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Hands-on Gear Review
Britax B-Agile 3 Combo Review
Price: $270 List
Pros: Light, easy car seat attachment with Britax
Cons: Plastic wheels, storage, handlebar
Bottom line: Budget friendly w/ easy car seat attachment
The Britax B-Agile 3 packs a lot of bang for the buck for both a standard stroller and a good stroller and car seat combination, which is why it won Best Value awards in both categories. This budget friendly stroller came in 7th place out of 15 products, managing the high score in our safety metric and the second highest score in the weight and folded size category. The B-Agile proves it has enough of what it takes to make most parents happy without breaking the bank or their back. While it has plastic wheels, and only a medium sized storage bin, we think the B-Agile is one to consider.
RELATED: Our complete review of stroller and car seat combos
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
The Britax B-Agile 3 has an aluminum frame, with a trike design that has dual front wheels (a design we aren't that fond of for maneuverability). This product offers a one hand fold, auto-lock and single action brakes. The Agile as all wheel suspension, medium sized under seat storage with a 10 pound weight capacity, and a zippered pocket on the back of the canopy. This stroller comes compatible with all Britax Click & Go car seats, and there is an additional adapter available for purchase to use with the Graco SnugRide, Chicco Keyfit and Peg-Perego Primo Viaggio (excluding the award winning Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35).
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
BOB Revolution Flex Combo with a 1 and additional strap restraints for carrier installation. The high in the group is a 10 earned by the Bugaboo Bee3 Combo, which has a car seat adapter loop that allows the infant car seat carrier to be placed inside where it clicks in place all by itself.
The B-Agile stroller comes with the adapters for use with any Britax Click & Go car seats. An additional adapter can be purchased to use with the B-Agile with the following car seats: Chicco KeyFit, Chicco KeyFit 30, Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30, 32 and 35 (not compatiable with the Click Connect models), and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio models (excluding the award winning Primo Viaggio 4-35). We tested the B-Agile with the Chicco Keyfit 30, Britax B-Safe 35, and the Graco SnugRide 30 Classic Connect.
The native Britax seat is by far better and easier to attach to the stroller than the others we tried. However, all of the seats were harder to attach than they really should be and some felt attached when they weren't. Because of this we suggest parents give a good tug on the carrier with each option to ensure the seat is securely connected.
Weight and Folded Size
UPPAbaby Cruz Combo and Bugaboo Bee. The high score for this metric is a 9 shared by all the dedicated frame strollers in the review, including the award winning Chicco Keyfit Caddy. The BOB Revolution Flex has the low score in the group for being the heaviest and largest folded package it earned a 3.
The B-Agile weighed 17.9 pounds in our tests, which is higher than the 16.5 pounds the manufacturer claims. This is on the heavier side for new moms or mothers who've had a C-section, and means that many will be unable or not allowed to lift it. However, it is still lighter than some of the competition and is far lighter than the Revolution which is over 26 pounds. The lightest in the group are the frame strollers which offer very little in the way of convenience features, so they can remain light and easier to manage. The lightest in the group is the Baby Trend with a weight of 10.9 pounds.
Folding the B-Agile is very easy and can be managed with one hand so you have a free hand to hold baby in the carrier. This product auto-locks once folded, has a carry strap to make transporting it easier, but it does not self-stand. Folding the B-Agile takes 2 steps, and you will need to bend to about 45 degrees. It will not roll once folded, so parents will have to carry it even a short distance. It requires two hands to unfold, which is still fairly easy with only 2 steps. This does however mean that you will need to set baby down in order to achieve an open stroller. It is easier to unfold if it is lying on the ground, so you will need to bend all the way over to pull it into an open position. This is something that might prove difficult for moms who've had a C-section or anyone with a bad back.
The B-Agile scored better than average for commuting thanks to its smaller footprint and ease of maneuvering in small spaces. The smaller folded size makes it better at car trunk travel than some of the competition, but it could have been lighter so it was easier to lift. It does conform to the public transport law in some areas of being smaller than 2X4 feet so you may not have to fold it to take the bus or subway, but if you do it won't self-stand or roll when folded so you will be stuck carrying it. This can be difficult for new moms thanks to the weight, but managing the stroller, baby in the infant carrier, a diaper bag and any other items at the same time might prove impossible for most parents traveling solo. It is one of the longer strollers given the stationary handlebar which makes it sort of a burden in small cafes.
BOB Motion Combo thanks to a stiffer handlebar that allows for more control.
You can find more details on the maneuverability of the B-Agile in our standard stroller review.
This Britax has single action brakes that are easy to set and are sandal foot friendly. The brakes have about 0.5 inch of play in them once set and the sliding resistance is only average compared to the competition. This is below average for the group where the most play in brakes was 1.25 inches for the Chicco Liteway Plus.
The B-Agile does not come standard with any cup holders so there is not an inherent safety concern for cup holders. Some strollers have cup holders that are set high on the frame under or connected to the handlebars. Many of these holders did not score well in our testing because items fell out of the holders and into the carrier where baby would be sitting.
