Thule Chariot Cross 2 with Jogging Kit Review
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Thule Chariot Cross 2 with Jogging Kit
$1,350 at Amazon
$549.95 at Amazon
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|Pros||Easy to use, good run-ability, nice to push and turn||Top scores for run-ability and maneuverability, easy to use, high quality||More storage, tight turns, adjust-ability, smooth runner||Easy to move, great runner, quality materials||Super easy to maneuver, low price|
|Cons||Width makes narrow places hard to navigate, heavy||Harder to transport and stow as it doesn't self-stand||No self-stand, awkward to lift and carry||Harder to lift and carry||Harder to run with, lower quality|
|Bottom Line||Our favorite multi-use option that works for jogging, strolling, as a bike trailer, and much more||Our favorite jogger that also makes a great everyday stroller, which can save you money||A rugged jogger good for every day use, going off-road, and running||A great jogger for a good price that works for every day use||An affordable jogger, but not the best option for serious runners|
|Rating Categories||Thule Chariot Cross...||Thule Urban Glide 2||BOB Revolution Flex...||BOB Rambler||Baby Trend Expedition|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Weight/Folded Size (10%)|
|Specs||Thule Chariot Cross...||Thule Urban Glide 2||BOB Revolution Flex...||BOB Rambler||Baby Trend Expedition|
|Measured Weight||32.875 lbs||24.4 lbs||27.3 lbs||25.1 lbs||23.6 lbs|
|Rolling Resistance Test||159 Feet||144 Feet||145 Feet||140 Feet||124 Feet|
|Folded Dimensions||31.3"W x 21"H x 51.5"L||27.2"W x 15.5"H x 36.5"L||25.5"W x 15.3"H x 37.8"L||25.3"W x 13.5"H x 38.5"L||23.5"W x 16.75"H x 33.75"L|
|Capacity Limits||Minimum: Walk Only:
1-10 mo. with the Infant Sling
Jogging & Off-Road: 6 mo.
Maximum: 49 lbs/44"
Infant Car Seat: Birth
Stroller Seat: 6 mo.
Jogging & Off-Road: 6 mo.
Maximum: 75 lb Total Capacity Limit
Infant Car Seat: 0 - 8 wk.
Stroller Seat: 8 wk. - 8 mo.
Jogging & Off-Road: 8 mo. - 5 yr.
Maximum: 75 lbs/44"
Infant Car Seat: 0 - 8 wk.
Stroller Seat: 8 wk. - 8 mo.
Jogging & Off-Road: 8 mo. - 5 yr.
Maximum: 75 lbs/44"
|Minimum: 6 mo.
Maximum: 50 lbs./42"
|Included Car Seat Compatibility||None||None||None||None||Baby Trend
Any Baby Trend car seat
|Click-in Car Seat Adapters||None||BeSafe
Izi GO Mod, Izi GO X1
KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Aton, Aton 2, Aton 4, Aton 5
CabrioFix, Citi, Mico 30, Mico Max 30, Mico NXT, Pebble, Pebble Plus
|Strap-in Car Seat Adapters||None||BOB
Affinity Unity, B-Safe, B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, Chaperone, Unity, Unity ISOFIX Compatible
Baby-Safe, Baby-Safe Plus II
SafeSeat, SnugRide, SnugRide Click Connect, SnugRide Click Connect 30, SnugRide Click Connect 35, SnugRide Click Connect LX 35, SnugRide Click Connect 40
Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30, Primo Viaggio 4-35
Comfy Carry Elite, onBoard, onBoard Air
Unity, Unity Neos
Britax® Chaperone®, B-Safe®, B-Safe® 35, B-Safe® 35 Elite, Endeavours™, B-Safe® 35 Ultra, BOB® B-Safe®, BOB® B-Safe® 35
Fit2, KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Cybex® Aton 2, Aton Q, Cloud Q
SnugRide Click Connect 30, 30LX, 35, 35LX, 40, SnugRide Classic Connect, SnugRide Classic Connect 30, 32, 35, SafeSeat
Maxi Cosi® Mico 30, Mico Max 30, Mico AP
Nuna® Pipa, Pipa Lite
Primo Viaggio 4-35, SIP, SIP 30/30
B-Safe, B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, Chaperone
B-Safe, B-Safe 35
SnugRide Click Connect 30, 30LX, 35, 35 LX, 40, SnugRide Classic Connect 22, 30, 32, 35
Primo Viaggio 4-35, Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30, Primo Viaggio SIP
KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Any Baby Trend Car Seat
|Handlebar Height - Min/Max||35.5"/44.5"||30"/46"||34.5"/48"||38.8"||41"|
|Included Accessories||Bicycle Trailer Kit, Rain Cover, Sun Shade, Flag||None||None||None||None|
|Setup Time||15:56 min:sec||5:13 min:sec||4:26 min:sec||5:30 min:sec||6:30 min:sec|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Thule was founded over 70 years ago by Erik Thulin. Starting in Sweden in 1942, the company originally made gear for fishermen. Skip ahead twenty years, and the first ski rack for cars is introduced, followed by a rack with a basket. Many years later, Thule is now recognized internationally as a go-to supplier for active people looking for gear designed for transporting bicycles, winter and water toys, and other cargo. Thule now makes some products with kids in mind. They make strollers, bike seats for kids, and the best bike trailers for kids and adventurous parents.
