I originally wrote a review of our BOB Revolution stroller in November of 2012, only having used it for 2 months. Now, BOB’s been around the block a few more times, so I thought I’d add some more observations before re-posting my original review.
The honeymoon phase with BOB isn’t over: we still love it! Adding to my original reasons for loving it are these new experiences:
Stair master: I continue to have no problem going up and down the stairs to our apartment by “bumping” the stroller backwards down or up the staircase. When Cub is asleep, I bump him up the stairs and park him in our front entrance to continue napping.
Sliding doors: Montreal is the worst city for wheelchairs, and by extension, strollers. Automatic doors are a rarity. Luckily, I find I can manage to hold a door open with one hand and steer the stroller in with the other. BOB is super easy to maneuver!
Frequent flyer: I didn’t imagine I would take BOB on the plane since it’s a pretty big stroller, but after one trip back to Vancouver with just the umbrella stroller, I missed using BOB so much I decided we’d be flying with it from then on. (I spend a month visiting my parents, and we go on a lot of walks!) It has been absolutely zero trouble taking the BOB through the airport and up to the gate. I fly alone, and with Cub in the Ergo I can fold up the BOB no trouble before boarding the plane.
Skytraining: We rode the Skytrain in Vancouver without any issues. Of course, unlike the STM in Montreal, the Skytrain is fully equipped with elevators!
‘Snow problem: BOB has served us through two winters (well, winter 2 isn’t quite over yet, but I’m being optimistic) and it shows zero signs of wear and tear. I’ve had to pump up the tires once. This stroller is a total beast in the snow. Ice, slush, soft or packed snow… I can get through it with relative ease.
(Almost) no accessories required: We have the Warm Fuzzy seat cover, we don’t use it. Once it’s cold enough to require it, we use a full sleeping bag-style blanket any way. The canopy is sufficient for the light rain and heavy snow that we get in Montreal, and with a water proof blanket on his legs, he’s been fine in rainy Vancouver weather. I thought by now we’d have bought the snack tray that clips on to the front, but so far we haven’t found any need for it. The only accessory I really recommend is the handlebar console.
Cool running: I kidded myself into thinking I’d go for jogs with BOB. The only place I’ve run since Cub was born is after the bus. However, my brother has taken BOB and Cub running on two occasions, and had no issues!
Car talk: Since writing my first review in ’12, we bought a car: a Hyundai Elantra Touring. Since it’s a hatchback wagon, BOB is easy enough to get in and out of the trunk. I keep the umbrella stroller in the trunk for running errands, however, since BOB is not compact and light!
So, without further ado, here’s my original review from November 2012:
Yes indeed, the BOB Revolution SE is your Uncle- and not your drunken uncle who sabotages family gatherings. He’s your favourite uncle who buys you the best presents and sneaks you extra dessert when your parents aren’t looking.
I spent the first 6 months of my pregnancy researching strollers and narrowing down my choices. I quickly came to the conclusion that no matter which of my top choices I chose, I would always be sacrificing some feature but gaining another. What ultimately convinced me to buy a BOB was the fact that my neighbours, whose son I often babysat, had a BOB., and it fit their lifestyle, which was similar to ours.
I’m not going to repeat all the specs of the stroller; you can find those on the BOB site. What I’ll do is give you a rundown of why I am happy with Uncle BOB. Keep in mind, however, that since I’m not a professional stroller tester, I can only compare BOB to what I’ve seen in stores and what my friends “drive.” Here is the model we own. (Update, June 2016: Our model is no longer made, it was the 2012 BOB Revolution SE.)
Let’s start with the stroller’s drawbacks. I firmly believe that no stroller on the market is perfect… It’s about finding a stroller that meets your needs without having to compromise on the features that are most important for you.
1. Cannot be used from birth without an adapter.
We did not buy the car seat adapter for the BOB ($59.00) because the chart showing compatible car seats did not list the one we received as a hand-me-down. In order to have a stroller we could use from birth, we bought the Baby Trend Snap ‘n’ Go. (Feb. 2014 update: Cub was out of his bucket seat really fast since he became quickly too heavy to carry in it. We scored a deal on a Maclaren umbrella stroller and sold the Snap ‘n’ Go.) (June 2016 update: I wouldn’t buy this again, with my second child I just used a babycarrier!)
