Britax B-Lively Double Review
Pros: Saller, comparatively lightweight
Cons: Harder to push and turn, harder to use
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Britax came to the US in 1996 after a long, illustrious run in Europe for over 70 years. They quickly become known for their infant car seats and quality strollers. Britax makes a variety of car seats from infant to boosters and multiple stroller options. They purchased BOB strollers and now offer high-quality jogging strollers.
Ease of Use
Thanks to stiff competition in this lineup of strollers, the B-Lively struggled to keep up and earned a lower than average score for ease of use compared to the competition.
Fold and Unfold
The fold is a quick and straightforward process of frame release and a handle pull. You'll need to hands, but it is easy enough to accomplish, and you can do it in a flash if you need to.
The single-action brakes on the B-Lively worked well in our tests and are easy to set. Releasing is also easy with a design that is pain-free to foot tops.
The under-seat storage bin on the B-Lively has limited access when the seats are reclined. You can access it from the front with the zippered leg rest panel lifted, but moving kid's feet out of the way isn't always easy.
The bin is large enough for supplies for two, but the weight limit is only 10 lbs. This limit is average, but there are options with three times as much limit. There is still a bar through the center of the bin that inhibits use.
Each seat on the B-Lively has an independent canopy. The sunshades are UPF 50+, have a medium size mesh window with a fold forward cover with no closure mechanism. They are relatively large and stay tight when open.
Each seat has a 5-point harness with padded shoulder straps. Britax has changed the harness and buckle o the new model, and we feel it loses some ground over prior models. The Harness tightening method feels more flimsy than it used to. Closing the buckle now requires two hands, and opening it requires removing the straps from the buckle one by one.
The seats both recline on their own for individualized comfort. The leg rests, and footpad are stationary but at a slight angle for comfort. The seatbacks recline with two straps and a plastic toggle. It can recline with only one hand, but you'll need two to raise it, and we prefer the push-button style on some of the competition.
Car Seat Compatibility
The B-Lively is only compatible with one infant car seat of the Britax brand only. The adapter is sold separately and comes with an attached snack tray for the second passenger. This design locks you into Britax only infant car seats and a must-use snack tray.
Ease of Setup
The B-Lively Double comes mostly assembled, and it took us under 8 minutes to assemble. The manual is useful and is good compared to the competition.
Our box came damaged and was missing a wheel, but once we got all the parts, we were able to get things rolling with the attachment of wheels and canopies.
Due to the dual wheel on each front leg design of the B-Lively, it struggled in our tests for maneuverability. In our tests, historically, we see that this design, coupled with plastic wheels, usually results in a harder to push and turn stroller. While it manages well enough on flat surfaces, any bump or uneven surface causes some issues with the ability to continue forward. Grass and gravel are even more challenging, and this isn't one you'd want to take very far off the beaten path.
Weight and Folded Size
Weight and folded size are where the B-Lively gets an opportunity to shine. This double measures 11,063 cubic inches when folded, making it the smallest in the group. It weighs just over 27 lbs, which also makes it one of the lightest options in the lineup. If you have limited space or can't lift heavier items, this could be the game-changer you've been looking for.
The B-Lively has average quality compared to the competition and is probably on par for the price. The fabric is ripstop, easy to clean, and feels skin-friendly. It has a better footrest than previous Britax options we've seen, and the storage bin material feels sturdy.
This stroller sports an adjustable handlebar covered in dense foam, and the bar is split in the middle with a strange triangle that will limit one-handed pushing. It is this lack of thoughtful design and attention to detail that hurts the Lively compared to the competition. The wheels are plastic, and while potentially better than other plastic options in the review, they aren't great. This impacts durability and longevity as a dented plastic tire will hurt maneuverability down the road. Overall, the quality is good for the price, and we think most parents will be happy with it, but it isn't the best thing going.
The B-Lively might be suitable for older twins who can sit on their own, but infants can't be pushed simultaneously as it only accepts one infant car seat carrier. While you can make that work with a baby carrier, it does mean you will need to wear one child at all times. Also, it will only accept Britax brand carriers, so if you want an infant seat from a competing brand, you will need to look elsewhere.
— Wendy Schmitz