Quick Summary: We think that Bugaboo have created something with comfort, safety and function in mind, all combined into a minimalistic and stylish package. The chassis and fabrics really are high quality and should last through multiple children. The Bugaboo Runner is definitely one to take a look at if you want to continue with your running journey once you have children.
- Compatible with current Bugaboo seats
- World and parent facing seat
- Air tyres with lots of suspension
- Secure storage
- High quality product
Whats not so good?
- 17kg weight limit for the seat
- Only two colour choices
You can purchase the Runner chassis, to use alongside your current Bugaboo seat, or as a complete system with its own seat. We are testing the Runner as a complete system with the seat included. Though very different from their other pushchairs, the Bugaboo styling is still there, with the seat just as you would expect. The minimal long chassis and large wheels are striking and definitely stand out in this category.
The handlebar on the Runner is unique. Rather than sliding up and down telescopically or rotating at the end, the entire bar moves up and down, changing the angle to provide height adjustment. Unusual but effective, it offers three different positions from 86-107cm from the ground. All positions give great clearance from the back of the pushchair for long strides. It's covered in foam, apart from the centre which has plastic and connects the wrist strap.
The wheels on the Runner are very important. With three air tyres and bags of suspension on the rear, the ground can be eaten up on a run, while providing the smooth ride for the baby on board. The two rear wheels are a huge 16", with the front wheel being 14" and fixed, so that you can keep to a stable, straight path over any terrain. All three wheels have 20 spokes, with the look of a bicycle wheel. Rather than your usual pushchair wheel, the spokes are essential to add strength to the rim and to support the child's weight. Each wheel has it's own mudguard to stop flying mud. As the wheels are set so far apart, the stability of the Bugaboo Runner is excellent.
The front wheel features tracking controls on each side. Thumb one of the two spinning wheels to adjust the angle of the front wheel to keep the runner completely straight, even when running fast. Bugaboo include an air pump in case you ever have low tyre pressure.
As well as the usual foot brake, the Bugaboo Runner also features a second brake on the handlebar. Essential for a running pushchair, the hand operated brake allows you to adjust your speed on the go. A full bar that runs just under the handlebar, it's easily accessible with either hand to slow you down. The brake mechanism is cleverly tucked away inside a compartment behind the front wheel which will keep the worst of the muck off it and make cleaning easier. The foot brake will keep the pushchair stationery when you need to take a breath and is operated by a white lever in the centre of the chassis. Push down for on, push back up for off. As you're likely to be operating with trainers on, it's easy to do.
Thinking about the practicalities of being a mum or dad, Bugaboo have included an easily accessed shopping basket so that you can take your babies essential kit for the ride. With four elastic straps inside, there's no need to worry about flying nappies or wipes and everything is kept securely in place. There's also three Velcro mesh pockets on the back of the basket which are a perfect size for keys or your phone.
If you already own a Bugaboo pushchair, then you can use your existing seat on the Runner frame. It's compatible with all Cameleon³ seats, the Bee seat from 2010 onwards, the Donkey seat - version 1.1, and all Buffalo seats. Depending on the seat that you are using, you need to purchase adapters so that you can attach it to the frame.
A big game changer for the Runner is that you can switch the seat round to be parent facing. Other than car seat adapters on different pushchair brands, this is completely unique within the jogging pushchair world. You can run while constantly keeping an eye on your child and talk about everything you pass. The seat can be removed from the chassis quickly by pushing in the white buttons at either side.
The Runner's own seat is very similar, if not exactly the same, as the Bugaboo Buffalo. Wide and spacious, it offers plenty of room for children up to 17kg and can be used from 9 months. It's not recommended before this, as young babies need strong enough neck muscles before going for a run. Measuring 49cm from top to bottom, the canvas style material is soft and padded with a deep base and curved back. All materials can be removed from the seat for easy cleaning. It would be nice to see an increased weight limit on the Runner to allow parents to run with their older children too.
A 5-point harness keeps your little one in their seat as you whizz by. With silky soft, padded shoulder pads, the harness height can be adjusted by simply sliding the shoulder straps up or down a piece of webbing. We really like this method of adjustment - it's super quick and easy and great if you are using the pushchair for more than one child at different times. The waist straps and crotch pad are also padded to sit open nicely while you place your child. The harness takes a little time to connect, as the waist and shoulder straps fit into the buckle separately and there's a large white buckle to release them.
