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Hands-on Gear Review
Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX Universal Review
Price: $70 List | $56.88 from Amazon - 19% Off
Pros: Works with almost any infant seat
Cons: Strap attachment, larger fold, brakes
Bottom line: Sort of universal, but the strap attachment is one we don't like
The Baby Trend stroller disappointed us with a strap installation system that we worry will go undone leaving baby in a potentially dangerous situation. The Baby Trend is a dedicated frame stroller that is designed as a universal option for almost any infant car seat brand. It is fairly easy to use and attach car seats, but features like dual action brakes, limited storage bin weight capacity, and dual plastic front wheels make it a stroller we aren't crazy about. we understand that the price is appealing, but the features and performance simply aren't.
RELATED: Our complete review of stroller and car seat combos
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
The Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX Universal is a frame stroller that works with almost any infant car seat on the market. This basic stroller has a "net" comprised of two adjustable straps that support the bottom of the carrier with additional straps that secure the seat over the top. The Snap-N-Go offers a low storage bin, plastic wheels, a parent console with cup holders, and a simple fold with dual action brakes. While this frame product does work with a variety of seats, the straps make it more difficult to use and a potential safety hazard if parents forget or choose not to use them.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The Baby Trend suffered in our competition for car seat attachment because of the attachment method. It earned a 6 of 10 in this metric, tying with 6 other products. The low score for attachment in this review is the BOB Revolution Flex Combo with a score of 1, and the easiest are the Bugaboo Bee 3 Combo and Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Combo with perfect 10s and a car seat attachment loops that are so easy to use that all you need to do is lightly set the carrier in the loop and it clicks into place almost by itself.
Chicco Keyfit 30, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, and the UPPAbaby Mesa.
In our testing we tried several different brand car seats in the Baby Trend including: the Cybex Aton 2, Chicco Keyfit 30, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, Safety 1st onBoard Air, and the UPPAbaby Mesa. Most of the car seats we tried felt secure once properly install with both steps. However, the Cybex Aton 2 did move around a lot in the frame and while it probably isn't going to fall out, it does have a lot more movement than the other brands we tried. So if you are committed to using the Snap-N-Go it's probably best to avoid the Cybex combination.
Weight and Folded Size
Chicco Keyfit Caddy for the best in the group for weight and folded size with a score of 9 of 10. The low for the group is the BOB Revolution Flex Combo which is quite heavy and large, but is a jogging stroller at its core and not the same type of product as the dedicated frame products.
We feel weight and folded size are important features to consider when looking for a car seat stroller. Because the stroller will have the added weight of the car seat and because mom might have medical limitations after childbirth or a C-Section that prevents her from lifting heavy things, we prefer a smaller and lighter product for car seat attachment. The dedicated frame strollers fit this bill better than the standard strollers for the most part and the Baby Trend meets part of this requirement with a weight of 10.9 pounds, making it the lightest option in the review.
Unfortunately, it is strangely large for being the lightest product with an overall cubic size of 8,661 inches. This isn't a super large size mind you, with the Revolution measuring over 15,000 cubic inches, but it isn't as small as the standard stroller, Britax B-Agile 3 Combo that measures at 6,414 cubic inches and only weighs 17.9 pounds.
The Baby Trend earned a 4 of 10 for this metric with the low score going to the Chicco Bravo LE Combo with a 3. The high in the group is a 9 earned by the Revolution that is a jogging stroller designed with adjustable shocks, adjustable front wheel tracking, and rubber pneumatic tires with ball bearing wheels that make it one of the best movers out there.
The Baby Trend has smaller plastic wheel with the double front wheel design we aren't fond of because they have trouble not getting caught on items and aren't the best at staying on track. There is significant flex in the frame that gave us trouble moving over a 1 inch curb and was really better at hard surfaces than terrains like grass and gravel where we had trouble turning it. It did manage stairs easier than we thought, with more control and no bounce, but it is probably best to keep this product on the flat and hard surfaces.
BOB Motion Combo, Bugaboo Cameleon 3, and the Britax B-Agile 3. The low is a 4 shared by the Peg Perego Booklet Combo and the dedicated frame product, the Chicco Keyfit Caddy.
The Baby Trend has double action brakes that require two separate pedals to be pushed to fully activate them. We prefer the single action brakes that only require the push of single pedal to enact both sides at the same time. This means that the brakes are properly applied without the chance of only half the brakes being used. So with this model you could potentially think the brakes are applied when they really aren't. The brakes are only average for ease of setting and they have a little more play in them than the competition. In addition, the sliding resistance is poor on an angle with the brakes set.
