Baby Jogger Summit XC Review by JBH
The Baby Jogger Summit XC is an outstanding all terrain stroller that is suitable for off road use. It’s unique selling point is a front wheel that locks forward facing rather than the usual rearward facing lock position. Thereby extending the wheel base and making a footprint better suited to rough terrain. There is a spring loaded suspension system on the front wheel also which deflects jolts and bumps from obstacles on the pathway very successfully.
In the USA notably this stroller has been marketed for the purpose of jogging or running also. It is my experience that this stroller is not suitable for anything more than a little casual jogging as when you lock the front wheel outwards, it is not perfectly aligned. There is no adjustable tracking mechanism on this current 2011 model (at time of writing this). This leads to the pushchair constantly veering left (in my case) if running on a smooth surface.
This veering is negligible on rough terrain where the stroller is constantly being deflected by larger obstacles and the uneven ground.
In other words, the Summit is suitable for off road hiking and trekking activities and less suitable as a training athletes running partner!
The rear wheels also feature a unique suspension system unlike that found on any other stroller. The Summit offers unrivalled comfort to passenger and pusher, and confidently cushions and deflects blows from rocky or uneven surfaces, and in a manner that absorbs the shocks and aids stability of the stroller. There is no disconcerting lateral movement as is often found on less well designed simple sprung suspension systems.
The very large rear wheels fit perfectly onto the chassis with no side to side movement. You won’t ever see a Baby Jogger with wheels that do this /—\ Baby jogger wheels fit perfectly and stand true like this |—| These rear wheels have a fabulous drum brake system which is completely enclosed, sheltering the brake pads from rain, debris and road grit!
The child’s seat is very generous in size with a seat backrest height of 21″, a seat width of 13″, seat back to knee is 10″ and knee to footrest is also 10″. Overall the stroller width is 27″ at the widest point…which can make it tricky to manoeuvre on some narrow English pathways, through some doorways and in small shops. It also makes it bulky to leave up at home (unless you are blessed with a nice big house)!
Fortunately Baby Jogger strollers are famous for their super fast on handed pull handle fold system. The Summit is easy to fold away in a trice and stow it away in a cupboard. It also folds pretty compactly and all wheels are quick release should you need to shrink it more!
This stroller is a pleasure to use and my toddler has always been very happy to sit or sleep in it. Recline is not lay flat but it is still enough for a comfortable sleep.
The Summit hood is generous and features two side vent panels and a viewing window at the top (so baby can keep an eye on you). Most wet days I haven’t needed a raincover as the hood is so comprehensive. It makes a good private dark area for a child in need of a nap, and techno gadget toddlers will appreciate being able to reduce the suns glare on their chosen devices screen (albeit mummy’s iPad or their own leap frog learning game system!).
This stroller is in the uk safe to use up to 15kg (that’s the standard uk test weight). The same identical stroller in the USA is certified safe to close to 35kg!
The handlebar on this stroller is a fixed height and non adjustable of 41″ (104cm). My experience is most adult pushers find this comfortable. Siblings wanting to help push the baby struggled. Not only with the handle height but also with not being able to see over the hood.
The handbrake on the handlebar is fixed to the left. I liked this as I am left handed…but then after a while I realised with my left hand being my dominant one I would prefer to hold the brake with my right hand actually, leaving my dominant hand free to hold a drink, or use my mobile phone! Looks like Baby Jogger thought this one through and fitted the stroller up to better suit the majority market of right handed people!
Those few manufacturers of strollers that have handbrakes on which have fitted the brake to be gripped by the right hand obviously haven’t really thought about this point and while they *think* they are suiting the mass market of right handed people they are wrong! It’s better to give the non dominant hand the chore of brake gripping leaving the dominant hand free to hold a drink, phone or wipe a sweaty brow!
*Best Buggy Edit – the new 2012 Baby Jogger Summit XC has been fitted with tracking*
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