Disclaimer: All of these opinions are my own, I did not receive any product or compensation for this review and BOB does not know I am even writing it. Also, I did not run with the boys until I received permission from our pediatrician based on his evaluation of their head and neck control.I mentioned here that the BOB Ironman Duallie is one of my favorite baby items and that I would be doing a full review of the stroller. Deciding what strollers to get was not a decision I took lightly…..some might even say I put a little too much into the decision…and they might have a case. But, in my defense, when I read stroller reviews, so many of them would start off listing all the strollers they had previously owned that didn't work and how they wish they had just gotten "x" stroller in the beginning. Brian has a motto that we applied to picking strollers for the boys: Do it right the first time.
I knew I wanted a BOB because of the reputation, so I was choosing between the Ironman Duallie and the Revolution SE Duallie. I struggled wanting to get the Ironman because it is an expensive stroller and, since the front wheel is locked, it doesn't really double up as an everyday stroller and is really just an expensive stroller that you can only use for running. And while I looked forward to running with the boys, I didn't actually know if I would enjoy it. No pressure, right?
In short my analysis went like this: Running with a stroller is harder than running without a stroller. Running with two babies is harder than with one baby. Running with them will only continue to get harder as they get bigger. If it is too hard to run with the stroller, then I will lose the motivation to do so. Therefore, I want the stroller that makes stroller running as easy as it can be so I will want to do it and so it will be enjoyable. Plus, I wanted to be able to go on longer runs with them and to run with them regularly, as opposed to occasional shorter runs.
In all honesty, the Revolution Duallie didn't have much appeal to me as an everyday stroller anyway since it is so big and bulky. The single Revolution may have more utility as an everyday stroller, but the Duallie was just too big and bulky to really use as an everyday stroller anyway. So if I weren't using the stroller as an everyday one too, I figured I should get the stroller intended specifically for running. That basically sums up my thought process. See, I told you I put *a lot* of thought into this.
I should note here that I may not have debated so much between the two strollers if we were only having one baby and I would likely have gotten the Revolution SE. I think the single Revolution can double up as an everyday stroller much easier than the double.
Running with the Ironman Duallie is great and I cannot imagine a better jogging stroller. I am going to avoid the technical features like that it has pneumatic tires or describing the suspension system because I don't know what they mean and, instead, I'll tell you what I like about it in everyday terms. Here's my list:
- It has tires similar to a bicycle and, I don't know why exactly, but it makes a huge difference. The stroller feels like it is floating and it is honestly not as hard to push as you would think, especially when you consider I'm pushing 60 extra pounds (the stroller is 34lbs and the boys are over 30lbs together).
- I was a little nervous about the fixed wheel and wondered if it would be hard or awkward to turn. It's not. It was easy to adjust to and it is easy to turn the stroller by adjusting your weight or pushing on one side. To make a 90 degree turn, I normally pop the front tire up and turn on the back wheels.
- Another benefit about the wheels and construction (this is probably where the suspension system comes in), it is a very smooth ride for the boys….even when I pop that front tire up or go over bumps.
- Each seat independently reclines and has its own sun shade, which I personally think is a good size.
- A weather shield is available which is at the top of my wish list for next winter (we have to be almost done with the cold this year, right?!). I think this would allow me to be able run with the boys in cooler temps and if it were drizzling (obviously I would use judgment here…I am imagining the grandparents cringing right now).
- The shades each have a large viewing window I can open and am able to check on the boys.
- I use a head and body insert (found here) to help support the boys since they are still young and small.
Cons (note all of these things apply to all BOB strollers and I personally think the size and weight contribute to what makes the strollers so great):
- It's heavy (but that's true of all double strollers)
- It's bulky
- It's expensive and does not come with any accessories, all accessories (console, car seat adapter, weather or sun shield, snack tray) are extra
What I like about stroller running
I honestly love running with the boys more than I thought I would and I can't wait for it to warm up so I can run with them more regularly. We are going to be traveling for several months starting in the spring and one of my biggest disappointments is that I might not be able to bring the stroller (first world problems, I know).
My first run was a 4 miler and I felt as if I could keep going when it was over. The best way to describe my initial impression was that it felt comparable to swimming with a kick board. The next run was 6 miles and then 8 miles. I am not worried about working my mileage up with the stroller at all, my biggest concern is actually having to go to the bathroom while I have the stroller with me. I don't really have a good solution there yet, it would be too big to get in anywhere with me.
What I don't like about stroller running
Now it is not all puppies and rainbows when you run with a stroller. There are two things that can be hard to begin with, but are a whole new world when pushing a stroller. Wind and hills. And you might as well forget about trying to go uphill in the wind with a stroller! It is also a lot of extra work to push the stroller while running. However, I hope it will pay off in the way running with a weighted vest pays off and I'll end up being surprisingly fast when I'm stroller free in races :-D
Parents - do you run with a stroller? What models or features are your favorite?
Does anyone have warm weather right now? ANYONE???