacle course without running into anything, but it was tight and slower than the competition. Some testers feel it is almost as difficult to maneuver as a fixed wheel product because of its size and randomly locking wheel.
For pushing on grass or off-road terrain, this stroller is the hardest to turn and the heaviest to push. We were able to push most of the other products with one hand, but not this one. Overall, we find the Graco is so difficult to maneuver that we were thankful when testing was complete.
Weight and Folded Size
This stroller is heavy, and there is no way to sugar coat it. At over 31 lbs, it is one of the heaviest strollers in the review. If you weren't already planning to avoid it, we suggest you let its weight dissuade you. When folded, it measures about 19,550 cubic inches which is larger.
Graco is known for offering an average quality product at a reasonable price. The Fast Action Fold is consistent with this history.
The fabric feels flimsy with a center stripe that is rough and likely to chafe bare skin. The mesh components feel like they will snag. The frame is sturdy, but the joints have some wiggle, and it rattles and flexes when you wrestle it to stay straight while running. The seat has thick padding, but this is likely a failed attempt to make up for the hard seat bottom that is uncomfortable. We suspect, given these issues and a lack of suspension, that little ones aren't going to like being in the Graco for long.
The handlebar has a rectangular profile that is not ergonomic. The handle is flat and covered in foam, but we think most serious runners will find the design and height extra fatiguing because it doesn't conform to a runner's natural position. The overall fit and finish of this stroller aren't bad. It has a better look than most Graco strollers, with a more contemporary edge.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Carrie Vickers