The Runner seat comes with its own bumper bar, which has the central area covered with a thick foam. It's handy to grab to remove the seat from the frame and is gate opening from each side when released by the white buttons.
There are three recline positions, whether the seat is in parent or world facing mode. Achieved by pulling up the white lever at the top of the back of the seat, it moves smoothly and offers a good recline for naps, whilst being very upright in its highest position.
If the Runner seat hood wasn't large enough for you pulled down to the bumper bar, then you'll be impressed that it extends even further when you unzip the extra panel! One of the biggest that we've seen, it completely covers the child's body, and will only leave their feet peeking out - great to keep them protected from strong winds. There's no peekaboo window though, so you'll need the seat in parent facing mode with the hood back to keep an eye on them. There's also no mesh anywhere on the hood, so on warm days, the air circulation won't be great.
The footrest on the Runner seat features a wipeable fabric in the footwell, but isn't adjustable.
For anyone that might fancy a run in the rain, a raincover is provided to help keep your child cosy and dry. There's a handy little foot label, so that you can work out which way round to fit.
As the Bugaboo Runner is designed specifically for running with your child, it has to have great handling and drivability. The fixed front wheel makes pushing one handed easy, and keeps the pushchair in a straight line, no matter how fast you are going.
The running handbrake is light and slows the Runner nice and smoothly with no juddering or squealing. It can be operated by either hand easily.
You will need to get used to lifting the front wheel to turn when in town, but the excellent kerb pop - especially when parent facing, makes this easy
The three air tyres cover the ground beautifully and make sure that you can go over smooth and rough terrain, with the suspension absorbing any bumps.
It has been shown that running with a pushchair can increase the calorie burn by up to 20%, so we can definitely see why people do it! And the Bugaboo Runner makes it easier to do so.
The fold on the Bugaboo Runner is pretty easy to do, but only really compact, if you remove all of the wheels. The seat needs to be removed first.
To fold the Bugaboo Runner, pull up the two buttons on the handlebar and then push the handle all the way forward over the front wheel. Next just tuck in the rear axle so that it folds under the rest of the pushchair. There's no automatic lock, so you'll need to be careful when transporting it.
To make the fold smaller and able to fit in more car boots, the wheels can all be removed. The rear wheels have a white button on the inside which releases them. Getting them back on, you just need to make sure that you line up the mudguards with the cutout in the plastic. The front wheel has to be unscrewed, but this doesn't take too much time either, and the mudguard cleverly folds down. You're left with a pushchair chassis that is surprisingly compact, it won't quite fit in a Mini one, but it will go in the boot of a Golf.
To unfold the pushchair, first pull out the rear axle and then pull up the handlebar all the way up and over to the back until it clicks into position.
Once children arrive on the scene, it's easy for a parent's fitness regime to be put to one side due to lack of time and child care. If you're a keen runner, then the Bugaboo Runner definitely helps you to keep moving whilst still interacting with your child. We love that the seat can be parent facing so that you can chat as you run.
The Runner is ideal if you keep the pushchair at home and head straight out the door to your run. It's not really designed to be an everyday pushchair, it is aimed squarely at the running market. With a fixed front wheel, it's compromised maneuverability might make a trip to the shops a little more difficult.
For parents of older children, it would be great if the 17kg weight limit could be increased. Your average four year old probably wouldn't keep up on a run, but might still like to come along for the ride. For a different look, it would also be nice to see a varied range of colour choices.
It's great that you can purchase the chassis on its own so that you can use your own Bugaboo seat, making it the perfect jogging extension for existing Bugaboo owners.
Being a specialised product, the price point on jogging pushchairs can sometimes be quite high. As a whole, Bugaboo do sit at the high end of the price scale, but the Runner does come in cheaper than any of their other pushchairs. More savings can be also be made if you already own a Bugaboo seat, bringing the price down to £334 plus the adapters.
We think that Bugaboo have created something with comfort, safety and function in mind, all combined into a minimalistic and stylish package. The chassis and fabrics really are high quality and should last through multiple children. The Bugaboo Runner is definitely one to take a look at if you want to continue with your running journey once you have children.