on May 3, 2010
The Safari is rugged, has a great sun shade, is portable, and is WELL PRICED ($120). It hits a terrific balance between a jogger's handling & sturdy build and a fancy stroller's comfort & amenities.
/_/ Our needs /_/
* We walk and jog daily on a series of walking trails that are rugged and unevenly maintained.
* We needed a stroller that could take a beating on the wheels, yet keep baby riding smoothly.
* We wanted to keep the sun off of baby when out walking in the early morning sunrise or sunset.
* We have 10 mo. old and we wanted a stroller she could grow into.
* We don't take the stroller in the car that often, but when we do, we have a small car and need to be able to fit the stroller into it.
* We wanted something to last and to be versatile, but didn't want to break the bank.
/_/ Pros /_/
*WIDE canopy (almost 2 feet) can be folded flat against the handles, or can be pulled wide as a shade. It is NOT attached to the handlebars, so it can be pulled down to block the sun at ANY angle - and stays there!. It can go from up/horizontal (as shown) to down and vertical, resting against the snack tray and obscuring baby's view like a giant shield. With a fair-skinned kid who hates to be blinded by sun, this THE SELLING POINT. The canopy also has a window with a cover to peek in on a sleeping baby. (NOTE: When in shield position, baby just looks out at the world from between her feet. She does not mind this - for now - but I can't vouch for the future or other kids.)
*Rides well. The swivel wheel, wide tires, and comfy handlebar make for awesome driving. It is also surprisingly light for a jogger.
*Good seat for baby. It has a nice layer of padding. The seat drops into a recline position for a sleeping baby (About 175 degrees, I'd venture - a little up from fully horizontal) and comes up into a seated position (not quite 90 degrees - about 100) The shoulder straps are padded; the adjustment of the shoulder height is very easy. The 5 point harness is padded so as not to pinch baby and is very easy to snap in and out of.
*Easy to assemble. I (mom) assembled this myself. It comes just needing a few pieces snapped into place, the front wheel attached, and the kick plate screwed on. It took about 15 minutes. The manual was easy to follow.
*Easy to fold down. Push a button and fold. The side wheels come off to more fully compact it. With that said, this is NOT a compact stroller. It takes up about the size of two carry-ons laying side by side. It fits in the trunk of our compact car (a VW Rabbit), but not much else fits in there with it. But as our old, hand-me-down jogger didn't fit at ALL, that's a major improvement.
*Comfy to walk/jog behind. I'm fairly tall (5'10") and most strollers cause me to hunch over - especially umbrella strollers with their double handles. This solid bar handle is at a comfortable height. You can drive it one handed, it rides so nicely. It doesn't take a lot of effort to push it, even uphill.
*Nice features for baby. The snack tray for baby is useful and come detached easily for cleaning. The kick plate for kiddo's feet is nice and flat (our old one had the front wheel bumping up into it).
* Nice features for parent. The brakes and all parts having to do with collapsing down the stroller are a nice bright RED for easy detection. The parent tray has cup holders reinforced with rubber sides to hold drinks in place. There is also a compartment on the parent's tray that snaps shut to hold keys, a phone, and has a cord hole for headphones. The compartment isn't huge, however - a Google Droid won't fit, for example. Still, when jogging, it's nice to put your keys on the stroller so you don't have to carry them, but they won't bounce out along the trail. The undercarriage bag is a decent size - to me it seems less rugged than the rest of the rig. I'm taking it off for the major trails. The reflectors are a nice addition.
* Feels solid. The fabric is a good, heavy coated canvas. The wheels are more like bike tires. The ride is tight and responsive. The only exceptions are mentioned below in Cons.
*The price. At around $120, it's a good investment and much cheaper than fancy models of 4 wheelers that take up more room with more junk you don't need, aren't rugged, and don't have a good canopy.
/_/ Cons /_/
Not much. This is a great stroller. Still...
*Under carriage bag seems less rugged than the rest of the rig. Our old stroller's bag was all torn up from previous use. I'd leave this on for zoo trips and the like, but take it off for trail running.
*The key-holder cover feels a little flimsy. I'm concerned it might snap off if handled too rough.
