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Hands-on Gear Review
BOB Revolution Flex Combo Review
Price: $480.00 List | $449.99 at Amazon - 6% 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 full-size 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 14 products. While the Revolution does work with a large variety of major brands, it does not come standard with any car seat adapter. Also, the installation of all car seats requires 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 a 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 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 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. The connection is a two-step process that leaves more margin for error than the click in only products.
This comparison chart includes the overall scores for the combinations we tested in this review. The Revolution is shown in blue.
The sections below offer more details on how the revolutions performed compared to the competition.
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 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.
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 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. Skipping the strap 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 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 a 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 your baby is still in an infant carrier. Depending on how well childbirth went, or if mom had a C-section, she might not be able to lift more than a certain weight. With a weight of 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.
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 a surprise that the Revolution is a stand out in this metric. With 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 Jogging Stroller Review and/or in our review for the Best Full-Size Stroller.
Ease of Use
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 lb 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 brakes on the Revolution are single action brakes with a center pedal on the rear axle. The pedal is wide and easy to use with little pressure and is sandal foot friendly.
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 is compatible with the car seats which we like, but it doesn't open all 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 and are included in our more detailed ease of use section in the full-size stroller review.
The Revolution earned the high in the metric with an 8 of 10 tying with the UPPAbaby Vista Combo. This is where the BOB 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 are good, but it hasn't changed much in the last five 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 beautiful 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 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 provides increased comfort for the passenger.
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 use for the Revolution Flex is as a standard size stroller without a 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 tests, 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 use jogging. 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. Also, 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.
We like BOB, and we like the BOB Revolution Flex. However, we do not like the way the infant car seat carriers attach to the Revolution's 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
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 full-size stroller review.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
Most recent user review: June 19, 2016
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