The push for the best full-size strollers of 2017
Looking for the best full-size baby stroller? We purchased 19 of the top standard size strollers and spent two months testing them to find out which are the best. We put each stroller through our intensive hands-on, side-by-side testing process that includes more than 30 specific tests and long-term hands-on use. One of the most difficult baby gear purchasing decisions you face as a new parent is picking a stroller that will work best for you and your baby. Read on to find out which strollers came out on top.
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Test Results and Ratings
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Analysis and Award Winners
Updated March 2017
We've updated this review to include the latest available product versions, and added comparison charts for each metric showing how performance varied from one product to the next. Our big surprise in 2017 was finding that the most expensive products were not the top performers (see our Price vs. Value chart to see this in a graph).
Best Overall Full Size Stroller
BOB Revolution Flex
The BOB Revolution won our hearts and an Editors' Choice award for a second time in a row. With one of the highest overall scores in the group, and the highest score for maneuverability, it is hard not to love just about everything about the Revolution. This BOB is easy to push and turn on any surface with large pneumatic wheels, adjustable tracking, and a lockable swivel wheel that help keep it moving true no matter what the terrain. The adjustable suspension, near flat recline, wider seat design, and padded adjustable handlebar provide a comfortable experience for parents and baby no matter what adventure the day holds. While this stroller is on the heavier side, it isn't the heaviest in the group and your ability to jog with it will likely help you overlook its larger size and weight. The BOB Revolution Flex was updated in 2016 and more detailed information can be found in the review.
Easy to push and turn
Can be used for jogging
Harder to use
Read Full Review: BOB Revolution
Editors' Choice Full Size Stroller
The UPPAbaby Cruz is a really cool product that came in second place in our review. It has the top score in ease of use and good scores in quality, ease of setup, and weight and folded size. While this is not the lightest option in the group, it does have an unbelievably low weight of 21.6 pounds, which is 3 pounds lower than the average. The Cruz has a large canopy, giant storage with a max weight of 25 lbs, and really easy to use seatback recline and leg rest adjustability. The Cruz lost a little ground in testing for maneuverability because it is a little larger and the 4 wheel design meant it paled in comparison to the 3 wheeled models that were easier to navigate, but it isn't hard to push. The foam filled plastic wheels also made pushing and turning on unpaved surfaces harder. Maybe the only upgrade we wish the Cruz had is rubber tires.
Easy to use
Little harder to push and turn
Read Full Review: UPPAbaby Cruz
The UPPAbaby Cruz also works great when used in combination with an infant car seat, and earned our Editors' Choice award in our Stroller and Car Seat Combo review.
Best Value Winner
Britax B-Agile 3
The Britax B-Agile 3 is not the least expensive option in the group with a list price of $280, but it is often the cheapest Best Value winner depending on sale prices. This lightweight product has a very easy fold that can be done on the fly and is small enough to fit in most trunks or be carried with ease. The rubber covered handlebar feels good in the hand and is an adequate height for most parents. It scored well in ease of setup and safety with brakes that are easy to set and release. This budget-friendly option is a nice looking, simple product that can be used with Britax Click & Go infant car seats and others with additional adapters (sold separately).
Smaller and lighter
Harder to push and turn
Harder to use
Read Full Review: Britax B-Agile 3
The Britax B-Agile 3 also won an award in our Umbrella Stroller Review thanks to its lighter weight and compact folded size.
Recall on Adapters
Britax has issued a recall for the Click & Go car seat adapters that come standard with the B-Agile 3. These adapters should be discarded and Britax should be contacted to receive a remedy kit.
Best Value Winner
Baby Jogger City Mini
The Baby Jogger City Mini is a lightweight, compact option that earned high scores for maneuverability and weight and folded size, and has a very budget friendly price. The City Mini impressed for pushing and turning considering it has the dual front wheel design that we are not huge fans of. It offers good control going up and down curbs, and we were able to push it one-handed on most flat surfaces. The City Mini has an easy to use harness and recline adjustment pull, as well as a nice size storage bin and canopy. The canopy has a rare design with 2 peek-a-boo windows and a nicely padded seat for added passenger comfort. While it only has shocks on the front wheel and a stationary handlebar, it is still a nice quality product for a very good price.
Small and lightweight
Harder to use
Read Full Review: Baby Jogger City Mini
The Baby Jogger City Mini also won an award in our Umbrella Stroller Review thanks to its lighter weight and smaller folded size.
