Orbit Baby O2 Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Orbit O2 Stroller Base claims to offer something of a hybrid stroller for everyday use and jogging. This bare bones stroller comes with a small under seat storage basket, adjustable handlebar, air filled tires, a lockable front swivel wheel, and 360 degree rotation on the "Smarthub". This stroller has shock absorbing suspension. It works with all the G2 and G3 Orbit Baby seats, bassinets, and stroller seats and you must purchase the seats separately as they do not come standard with the stroller. The seats are adjustable from a low to high positions they call city mode and performance mode. This Orbit frame is also compatible with an O2 Cup holder/organizer, sunshade, weather pack, and foot muff for an additional expense. The stroller frame has an intuitive fold, but sadly it does require removing the seat first.
Ease of Use
The Orbit earned a 4 of 10 for ease of use; only 4moms Origami and Quinny Buzz Xtra came in lower with a 3. An 8 is the high score of the group, and is shared by the UPPAbaby Vista and UPPAbaby Cruz. The average is closer to 6.
The Orbit has a medium size storage bin under the seat that holds a maximum weight of 11 pounds. We were only able to fit our medium size diaper bag in the bin, while many other strollers fit our large or extra large bags. It has very easy access from the front and back, but no access from the sides. The bin would be better if it were larger or if there was additional storage available. It does offer a snack tray for the passenger, but there is nothing for convenience items like keys or mobile phones.
The sunshade on the Orbit toddler seat is large compared to the competition, but it does not have an associated SPF. Unfortunately, this shade does not offer additional ventilation, nor does it have a peek-a-boo window. This can be somewhat forgiven when the shade is small, but we feel that parents should have a way to see baby without disturbing them.Convenience
This stroller does not offer much in the way of added conveniences. As already stated, it lacks storage for parents beyond the bin under the seat, but there is a storage tray for the passenger. The tray is removeable for easy cleaning and it has one shallow compartment and one deeper section that might hold a small sippy, but only while standing still.
This stroller does not offer an adjustable leg rest, but it does have a foot rest. The footrest is removable, very shallow, and covered in durable fabric that seems easy to clean. The seat back does recline and it requires 2 hands to operate it. The are two separate recline levers on either side of the seat that must be pulled simultaneously. It is an easy recline to operate despite the need for two hands, but it really just rotates the whole seat back including the seat bottom, unlike all the competition where only the back moves. The recline angle can adjust between 65.5 and 29.2 degrees from flat.
Additional accessories are available for purchase and include a parent console.
The one metric the Orbit really excelled in is maneuverability. This is a good thing because if a stroller can only do one thing well, this should be the one. The Orbit scored an 8 of 10, tying with 3 other strollers in our review.
Even though this stroller is large and heavy it is surprisingly nimble in its movements. It performed far better than expected in the turns and tight places, though we did bang the handle a few times because it sticks out pretty far. It is almost as good at the BOB Revolution for maneuvering, but not quite as good. Because of its size and weight it is not quick and you need to anticipate it's turns, while the BOB Revolution is a little easier to move on the fly.
This stroller pushed easily and only one hand is necessary in most situations; this keeps your other hand free. This stroller did not turn as sharply as some of the smaller options, but it did transition to carpet and roll over cords like they weren't there. Pushing off pavement this stroller is right up there with the top performers, though again not as good as the Revolution. In fairness, it is hard to compete with the adjustable suspension and larger tires on the BOB. This stroller has an unusually long handle, but this helps it manage stairs and curbs fairly well. The Orbit is a heavy beast of a stroller so lifting it up stairs is still going to be chore or impossible for some.
The Baby also managed a respectable score for quality with a 7 of 10. The UPPAbaby Vista and the BOB Revolution share the high score in this metric, both receiving an 8. The low is 4 shared by 3 strollers.
The Orbit has of a removable seat liner that feels like soft fleece. It is probably difficult to wipe clean because it absorbs everything, but it is is machine washable. The seat itself is a smooth mesh like fabric that should be easier to wipe down than the fleece. It is also removable and machine washable. The storage basket is slick and feels like a heavy duty canvas material with mesh strips on either side. The foot rest is the same and should also be easy to clean. The canopy is a softer canvas that feels fairly sturdy.The frame on this stroller is stranger than the competition; it has a lot of moving parts that increases flexing. We wish it were a little tighter in its construction, but the number of parts probably makes that difficult. The fit and finish of this stroller isn't the best. We understand this is a subjective consideration, but is a little gaudy and gadgety feeling like many of the Orbit products we have tested before. With the seat on it has a look of being out of proportion.
The wheels on this stroller are pneumatic and feel like a true jogging stroller wheel. They spin easily and feel well made.The handlebar is adjustable from 27.2 to 45.3 inches depending on its placement. The bar has a better shape than most for the competition. It is the second tallest handle in the group behind the Revolution and the range of height adjustment is large compared to some of the rest. However, if you have larger hands the bar might feel small around, as it did for some testers.
The suspension is not adjustable, and not as nice as those on the BOB, but it has large air filled rubber tires and a longer wheelbase that help improve the overall comfort of the ride. The padding on the seat is good and gets better with the addition of the infant insert. We think this has all the components to offer a relatively comfortable riding experience.
