Early in 2013 I was approached by Britax to become an ambassador. Incredibly flattered and excited to work with them, I accepted eagerly and the PR and I engaged in a conversation to determine the best product for The Boy. Aware of his increasing age, that at nearly four years old he was hitting the upper age limit for their products, we settled on a lightweight stroller which would be good for longer walks (when he still became tired) or weekend trips.
We were sent the BOB Revolution CE Stroller to review, as it was meant to accommodate a lot more weight and have a bigger seat so would probably last a bit longer. The Boy and I eagerly unwrapped the box and set to putting it together (a little bit tricky) and he eagerly clambered in. And that is why it's taken me longer than I would have liked to review. While the seat of the BOB is wider and it has a decent amount of leg space, the hood is very flat and it left very little head space. When the hood is folded back, there is a lot of folded fabric to accommodate and it takes up space where his head should have been. When the canopy is open and extended fully, the upper sling of the fabric doesn't support his head.
Mortified and disappointed it took a little while to work out what to do. In the end I've borrowed a friend's two and a half year old son to model the stroller.
The specifications for the BOB Revolution CE Stroller (amongst others) are:
- Swiveling front wheel allows for superior maneuverability. Locks forward for increased stability when jogging or if the terrain turns tough.
- Easy, two-step folding, lightweight frame for convenient transport and storage.
- State-of-the-art, adjustable suspension system provides an exceptionally smooth ride.
- Ultra-padded, adjustable reclining seat for enhanced seating comfort. Five-point padded harness helps keep your child comfortably secure.
- Multi-position canopy adjusts for protection against the elements. Large viewing window lets you keep an eye on your baby.
- Lightweight alloy wheels with pneumatic tires and tubes are durable and compact.
- Low Boy Cargo Basket provides plenty of undercarriage storage. Additional space in large seatback pocket. Internal seat pockets provide a great place for snacks and toys.
- Padded handlebar for comfort; wrist strap helps you secure stroller when strolling and provides handy fold lock when folded.
I've always been skeptical of three-wheeled strollers or pushchairs as I was worried about tipping and felt they were bulkier than the standard four wheeler. The BOB is very sturdy and tipping didn't seem to be possible accidentally. It is a little bulkier and the front wheel does remove for storage in the boot of a car. When folded in the house, the front wheel is best removed otherwise it slips and falls over. It also takes up a lot more space when folded than a conventional four wheeled pushchair.
I look for a few factors in pushchairs: reclining function, shopping baskets and rain-covers. The shopping basket is large but is similar to a sling without a decent depth to it, so I'm not sure how useful it would be for a shopping trip. Reclining the BOB is not as simple as pulling on a lever like on a Kiddy or a Maclaren pushchair; it uses straps (similar to those on a rucksack) to loosen and lower the back to the required position. This is not something that strikes me as an easy thing to do with a sleeping child, and keep the child asleep! The raincover is fairly easy to fit over and has a large viewing window for the child to see out, with vents down either side.
A more detailed analysis of the specification for the BOB Revolution CE stroller is available on the website directly. The CE model is advertised as being good for "Tight corners, crowded pavements and small spaces" but I beg to differ that it is too bulky and large a pushchair to negotiate the crowded streets of a busy town centre or even a suburban area. It is better suited to energetic parents who are looking for something for jogging or long woodland walks.
Priced at £325.00 for the stroller unit, £16.00 for the rain-cover and a further £20.00 for the detachable snack tray, the BOB Revolution CE is at the top end of the price range for a pushchair like this. Having reviewed both a Maclaren Techno XLR and a Kiddy City 'n' Move (and owned an iCandy Cherry), I don't feel that this is an option that I would have investigated independently due to the size, price and lack of capacity for a larger child.
I was sent this product to review, my opinion is honest and unbiased.