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Hands-on Gear Review
Baby Trend Expedition ReviewPrice: $150.00 List | $102.99 at Amazon - 31% off
Pros: Easy to navigate tight places, inexpensive
Cons: Limited 5 lb storage limit, lower quality materials
Bottom line: Easy to maneuver, budget friendly option that has limited functionality
The Baby Trend Expedition has an economical price and continues to prove that it can compete with the more expensive strollers by earning more points than eight other products in this competition, all of which cost more. However, it just missed winning the Best Value award for Best Full-Size Stroller by the Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini that all scored higher with competitive prices. With easy to push and turn rubber tires and convenience features not found on all of the competition, the Expedition does stand out as an attractive option for parents on a budget, that might like to go off-road or for the occasional jog.
The Expedition impressed in our Best Jogging Strollers Review with a performance that helped it win a Best Value award in that review. Though not the best for serious runners, this economical stroller proves it can handle the occasional jog with ease with a very budget friendly price.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Full-size Strollers of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Expedition Jogging Stroller is a steel frame stroller with a lockable front swivel wheel and large bicycle tires. It features a rubber handle with an adjustable canopy. The seat is a multiple position reclining seat that is padded and has an adjustable 5-point harness with a tether strap. It comes with a child and parent tray with cup holders and a covered compartment storage; there is also a storage basket and footrest reflectors. It can accommodate children from 6 months to 50 pounds or 42 inches.
The chart below shows the overall scores for all of the strollers we tested in this review. The Baby Trend Expedition is shown in blue.
The sections below outline the details of the test results for the Baby Trend in each metric.
Ease of Use
The Baby Trend earned a 5 of 10 for ease of use. The high score for this metric is 8 shared by the UPPAbaby Vista and the UPPAbaby Cruz.
The Baby Trend has an extra-large storage bin compared to the completion. Unfortunately, it has a maximum allowable capacity of 5 pounds, making the size somewhat useless. This bin can be accessed from the back and sides, with smaller openings on the sides. We managed to fit our extra-large diaper bag through the back opening, but with a 5-pound weight limit, it will need to be almost empty to meet the limitations of the bin.
The sun shade for the Expedition is small compared to the competition and has no listed SPF rating, but it has ventilation and a peek-a-boo window. The window is made of mesh and is small, but so is the shade. The shade won't cover the knees of older toddlers, and there is little side protection from the elements. The entire canopy can rotate forward if needed for additional sun protection.
The parent tray on this stroller has two cup holders and a closed storage compartment that can hold most smartphones, even larger ones. The cup holders are closed compartments and can hold convenience items like keys. They are relatively deep, and the closed chamber is larger than some of the competition. The cup holders were compatible with the baby and water bottles, as well as sippy cups we tested. There is also two zippered pockets on the back of the canopy. The maximum allowed weight in the parent tray and pockets is 6 pounds, oddly more than the under seat bin. This makes 11 pounds overall for the stroller.
The Baby Trend has its most impressive score in the maneuverability metric with an 8 of 10. This is an impressive score for a stroller that in all other ways is startling average. The high for the group is a 9 earned by the BOB Revolution Flex.
The Expedition rolls easily and turns nicely, but not as nice as the Baby Jogger City Mini GT. It managed smaller spaces better than the Baby Jogger strollers, but it is a little tippy when you turn fast or sharply. The swivel front wheel allows it to move better than you'd expect for such a long stroller, and for pushing and turning on pavement, it only required one hand. Bumps and cords result in a bigger jolt than other strollers, likely thanks to the rubber tires. For off road and rougher terrain, it also performed well; it rolls over everything easily, including navigating grass and gravel. Taking the stroller over curbs and stairs is also easy, perhaps in part because it lacks shocks and doesn't bounce over the bumps giving the illusion of more control.
The Baby Trend earned a 4 of 10 for quality; this is below average for this review. The high is an 8 shared by the UPPAbaby Vista and the BOB Revolution Flex.
The fabric on the seat is a softer canvas with a suede-like material on the upper area of the seat where baby's head would be. The sides of the seat are a slicker flimsy looking material that looks cheap but is probably easier to clean than the canvas in the head region. The sunshade is a thicker canvas with a peek-a-boo window that has a loosely woven mesh that didn't snag in our tests. The storage bin is made of the same flimsy material as the sides of the seat with strips of mesh (like that found in the window) down the sides.
The frame on the Expedition is made of steel, so it is heavier than most of the competition. It has several hinge points and plastic connectors. It is a solid frame but looks cheap compared to the competition. The overall fit and finish of this stroller are straightforward and adequate. Unfortunately, everything feels sort of cheap despite the fact the individual pieces are finished well. There is too much movement at the joint where the stroller folds and all the exposed connection points spoil the overall look.
The wheels on the Expedition are pneumatic and rubber but are not as nice as those found on the BOB Revolution Flex. It is a bicycle style wheel that has a lot of play when attached to the frame. We don't consider this a deal breaker, but it does speak to the overall quality and attention to detail on this stroller and will probably lead to vibration and wobbling over time.
The handlebar is not adjustable and sits at 41 inches. It ranked average compared to the competition for comfort and design. Testers liked the ergonomic shaped of this handlebar compared to most of the competition that went with a simple U shape. The rubber cover is grippy and feels durable, but black rubber is probably going to get hot to the touch in sunny weather. The handlebar height might be a problem for shorter parents.
