Every parent is probably familiar with strollers.
In almost every case, these pushchairs already have a set of tires. But did you know that all stroller tires are not created equal? There are different kinds of stroller tires, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Choosing the right stroller wheels can make your outing so much more enjoyable. There are particular considerations parents should think about when determining which tires are right for them. Will cover these factors and more about the ins and outs of tires for strollers.
In short, yes! They’re sorted into types by their materials. What they’re made of is the main characteristic that differentiates between baby stroller tires. There are three stroller tire types: air-filled, foam-filled, and EVA.
Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits and drawbacks of each type of stroller’s tires and who might be best suited to each type.
Air-filled strollers are typically made of sealed rubber. Usually, they’ll resemble bike tires. They have a very durable exterior, and their compressed air-filled interior offers a smooth ride.
This is because air-filled tires can handle all types of terrain and provide an easy push for the parent or caregiver doing all the work. Most strollers with rubber wheels also include pneumatic suspension or sealed ball bearings for increased comfort and durability.
The only drawback is having to refill them now and again or getting a puncture where you may need to replace your stroller’s wheel with a stroller tires replacement option, usually available online.
If you like to jog with your stroller or take it on uneven terrains, air-filled tires are the pick for you.
Jogging strollers typically have air-filled wheels.
- Smooth ride
- Easy to push
- Can be jogged with
- Susceptible to punctures and leaks
- Must be refilled occasionally
Foam-filled stroller tires are another standard wheel for prams and strollers. They provide a pretty smooth ride, like air-filled pram tires, and can handle a variety of surfaces. Unlike air-filled, you won’t have to worry about punctures or having to refill them.
The solid, durable foam is often rubberized, making it resistant to pokes and punctures. If your stroller tire does become damaged, you can look for replacement stroller wheels or use a polyurethane tire fill kit in some cases.
However, foam can be a bit heavier than the air-filled tires, making the stroller harder to push and lift. If you want a solid, everyday stroller, foam-filled tires are great.
- Durable and reliable
- Smooth ride
- Can handle uneven surfaces
- Heavier than air-filled
- Not a good jogging stroller choice
Eva tires look like rubber tires, but there is a difference. Eva wheels are made out of synthetic rubber-like material on the inside instead of an air tube. EVA is lightweight, soft, and flexible. Strollers with this type of tire are a breeze to push and transport.
They aren’t as durable as foam tires or strong rubber, but you definitely won’t have to worry about punctures. Unfortunately, EVA tires aren’t an excellent choice for anything but smooth surfaces like pavement. So, if you’re looking for a beach stroller or jogger, EVA might not be for you.
EVA foam is an excellent choice if you’re likely to use your stroller on pavement or city streets.
It’s hard to tell that these aren’t air filled rubber tires.
- It offers a smooth ride
- Don’t have to worry about punctures
- Only suitable for smooth surfaces
- Requires some maintenance like lubrication and cleaning
All the same or of two different diameters, stroller wheels come in all sizes, but does it matter? It depends.
Your stroller’s purpose can determine what size wheels you need. Jogging strollers, or those designed for all terrains, typically have a three-wheel design. I will talk more about three wheels vs. four wheels in a later section, but I’ll touch on it briefly here.
The front-wheel will be smaller than the back two. The three-wheel design aids maneuverability, while the larger rear wheels provide a smoother ride despite how bumpy or jagged the ground is. For example, the BOB Alterrain Jogging Stroller has a 12.5″ front tire and two 16″ rear tires.
Other strollers have a four-wheel design with two larger rear wheels and two smaller front wheels. Such is the case with the Bugaboo Donkey. The four-wheel design is very sturdy, and the large rear wheels help to compensate for uneven ground. However, this stroller’s wheels are smaller than a jogger and do better with bumps from curbs rather than beaches or trails.
Finally, you can find strollers with wheels that are the same size as the BABYZEN YOYO2 6+ Complete Stroller. Strollers with same-size tires are made for straightforward strolls on smooth terrain. The larger the wheel diameter, the more uneven terrain it can handle while still keeping your baby’s ride soft.
Four wheels of the same size are still easy to push and maneuver while being very stable, but they don’t function well in sand, on rocks, or on lumpy grass.
In most cases, you’ll only encounter fixed vs. swivel on jogging stroller tires. These strollers with rubber tires can have their front wheel swivel or be fixed in place while the back wheels are only fixed.
This design is purposeful. When you’re running with a stroller, you will likely be moving at high speeds. At these speeds, a swivel front wheel can be prone to wobbling, which can be very dangerous if you’re jogging with kids.
Therefore, you can lock the wheel in place when you’re running and unlock it when you’re strolling. The back wheels don’t necessarily need to swivel because you can use the front tire to maneuver the stroller.
If you plan on running with your stroller, make sure you look for a front wheel that can be fixed or locked in place. Much like the BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 Jogging Stroller. Specialty strollers made for active lifestyles, like the Thule Chariot Cross Multisport Trailer & Stroller, will also often have front swivel wheels and fixed rear wheels. Some running strollers will have all three wheels fixed, which is very safe for running.
However, there is a learning curve when maneuvering these because you will need to lift the rear tires and rotate the entire stroller to turn.
Everyday strollers or those used primarily for walking will have all swivel wheels. The front and back tires will be able to move, and locking them usually isn’t an option. Wheels that swivel let you turn corners, back up out of tight spaces, and maneuver down busy streets.
Because you won’t be traveling at high speeds, you won’t need to worry about wheel wobbling or stability. Take, for example, the Summer Infant, 3D Mini Convenience Stroller – its swivel wheels make it very agile. If you’re planning on walking down the sidewalk or taking your baby to busy outdoor markets or shops, swivel wheels are probably your best bet.
Most umbrella strollers have four swivel wheels.
There are only two-wheel designs for strollers, three-wheel or four-wheel. Each has benefits and drawbacks.
A 3-wheel stroller looks sporty and sleek, which can be a preferred aesthetic for some. Aside from looking attractive, their design makes them very maneuverable and great for all terrains. These characteristics make them ideal for active parents.
Three wheels are especially common in jogging strollers, though you can find them in universal use models like the Baby Jogger City Mini GT2.
Unfortunately, these strollers usually don’t fold as well, ending up bulkier than their four-wheel counterparts. Sometimes they are heavier, too, mainly because the two rear wheels tend to be quite large. Furthermore, because they’re still somewhat of a specialized design, you’ll find fewer options and typically a higher price tag.
Four-wheel strollers are commonplace and a popular option for most stroller users. This means that you’ll find a wider range of options and better affordability. Whether you need a trusty everyday stroller like the UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller or a stroller for Disney, there’s probably a four-wheel option out there.
Stability is also a big asset of four-wheel strollers as they help to distribute weight evenly and ensure there are always at least two wheels on the ground, even if you’re navigating over a curb or bump.
However, four-wheel strollers can’t handle all terrains. They’re generally not great for anything other than smooth pavement like sidewalks or streets. This makes them less versatile than their three-wheeled counterparts.
Most parents get by with a stable and compact four-wheeled stroller just fine, but if you’re an active parent or looking for an all-terrain model, opt for three wheels.
Wheel suspension has just started making its way into stroller conversations. Suspension used to be reserved only for running and jogging models, like the Joovy Zoom360.
Suspension is designed to help keep the ride smoother for your baby, not disturbing them when you go over bumps or dips. It also helps to make for a safer ride, not jarring your hands off the handlebar grip when you hit a rough patch.
Stroller suspension has made its way to more everyday models of strollers, such as the Bugaboo Fox 2 Classic. It has an all-wheel suspension. The inclusion of suspension features helps to make for a very enjoyable and smooth feel for everyone involved.
Those with infants may particularly enjoy suspension as your sleeping newborn won’t be jostled when you travel over a bumpy area.
Still, keep in mind that suspension isn’t a need when you’re deciding which stroller to purchase from the store. Everyday strollers and joggers alike don’t have to have suspension, and many don’t.
Your baby may feel a few more bounces, but this is only if you’re going over varied terrain. Most parents can get by without it, as can average runners. Those looking for a seriously smooth ride or avid runners keen on performance might prefer to select an option with suspension.
In short, there are active strollers and everyday strollers. Some features crossover between the two types but have more benefits for one particular category.
If you’re an active parent who wants to run with your stroller, look for a three-wheel design with large, air-filled tires that can swivel or be locked in place.
You may also enjoy these features if you’re not a runner but want an all-terrain stroller. For parents who need an active and everyday model, these features will suit you well as long as you ensure your front tire can swivel and be locked.
Parents looking for a standard, everyday stroller will enjoy the wide variety of options and price of a four-wheel stroller with either foam-filled wheels or EVA wheels.
You don’t necessarily need suspension, but it can provide a smoother ride. A four-wheel design will be more compact and portable than a three-wheel which is important for travelers.
Tend to be larger
Small to medium
Small to medium
Maintenance and Repair
Will need to be filled with air as needed, prone to punctures
Little to no maintenance, can be patched with a fill kit
Requires occasional lubrication, very puncture proof
Hopefully, now you’re more confident with the different types of kids’ stroller wheels. Whether you’re looking for the best stroller with rubber wheels or one with EVA foam, make sure you take into account all the variable factors, such as three wheels vs. four, and whether you need suspension or not.
Consider your lifestyle, where you’ll use the stroller the most, and which features are most important to you. If you end up having more than one type of stroller, that’s fine too! What’s important is that you and your little one can get out happily and safely!
Last update on 2022-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API