The Thule Chariot is an off-road buggy ideal for running and being active with small kids but is it worth the high price? Jen and Sim put it to the test.
The Chariot Cross 2 (available in the UK at www.runningbuggies.com) is the top of the range multisport buggy from Swedish brand Thule. It’s cleverly designed for running, cycling and 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 and adventure possibilities for us – and the kids love it too. We’ve also found it brilliant in less extreme situations: a sanctuary from ice cream thieving sea-gulls; a perfect chill-out zone from the excitement of summer festivals; or just a tough all-terrain buggy for a family walk. We also took it on a week’s camping holiday to the Isles of Scilly and it was invaluable, allowing us to transport luggage and children with ease, including on and off ferries.
the kids love it too
The Chariot Cross is available as a single or double buggy; our kids are three and six so we’ve been testing the double.
The basic package includes front stroller wheels and a bike attachment arm but there are lots of accessories available. We have the jogging kit, which gives you a large fixed front wheel for easy rolling, and also the brake kit, which adds a twist brake to the handlebar, so we can use it either as an all-terrain stroller, a running buggy or a bike trailer. If you fancy taking it cross-country skiing there’s a kit available for that too, but we haven’t tried it out. Yet.
It’s fair to say we’ve been thoroughly impressed with the buggy. It’s extremely 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 and cycling with it. We’re now able to go out running together – something we’ve rarely done since the kids arrived and it’s great to be able to run them to places too far away to walk, instead of having to drive.
We have also taken it over some really rough ground and it coped brilliantly
Pushing the buggy is smooth and easy as long as the terrain is reasonably flat – it rolls amazingly even fully-loaded. We have also taken it over some really rough ground and it coped brilliantly. The brake kit makes downhills easy to control, but with both kids and the associated luggage steep uphills can be a struggle – it’s good training though!
- Robust and durable with a strong protective frame around the kids.
- Mesh zipped cover 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.
- Comfortable, individually-reclining seats with five-point harnesses.
- Large rear storage pocket which can be clipped up if it gets in the way of your stride when running – we don’t find that it does and it’s really handy having the luggage space.
- Padded, fully-adjustable handlebar plus a safety wrist strap.
- Large rear wheels with adjustable suspension system creating a smooth ride for the occupants.
- Lots of storage space for basic tools, a pump, spare inner tubes (we haven’t had a puncture yet) and essentials for the kids.
- Folds up neatly with all the wheels and accessories inside it for transport and storage.
Here are some quick stats about the Chariot Cross:
- Weight 12.8kg (single) 14.5kg (double)
- Weight capacity 34kg (single) 45kg (double)
- Folded dimensions 85.5 x 62 x 37.5 cm (single) 85.5 x 76 x 37.5 cm (double)
- Door pass through 63.4cm (single) 80cm (double)
- Sitting height 68cm
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. Thule has a strong corporate sustainability code; read more at: www.thulegroup.com/en/our-approach.
- Incredibly well made and brilliantly designed. Perfect for active families who like to get off-road.
- Expensive - from £850 for a single or £950 for the double. Fairly heavy and wide so stiles and narrow gates can be a problem.