Key features of Thule Urban Glide 2 pushchair:
Age suitability: Birth to 15kg
Type of buggy: 3-wheeler all-terrain stroller
Fold: One-handed compact fold
Travel system compatible: Yes
Total cost: £599
Thule is a Swedish brand specialising in outdoor and active equipment. Manufacturers of luggage, sports storage solutions, bikes and motorhome accessories, baby gear is just another string to their bow. Thule strollers have a strong reputation for being high-performance, aerodynamic joggers – sleek in appearance, yet robust in their capabilities.
First impressions of the Thule Urban Glide 2 are good. It’s a really well made piece of equipment, which is easy to build and very stylish. Available in both single and double versions, this three-wheeler has a modern design and is one of the lightest active strollers on the market.
The updated 2018 version features a more premium appearance without sacrificing its classic Thule sportiness. A twist hand brake has been added to the existing foot brake, while the lock and canopy have also been improved. New reflective details provide better visibility when out at night.
The name Thule Urban Glide 2 previously referred to the company’s double stroller. For 2018, the product names are now Thule Urban Glide 2 and the Thule Urban Glide 2 Double.
The Thule Urban Glide 2 is available in four colours: Mars Red, Dark Shadow and the company’s iconic Thule Blue, all of which have silver-colored frames. New for 2018 is ‘Black on Black’, which combines black fabric with a black frame for a sleek look.
Competition is fierce in the jogging strollers market though. When choosing, it really comes down to what you’ll be using it for most. While some are ‘city strollers’ which also function well for running, others – like the Glide – have all-terrain functionality as their priority, but have an urban practicality too.
For example, popular brand Bugaboo offers the Fox and the Runner. The former is aimed at outdoorsy adventurers but is also well suited to city life – perhaps more so than the Glide given its smaller, narrower dimensions. However it has a punchier price point at over £1,000. The Runner is cheaper and specifically a jogger with good suspension system, but isn’t designed for more general use.
Probably the Glide’s closest competitor is the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle which shares many of Glide’s plus points, being a stylish, all-terrain, three-wheel pushchair. It’s equally lightweight with an adjustable handlebar and has a compatible carrycot making it suitable for newborns upwards. From £449 it’s a slightly cheaper alternative, although lacks the sophistication and perhaps robustness, of the Glide.
I put the new and upgraded Thule Urban Glide 2 to the test on the streets, public transport and in the shops of London, as well as in nearby parks and woodland. My co-testers were my 3-year old son Harvey in the pushchair mode and newborn daughter Harriet in the bassinet.
It’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not safe to run with a baby less than 8 months old, as they won’t have the head and neck strength to counter the jolts and bounces, so I only used this buggy with Harriet for walks.
What’s in the box?
In the main box came the frame and wheels, toddler seat with hood and raincover. The bassinet with raincover and mesh insect net came separately.
Is it easy to build?
Assembly is really quick – simply unfold the main chassis and click the wheels into place. The instructions are just a series of illustrations but easy to follow. Overall it took me 15 minutes to go from unpacking the box to road ready.
What do you think of the fold system?
A subtle flap on the calf rest lifts to reveal a handle which you twist in order to collapse the stroller. I found it easy to do – even one handed, with a bit of practice – which is a lifesaver when you have a wriggling toddler under your arm and need to get the buggy in the boot quickly.
How compact is it when folded and unfolded? How easy is it to store?
When packed down it measures 33cm x 93.5cm x 58cm, so even when folded takes up a fair amount of room, especially because of the large rear wheels. However you can make it more compact by removing these, which is really easy to do – simply press the button in the centre and lift them off.
How lightweight is it?
At 11.4kg, the Thule Urban Glide 2 is comparatively light for a jogging stroller which really makes a difference, especially on hills and when you have the added weight of a passenger!
How easy is it to push on different surfaces?
Designed as a heavy-duty, all-terrain stroller, it navigates well over grass, bumpy pavements, cobbles and dirt tracks and I found it easy to get up and down kerbs. When the front wheel is locked it’s harder to steer, so for strolling through town or jogging through the park, I kept it in the unlocked ‘swivel’ mode (it’s especially useful for navigating quickly and easily around dogs and kids on bikes). I used the ‘lock’ function for rougher and hillier surfaces to provide more control.
Compared to other buggies, it’s more challenging moving around the city, with the back wheels catching on lamp posts and doorways. While turning is easy, its length means you need to be careful on tight corners. However I quickly learnt to adapt and allow more space to manoeuvre it.
How is it on public transport?
Although it’s easy to get the Glide onto buses and trains, it takes up all or the majority of the allocated buggy space. On one occasion I had to come off the bus and allow a wheelchair user on instead as I was taking up the whole of the dedicated section. It put me off using it on public transport thereafter.
What do you think of the wheels and suspension?
Like other joggers, the Thule Urban Glide 2 has three large wheels in a triangle configuration. This, combined with the 16″ rear wheels and lockable ‘swivel’ front wheel, make for a stable jogging experience. The tyres are inflatable so need pumping every now and again, and the stroller has built-in suspension, making it a smooth ride for anyone on board.
Is the frame strong, durable?
Absolutely. This is a really high quality stroller made with very durable, lightweight aluminium.
What do you think of the handle?
I love the ergonomic handle on this buggy, which has five adjustable settings, making it comfortable to push whatever your height. I’m relatively tall so ran with it on the highest setting but it’s easy to change even when at pace. Meanwhile, Harvey liked pushing Harriet along in the bassinet with the handlebar right down low.
How many seating configurations / recline positions are there?
