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Hands-on Gear Review
Baby Trend Expedition Review
Price: $150.00 List | $101.99 at Amazon - 32% off
Pros: Super easy to maneuver, low price
Cons: Harder to run with, lower quality
Bottom line: Best bang for the buck, but not the best option for serious runners
The Baby Trend Expedition earned a 9 of 16 rank and a Best Value award in this review. This budget friendly stroller is the cheapest stroller in the group and still managed to outperform 9 strollers with higher price tags. The Expedition earned a second place score for maneuverability and weight and folded size and a respectable 7 of 10 for ease of use. This makes it a user-friendly option with some features the competition failed to offer like a parent console and child tray. Unfortunately, the Expedition only scored a 5 of 10 for run-ability, and its lack of suspension and adjustable tracking made it a no-go for our professional runner. We suspect any dedicated runner will find it difficult to run with regularly or over long distances, but that being said, the Expedition is suitable for short jogs and parents looking for rubber pneumatic tires that can traverse a variety of terrains with ease. For the price, we think the casual runner will be happy with what the Expedition has to offer, making it a stroller we recommend, but not for the serious runner.
RELATED REVIEW: The Race for the Best Jogging Stroller of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Baby Trend has been creating juvenile products for 26 years. Since their inception they have been designing innovative products for growing families. Baby Trend was the first to make sit and stand style strollers and the Snap-N-Go stroller that converts an infant car seat into a lightweight stroller. They make the Diaper Champ diaper pail, infant car seats, infant swings and bouncers, high chairs, walkers, strollers, and a variety of other products for growing families.
The chart below shows a comparison of the overall scores for each stroller in our review. The Expedition (shown in blue) is a budget friendly stroller that earned more points than many strollers more than twice its price. This helped it aarn a Best value award by scoring above average and being inexpensive.
The sections below provide details on how the Expedition performed during testing for each metric. Individual metric scores were combined to determine the overall score with emphasis on run-ability and ease of use results.
The Expedition earned a 5 of 10 for run-ability. Making it not the best option for dedicated runners. The Expedition is the cheapest product in the review, but still scored higher in this key metric than many strollers almost twice its price.
The Expedition doesn't have adjustable tracking, but the stroller we tested did run straight without excessive veering off course. However, if tolerance on any specific stroller should be off, then you could be stuck with a product that veers to some degree. Our stroller did pull a little to the side when running at higher speeds, but it is easy to back tip for turning the fixed wheel or getting it back on course. The Expedition also doesn't have an adjustable handlebar, which could make it more difficult to obtain proper running biomechanics.
Ease of Use
The Baby Trend earned a 7 of 10 for ease of use, which is the second highest score in this review and impressive for a stroller of this price.
The high score for this metric is a 9 earned by the Burley Solstice, but the Expedition scored higher than all of the BOB brand strollers.
Fold and Unfold
Folding the Expedition is fairly easy. It is a two-handed fold initiated by sliding the side levers up and one pull on the handle located under the seat. It has a manual fold lock, and it self-stands. You can release and remove the front wheel for a more compact fold, though this stroller folds smaller than average stroller with the wheel intact.
The brakes on the Expedition are double action and require two pedals to be pressed for the brakes to be completely engaged. We worry parents will grow complacent over time and either forget to set both pedals or choose not to. The pedals are average to set and release and are not sandal foot friendly as they are slightly stiff and the underside of the pedal is rough.
The Baby Trend has an extra large under seat storage bin (above left) that fit our extra large diaper bag. The bin can be accessed from all sides, and it has a maximum allowable weight of only 5 lbs, which is the lowest in the group. The Expedition also has a parent console with 2 cup holders and a closeable storage compartment (above right), and a child's tray with 2 cup holders that did not fit wide bottom sippy cups in our tests. The tray does swing up on one side for easy seat access.
The canopy for this stroller is average in size, with a small mesh peek-a-boo window. This canopy isn't large enough to cover the knees and has little protection on the sides; it does have a mesh pop out visor that offers added protection, and the whole canopy can rotate forward for low sun or head winds.
The Expedition has a 5-point harness that is easy to put on and take off. It is relatively easy to adjust and has height adjustable shoulder straps and adjustable crotch straps. It doesn't have padded straps and you have to release each side strap separately from the buckle to release the harness, but overall one of the simpler harnesses to use.
This stroller has a one-handed, easy to use recline that is deep enough for napping. The seat back has ventilation when reclined, that can be covered when the weather is cold. The edge of the seat curves down at a comfortable angle and is soft to the touch. However, unlike most of the competition, there is a gap between the leg rest and the plastic footrest.
Ease of Setup
This stroller took almost 8 minutes to set up from unpacking to ready to roll. The documentation is poor, with multiple languages mashed together, and hard to understand illustrations. In addition, the instructions can be confusing with details for installing parts that come pre-installed.
The Baby Trend earned an 8 of 10 for maneuverability. This is the second highest score in the review, the same score as the BOB Revolution Flex, and is higher than the Burley Solstice.
Pushing and turning the Expedition on flat surfaces is easy. It made it through our obstacle course without hitting anything, and it did not require pre-planned turning. This stroller has a narrower width and shorter wheelbase that makes it easy to turn, and the lighter weight makes it easy to push. Pushing off-road is also easy with the Expedition as it rolled over the gravel and grass with ease. Back tipping and popping the front wheel up for curbs is easy and the stroller feels controllable without any bounce.
The handlebar is not adjustable, but it does have a rubber covering and a slight upward curve mid-bar. We prefer adjustable bars with foam covering as they are both more comfortable in the hand and better for proper running ergonomics. The Expedition doesn't have any suspension, which is unfortunate, and likely a non-starter for serious runners. It also has a hard seat back that isn't as comfortable as a sling style seat. This stroller is not the most comfortable for passengers or pushers, and would not be a good choice for long distance running.
Weight and Folded Size
The Baby Trend earned a 7 of 10 for weight and folded size. It has the smallest fold in the group measuring 13,285 cubic inches, and it weighs 23.6 lbs with only 4 products we looked at weighing less.
The small size and lighter weight combined with the self-stand feature make the Expedition easier to manage, lift, and fit in smaller spaces.
The Baby Trend earned a 6 of 10 for quality. This is fairly low compared to the competition, but given the lower price, it isn't a surprise and 2 other products that cost more scored lower.
The fabric on this stroller feels rough but durable. It has a steel frame with some flex at the hinge point and plastic connections where the stroller folds. The frame is small, has no shocks, and all of the connection points are exposed. The plastic parts are finished well and fit snugly on the frame, and everything fits fairly well together, it just isn't as tight as we'd expect for a jogger. The Expedition has metal wheels with rubber air filled tires that have smooth tread. However, the wheels have significant play where they meet the axle and it causes enough vibration in the handlebar that long distance running could be tiring.
The Expedition comes with a parent console and child's tray, leaving few accessories for purchase. However, they do offer what looks to be a nice rain cover.
Baby Trend offers a large variety of jogging strollers in addition to the Expedition. While we did not review any other models, some do look interesting including:
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Carrie Vickers
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