I’m actually really glad we did not buy this accessory. I wasn’t wanting to take Cub on long hikes when he was a newborn, so the Snap’n’Go, which is very light, was a perfect solution. The BOB recommends usage without a car seat from 2 months. However, Cub being a very solid boy, I felt comfortable putting him in it at 6 weeks in the lying down position.
It wouldn’t have been worth the $59.00 to be able to use the BOB with our car seat. When I go to the mall and want to go from car-to-stroller easily, I use the Snap’n’Go.
Bottom line:If you want to use the BOB exclusively from birth, get the adapter. If you often go from car-to-stroller/stroller-to-car, the adapter may also be for you. But, if you can wait ‘til baby is sturdier (possibly earlier than the recommended 2 months), you don’t need it.
2. It’s heavy.
It weighs 25 lbs, and that’s a lot if, for example, you live at the top of a steep flight of stairs with no elevator. (Which we don’t.) It’s also heavy if you plan on taking it in and out of your car trunk frequently. I wouldn’t recommend it if your stroller-use profile is “drive to destination, use stroller mostly indoors, drive home.”
However, we rely almost exclusively on public transit and walking to get around. We need to be able to navigate all sorts of terrain including ice, snow and the atrocious state of Montreal’s sidewalks. We need something super sturdy, and with sturdiness comes heft. You cannot really take the BOB on the metro (or an equivalent train system in which you cannot avoid long flights of stairs), but it is very easy to get on and off the bus. (More to come on that in a future post.)
Bottomline: If you walk a lot, and you walk far, and don’t have to lift/carry the stroller for long distances or up big staircases, its weight is not a drawback. This stroller is heavy because it is extremely sturdy and very well made. I expect it to stand up well to wear and tear, and I do not expect to replace it unless….
3 … if I have another kid, it’s not expandable.
There were models I considered that can be adapted to transport a second child, whether sitting or standing. Depending on when we have our second, we may need to sell the BOB and get a double stroller of some kind. However, being such a well-built stroller, I expect its resale value to be decent.
Bottomline:If you only ever want to buy one stroller to accommodate your growing brood, look at strollers that can be expanded. The BOB SE is available in a dualie model if you already have (or almost have) two kiddos!
4. The accessories are all sold separately.
The Warm Fuzzy (warm seat cover), Handlebar console (drink holder and zippered pouch), snack tray, Weather Shield and Sun Shield are all sold separately. Some strollers come fully equipped with all of these accessories. When doing price comparisons, you do have to factor in the cost of the accessories you need if the other models you like already have these included. We have the handlebar console (I always need access to my water bottle) and Warm Fuzzy (we live in Montreal; it gets cold). I’m not sure if we’ll buy the Weather Shield because the canopy already provides excellent coverage, and my neighbour has lent me a generic rain cover that can be wrangled to fit. FYI- I was given a J.J. Cole Bundleme and it fits fine in the BOB.
Bottomline: You do have to consider the cost of these accessories you need when doing price comparisons with other strollers. On the other hand, you only have to buy the accessories you need, and aren’t stuck with things you don’t.
5. The storage basket is small.
The two previous complaints I listed because I believe they will be drawbacks for some users, but overall they do not bother me. The small basket is the one thing I would want changed in this stroller. It’s not quite deep enough to easily store and access your average diaper bag, especially when the child is seated. If you’ve squished the bag in, you may have to lift baby out in order to pull the bag out.
However, when I take the buggy to the grocery store, I can easily slide in two cartons of milk and a a couple days’ worth of groceries. My diaper bag is a backpack, and I can fit it in the basket, but I can access my diaper bag items easier if I just carry it on my back.
Bottom line: If BOB could improve the depth and accessibility of the storage basket, I would love the stroller even more. You can always find a way to attach your diaper bag to the handlebar and use the basket to transport smaller items like coats or even groceries.
6. It may be awkward to store.
Although the BOB folds up easily and fairly compact considering its size when open, it can be a bit awkward to store in its folded position, unless you lie it down. It doesn’t stand up on its own, and there isn’t really a way I’ve thought of to hang it on the wall. My neighbours use a massive carabineer to hang the stroller in their hall closet, but I find this too awkward. Essentially half of our hall closet is devoted to storing the stroller.
