Review: Chariot CX1

Before having a baby, Chariot was probably the only brand of stroller I could identify as I had seen so many of them in town and on the trails in Canmore and Banff.  To me, it seemed this was the obvious choice for an outdoor parent.  Now that I’m the proud owner of one, I thought I’d share my views on how owning a Chariot worked out for us (spoiler alert – it’s awesome!)

Yes, I am strolling down the middle of the road! If you're in Calgary, a fun spring outing is to cycle/stroll/run down any closed road in Kananaskis before the winter gates open.  This is past Elbow Falls but you can also do this at Highwood Pass.

Yes, I am strolling down the middle of the road! If you’re in Calgary, a fun spring outing is to cycle/stroll/run down any closed road in Kananaskis before the winter gates open. This is past Elbow Falls but you can also do this at Highwood Pass.

What I used it for & at what stage/time of year:

  • 0-3 months (winter): occasional walks outside
  • 3-6 months (spring): jogging and walks
  • 6-9 months (summer/fall): jogging & walks
  • 9-12 months (fall/winter): jogging, walks & skiing

*We didn’t use the bike attachment during the summer as we felt E was too young and preferred to hike

Things that I loved:

  • It’s a very smooth ride for baby because of the large wheels and (adjustable!) suspension
  • The handbrake was extremely handy when running or walking down steeper hills
  • There’s no need to buy separate sun shields, weather covers or bug nets.  It’s all part of the package!
  • The plastic side panels unzip to allow for a breeze through the stroller.  Great for temperature control!
  • In cold weather, with all the plastic weather covers on, the inside stays very warm.
  • The “trunk” in the back is huge and can store a ton of stuff. It can be folded up for running but I found I was able to run with it down.
  • There is an infant sling you can attach for young babies.  While she was <6 months, E loved the infant sling in the Chariot and preferred it to her carseat clipped into the BOB
  • 5 point harness is very easy to adjust and the seat is comfortable for younger babies to sit in (we used it from 6 months up)
  • Very comfortable for running as there are lots of places to hold the handle bars
  • Pushes easily on well-packed snow or smaller amounts of fresh snow but … (see below)
Right after running our first race!

Right after running our first race!

Things that didn’t work for us:

  • It’s heavy, large, and needs to be taken apart to some degree to fit in cars.  I have a Subaru Forester and to fit in the trunk, I’d have to fold it down and remove both the jogging wheel and handle bar.  Otherwise, if I put down one of the backseats I could get it with just the jogging wheel removed.  Because of this I only put it in my car when I was doing an activity that I needed the Chariot specifically for (ie jogging, winter walks, skiing)
  • While it’s awesome you can unzip the side panels for ventilation in the summer, it also means you lose any sun protection on the sides and sun can get in baby’s eyes (this is a minor complaint and easily fixed by draping a blanket over the side).
  • The handle bar & wheel are removable but not the easiest to remove.  While this means it takes a few more seconds to put together/take apart, I do appreciate that it means the stroller is VERY sturdy when put together.  Just don’t expect it will be as easy to collapse as other strollers, though you will get faster at it over time.
  • There’s no good spot to put a coffee mug.  Yes you can buy a cupholder attachment but no, it’s not convenient to attach or use
  • Though the wheels are large and you can push the Chariot through snow in the winter, there is a limit to how much it can handle while still giving a smooth ride and being easy to push (though you could get around this with these cool stroller skis -> Polar Stroller)

*Note: there is no way to attach an infant bucket carseat to the CX unlike other strollers.  While this may be a negative for some, my daughter never liked sleeping in her bucket seat while on walks so it wasn’t an issue.

Accessories

(and yes, you have to buy them all separately)

  • Infant sling – needed if you want to use the chariot before baby is sitting independently (~6 months)
  • Bike attachment
  • Ski attachment
  • Baby bunting bag – bought this but never used it, and wouldn’t recommend purchasing
  • Stroller wheels – we bought these but rarely used them, instead preferring to walk outside with the jogging wheel
  • Jogging wheel
An (over) bundled baby on her first Chariot walk.  Mountains in the distance made for good motivation and excellent views :)

An (over) bundled baby on her first Chariot walk. Mountains in the distance made for good motivation and excellent views :)

CX1 vs CX2 vs other models

There are several models of Chariots available but the main ones we considered were the Cougar, CX and Chinook.  The Cougar and CX are very similar except the Cougar doesn’t have side panels that unzip and has no handbrake.  This was the reason we chose the CX as we wanted those features.  We didn’t like the Chinook as it seemed to be geared towards more of an urban lifestyle and was heavier.

While it was recommended to me to look at buying a double chariot (in case of a second child, for more room, etc), I’m happy with my choice of the single.  I found it was quite large and heavy to lift (though worth it!) on it’s own, without adding the weight and bulk of a double minus having second child to fill the seat.

Would I buy it again?

Absolutely!  If you’re an outdoor family who plans on jogging, biking and skiing with your child, this is the stroller that does it all and does it very, very well.  Though there are a few things I didn’t love about it, they were minor in the long run compared to how well it performed.  Depending on your lifestyle you may be able to get away with this as your only stroller though likely you will want a second stroller in which you can snap your infant bucket seat or a less bulky umbrella stroller when they’re older.

If you have any questions about the Chariot please feel free to ask! I’d also love to hear if there’s anything in particular you liked or disliked about your Chariot.

 

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6 Comments

  1. Nice objective review! We have a Cougar 1 and Cougar 2, and love them both, and also have an MEC bike trailer/stroller for grocery runs as it has way more cargo space. We were able to strap a carseat in to the MEC stroller, too, which was pretty cool when it was cold out. We knew baby was safe and secure and we could put a blankie over her and zip her in.

    The Chariots are nice in that they are narrower, so easier to tow when cycling and they fit through a standard door. I was dismayed to realize I couldn’t fit my MEC stroller through the door at Starbucks one day (first world problems, LOL)!

    We considered the CX1 & CX2 but they were a lot more money and we didn’t find a reasonably priced used one on Kijiji. Hope you can try xc skiing with the Chariot this winter! It’s pretty cool!!! Though it was quite challenging for me with TWO kids in there (the whole setup weighed almost as much as me with both kids in); hubby gets that fun – and workout!

    Reply
    • Thanks Karen!

      Good point about cargo space on the Chariots. I didn’t realize the MEC trailer had that much more room. With a single Chariot and a kid inside, there’s not a ton of room left for groceries :) We have yet to do any biking with ours so I haven’t run into that problem yet!

      Reply
  2. The hiking/ski attachment @ 275+ tax is a waste of money for hikers. You can’t get close enough to the unit to turn carefully. It’s like towing a 5th wheel. For downhill skiing, I’d understand the distance between the body and the unit, but for hiking, it doesn’t allow you to turn safely. The bars are much to long and don’t offer any closer of pin holes than 5 1/2 feet.

    Reply
    • Interesting! I’ve never tried hiking and pulling the chariot but could definitely see what you’re saying. Many of the fun hiking trails here are quite narrow.

      On Mon, Jun 27, 2016, 9:56 AM Rockies Girl: Confessions of an amateur mountaineer wrote:

      >

      Reply
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