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Hands-on Gear Review
Schwinn Arrow Review
Price: $240 List | $229.25 from Amazon
Pros: Lightweight, easy to use harness, cup holders that really grip items
Cons: Possible pinch hazard, poor run-ability
Bottom line: One of the hardest to run with and more difficult to push and turn with fixed wheel
The Schwinn Arrow is a fixed wheel jogging style stroller that came in last place out of 16 products tested tying with the Grand Safari. It only managed to earn 47 points out of 100 with only 1 above average score in any metric, the Ease of Setup. In general, we felt this stroller performed poorly in some of the most important metrics for this style of stroller, including run-ability and maneuverability. Given that is has a list price in the upper half of products tested we feel it should have ranked higher. In the end, it feels like a cheaper product getting by with the Schwinn name to make sales.
RELATED: Our complete review of jogging strollers
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
The Schwinn Arrow is a fixed wheel stroller with 16" alloy wheels and pneumatic air tires. It comes with a parent tray that has dual fin grip cup holders and smartphone tray. It has exposed rear dual shock absorbers, and a retractable canopy to keep passengers comfortable. The canopy also has a built in speaker for connection to an MP3 player or a smartphone. It has a rubberized handlebar that is slip resistant and a removable fleece seat pad that is machine washable. It comes with a 5 point harness, quick release wheels, dual brakes, and a double release folding system for extra safety.
Thule Urban Glide and the BOB Revolution Flex came in with a score of 9. The average score for running for these jogging products was 6 for all the products for this review, so it scored well below the average as well. The lowest product however, is the Graco Fast Action Fold Jogger with a score of 2 for being heavy, hard to control, and lacking adjustable tracking. Our runner stated that "this is a terrible running stroller that is not fun for runner or passenger."
The Arrow has an adjustable handle that can help you attain the right biomechanics for running no matter what your height. The suspension is only average compared to the competition and it isn't adjustable so no matter what the terrain or how large your baby, it is what it is. This is better than not having suspension, but given that much of the competition is adjustable it is a disappointment. It doesn't offer adjustable tracking, and given that much of the competition does, especially the fixed wheel strollers, it is a disappointment and means you might be frustrated trying to keep a ride on track if it is slightly off kilter for some reason. It is one of the lighter weight options and it is easy to tilt back to turn while running so these things help prevent it from ranking at the bottom of the pack. It also has significant rolling resistance compared to the competition, with only 1 product having a higher resistance factor.
Thule Glide with a 7. The lowest scoring product is the Graco that earned a 5.
For ease of pushing on hard surfaces it is about the same as the BOB Ironman. It is just a tad longer when tipped back, making it not the stroller to run a race through the store with. Of course it is pretty easy to push but of course it is harder to turn because of the fixed wheel and tippy on the side hill part in comparison to the competition. It pushes nicely in gravel, and easily rolls over bumps. However, there is a lot of flex in the frame that makes it less responsive in general and kind of a pain to push for long distances.
Ease of Use
Burley Solstice. It really is hard for the competition to compete with the Burley that had a little something for everyone and managed it all with grace, style, and above all ease.
The under seat storage for the Arrow is large and has rear and side access. It has a max weight limit of 10 pounds, but it is hard to access and kind of a pain to get our large diaper bag into and out of. Both of the Schwinn stroller storage bins are terrible because of the bar in the back that blocks good access especially for larger items. We had trouble fitting the large bag in without fighting with it We almost tipped the stroller over trying to get it in. It would probably hold the same amount of items that are in the bag, but you'll have to take them out of the bag.
The in canopy speaker is something of a joke and we wonder why they bothered. It is hot glued together and it is free standing with no cover. It looks like it is not going to stand the test of time, and the sound is no better than the speaker that comes on your smartphone or a portable speaker you could use with Bluetooth. It is not weather resistant and it doesn't go loud enough for little ones to hear over passing traffic or winds at speed. It is more just a check the box for accessories, than it is a useful addition to the stroller wars.
The seat on the Arrow is a one hand recline, but it is a little stiff and not intuitive. It the upright position it is 57 degrees from flat, and in its most reclined position it is 21 degrees. The front edge of the seat curves down nicely with an adequate hard plastic foot rest that will likely wear well over time.
The quality of the Arrow is not great and it earned the lowest score for this metric of only 5 of 10. The average quality score is 8 for this review and the Thule Glide earns a high of 10.
Both of the Schwinns have fairly smooth "plastic" feeling fabric that snagged easily for us in our snag tests. While this kind of fabric might be easier to wipe down should things spill on them, it is probably not the nicest to sit on.
The fit and finish of the stroller are similar to the Baby Trend Expedition, but not as tight and well fitted. In fact, the two look similar enough to have been made in the same factory. The canopy is not as nice and tight and the frame seems pretty loose. All of the fasteners are exposed as opposed to nicely hidden like other strollers which makes the overall look not as nice and the potential to snag on things higher. The fold is the same as our last review on jogging products previous version of the Baby Trend Expedition fold. We aren't fans of the fold on the Arrow or the old Expedition and we hope to see a design change in the future.
The Arrow earned a 6 of 10 for safety. This is the average score for this metric and 2 points above the lowest score stroller, the Schwinn Turismo. The highest scoring products for this metric are the Thule Glide, Thule Chariot Cougar 2 with Jog Kit, and Baby Jogger Summit X3 with 7 of 10. Several of the products tied with a low score of 5.
This stroller had a side tip angle of a little over 18 degrees. It is a relatively shallow angle just above the worst scoring stroller it is a far cry from the best angle of 35.7 for the Thule Cougar 2 with Jog Kit. The average for the strollers is 22.4 degrees. The back tipping weight for how much weight hanging off the back before the stroller tips back is 27.4 pounds which is better than the average weight before tipping. This stroller does come with a safety wrist strap, but it does not say where parents should attach it.
The Arrow is the second largest size in cubic inches out of all the products we looked at with only the Thule Cougar 2 coming in larger, something that should not be a surprise given that it is a double size stroller. This means it might have trouble fitting in some trunk spaces without removing the wheels. However, on the up side this stroller is the second lightest out of 12 strollers with only the Thule Glide coming in at a lighter weight. This means you will have an easier time lifting it or lugging it around, but you are likely going to need to take the front wheel off to put it in the trunk without struggling.
Ease of Setup
It took about 8 1/2 minutes for us to get the Arrow out of the box and ready to stroll. The documentation is pretty clear and concise making it easy to read and follow. Everything is relatively easy to assemble, but it does require a Philips head screwdriver; something not required by most of the competition that can be assembled with no tools. In addition, the manual doesn't give an attachment point for the safety wrist lanyard leaving parents to guess or do further research online for the correct and safest place to attach it.
We think parents will be drawn to this stroller with a belief that this product is made by Schwinn and might contain components manufactured with high end bicycles in mind. However, that is not the case. This stroller is made by InStep who licenses the Schwinn name to put on their product. It would appear that this stroller is almost exactly the same as the InStep Flash with the exception of the wheels and shocks. So it feels somewhat like a bait and switch move to entice parents into buying something they aren't really getting. This makes the Schwinn Arrow not really good for any application. The name on the product is misleading to its origins or its design and that makes it a product we think will fail to live up to parents expectations. We would prefer that at the very least InStep should report that it is the Schwinn Arrow made by InStep.
The Schwinn Arrow is almost identical to the InStep Flash (a product we did not review) that is about $80 cheaper and made by the same company. With the exception of shocks and different materials used in the wheels, there really is little difference between the two that we can tell or that is outlined on the company website. Of course one of them says Schwinn on it and therefore might lead parents to think it is a different caliber product than the Flash which is perhaps why it has a higher price tag. If you are intrigued by this stroller and feel it is the one for you despite its poor performance in our tests, we suggest you take a look at the Flash and save yourself some money. Alternatively, you can get an even cheaper stroller in our Best Value Baby Expedition that is about half the cost. However, it may not be the best bet for serious runners.
Other Versions and Accessories
Instep Grand Safari and the Schwinn Turismo are, then there might be a weight difference as well.
— Juliet Spurrier MD, Carrie Vickers, and BabyGearLab Review Team
Most recent user review: June 14, 2015
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