Bottom line: You do need a decent-sized spot to store your BOB, which may be a big (literally) consideration if you live in a small apartment.
In my opinion and usage experience, the pros of the BOB far outweigh the cons listed above.
Why I love Uncle BOB:
1. It’s like pushing a cloud.
Despite being 25 lbs, pushing this stroller is like pushing a cloud- it’s a total breeze. It’s just a pleasure to walk with the BOB. I look forward to running with it! (Feb. ’14 update… Haha! Who was I kidding?!)
2. It manoeuvres with just one hand.
I can easily drink my coffee with one hand and push the stroller with the other. I can get my groceries by carrying a shopping basket in my free hand. I can navigate the aisles and boogey around display cases without any problems; it turns on a dime.
3. It can handle any terrain without giving baby whiplash.
What a smooth ride for baby! This stroller has the suspension of a fancy mountain bike! If you live in Montreal and have ever pushed a stroller on the sidewalks, it is akin to driving on our roads: cracks, gaps, omnipresent construction, massive curbs and potholes that are more like craters. BOB has no trouble with these obstacles- it goes everywhere!
(Here’s a video on its suspension system) *notice in the video how comfortably the older child sits in the stroller
4. It is easy to get on and off the bus.
I was initially concerned that the BOB would be too large and awkward to take on the bus. On the contrary: BOB and I are bus buddies! Even if it’s not a kneeling bus, as long as the bus is built to accommodate wheelchairs, it accommodates BOB because it manoeuvres so easily, it can handle the narrow bus aisles. I can disembark facing forwards or backwards thanks to the big wheels. I would not, however, take the stroller on the bus anywhere near rush hour.
5. The canopy is adjustable.
The canopy has three settings: totally open, midway, and full coverage. The peekaboo window on top can be covered if it’s too sunny, or open on cloudy days so you can have a look at your baby. When the canopy is all the way open, it really does shield baby from wind and rain. When I walk in the rain, baby stays dry, thought I do put him in appropriate rain gear.
6. I’ll be able to run with it.
Although it’s not recommended to run with baby til about one year of age, I can absolutely imagine taking this stroller for a jog. With the strap around my wrist, I won’t have to expend any energy to push this baby (unless I’m tackling a hill… which I tend to avoid.) The ride will be super smooth for Cub.
7. It is very well made and sturdy.
It was very important to me that my stroller be durable. Although we haven’t had it very long, you can tell it’s going to hold up to wear and tear. My neighbours have had their BOB for 2.5 years, and it is still in perfect working condition, so I am confident that our BOB will not need to be replaced. [Feb. ’14 update: said neighbours now have another baby, and their BOB is still going strong.]
8. It’s easy to open and close.
Some strollers are a confusing tangle of nobs and levers and require acrobatics to open and close. BOB is easy to fold and easy to open.
9. It can tackle short flights of stairs.
Our apartment is at the top of 6 stairs. I can bump BOB down the stairs (backwards) and pull it back up (also backwards) with little effort. (Baby waits indoors, though when he’s a bit sturdier I don’t think he’ll mind being bumped up and down stairs.) [Update: I now bump him up the stairs when we get home and he stays asleep in his stroller!] My pediatrician’s office also has steps, and, on my own, I can get in and out with baby still in the stroller. Curbs are also a breeze.
Other things I love:
- Comfy, secure, and easily adjustable harness system;
- Easy to recline/sit up;
- Soft, cushy handle bar;
- Easy to put brake down with your foot;
- Little side pockets for baby to store toys, a bottle, etc.
You will love BOB if…
- You love to go on walks in all sorts of environments;
- You want a smooth ride for baby;
- You want a stroller that is super easy to manoeuvre;
- You want to be able to handle curbs and small flights of stairs on your own;
- You want one-handed steering;
- You do a lot of your travel with baby on foot or on the bus (transit companies have different rules for strollers, and buses are all built differently, so keep in mind I speak here exclusively of Montreal’s STM.)
- You want to jog with baby.
You will not love BOB if…
- You have to contend with long, steep staircases on a daily basis;
- You are constantly loading and unloading your stroller from a small car’s trunk (it may be easier with an S.U.V. or minivan);
- You have extremely limited storage space for your stroller;
- You want an expandable stroller for future children.