Wednesday, July 1, 2009

BOB Revolution - Review from a mom.

We've had our BOB stroller for over a year now, and it normally lives in our garage completely set up and ready to go for walks/jogs (I mainly use our Maclaren Triumph umbrella stroller these days for anything away from home), but the other day I had to travel with it for the first time in a few months because I took Little C to a discovery park.

I realized, that while I do love this stroller and would buy it again in a heartbeat, there are a few things I absolutely hate about this stroller too and thought I'd share if any one was interested in getting it - forewarned is forearmed, right? So here's my personal review...

PROS:

1. Very heavy duty...park paths, grass, cement, asphalt, the mall, it effortlessly goes from one surface to another.

2. Handles like a dream...can push and even turn this stroller with two fingers, somthing very important when you are jogging...you want to get tired of running before you get tired of pushing :)

3. Turns on a dime...can completely do a 360 in a very tight space...perfect for navigating tight aisles and around clothing racks in the shopping mall.

3. Canvas construction makes it sturdy, durable and yet relatively lightweight.

4. With the purchase of an infant car seat adapter you can use it with your child's infant seat.

5. Does triple duty as an infant travel system, stroller for an older child and jogger, and therefore is a good investment and worth the heafty price tag in my opinion.

6. AMAZING sun shade / rain canopy...I haven't seen anything that compares. Nothing makes you feel worse as a mom than when you've got bright sun or rain beating down on your child and you are trying to get home as fast as you can, but in the mean time there's nothing you can do about it because the shade isn't adequate to block the angle of the rain or sun rays.

7. 5 point harness and adjustable reclining seat keep Little C riding in comfort and safety :)

8. It looks cool - ok, I know this is a lame pro, but honestly, as new moms we pick diaper bags, car seats, and everything else with looks in mind, we would be kidding ourselves if looks didn't play a part in picking out a stroller too.

CONS:

1. It's heavy...takes me two hands to get it in and out of my car and even then, I've scratched the back of my car a couple times because I couldn't quite hoist it up in one move (shhh, don't tell Mr.C about the scratches!).

2. It has no 'locking' mechanism when it is folds. You have to thread and tie a Velcro strap to keep it secure once in the folded position.

3. It's big/bulky. The front tire is removable, but unless you plan to remove it and than reattach it every single time you get it in and out of your car, it's unlikely it will fit in the trunk of a sedan without folding a seat down. I have a Toyota Rav4, and I can get it in w/out folding a seat down, but I have to fold the armrest down so the front tire has a place to rest.

4. The basket in the bottom is tiny and if you have a large diaper bag that you want to put anywhere besides over your arm or on the handles, you have to wedge it in before you put your child in the stroller.

5. If you want a place to put drinks, you have to buy an attachment for the handle. I don't normally carry around a big gulp, but because we use this stroller primarily as our heavy duty stroller - when we have it out, it's in use for long periods of time (trips to the zoo and such), and I find that more often than not, I have a drink or a water bottle I'm carrying around with no place to put it.

6. The infant car seat adapter is not included, you have to buy it separately and it's not compatible with our first choice of infant car seat - the Chico Key Fit, it's only compatible with the Graco brand infant seats and I think the peg perego car seats.

7. When you have your infant seat in the stroller, it's very top heavy and tips easily if you hit a big bump or are on an incline. As a result, it's really not super safe to use this stroller as a jogger while your child is still in an infant seat.

8. You have to maintain the tires just like a bike. Mr. C and I are not cyclists, but this part isn't a big deal to us because, oddly enough, we do keep a bike pump handy in the garage, but if you don't then you are going to find yourself with a flat tire/flat tires eventually. When I was using our BOB for daily jogs (you know, before the temperatures started topping out in the triple digits), I had to air up the tires about once or twice a week to maintain optimum tire pressure. If you aren't as anal about stuff like that, and don't use your stroller for multi-mile walks/jogs daily, then you can probably get away with a monthly tire check, but I have several friends that have the BOB that didn't maintain their tire pressure and pulled their stroller out of the car only to realize they had a flat tire.

9. The snack tray isn't adjustable and sits WAY too high. The snack tray is an optional attachment that comes as part of the infant car seat adapter package (you hook the tray onto the same bar the infant seat sits on once you are no longer using that feature). Anyway, Little C will have to be about 13 before he will be able to easily reach snacks on this tray, so we just don't use it. It's not a big deal, but it's annoying that you are basically paying for a useless feature when you buy the adapter/snack tray package.

Wow - so I realize I wrote more cons than pros, but I really do love this stroller and think it's a solid investment...just thought I'd be honest about some of the stuff that has been a little annoying over the past year!

2 comments:

Calvin said...

Awesome review! Very helpful before I bought the Revolution. After using it, I completely agree with everything, except the weight isn't a problem for me. Weird that they didn't think of a way latch the whole unit together w/o using an awkward velcro strap. Absolutely love the way the whole unit snaps out of the folded position with a single flick of the wrist!

Star Girl said...

Very thorough review. I agree with most of what you've said and would buy mine again, but have some of the same complaints. I've been using mine as my primary, and almost only, stroller for 20 months now. I don't jog, but I take lots of long walks on bad sidewalks, trails, etc.

For what it's worth the car seat adapter does work with Peg Perego and I think some other brands besides Graco. Also, that isn't a good configuration for jogging, but pediatrcians usually recommend waiting to take babies jogging until they're at least 6 months old anyway because the jostling isn't good for their little necks and brains.

My Bob fits in my 1994 Honda Accord's trunk with te wheel on. I just have to position it just right and it takes up 2/3 of the space in there. A friend has one as well and it fits in the trunk of her newer Yaris 4-door, so I'd just try it in your car before buying--REI will let you do this as will some other stores.

I think the air in the tires will really depend on your use and conditions. I've only put air in them twice in 20 months, which has been fine for me. The bike shop recommended once a month, but when I went back a month later the air pressure was still fine so I haven't been back in a while.

I really wish I could find an alternate snack tray. I don't strap my daughter that tight and she's tall so she van reach it--we use it a lot. My complaint is that it's harder to get her in and out and she can't climb in herself because of it. A friend got a $100 jogger at Target with a tray that swings out so the kid can climb in or be easily lifted on and out. I wish I could find an accessory tray of this type for the Bob!! Still, we use it and used it as a car seat adapter for ~6 months.

Worthwhile accessories: car seat adapter (with toddler snack tray), adult drink holder, Velcro-on stroller hooks (not Bob brand) so you can hang a small shopping or snack bag from the handle, and rain cover (if you want to walk in real rain).

Not worthwhile accessories: Bob diaper bag (it's okay, but I wouldn't buy it again).