The B-Agile performed better than any other product in our tests for the amount of weight that can be applied to the handlebar before the stroller toppled backwards. This stroller required over 56 pounds of pressure on the handlebar before it tipped. The average weight for the group is 26 pounds, which makes it well above average. For side tipping the Britax fell at about 16 degrees from flat; only three other products tipped sooner.
To find out more about the Britax B-Agile safety considerations, please read our review of this stroller in our standard stroller review. This will include features and performance that are not applicable to the stroller as it works with car seats, such as harnesses and buckles.
Ease of Use
This product has a medium size storage bin under the seat. We were able to fit our medium size diaper bag inside with average access from the sides and back. There is cross bar that runs across the back of the bin that curves up and limits access to the bin significantly. In addition to the bar, the toddler seat will be fully reclined with the infant carrier attached making the bin fairly far under a second obstacle limiting access. The sides are more open, but smaller. The maximum allowable weight for the bin is 10 pounds, which is about average for the group with the best bins have a maximum of 25-30 pounds and the worst closer to 4.
There is additional storage on the back of the canopy on this Britax. The pocket is large and zippered, but it does swing from the back when you walk. The real downside however is that the canopy will not be on the stroller unless you pair this with a Britax car seat. The pocket doesn't list a weight allowance, but we wouldn't put much in it given its attachment to the canopy.
The canopy on this stroller is large and offers additional ventilation and a medium sized mesh peek-a-boo window. The canopy is adequate for the stroller, and the toddler seat, but given that you won't be able to use this canopy with most of the car seat options it won't do you much good. If you want the added protection the canopy offers we suggest you pair this stroller with the Britax seats. They are easier to attach and feel more secure anyway so it is a natural choice if you don't already own a seat.
The B-Agile does not come standard with a parent console or child's tray (they do offer an accessory for an additional fee). It does offer a few other conveniences like a padded leg rest and adjustable recline. You can read more about these features in the B-Agile review in our standard stroller review as these features are not used in a car seat stroller combination.
UPPAbaby Vista Combo and the BOB Revolution. The low is a 3 for the Chicco Keyfit Caddy, a bare bones frame stroller with little to assess for quality and a low price to match its score.
The B-Agile has a nice sturdy frame that is finished well and has little flex. The components and materials attach to the frame nicely giving it an overall pleasing fit and finish. The back of the frame curves up and while this limits the storage access, it does prevent taller parents from kicking the rear axle while strolling.
The wheels are made of a type of plastic called Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) that are foam filled. Britax claims that EVA is "rubber-like" but we found it be simply a bit better plastic than the hard plastic wheels found on low-end strollers. In our side-by-side comparisons we found the B-Agile wheels had more in common with the plastic wheels on some of the other strollers than they did with the foam filled rubber wheels on strollers like the UPPAbaby Cruz. The foam helps give some density to the wheels to prevent them from becoming misshapen, but it would be better if the tires were rubber. The wheels are larger than most low-end hard plastic wheels and they do spin freely without resistance or hiccups commonly found in the cheaper plastic wheels. We do not feel like they have the same level of durability or quality as the rubber options in this review.
This stroller has rear shocks, but they aren't great; it took a lot of pressure for us to even get them to move and we suspect lighter weight babies won't be able to engage the shocks at all. In fact, when we first reviewed them, we thought they didn't have rear shocks at all! The handlebar is stationary and sits at 40 inches from the ground. It is a fairly good height and we liked the oblong shape of the tubing.
This product is hand washable and has a 2 year limited warranty.
Ease of Setup
UPPAbaby Cruz and the low is a 2 for the Bugaboo Bee, which requires assembly of almost every part. It took us 5 minutes and 42 seconds to unpack the box and prepare the stroller for use. The documentation is good compared to some of the competition and the instructions are clear with helpful corresponding pictures for each step. You do not need tools to complete assembly.
The best application for this stroller is everyday around town activity. The B-Agile is a great stroller that works well with toddlers and babies in an infant car seat. It isn't the best at off road fun and you definitely don't want to jog with it, but it will get you and baby where you need to go on paved surfaces and flat terrain with ease and in style.
The B-Agile is the cheapest standard stroller in this review. While the frame strollers are considerably cheaper, the B-Agile is a product you will be able to use until baby is done with his strolling years. We feel the B-Agile is a good value for most families, and its ability to work with the Britax Click & Go strollers make it an even better value because it can be used for newborns and smaller babies before they are big enough for the sling seat.
Other Versions and Accessories
The same parent company that makes the Britax B-Agile 3 also makes the BOB Motion Combo and the BOB Revolution Flex Combo. Neither option scored that well in this review, though they both earned higher scores in our standard stroller review with the Revolution earning an Editors' Choice award. However, when it comes to pairing one of these options with an infant car seat, the B-Agile pulls ahead of its more expensive brothers.
— BabyGearLab Review Team
Most recent user review: June 19, 2016
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