Thursday, July 04, 2024

Thule Urban Glide 3 Review

Article by Michael Ellenberger

Thule Urban Glide 3 ($650)

Michael: If two people love each other very much, and also love running… well, long story short, there comes a time when you’re looking for a running stroller! Thule was kind enough to send me the Urban Glide 3 - a stroller which I had already been eyeing myself - and my wife and I have put it through its paces (at least, relatively speaking - I plan on adding a follow-on review after a summer and fall of mileage) and I’m happy to say - even with relatively preliminary testing (about 50 miles onboard, across a couple different terrains) - this thing rules the road.

Let me knock out some basics. The Thule Urban Glide 3 (ours, in a lovely black color - very sleek!) retails at $650. Thule offers some discounts periodically, but I think that price, compared to the competition, is fair - I also glanced at the UPPAbaby Ridge ($600 at retail), the BOB Gear Wayfinder ($580) and the Chicco Activ3 Jogging Stroller (retail at $350). For what it's worth, and for those parents wondering, our “everyday” stroller is the Chicco Corso, and we’re big fans, so I expect even the “budget” pick of the Activ3 is at least half-way decent. But I digress.

The first question we had was - when to use this! Speaking as a non-medical profession, with the advice of medical professionals, we were told to wait until baby can support its own head (for us, about 5 or 6 months, as I recall). Then, you’re good to go. 

There’s always the question of if your baby will enjoy being in the stroller - so far, across several runs, that hasn’t been an issue, but I have not taken her out when (a) very hot or (b) for very long runs (the longest run thus far totaling about an hour). Again, a subsequent review, when we’ve logged hundreds of miles, will also be informative.

Functionally, there’s a little window atop the canopy for you to see in on your little one, but otherwise, they’re strapped in, and you’re pushing blind (this is, of course, the case for any running stroller - just noting it here). Thule makes some great add-ons, like an extended cover and a cargo tray, but the UG3 is also loaded with storage - there’s a large, zip-and-velcro bin under the seat, a mesh rear-seat pocket, and a smaller, zippered sleeve for gear. I can readily imagine bringing snacks, a phone, a packable jacket (for you and baby!) without noticeably slowing down the ride - which is great, because I hate carrying things on my person when I run (thus why you rarely get on-the-run photos from me - I hate carrying my giant iPhone) - but now, it’s much more streamlined.

Let’s talk turning and control! The Urban Glide 3 has inflatable rear tires, which make it smoother rolling - they also detach readily for transport. Primarily we’ve taken this thing on calm suburban streets, but also on bumpy sidewalks, with repeated railroad crossings, and on some (admittedly light) trails.

The front wheel also locks (aka cannot spin side-to-side), which I’ve come to understand as a basic necessity for running strollers (this was news to me, before I began my research). It’s both a safety risk to have the wheel spinning but also, more practically, just easier to run with the locked wheel when running on anything other than perfectly paved roads. The UG3 has some terrifically adjustable handlebars which allow you to take pressure off the front wheel (by pressing down on the bars) to make turns, but usually you can also vaguely tilt-to-turn, the way you often hardly need to turn a bike’s handlebars to make a gradual turn. It’s an acquired skill, I suppose, but one that came fast on the run. 

I will note - the wheel lock is my least favorite part of the whole stroller, because it feels flimsy. Every time I twist to lock it (see the gray knob, below) it feels like I’m going to crack the plastic, or alternatively that I’m just doing something wrong. The wheel locks - there’s even a wheel (also shown) to adjust the trueness of the wheel - but it’s not a particularly pleasant process. Luckily, you don’t have to do this often, unless you’re regularly switching between running and non-running mode (and want the loose wheel for walks).

The UG3 also has a rear brake, which is nice - it requires a wrist twist, and the manual suggests it’s for keeping the stroller at bay on downhills. This makes sense to me, though even in the hiller-than-Chicago suburbs, I didn’t really have cause to use it - I don’t often take on hills greater than, say, 50’ at a time, and had no problem maintaining the speed just by pulling back on the handlebars. Of course, this would also change based on (a) the weight of the runner and (b) the weight of the baby, so your mileage (and my mileage, as she grows!) may vary. If you’re a runner somewhere crazy - like my buddy Garrett in San Francisco - I expect you’ll be giving that brake a lot more use. 

How about speed and efficiency? I’ll be the first to admit I’m not in tip-top shape, by any means, but I did take the UG3 on runs fast (at least, to the tune of 6:30s) and slow (call it 8:00s), and was impressed in both cases. The smoothness of the wheels (and general lightness of the stroller itself) really made the pushing feel… natural? Yes, at least one of your hands is locked to the handlebar (often through the wrist-strap, which is also a nice addition), so you can’t use a “natural” arm carriage, and no, I won’t be using this for workouts any time soon (or at least, not my choice), but… for easy runs, it’s really not more work to run with the stroller than without it.

One thing that surprised me (but realistically shouldn’t have) - running into the wind is a lot harder when you’re also pushing the UG3, and the UG3 is one of the lightest running strollers out there. Same deal for hills (though I expected that). 

Kathleen Valadez is a former collegiate runner for Washington University in St. Louis, where she ran 18:03 for 5000m and 37:52 for 10,000m, and competed at the NCAA Cross-Country Championships. Kathleen now runs recreationally, where she logs miles indoors on the treadmill, or outdoors on the roads, often accompanied by her trusty dog, Waffles and/or her beautiful daughter. She recently won the Western Springs Tower Trot 5K.

A major benefit is the adjustable handlebar position; you can set them to tilt “up” or “down” depending on your preference, and changing this angle can really help both with running comfort on-the-go (the same way you may want to slightly mix up grip on a bike’s handlebars), and to tune the stroller to the whims of different users.

I hope it's obvious from the review writ large, but my conclusion is that the Thule Urban Glide 3 is a superb running stroller, and - if you’re a runner wanting to get out the door with your little one - a functional no brainer. I can’t yet ask baby if she’s happy with the ride (though I will be able to soon!), but it feels smooth, and you’ll be rewarded with lots of smiles (or, if you’re lucky, some sleep!). For the runner and not the passenger, there's a similar reward - this thing is really quite lovely to use, and I don’t find myself dreading using it… on the contrary, I’m excited to get out the door with it.

My biggest complaint, as mentioned, is the flimsy-feeling lock mechanism, but the lock itself is secure and without issue thus far. I think this is just a case of cheap plastics, and does not detract from my experience here, which is very positive. 

Parents of all ages know the stress that can go into stroller selection, and I don’t claim that the Urban Glide 3 will be the perfect stroller for all users (for example, if you’re regularly running off-road, I don’t know how the inflatable tires and suspension may hold up). But for those of us winding the urban or suburban streets, I’d wholly recommend the UG3 - it’s made my (running) life better, that’s for sure.

Shopping for the Urban Glide 3 at Thule and at our partners below is much appreciated and helps support RoadTrailRun



Tester Profile

Michael is a patent attorney and graduate of Northwestern University Law School. Prior to law school, he competed collegiately at Washington University in St. Louis (10,000m PR of 30:21). Michael’s PRs include a 67:43 half-marathon (Chicago Half-Marathon) and a 2:21:19 marathon PR at the 2023 Grandma’s Marathon. Michael continues to race on the roads, and is chasing a sub-2:20 marathon and potential OTQ in the future.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

RoadTrailRun Official Store Custom Fractel Caps and Bucket Hats
Cap:$39                                                             Bucket:$49
Free US Economy Shipping!
Limited Release! SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Europe only: use RTR code RTR5ALL for 5% off all products, even sale products 


Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's and Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products

Use our code RTR235 for 5% off all products
Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE Shipping on most orders over $40


Find all RoadTrailRun reviews at our index page HERE 
Google "roadtrailrun Shoe Name" and you can be quite sure to find just about any run shoe over the last 10 years

Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun

You Tube: @RoadTrailRun


Michael said...


Lee said...

Glad to see a pram review on here. I've got the urban glide 2 and am a big fan. Running with it takes getting used to but it's good!

Anonymous said...

OMG, the first image I saw was of an anorectic mother.