BOB Stroller Review

BOB Stroller Review

BOB Stroller Review

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What follows is a review of the BOB Revolution jogging stroller by friend of Fathercraft Jodie. If you prefer your reviews in video form, here’s Fathercraft’s co-founder John:

And now on to Jodie’s BOB Revolution review …

So you’re having a baby, and you most likely are thinking about getting outside and possibly getting back, or maybe just getting, into shape.  We were told that we “had” to get a BOB Jogging Stroller if we were planning on running with our baby at all by multiple friends.  

While it is recommended that you don’t run with a baby until they are 6 months of age, you should consider if you might need a running stroller before you make any stroller purchase, otherwise, your garage will be filled with unused strollers.  

There are so many strollers and car seat options out there, and many come as entire travel systems.  To be honest, that sounds fantastic.  We were set on the BOB jogging stroller from day one, which has been amazing but also caused a few annoyances.  I totally see the appeal of a travel system where everything works together and you don’t need to buy any accessories to make pieces fit.

Let me begin with saying that I love our BOB, I love it for many reasons, and I loved it even more after using two other strollers.  That being said, there are a few things that cause frustration to me while using our BOB. 

We bought our BOB Revolution used on Craigslist, and I am so happy we did.  We spent about $200 and got a cup holder accessory thrown into the deal (which I highly recommend).  We ran with our first daughter on a regular basis and were able to easily take our BOB on the bike path nearby our house without having to worry about traversing rough terrain.  We had a Graco car seat, so we needed to buy a BOB car seat adaptor in order for our car seat to snap into the stroller while our daughter was still small enough for her infant car seat.  

Once your child is old enough to sit up in the stroller on his or her own, the car seat piece doesn’t matter.  While your baby is an infant, it’s much easier to keep them in their car seat, snug as a bug, and place the entire car seat into the stroller.

I love our BOB, but the adaptor piece turned into a bit of a mess.  This was our fault, but the adaptors are not clearly marked, and a friend gave us hers in case it worked.  It didn’t, so we bought our own for less than $50, I believe it was closer to $30.  We ended up with 2 adaptors hanging out in our garage when we moved.  Somehow, we now only have the adaptor that does not fit with our car seat.  If you have an entire travel system from the same company, you don’t need to worry about things fitting or working together because all of the pieces were made to do so. 

What I do love is that we were able to go for runs with our baby.  The wheels on the BOB jogging stroller are so large that they easily go over large bumps in the sidewalk and more rough terrain.  You could take this stroller into a field and have no problem making it a smooth ride.  It folds easily and fits into a car trunk.  I did feel a little silly walking around the mall with this huge stroller, but it worked, and my friends also had giant strollers. 

We also have a high end, more umbrella style stroller that doesn’t work with an infant seat, and after using that on the sidewalks around our house, I left it to collect dust in our garage.  It is such a bumpy ride and does not go over sidewalk cracks easily.  It would be perfect for strolling around the mall.

The cup holder on our BOB, sold separately, is awesome.  We bring coffee or water bottles on walks and put dog poop bags in the holders for easy access.  I also love that the handlebar is straight (it’s simply a horizontal bar) and our diaper bag can hook onto it.  (Our diaper bag has clips on the shoulder straps for this purpose, but it didn’t work with the City Mini Stroller.  That handlebar was more of an arc). 

One other frustration with our BOB was that because the tires are so large and filled with air, we had a leak.  We had to replace a tire wheel tube twice.  I kept asking people with BOBs if they’d ever gotten a flat tire, and no one else I knew ever had this problem.  We did often walk on a bike path where there were thorns and haven’t had to replace tires since moving to a new neighborhood and avoiding that path.  It was a pain to walk out of the house assuming we were going for a walk, only to find a flat tire making the stroller pretty much unusable.  We took the wheel to a bike shop and they easily replaced it.  On many other strollers, you can’t get a flat tire because the tires are not filled with air. 

When we were preparing to welcome our second daughter, we were trying to decide if we needed a double stroller or not.  Our oldest was about 3 years old when Ryan was born.  We kept Ryan in her car seat in the BOB and if we had a lot of walking to do, Ellie sat in the front part of the stroller, which is almost like an overflow foot room.  It was not ideal and our older daughter bonked her head a few times on the back of the car seat, but it totally worked while we were figuring out life with two kids.   

While I do not think owning two strollers is necessary, the BOB is rather large, and having it in small places like in between clothing racks at a store is challenging.  It is heavy to take in and out of the car multiple times, but most strollers that have the ability to hold a baby car seat seems to be rather heavy.  Once your child is old enough to sit up in the car seat, an umbrella stroller might be a nice addition to your baby supplies for ease of use in tighter areas.  

Most of my friends who lead active lifestyles were deciding between the BOB and City Mini Strollers.  I do have one friend who got a Chico KeyFit System and loved it.  

We had the pleasure of using my sister-in-law’s City Mini Stroller for about a year while Ellie was 3 years old and Ryan was an infant.  The stroller had an option to convert to a double, so we bought the extra pieces (for +$100) to convert it to a double stroller.  In comparing these two strollers, there are a few important points to me.  

The Handlebar:

BOB jogging stroller handlebar detail

*The BOB handlebar on our stroller does not adjust, but the newest model does.  The City Mini handlebar can move up and down to help ease your pushing depending on your height and arm length.  The BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 has 9 different handlebar positions.  

*Our diaper bag can clip onto the BOB stroller, but it didn’t work on the City Mini.

*BOB accessories (sold separately) include a cup holder which attaches to the handlebar.  This is so nice to have on walks, but the City Mini didn’t seem to have this option on it’s arched handlebar. 

Convertibility:

*The City Mini had the option to convert into a double stroller.  We did have to buy an extra seat package, which was more than $100.  We pieced ours together because a friend had an extra seat.  We used their seat and bought the connector pieces to attach it. 

*BOB does make a double stroller, but you can’t use your single stroller and convert it into a double. BOB Duallie Strollers are over $600.

Stroller Weight:

*The BOB is heavy, but I never had an issue lifting it into my trunk.  It folds easily and collapses almost completely.  You simply pick up the whole thing, and nothing seems to fall out or become misplaced.  You can clip the stroller together to ensure it doesn’t unfold, but I never did this.  *The newer models collapse with a single press and twist of the hand, so it’s gotten even easier!  You can do this with one hand! 

*When using the City Mini, it was really heavy to lift into the trunk.  When we used it as a double, we would take off both seats in order to make it a reasonable weight before lifting it into the car.  The seats flip awkwardly and I often found myself scratching the handlebar when I was both collapsing it and taking it out of the car. To be honest, it was such a pain.  I never got that frustrated using the BOB.  

Adjustable Shoulder Straps:

Straps on the BOB Revolution jogging stroller

*We have never adjusted the straps on our BOB.  They seem so secure that even when they aren’t fitting perfectly on our kid, they work well enough.  We have had this stroller since our first daughter was an infant and used it until she was 3.  

*We adjusted the straps on the City Mini multiple times in the year that we used it.  It was horrible.  You have to reach into a small back compartment to grab the strap, twist it through the opening, and slide it out.  The openings don’t quite line up, so good luck.  We used an infant support cushion so we could have Ryan in the stroller before she could sit up.  The cushion had to be thread through the straps so you had to take out the straps to put in the cushion.  While it was awesome to be able to use the double stroller without a car seat while Ryan was an infant, threading those straps even once was not a pleasant experience.  

Room for Extra Storage:

The storage basket on the BOB stroller

 *Both The BOB and The City Mini have storage space under the seat. This came in handy for things like jackets, blankets, gloves, snacks, really anything.

“Sunroof:”

*The BOB has a clear top that can be covered by an extra piece of fabric or left opened. You simply lift up the cover to see your child in the stroller, and it tucks under a flap.  The City Mini had something similar, but it never stayed open, so I’d peek at our kid and then close it. 

Reclining Options:

*Both strollers offer recline options. The City Mini was very easy to adjust. Our BOB had almost a pulley system that we didn’t normally use. I think we used it once when Ellie was asleep and we wanted her to stay asleep while we were out. We parked the stroller and released the straps a bit in the back to recline it. The new model of the BOB stroller advertises a “one-handed recline adjustment.” 

You have several options once you decide you want to purchase a BOB.  On their website and Amazon there are four single strollers:

The BOB Gear Rambler jogging stroller would be a good option for an active lifestyle in the city.  It is advertised as an ultra-smooth ride that easily takes on bumps and rougher terrain all while fitting easily in your trunk.  It’s the only BOB called “lightweight.” 

The Revolution Flex 3.0 would be a good option for someone looking to take their stroller hiking or into more mountain terrain.  It has mountain bike-style suspension that is helpful on city streets as well as mountain trails.  

The BOB Gear Alterrain jogging stroller has SmoothShox™ suspension for both city and trail outings. The canopy is UPF 50+ and is extra large for sun protection, while the storage pockets allow easy access to snacks and necessities. 

