In Depth Baby Product Reviews Led by a Pediatrician

Baby Trend Expedition Race Tec Review

Great price for a jogger, but it is heavy and the quality is about what you'd expect for the price
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Baby Trend Expedition Race Tec Review
Credit: Matt Lighthart
Price:  $173 List
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Manufacturer:   Baby Trend
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Mar 31, 2024
63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 18
  • Ease of Use - 40% 6.5
  • Maneuverability - 25% 7.8
  • Transport/Storing - 15% 5.4
  • Quality - 10% 4.0
  • Kid's Comfort - 10% 5.4

The Skinny

The Baby Trend Expedition Race Tec is the slightly upgraded version of the Expedition that includes better materials and a somewhat larger size. While it still isn't a true jogging contender against the hard-core joggers we've tested, it can likely get the job done for causal joggers or those who really want to head off the beaten path without struggling to push small plastic wheels through thick park grass. This is why we included it in our best full-size stroller review. The Race Tec has rubber, air-filled tires, easier-to-access tube stems, and a nicer canopy and seat. It is a budget-friendly option with good storage and might be all the stroller some parents need for casual outings or heading to a park or festival. However, it isn't the best quality; it is heavier and larger than most, and the weight and folded size could be a deal breaker for some. Overall, this option is a good choice for those on a tight budget who value easy maneuverability over the perfect convenience features.
REASONS TO BUY
Budget-friendly
Good lower storage
Good for uneven surfaces
REASONS TO AVOID
Lower quality
Heavy
Fit & finish isn't the best
Editor's Note: The Race Tec is a new addition to our full-size stroller review that got a total testing update in March 2024.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $173 List
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Bottom Line Budget-friendly jogger with off-road capabilities, but the quality is on par with the priceWhile it performs well on flat surfaces, this high-quality option struggles off-road if those are your goalsThe looks, features, and ease of use are compelling, but the weight makes this one a workoutA budget-friendly expandable stroller with good storage but limited other features and a heavier weightThe lower price makes the flaws of this jogger easier to accept
Rating Categories Baby Trend Expediti... Cybex Balios S Lux Mockingbird Stroller Evenflo Pivot Xpand Baby Trend Expedition
Ease of Use (40%)
6.5
7.8
8.1
8.0
5.9
Maneuverability (25%)
7.8
7.1
8.3
5.4
7.6
Transport/Storing (15%)
5.4
6.8
4.0
4.2
7.0
Quality (10%)
4.0
8.0
7.3
6.7
2.7
Kid's Comfort (10%)
5.4
7.6
8.1
7.3
3.5
Specs Baby Trend Expediti... Cybex Balios S Lux Mockingbird Stroller Evenflo Pivot Xpand Baby Trend Expedition
Weight 28.1 25.3 30.2 30.0 24.0
BGL Folded Dims. 24.5"W x 16"H x 36.5"L 24"W x 16"H x 31"L 25.4"W x 41"H x 22.5"L 26.7"W x 19.23"H x 32.7"L 23.1"W x 33.1"H x 16.3"L
Capacity Limits Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 50 lbs/42 in
Minimum: Birth
Maximum: 55 lbs
Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 50 lbs/ 42 in
Minimum: Birth
Maximum: 55 lbs/43"
Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 50 lbs/42 in
Mfr. Max Allowable Total Storage Weight 11 24 25 11 15
Car Seat Compatibility Baby Trend (All) Cybex (All)
Maxi Cosi Mico 30, Maxi Cosi Mico Max, Maxi Cosi Coral XP
Nuna Pipa lite
Baby Jogger City GO 2
Britax B-Safe 35, B-Safe Ultra
Chicco KeyFit and Fit2 (all infant car seat models)
Clek Liing, Liingo
Cybex Cloud Q, Aton M
Evenflo Embrace, Nurture
Graco SnugRide (all infant car seat models)
Maxi-Cosi Mico (30, Max 30, Max Plus)
Nuna Pipa, Pipa Lite, Pipa Lite R, Lite LX, Lite RX, and RX
UPPAbaby Mesa (2020 model or newer), Mesa Max
Chicco KeyFit/KeyFit 30
Evenflo SafeMax, LiteMax
Graco all with SnugRide, SnugLock 30/35
Peg-Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35
Baby Trend (All)
Min./Max. Handle Height 41.5" 39.5"/43" 33"/43" 33"/44.7" 41"
Wheel Type Pneumatic Foam Filled Plastic Foam Filled Rubber Foam Filled Plastic Pneumatic
Brake type Double Single Single Single Double

Our Analysis and Test Results

For more than twenty-six years, Baby Trend has been making gear for kids. The company creates wallet-loving products for families. The first sit-and-stand stroller and the Snap-N-Go stroller were first developed by Baby Trend. They make lots of products from diaper pails and infant car seats to high chairs and strollers.

