An Expert Guide to Thule Strollers
Searching for your first stroller or even upgrading? Baby & Toddler Expert Alex K. explains what to consider in a Thule stroller and the best options for you.
Table of Contents
Eighty years ago, Thule (pronounced “Too La”) started as a fishing-gear manufacturer founded by Erik Thulin in Sweden. The company expanded to make products for outdoor enthusiasts and families. It aimed to help people spend more time enjoying what they loved and less time figuring out how to bring all the stuff they needed.
Case in point: biking, skiing, camping, and everyday adventuring. The solution? Bike racks, winter and water-sport racks, roof racks, cargo carriers, rooftop tents, and more. The company also makes other travel-friendly gear, like luggage, backpacks, and laptop bags. But what about baby strollers?
When Did Thule Start Making Baby Gear?
In 2011, the company acquired Canadian Chariot Carriers and its multifunctional child carriers and began its “Active with Kids” product line. Next, came strollers and bike seats in 2014, the same year Thule became a publicly traded company.
Today, Thule remains committed to “developing smart, stylish products that are environmentally sound, high quality, safe, and easy to use.” Their tagline is “Bring Your Life,” whether that’s your bike, board, skis, gear, or (saving the best for last) kids.
Thule currently offers four different strollers (the Urban Glide 2, Glide 2, Spring, and Sleek) and four bike trailers (Chariot Cross, Chariot Lite, Chariot Sport, and Courier). This article is a guide to the company’s strollers, but it would be remiss not to include at least one of the Chariots (multi-sport one- or two-child carriers that can be used as strollers or bike or ski trailers). For more on Thule's bike trailers, check out this article.
Thule Stroller Features to Consider
If you’re considering a Thule stroller, it’s important to determine how you want to use it. Are you a jogger or dedicated runner who wants to exercise with your child? Do you live in an urban setting and need it for everyday strolls? Do you want to click your child’s infant car seat into the stroller for a quick travel system outside the car? Where will you primarily store it: in the back of your vehicle or at home?
Thule makes strollers to accommodate each of these needs; it’s simply a matter of priorities. If you’re in the market for a high-performing stroller that is built to last and can be passed down from one kid to the next (and then to friends or family and their kids), you’re in the right place.
When weighing your decision, know about Thule’s four strollers’ common features:
- Five-point harness: Thule knows children are the most precious cargo and has designed its harnesses to keep them safe and comfortable. This is especially important for jogging at higher speeds. While most of these strollers are designed for children six months to four years old seated in the upright position, it’s advised to check with a pediatrician before jogging with an infant (it might be closer to eight to 12 months old when they develop better neck control and can handle the movement). These harnesses are easy to adjust for various children’s heights, even with the child inside.
- Vented reclining seat: The seats are well-ventilated for rider comfort and temperature regulation. They can also be adjusted on the go, from an upright position for jogging or walking to a reclined position for napping.
- Large sun canopy: Thule strollers are built for year-round use—rain or shine, wind or snow. They all have large sun canopies that extend to shade the passenger or protect them from the elements, and the Spring and Sleek are equipped with UPF 50+ sun protection. They also have peekaboo windows for checking in on them.
- Curved and/or adjustable handlebar: Thule’s stroller handlebars can be easily adjusted to users of different heights. With jogging strollers, the handlebars are curved to support proper biomechanics while running.
- Footrest: Each of the strollers below has a footrest for supporting the child’s legs and feet and helping them hop in once they get old enough to do so.
- One-handed fold: Most of these strollers fold in half in seconds, some with one hand and others with two.
Accessories: Whether you need a newborn nest or bunting, snack tray, bottle or cup holder, rain or insect cover, or more organization options, many of these strollers have the option to add them.
Most Versatile: Thule Urban Glide 2
If you want a jogging stroller that can double as your daily driver for carting your kiddo around, look no further than the Urban Glide 2. This stroller is ideal for pavement as well as off-road terrain, including grass and gravel, with three air-filled rubber tires and rear suspension. It’s equipped with two large (16in) rear tires and a swivel front wheel that can be locked for running or unlocked for tighter turns at slower speeds. This wheel also has adjustable tracking to fix any tendency to veer toward one side.
Compared to other jogging strollers, the Urban Glide 2 is lighter at 24.4lbs with an aluminum frame and aerodynamic design to reduce wind drag.
It can carry a newborn in the Thule Urban Glide Bassinet or a compatible car seat (car seat adapters required; sold separately) while walking. Babies six months and older can sit in the stroller seat (max. weight: 49lbs/max. height: 43.7in) during jogging.
As for the feel, this stroller is exceptionally smooth riding, easy to maneuver, and equipped with excellent suspension. It’s also safe, with a de-acceleration handbrake that twists forward to slow it and a single-action pedal brake for keeping the stroller from moving once it’s stopped. Beneath, an enclosed storage basket is protected by a waterproof zippered cover and can hold up to 10lbs. This stroller also has a mesh pocket on the seat back and two interior mesh pockets for the little passenger.
The Urban Glide 2 can be decked out with several useful accessories, including a snack tray, bumper bar, mesh cover (for bugs), and rain cover (for rain, wind, and light snow). If you like to get outside no matter what, the covers are a worthy investment. It’s also available in a side-by-side double for two kids. With the rear wheels removed, the Urban Glide 2 folds to 34.2 x 27.2 x 13.3in.
Runner’s Choice: Thule Glide 2
Drop the word “Urban” and you have the Glide 2, another Thule sport stroller designed for jogging but, more specifically, for serious runners. Those who have long distances on their mind and need a dedicated running stroller with a fixed front wheel and bigger tires will be happy with this choice. This is not car seat compatible, so children must be of “jogging-stroller” age as deemed by their pediatrician.
The Glide 2 has a longer footprint and larger front wheel that doesn’t swivel, making it tougher to turn in tight spaces, but it’s easy to tilt back by pushing down and raising the front tire for turns while running. At 23lbs, it’s lighter than the Urban Glide 2, which makes it ideal for hilly terrain. Speedy runners also appreciate its aerodynamic and lightweight design. Like the Urban Glide 2, the suspension and air-filled rubber tires are key, but this stroller’s wheels (18in rear, 16in front) are a bit beefier. It can hold kids weighing up to 49lbs and is equipped with a de-acceleration handbrake and single-action foot brake. In terms of storage, it has an uncovered storage bin that can hold up to 10lbs, a backseat mesh pocket, and two inside pockets for snacks and a sippy cup.
While both Glide 2 strollers are simple to fold (marketed as one-handed but easier with two), they don’t self-stand, aren’t the most compact strollers (like most jogging strollers), and take up a fair amount of vehicle cargo space. The Glide 2, in comparison to the Urban Glide 2, folds to 36.8 x 22.8 x 12.9in with all three wheels removed.
Best for Small Spaces: Thule Spring
If you’re looking for a more compact stroller that takes up less trunk space, the Thule Spring is an easy-folding, lightweight (21lb), full-size stroller designed for walking on pavement or sidewalks. It can hold babies from around six months up until they weigh 64lbs or are 44in tall. At just 23.4in wide, the Spring fits through narrow doorways.
Its three 8.5in tires are foam filled, so they’re puncture resistant and smooth on uneven terrain. While the front wheel can be toggled from a swivel to a locked position, the Spring is not recommended for jogging. It boasts a UPF 50+ extendable sun canopy for extra sun protection and a sandal-friendly pedal brake on the rear axle. The storage bin underneath can be easily accessed and holds up to 11lbs, and a small mesh pocket on the seat back is big enough to hold a phone, wallet, or keys.
The seat reclines nearly flat for napping. This stroller is compatible with specific infant car seats (Nuna PIPA series, Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 and Mico Max Plus, Cybex Aton series and Cloud Q, and Chicco KeyFit30 and Fit2) with adapters (sold separately). A rider board can also be added for a toddler to stand on.
Best for Growing Families / Urban Strolling: Thule Sleek
For those seeking a premium urban-friendly stroller that’s easy to push and maneuver and can hold up to two kids, the Thule Sleek is a worthy option. It has all-wheel suspension for its four plastic foam-filled tires (11in rear, 8in front) and a belly bar. Its seat can face outward (“world-facing”) or in (“parent-facing”), and a second seat can be added if needed.
This “around-town” stroller can be used from birth with the Thule Sleek Bassinet (or two bassinets) or specific car seats (Chicco, Clek Liing, Cybex, Maxi-Cosi, and Nuna PIPA series) with adapters (sold separately). Even without the bassinet, it has a fully reclining seat that can be used with smaller infants or for napping. The leg rest is also padded and adjustable, and the extendable sun canopy has UPF 50+ UV protection.
For seat configurations, the Sleek has options for mono (single seat, bassinet, or car seat), duo (two toddler seats facing in or out, a bassinet and toddler seat, or car seat and toddler seat), or twin (two bassinets or two car seats).
It’s relatively lightweight for a full-size stroller at 27.9lbs, and it can hold one or two kids with a combined weight of 49lbs. This stroller also lives up to its name with a sleek design that fits through standard doorways and is Disney approved at 23.8in wide. The rocker-style pedal brake is easy to use, even with fancy footwear, as it doesn’t require pulling up on the brake with the top of the foot.
Like the Spring, the undercarriage basket can hold up to 11lbs, but this basket expands and has a zippered cover over the main (unexpanded) compartment. The Sleek folds in half with two hands down to 32.6 x 23.8 x 16.5in, and it self-stands. This stroller is not designed for jogging or all-terrain/off-road use.
Best for Off-Road / Winter Excursions: Chariot Sport
For those who plan multi-sport adventures on and off paved paths, the Chariot Sport is a single or double multipurpose child carrier that converts from a jogging stroller and bike trailer with 20in rear wheels to a cross-country ski chariot with the necessary attachments (jogging and ski kits sold separately). While this is a heavier and bulkier stroller at 30lbs for the single and 35lbs for the double, it’s built for every season, with a completely covered, spacious seating area, zippered windows for adjustable ventilation, and integrated rain cover and sunshade. We also like that the child area is fully enclosed so toys, blankets, etc., won’t fall out.
Compared to other Thule Chariots, the Sport is the only model with a hand-activated disc brake—which keeps speeds in check on steep downhills. The handlebar can be set at five different heights, and the suspension is also adjustable for a smooth ride during any activity. The jogging front wheel locks in place for running, and the stroller’s two front wheels flip up and away when in bike or ski mode.
In pull-behind ski mode, Thule Chariots beats out pulk sleds as they hold children above ground and off the snow. When dressed appropriately, a child’s warmth in winter won’t be an issue in the “Climate Controlled Cockpit.” If anything, you may have to open the windows to keep them from being too warm!
How to Decide on a Thule Stroller
Whether you’re looking for an all-terrain stroller you can jog with, easily stow in the trunk, push two kids in at the same time, or use for various activities, Thule has it covered. The company specializes in building high-end products that last and back them with their Thule Guarantee.
For a personalized recommendation on which would be best for your family, reach out to any Curated Baby & Toddler Expert. They’ll ask a few simple questions to get a sense of what your needs and preferences are and then curate a list of their top baby/toddler products for you! We can also help with car-seat compatibility, creating a registry, and much more!