Thule Chariot Cross 2 – Review!

Thule Chariot Cross 2 – Review!

I’ve wanted to have a bike trailer to use with the kiddos ever since we hired one when staying in the new forest although that one wasn’t particularly sophisticated it has to be said. It was very basic and not particularly comfortable for the children but it afforded us a family bike ride with two reluctant small ones and we loved the experience. I knew that on the market there were much cleverer models of similar products so I approached Thule to see if they might be interested in collaborating on a review ahead of another family break in the forest at Center Parcs. We were in luck and though we didn’t sort things out ahead of that trip, having used it extensively since I don’t think we’ll be going back on a holiday like that one without the Thule chariot Cross 2 (£950)!

So… You can get a single version but despite Jimmy being 6 he is still a very reluctant bike rider and the weak link, along with the baby, when it comes to us upping and offing for a family bike ride – just as well the Chariot Cross comes as a double too then because both our boys have been in their relaxed element as we head off for journeys around the Norfolk countryside! It’s been cold recently but they both have a Thule Footmuff Sport (£73) to keep them toasty and judging by the giggles inside the chariot the pair of them have been more than happy together. I asked Jimmy if it’s a bit scary going around corners but he said not at all, it’s actually quite fun!

The Chariot Cross comes as standard with everything you need to make it into a bike trailer or a buggy and once you’ve put it together once it’s very easy to chop and change between the two so if we’ve been out for a whole day we’ve been able to chop and change its purpose to suit what we are doing. Leaving the bikes locked up for a play in the park is fab but the baby still needs a buggy so this has been perfect and despite it being quite sizeable (it doesn’t fit through our front door with the back wheels on – though they pop on and off with ease) it glides and pushes with extreme ease as a buggy. I’ve been impressed by that greatly actually as you’d think it would be heavy and difficult to manoeuvre but the swivel front wheels make it push as well as other double buggies that I’ve used. Having all terrain back wheels it’s much easier to use on uneven surfaces than most buggies and this works perfectly in our village for just a simple school run because the council don’t seem to think maintaining our village roads much of an imperative… Such is life!

In buggy mode it’s easy to use as a single or a double and both the seats (which have five point harnesses) will recline – great for sleeping which is what Raffie seems to do most of when he’s in this one on his own and doesn’t have a big brother to wind him up! It has reflective areas so you can see it coming if the light isn’t good and the handle bar rotates all the way forward and back with every stop in between.  It’s actually no job to push one handed with either one or two passengers but having only one obviously leaves a separate (removable and wipe clean) padded seat for any shopping IF the boot isn’t enough space for you! Which it really should be as it’s HUGE! This can also carry the sun shields and rain cover of course but if you don’t have anything inside it then it will fold up flat. We’ve tried that to see what it looks like of course but we never leave the house without the kitchen sink so have only used it full to the max!

There’s areas within the frame that can store all the accessories like the jogging attachments and wheels so the boot space never need be taken up leaving all the space for snacks and nappies (if you’re us)! Having the boot up and in use doesn’t affect how the seats recline and these can be done individually if you’ve only one sleeper. Now, we haven’t used it from birth but it absolutely can be as a newborn infant sling is one of the adaptors that you can buy. there are lots of extras like this including a lock (we need), a bottle holder (again, we need) and an organiser which I can see would be helpful. I also really like the storage cover and can see good sense in purchasing this if keeping in the shed. Currently we have ours in the garage and it folds down pretty flat with the wheels inside it which is handy as we don’t have much space! When traveling the folded element helps as it fits in our top box (would also fit in a standard sized boot but we have the box and these can be bought from Thule too so they’re a one stop family trip shop huh)!

As a buggy it pushes well and carries everything I need!

But like I said,this is a rather adaptable Chariot and being a buggy is secondary to it being a bike trailer as far as we are concerned. Jonny was the first of us to use it with me being worried about having the boys on the back and wanting to ride behind them (helicopter parent me) but I’ve done it now and i assure you it’s BRILLIANT! It does everything I want it to and some. The comfort is just as it is when using as a buggy. The boys are warm in their footmuffs and able to sleep reclined if they want to but it also goes around corners with great ease. I was worried it might swing out a bit because when we’d hired an old one by a different brand that had been the case which would make it really only suitable for off road riding – I’m happy to report however that the Thule Chariot Cross 2 turns in unison with the bike. No swinging out and when I’ve used it I feel totally confident. It comes with a pole and flag which waves and shows you’re there to other drivers and it’s changed bike riding as a family for us!

Family bike rides!
As you can see, when turning the Chariot stays close and is easily visible – the two front wheels clip up on top meaning they are just there to unclip and pop back on the other side to make it into a buggy again!

We have been having such joyous family bike rides and I can’t wait for summer so that we can do this more and more! We will be able to take it to the beach with us, camping and to festivals and it will literally change the ease of these visits for years to come!

In the summer the boys won’t need the footmuffs but these are SO needed right now and totally big enough and snug enough for Jimmy age 6 just as they are for Raffie age 1. The Chariot can take a weight capacity of 45 kg so you’d have to have some pretty hefty children to not be able to ride. Florence and jimmy would both be under the weight capacity together although I think Florence at age 9 would struggle with height!

And then if buggy and bike trailer alone doesn’t fully do it for you it’s worth noting that you can buy a cross country skiing kit and a jogging kit (£110 each). While we don’t have much call to adapt it to a skiing buggy here in Norfolk we have been using it as a jogging buggy. Mostly Jonny it has to be said, he loves jogging and has taken it out with both the boys and often with just Raffie. While I’m no runner (Jonny says i look like I’m doing it in slow motion) and I have a rather dodgy knee which usually prevents me, I have been so intrigued by Jonny and so set on eating less and moving more in a bid to shape up a bit that this morning, with advice from Jonny on how to use it (I think it’s his precious now) I took it out for what I hope to be a twice weekly before school affair! The big kids came on their scooters and we whizzed along with Raffie in the Thule Chariot Cross 2 (whizzed might be stretching it) and had the best start to the day! The jogging attachment will fit within the buggy frame when not in use with the wheel going on the back of the boot and it’s super easy to take the front wheels off and replace them with this – even I managed it!

Having a jog this morning guess what? I LOVED it!

I was a bit taken aback to begin with as the front jogging wheel doesn’t turn but i remembered that Jonny told me to lean on the handle bar and this steers it which makes so much sense when jogging. A front swivel wheel could easily be a hindrance but this method works perfectly and again over rough country roads it pushed like a dream!

Ever since Raffie was born I have been determined to still exercise because if I don’t I feel rubbish and this is easily adaptable with babies if you want to do it enough. When I swim Raffie either sleeps in his car seat on the side or comes in with me and I push him inside a floating ring or use him as a weight during aqua class. I swim three times a week but have been wanting to do more and mix it up a bit so a twice weekly morning jog with the babe in tow is absolutely brilliant for me. even when Jimmy got tired on the way back, which was also the way to school, it wasn’t an issue as he just hopped in the second seat and we carried on. It didn’t even feel much heavier to be honest and the first thing Florence said when she had a go pushing them both and jogging was ‘It’s SO light, I thought it would be heavier’!

A massive success!

I think when I run it’s very easy for me to damage my knee further so i tend not to do it unless on a treadmill where I have the resistance of holding on and putting a bit of pressure on my arms. Obviously with holding onto the buggy I’ve noticed that it offers a really similar benefit so I’m getting the benefits of gym running but on the road – perfect!

I think both boys enjoy being in the Thule Chariot Cross 2 as much as we enjoy using it – a GREAT family product that we will use for years and years in many different ways I am sure! So be it used for…

Jogging – I’m all for eating less and moving more at the moment and totally ready to say goodbye to some extra wadge – the Thule Chariot Cross 2 is the perfect accompaniment!
As a buggy!
Or as a bike trailer!

It’s working for us!

I’ll be writing more and more about the Thule Chariot Cross 2 and if you follow my Instagram stories then you will see it on there fairly frequently, especially as the weather hots up, so do pop over and follow me @Rocknrollerbaby for more of our Thule adventures!

Thule might only spring to mind when thinking about top boxes, roof racks and bike racks but actually they have a whole section in the family market too and as well as a number of different chariots they also make buggies – who knew?! Might be why the chariot Cross 2 works so well when in buggy mode perhaps? They already have an eye for what makes a good buggy it seems and have transferred it well! Interestingly they don’t just make all terrain buggies for outdoor sports but do a city buggy too so do check them out when considering family purchases – we’ve been mega impressed with the Thule Chariot Cross 2 at any rate!

We were gifted the products written about in this review but are under no obligation to speak positively about them.