Baby Jogger Summit X3 Review
Baby Joggers are certainly one brand that we know extremely well.
We have tested the Baby Jogger City Mini 3 and 4; City Mini GT Single; City Elite; City Select; City Mini Lite; Vue; Zip; Versa and Versa GT; and all the double Baby Joggers!! The only Baby Jogger pushchair that we had personally not tested was the all terrain Baby Jogger Summit X3. We had heard nothing but good about this pushchair, so we could not wait to unpack it and have a closer look.
The Baby Jogger Summit X3 has had an update from the old XC and is a really modern looking pushchair. This is mainly thanks to the curved moulded hard footrest which forms the ‘nose’ of the Summit X3. The fabrics are good quality strong canvas and the hood has bold defining colour panels. The huge wheels tell you that this pushchair is ready for anything, whilst the handbrake gives confidence that this pushchair can be controlled wherever you choose to go. The Baby Jogger Summit X3 is the only one of the Baby Jogger range that is actually built to exercise with.
What is always surprising about the Baby Jogger pushchairs, is that they all appear to be substantial pushchairs, but yet they fold down into a relatively tiny package. This is true also of the Summit X3. The wheels can be popped off in seconds and laid on top of the pushchair chassis (or bagged if muddy) to pack very neatly into a car boot. This is the perfect all terrain / jogging pushchair if you have a small car boot.
Child Comfort and Seating Positions
The Summit X3 has a really generous, padded seat, which is very comfortable. The children sit really high up in the forward facing seat, so have a great view out. We love that the foot area contains little feet well; whereas when we use our Baby Jogger City Elite, it is common to see our little one with their feet dangling either side of the raised footrest. The seat support in the Summit X3 is good. There is a back and base board which holds the children in an upright position. However, if you are considering the Summit X3 for an older child (over 4 years old), then do have a look at the Elite because our children definitely sit deeper in the seat.
The Summit X3 seat reclines down to lie flat using a toggle recline which is easy to do, but does need a push up with a shoulder when sitting an heavier child upright again. This lie flat makes the Summit X3 suitable from birth. However, it is important that you do not jog with a baby under 6 months (and Baby Jogger recommends checking with your doctor if you wish to exercise with your stroller before your baby is 12 months old).
There is mesh at the rear of the seat for ventilation in summer, and it prevents items falling out of the rear of the seat. This can easily be covered by unrolling a flap of fabric beneath the handlebar, and hooking underneath the seat. This gives warmth and protection.
The Summit X3 has a huge hood which will offer good shade and shelter. It has an SPF50+ sun protection rating. There are also two peekaboo clear windows in the hood which can be rolled up and secured so that you can keep an eye on your child. These do have velcro tabs which are a little noisy if you have a sleeping baby. There are also two side mesh ventilation windows which can be rolled up and secured with a toggle. Our children like these open to look out of. The hood is lower than the Elite hood, and this does compromise on head room for a much older child. No problem for a child under 4 years of age, but we often see the Summit recommended for an older or bigger child, as it is so easy to push. We were able to swap hoods with the Baby Jogger City Elite and it does make quite a difference to the headroom.
The harness on the Summit X3 is the new style Baby Jogger one. There is a good buckle, however the straps will fall apart into 5 pieces. This can be very annoying and is definitely a minus point for us. However, harnesses can always be changed, and Master BB was old enough to be safe with just a 3 point harness, although we don’t really like or encourage this option.
There are 4 harness height settings. Unlike the old clip on style harnesses, the harness has to be pushed through the rear of the pushchair to adjust. Not easy, and it does impede sharing the pushchair between two children. This may be more pertinent with the Summit X3 because this is a more specialist pushchair or because your children may wish to swap over during a long walk.
The storage on the Baby Joggers is always fantastic and the Summit is no exception. There is a huge enclosed easily accessible basket and a large mesh pocket at the rear of the seat. Baby Jogger have accessories such as consoles, bumper bar and snack tray if you wish to add more storage. The snack tray and bumper bar fit into accessory bracket holes underneath the hood sockets.
Handlebars, Handling, Wheels and Brake
The Handlebar is fixed which may be a downside for some people. Thankfully it is the perfect height for me at 5ft 6ins tall. I like a fairly tall handle. The handle is rubber covered which is textured. We know this is not always good for some people, but the handlebar can be covered.
