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Product Review: BOB Revolution Stroller

February 24, 2010 3 comments

BOB Revolution Stoller - Navy

Buying a stroller was an intimidating thing for me as a first time parent. We decided on the Graco SnugRide Infant Car Seat, so getting the stroller frame for the first 6 months or so was a no-brainer. But beyond that, the options seemed endless. A part of me wanted to be a chic dad and buy a Bugaboo and have all the other parents whisper, “Wow…he has a Bugaboo…” whenever I took my daughter out for walks. My wife, wise woman that she is told me that that’s the dumbest thing she’s ever heard and couldn’t fathom paying close to $800 for the Frog. The two most popular brands seemed to be Maclaren and Peg Perego. We settled on the Pliko P3, which my wife found on sale at Amazon for $214 shipped.

The stroller was decent. It folded easily, wasn’t too heavy, and seemed to be solidly constructed. Taking the Pliko P3 out to the mall and church was great. Taking it out in our neighborhood for a walk, however, was a different story. Our development has mostly trails instead of standard sidewalks, so it was murderous on the tires – think of driving in an old hooptie with minimal shocks across a dirt road.

We decided we needed a jogging stroller for a few reasons:

1) It wasn’t so much for the safety or comfort of our baby b/c she seemed to enjoy the bumpy ride, esp. when we made boom, boom, bump, boonga, boonga, bumpy, sounds. Ahhh, parenthood: when making a fool of yourself in public isn’t even a consideration when you can get a laugh out of your child. It was b/c I thought the strollers was going to fall apart and we’d lose our $214 investment.

2) My wife likes running and I was beginning to tolerate it, so a jogging stroller would’ve been nice. We even talked about running in 5Ks with the stroller.

We considered numerous models but eventually decided on the BOB Revolution jogging stroller. We bought it from Toys R Us for $345 shipped.

Assembly was pretty easy, which is good b/c the instruction manual wasn’t logically organized.

The stroller is HUGE. It weighs 23lbs and it barely fits into the trunk of our car folded. I’ve read that for most cars, you may need to remove the wheels – which isn’t difficult.

The product description states that it has a padded reclining seat, but compared to the SnugRide and Pliko, and just about any other stroller out there, your child is basically resting on nylon. My daughter didn’t seem to mind, but you may want to consider the BOB Warm Fuzzy if the lack of padding is a concern. If you plan on going out in colder climates, you’re definitely going to want the Warm Fuzzy; and if you plan on jogging in colder temps, definitely get the weather shield.

If you haven’t noticed, there are quite a few accessories available for the BOB Revolution, including a handlebar console. And yes, I bought all of them…so that was an extra $100 on top. All three of them have been incredibly useful.

The five-point harness can be a little annoying, esp. with the shoulder strap pads. The harness clips also seem much flimsier than the other strollers I’ve tested, but unless you’re pushing around The Hulk, I don’t think you should have any issues.

If you can unfold a chair, you can set up the BOB Revolution. Step one: unfold the lower portion. Step two: unfold the upper portion. Done. And this is where the Revolution gets awesome.

The canopy is huge and has a flap which allows you to see what your child is doing inside. So unless you’re worried about your child’s legs getting tanned or you run fast enough that flies and other bugs would splatter on your kid’s face, you don’t need the sunshield.

It handles beautifully, esp. compared to the Graco and the Peg Perego. There’s minimal resistance and it glides along beautifully. It is a bit wide for mall use, but the turning radius makes up for it – as long as you don’t mind knocking over the occasional display item.

The folding, initially was very easy, but over the year and a half we’ve had it, it’s started to become very difficult to fold. Additionally, there’s no latching feature when the stroller is folded. Combined with the weight, this stroller can be a pain to carry around with one hand, so you might want to consider that if you plan on taking your child and the stroller outside at the same time.

As far as maintenance, all we’ve had to do over the 1.5 years we’ve owned it is inflate the tires (30PSI for the 16″ wheels, 35PSI for the 12″ and inflates just like any bike tire) and oil one of the joints.

Overall, we enjoy our BOB Revolution. Our daughter loves going out for jogs but my mom and wife don’t particularly enjoy carrying it outside nor folding it up.

If you’re into jogging, I highly recommend the BOB Revolution. I see them popping up increasingly at malls, but seriously, your child does not need that much shock absorption in Gymboree.

For those that are wondering what the difference between the Revolution and the Revolution 12″ AW is, the 12″ AW has 3-12″ wheels, while the Revolution has 16″ rear wheels and a 12″ front wheel. The smaller rear wheels for the 12″ AW makes it easier to maneuver in tighter spots.

If you want something more versatile, e.g., for biking, check out the Chariot Carriers Cougar 2 Stroller, which I absolutely love and will be reviewing later.

Update 2.23.11: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of BOB strollers. Head to BOB’s website for more info. The fix is relatively simple: remove the drawstring that poses a strangulation hazard. In 3 years of using the stroller, I’ve never run, no pun intended, into an issue with the drawstring since I make sure it’s out of my kid’s reach, but you may want to remove it completely or make sure it’s tucked away. If you bought the weather shield like I did, they have a retrofit kit you can obtain through their website.

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