Chariot, How I Love Thee

6.25.10 The Cadillac of Joggers

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I promised a few months ago, that I would review the Chariot CX2 once I had used it a few times.

Since I have not been running (although I was just given the green light to run tomorrow again – yay!), I have been doing a lot of biking and pulling the kids in this stroller/bike trailer/most wonderful thing on the planet.

I cannot say enough good things about this trailer.

Ok, so I had a hissy fit last Tuesday trying to set it up, but that was my own fault for refusing to read the manual. It took me an hour to figure it out, but once I did: smooth sailing.

This thing is a dream. It hooks to the bike with ease. The kids are basically in a Cadillac and seem pretty pleased with the cozy arrangement (although they appear to be almost on top of one another). There is plenty of space for snacks and since it is better enclosed than their other strollers, there is also space for them to have toys and throw them around.

The chassis of the trailer is the part you buy and each conversion—bike trailer, stroller, jogger, cross-country ski trailer and hiker—is sold separately.

Once you get to your destination, the trailer converts easily to a stroller with two wheels or to (drum roll, please), a comfortable, light, easy-to-push jogger. Truly, it is a masterpiece, a work of art and one of my best possessions.

I find myself thinking about its design frequently as I use it. The way it trails behind, barely adding a footprint larger than my bicycle, the way it glides and feels lightweight, despite carrying two heavy children and often a lot of gear as well. I am not an engineer or a product designer. I am just a mom who loves to run and bike and this piece of gear could not be more conducive to that.

Ok, so it costs a lot. A lot. New, it costs about $925 and then each conversion accessory adds another $100. It would be easy enough to go to Wal-Mart and grab a $100 bike trailer. I have to assume they must adhere to the same basic safety standards. But since I have not used the less expensive one, I will say I think this stroller takes comfort for the children to another level.

The “child compartment” has a heavily padded fleece-lined seat, a 5-point seatbelt system and a padded shoulder harnesses as well as mesh sides so it stays cool, zip-off tinted side window panels to block out the sun and zip-down front window and a front sun shade. On hotter days, I leave it open for the kids and on cooler days (or rain), they are perfectly happy in their “cave.”

It is not a purchase to take lightly, but if you can afford to make the investment, it will pay off in the quality of life it affords.

Sasha Brown-Worsham is a writer, a mother and an unabashed, unashamed runaholic. Check her progress each week as she trains to qualify for the Boston Marathon.