Written by Jen and Sim Benson www.wildrunning.net for the URC

Price: From £850 (single) or £950 (double)

Find out more at www.thule.com; available in the UK from www.runningbuggies.com

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Overview:

Brand new from Swedish brand Thule, the Chariot Cross 2 is a top of the range buggy for running, cycling or even cross-country skiing. We’ve been testing one for the last few months and it’s opened up a whole new world of training possibilities for us – and the kids love it too.

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The Brand:

Established in Sweden in 1942, Thule’s mission is to help transport everything you care for safely, easily and in style, leaving you free to live an active life.

Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our kids, but we’re also keen that the products that we use and promote are made by companies whose corporate and social responsibility is sound. Thule products are well-made and long-lasting and they also have a strong corporate sustainability code. You can read more here www.thulegroup.com/en/our-approach

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The Buggy:

The Chariot Cross is available as a single or double buggy; we have a three-year-old and a five-year-old so we’ve been testing the double. We also have the Jogging Kit and the Brake Kit, so we can use it either as a running buggy or a bike trailer. The total weight capacity is 45kg and the double buggy on its own weighs 14kg.

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It’s fair to say we’ve been thoroughly impressed with the buggy. It feels very well made and meticulously thought-through. All the features make sense and work well and, most importantly, the kids are comfortable and we enjoy running with it. We now regularly do a 10-mile training run together – something we’ve rarely done since the kids arrived – and we have taken it out for up to about 22 miles at a time.

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It’s super smooth and very easy to push as long as the terrain is reasonably flat. We have also taken it over some really rough ground and it coped brilliantly. The brake kit makes downhills a lot easier but with both kids and some kit the buggy is quite heavy when the uphills get steep – it’s good training though!

Features:

  • The buggy itself feels tough and has a strong protective frame around the kids.

  • There is a mesh front door which stops toys being ejected and protects the kids from bugs, stones, undergrowth, and even snack-thieving seagulls! There’s a clear, waterproof cover that goes over the top.

  • The seats are comfortable with five-point harnesses. They also recline separately, allowing the children to sleep if they wish – ideal if you have an age gap.

  • There’s a large storage pocket at the back which can be clipped up if it gets in the way of your stride – we don’t find that it does and it’s really handy having the luggage space.

  • The handle is comfortable and height adjustable so you can hold it with your arms at a comfortable angle while running. It also features a safety strap to wear around your wrist so that you can’t accidentally let go...

  • The large rear wheels have an adjustable suspension system creating a smooth ride for the occupants.

  • The jogging kit adds a single large front wheel; it is easy to fit and adjust so that the buggy runs in a straight line. The large air-filled tyres roll very well and it’s easy to push even with both kids in.

  • The brake kit adds a single twist grip brake to the centre of the handle and really helps control the speed when running downhill.

  • The bike arm fits securely onto the rear axle of a bike and the trailer follows the bike naturally.

  • If you fancy taking it cross-country skiing there’s a kit available separately – we haven’t tried it out. Yet.

For storage or transport in the back of a car the buggy folds up neatly with all the wheels and accessories inside it. There’s also space for the extra items we normally take with us like some basic tools, a pump, spare inner tubes (we haven’t had a puncture yet) and essentials for the kids.

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Verdict:

This is the first buggy we’ve had because we’ve never found one that could cope with our adventures before. It’s a great tool to allow us to run together regularly and have amazing family adventures on foot or with the bikes. Highly recommended for active couples with young kids.

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