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Hands-on Gear Review
Baby Trend Expedition Review
Price: $150 List | $119.99 from Amazon - 20% Off
Pros: Super easy to maneuver, budget friendly price
Cons: Harder to run with and lower quality components
Bottom line: Best bang for the buck, but possibly not the best option for serious runners
The Baby Trend Expedition is a good all around stroller that has features and performance that parents will appreciate on a long day of errands and unforeseen adventures. While this stroller isn't likely the best option for serious runners, or those who plan to jog daily, it is a nice product for parents on a budget looking for a good all around stroller with jogging stroller styling. This stroller performed well enough to keep parents happy, for taking the occasional jog, or going a little off road to make it through a greenbelt or festival. If you are looking for an economical stroller, but aren't likely to run often, then this is the one we recommend.
The Baby Trend Expedition also impressed in our Best Baby Strollers Review, and while it didn't manage enough points to win an award in that review (with such stiff competition), it did continue to impresses with its versatility and fair price.
RELATED: Our complete review of jogging strollers
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
The Baby Trend Expedition features large all-terrain bicycle tires and a swivel wheel that can be unlocked for better maneuverability, or locked for increased stability at speed. It has a parent tray with two cup holders and covered compartment storage, a child's tray, and an ergonomic rubber handlebar. This stroller features an adjustable canopy and has a simple fold that creates a compact package. This stroller is good for babies 6 months up to 50 pounds.
This isn't the best stroller in the bunch for dedicated runners, but it isn't the lowest scoring stroller in the group and earned a 5 in this metric. The lowest scoring stroller is the Graco FastAction Fold Jogger with a 2 and is so hard to push we wanted to burn it not use it. The highest scoring products in the group are the Thule Urban Glide and the BOB Revolution Flex that earned 9s in this metric. Our runner felt this stroller is more stable for running than either Schwinn model.
The Baby Trend earned the second highest score in the group with an 8. It tied with a few other strollers, but did a nice job of impressing us with its ability, especially given its lower price range. The top scoring stroller is the Thule Urban Glide that earned a 9. The lowest score for maneuverability is a 5 earned by the Graco.
For pushing and turning off road and on rougher terrains it also did well. It was tippy on the side hill portion of our course, more so than the Baby Jogger Summit X3. It managed to roll over everything pretty easily, and navigating gravel was a breeze.
For curbs and stairs it also performed well and thanks to its lack of suspension it didn't bounce the way the competition did which at least gave the illusion of a more controlled descent. We didn't have any trouble tipping it back to get it up and onto curbs.
Ease of Use
The Baby Trend earned a 7 for ease of use which is the second highest score in this review and not to shabby for a stroller of this price. The high score for this metric is a 9 earned by the Burley Solstice. The lowest score for this metric were 4s, earned by the Schwinn models.
This stroller has a deep one handed recline with infinite possible positions. The seat has nice ventilation when reclined that can also be covered in bad weather, and the release for the recline is easier to use than some of the others we looked at. The edge of the seat curves down at a comfortable angle and is pretty soft. It folds down to the foot rest that is hard plastic and should be easy to clean.
The Baby Trend earned a 6 and tied with several other strollers for quality. The lowest scoring product for quality was 5 and earned by the Schwinn Arrow.
The fabric on this stroller feels a little cheaper than the competition, but it still feels like it might be pretty durable. It withstood our snag tests and came out snag free without any damage to the fabric. The fabric doesn't say if it is machine washable, but we suspect your better off spot cleaning any spills or stains.
The frame on this model is made of steel so it is durable yet heavy. It has some flex in it due to the hinge point and plastic connection where the stroller folds. The frame is smaller than some of the competition, and it offers no shocks, even on the rear wheels. In general, it seems a little cheap but everything fits fairly well it just isn't as tight as the Thule Glide. The plastic parts are finished well and fit snugly on the frame. The connections are all exposed which kind of ruins the overall fit and finish of the stroller and it doesn't look "as nice" as the competition that has made an effort to disguise unsightly fittings.
The handlebar on this stroller is 41 inches high. It is not adjustable, but it is slightly taller than 4 of the fixed handle competition. The handle has a rubber covering and a slight curve upward, we would describe it as an arch. We prefer the foam covered handles on some of the other options, and we worry that the rubber will get hot in the sun. Overall, not our favorite handlebar in the review.
