Thule Chariot Chinook 1 Will Take You Anywhere
The Thule Chariot Chinook can take you and your children anywhere you want to go
by Alissa Clark | 24 July 2014
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If you could design the perfect stroller, what would it look like? If you’re anything like me, you’d want a stroller that you could take anywhere, whether city streets or off the beaten path. You’d also want a stroller that would allow you to take your child along with you on your favorite activities, whether it’s a walk, a jog, a bike ride… even a x-country ski trip in the winter. But beyond its functionality, you’d want a stroller that provided exceptional comfort for your little one while offering the highest level of safety wherever your adventures take you.
It sounds like a lot to ask from one stroller, but for the adventurers among us, it already exists, and it happens to come from the stroller brand that I’ve used for almost 5 years: Thule Chariot. Their strollers are less of what you’d consider a traditional stroller and more of a multifunctional child carrier, designed to let you go almost anywhere and do almost anything with your little one in tow.
When I first bought a Chariot, I went with a Chariot Cougar 1 (which I loved), and as soon as I was pregnant with my second child I upgraded to a Chariot CX 2. Now with a third child arriving I again turned to Chariot to ensure I stayed as active as possible with my little one, and after much deliberation, I chose the new Thule Chariot Chinook 1. It’s a carrier perfect for a huge variety of outdoor activities that looks great, is safe, and is incredibly functional.
My husband and I are both triathletes and regularly participate in bike races, and I can wholeheartedly say the only reason this is possible is because we take our kids along with us for training. Since my two older kids are still in the CX 2, the Chinook 1 was the perfect addition for the new baby, as it allows me to continue my complete fitness routine with my new baby and my husband to bring the other two kids well. Best of all, because the Chinook 1 easily converts from a jogging carrier to a conventional carrier, it doubles as the perfect city stroller when my two kids are walking.
When looking at the Thule Chariot Chinook range, the first thing you’ll notice is that it comes in either a single (holds up to 75 lbs) or double (up to 100 lbs) configuration. If this is your first child and you plan on having more in the future, I would recommend going with the double from the start, as Thule Chariot carriers are built to last through all of your children. If you’re confident that seating for one is all you’ll need (as I was), the Chinook 1 is perfect. Whichever size you choose, it’s important to note the features and benefits remain the same.
At its heart, the Chinook is designed around an anodized aluminum roll cage which creates a safe environment for you kids while keeping the weight down. In the rear, two large and easily removable wheels can traverse nearly anything, while a single pivoting wheel in the front rotates 360 degrees and makes tight turns a snap. The pivoting wheel can also be easily be locked out for running or folded up (or removed) for biking with the optional bike attachment kit. I tend to leave mine attached when I bike as I often find myself parking my bike and heading to a farmers market or park. If street and bike use isn’t enough, there’s even an additional winter kit you can purchase which lets you replace the rear wheels with a pair of skis and a tow bar up front, perfect for cross country skiing or a winter hike/snowshoeing trip.
Comfort was an obvious focus when designing the Chinook carrier as it offers reclining seats with removable extra seat padding and adjustable suspension, which if you’re heading out during nap time is an ideal way to keep your little one happy and asleep. For infants, it includes a perfect support system, as the Chinook offers tremendous cushioning and head support, and there’s a five point harness system to keep your child securely in place. There are also several window options built in that you can choose from depending on temperature, sun, etc. There are full window vents on the side that can be opened to cool the interior; there’s a front window that can be rolled up partially or fully; and there’s a second mesh shade that keeps your kids protected from bugs while still offering the fun of open air. When you’re not using the sunshade or screen, they simply roll up and have straps to keep them in place. In the winter months with colder temperatures I use a hot water bottle along with the Thule Bunting Bag and the enclosed design keeps my kids toasty warm even in the coldest weather.
In addition to the excellent head support infants, one thing I love about the Chinook is that it comes with everything you need for your babies first year of strolling including an infant car seat adapter and cargo bag that hooks on to the back of the carrier for additional storage. My only additional recommendation would be the bunting bag in the event you are planning to use the stroller in winter. It straps perfectly into the Chinook and can be used for children up to 2 years old.
Now that you know it can go virtually anywhere while keeping your little one comfortable and safe, what else can the Chinook offer? The answer is ease of use. With all of the features it comes with, you might think that the Chinook is hard to set up and overly bulky, but in fact, it’s incredibly simple to use and folds quite well. When your Chinook first arrives it will take you around 10 minutes to unpack and set up, as the large rear wheels and and handle bar click on easily and tool free. The reason this is so important is that not everyone has a large enough vehicle to accommodate the Chinook in one piece, so for those of you with limited trunk space, the Chinook is still a great option, as it can be folded to a manageable size in less than a minute. Another awesome feature is the ability to fold the Chinook with one hand, because as I’ve found, it’s always nice to be able to keep a hand on your other children when you’re in a busy environment.
In the end, I cannot recommend Thule Chariot carriers enough. With my Chinook, I’ve been able to continue doing all the activities I did prior to children, with the added benefit of being able to share it with them. For anyone that wants to get or stay active with kids, you simply can’t beat a Thule Chariot for their fantastic performance, comfort and safety, and I wholeheartedly recommend them to active moms and dads everywhere.