Gear Review: Thule Chariot Cross Review

    • Rating:
    • Reviewed by: Amelia
    • Price (MSRP): $899-$999
    • Category:
    • Best Use: Multi-use
    • Where to Buy: Amazon
    • Testing Location: Wyoming
    • Testing Environment: All conditions

    This January, Thule did an overhaul of their line of Chariot Child Transportation systems. The Cross joins the Lite and the Cheetah XT in the line-up (the Chinook, XT and Cougar have been discontinued). We were anxious to get our hands on the Cross (most comparable to the other Chariots we have used in the past) so we could share our findings with you.

     

    This review is completely preliminary and will be updated throughout the summer as we have a chance to use it more and in different situations. 

     

    Thule Chariot Cross Review

     

    We have the Chariot Cross 2, so this review will be focussed on the two-kid system. But, really the single is the same except with one less seat, of course.

     

    First off, Thule did make some really great improvements to the Cross to make it more user friendly for people looking for an all-around adventure mobile. Unfortunately, it’s not 100% love for us yet….but that’s a tall order to fill when different people have different needs.

     

    Here’s a quick run-down of the Cross and some updates made on this new model:

    – Comes ready to go with the strolling and biking kits

    – Has individually reclining seats

    – More viewing space than past Chariots (screen is integrated…..weather guard and sun shade are removable)

    – Adjustable handlebar

    – Large “trunk space” that can be stored out of the way when not in use

    – Thule VersaWing system allows super quick coversion

    – Ability to store biking arm and strolling wheels right on the stroller

    – Compact fold (more like the Cougar than the Chinook)

    – 75 lb. weight capacity, weighs 28.2 pounds

     

    Showing adjustment of handlebar:

    Thule Chariot Cross Review Thule Chariot Cross Review

     

    What we love:

    – RECLINING INDIVIDUAL SEATS! This goes SUCH a long way for me and was something that I always wish my Cougar had. It’s a life-saver for kids of different ages napping at different times. It’s also a major improvement from the Chinook (which also had a reclining seat), just in that the mechanism is much smoother.Thule Chariot Cross Review

    – The adjustable handlebar + the shape that allows you to hold it at different spots makes pushing it so much easier.

    – While I am not crazy about strolling wheels on chip-sealed roads, we have been doing fairly well with them while we await the jogging kit. The ride is surprisingly smooth.

    – The VersaWing system really does make changing between attachments much easier

    – The mesh covering is a lot bigger allowing for better viewing and better ventilation

    – The weather shield and sunshade can come off completely (separate from each other) so if you don’t need them, they don’t have to “clutter” the space

    – It folds up small and compact (for what it is)

    – The seats are comfy for the kids and keep them secure. We love how Thule updated their buckles so now you can buckle each side individually – so handy when wrestling a kid into their seat….not that that ever happens…..Thule Chariot Cross Review

     

    What we aren’t so crazy about:

    – We haven’t had any issues with it yet since the weather has been cool, but when the seats recline, there is no mesh at the child’s head….which I would imagine would have been an nice option for hotter weather.

    – While I do think it is a great idea to have the weather shield completely removable, getting it on and off is just one more step, which really bugs me. You have to zip up the screen mesh and then attach the weather shield. I don’t like the extra step when I have to do it every single time the kids need something….but once I don’t need it in the summer, I am sure I won’t even notice. Sun shade has yet to be used…..but may pose the same issue. I’ll update when we have had a chance to test it more.Thule Chariot Cross Review

     

    A quick video of our initial thoughts:

     

    NOTE: The Cross will not work with previous Chariot model attachments. 

     


    The Bottom Line

    Bottom line? We're still testing and using it, but it's off to a great start! It's sleek, well-built and comfortable for the kids. Definitely a step up from the popular Cougar model.

    Thule provided us this sample for this review so we could share our thoughts with YOU! As always, everything is completely what we tell our family and friends and is no way influenced by the company.

    © 2017, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

      Comments

      1. Do the old jogging kit and ski kit work with this chariot?

      2. Sarah clarke says:

        Can this stroller fit through doors, a bus or sky train easily? Not sure what you have tested it on yet. Also is there a way to put on child in the middle strapped in? I notice the side windows are plastic, does this allow good air flow? Thanks so much for your time and review.

        • Hi Sarah – yes, it does fit through doors. And no, a child needs to be on one side or the other. The air flow is decent….though I havent’ had it in the summer months so will update it as soon as I have more information!!! Let me know if you have any other questions.

          • Does the side windows plastic zip out like the CX1/2 so you have mesh windows warm days and sealed window for cold and/or rainy days?

          • Yes– wondering about that air flow as well. This new design still has mesh covering over the front though, right? So– if you don’t have the plastic weather guard on top, the whole front has ventilation, but with the plastic, the only air flow comes from behind the seat? Do I have that right? Haven’t been able to find one of these near us yet to check it out in person and trying to decide between this and the Burley Cub/D’light. Thanks!

            • Hi Lauren – yes, that is exactly right. So if you don’t need the plastic, then the airflow is fantastic. If you do in hot and wet conditions, it may be not enough. I just haven’t had it in the heat yet (because it is snowing still here!)

          • Shannon says:

            I purchased the Thule cross a few months ago as well and I noticed that it’s awful for air flow. The side plastic panels are NOT removable like the CX or the chinook. Which when using the rain cover when you’re biking so the dirt gets flung into the plastic (easy while clean) versus the mesh, the cabin still gets too hot

            • Shannon says:

              The Thule Chariot Sport 2 is a much better version. The disc hand brake comes standard. Windows remove. Extra padding for the seats. The only hiccup is that it’s not available in Canada.

              • Amelia says:

                I agree….and not available in North America at all right now. I’ll see if I can nudge them a bit 😉

              • Zack Barnes says:

                ANy luck on nudging them on the Thule Chariot Sport 2? I cannot comprehend why they would not offer a side vented option in the US. I just purchased the Thule Cross because it was the best option, but living along the Gulf coast I am never going to get to use the weather cover.

              • Still working on it 🙂 Have made them aware, though!

      3. Greg Tymon says:

        Hi. I was all set to buy the CX1 which has also been discontinued. I know you have reviewed the CX2 and liked it. The Cross doesn’t have disc brakes or a hand break at all for that matter (hand brake is a nice option in my opinion), but can you steer me in the right direction on which to get. Also, i’m considering the Burley Solo as well and don’t know if you have experience with it.
        Thank you.

        • HI Greg,
          Advantages of the CX: hand brake, disc brakes, more angled handlebar, side windows can be removed
          Advantages of the Cross: Reclining seats, adjustable handlebar, better seat buckles

          You CAN add a hand brake via an accessory from Thule, but I have not tried it so can’t speak on it personally.

          Honestly, you’ll be fine with either one…but do go with the Cross if reclining seats are big for you (they always are for us) and if you and your wife are differing heights OR you are super tall.

          I don’t know what ages your kids are, but the Thule excels with comfort for babies ( age 0-8 months) and is better for switching accessories, etc.

          Does that help at all? Keep asking questions if you have them!

          • Greg Tymon says:

            helpful, thank you.

            • Love my CX1 Chariot. I would say if you are a person that loves going on your bike and would like to jog and ski, the chariot is the way to go. If you are an occasional cyclist, than go with the cheaper option (unless you can afford it) and get a better jogging stroller if you are a runner or a pulk ski sled if you are a skier because although it’s nice to have the option, the chariot is not the ultimate best for those. We are big on cycling and sometime us is for jogging, hiking or skiing but not enough to justify purchasing the jogging stroller and the pulk.
              Disk brake is ok to have; it’s not that efficient. And we are tall parents so we switch the handlebar to put it higher. It’s not as convenient then the easy adjustable handle on the Cross but we both are good with it. It might had been an issue if one of us were to be shorter.
              When I saw the option of reclining I immediately told myself I have to check it out for when we need a double. There’s so many moment I felt the seat was not reclined enough when our daughter was under 1. I wonder is it recommended to put it up right for riding or can you keep it reclined?

              • Greg Tymon says:

                Thanks again for your info. Just to follow up, I ended up getting the Chariot Sport (only offered in Europe so i ordered it from a bike ship in Germany). It is the Cross but with removable side panels for more venting and comes with the disc brakes. I love it.

        • Hi Greg, Where did you end up buying the Sport? I am intrigued. I am really surprised that Thule is not offering this option in North America!!! The lack of removable side panels seems to be a top complaint.

      4. Hi,
        Where did you get the new chariot? I really look forward to your review.
        Thanks.

      5. Hi,
        have you tested new chariot in rainy conditions? Is the material strongly waterproof as it was in older version?
        thank you

        • Hi Kasia, yes, I have now had it in rainy conditions. The cover on the cross actually goes over the entire top so it does a better job in super heavy rain.

          • thank you for the reply!
            and how is it with the ventilation when using the rain cover? since side panels do not open, doesn’t it get hot inside? or there is some solution to that?

      6. Hi can you let me know if it is possible to cycle with a newborn (less than a year) when using the infant sling?

        • So…technically they say no, but we do it all the time and have been doing it for all four of our kids. So, yes, you can 🙂 I usually wait until they’re a few months old and not quite so fragile, but the best thing about the sling is just the fact that they really are secure and protected and not jostled around as much (WAY better than a car seat in my opinion).

          • Thanks for the reply.

            You wouldn’t happen to have any pics showing newborns would you?

            Those I’ve seen all seem to be of bigger babies and want to get an idea of how snug they’d be

            • Oh sure! Here’s Baby #4 at just shy of 3 weeks old. They are in a Chariot Cougar, but the infant sling is the same. Newborn in Chariot Sling

      7. Hi, do you know if you can use the baby bivy in the cross 2?

      8. Suzanne Zaayer says:

        Have you used this in hot weather yet? How’s the ventilation? Is it possible to secure an infant car seat within this? How easy is it to change out the biking/jogging/strolling kit? This would be our only stroller and biking is our main form of transportation. Given that statement, what accessories would you recommend? PS – we live in Minnesota and baby is due in October. Thanks

        • Hi Suzanne – it’s fine for ventilation unless you need the plastic weather cover on too. Then I just leave a corner open so they get more air. It’s really the same as the Cougar which has been around for a really long time.
          No car seat in here – the infant sling is far superior and I highly recommend it (one of the things I love most about Thule Chariot models is being able to use them!)
          And yes, the Cross is VERY easy to move between accessories – one of the advantages to this model by far!
          I would recommend the jogging wheels and the skiing attachment if you ski! The biking attachment and the strolling wheels come standard.
          Does that help? If you do purchase, sure do appreciate clicking through our affiliate links (doesn’t cost you a dime and helps us a tiny bit!): http://amzn.to/2qEBl68

      9. Annie Long says:

        Hi,
        I am looking for a double jogging stroller for my toddler and I’m expecting another baby at the end of the year. I was looking at the CX 2 until I read your post about the Chariot Sport!! I would also prefer the Chariot Sport over the CX 2 for ventiliation and the disc brakes. It would be great if we can buy them in Canada.

        Thanks!

        • Yes, I agree. BUT, if you don’t have the weather cover on, the ventilation is just fine 🙂 And if you want to go with the CX, they do have removable windows…..

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