While there are many strollers available on the current market, there aren’t many when it comes to all terrain strollers for daily use. That’s why you have to choose only the best among the best that gives you value for money.
Note: While the focus of this article is on all terrain strollers, the emphasis is on Daily Use strollers, which are also all-terrain capable.
Heavy-duty chariots and jogging strollers are built, solely, for traversing and jogging through rough terrain, but at a broader level are functionally impractical for other many aspects of stroller use.
The best thing about the three models being discussed today can tackle rough terrain. By saying rough terrain, we’re talking about real rough terrain, and not just about gravel, manicured parks or cobblestones.
However, they also capable of functioning comfortably in urban environments, can fold down and become small enough to use with a car (with some decent trunk space), and can be carried up and down stairs when needed.
Additional Note: The three strollers below are not rated or ranked in any particular order. Having said, each of them bring their own set of unique advantages.
1. Emmaljunga NXT90
The Swedish brand Emmaljunga has been a manufacturer of high quality products in Scandinavia since 1925.
They have a long experience of bringing out products that are manufactured with fabrics that are specially developed by themselves, that can cope with tough weather conditions, be it cold winters, hot summers or rainy autumns. Their fabrics are also dirt repellent and highly water repellent.
While the roots of Emmaljunga NXT90 are with four-wheel fixed wheel models, they’ve always been working to modernize their designs on an ongoing basis – for years. While most of their swivel wheel models thus far have been good, their NXT series has been really good.
An oversized luxury liner with reinforced joints and mechanisms, the NXT90 is built to driver over stuff, is capable of taking a heavy beating for years and still be just as usable, therefore making the NXT90 Emmaljunga’s crown jewel.
Like with most of the oversized Cadillac-type strollers in the market, NXT90’s seat, bassinet and shopping basket are all relatively roomier than one generally finds on smaller models.
While the textiles on NXT90 are indeed well padded and durable, the craftsmanship of the stitch work on a lot of other models are relatively more elegant. That could possibly be because all the frills Emmaljunga is known for with their more classic models are not the point with the entire NXT range.
In the absence of all the frills, the real advantages of the NXT 90 comes in the form of all the mechanical aspects, namely large wheels, excellent suspension, simple heavy duty bars, and other mechanisms such as the brake bar – all of which have gone through a plethora of redesigns over the years.
With its swivel front wheels and decently well sized basket, the Emmaljunga NXT90 can function equally well in urban environment as well. However, its real advantage and maximum utility is found on rougher terrains, where it is really the only reversible seat four-wheel swivel wheel model that is capable of surviving regular use functionality in completely rugged environments.
Every trade-off comes with an advantage, which in turn comes with a trade-off. Similarly, the trade-off for NXT90 is that it is relatively on the heavier side. It weighs about 16 kilos, which is an advantage when you want to push over rocks and roots or through the snow, but of course not when you need to fold and carry it.
That’s why the NXT90 will fit best for you if you live in a rural environment or traverse a relatively bumpy terrain every day. And if you plan to use your stroller without a car for long periods at a time or if you live somewhere where snow is a big factor, look no further than the Emmaljunga NXT90.
2. Stokke Trailz
Stokke Trailz comes from a Norwegian company that is recognized worldwide for over 40 years, for best-in-class solutions for children.
Like the Emmaljunga NXT90, the Stokke Trailz is also a Cadillac-type stroller. However, the emphasis with Trailz is towards luxury and ease of use functionality than rugged off-road performance.
Of all the models from Stokke, the Trailz is special, as it is the model that was introduced to take on the place of Bugaboo Buffalo, the first ever oversized four-wheel swivel wheel model to be seen in large numbers that perfectly fit rugged terrain conditions, especially Scandinavian and European.
From a luxury point of view, the Trailz has arguably even surpassed what the Bugaboo Buffalo was. Trailz’s simple intuitive mechanisms and quality of its textiles especially on the bassinet and the seat are the two key elements that contribute to its luxurious feel.
But the number one key element in the luxury feel of the Trailz comes from a combination of two important characteristics:
- It’s spacious and very accessible shopping basket, and the
- High positioned connection point for the cedar bassinet.
The special thing about Stokke is that they have been running the highest child position product on the market since they first started producing strollers, and it’s not easy to explain how much of a difference this one factor can actually make when it comes to its everyday use; which is to have your child higher up so you can adjust any problems they might have easily and on the go.
In addition to it, the easy accessibility of the shopping basket even when using the bassinet, which is very uncommon, is a direct result of the high positioning, making the Trailz a perfect vehicle for making your way through the day without a car, as it has so much space to pack.
Though it does not have the same off-road ability as the Emmaljunga NXT 90, the Stokke Trailz is neither weak nor inferior when it comes to its mechanics. It has strong thick bars and well-thought-out mechanisms that have lest number of moving components – all built with sturdiness in mind.
When it comes to going over uneven terrain, the trail sports a single solid centrally located suspension unit in the rear, which allows the section of the rear frame holding the wheels to pivot side-to-side as needed. In the front, the 10-inch front wheels are protected against wear by thick spring-loaded suspension pads.
The front and rear wheels together with their superior suspensions, along with the weight and size of the model, makes the Trailz capable to tackle just about any terrain as you move through your day.
As mentioned earlier, the emphasis of Trailz is more towards luxury and ease of use functionality than rugged off-road performance. Nevertheless, Sokke Trailz can work well if you live in country side or rural environments. If it is use almost always off-road, it will wear down faster over time.
Having said, it is a bit lighter to pack in or out of your car or for those times when you have to carry it. That’s not all, it is more comfortable under smoother conditions.
If you’re someone who is looking for an all-day ease of use stroller that has simple operations yet superior in terms of functionality, and/or if you’re someone who’s moving around without a car most of the time, then the dual-combination of terrain capability and carrying capacity makes the Stokke Trailz the best of the three models.
3. BabyJogger City Elite 2
In more ways than one, when you’re looking for daily use stroller that also has terrain capability, you will get way more utility and functionality out of a 3-wheel model than a 4-wheeled one. That’s where the BabyJogger City Elite 2 is the odd-one out in this comparison.
Like in many if not most of the 3-wheeler stroller manufacturers, the roots and focus of BabyJogger’s designs lie in producing off-road sporting models that are also rugged. Sometime during the early 2000s, models with swivel-front wheels were launched for easier manoeuvrability in urban environments.
Among all the 3-wheeled daily use model strollers out there, the BabyJogger City Elite 2 stands out above the rest for three important reasons:
- It is much lighter
- Folds smaller and easily, and most of all
- It handles rugged terrains better than both the Trails and NXT90.
3-Wheelers: The Advantage and The Trade-Off
Needless to mention, 3-wheelers are not for everyone, as you stand to lose a few things in relation to the many 4-wheeled models out there. But what you gain in a 3-wheeler in exchange to the 4-wheeled ones is worth trade-off.
Let’s look at a few of them.
What You Lose?
First and foremost, you lose the reverse seating option. Since the seat of the City Elite is directly suspended from the arms of the handle, it faces only forward. However, you can still fit a bassinet for newborns to the chassis, as well as a car seat for use up until your child is eight or nine months, depending on the size of your child.
The second thing that you lose is the space for shopping basket, which is directly as a result of the suspended seat – the reclined position in particular.
What You Gain?
By nature of its design, the City Elite 2’s seat is a lot larger than any of the reversible seat models, as it is suspended directly from the chassis. This wouldn’t matter much to begin with when you have just bought it.
But when your kid is around two-and-a-half or three, the Elite 2 will have your kid still sitting in spacious comfort, whereas even the large reversible seat models will look cramped and anything but comfortable.
Secondly, a great deal of weight is removed from the model, as the seat is made only of suspended fabrics. This not only means that the seat frame is removed but also the possible mechanical complexity that comes with it. What this means in the overall scheme of things is that over time, all potential breaking points and the connection points on the chassis are completely eliminated.
This makes the stroller lighter and fold smaller. Most of all, it shifts a good percentage of the cost saved from the economising of space and weight go towards the integrity of its structure and the functionality in terms of drivability.
What you therefore get from your stroller is stronger mechanics, thicker bars, bigger and better suspension, and relatively larger wheels where it counts the most for terrain – in the front.
All the above that you gain are the reasons why even as heavy duty NXT90 can’t hold to the City Elite 2’s off-road capability. For that matter, no 4-wheel stroller can!
As an outcome of the reduced weight and size, with its super-easy one-step fold, the Elite 2 is more compatible for a broader range of lifestyles than the Emmaljunga NXT90 and Stokke Trailz. In other words, reduced weight and size far offsets the lack of a reverse-seating option and reduced carrying capacity in the basket, therefore not making them deal-breakers for you.
From this perspective, if off-road capability is the main quality you’re looking for; the BabyJogger City Elite 2 should probably be your first consideration.
A majority of strollers launched these days make all sorts of claims, sometimes lofty ones, about their suspension and terrain capability. However, but for lawns and some gravel, none of them are actually capable of handling anything that is anywhere close to a rugged terrain.
If going off-road is a regular part of your lifestyle, the three models discussed here the best you need to look into. As mentioned already, you need to remember that there are trade-offs.
With the exception of the City Elite 2, the other two strollers are both larger and heavier than average, and all three are priced at a relatively high-end of the market.
If you’re looking for a good all-terrain stroller model for daily use and intend to use it without a car for most of the time, these three all terrain strollers for daily use will be well worth the money.
On a final note, driving over rough terrain means maintenance becomes even more important than it might be otherwise. You need to therefore ensure that your stroller is lubricated and tightened on a regular basis and the tyres kept not only pumped but swapped if required.
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