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Hands-on Gear Review

BOB Revolution Flex Combo Review


Stroller and Car Seat Combo

The BOB Revolution Flex is a jogging stroller that offers adapters for several car seats (shown above with the Chicco Keyfit). The BOB adapters click in when you place the seat in  but still require the additional step of attaching the restraining strap to properly secure it.
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
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   BOB

The Skinny

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.

While possibly not the best for car seat attachment, the Flex still impressed us in other categories, winning an Editors' Choice award for both the Best Baby Stroller Review and the Best Jogging Stroller Review.

RELATED: Our complete review of stroller and car seat combos

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
BabyGearLab Review Team


Last Updated:
Sunday
June 19, 2016
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.

Performance Comparison


The Revolution works with a variety of infant car seat brands.
The Revolution works with a variety of infant car seat brands.

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.

No matter what car seat adapter you use with the Revolution  you'll need to use the restraint straps for secure attachment.
No matter what car seat adapter you use with the Revolution, you'll need to use the restraint straps for secure attachment.
The Revolution does not come standard with an car seat adapter or attachment capabilities, however BOB does offer additional adapters for sale that work with all Britax and BOB infant car seat with Click and Go (including the 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 Revolution  car seat adapter for the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35.
Some strollers have both a click  in and strap attachment process  like this one for the BOB Revolution and Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat.
 
The photos above show the adapters for the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 (left) and the Chicco Keyfit 30 (right).

The adapter for these seats required some assembly and it clicks in place.
The adapters slide into the attachment points located on either side of the Revolution frame.
The adapters slide into the attachment points located on either side of the Revolution frame.
You also need to screw on the additional restraint straps to the frame and this requires a Phillips head screwdriver. It isn't difficult to accomplish either process, but many of the other products we looked at offered adapters that did not need assembly and had no additional straps to mess with making the entire process easier. On the upside you will only need to bother with this once, but you will need to remove the straps once baby is finished using their infant car seat. You do not need to remove the canopy to attach the car seat carriers, but you might not be able to use it either.

The Chicco attachment works in a similar fashion on the Revolution as it does on the Chicco car seat base.
The Chicco attachment works in a similar fashion on the Revolution as it does on the Chicco car seat base.
Both the Peg (shown here) and the Chicco (not shown) are released from the Revolution adapter with the release handle on the back of the car seat.
Both the Peg (shown here) and the Chicco (not shown) are released from the Revolution adapter with the release handle on the back of the car seat.
The Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Peg scored the same during testing for ease of attachment with the only score difference being the final stability of the seat where the Peg edged out the Chicco by one point. The Chicco requires more pressure that the Peg to achieve the right attachment because the canopy gets in the way as you press down, but the Peg still has canopy trouble that prevents both sides from connecting every time. We often found that after the click only one side was fully engaged. The process might be easier with the canopy removed, but we kept it on because that is how it is shown on the BOB website. Once the seats are clicked in place, with both sides connected, you'll then need to attach the restraint straps. We are not big fans of the second strap step and every stroller that required the use of straps lost points in our testing process.

The adapters on the Revolution slide into the side connection points and the straps screw into the sides as well.
The adapters on the Revolution slide into the side connection points and the straps screw into the sides as well.
We worry that the restraint straps on this and other strollers will not be used consistently every time the carrier is attached. Given that many seats will feel like they are adequately connected to the stroller we think it is highly likely that parents will potentially forget to connect the strap, choose not to use the strap, or become distracted before they complete the entire attachment process. This means the carrier will not be attached according to the manufacturer description, which leaves baby open for potential injury should the carrier detach from the stroller for whatever reason. Given that many strollers in this review offer adapters and attachments that do not require the use of additional straps we think it is safer to find a car seat/stroller combination that does not require the use of restraint straps.

Weight and Folded Size


The Revolution is the largest and heaviest product in the review.
The Revolution is the largest and heaviest product in the review.
The Revolution continued to disappoint in the weight and folded size metric where it is the heaviest and the largest folded product in the group. Given that most parents will be using their stroller and car seat combinations when baby is a newborn and mom is fresh from childbirth we think it is best to find the lightest stroller that will meet your needs when baby is still in an infant carrier. Depending on how well childbirth went, or if mom had a C-section, she could be limited in the amount of weight she can or should be lifting. With a weight over 26 pounds and a folded size over 15,000 cubic inches, the Revolution is likely too large for most moms to manage on their own.

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.

Maneuverability


The Revolution has air filled rubber tires that make maneuvering the stroller over various terrain a breeze.
The Revolution has air filled rubber tires that make maneuvering the stroller over various terrain a breeze.
Possibly the only metric the Revolution does shine in for this review is maneuverability. This BOB earned a high score of 9 of 10 in our tests with the 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.

The front wheel on the Flex can swivel or be locked in place depending on the kind of terrain you are attempting to traverse.
The front wheel on the Flex can swivel or be locked in place depending on the kind of terrain you are attempting to traverse.
The Revolution performed well on pavement as well as rougher surfaces like grass and gravel. The rubber air filled tires and adjustable suspension make even the biggest bumps manageable for baby, and the adjustable tracking on the locking swivel front wheel mean the BOB will be moving in a straight line over every crack. In addition, the swivel front wheel makes negotiating tight corners a snap and gives it an edge over other BOB joggers that have a fixed front wheel.

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.

Safety


The single action brakes on the Flex are easy to use  even if the pedal is on the small side.
The single action brakes on the Flex are easy to use, even if the pedal is on the small side.
Safety testing at BabyGearLab consists of considerations for pinch points, brake use, and tendency to tip on an angle or backwards from weight on the handlebar. While we tested these features in other reviews for the Revolution the results are somewhat different here because the tests were performed with an infant car seat attached according to manufacturer specifications. This changes the stroller weight and the center of gravity which could affect its overall safety performance.

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 fairly large  but has poor access from any side but the back.
The storage bin on the Revolution is fairly large, but has poor access from any side but the back.
The Revolution earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use, which might not seem that great, but the high is only 7 for the Chicco Bravo LE, so it is close to meeting that score. The low for the metric is a 3 for the Graco SnugRider Elite, which is a bare bones frame stroller that is limited in its abilities and features.

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 Chicco Canopy doesn't work that well with the revolution canopy for covering baby.
The Revolution canopy works slightly better with the Peg Perego seat and canopy than the Chicco option.
 
The photos above show the canopy on the Revolution in conjunction with the Chicco Keyfit 30 (left) and the Peg Perego car seat (right).

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.

Quality


The Revolution earned the high in the metric with an 8 of 10 tying with the 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.

The Flex has a handlebar that adjusts by rotating the bar up and down on pivot points attached to the frame.
The Flex has a handlebar that adjusts by rotating the bar up and down on pivot points attached to the frame.
The handlebar on the Revolution is adjustable from 34.3 to 45.7 inches from the ground. It is covered in dense foam and feels good in hand, but is not ergonomic in shape. It adjusts by rotating on a pivot point, which we don't like as much as the telescoping adjustment found the UPPAbaby products because it causes taller users to be too close to the rear axle where they can end up kicking the back of the stroller while walking. However, the adjustment is better for parents of differing heights than a non-adjustable option.

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 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.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


The Revolution only looks bigger and sort of awkward with a car seat in place.
The Revolution only looks bigger and sort of awkward with a car seat in place.
We like BOB, and we like the BOB Revolution Flex. However, we do not like the way infant car seat carriers attach to the Revolution car seat adapters. Even though this stroller is a breeze to maneuver, has rubber air filled tires, and a large canopy it is not enough to make up for the poor attachment design that requires the use of restraint straps in addition to the click in adapters. We worry the restraint straps will go unused for several different reasons, which could leave baby open to potential injury due to a poorly installed carrier. We think parents will like the Revolution for many reasons, but car seat attachment is not one of them.

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

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User Reviews


Most recent user review: June 19, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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