Performance Comparison



The Race Tec isn't super large, but it is bulky and larger than many full-size strollers, which could make it harder to fit in smaller trunks or cars.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Ease of Use


The Race Tec is easier to use than the other Baby Trend we tested, but it is still only about average overall.


The Race Tec has a bulky fold, made worse by the child tray, but it self-stands and isn't hard to do with two hands.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Fold and Unfold


The Race Tec requires two hands to fold with finger-hole releases on either side of the stroller frame. It is relatively easy to fold with a pull handle that folds it in half where it then self-stands. It is an awkward final product. The snack tray sticks out, and the whole thing can be made smaller by removing the tray and the back wheels.

The child tray on the Race Tec swing sup so little ones can climb into the seat.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Storage


The under-seat storage basket is a good size, and the access is great. However, it has a maximum allowable weight of only 5 lbs, which feels insufficient.

Access to the Race Tec storage bin is good an the basket is large...
Access to the Race Tec storage bin is good an the basket is large, but the maximum weight allowance is 5 lbs.
We fit our large diaper bag into the Race Tec storage basket, but...
We fit our large diaper bag into the Race Tec storage basket, but the weight limit could be hard to stick to.

A basic diaper bag is likely to weigh more, and while many parents will overpack the basket, it will likely impact the longevity of the bin to be overweight.

baby trend expedition race tec - the race tec has open access to the storage bin at the back, but the...
The Race Tec has open access to the storage bin at the back, but the weight limit is lower than we'd like.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The parent tray is a step up from the regular Expedition with two deeper (somewhat) bottle holders and a smartphone clip holder, so your phone size doesn't matter.

baby trend expedition race tec - the race tec parent console is better than the basic expedition but...
The Race Tec parent console is better than the basic Expedition but the phone clip is tight and worry about it cracking screens.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The groove/clip is a tight fit, and we had concerns about it cracking screens, so users should beware.

baby trend expedition race tec - a snack tray can be useful for older toddlers who can feed...
A snack tray can be useful for older toddlers who can feed themselves, but the cup holders are shallow, and bottles can easily fall out.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The child's tray has dual cup holders and a center snack section. The cup holders are shallow, and we worry that taller bottles will fall out and smaller sippy cups will be too wide to fit inside. You can fit six more pounds on the stroller between the parent console and the child tray, but neither is realistically holding anything other than bottles.

The 5-point harness on the Race Tec has removable shoulder straps...
The 5-point harness on the Race Tec has removable shoulder straps for height adjustment.
We worry parents will forget or choose not to reattach the shoulder...
We worry parents will forget or choose not to reattach the shoulder straps to the Race Tec hip strap buckles.

Harness


The Race Tec harness consists of rougher webbing, shoulder-padded sleeves, and a convoluted strap system that requires unclipping the shoulder straps to readjust the strap height. We worry parents will use the harness as a 3-point variation instead of a 5-point, as intended.

The Race Tec has double-action brakes that require extra attention to ensure the teeth or the brake are fully engaged with the teeth on the axle.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Brakes


The Race Tec has double-action brakes, a commonality of cheaper strollers. They are easy to use and work well, but you must press both pedals to engage the brakes. We worry that parents will do one and think it is “good enough.” You release the brake by lifting it from the underside. We also have concerns because you can think you've set the brakes when they appear to “click” into place, but with a good wiggle, the stroller broke free because the brakes weren't fully in place. Extra care should be taken to double-check the brakes.

Car Seat Compatibility


The Race Tec is compatible with Baby Trend infant car seats.

The Race Tec manual has instructions you won't use and misleads you into thinking you need tools for assembly. You need a bike pump to inflate the tires.
Credit: Graham Faulknor

Ease of Setup


Assembly of the Race Tec is easy enough, even if the directions are somewhat confusing because it has instructions for parts that come pre-assembled. We did not need any tools to put the pieces together, even though the manual says you will. You also need a bike pump to inflate the tires before use. This is something we suspect not all families will have on hand.

The swivel front wheel on the Race Tec can be locked in place for jogging and easier movement over uneven terrain like hiking trails.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Maneuverability


The larger wheels and rubber tires give the Race Tec a leg up on the smaller, plastic-wheeled competition, earning a higher score for maneuverability.

baby trend expedition race tec - the front wheel locking mechanism on the race tec is a flip tab on...
The front wheel locking mechanism on the Race Tec is a flip tab on the front of the wheel.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

The front wheel is a good size and swivels unless you lock it in place for running or uneven terrain.


It rolls easily and turns well. The rear axle is wider than the other Expedition, and it feels less tippy when making tight turns. Moving over thresholds and cords was no big deal.

Maneuvering the Race Tec through doorways and over thresholds is easy.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Moving off-road and flat surfaces onto grass or gravel is no big deal. The larger wheels and pneumatic tires let it move over almost any surface without a hiccup. This makes it a better option for those adventuring off the beaten path than a traditional stroller with foam-filled plastic wheels.

