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Hands-on Gear Review

Baby Trend Expedition Review


Jogging Stroller

The Baby Trend Expedition won our Best Value award
Best Value Award
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
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Baby Trend

The Skinny

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

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief, BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Sunday
June 14, 2015
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.

Performance Comparison


Some of the top jogging strollers we tested (Grand Safari  Burley Solstice  Mountain Buggy Terrain  and Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight not pictured)
Some of the top jogging strollers we tested (Grand Safari, Burley Solstice, Mountain Buggy Terrain, and Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight not pictured)

Run-ability


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 handlebar on the Expedition is not adjustable and its rubber cover could get slippery when wet or hot in the sun
The handlebar on the Expedition is not adjustable and its rubber cover could get slippery when wet or hot in the sun
The Expedition doesn't have an adjustable handlebar which is a shame, but not a deal breaker. If you are of average height you are unlikely to even notice this feature is lacking. However, if you are very tall or significantly shorter than the average adult, you might get annoyed pushing this stroller for a long distance and the height difference might ruin the biomechanics of running for you.
While the Baby Trend might not be the best option for dedicated runners  it is a budget friendly stroller and good for everyday use with the occasional jog.
While the Baby Trend might not be the best option for dedicated runners, it is a budget friendly stroller and good for everyday use with the occasional jog.
This stroller also lacks tracking adjustment. The product we received tracked fine and in general we had no trouble pushing it straight. However, should the tolerances on any specific stroller be off, then you'll be stuck with a stroller that likes to veer and there won't be much you can do about it. The rolling resistance is relatively good for a product that probably isn't the best running option, but it is better than lots of the competition so you won't be fighting the stroller while running.

Maneuverability


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.
The front swivel wheel on the Baby Trend is easy to lock with the push of a lever to keep it in the fixed position for increase stability over rough terrain or while jogging
The front swivel wheel on the Baby Trend is easy to lock with the push of a lever to keep it in the fixed position for increase stability over rough terrain or while jogging
For pushing and turning on hard surfaces and pavement the Expedition did very well and one tester even called it flawless. It made it through without hitting anything in our obstacle course or requiring slow deliberate movements to make turns and negotiate traffic. It has a narrower width and shorter wheel base than much of the competition which made this one easy to turn. Its lightweight and easy to push and turn. its swivel front wheel helped it through testing for pavement as much as its locked wheel helped it for off road and at speed. Our runner felt that this stroller is easy to maneuver.

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.
Definitely the deepest storage bin in the bunch  the Baby Trend bin fit our large diaper bag with ease
Definitely the deepest storage bin in the bunch, the Baby Trend bin fit our large diaper bag with ease
The Baby Trend had 1 of only 3 extra large capacity under seat storage bins in the group. It can be accessed from the back, sides, and front, a rare feet in this lineup of products. We were able to fit our extra large diaper bag inside with ease. Strangely, this bin has the lowest allowable weight limit of only 5 pounds, most had at least a 10 pound limit.
Additional features are nice to have  like the parent console on the Baby Trend  but it is hard to utilize a cup holder while running so keep your list of must have features to the bare minimum.
Additional features are nice to have, like the parent console on the Baby Trend, but it is hard to utilize a cup holder while running so keep your list of must have features to the bare minimum.
The child tray on the Expedition is good for sippy cups and attaching Baby Trend car seats
The child tray on the Expedition is good for sippy cups and attaching Baby Trend car seats
The parent console has a 2 cup holder and closed storage compartment that holds most smartphones and even some larger ones. The 2 cups are pretty deep and the compartment is larger than most of the competition, you might even be able to get a wallet and keys in there too. It also comes with a child's tray that has 2 cup holders as well, but they don't fit most sippy cups with wider bottoms so choose you sippy wisely and with the stroller in mind. The tray swings up and over to the side for easy access for little ones getting in and out.
The Expedition canopy isn't large enough to cover to the leg rest  and the sides offer virtually no protection.
The Expedition canopy isn't large enough to cover to the leg rest, and the sides offer virtually no protection.
The sun shade for this stroller is only average in size, but it does offer a mesh peek-a-boo window for parents to spy on little ones below. The window is small, but adequate to do the job. It is a pretty bare bones canopy compared to the competition. It doesn't quite cover the knees and has little protection on the sides. It does offer a mesh visor that offers a little added protection for smaller children, and the whole canopy can rotate forward for low sun protection should its size be a problem. The canopy does not detach from the stroller itself.