The Cross 2 is better than the average for jogging.
This stroller has a fixed front wheel is easy to use with adjustable tracking that works with the turn of a dial. The adjustable handlebar and suspension increase run-ability by improving the runner's biomechanics which should lead to less fatigue and overall effort related to pushing while running.
During testing, the Cross was a good mover despite the heavier weight and larger size, and we did not have difficulty tilting it back for turns, a must-do action for running due to a fixed front wheel. This stroller tracks straight and has the best rolling resistance in the group. While not as nice to run with as lighter, narrower options, it is still a good choice for the serious runner that also plans to partake in other outdoor adventures.
The Running Details
Each jogger, including the Thule Chariot Cross 2 undergoes multiple running tests that together create the overall run-ability score. We develop a detailed picture that includes information for the features and functionality that influence how easy it is to run with any particular jogger. These tests can help you better determine which product might be best for you based on your needs and budget.Running Tests
The running test results are based on feedback from various running testers. The score is 35% of the overall run-ability score. The chart below shows the running tests score for each jogger, for a side-by-side comparison.
Rolling resistance is the natural friction in the wheel and the design of the stroller. A more free-flowing wheel with less resistance can mean less energy pushing the stroller while running. During testing, the farther a stroller traveled the lower its level of rolling resistance. The shorter the distance the more resistance that slowed the stroller to a stop faster. Rolling resistance is 20% of the run-ability metric.
This Thule had one of the best test results for rolling resistance, traveling further than most joggers, and significantly further than the other trailer in this review.
Ease of Use
The Cross 2 is easier to use than most of the jogging competition.
Ease of use impacts your daily experience with a stroller and captures how ordinary regular features function.
Fold and Unfold
The Cross has a relatively easy two-handed fold process with a lock that closes automatically (above left). The stroller self-stands when folded and can be more compact by removing wheels. The process can be anywhere between 3-12 steps. The Cross 2 has color-coded transition buttons (above right) that guide parents through the complete fold process, including the removal of the quick-release wheels. The self-stand feature is potentially only good for storage, but it is a benefit that helps manage a larger product. Unfolding the Cross is also easy enough, but it is convoluted with more steps than most of the competition.
The Cross 2 has single-action brakes that are readily accessible (above left). They are easy to set and release with a sandal foot-friendly pedal that is color-coded, so you know when they are properly set (above right).
The storage bin on Cross folds out from the back beneath the handlebar (above left). The bin is large and held our extra-large diaper bag with a nice interior pocket to help keep things organized and smaller items within reach. The narrower rectangle shape of the bin means we had to work to get it in, but it fits with room to spare. The bin has a max allowance of 8.8 lbs, which is low for a product for two because two children will likely have more supplies. We think it's likely that parents will fill the basket to greater than its capacity and worry this will create a potential tripping hazard. When not in use, parents can clip the bin up and out of the way (above right). The bin is larger than the storage on the Hamax Outback with Jogger Kit.
The Cross 2 also has passenger stow pockets inside the cabin. These pockets can hold most things, but smaller riders won't be able to reach them while buckled in. There is also an elastic pocket on the back of each seat for storing things like wallets, keys, phone, or water bottles.
The Cross sports a unique sunshade. The shade is a clip-on piece of fabric that blocks the sun and can slide up or down for direct coverage. When the seats recline, there is a tinted, vinyl peek-a-boo window. You can protect the front of the Cross with a zippered mesh cover and a vinyl cover depending on your needs. Both covers can be rolled up and stored out of the way.
The Cross 2 has two seats, and both have easily adjustable 5-point harnesses. They are also relatively easy to buckle and unbuckle. The straps use a non-rethread style adjustment with an 8-inch range of height options.