The BOB Gear® Alterrain Pro jogging stroller is for someone who has adventure on their mind. It has SmoothShox™ suspension that allows you to take on any terrain. A handbrake provides downhill control and the cargo basket has a zip-top that keeps your belongings secure.  The reflective rims are an added bonus for darker strolls and the waterproof canopy helps keep your little one dry.  

BOB Accessories 

Adaptors are available on the BOB website and Amazon.  They’re a little pricier than they were 4 years ago, and range from about $65-$85 for both a single and duallie

Snack trays are $35 for a single and $50 for the duallie.  I see these all of the time, but I always thought they seemed silly.  Perhaps that’s why I’m still cleaning crumbs out of the seat, but I can’t imagine a snack tray really prevents spills that much. 

Consoles (The one that’s worth it in my opinion) are $30-$45 and come with two cup holders and a storage pocket.  

Weather Protection

You can purchase a Weather Shield to keep your kid dry in the rain for $60-$65. 

Bike Trailers

If you want to spend another $300-$400, you can get a BOB Bike Trailer.  We were gifted a hand-me-down bike trailer, and we haven’t used it very often.  I think when we walk, we almost always walk with our dog.  He wouldn’t be able to go with us if we took our bikes, so it’s not very necessary for us.  

While researching BOB jogging strollers, I found one recall on the Canadian Government Recall page.  It includes BOB Jogging Strollers that were manufactured and imported between January 1, 1997, and September 30, 2015.  If the removable front wheel is not attached properly it may detach and cause a potential flip of the stroller. 

The following models are affected: Revolution FLEX, Revolution PRO, Revolution SE, Revolution CE, Stroller Strides Fitness, Sport Utility, and Ironman.  There were 16 reports of detachment and zero reports of injury. 

The Awesome

I love our BOB jogging stroller.  I love that I don’t have to worry about bumps in the sidewalk, as the BOB easily traverses any terrain.  I love that it had the option for an adaptor to fit a number of different car seats.  I love the storage and the cup holder.  I love the ease with which it folds, even though it’s a little heavy, at least I didn’t feel like I was collapsing it incorrectly or like I was going to break it. 

The Wish it were Different

I wish the adaptors were more clearly marked and less expensive as most people will need them.  

I wish they were less expensive, but they are in line with other premium all-terrain strollers.  These have a huge price range from about $150-600.  You can buy some strollers with multiple different pieces, like car seats and baby buggies for upwards of $800.  

I also wish it had the ability to turn into a double stroller with added pieces, but we made it work even having two young children.  

The Verdict

The BOB is worth it.  The best option in my opinion is to attempt to buy a used stroller or have a bunch of friends chip in together for this stroller.  You will use it every day, especially if you have a dog, and having a peaceful walk when there might be limited peaceful moments as a new parent, is totally worth it.  Splurge on this, and let some of the other little things go like a fancy sound machine, unnecessary baby shoes, or a wipes warmer.  

FAQs

What is so great about BOB strollers?

BOB Strollers are ideal for running with your baby, strolling around uneven terrain, and creating a smooth ride for babies and children of any size.  I love the large tires that make bumpy sidewalks and uneven streets easy to walk around.  The stroller is very straight forward, easy to collapse and put in your trunk, and connects to various infant seats with the appropriate adaptors.  

What is the difference between BOB strollers?

BOB single child strollers range from about $400-600 and have a variety of different features.  

The BOB Gear Rambler jogging stroller would be a good option for an active lifestyle in the city.  It is advertised as an ultra-smooth ride and is the only BOB called “lightweight.” 

The Revolution Flex 3.0 would be a good option for hiking or more mountain terrain.  It has mountain bike-style suspension.

The BOB Gear Alterrain jogging stroller has SmoothShox™ suspension for both city and trail outings with an extra-large canopy for sun protection.

How do you collapse a BOB stroller?

The BOB Gear® Alterrain Pro jogging stroller is for someone who has adventure on their mind. It has SmoothShox™ suspension that allows you to take on any terrain. A handbrake provides downhill control and the cargo basket has a zip-top that keeps your belongings secure.  

On the older models, there are two handle triggers near the handlebar.  You squeeze both of those in, and the handlebars flip over the stroller and folds to the bottom.  It basically folds in half and then you pull on the small red handle by the back storage pocket to make it lay flat.  Then you can either pick it up by that handle or pick the whole stroller up from the middle bars and put it flat (or somewhat flat) in your car.  The newer models have a simple press and twist right under the seat that collapses it.  You only need one hand to do this and it stands and locks automatically for easier lifting. 

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