There’s two seat configurations that allow use from birth (with the additional purchase of a bassinet). The recline on the toddler seat lends itself well to jogging and is simple to use – it’s just a strap with a buckle. You can lock the backrest at any angle, although it doesn’t go completely flat – which is why you need the separate Thule Bassinet for newborns (and what we used for baby Harriet). This clicks neatly into place on top of the toddler seat. It has a large canopy and apron, as well as a removable mesh cover, which protected her from the elements.
What do you think of the size of the seat unit?
The seat size of the Glide 2 is the same as on the former model (13.5″ wide) and some reviews I read complained that it’s too narrow for a 3-year-old. Harvey, who is tall for his 3 and a half years, was very comfortable in it, but I could see that there wasn’t a huge amount of growing room (officially the limit is up to 111 cm height). I can see us using this until he is at least 4 and probably a little beyond. By then Harriet will be old enough to transition to the toddler seat instead.
How comfortable does it feel for your little one?
Toddler Harvey fed back that it was ‘cosy and comfy’, even when mummy was puffing away up hills and over gravel. The suspension definitely makes for a smoother ride and it transitions easily from pavement to grass/rubble and back again. The multi-position canopy with mesh side-ventilation windows also kept him cool and shaded from the sun.
The seat is equipped with a soft, padded 5-point harness – it took a bit of trial and error to find the exact right fit but when we had, Harvey was very happy in it. He also liked the little mesh pockets on the inside of the seat, where he could store his snacks for the ride!
How does it compare to other buggies you’ve used?
The Glide feels incredibly secure, and a lot sturdier than other pushchairs I’ve tried. Our previous buggy was the Mamas & Papas Armadillo Flip, which is a standard stroller rather than one designed for jogging. That said I did run with Harvey in it when he was old enough, and that was definitely a bumpier ride all round. The shorter handlebars also meant I kept catching the back wheels with my feet – not an issue with the Glide where there’s plenty of room to stride out.
How is interacting with your little one when in the buggy?
Harvey is a very chatty passenger so one of the hardest things was keeping up with his conversation! However, with the Glide it was easy to check up on him and make eye contact thanks to the peekaboo window in the top of the canopy.
What do you think of the hood?
Just like the previous model, the Glide 2 features a lovely big canopy which expands through multiple positions. One of the upgrades is that it’s made from UPF 50+ material to provide even better sun protection.
Tell us about the brakes.
There’s two brakes on this new version of the Glide. The main ‘parking’ one is located between the two back wheels and is big and easy to operate by foot, although tricky in flip flops. It also has an integrated twist handbrake on the handlebar, which provides extra control if you’re running fast or downhill.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
The fold isn’t the smallest, which tends to be a common issue with jogging strollers. However, the removable wheels make it more flexible. It fit snugly in the boot of our Nissan Qashqai, although with the baby bassinet in there as well (despite the bassinet folding down flat), there wasn’t much space left for other luggage. Again, removing the wheels will help with smaller boot spaces.
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Is it travel system compatible?
Yes. You just need to purchase an adapter to attach the car seat (no need to remove the toddler seat). There’s a universal ‘one-size-fits-all’ adaptor for car seats from a range of brands. New for 2018, Thule has introduced two slimmer adapters, that provide a more tailored fit for car seats from Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Cybex and Chicco.
What age children is it best for?
As mentioned, with the bassinet you can turn the Thule Urban Glide 2 into a pram and use it from birth. The generous weight limit (children up to 15kg) ensures you get good value for money as your child grows..
How easily can you access the basket and is it big enough to store everything you need?
This buggy is blessed for storage space, as the basket underneath – waterproof with a zip and velcro cover – is huge. A mesh pocket on the back of the seat is great for keeping essentials (like phone, purse or drink) close to hand. Inside the seat, the two mesh side pouches are ideal for your child’s snacks or toys.
What would you have wanted to know before you purchased it?
Paying closer attention to the dimensions – in particular the width (69cm) – would have saved us a few surprises when getting it in and out of the house and down our narrow hallway. It also doesn’t always fit between tables in restaurants or some racks in shops. Worth double checking exactly what is included too, so that you can purchase any necessary additional items – such as the baby bassinet and car seat adaptor – if you want to use it from day one.
Who would the product be most useful for?
It’s a brilliant solution for those who don’t want to sacrifice their active lifestyle now they are parents. It has sophisticated urban appeal too, so looks equally comfortable in the woods or in the high street.
Is there anything unique about it?
I like the stroller’s nighttime visibility thanks to the reflective rims on all wheels and edge on the canopy. The possibility to attach the bassinet and use it from birth is also a good feature, and not common with all joggers.
What is the price? Is this good value for money? Do you have to buy a lot of additional extras, which all add up or is everything included?
Retailing at £599.99, the Urban Glide 2 isn’t cheap and you need to purchase the bassinet separately (£160) in order to make it suitable for newborns. However, the alternative – buying both a lightweight pram/stroller and a jogging buggy – would be even more pricey. Other accessories such as the rain cover (£35), child’s snack tray (£35) or bottle holder (£20) are not included and can all add up. The fact that it’s travel system compatible is appealing (although again, you need to pay an extra £35 – £70 for the car seat adaptor).
Stylish and functional in equal measure, the Thule Urban Glide 2 is a great option for active parents, especially those keen for more off-road expeditions over rough terrain. The all-weather covers and ample storage allow you to be well prepared for any situation. Easy to push and steer (even with one hand), its relatively lightweight frame and adjustable handlebar contribute to the comfortable experience.
Overall, this is the sexy Hummer of running buggies – I received a number of compliments when out and about with it. That said, if jogging isn’t a top priority and if you’re using the buggy mainly in the city, there’s definitely smaller, more practical strollers at lower prices out there. You need to be frequently visiting the great outdoors on a fitness mission to really get the benefits here.
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