This stroller has a 2 year warranty.
The Baby O2 has a safety score of 5 of 10 for the metric. The high for the category is an 8 earned by the Baby Jogger City Select, the low is a 4 for the Baby Jogger City Mini GT, which had some trouble staying upright with the seatback reclined and baby far up the back.Brakes
The Orbit has single action brakes that are sandal foot friendly and easy to set and release. The play in the brakes is 0.5 inches which we considered good. The sliding resistance is very good. Testers liked the design of the green and red separate pedals that prevent parents from making mistakes or thinking they have the brakes set when they don't.
There are no cup holders on this stroller and therefore it means there is no safety concern for cup holders. However, there is a parent console with a cup holder that can be purchased. If parents plan to purchase the holder we suggest proceeding with caution so nothing accidentally falls on baby's head.Harness
This stroller has a 5 point harness that is very easy to put on, but slightly more difficult to take off. Adjusting the harness is is also fairly easy compared to the competition with a 4 out of 5. It features an adjustable crotch straps and shoulder straps.
The buckle slips together pretty easily, but it takes both hands to release the button because you have to push the red buttons at the top of the buckle with one hand and squeeze the bottom of the buckle with the other. It is a complex process that will prevent children from operating it for themselves, but that means a struggle to operate it.Tipping
The side tip angle for this stroller is a minimum 19 degrees, with slightly steeper angles depending on seat position. This is below average and on the high side for tipping, which means it is more likely to tip to the side than some of the competition.
Rear tipping is also dependant on seat position. The weight required to tip over backwards ranges from Rear facing/Seat Raised: 27lbs 11oz to Rear facing/ Seat Lowered: 11lbs 12oz and few in between. With a low limit of 11 pounds, parents should avoid putting weight on the back of the stroller. This is ill advised for any stroller, but parents are likely to try it at some point when their hands are full and they need to put the diaper bag somewhere.
Weight and Folded Size
Weight and folded size is where the Orbit stops it's somewhat impressive run. It scored the lowest score with a 2 of 10 because it weighs over 37 pounds and takes up 19,514 cubic inches with dimensions of 23.9"W x 21.6"H x 37.8"L. This makes it the largest and heaviest folded stroller in the group. Comparatively, the two lightest strollers in the review were 17.5 pounds, and were the Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini. The smallest is the BOB Motion near 5,500 cubic inches.
Folding this stroller is a bit of a process and requires that the seat be removed. Some of the competition is easier to fold with the seat off, but this one requires it, which is frustrating. It is a 5 step process that requires two hands to complete and is more difficult than just about any stroller in the group. The steps include lifting the seat off the base, releasing the handlebar, folding the bar forward, and rotating the stroller back to allow the front wheel to fold under. It is highly unlikely that any parent will be able to, or want to, attempt this fold on public transportation or checking on an airplane. It does offer an auto-lock feature, self-stands, and has a carry strap for the frame. Only two other strollers received a "difficult" rating for the fold operation, the Bugaboo Cameleon3 and the Bumbleride Indie 4 both with 5 steps. The unfold is also not a one handed operation and requires 6 steps to unfold. It is a difficult and arduous process.The Orbit earned the lowest score in the group for commuting and is not the best choice in our opinion for those who plan to use their stroller in the city or on public transportation. This stroller is large folded or in use, making it difficult to manage in the city. The weight is broken up into 2 parts, but this means extra work for parents if they need to fold the stroller. The frame is large and awkward, and the hard shelled seat doesn't pack well. It does not conform to the 2X4 rule in place on some public transport so you will need to carry multiple pieces in addition to baby and your diaper bag. We doubt many parents will try this feat unless they have help. This stroller seat is a nice height for cafe sitting, but the handle is long in so it will take up too much space to be easy to use or respectful of other customers.
Ease of Setup
The Orbit earned a respectable score of 8 of 10 for ease of setup. It took us under 7 minutes to get the stroller out of the box and ready to use. The manual is good, but the illustrations are only average for understandability. Luckily, the stroller is pretty simple to put together. The time for assembly is for the frame only because that is how it is sold. The seat is normally sold separately and the setup varies depending on which seat you plan to use.
Car Seat Compatibility
The best application for this stroller is for parents who already own an Orbit car seat. Orbit car seats are not compatible with any other stroller on the market and therefore require an Orbit stroller if you plan to use one of their seats or receive it as a gift. Otherwise there is likely not a best application for this stroller. It is heavy, hard to fold and carry, and has limited car seat options.
This stroller is a relatively expensive stroller compared to the award-winning competition that all scored significantly higher. With a price tag of $980 (which includes the O2 frame, stroller seat, and sunshade) this stroller costs more than all of the award-winning options in our review. No matter what you are looking for there is a stroller in this review that does it better and will cost you less, making the Orbit not a great value.
This Orbit did have slightly better performance scores in our tests that other Orbit products we have looked at in the past. It impressed in the maneuverability and quality metrics, and managed a nice score in safety, but it isn't enough to make up for the fact that this stroller is heavy, large, difficult to fold, and almost impossible to transport any distance without using two hands which leaves you no hand for baby or diaper bag. The stroller is expensive and cumbersome and unless you are simply in love with the Orbit family of products it is not a product we recommend.
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