Best for Versatility
The UPPAbaby Vista earned the top score in this review, but thanks to its $820 price tag and heavier size, it missed winning an Editors' Choice award. The truth of the matter is this full-size stroller is a very nice option that all the testers really enjoyed using and loved for its versatility of seating and features. The fact that it is easy to use, easy to push, and can accommodate up to 3 children at one time made it a Top Pick for versatility. The Vista comes standard with a bassinet and toddler seat. The frame can accept up to 2 UPPAbaby infant car seats at the same time, or 2 toddler seats, and other variations including several using the bassinet. The seats can sit forward and back or are reversible. This makes the Vista one of the most versatile in the review.
Easy to use
Read Full Review: UPPAbaby Vista
Analysis and Test Results
We started by looking at more than 150 competing full-size strollers, and eventually narrowed our options down to the 19 top finalists that we put through our entire side-by-side comparison process for everything from maneuverability to ease of use and safety concerns. The finalists were selected based on their quality, unique innovations, and/or popularity. Our goal in this review is to provide you with practical and detailed comparison information on the products most likely to be on your short-list. The table below shows a comparison of the overall scores for each stroller we tested. This gives you an idea of why certain strollers won awards.
While testing each product, we focused on 6 key test metrics, with ease of use and maneuverability being emphasized and extensively scrutinized metrics in our evaluation process. Our ratings were based on a combination of real-world testing (i.e. strolling with babies, toddlers and young children), and extensive side-by-side in–house lab tests where each product was rated in comparison to the competition.
Ease of Use
From our point of view, ease of use encompasses the features you will need to use repeatedly every day. For example, storage options and how easy they are to use and how much they can carry. Similarly, we looked at sun shades and whether or not they cover baby, how easy they are to use, and if they offer a peek-a-boo window or ventilation. These kinds of features will impact the bulk of your experience with a product, and its ability to perform as desired and expected will be the difference between a product you enjoy using and one you'd like to kick to the curb.
UPPAbaby Vista (above left) and the UPPAbaby Cruz (above left) both earned top scores for ease of use. These products have nicely executed daily features that parents use the most. Both strollers offered high maximum storage capacities and the largest canopies in the review. They both have adjustable leg rests, easy to use recline mechanisms, and simple but useful indicators to help parents ensure the seat is properly adjusted.
The top two scoring strollers lacked nice-to-have amenities such as a parent tray or child tray, but these can be obtained as options sold separately. We think having these convenience features is useful, and recommend you consider the cost of buying them in your purchase decision.
The worst performers in our ease of use tests were the Quinny Buzz Xtra and the 4moms Origami. Both suffered from smaller sun shades, awkward design choices, smaller storage bins, and are large when folded and are relatively heavy. The 4moms includes parent tray and lots of extra gadgets, but its performance overall in our tests was poor compared to the competition.
Ease of Setup
Ease of setup was the least weighted category because it is just a one-time task. In this category we looked at the time to set up, difficulty and how useful the manual is.
The easiest to assemble is the UPPAbaby Cruz, with a perfect 10 of 10 score. It took just over 4 and a half minutes to put the UPPAbaby Cruz together with a simple 7 step start up guide, and we found it is so intuitive you might not even need the manual. Close behind is the BOB Revolution Flex, Britax B-Agile 3, and UPPAbaby Vista, all of which set up in less about 5 and a half minutes with great documentation and an easy step-by-step process.
The worst to set-up is the Bugaboo Bee 3, which took us more than 23 minutes to assemble, due to far more component assembly than the competition and documentation so poorly designed that we put different portions together incorrectly.
We were disappointed to find many of the more expensive products ($500-$1,200) were the hardest to set-up, due in part to poor documentation and sometimes a lot of parts. These include the Bugaboo Cameleon 3, Quinny Buzz Xtra, 4moms Origami, Baby Jogger City Select, and Bumbleride Indie 4. Poor documentation was also a common theme. We find the combination of high price tag and poor documentation to be particularly distasteful. Great documentation is largely a function of an investment decision by the manufacturer to create clear, easy-to-understand documentation in each language they consider a target market. In our experience, poor documentation typically took an "international approach" where vague illustrations without text were in one part of the manual, and small text in each language referring to those illustrations was in a different section.
To test maneuverability, we put each product through a torture test of turns and corners over a variety of surface types including pavement, gravel, grass, snow/ice and dirt. A particularly revealing test was navigating crowded supermarkets. To compare each product in exactly the same way, we created the crowded-supermarket-from-hell simulator which is a multi-surface obstacle course that contains all kinds of tight corners and real-world maneuver challenges we observed in actual strolling situations. We then scored each product on ease of pushing, ease of turning, and performance over various paved and unpaved surfaces.
The top performers for maneuverability all share a 3-wheel design, and all have larger rubber tires. The top scoring product, the BOB Revolution Flex, earned a 9 of 10 and features pneumatic (air-filled) tires, adjustable suspension and tracking, and a lockable swivel front wheel. The second place options scored 8s and included the Mountain Buggy Swift, Baby Jogger City Mini GT, and the Baby Trend Expedition. All of these options performed well in our obstacle course and managed rougher terrain better than the competition. The BOB Revolution Flex and Baby Trend Expedition also claim jogging capability with both winning awards in our jogging stroller review.
The BOB Revolution Flex, the Mountain Buggy Swift, and the Baby Trend Expedition all provide an impressive combination of easy pushing, smooth ride, and fast effortless turns. Well-fitting quality construction made these three more responsive and easier to guide through tight aisles and turns. Bumps in the sidewalk were handled with ease by the larger air-filled tires with minimal impact passed on to the baby. The BOB revolution Flex was noticeably better than both the Baby Trend Expedition and the Mountain Buggy Swift thanks to large wheels and very effective shocks.
While the Baby Jogger brand has the word "Jogger" in the name, most of the products they make are not intended for use while jogging. This is true of all three Baby Joggers in this review. Parents should not attempt to jog with these strollers as they do not have the design features that make jogging possible to do safely.
It is worth noting that most of the high scorers were top performers on both paved and unpaved surfaces. On pavement their large wheels made for very easy pushing, occasional single-handed turning, and they excelled in smaller spaces. When we went over grass or gravel in the park their advantages were even more pronounced. Smaller wheel products with solid tires got bogged down off pavement and on rough surfaces, often to relatively unworkable levels. They also transmit bumps and jarring shocks more directly to the baby because the plastic wheels do not absorb the energy and they often lacked suspension. The larger rubber tires, 3-wheelers, took these off-road surfaces in stride. If your strolling often involves traveling over grass, gravel, or dirt, then maneuverability should be a key factor in your decision-making process. The Baby Jogger City Mini GT is a little bit of an anomaly in this metric. It performed well in our tests but has smaller wheels than the other top options. The smaller front wheel design makes it not as good at traversing rougher terrain as the larger wheel products, but still far superior to the competitors that have plastic wheels, dual front wheel designs, and no suspension.
The worst performers in our maneuverability tests were the 4moms Origami and the Chicco Bravo LE. These options use foam filled plastic wheels under 7" in diameter on the front and less than 8" in diameter in back. They both have a 4 wheel design, with the 4moms design oddly placing the front wheels far out in front of the frame where they caught on every obstacle in our test course. We found turning these through our obstacle course was harder, and travel over bumpy and/or non-paved surfaces frustrating, or worse. In addition, the 4moms product felt "loose" when turning, meaning there was flex in the frame when we pushed and turned (possibly a byproduct of the self-folding design), which made it less responsive and required more effort to turn effectively.
Many parents believe that quality is directly related to price, and while this assumption isn't entirely wrong, we found that many of the mid-range products offer quality on par, or better than, the most expensive options in the group. This is good news for parents hoping to find a high performing quality product without breaking the bank.
The highest scorers for quality are the BOB Revolution Flex (with a price of $500) and the UPPAbaby Vista ($799) each with an 8 of 10. Both options combine quality parts, made of high-end materials, with a fit and finish that stands apart from the crowd with a relatively wide price gap between the two. In general, products scored higher in this metric if they offered comfortable and durable fabric, pneumatic or foam filled rubber tires, and sleek frames with smooth finishes. The lowest scoring products in the group earned 4s; these were the 4moms ($850), the Baby Trend Expedition ($120) and the Graco Aire 3 ($180); these products once again show the wide range of price for similar quality. Most of these strollers share similar plastic wheels, stationary height handlebars, and a lot of flex in the frames with multiple connection joints. The Best Value winner, Baby Jogger City Mini earned a 6, which is above average with a budget friendly price under $280.
Studies published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), who both analyze US hospital injury databases, identify falling injuries as the most common safety issue with strolling representing more than half of the 46,200 strolling-related injuries between 2008-2011. Tip-over related injuries were the second most common. Experts conclude that use of a restraining harness would have prevented many of these injuries.
To score safety, we examined basic safety features such as harness systems and parking brakes. We then looked at potential tip-over, stability risks and performance going up or down curbs and across angled and uneven surfaces. We concluded with the whether or not cup holders had a risk of dropping on baby's head.
The top scoring product for safety is the Baby Jogger City Select with an 8 of 10. Seven other products came in second place with 7s, and including award winners UPPAbaby Vista and Britax B-Agile 3. These options all scored well in our safety tests.
The lowest scoring products in our safety ratings were the Baby Jogger City Mini GT that earned a 3 of 10 score. This product failed in one test that gave us pause and great concern over its overall safety (see below).
We found the Baby Jogger City Mini GT scored poorly in one very specific safety area, that of backward tip-over risk
Weight and Folded Size
To test weight and folded size we performed our own measurements. This proved important as we discovered that some manufacturers provided weights or measurements that excluded components such as wheels or detachable seats. Our measurements all include wheels and seats. We did not include accessory items like bassinets or rain covers which only some products include.
The best scoring products for weight and folded size, scoring 8 of 10, are the Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini. Both stroller's weight about 17.5 pounds and are closer to 6,500 cubic inches.
The worst scoring products for weight and folded size are the 4mom Origami and the Quinny Buzz Xtra. The 4moms Origami is the heaviest at 34 pounds, while the largest is the Quinny Buzz at 17,160 cubic inches. The average for the group is closer to 11,500 cubic inches and 24 pounds, with the BOB Revolution Flex and UPPAbaby Cruz coming in closer to these values.
Car Seat Compatibility
The photos above show the UPPAbaby Cruz coupled with the Chicco Keyfit 30 (left) and the UPPAbaby Mesa (right).
Most of the products we looked at are compatible with different infant car seats and some are light enough to work as a possible stand in for a car seat frame product. A few of the products are really restricted in the seats you can use, or don't accept infant seats, like Baby Trend Expedition. Others strollers have a lot of flexibility in brands and models that will work, including the Chicco Keyfit 30, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, and the UPPAbaby Mesa, which all one awards in our infant car seat review.
If your plan is to use a stroller as a travel system in conjunction with an infant car seat carrier, then we encourage you to choose a car seat first and then find the best strolling product to go with it. We also think most parents should first purchase a car seat frame product for the first 6-9 months because they are easier to use, lighter, cheaper, and can give parents a better idea of how they will be using the next strolling product. However, all that aside when you are ready to choose your main strolling product, the compatible infant seats are kind of a big deal if you plan to use the two together.
We tested the seats with the compatible car seats we had in the lab and ordered an adapter for the Chicco Keyfit 30 if one was available. We used the Chicco because it was compatible with the most products in the review, and it is an award winning seat with a reasonable price tag. For the most part the products worked best combined with the same brand name seat, i.e. the UPPAbaby Vista and UPPAbaby Cruz with the UPPAbaby Mesa. However, many of them worked equally well with the Chicco, and a few even seemed more stable or easier to install.
Some seats connected using a click in method, while others required click and strap in steps. On the whole, we prefer the click only variety because they are easier, more foolproof, and sometimes feel more stable. That being said the strap isn't necessarily more difficult, it is just another step in the process and we worry parents will fail to follow through with a second step, which could lead to potential safety issues. If you choose a product that has a strap, like the BOB Revolution Flex, we encourage you to always use the straps. Pairing your infant seat of choice with the best strolling option possible is the goal of combining the two reviews to create a travel system that will work best for you.
Is there one right choice for everyone? We don't think so. Your needs will vary from others due to your strolling habits, travel needs, and budget. In this review, our goal is to share relative differences we saw between top competing products so that you can make the most informed decision for you and your baby.
We hope that between our awards and ratings we can help you narrow down the field to a few top contenders. We strive to provide enough detail to help make it significantly simpler for you to find the exact right product for your family's budget and needs. If you still aren't sure what item is best for you, and feel none of the top performers offer exactly what you are looking for, please read our Buying Advice for further guidance on what to consider and how to narrow your options, and review our comparison chart where you will be able to narrow the field based on what features and performance metrics mean the most to you.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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