The Expedition has no suspension, which is rare in this group and impacts the comfort of the passenger and ability to roll over various terrains without baby being jostled. The large air filled tires help a little with this problem, but it is hard to compete in the comfort category without suspension. It also has a seat that only has minimal padding and a harder back that isn't as nice as the sling style seats found on most of the competition.
This Baby Trend earned a score of 4 of 10 for safety; this is the lowest score in the group. The average score for this review is a 6, and the high is an 8 earned by the Baby Jogger City Select.
The brakes on this stroller are only about average in their difficulty to set and release. They are a double action brake that requires both sides to be set independently. They are the only double action brakes in this review. We feel double action brakes have a higher chance of being set improperly because both need to be engaged for the stroller to be parked. Parents might forget to do one side or chose not to if they are in a hurry. This impacts the overall safety of the stroller. In contrast the sliding resistance is good and there is minimal play in the brakes (0.5 inches) once they are set properly.
While it is nice that the Expedition has cup holders, there is a safety concern with these cup holders because they are located high on the stroller, are behind baby's head, and are shallow. This means items could fall out of the cup holders and fall on baby's head. During testing, we found that most water bottles did topple out and most landed on our fake baby. We suggest that parents refrain from using the cup holders when in motion to avoid the possibility of injury to the baby.
This stroller has a 5-point harness that is harder to get on and off than most of the competition. It does offer height adjustable shoulder straps and an adjustable crotch strap so that parents can get a good fit for baby, but it is sort of difficult to get the parts of the buckle lined up correctly, and it is stiff to buckle and release. It does not have padded straps.
Weight and Folded Size
The Expedition scored a 6 of 10 for weight and folded size. It weighs in at 23.7 pounds which is lighter than the average for the group, but still 6 pounds over the lightest strollers in the group at 17.5 pounds. The Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini are both lighter and smaller than the Expedition. These two competing products won Best Value awards and this difference in size is part of the reason why the Expedition didn't. This stroller has a folded size of 23.1"W x 33.1"H x 16.3"L and is 12,463 cubic inches. This isn't a huge stroller considering the average for the group is closer to 11,400 cubic inches, but once again it can't compete with the smaller options like the Britax B-Agile 3 at 6,414 cubic inches.
This Baby Trend is not a one-handed fold and doesn't have an auto-locking feature or a carry handle, but it does self-stand. The fold has been improved over the previous model that we felt had some pinch points where the frame bends. It is a three step fold and is average compared to the competition for ease of folding.
Ease of Setup
The Expedition earned an 8 of 10 for ease of setup, which is only 2 points below the high of 10 earned by the UPPAbaby Cruz. It took us close to 7 minutes to put this together, but it was our second time, so it's only fair to say it was closer to 8 the first time around. The documentation for this stroller is only average compared to the rest of the group. It seems to be an improvement from when we reviewed it for jogging strollers, but it still isn't great. The instructions and pictures are only average, but it doesn't require any tools to set up, so that is a plus.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Expedition is only compatible with the Baby Trend car seat, and there are no adapters available for other brands. We feel this is limiting for parents and short-sighted on the part of Baby Trend given that parents might be interested in this stroller, but don't care for the Baby Trend seat. We did not have a Baby Trend seat to test with this stroller.
The best application for this stroller is still as a Best Value for parents looking for a jogging style stroller, but who only jog occasionally. In the world of standard size strollers, it probably doesn't have a best application thanks to an average overall score and lower scores for quality and safety. Compared to the competition this stroller simply doesn't offer performance scores equal to several other inexpensive strollers in this review. However, for a jogging stroller is does offer some nice features with an affordable price, albeit questionable running capabilities.
The Expedition feels like a good value because it has the lowest prices in this review, and we still feel it is a good value for an adequate jogging stroller for parents that only run occasionally. However, for a standard stroller this one just didn't hit the mark. We feel our Best Value winners the Britax B-Agile 3 and Baby Jogger City Mini are superior to this stroller and merit the slight bump in price. While we know some parents have a limited budget for strollers, we think you are still better off saving a little extra to get a significantly better stroller in an award winner. This stroller doesn't have the same level of quality as the others, and we think a primary stroller should offer more than this one no matter what the price is.
The photos above show the Expedition with the seat back up and canopy closed (left) compared to the seat back fully reclined and canopy open (right).
The Baby Trend Expedition almost won another Best Value award in this review, but it failed to meet the mark in comparison to the competition. There were several budget friendly options in this review, and unfortunately for the Expedition, they managed higher overall scores with just a small bump in price. While this stroller is the least expensive in the review, we think parents are better off spending more to get better quality, ease of use, and safety scores. This stroller performed well in our tests for maneuverability and it comes with features not found on all of the competition, but in the end it just wasn't enough to earn an award. However, if your goal is a jogging product, and you have a limited budget, you might want to check out how the Expedition did in our review for jogging strollers.
Other Versions and Accessories
Baby Trend makes several other strollers including the Velocity Lite, Range Model, Convoy, and a side-by-side stroller named the Expedition Double. The double version doesn't accommodate infant car seats. While we didn't review any other Baby Trend products in this review, the Expedition single did win a Best Value award in our Best Jogging Stroller review.
Accessories include a rain cover. This accessory is sold separately and available for both single and double versions. It is a clear poly-vinyl cover that attaches with hook and loop closures and can fit in the stroller pocket when not in use.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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