The Baby Trend has a side tip angle of about 20 degrees from flat with the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat attached. This is slightly above average for the group with the lowest tip angle being 25 degrees. The back tip weight on the handlebar required to topple to the stroller back is a little over 36 pounds.
Ease of Use
Chicco Liteway Plus Combo and the Graco Snugrider Elite. The high for the group is a 7 earned by the Chicco Bravo LE. A lot of the features and conveniences that make a stroller easy to use are missing on the Baby Trend, because at its heart it is a frame stroller that doesn't really need, nor historically have these features.
The storage bin on this stroller is on the large side, but it has a 5 pound weight limit which will seriously inhibit what you can place inside. We were only able to fit the medium sized diaper bag into the bin because the access to the bin is poor no matter what side you attempt to use. There is access from all sides, but because the carrier sits down into the frame it also causes interference with bin below. But again, you aren't going to be able to put much in there with a 5 pound limit. You will not be able to do your errands or grocery shopping using this bin. Compared to either of the UPPAbaby strollers with limits of 25 and 30 pounds apiece, this bin becomes largely useless.
The Baby Trend is one of the few options that comes with a parent console standard. That sounds like a nice thing, but it isn't really that useful. The cup holders on the smaller side and the little storage compartment is too small for an iPhone or much of anything else. In addition, there is a safety concern with putting bottles or other taller items into the cup holders because they might fall out and onto baby while strolling. This stroller might be better without the console which seems to check a box of desired items without doing it well enough to be useful.
There is no canopy on the Baby Trend, and all car seat carriers will need to rely on their own canopy for protection from weather and other elements you hope to shield baby from. Given that all car seat carriers have a canopy attached it isn't a deal breaker, though you won't be able to connect two and create a complete bubble of protection.
UPPAbaby Vista Combo and the Revolution.
The materials and components used on this stroller aren't the best. The storage bin material is fairly flimsy and it looks like if it gets a small cut it will easily turn into a larger hole, and is likely why it has a weight limit of only 5 pounds.
The wheels are small and foam filled plastic; they look like those found on a play stroller as opposed to an actual stroller for real babies. They wobble when pushed and do not rotate well when spun. Compared to some of the competition that offer rubber tires and ball bearings on the wheel hub, it is easy to see how the quality is limited on this frame product. There is also no suspension on this product so there is nothing to help cushion the bumps and unevenness of the road. This means baby will feel every imperfection and jarring motion you may encounter.
The handlebar height is about 39 inches from the ground which is sort of tall compared to the competition, but taller parents will be thankful it isn't a low hanging bar given that it isn't adjustable. It is covered in a soft rubber type material that feels good in hand, but also feels like it might develop imperfections easily that could grow over time until chunks of the cover are missing.
Overall the fit and finish isn't bad, it simply isn't as good as the competition and on closer look the components and materials used appear to be of a lesser quality. The way the components are put together and connected make the overall product harder to use. So what appears to be a bare bones frame stroller with nice features starts to tarnish on close inspection.
Ease of Setup
Putting this stroller together is a snap. It earned a 9 of 10 for ease of setup and took us about 5 minutes to put together. This is all in spite of a poorly constructed manual that makes the first paragraph of instructions hard to find and buried in the manual in an odd location. The pictures in the manual are not great and almost make the simple process more difficult by using them. Though it is easy to assemble, it does require more assembly than some of the other stroller sin this review with front and rear wheel assembly and console construction.
There may not really be a best application for this stroller. As a dedicated frame stroller this product works with almost every infant car seat carrier on the market. However, we found that there are better stroller and car seat combinations in this review that simply work better, have higher performance or better features than this option. In the event you've already been given or purchased a car seat that doesn't work with one of the higher ranking strollers you may not have many options for your seat. This may be the best application for this particular product. Because of the strap installation system we aren't a big fan of this product, but if there isn't a good stroller option for your seat it will work temporarily until baby can sit up on their own and graduate to a standard product. Given the lower price it could be a good solution over purchasing an additional car seat and stroller combination.
The Baby Trend Snap-N-Go is $53; yep you read that right. It wins much favor for parents on a budget or those looking for the cheapest way to get baby around in their car seat. Because the price is so low it can be viewed as being a good value and depending on your goals and car seat, it could be your only option and you'll be thankful for the friendly price tag. However, because of the strap installation system we think parents are better off finding a solution that is budget friendly and also refrains from using straps with only a one step click in attachment. We think the Chicco Keyfit Caddy is a better option. It only accepts Chicco products, which limits its use, but it is about $100 and does not have straps for installation.
— BabyGearLab Review Team
Most recent user review: June 19, 2016
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