The Stokke Xplory won our Top Pick Award for Design. Though it comes at a top dollar price point it is very unique in its adjustable seat height, which allows baby a great vantage point to either take in sights, bond with their parent, or pull up to a table to eat. It is a beautiful and very well-made stroller with great fabrics and high-end details, and is sure to make a statement.
Stokke Xplory Review
Pros: Innovative, cafe-friendly, reversible, upright & high seat, tallest handlebar, 3-yr warranty
Cons: Heavy, large and long when folded, most expensive
Our Analysis and Test Results
For such a cool stroller, we're surprised that we haven't seen more of these on urban streets. We realize it's pricey, but so are the Bugaboos, the Orbit G2 and UPPAbaby strollers, which seem to be more popular. Produced with the intention of enhancing the parent/child bond through increased eye contact, the Stokke Xplory stroller allows you to position your baby in 5 different ways.
In our testing, the Xplory scored a 7 of 10 in its overall ease-of-use. It is a feature-rich stroller with good functionality. It has the highest seat heights and the smallest footprint of all 21 strollers we tested. Its major downfall, however, is that it is large and long when folded, right up there with the joggers and the the UPPAbaby Vista. So this is a tough stroller to continually load and unload.The frame can hold the Xplory seat as well as the Xplory Carry Cot Complete, or the following car seats:
- Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30-30.
- Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, or Cybex Infant Car Seats.
- Graco Infant Car Seats.
Greatest Drawback: Folding and Unfolding
Folding this large stroller is a bit of a chore: 9 steps to fold, and 7 steps to unfold. While that is quite a few, they're fairly easy and quick to perform. You have the option of keeping or removing the seat. If you keep the seat on, which decreases the number of steps, the fold size becomes very large. Though it does not self-stand when folded, it snaps together when locked and can be wheeled around behind you. Loading and unloading it into and out of a car, however, is difficult. In fact, it takes up a lot of room and wouldn't fit into a regular-sized trunk with the seat on. As such, we don't recommend using the Xplory to travel with on a daily basis, either by car or public transportation.There are 5 seating positions with the Xplory: 3 parent-facing and 2 forward-facing. Full recline is in parent-facing mode with an angle of 29 degrees for sleeping. The seat has a very nice upright position in both facing positions, which kids will love. The seat can also be adjusted upwards or downwards, depending on baby's activity and mood. It has a removable seat insert to provide extra support in the newborn period. The footrest is also adjustable to accommodate growth.
The sunshade is large, and if there is low angle sun, the back of it can be unzipped to rotate the whole thing forward. It also has an area that can be zipped open to provide great meshed ventilation to increase air flow inside the stroller. It also comes with a folding visor which can be removed via zipper.
The handlebar can be adjusted in both height and angle. Like the Bumbleride Indie, it has an extremely wide min-max handlebar height.
The stroller includes a nice shopping bag which can also function well as a removable diaper bag. It attaches to the base of the stroller via an easy clip and its position at the base of the stroller adds mass to keep it more balanced. The Xplory's bag is much more functional than the "Cargo Pod" of the Orbit Baby G2. Under the seat, the frame has two rings for hanging other items from like a shopping bag. This only one out of the 21 strollers we tested in this review with this smart, unique design.
Unfortunately, the Xplory doesn't come with a parent or child tray, but you can purchase a cup holder separately.
The Xplory scored just above average in maneuverability, a 6 of 10. It is very compact and easy to turn. You can even kick its rear wheels under to pull it through sand. On pavement, it strolls very easily doing well in tight spaces and with one-handed steering. There isn't a crossbar between any of the wheels so those with long strides can walk freely without feet bumping into the bottom of the stroller.
However, maneuvering the Stokke on uneven, rough terrain is difficult, unless you use it in 2-wheel mode. Even on tall grass, in 4-wheel mode it just feels too tippy. Our sideways tip over test confirms this (see below in Safety).
This stroller scored a 7 of 10 in safety. It has good brakes and harness, but below average stability. In addition, the patented Xplory has been rigorously tested to meet the safety standards of the following countries:
- United States (ASTM F 833-07a)
- Canada (SOR 85/379)
- European Nation (1888:2003 + A1:2005 + A2:2005 + A3:2005)
- United Kingdom (Flammability: BS 5852)
- Australia (AS/NZS 2088), CN (GB 14748), KR (B541T006-0001)
There is a single foot brake that is like a rocker switch, easy to set and release with just a push. When the brakes are set, we feel this stroller is pretty stable considering its tall height.
The 5-point harness is average. The security buckle is stiff. The shoulder and crotch straps are padded, but the back needs to be completely unzipped to adjust the straps tight enough for a baby, and there is no crotch adjustment.
We recommend extra care with the foot rest as it is quite high, and active toddlers may find it enticing to climb.
As previously mentioned, our tests revealed that the Xplory has a low sideways tip over angle of 18.2 degrees (with a 20 lb. stunt baby in the seat and the brakes set). However, it performed average in our backwards tip over test needing 26 lbs 15 oz of weight on the handlebar to make to stroller fall backwards.
The Xplory scored 8 of 10 in Quality/Durability. Along with the Bumbleride Indie, they are the only strollers we tested in this round-up of 21 that have a 3-year warranty. Materials are high quality and fit tightly. The frame is made of aluminum and different types of plastic and the polyester fabric removable and washable. We recommend looking at the manufacturer's recommendations for cleaning this stroller as it separate instructions for different varying parts.
The Stokke scored poorly in Weight/Folded Size with a 4 of 10. It is one of the heavier strollers we tested in this round-up at 28 lbs 11 oz. As mentioned above, it is long and large when folded. However, the seat can be removed for a more compact fold and, in our opinion, it is the easiest to collapse of all of the 2-piece strollers we tested: the Bugaboo Cameleon 3, the Orbit baby G2, and the JJ Cole Broadway. Though it does not stand when folded, the frame locks.
15:12 (min:sec) was the set up time for this stroller, our Ease-of-Set-up scoring came to a 3 of 10. In our opinion, it is really unacceptable for such a highly priced stroller to have such poor documentation. This is a very unique stroller, and it is tricky to assemble. The documentation is very difficult to muddle through (the International-style has small pictures, tiny writing, and the English directions on page 16). We feel that international style only works if it is accompanied side-by-side by clear, easy-to-read text.
The Xplory is best suited for an urban lifestyle, where one would stroll right out your front door. It's a great choice for those who patronize cafes and restaurants on a very regular basis as well as for those that prefer to have their baby physically closer while strolling. In that it is a highly unique and fashionable stroller, it certainly makes a big statement.
At over $1,000, this stroller is not a great value, but it does have some truly unique features that may very well appeal to those who both live an urban lifestyle and can afford it. It is a functional piece of art, and as we know from the Masters, art can be priceless.
With many other stroller options on the market today, the Stokke Xplory is definitely spendy, trendy, and a bit impractical. However, in our opinion, it is the most beautiful, unique, and cutting-edge, which is why it won our Top Pick Award for Design.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab staff