Getting outside is a daily requirement for sanity in our house, and one of our favorite summertime activities is to hop on our tandem bike, load the kids in the bike trailer and ride down to the beach. We’ve tried out a handful of trailers over the years, but none has been as impressive as the Baby Jogger Switchback Hybrid.
The Switchback is not only an incredible bike trailer, it also transitions quickly and easily into a jogging stroller. There are other bike trailers on the market that can do this, but most require you to purchase a conversation kit separately ($$!), require tools and time to switch back and forth between modes and don’t offer a way to store the extra pieces for the other mode on the trailer itself. The Baby Jogger Switchback Hybrid does all of this. And more.
Compared to many other trailers the Switchback feels like a four-star hotel! The padded seats cushions and harness covers are luxurious and soft (though practical and machine-washable too) and there is ample legroom (26” length). There is even enough room to store towels, toys and our picnic lunch at my kids’ feet without diminishing their legroom. Suitable for either one child or two (up to 100 lbs. total), the Switchback provides two 5-point harnesses, interior pockets for holding sippy cups and snacks and a sturdy floor board to provide stability when entering and exiting the trailer. On nice summer days, we’ll roll the front wind/rain cover up and just use the zippered bug screen to provide lots of ventilation. But if it’s too cold/windy/rainy and we need to put the wind/rain cover down, I love that the Switchback has two side window vents that still allow the kids to get fresh air (and me to be able to hear if they are behaving).
Now for my two favorite features – the solid, continuous bench seat and the built-in helmet pockets. A previous trailer we used had a fabric seat that didn’t have any solid construction in it. Perhaps it would have worked decently for one child, but when we put two in, both kids would fall into the center, leaning on each other and inevitably leading to a battle of space. Though the Switchback is narrower than some (23” internal width) with the solid bench seat, both kids stay put in their seat space. My other favorite feature is the built-in helmet pockets. In many trailers, when kids wear helmets (as they must), they can’t fully lean their heads back against the seat which usually results in them being in a permanent nod position. The helmet pocket allows kids to sit comfortably while staying safe with a helmet.
The Switchback comes in navy blue with yellow accents, reflective stitching and a detachable safety flag. The entire canopy can be removed and machine-washed for any unfortunate accidents with your latte or an unsettled stomach. There are two 20” quick-release wheels on either side and a large, mesh storage pocket on the back. The tow bar (that connects to a bike to use it as a trailer) and the front wheel fork legs (that connect to a 16” front wheel to use as a stroller) both fold underneath and are stored at the front of the Switchback.
If you’ve ever spent 2+ hours and half your toolbox assembling a piece of baby gear before, never fear. Baby Jogger makes life easy. Your hands and less than 10 minutes are all you need to get the Switchback ready to ride. First, unfold the Switchback frame. Click in the two rear wheels. Then either pull out the tow bar to connect to your bike or pull out the front wheel legs to lock in the front wheel.
Using the Switchback as a trailer…
You’ll have to do a one-time set-up of attaching the hitch to your bike. This part does require a few tools, but the manual is clear and the pictures are easy to understand.
Using the Switchback as a jogger…
Fold away the tow bar and pull out the front wheel forks, inserting the 16” front wheel (which can conveniently be stored in a special pocket in the rear of the trailer). Follow the manual to connect the V-brake and fold out the adjustable handlebar to your desired height. In my jogs around the neighborhood, I love how straight the Switchback tracks and how smooth the ride is for my kids. And at a hefty 39 lbs, the Switchback definitely helps you get a workout. (Hello hills!)
If you’ve ever used a Baby Jogger stroller before, then you are already familiar with their patented, one-step Quick-Fold Technology that the Switchback uses. Standing in front of the trailer, grab the two handles on either side that say “FOLD”. Voila! A folded Switchback. You can even lock it closed with the handy, built-in storage straps. Though we’ve been using ours so much this summer, that there haven’t been too many times we’ve folded the Switchback up.
With the competition, you can often have a bike trailer or a jogging stroller. But with the Baby Jogger Switchback, you have both. All the time. No tools required and just minutes to convert from one to the other. Tomorrow morning we’re going to ride our tandem bike with the Switchback down to the farmer’s market, lock up the tandem, quickly convert the Switchback to a stroller and linger at the fruit and veggie stands. Want to join us?
For more information about the Switchback Hybrid or to purchase, visit www.babyjogger.com.