*The new wheels are rubber tires on plastic hubs. The old model had metal hubs. Now, this doesn't seem to be a problem, really, and it makes the stroller lighter than the older model (I tried the old model at the store). But we'll see how they hold up. Of course, most strollers have much wimpier wheels than these.
Overall, this is a GREAT product. We're very pleased with it, and look forward to seeing how it performs on our home trails and streets.
UPDATE: Tested in 12k race and we still love it!
We took part in the Spokane, WA tradition of Bloomsday, a 12k run with over 50,000 participants. Walking with the strollers group, we got a chance to test this on 7.5 miles of roads and compare it to other joggers and strollers near us. Our conclusion? We love this thing.
* Perfect balance in handling. My husband commented that "This thing handles like a dream." Light and responsive, a slight nudge and it goes where you want. The big wheels help keep the ride smooth, even when we were dodging crowds and taking it over curbs that cropped up in places along the course. The single front wheel is MUCH easier to maneuver than a 4 wheeler. The tall handle bar made it easy to push (saw many moms hunched over other strollers), the light weight made it easy to push even uphill (the infamous Doomsday Hill, that is).
* Perfect balance of utility and comfort. We saw a lot of fancy 4 wheel strollers (Gracos, mostly) and Bob strollers that run into the $300+ range. The 4 wheelers had lots of bells and whistles, but with the small plastic wheels, they had trouble moving at fast walking speeds or when they hit things like curbs, went off the pavement into the shoulder, etc. The Bob strollers are nice, but very spartan. Before and after the race, we were able to give the kiddo crackers in her snack tray and not take her out. We could also put our keys into the key compartment and keep the metal water bottle up in the cup holder on the bar, right in reach. The fancy joggers had none of those amenities. I felt like the Safari hit the right note between comfort for parent and child and solid engineering.
* Carries stuff without compromising handling. We put a blanket and discarded sweats in the undercarriage and attached our Kelty K.I.D.S. Messenger Diaper Bag to the back (down near the red tabs on the handlebars - keeps it from hitting your legs and doesn't overbalance the stroller too badly down there, but you can still reach it). We had all we needed for ourselves and baby for the morning out at the race. Yet it never felt too heavy.
* Sun shade still a stellar feature. Adjusting the shade to the sun and wind as we went, we kept baby safe from the elements. The full "shield" effect worked wonders in the final stretch when wind was in her face.
* Comfy ride for baby. She slept the first hour of the race in the recline position. The smooth riding kept her asleep, too. When she woke, she happily watched people's feet go by. The backrest is solid enough to give good support, but padded enough to be comfy. The kid spent 3 HOURS strapped in that thing and only got fussy when wind and hunger got to her at the end.
* Packs well: We drove to a bus stop, then took public transit to the race. We had to be ready to break the stroller down for the bus and then back up in a quick instant so as not to keep crowds of people waiting. It snapped down and back up easily and readily. One of us could do it alone with the other holding baby and gear.
A Few noted Cons:
* Still not a compact stroller. This packs well, but it takes up room. On a crowded bus, it felt a little unwieldy.
* Drinks slosh. Because the drinks are SO snug in the adult tray, if the lid is not solid, they will slosh with the movement of the stroller. The water bottle was fine. The coffee we got after made a bit of a mess (oops!).
* Canopy may block visibility. If the canopy is fully out and touching the handlebars (as shown in the product picture), is blocks sight of the front wheel slightly. This would not be a problem in most cases, but when you're dodging ankles, it can be. If you adjust the canopy forward slightly, you can see down through the stroller, over baby's body and so see the wheel again.
That's it, though. Overall, this is an EXCELLENT stroller - a great mix of the practical and the helpful - and we are VERY pleased with it. It made it through a 12k race with flying colors and kept baby and parents happy. A 5 star item, for sure.
UPDATE: 6 Months Later
Well, though this stroller is no longer new and shiny, I'll stand by the original 5-star rating as this stroller really gets the job done as promised for an excellent price. A few additional thoughts:
* BEST FEATURES: The canopy and handling continue to be the best features. On rough trails throughout semi-icy to dry, to wet conditions, this has kept pace. But it's also such a cushy ride for baby, it really is nice for long, slow walks as well as runs.
