When we first had our child finding a reasonably priced, yet safe jogging stroller was a top priority! Since we had time on our hands (it was about 8 weeks before we could really start running with Thomas) we did a little market reaserch. Given our budget of less than $200 there was a huge number of strollers to consider. From what we found the model that rose to the top of the under $200 stroller category was the Graco Fastaction Fold Stroller. If we had wanted to spend a little more then there were some lighter and more designer options, but we only needed something that would be used a couple of times a week and that would double as an every day stroller.
Hopefully my review of the Graco Fastaction will leave no stone unturned!
Graco Fastaction Fold Stroller Review:
This is one of the most affordable models from our list of Top 10 jogging strollers it has most of the things that we need, and a few nice touches that I will come onto. Because of its price point there are compromises to be made, however overall it is a solid machine that has received some great reviews every day users.
You may have heard of Graco from their car seats, they are one of the biggest car seat producers in the world. The great thing about this is that they produce some good combination travel systems. In fact you can even add a baby seat to this stroller for when your baby is still to small to sit up.
Because of the huge number of travel systems Graco make they are able to bring the same knowledge and scale to their jogging stroller range. If you are familiar with their standard strollers you will see that this is basically a normal stroller with jogging features added. These features include larger air filled wheels and a rotating front wheel that, at the flick of a switch can go from full rotation to locked. There is also an easy to use folding system.
Overall the Graco Fastacion scores highly, thanks to the good build quality, some fantastic colours. As to the comfort of the child, well we have yet to have any complaints, our boy seems to sleep in anything that moves. As he grows then hopefully he will appreciate more some of the comfort features built into this stroller such as: Air Filled Tyres, Spring Suspension, Large Wheels and a spacious seat.
Key Features of the Graco Fastaction Jogging Stroller
Rubber Air-Filled Rubber Tires:
Essential for comfort and speed, the air filled tyres ensure that no matter the surface the stroller remains comfortable and stable while running. They work very well on gravel, grass or unpaved trails. Like most strollers they struggle through sand.
Because they are filled with air there is a risk of puncture! As we discovered after running over some brambles. However we found that because the wheels were so small that it was quick to find any holes and patch them. Having tried solid tyres in the past I would never again go back to them.
Swiveling Front Wheel:
The abilty to lock the front wheel is vital in a jogging stroller. Its vital for the safety of the child and the stability of the stroller. If you try running at any speed without locking the wheel you can find that a small stone can knock the front wheel sideways. This can cause the whole stroller to tip over, and if your child is not secured properly can be thrown out.
To ensure that the stroller goes where you want it when running then you can quickly lock out the wheel. As you slow down and want some better manoeuvrability the wheel can be released in seconds.
Passenger Comfort and Safety
Graco have not only thought about the seat from the childs perspective, but also the parents. For example the material are machine washable, there are loads of times coming in from a muddy run, or having seen the contents of a childs snack cover a stroller that I have been wanting to wash it!
. The seat looks incredibly comfortable, able to lie nearly flat for small children which makes it incredibly versatile and usable from a six months old up to late school age. This is really the only stroller you will need to span the needs of any child. If you want to run with a new born, this can be accommodated by adding an adapter that will work with most of the leading brands of child seats.
The only issue with the seat is that to recline it is a little fiddly. There are two straps that need to be pulled to release the movement, this can be tricky until you get used to it. I can see this as being a safety feature as its impossible for a child to be able to change the seat themselves!
To secure your child there is a 5 point harness that has nice wide straps that wont cut into the skin of the child. There were no problems with them getting tangled and the lock gave a good positive indication that all the straps were secure.
Before I had my child I had no idea how important the canopy was for the comfort of the child and the peace of mind of the parent. The Graco Fastaction stroller canopy is a little light weight.
To keep weight down it has mesh sidings, and it only comes a short distance down the face of the child. If you are running on a summer day then you will need to consider some extra shade especially if the sun is low in the sky. Overall I would rate the canopy 3 stars, its slightly disappointing, especially since there is no rain cover included.
To be honest we don’t really take anything out on our stroller when running, the risk of dropping things is to great. However if you want to use this stroller as more of an every day stroller this is quite easy.
Beneath the seat there is a good size basket that is easily big enough for the biggest changing bags and even a few layers of running clothes. One of the gimick is a phone holder on the handle bar. I keep my phone in my pocket, and would worry about having it on the stroller.
Storage pockets in the seats. There are a pair of mesh pockets within the seat that you can use for just about anything. We use ours to keep snacks, a sippy cup, toys, or small articles of clothing like hats and mittens.
First of all are the oversized air filled wheels. The rear wheels are 16″ and the front 12″. The advantages of the big size is that they will roll over even big rocks and bumps without trying to fly up into the air. Along with the air in the tyres this makes the ride incredibly smooth! Over rocks and gravel you have great traction and control from the polymer tyres that grip well. We have not been able to test them in the snow, other users have and have no issues. Any larger bumps are taken care of via the hydraulic suspension, like you find on mountain bikes.
This is a huge bulky stroller, and getting it into the back of a car may be a challenge. However to make this more convenient the rear wheels a can easily be removed, this gives a much flatter profile and should fit most cars.
Folds easily. There is a simple strap that pulls up and folds the Stroller in less than a second.
The frame comes with a good 5 year warranty, however the parts and fabric only have a 1 year warranty. This is fairly typical for this type of stroller.
Good affordable price
Comfortable seating for its passenger, and able to take children from birth with the child seat.
The choice of colours is great, I like the green option!
Its very heavy!
The canopy is to flimsy and provides little protection
We could really use a rain cover as standard
Summary of the Graco Fast Action Stroller
Despite the issues about the canopy and weight, for the price this is a great choice. We are not competitve runners, and we are looking for a stroller that will allow us to take Thomas out for a few gentle runs a week at the beach. If we were wanting to do more serious runs then we would have to look for a higher end machine.
The Fastaction then does have its flaws, however for a stroller that lets us hit the road a couple of times a week and can double as an everyday stroller that will give a good few years of service then its hard to beat, especailly at less than $200
Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller, Tangerine Review Summary:
- Fast Action Fold Jogger Click Connect Jogging Stroller accepts all Graco Click Connect infant car seats with a secure one-step attachment
- One-second, one-hand fold has an automatic storage lock and is self-standing when folded
- Air-filled rubber tires offer suspension
- This infant jogging stroller features locking front swivel wheel provides an easy transition from daily strolling to jogging
- Lightweight, portable stroller with easy, one-second fold ; Deluxe parent's tray featuers a unique smartphone cradle for your phone or MP3 player, 2 deep cup holders and a covered storage compartment ; Reflectors for added low-light visibility