The Expedition has a deep recline for easy napping.
 
The photos above show the Expedition with the canopy closed and fully open. The last photo also shows the seat back in the fully reclined position.

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.

Quality


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.
With bunched up fabric and exposed connection points  the fit and finish on the Expedition isn't as good as some of the higher end models in this review
With bunched up fabric and exposed connection points, the fit and finish on the Expedition isn't as good as some of the higher end models in this review
The wheels on the Expedition are metal and have a smooth tread. However, they also have the most play where they meet the axle than any of the competition. While we didn't consider this a deal breaker, it will make long distance running annoying over time with more vibration coming from the wheels than some of the competition.

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.

Safety


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.
The Baby Trend has double action brakes that require both sides to be pushed to engage fully.
The Baby Trend has double action brakes that require both sides to be pushed to engage fully.
The brakes on the Expedition are plain Jane and about as old school as you can get. They are double action brakes that are average to set and release. They are almost the same as the previous version of this stroller and they had little play once set, one of the best in the bunch. They work better and are smoother and easier to operate than the Schwinn products. It takes 37 pounds of pressure to get this stroller to slid backwards and about 31 to slid forward. The 37 pounds is better than the average and the 31 pounds is slightly less.

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 5 point harness on the Expedition requires both sides to be released separately. It also lacks any kind of padding for comfort
The 5 point harness on the Expedition requires both sides to be released separately. It also lacks any kind of padding for comfort
The Baby Trend has a 5 point harness that is easy to put on and take off. It is relatively easy to adjust and has adjustable shoulder height and crotch straps. It doesn't have padded straps and you have to release each side separately.

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


The Baby Trend has the smallest fold in our review
The Baby Trend has the smallest fold in our review
The Baby Trend is the smallest fold in the group with an overall size of 13,285 cubic inches. It is not the lightest in the group however, thanks it part to its steel frame and plastic components in weighs in at around 23.6 pounds; 4 strollers weigh less than this one, but it is still relatively light compared to the competition that goes as high as 32 pounds.
The Expedition self-stands
The Expedition self-stands
The fold on this stroller is an improvement over last years ride that had a risky pinch point we weren't fond of. We are glad that they fixed this in the new version and didn't find it to be a problem any longer. The fold itself is pretty easy, it does require 2 hands to operate, and it is manual locking mechanism so you'll be doing all the work with this stroller, but it does self-stand so that is a bonus. You do need to slide the side levers up on either side of the frame near the handle to start the fold process. The fold itself isn't hard with one pull on the handle located in the seat bottom. You can release and remove the front wheel for a more compact fold, but you aren't likely to need it with this smaller than average stroller. For unfolding it is similar steps but in reverse.
Pulling up on the red side levers is the first step in the fold process for the Baby Trend
Pulling up on the red side levers is the first step in the fold process for the Baby Trend
We weren't big fans that you have to bend over to fold this stroller, but in general it isn't a problem and given its lighter weight we had no difficulty lifting it and getting it into the trunk of the car. The self-stand helps free up your hands for opening the trunk or loading up baby before you hassle with the stroller.

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.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


The Expedition is a budget friendly jogging stroller you can use for everyday activities  but it isn't the best for serious runners.
The Expedition is a budget friendly jogging stroller you can use for everyday activities, but it isn't the best for serious runners.
The Expedition might not have ranked in the top 5 of products, but it offered the highest score for a lower priced item in the group. We think it is a nice stroller for the price and feel that budget conscious parents will get most of their needs met with this product. While we caution users that it is not he best stroller for dedicated runners, we think parents who run occasionally and want to use it for errands and trips around town will be happy with the features it offers and the performance it showed during tests. This stroller scored well for ease of use and maneuverability, which makes it a nice pick for everyday use, even if it shouldn't be used full time for running. We recommend this stroller for families on a budget that like the look of a jogging style stroller, but are not planning on running with it regularly.

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.

Video


Juliet Spurrier MD, Carrie Vickers, and BabyGearLab Review Team

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User Reviews


Most recent user review: June 14, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
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3 star: 100%  (1)
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by Juliet Spurrier MD, Carrie Vickers, and BabyGearLab Review Team

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