* WEAR and TEAR: For all the abuse this thing has taken, it really held up. The tires, especially, are doing well, as I said, handling is great, and the materials all are going strong. The light colored plastic, however, does scuff rather easily. Also, with a few cases of putting coffee into the handle rack and not paying attention, we got coffee on it as well. It washed off, but short answer is, this shows dirt as it's so light, and it is looking less shiny and new than when we got it. It still works fine, though, and no rips to report in any of the fabric. Also, we packed this in and out of the car all summer and fall long and it stood up to the use and abuse like a champ. Plus, it packs up and down so nicely, even relatives who had never seen the thing before figured out how to set it up with little to no problem.
* ADDITIONAL FEATURES THAT WE LIKE: The ability to lock the swivel wheel is terrific. When it moves, it's much easier to handle. When it's locked, it's easier to jog with. As I took long walks in the mornings with a group of moms and dad took it out jogging in the evenings, it could accommodate mom and dad's styles of travel equally well.
* FEATURES I WISH I COULD REDESIGN:
** Undercarriage Bag: The undercarriage bag is so...blah. If you take it off and then don't put it back on exactly in the same way it came off (which is really easy to do, as there are several bars to loop it on and there are no instructions showing where it went), it drags against the front wheel. If you fill it a little too much, it drags against the front wheel. If you put something fairly heavy in it, it drags against the front wheel. The bag is very useful, especially for spare snacks, blankets, coat, etc., so I leave it on most of the time, but I wish it had been designed with slightly more care. InStep, if you ever redesign this for a next generation stroller, please make a better undercarriage bag.
* Removable (?) Snack Tray: The snack tray is probably the feature I most want to re-design. I liked it most of the time, my husband did not like it most of the time. When I took baby on walks in the early morning with a group of other moms and kids, it was very useful to be able to pack a snack in the undercarriage and put it out in the snack tray as we rolled along. It meant I could keep my walking appointment without starving the kid or having her drop her food in her lap. However, when my husband went jogging with it in the evenings, he found wind would sometimes come straight up from her legs into her face. He wanted to lay the canopy full forward, but the tray got in the way. He took the tray off (it definitely requires an adult to get the thing off), but that left two metal bars sticking out where the tray goes on. When baby was strapped in, this posed no real danger to baby, but it was unsightly and still got in the way of pushing the canopy down fully. Also, as my girl has gotten older, I wish I could simply unbuckle her and help her climb down from her seat. With the tray on, I have to lift her out. This becomes more problematic as I'm pregnant again now and not really feeling like lifting my heavy little toddler up. What would be perfect is if the tray could come of simply for an adult, not too easily for a kid, and when it's off, it doesn't leave odd hardware behind. If that was incorporated in the next generation of this stroller, it would be perfect.
So, long story short: a few features redesigned and this would be THE PERFECT stroller. As it is, I still like it best out of any stroller I've seen (and I've seen quite a few now) and for the price, it hits a perfect note between casual, leisurely walks, a good long trail jog, or anything you might see in-between.
on October 24, 2010
I'm a single father with an eighteen-month old girl. This product for the most part has been serving it's purpose, that being able to take my daughter out on fast-walking/jogging excursions that would otherwise be difficult (if not impossible) with a regular stroller.
My main problem with it is the tiny space from the valves in relation to the hubs. If you purchase this product, you need to be aware that you can only inflate the tires with a pump/compressor that has a 45-DEGREE ANGLED HEAD. Compact bike tire pumps will not fit.
Although non-consequential in the long run (as of this writing I've had this jogger for over a month), it was a small nuisance. Otherwise, it's a good jogger for it's price.
This is an edit to my original oct. 2010 review. I've added a photo of the type of compressor attachment I use to inflate the tires. It's also easier to inflate if you have the tires removed (especially the front one. Thank goodness for the quick-change wheel!).
