In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

BOB Rambler Review

Versatile option with quality craftsmanship and features for jogging or everyday use
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $360 List | $400 at Amazon
Pros:  Less expensive jogger, great maneuverability, durable
Cons:  Larger, may be hard to lift and carry
Manufacturer:   BOB
By Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Aug 30, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 23
  • Ease Of Use - 45% 7
  • Maneuverability - 30% 9
  • Weight/Folded Size - 15% 5
  • Quality - 10% 8

The Skinny

The BOB Rambler is a smaller somewhat stripped down version of more traditional BOB strollers. We think parents will appreciate the storage bin, canopy, quality, and adjustability of this stroller that is still a manageable weight and smaller size. While we still wish it had a carry strap or could self-stand, we think the price is good for a product that offers this much. We think most families will be happy with the BOB Rambler.
Rambler vs Revolution
If you are a hardcore runner or plan to head off-road more than on, then you may want to consider the Revolution over the Rambler and we encourage parents to compare the two to determine which one meets their needs better.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

BOB, or the Beast of Burden, company was launched by Roger Malinowski and Philip Novotny in 1994 in San Luis Obispo, California. The two men combined their professional specialties of bicycle professional and the airline mechanic to build Yak bike trailers that have a quick release. Once the two became parents, they realized a need for a rugged jogging stroller and couldn't find one. Thus, the BOB Sport Utility was born. The company continued to develop innovative strollers by creating the first locking swivel wheel on a jogger in 2005. This design made the stroller style more user-friendly for activities other than jogging. In 2011, BOB was purchased by the Britax company.

Performance Comparison



The Rambler fold lock is a strap and buckle method that requires force to press the stroller together to meet the two ends of the buckle.
The Rambler fold lock is a strap and buckle method that requires force to press the stroller together to meet the two ends of the buckle.

Ease of Use


The BOB Rambler is average for ease of use on a daily basis losing favor for a harder fold and limited features for storage.


The Rambler requires two hands to fold because the release levers on each side need to be squeezed simultaneously to initiate the fold.
The folding handle of the Rambler is under the seat instead of on top of the seat like that found on Baby Jogger or Britax strollers.

Fold and Unfold


This stroller is fairly easy to fold and unfold, but it has more steps than the average and it requires two hands. It has four steps, manual locking strap, does not self-stand and there is no carry strap or handle which seems short-sighted for a heavier stroller. Unfolding is easier with one hand ability and only two steps.

The single action brakes on the Rambler operate with a press rocker pedal in the middle of the stroller above the back wheels.
The single action brakes on the Rambler operate with a press rocker pedal in the middle of the stroller above the back wheels.

Brakes


This stroller has single action brakes that press to set and release with no worries for the top of your feet or fancy shoes.

The Rambler storage bin is large enough for our large diaper bag and will hold up to 10 lbs with access from the sides and back.
The Rambler storage bin is large enough for our large diaper bag and will hold up to 10 lbs with access from the sides and back.

Storage


The Rambler has under-seat storage with an allowance of 10 lbs. It fit our large diaper bag and has good access from the back and sides, but none from the front. There is no other storage, console or pockets for water bottles or small items like a mobile phone.

The canopy on the Rambler is large and can cover most children to their knees.
The peek-a-boo window on the Rambler is large enough and has a cover with Velcro closure.

Sunshade


Like other BOBs, the Rambler has a large canopy that can cover past the knees of most children with a medium-sized, vinyl peek-a-boo window. The window cover is cloth, secures with Velcro, and tucks in a pocket to stay open. UV protection is not listed.

The 5-point harness is easy to use and adjust with simple pull to tighten red loops.
The 5-point harness is easy to use and adjust with simple pull to tighten red loops.

Harness


The 5-point harness on this stroller is also typical BOB. The harness is easy to use and the buckle isn't hard to press. It has a good range for adjustability and the crotch strap is also adjustable. This stroller is not a rethread style but the straps slide up and down straps sewn to the seatback.