This stroller comes with no suspension, something that might be a non-starter for serious runners. Our running tester felt like the lack of shocks made it an option she wouldn't even consider. In addition to no suspension, it has a minimally padded hard back seat that isn't as cozy as the sling style seat we prefer. Sling style seats allow for some "shock" type absorption while the hard seat bottom does not. There is also no padding on the harness either. Overall, this may not be the most comfortable ride for passengers as the more expensive competition. Certainly not for long distance running. However, for the price it is probably good enough for an everyday errands kind of stroller.
The Expedition earned a 5 for safety. This is less than the average score and the lowest score of the group, but it is a score shared by 3 other strollers in the review so it isn't alone. The lowest scoring product for safety is the Schwinn Turismo that received a 4. The highest scoring products were 7s and there were multiple strollers that tied for this score. The Baby Jogger Summit X3 earned a 7, as did the Thule Cougar 2 with Jog Kit and the Thule Glide.
There is a cup holder safety concern with this model. The Expedition has two cup holders placed high on the frame at the handlebar. We have concerns about this kind of placement because in testing we found that most water bottles topple out of their holders at some point and land on baby's head. We think parents should refrain from using the cup holders when moving the stroller at speed.
The side tip for this stroller is relatively shallow and is one of the worst for group at 18 degrees. It required 23 pounds of pressure on the handlebar to tip it backwards. This is about average for the group. Though we caution parents about putting weight on the handlebar, and you should never hang a diaper bag or other bags from the handle.
This stroller is good for children from 6 months to 50 pounds or 42 inches. The minimum age for running is 6 months. It sports a safety wrist strap that is located low on the stroller in a position we prefer in case parents trip while running.
Weight and Folded Size
For commuting the Expedition isn't too bad. The wheel can get hung up if you aren't paying attention, thankfully the stroller is light so you can maneuver it around as needed to get it in the trunk. This stroller also conforms to the public transport rule in some areas of 2X4. This gives you the option of riding with the stroller open and baby on board or self-standing with parent holding baby. However, it isn't the best at going into cafes or eating at the table. The seat is so low that little ones are essentially positioned under the table and not looking at anyone or involved in the group. The stroller is too long to leave hanging out in the aisle either so you'll have to take baby out and deal with a high chair. Overall, we think parents are likely to think it is an acceptable stroller for commuting, the swivel wheel does a nice job in tight spaces and its smaller size and weight are assets in the field. We do think it could be made lighter with an aluminum frame, but that is likely to increase the price as well.
Ease of Setup
This stroller earned a 7 of 10 for ease of setup. It is relatively simple to setup and it took us close to 8 minutes from start to finish. Unfortunately, the documentation for this product is poor. It is a multi-language manual that has bad illustrations. It takes longer to read than it does to put it together. The instructions are also somewhat confusing offering details for installing parts that come pre-installed. The easiest product to set up is the Thule Urban Glide. It offered no tool assembly and easy to understand instructions.
The best application for this stroller is for parents who want a trike style stroller that can work as an everyday stroller option. It has lots of useful features for parents and children that help make it a nice fit for most families. While it isn't the best product for running, and in fact we think you probably shouldn't run with it regularly, we do think that its good price and above average performance scores make it a nice fit for some uses.
The Expedition is a good value for parents who like the styling of a jogging type stroller, but who aren't likely to take it for a run everyday. While this stroller can and will go for a jog when necessary, we don't think it has what it takes in quality or performance scores in our tests to truly meet the needs of dedicated runners. However, for parents who might want to run occasionally, but are more likely to jog a block to the park and run some errands, this product gives them a nice jogging style stroller with which to do it. The price is hard to beat and the features are nice and likely to make parents and children happy.
Other Versions and Accessories
Baby Trend makes a double version called the Baby Trend Expedition Double and a number of other jogging style strollers, including the Baby Trend Range Jogger, and the Baby Trend Stealth Jogger. We did not review any of the other options. The Expedition is one of their most popular models and it also won our Best Value award last year.
Given that most items come standard on this product there is very little Baby Trend can offer as an add on.
— Juliet Spurrier MD, Carrie Vickers, and BabyGearLab Review Team
Most recent user review: June 14, 2015
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