My daughter still loves to ride in it. The fabric has gotten stained, but it's mostly because of lack of upkeep on my part (I'm working on it - my procrastination, that is:)
on August 15, 2011
We purchased this stroller a few weeks ago after reviewing tons of different joggers at different price points and with various features. We liked the price on this stroller for sure and we were not looking for a bunch of bells and whistles, so we thought this was the stroller for us! We chose to overlook the few reviews that mentioned how quickly the tires go flat. Big mistake. I have used this stroller about five times for general use and had no issues, but we have only used it for jogging twice. On the second jog, the back tire went flat halfway through the run! Luckily my husband was close to a gas station and they let him get air for free (not supposed to use an air compressor, but what other option did we have?), but then the tire blew out again on the way back!!! I called customer service to request new tubing and the agent gave me a bit of attitude and said I was lucky it was still within the first month because the warranty only covers replacement parts for the first thirty days!!!! So here are our thoughts:
Large protective and moveable canopy
Smooth ride with swivel wheel
Tires deflat and FAST
Large in size (from front to back)- had a hard time steering in a department store
Tall- I am 5'6 and the handle is quite a bit higher than I'm used to and it's not adjustable
Comfort- the child's seat does not appear to be very comfortable, ended up buying a seat pad for our little girl
Basket- there is an odd bar underneath that blocks you from using the basket to store even the smallest of items
Overall, if I could do it over, I probably would have spent a little more to get a better quality stroller. Like the saying goes, you get what you pay for!
Well, we received the replacement tubing. We replaced the back tires. Then when we went to use the stroller a few days later, the back tire was flat AGAIN!!! And this time the entire tire blew up. We were very careful not to overinflate, so overall the tubing is just extremely cheap!!! We are going to try and return this stroller. Please, look for a better quality jogging stroller!
Well, the company was no help in returning this horrible stroller. So we are stuck with it. We ended up finding an older model at a consignment sale for $30 that had the metal rims, so we replaced the plastic back rims with the metal ones and haven't had any problems. The front tire was a diffrent size, so we still have the plastic rim on the front and the tire goes flat after each walk. We are looking at replacing the front rim w/a metal one. So as of today, this $130 stroller has cost us: $250!!!!! With all of the tubes we replaced, the older model we bought and the new front rim...we should have just bought a BOB! Again- if you are looking for a reliable jogging stroller, PLEASE do not buy this stroller!
on April 9, 2014
First of all, there is a card that ships with the stroller that says not to contact the seller (Amazon - who I love) with warranty claims.
Second, it is impossible to get through to the customer service line. Tried and hung up 3 times.
This is the email I wrote 5 days ago:
"I bought the instep jogger a week ago and put it together today for my daughters first birthday. About an hour after inflating the tires, the back left tires exploded and almost gave us a heart attack. An hour later, the back right tire exploded.
I am a cyclist and have a nice, functional bike pump. I confirmed that the pressure indicator on my pump was correct using a tire gauge. I inflated both tires to 35 psi, which is what was indicated on the sidewall.
Either you guys have a tube problem, or a design problem in that when I had to pull out the valve to inflate the tire, something got pinched. Two tire explosions at 35 psi and two near heart attacks.
Please either schedule a pickup of the whole stroller, which I will happily return for a non-exploding version, or please overnight me two properly inflated rear wheels. I would request that you inflate them properly and just send me the whole set of wheels given the massive fail on the last attempt. I repeat, I am a cyclist and have inflated many tires, but I’ve never had a double blowout. I can’t tell you how pissed I am. My ears hurt and the baby was woken up on the second blast before her party.
My amazon invoice, your model number and manufacture date, and two pictures are attached. I’m trying to decide if I’ll leave a scathing review on Amazon or wait until you folks respond. I can’t believe both tires blew up."
No response after 5 days. Don't buy this stroller unless you want it to blow up in your house. I would have just had Amazon pick it back up but it is a pain to try to get everything to fit back in a box and then take it somewhere to ship. I HATE this stroller. It is a piece of cr@p. I am so mad even looking at the little picture in the top left as I write this review.
on February 19, 2013
I just got this today. It was easy to set up and seems like it would be a pretty good ride. The thing is, I can't inflate the tires. I have two pumps, a hand pump and a foot pump, and the way the tire is structured, I can't get either of them to work. I thought I found a way with the tire pump, but taking it off took out all the air. This was just the rear tire. Then I read some reviews about how the front tire is a pain because the space where the nozzle is is too narrow. This may not be that important to anybody else, but for me it's a deal breaker. I can't deal with that kind of annoyance right now, you know? I mean, I set it up and thought I'd be able to actually use it without having to order a special pump or 45 degree angled attachment. Deal breaker, ladies (and gentlemen)!
on September 3, 2011
My mother-in-law purchased this stroller for me knowing that I wanted something I could jog with while my baby was still very young and only able to ride in her infant carrier. Turns out this jogger was compatible with our infant seat, so I was able to start taking her out in this once I got the "okay" from my doctor to exercise again. Not only has it served me well for that purpose, but I use it as my "at home" stroller when I go on walks or short jogs in our neighborhood.
- You can't really beat the price. I realize that with the pricier joggers you're going to get more and better quality, but if you're looking for a jogger and you're not a hard-core jogger (I do not typically run faster than a 10-minute mile pace), or just a stroller that works well for outdoor terrain, this is a great option on a budget.
- Works well with infant seat. It's nice to have my baby facing me while I jog/walk to make sure she's doing all right, especially since I started taking her out in this before she was even two months.
- Shade canopy works well with an infant seat in. I can cover the baby completely between the canopy on the stroller and the shade on her car seat. It has a full-range of positioning, though, so it's simple to adjust for minimal coverage and can also be nice later on for when she's no longer in the infant seat.
- Fairly smooth ride and great handling. My neighborhood is older and there are a lot of uneven cracks in the sidewalks. I am able to go right over them without any issues. It's fine going over curbs or up/down steps. I don't typically have to handle in tight spaces while in the neighborhood, but I know this turns well when I'm going in/out of the house and getting around our planters and down our walkway.
- Seems to be very sturdy. Though I haven't put hundreds of miles on this, it seems to be holding up well and can foresee myself getting a lot more use out of it if I continue to use it the way I do.
- Cup holder and compartment for parent use is nice.
- Basket under the stroller is pretty big and fairly easy to access.
- Folding/unfolding is fairly easy.
- Option for locking or swivel wheel is nice.
- Simple and effective brake system.
- The ride seems smooth and comfortable enough for the baby. Even before she had any neck strength, it never appeared that her head was bobbing around uncontrollably due to a rough ride.
- I have always said I wanted a child tray with my stroller for when she is forward-facing, so I'm glad this came with one.
Most of the cons don't specifically bother me, but I can see them being issues for some, depending on your resources and intentions for use of this.
- It's big and it's heavy and bulky. I have not taken this in my car yet, just because I haven't had the need to. I know that I can personally lift it without problems and I have an SUV, so space in my car and my ability to handle it is not an issue. If you're looking for a jogger that is easy for toting around in the car a lot, this is not the best option.
- I did not personally have a huge struggle inflating the front tire, but our air compressor has a relatively small head. I do admit it wasn't as easy as the back wheels, and it took some fiddling around, but this was not a huge problem point for me since I was lucky enough to have equipment that is compatible with it.
- Though I haven't yet used this without the infant seat, I can see that the regular seat does not go very upright. I know that since my daughter really likes to look around, she might find this annoying when she's big enough to sit in there herself.
- I do also believe that the canopy will not be very effective in many situations once my daughter is out of the infant carrier since it will not provide full coverage once she's in the upright position.
- I do find that when I jog a little bit faster with this, the stroller seems to be more wobbly, even with the front wheel locked. It's especially worse when I am jogging with only one hand on the stroller. If I jog with both hands on it, it seems fine.
What this all boils down to is your intention for the use of the stroller. I personally would not spend over $300 for a jogger unless I was planning on putting hundreds or maybe thousands of miles on it. This stroller suits me well for someone who jogs at slower paces on occasion and is great for an outdoor-use walking stroller.
Edit: Now that my daughter is 11 months, I've been using this a couple months with her sitting in the seat without the infant carrier. The stroller is still holding up well, but I'd say my biggest complaint is the seat not going upright enough. Also, the seat is huge. My daughter is definitely on the petite side for her age, but the snack tray is practically at eye level for her (granted she cannot sit upright completely when strapped in). The straps, however, are necessary given the incline of the seat. She'd probably slide right out of the seat if she was not secured in there properly. On the plus side, there is plenty of room for her to grow into this stroller, but for now, it's really awkward to use with her.