The Cross 2 seats can recline, and each one moves independently for individual comfort. The seat has three recline positions operated with one hand. None of the options are truly flat, but the angle should be sufficient for most nappers. The seat doesn't offer leg or footrests, which means children sit with legs stretched in front of them.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Cross 2 does not work with any infant car seat carrier, and the Thule accessories for infants should NOT be used with the jogging kit, and babies should not be taken jogging or off the beaten path until they are at least 8-12 months old or you get the thumbs up from their pediatrician.
Ease of Setup
The Cross took almost 16 minutes to assemble, including the jogging kit. It is only average for ease of setup with an international style manual we find challenging. The manual is harder to follow and requires flipping back and forth to follow the steps. There are more parts to assemble on the Cross than similar trailers we've reviewed. Assembly requires a single tool that comes in the box.
The Cross isn't the easiest to maneuver with the jogging kit fixed front wheel attached. It is more challenging than the joggers that offer a locking swivel front wheel.
While easy enough to push and traverse various terrain thanks to large rubber air-filled tires, the Cross is difficult to turn as a result of its overall size and the fixed front wheel. The width of this stroller makes it a tough one to use indoors or on narrow trails, but the width is part of why it works so well as a bike trailer and adventure wagon. This design is a trade-off that makes it a poor choice for indoor outings and could limit hiking to wider trails.
The adjustable handlebar and suspension help make this a more comfortable product for pushers and passengers. The larger range of height options and covered foam make the handlebar comfortable (above left) with an included safety strap. The adjustable suspension (above right) is a rare find that helps increase overall comfort based on passenger weight and the terrain.
Weight and Folded Size
The Cross 2 is lighter and smaller in the strolling mode, but the jogging kit attached, the Cross weighs 31.9 lbs. It measures 33,851 cubic inches when folded.
The Cross 2 is the largest stroller in this review which means the Cross might be harder to lift and store and may not fit in some smaller cars, which could mean a more traditional jogger would be better for you if you have a compact sedan.
The back wheels are quick-release, and the front jogging kit can be removed to fit the stroller in a tight spot. But this means you will need to somewhat dismantle the stroller before leaving your adventure. This process is something to consider before purchasing depending on what you drive or how you plan to get the stroller from A to B.
The Thule Cross is a nicer quality product with better materials and construction than much of the competition.
The Cross 2 uses materials that work well and feel solid without flex or rattling. Everything on this stroller is relatively seamless and works in conjunction with the other components. The fabric material is a thick ripstop with thermo-molded seats that integrates into the frame with few exposed fasteners. The vinyl windows are tinted, and they are somewhat pliable for durable long-term use. Overall, the Cross has a high-end fit and finish.
Should You Buy the Thule Chariot Cross 2?
The Chariot is a powerhouse trailer that does just about everything but the laundry. Despite its larger size, it offered up impressive run-ability and maneuverability compared to the other trailer in this review and even some of the traditional joggers. If you love outdoor adventures and want to bring a baby with you, it is hard to beat the Chariot Cross.
What Other Jogging Strollers Should You Consider?
The Hamax Outback with Jogger Kit is a more budget-friendly alternative to the Chariot. It is a little less versatile and slightly harder to use and maneuver, but it is less expensive. Overall, both trailers offered impressive run-ability for their size, so your final choice will likely be influenced by the type of adventures you want to do and how much you have to spend.
Thule offers additional conversion kits (sold separately) depending on the activity (it comes standard with the strolling and bike trailer kits). We purchased the Jogging Kit for this review. This leaves the:
- Thule Chariot Cross Country Ski Kit — The cross country ski kit is a cool addition for including baby in winter sports activities. This kit includes all the necessary components for your cross-country skiing adventures.
Comfort accessories include:
- Thule Chariot Padding 2 — The Chariot padding provides comfort and protection to the stroller seats to make clean up easier. This easy-to-use addition catches dirt, crumbs, and spills and can prolong the life of your cabin interior while providing little ones a nicer place for napping on longer trips.
Conveniences accessories include:
- Thule Organizer Sport Double — The Thule Organizer provides what many parents feel is a necessity to any stroller. This console has two cup holders and a covered pocket. This console clips on quickly and gives parents quick access to storage for small items like keys and mobile phones.
- Thule Hydration Cage — Looking for a handy place to keep your water bottle? Staying hydrated is cool and easy with the Thule hydration cage. This holder is a good addition for parents who aren't interested in the full console but still want to sip some H2O while running.
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