Off set to the left is a handbrake which operates rear drum brakes. The handbrake is one of the reasons why this pushchair is suitable for exercise or all terrain walking as it gives control over the speed of the pushchair. We found the brake incredibly useful on any hill, to control the speed of descent. The only downside is that the brake is operated by your left hand, which I struggled with because I naturally push one handed with my right hand. However left handed Mr BB loved it. There is also a wrist tether strap included in the box (not fitted in our photos) which is additional protection against the stroller possibly running away from you. There is also a red coloured foot parking brake which is situated on the back axle. This simply flicks on and off.
The wheels are what the Summit X3 is all about! The two huge 16″ rear rugged tread air wheels and the smaller single 12″ front lockable / swivel front wheel, are combined with independent all wheel suspension to make the Summit X3 ready to go anywhere. The rear suspension can visibly be seen working as you walk. It is very light and easy to push even fully loaded. It is a true pleasure to push and use. This is where the Summit X3 has the advantage over the Baby Jogger Elite, which is noticeably heavier to push when fully loaded. Rather surprisingly, given the large wheels, the Summit X3 is narrower than the City Elite. This makes the Summit a better pushchair for tight spaces and shops. The higher back axle will make the Summit perfect for snow.
The front wheel also has tracking on it to keep it aligned and easier to push. On the right hand side of the pushchair is a handle which flips over and locks and unlocks the front wheel from swivel to fixed positions. (This is the brake on some other Baby Jogger pushchairs and it did confuse us to start with). This handle is easy to do instantly, without having to stop or bend down.
We would suggest filling the tyres with slime to prevent punctures.
As with all the Baby Jogger pushchairs, there is no raincover included with the Summit X3.
The Summit has the famous Baby Jogger Quick fold technology. Simply pull the handle in the centre of the seat, upwards with a sharp tug, and the pushchair will fold in half. There is a rudimentary fabric / velcro storage strap on one side of the pushchair which does work well. Loop the strap through the metal ring and velcro it back on itself to hold the pushchair shut.
As with all the Baby Jogger pushchairs, the wheels are incredibly easy to remove for storage or if muddy after a long walk! Even with a handbrake, the handbrake rear drum brakes are enclosed in a block, so that the large wheels so simply pull off when you press the release button. With other pushchairs with a handbrake, the rear wheels are linked to the brakes and either do not remove or may take time to release and put back on. The front wheel releases easily too. This leaves a central flat seat / chassis package, and wheels which will then neatly nest on top. The Summit X3 is a great all terrain pushchair when storage or boot space is limited.
Unfolding the Summit is simple. Undo the fold lock strap. Grasp the handlebar and the flick the front of the pushchair out until it is standing on all 3 wheels, and the chassis clicks / locks open. On either side of the side of the chassis are red straps with poppers on. These should be put on to prevent accidental folding of the pushchair. They only take a second to do. These need undoing before folding.
Carrycot and Travel System
The Baby Jogger Summit X3 can have a Compact Carrycot or a Deluxe Pram added to form a snuggly place for a newborn to travel. These are not suitable for overnight sleeping. The carrycots can be added on over the seat fabric, however, they look brilliant as a pram with the fabric stripped off.
The Summit X3 can take a Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix or Pebble; a Cybex Aton or a BeSafe iZi Go infant carrier added to form a travel system. Car seat adaptors are required to be able to do this.
The Baby Jogger Summit X3 is a fantastic pushchair. We have loved having one here at BBHQ. The fantastic suspension, go anywhere tyres and very light push are the outstanding points of this pushchair. The handbrake was much more useful than we thought it would be even for every day outings especially for going down hills. We really like the height of the seat and the upright seating position which gives the child a great view out. For us, the biggest advantage that the Summit X3 has over other all terrain pushchairs is the fold. There is no other all terrain pushchair which folds so compactly, or is as quick and simple to use, and this will be the biggest selling point for many. The Baby Jogger Summit X3 has lived up to the recommendations given to us by others, and we think it is an excellent all terrain pushchair. We have no hesitation in giving the Baby Jogger Summit X3 a Best Buggy 5 gold star rating. We love it!
Other Baby Jogger Summit X3 Reviews: