This is an interesting article in that it doesn’t cover something you think is related to homesteading. However, a quality jog/bike stroller can provide some much needed utility in a emergency situation.
First, let’s start with the review.
One thing to know about jog strollers is pretty much all of them are expensive. While there are some cheaper brands, they tend to get bad reviews and don’t hold up to the abuse – that’s why it pays to spend a little more capital and get something that’s going to last.
The Thule Chariot Lite comes in two models: one for single occupancy and the other for two kids called the Chariot Lite 2, which is the one featured in these pictures. We’ve been using this model almost daily for one year and we absolutely have nothing bad to say about it. It is spectacular.
What separates this model from others is the versatility. How many strollers can you walk, jog, bike and, yes, even cross country ski with? When you buy the Chariot Lite, it comes with the a bicycle kit and smaller front wheels for use as a walking stroller. For runners, you’ll have to purchase the running kit to use it as a jogger. If you’re into cross country skiing, there is an additional kit to purchase for that as well.
Despite the constant use, there’s virtually no sign of wear. Not only are the kids in it when walking, biking and running but sometimes they manage to get inside and play when it’s parked in the house. Despite the extensive mileage and playful abuse, not a single tear has occurred in the fabric.
In regards to the coverings, there are a lot of options that come standard. First, there is the front mesh cover that’s very strong and allows air to come into the compartment. There’s also a rainfly that attaches to the front in the event of wet weather.
A quality sun shade comes standard, too. This piece of fabric can slide up and down in addition to making it shorter or longer depending on what your needs are. It’s also long enough where it can block out a lot of light in the event more shade is needed for a nap.
In the rear is a generous-sized compartment that allows a variety of blankets and snacks to be conveniently carried. Better yet, personal defense items could also be stored here, too (if legal to do so).
If we were forced to mention some things to improve, one item could be the floor in front of where the the child sits. In other words, it’s the section under their legs which is a piece of heavy duty nylon instead of hard plastic which would weigh more (it’s called “Lite” for a reason). To be fair, there’s been absolutely no issues with the floor ripping or showing signs of fatigue. However, long term longevity about this is in the back of my mind.
Another thing that could improve a little more would be the ventilation when the rainfly is installed. Although there’s a slit on the roof where air can escape as well as mesh behind the child’s head, it doesn’t really prevent fog when the rainfly is attached.
When dealing with safety, there are many things I really like. First, the braking mechanism is sturdy, easy-to-use and locks the stroller in place very, very well. For an additional cost, you could buy an accessory which allows you to control the brakes by hand. This could come in handy if you’re using the stroller over uneven and steep terrain.
The other safety feature I like is the child harnesses. Oh my goodness – why can’t all harnesses be like this? It’s so well-designed and free of frustration that I smile every time I buckle a child in. The way it tightens and secures requires minimal effort. This is important when you’re getting snacks and drinks together while trying to put socks and shoes on two sets of feet that want to run in opposite directions.
Another safety feature is the way in which the components come together. There are indicators throughout the stroller to let you know if something’s securely connected. This is a real blessing considering the precious cargo that’s aboard.
For mobility, running with the Chariot Lite is super easy. Pushing it is almost effortless; and once you get going it hardly seems like you’re putting in much effort. The jogging kit allows you to adjust the wheel tracking and is very easy to install.
If you want to take the Chariot Lite somewhere in the car, it folds down for storage. There are simple-to-use releases that collapse it and allow the wheels to be removed.
Another nice feature is the ability to carry additional kits with you. For example, you may go for an extended bike ride to the next town and then walk around once you get there. Since the jogging, biking and stroller accessories are compact enough, one could just take the additional kit you need for the day. Thule also has a place for the stroller wheels when not in use. Swedish design never fails to impress.
By now, you may be wondering how in the world a jog stroller relates to home prepareness, survival, prepping or whatever you may call it.
Let me explain.
After a while of having the home preparedness mindset, one begins to look at random objects and analyze how it could be used in a survival situation. In the instance of the Thule Chariot Lite, something like this could be used of haul things from place to place as needed.
Good example: water collection. In a previous article we discussed some ways to make sure you have an adequate water supply in the event resources are scarce.
Although you may have several items that can be used for water storage, do you have a means to transport them? Things such as carts, wheel barrows and jog strollers are just a few examples of cargo carrying equipment.
It’s important to know water weighs around 8.3 pounds per gallon. That means one 5-gallon bucket of water will weigh approximately 41.5 pounds plus whatever the bucket weighs. If you’re not in good shape, hauling water by hand will be a nightmare and could make a bad situation worse. Even if you’re in good shape, carrying water over extended distances can be very exhausting.
For our Thule Chariot Lite 2, the stroller easily and securely attaches to a bicycle; so in the event water is scarce I could use it to get at least two buckets of water from nearby sources without expelling too much energy. The weight rating on the Chariot Lite 2 is just under 100 pounds which means two 5-gallon buckets of water wouldn’t overload it.
Not only could the stroller/bike combination be used for obtaining water but it could also be used in the event gas was $10 a gallon and I needed to go to the store.
Now, I fully realize most people don’t think like we do and that’s Ok. However, considering the times we’re living in, it’s a good idea to start planning how to maximize the utility of things you already own. When disaster strikes, you’ll be very glad you did.
Overall, the Thule Chariot Lite 2 Stroller is awesome. Initially, it was a hard purchase to swallow but after seeing the versatility I’m glad it’s part of our homestead.
If you like this stroller and are interested in purchasing it, feel free to get it here.
Thule Chariot Lite 2 Specs (per manufacturer):
Weight Capacity: 99.2 lb.
Sitting Height: 26.77 inches.
Door Pass Through: 31.5 inches.
Safety Harness: 5-point.
Child Capacity: 1 or 2.
Very durable and rugged.
Extremely easy to jog with.
Versatile for families with many outdoor interests.
Safety harness is the best I’ve ever used.
Ventilation could be better when used in conjunction with the rain fly.
Accessory costs can add up.