Second edit: My daughter is now 16 months and she STILL looks like a tiny little thing in this stroller. Again, there's still no way she could use the snack/beverage tray. The recline is still too great and the tray sits way too high, still. For the record, she is of average height. The great news is that she'll fit into this stroller forever...
on July 5, 2012
As an active and very tall (6'4") father, most normal strollers just dont suffice. They arent tall or maneuverable enough for me. I find myself hunched over and having to constantly pick the dang things up when taking my daughter anywhere. Although my wife isnt as tall, the maneuverability issues were clearly still there. So, buying a swivel jogger was a no brainer. Quite frankly, this was one of the best baby oriented purchases we've made. The stroller is pretty hafty. It can be folded up small enough to fit in any sized car trunk, but when out and ready for use, it is big and beefy. It has a little footrest platform which keeps the baby from kicking the front tire, which is a nice feature as well. It rolls smoothly over pretty much any surface. Yesterday, we went to the park for the 4th of July fireworks and had to roll over grass, gravel, and even rocks in the parking lot. It was a great test for the stroller's versatility and passed with flying colors. It is also quite comfortable as is evidenced by the fact that our daughter was able to sleep soundly while we were walking through all that on the way back to our car. Also, the seat is reclinable, which is also nice for when your baby needs to nap on the go.
The only knock on this was the fact that assembly instructions werent included. We simply went online though and found them with no problems. The assembly itself took about ten minutes for us and was seamless.
Anyway, I feel that for the price, you get a very, very nice stroller that will make your life much easier....plus, you can of course go jogging with your baby as well. Ours seems to think it's a blast and laughs throughout my jogging sessions.
on July 18, 2013
I did a lot of research before buying this stroller and I could not be happier with my purchase! I have taken this stroller walking and jogging and it performs great with both tasks. I do not lock the front wheel while jogging since I go through my neighborhood it would be hard to make turns that way and it doesn't wobble at all!! I love the cup holders, they really keep things in place. The center portion of the parent tray could be a bigger compartment, I have a tiny phone and even it doesn't fit in there. It's really only big enough for keys and chapstick. The basket underneath has been great, it sits high enough to not drag on the ground and it easy to get into. The sun shade is wonderful, I love how it isn't attached so I can get full sun coverage for my baby any time of day. I have put each of my 3 children in this stroller ranging from 16lbs to 36lbs and they all fit well. The only issue I have is there really isn't enough leg room for my average height 4 year old, but she doesn't complain so it's only an issue for me since she sometimes hangs her feet over the sides and I worry about her feet rubbing on the front wheel. For the money spent on this stroller it really is worth every penny.
on October 2, 2013
I purchased this stroller in April of 2013. It is now September of 2013 and I have gone through 6 inner tubes for the tires. We have been stranded numerous times and have had to call for rides far from home due to this issue. The price is appealing but after you factor in all of the money and time spent on replacing parts you might as well as bought a jogger with the bicycle wheels. I have heard that is the way to go. This is the second jogging stroller I have owned. My first child is 7 years older than my second and with him I had the BOB Revolution. I loved it! My experience this time around proves when it comes to strollers you get what you pay for. I have contacted Instep via online and will update this review when and if I hear from them.
on April 2, 2013
I ordered this product about a month ago because I joined a mother's group where we run with our babies. The stroller I did have was not great for running but I didn't want to spend a lot of money for a new one. (on my 3rd baby with not much of a chance for another) I found this stroller online and was skeptical. I didn't want to spend 100 bucks if the stroller lasted only a week but I really didn't have the money for any of the other strollers. I read some of the reviews and decided to take a chance. I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. It was really easy to put together. (We had a little issue with the tires, but my husband has an air pressure so we got it fixed right away.) It's pretty light weight so easy to get in and out of the suv. If you have a car, it might be a little bit more difficult. It's easy to fold and unfold and it handles beautifully. Takes corners really well and smooth. It even has a strap that comes with it so that you can attach it to yourself because it is so smooth it does like to take off. The brakes work well though. My baby is also snug with the 5 point harness. I wish the bottom basket was a little bigger (for mats etc) but it still holds a decent amount. So for the price and the product received, I'd recommend this to anyone. I'm very happy.