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Hands-on Gear Review
BOB Revolution Flex Combo Review
Price: $480 List | $399.99 from Amazon - 17% Off
Pros: Maneuverability, tires, handlebar
Cons: Heavy, 2 step car seat attachment w/ straps
Bottom line: Use with an infant car seat is not one of Flex's strengths
The BOB Revolution Flex is a great jogging stroller that performed well in our standard stroller and jogging stroller reviews. It is easy to maneuver, has adjustable tracking, suspension and handlebar, and it is a quality product with rubber pneumatic tires. What the Revolution doesn't do so well is car seat attachment with the lowest score in for this metric out of 15 products. While the Revolution does work with a large variety of major brands, it does not come standard with any car seat adapter. In addition, the installation of all car seats require the use of attachment straps that we think could be forgotten or ignored resulting in an improperly installed seat that could be potentially dangerous for baby. The Revolution came in dead last and over 25 points lower than the next product making it the worst in this review for car seat/stroller combinations.
RELATED: Our complete review of stroller and car seat combos
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
The BOB Revolution Flex is a jogging style stroller with aluminum wheels, rubber air filled tires and adjustable tracking, suspension and handlebar. It has a large storage bin, back of the seat stow pockets, large sunshade and vinyl peek-a-boo window. It does not come standard to accept any kind of infant car seat, but there are multiple different adapters available through BOB for purchase. All adapters click onto the BOB frame and allow the carrier portion of the car seat to click and strap into place with additional restraint straps that screw on the stroller frame. This is a two step process that leaves more margin for error than the click in only products.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The Revolution earned the lowest score in the review for this metric with a 1 of 10 for car seat attachment. The average for the group is 6 with the Bugaboo Bee3 Combo earning a perfect 10 thanks to an easy to use car seat adapter loop that doesn't require any extra pressure to click most seats in place.
Britax B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, and Chaperone) and Britax Affinity Bassinet; Chicco Keyfit 30 and Chicco Keyfit; Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 and 40, SnugRide Classic Connect 30,32,35, and the Click Connect 30 and 30LX; and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, SIP and SIP 30/30. We tested the Revolution with the adapters for the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35.
The adapter for these seats required some assembly and it clicks in place.
Weight and Folded Size
Because of its size the Revolution earned the lowest score in our tests for this metric with a 3 of 10. The highest score is a 9 shared by the Baby Trend Snap-N-Go and the Graco SnugRider Elite; both are dedicated frame strollers that are low on extras, but very light and easy to carry.
The Revolution is harder to fold than most of the competition and it requires more steps than any other in this group. The process is a two hand operation with 4 steps. The stroller does not self-stand, is a manual lock, and cannot be rolled when folded. While the folding process itself is easy, it isn't as easy as those products that are one hand and 2 steps or less. Unfolding the Revolution is marginally easier with only 2 steps and one hand. The downside is you will have to bend all the way to the ground to unsnap the lock and pick it up, which might be painful or prohibited if you have a bad back or are recovering from a C-Section. Unless mom is strolling right out the front door and there is no need to fold or unfold this product she will need help.
This product is the worst for commuting, so if that is your main objective you'll want to look elsewhere. Its large size and long footprint make it not only awkward in small space like stores and cafes, but it also makes it hard to pick up and oddly shaped for smaller trunks. Also thanks to its size it does not conform to the public transport 2X4 rule so you are probably going to have to fold it to get it on the bus or subway. However, since it doesn't self-stand, roll, or have a carry handle, it will be hard or impossible to manage with your other hand carrying baby in their car seat. The Revolution is definitely more suited to the open trail than the city sidewalk and our commuting tests make this painfully obvious.
Chicco Bravo LE Combo coming in last place with a 3. It isn't really a surprise that the revolution is a stand out in this metric. With a components and a design built for jogging the Revolution has what it takes to make pushing and turning a stroller a breeze no matter what the terrain.
To learn more or read more in-depth details on maneuvering the Revolution you'll want to read about it in our Best Jogging Stroller Review and/or in our review for the Best Stroller.
The Revolution earned a 6 of 10 in our tests for safety, which is he average for the group. The high is 8 shared by the Britax B-Agile 3 Combo and the BOB Motion Combo. The low is 4 shared by the Chicco Keyfit Caddy and the Peg Perego Booklet.
The brakes on the Revolution are single action brakes with a nice center pedal on the rear axle. The pedal is wide and easy to use with little pressure. It is sandal foot friendly and can even be used with bare feet. The sliding resistance for the brakes is very good with little movement and there is limited play in the brakes once set, measuring about 0.5 inches.
The Revolution does not come standard with a parent console or cup holders, so there is no inherent risk for cup holders with this stroller. If the optional parent console is purchased then you will need to be conscious of the potential risk of items falling out of the holder and onto baby. The BOB console hangs slightly below the handlebar and is less of a risk than other products that sit high on the handlebar. Parents should also keep in mind never to use any cup holder with hot liquids to avoid accidental burns of baby from spilling liquids while strolling.
The side tip angle of the Revolution with the Chicco Keyfit 30 attached is 20 degrees from flat, this a higher tipping point than without the car seat where it tipped at 24.5 degrees from flat. For potential rear tipping we tested stroller with weight hanging from the handlebar to simulate the use of a diaper bag. While this is not recommended and the user manual clearly states you shouldn't do it, we understand it happens. Given the 3 wheel design of the Revolution it isn't a big surprise that it doesn't require much weight to fall backwards, only 25.75 pounds. The high weight for the group is over 56 pounds and the low is closer to 14 so it isn't the worst in the group, just below average.
For further more in-depth information on safety concerns or details on the toddler seat and harness system of the Revolution please read our review of the Revolution in our jogging and standard stroller reviews.
Ease of Use
The storage bin on the Revolution is large and we were able to fit our large diaper bag inside. It has a 10 pound weight limit, which isn't as high as the UPPAbaby products that hold over 25 pounds apiece, but it is far better than the Bugaboo Bee that only holds 4 pounds. Ease of access to the bin is only average with rear and limited side access available. It also has a large storage pocket on the back of the seat where parents can store convenience items or bottles of water.
The sunshade on this product is large and has an SPF rating of 50+. It is one of the nicer options in the group with added ventilation and a vinyl peek-a-boo window with cover. The canopy can be used with the car seats which we like, but it doesn't open all of the way with every adapter and it does get in the way when you install the seat so you'll need to juggle it around a bit.
Other convenience features on this stroller include passenger mesh storage pockets, padded leg rest, reclining seat and adjustable handlebar can be read about in our more detailed ease of use section in the standard stroller review. These features do not impact the use of this BOB as a car seat combination stroller and we have discussed them in previous reviews so we did not include this information here.
UPPAbaby Vista Combo. This is where the BOB really shines coming in ahead of most of the competition, but unfortunately for the Revolution this metric isn't weighed as heavily as the others. The low for the category is a 3 for the Chicco Keyfit Caddy.
The frame is a solid sturdy frame that has no flex even with the additional connection points and the fabric wraps around it nicely with no pinching or scrunching. The overall fit and finish of the stroller is good, but it hasn't changed much in the last 5 years which leaves us wondering if it has stayed the same while others have improved and advanced. While this might be true it is still a good looking ride that functions well and doesn't have any identifiable missteps in design or execution.
The tires are air filled rubber and the wheels are dense plastic and spoked to keep the weight down. They spin well with little to no resistance and they don't wobble or make noise. These are some of the nicest wheels in the review and are what give it some of the best maneuverability in the group.
This product is the only one in the group that has adjustable suspension on the rear wheels. This allows for more comfort for the passenger and can be a nice addition considering the car seat will add weight to the overall product requiring stiffer shocks.
Ease of Setup
The Revolution earned a 9 of 10 for ease of setup. This stroller comes almost entirely put together with only a few parts to add. It took us about 5 and ½ minutes to put this stroller together from unpacking to ready to use. The documentation is good with clear instructions and a picture for every step.
The best application for the Revolution Flex is as a standard size stroller without an infant car seat attached. Using the Revolution as your standard stroller gives you the maneuverability and performance you need with the ability to take it jogging or over rougher terrain for hiking adventures. The Revolution does a lot of things well, but in our testing it doesn't appear that car seat attachment is one of those things, and while we love this stroller, we do not love it for that use.
The Revolution is not the most expensive stroller in this review, nor the cheapest. It has a mid-range price that makes it a good value for a standard stroller you also plan to jog with. Alternatively, if you do not plan to jog then there are better strollers with similar or cheaper prices in this review that also work better in conjunction with infant car seats. The Best Value winner, the Britax B-Agile 3 Combo is a better value and provides a nice car seat attachment method than the Revolution. In addition, the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo is a nice high quality stroller that works well with a car seat and won an award both in this review and the standard stroller review. It has a list price of about $100 more than the BOB, but is a better value depending on your needs.
Other Versions and Accessories
We also considered the BOB Motion Combo in this review for car seat and stroller combinations. It did score higher than the Revolution, with a 65 compared to the Revolution's 39, but it still wasn't enough to push the BOB options into real contention. The Britax B-Agile 3 Combo is made by the same parent company as both BOB options and it scored higher and won our Best Value award in this review and our standard stroller review.
— BabyGearLab Review Team
Most recent user review: June 19, 2016
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