The Rambler seat back reclines by squeezing a plastic toggle to allow side straps to slip through. This process requires two hands to raise the seat back up again.
The Rambler seat back reclines by squeezing a plastic toggle to allow side straps to slip through. This process requires two hands to raise the seat back up again.

Seat


The Rambler seat has an adjustable recline and padded but stationary leg rest with a narrow footrest. The seat reclines with one hand by pinching a plastic toggle with infinite angle options and a final position that is almost flat for napping. To raise the back you'll need two hands to pull the side straps and it could be challenging with a child's weight in the seat.

Car Seat Compatibility


This stroller does not work with any infant car seat as it comes. You can combine it with the following seats by purchasing an adapter: Britax

B-Safe, B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, and Chaperone; BOB B-Safe and B-Safe 35; Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30, 30LX, 35, 35 LX, 40, SnugRide Classic Connect 22, 30, 32, and 35; Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30, and Primo Viaggio SIP; and the Chicco KeyFit 30, and KeyFit non-30.

Never Run with Infants
General recommendations are that you should not jog with newborns or infants under 8 months of age. You should only walk with babies under 8 months old. Between 8-12 months you can jog on flat hard surfaces, but off-road uneven surface running should be reserved for babies over 12 months old.

Ease of Setup


This stroller took just 5:30 minutes to put together.



The Rambler requires the use of an included Allen wrench to tighten the wheels which are the only things you need to assemble. The instructions are fine, but there are easier directions to follow.

The larger rubber tires help the Rambler earn an impressive score for maneuverability.
The front wheel of the Rambler can be locked in place or left to rotate depending on your needs.

Maneuverability


The BOB Rambler is one of the best strollers for getting around whether you stroll or run. This stroller has large rubber tires on durable plastic wheels.


The front wheel can swivel for ease of turning or it can be locked in place for running and off-roading. With a slightly narrower footprint than other joggers, it can navigate crowded or tight spaces with relative ease. This stroller will get you where you need to go no matter if it is the park, the trail, or the local grocery store.

The Rambler folds smaller than other jogging strollers  but it is still somewhat cumbersome and may not fit in smaller cars.
The Rambler folds smaller than other jogging strollers, but it is still somewhat cumbersome and may not fit in smaller cars.

Weight and Folded Size


The BOB Rambler is large and heavy compared to most full-size stroller options.


However, this jogger is lighter and smaller than most joggers and this is definitely something to consider if you want the versatility of a jogger with a more reasonable size. The Rambler weighs 25.1 lbs and measures 13,150 cubic inches.

The Rambler is not as nice or as decked out as the BOB Revolution  but it is still impressive in its construction.
The Rambler is not as nice or as decked out as the BOB Revolution, but it is still impressive in its construction.

Quality


The BOB Rambler is high quality with a frame that is sturdy without flex or connection problems and the fabric is tough and resisted snagging in our tests.


The overall fit and finish are impressive with attention to detail and no errant stitching or material bunching. We appreciate the quality of the components and they come together in a manner that implies durability and long term use. This product has a stationary foam covered handlebar, emergency wrist strap, and adjustable suspension and tracking for the front wheel. The sling-style seat is padded and combined with the better shocks make for a comfortable ride for both passengers and pusher.

Accessories


BOB offers various accessories for all the BOB strollers. These include:
  • The BOB parent console has two cup holders and a zippered pocket for smaller items.
    BOB Parent Console — A parent console is not essential and the back seat storage pocket on the Flex means you may not need one. But BOB offers one, which is convenient. It has deep cup holders and a zippered security pocket ideal for storing keys, wallet, and phone. The console fixes securely to the frame and feels like an extension of the stroller.
  • The BOB Snack Tray is removable for easy seat access and has a cup holder and shallow snack compartment.
    BOB Single Snack Tray — This snack tray is a good way to offer older children a place to put their drink and snacks. While probably not necessary for younger children, as they won't be able to reach it, this tray can keep must-have items nearby for independent little ones.

Other Versions


BOB makes a variety of different jogging style strollers including the BOB Revolution 3.0 a slightly larger option with a few more features but a higher weight and larger price tag. We reviewed the 3.0 in this review.

Manufacturer Video




Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz