9. april 2015

#emmettsstroller: TFK Joggster Twist vs Joggster III

For the last nine months we have tested out a succession of strollers with our second son who was born in June of last year. Usually with our blog posts and videos, our focus is on evaluating strollers from the viewpoint of repair. However, having again become regular stroller users, we have discovered that there can sometimes be differences between judging a stroller's design when repairing it, which has more to do with simplicity, strong materials, ease of maintenance and general longevity and judging a stroller while using it, which is about comfort and ease of use.  As we continue to test out strollers with our new baby we will share our experiences as stroller consumers.

TFK Joggster Twist

During the middle and close of winter we tested out a pair of TFKs, swapping the seat fabrics between a couple of newer chassis that we had lying around the workshop.  One was a Joggster Twist and the other a Joggster III.

We've been fans of the TFK design for some time, having tested out a variety of models with our older son.  The chief advantage to the TFK, in addition to its robust design qualities, is the large seat, which is particularly nice as a child nears the end of his time using a stroller.  In this case, with a baby of seven-eight months, the seat was too big, and we fillled it out with a thick winter bag.  A Multi-X bag would have been an option in warmer months, but this made our baby look cramped so we opted for the seat instead.
TFK Joggster III

Overall, our experience with these two models was as I'd remembered it.  The Joggster III was fantastic off-road, its rigid twelve inch wheel cutting through the deep snow, though it was unpleasant to drive on smoother streets without the swivel wheel.

The Joggster Twist, by contrast, was nice in the city, but the smaller swivel wheel made off-road use a chore.  From the standpoint of reparation, I'll never understand why TFK opted for this swivel wheel design on both the Joggster Twist and the Joggster X.  For a stroller that otherwise is made almost entirely of metal, the predominantly plastic swivel mechanism almost always runs into problems down the line.  Likewise, the choice of a ten inch front wheel seems unnecessary and negatively impacts the stroller's ability to negotiate terrain.  BabyJogger, Easywalker and Mountain Buggy all use a twelve inch swivel wheel housed in a much stronger swivel mechanism.

Still, I wouldn't say that using the TFK for Emmett was a bad experience.  The hand brake is always useful, the chassis has a solid feel to it, and the large seat really feels as though it protects your child from the elements.

Using the TFK this time around, I'd say it rated a step above the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle and the Bugaboo Cameleon, though below the Baby Jogger City Elite and the Bugaboo Donkey.

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