The Race Tec performs well moving over grass and other off-road surfaces.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Moving up and over curbs is easy, too. Pushing down or lifting gup is well-balanced, but the lack of an adjustable handlebar might make things a bit harder for shorter pushers.

The Race Tec has a bulky, awkward fold with a child's tray that sticks out. This can make it harder to lift and stow in smaller spaces.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Transporting and Storing


None of the jogging-style strollers are lightweight or small, and the Race Tec is similar, with a measured weight of 28.13 lbs.


There are higher-ranking joggers that are lighter, but for the most part, they are heavier than this option.

The Race Tec fits in the stow space of a crossover vehicle, but it...
The Race Tec fits in the stow space of a crossover vehicle, but it might not fit in some sedan trunks without removing the wheels and tray.
There is no designated or good place to hold the Race Tec to lift it.
There is no designated or good place to hold the Race Tec to lift it.


This jogger self-stands, but it is still bulky and an awkward folded product. It measures 14,308 cubic inches when folded, which is significant, but it isn't near the biggest option, which is closer to 10,000 cubic inches bigger. However, if size is an issue, smaller folded strollers are available.

The Race Tec has tube stems that bend off to the side, making them...
The Race Tec has tube stems that bend off to the side, making them easier to use.
The plastic components on the Expedition child tray work fine, but...
The plastic components on the Expedition child tray work fine, but the lower-quality materials might result in degrading performance over time.

Quality


The Race Tec is not a high-quality option, but it is nicer than the Expedition we tested. It earned one of the lowest scores in the quality metric. The fabric is not fantastic with the majority of it feeling like an industrial backpack you carried in junior high. The fabric on the sides of the seat is somewhat better and is a ripstop material also used on the shoulder strap sleeves. The peek-a-boo window is loose mesh, and the storage bin is a combination of canvas and mesh.


The wheels are like a cheap bicycle spoke wheel with rubber tires; they measure about 12 1/2 in the front and 16 inches in the back. They are somewhat nicer than the other Expedition with tube stems that are easier to access and use. The frame is rigid and doesn't flex much, but it has many exposed fasteners and hinges. It is somewhat nicer than the cheaper Expedition, but it isn't anything to crow about. The overall fit and finish are below average, but for the price, it seems good enough.

baby trend expedition race tec - parts of the race tec seat have some padding and softer fabric for...
Parts of the Race Tec seat have some padding and softer fabric for kid comfort.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Kid's Comfort


The kid comfort on the Race Tec is somewhat better than the regular Expedition, with a complete leg rest from seat to footrest and a little more padding in the sling-style seat. The leg rest is padded and wide but not adjustable.


However, it isn't the best in the group and we think there is room for improvement.

The Race Tec has a fully padded legrest that extends from the seat...
The Race Tec has a fully padded legrest that extends from the seat bottom to the footrest, unlike the basic Expedition.
The Race Tec seat has an adequate recline and a padded leg rest.
The Race Tec seat has an adequate recline and a padded leg rest.

The seat back has an infinite position recline deep enough for napping. The recline requires one hand to recline and two to bring back up. It functions well but is dated, and other seats have better options.

The recline adjustment toggle on the Race Tec is a dated style that...
The recline adjustment toggle on the Race Tec is a dated style that can be adjusted down with one hand but requires two hands to raise.
The canopy on the Race Tec is larger than the original Expedition.
The canopy on the Race Tec is larger than the original Expedition.

The canopy here is bigger than the original Expedition but isn't a brag-worthy addition compared to higher-ranking options. It covers enough for overhead exposure and has a fabric visor.

baby trend expedition race tec - the race tec can get the strolling job done for a lower price and...
The Race Tec can get the strolling job done for a lower price and easy pushing, even if it isn't perfect.
Credit: Matt Lighthart

Should You Buy the Baby Trend Expedition Race Tec?


If your budget is limited, have no fear; the Baby Trend is here. This 3-wheel jogger is a great value for the price. With pneumatic tires, a comfy seat, and easy maneuverability, it could be the perfect solution for some families with smaller budgets, especially if your goals include moving off flat surfaces or with quickness. While it is not the best solution for all, like those who are serious runners, have growing families, or have a bigger budget, it could be the right choice for many who might stroll infrequently or need to stick to a tight budget.

What Other Full-Size Strollers Should You Consider?


If you spend more money, then you might want to. If your goal is to run frequently or take every day strolls, then the Race Tec might not cut the mustard as well as a higher ranking option. The Thule Urban Glide 2 is a standout jogger with features that make it a great choice for an everyday stroller. This option can move over almost anything, has a quick and easy folding mechanism, and is comfy for parents and kids. If you want a more traditional full-size option, the Evenflo Pivot Xpand is a potential choice that can expand with growing families and has more traditional features, though it is not good at moving off the beaten path.

Manufacturer Video



Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz