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Hands-on Gear Review
BOB Revolution Flex Review
Price: $500.00 List
Pros: Easy to run with, responsive turning, high quality
Cons: Won't self-stand when folded, difficult to lift and carry
Bottom line: Rugged jogger that is easy to run with and good for every day outings
The BOB Revolution Flex earned a second place rank and Editors' Choice award in our jogging stroller review. Earning a top score for run-ability and solid scores in maneuverability and quality, the BOB impresses by being a great running stroller that adeptly navigates crowded spaces. While it has lower ease of use and weight and folded size scores than the Thule Urban Glide, it shares the Urban Glide's smooth run-ability and offers a more rugged look, making it a good choice for those that value proven durability over smaller size and lighter weight.
While widely considered one of the best jogging strollers, the Flex is also a capable every day option, as demonstrated by earning an Editors' Choice award for Best Baby Strollers as well.
RELATED REVIEW: The Race for the Best Jogging Stroller of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
New Version Update — September 2016
The Revolution Flex has been replaced by the Revolution Flex 2016. The new Revolution Flex has an increased weight capacity of 75 lbs (up from 70), slightly larger storage bin, more upright seating, and easier to use brake pedal and recline adjustment toggle. The Revolution Flex 2016 also has enhanced quick-release wheels, an updated frame with fewer pinch points, and a 2 lbs increase in weight. Photos below show the Revolution Flex 2016 (left) and the previous version (right).
In 1994 Roger Malinowski and Philip Novotny formed the Beast of Burden Company, (now known as BOB) in San Luis Obispo, California. The bicycle industry professional and the airline mechanic started by building Yak bike trailers with quick release attachment. As the two grew older and had families, they saw a need for a new kind of stroller, and the BOB Sport Utility jogging stroller was born. In 2005, the two men continued to revolutionize the stroller world by being the first to put a locking swivel wheel on a jogger, making it more versatile and user friendly. In 2011, the company was acquired by Britax and now offers a full line of stroller options designed for almost every lifestyle.
This chart compares the overall scores for every jogging stroller we tested. The BOB Revolution Flex (shown in blue) earned the second highest score, making it easy to see how it earned an Editors' Choice winner.
The sections below provide details of how well the Revolution performed during testing for each metric. The metric scores were used to determine the overall score, with an emphasis on run-ability and ease of use.
The Revolution scored a 9 of 10 for run-ability, earning the highest score for the metric and tying with the Thule Urban Glide. This stroller sports a locking swivel front wheel, a design that seems to be supplanting the fixed wheel options for serious runners in our tests.
The Revolution's locking swivel front wheel and adjustable tracking are both easy to use. The tracking keeps the BOB running straight, and in our experience doesn't need adjustment very often. Despite being on the heavier side, the Revolution is easy to tip back and turn while running, with the least amount of rolling resistance in the group. The Revolution moves smoothly with rubber air filled tires and adjustable suspension, and our professional runner feels it is a good option for frequent transitioning from one surface to another.
The Flex offers an adjustable handlebar with an 11 inch range that helps parents maintain good biomechanics when running. The handlebar is foam covered and has a wrist strap near the middle that works well with both hands. The handlebar shape is not as ergonomic as the bar on the Thule Urban Glide, but it is still nicer than those that don't adjust.
Ease of Use
The Revolution earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use.
This makes it about average for the group, but disappointing to compared to the Burley Solstice that earned a 9 with a simpler fold and yellow colored adjustment features.
Fold and Unfold
The fold on the Revolution is somewhat convoluted and not as easy to accomplish as the Burley Solstice. It has a two-handed fold that requires squeezing the levers on both sides of the frame (above left) to initiate and pulling the handle under the seat to fold (above right). The Revolution does not auto-lock or self-stand (where the Burley Solstice does), and the manual locking mechanism is sort of hard to use and requires pulling straps together to connect.
The Revolution has a large storage bin positioned relatively far back under the stroller and it can be hard to reach. It can be accessed from the back and sides and we were able to fit our large diaper bag in both ways, but it is easier to use from the side. The bin has a maximum weight capacity of 10 lbs, which is average for the group, but not as much as the Burley Solstice that holds 15 lbs. The Flex also has a mesh pocket on the back of the seat with an elastic top and inside mesh passenger seat pockets for snacks and treasures.
The canopy on the Revolution is extra-large and covers children to their knees when fully open. It is adjustable with a large vinyl peek-a-boo window with a cover that has a hook and loop closure system and a stow pocket for keeping it out of the way when open. The shade is made with water resistant canvas and has reflective materials on the corners to increase visibility when running at night.
The Flex has a 5-point lightly padded harness that is easy to put on, take off, and adjust. It offers shoulder height adjustment, an adjustable crotch strap, and waist straps with red pull rings that make them easy to tighten. The buckle snaps together easily and opens readily when the button is depressed without the need for excessive pressure or two hands.
The Revolution has a sling style seat with a non-adjustable leg rest that extends down to a plastic foot rest. The seat bottom is lightly padded, but has a seam that runs across the bottom behind the knee bend that could cause chafing to exposed skin. The seat back reclines to a nap happy almost flat and the 2016 version has a more upright position for easier viewing. Reclining the seat can be a little tricky, as it is stiffer than much of the competition and requires 2 hands to execute. Once the seat is reclined, a ventilation gap opens at the top for increased airflow.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Revolution is compatible with several different infant car seats. All of the adapters are a two step process of click in and strap on for proper installation.
Ease of Setup
The Revolution Flex is harder to assemble than much of the competition, taking over 10 minutes to put together. It requires a Phillips head screwdriver and the manual is longer and more detailed than most, which seems to make the process longer, not simpler.
This BOB scored an 8 of 10 for maneuverability, which is one point lower than the Thule Urban Glide, but one point higher than the Burley Solstice. We believe it is important for a stroller to be easy to push and turn, or you likely won't want to use it.
The Flex is easy to push on flat surfaces, but it is 2 inches wider than some of the competition so you need to go a little slower in tight turns and smaller spaces. Moving on rougher terrain is just as easy as flat, with a relatively smooth transition from one surface to another. This makes it a good option for all-terrain pushing and outdoor adventures.
This stroller offers a relatively comfortable ride with a sling style seat, thermo-molded padding, pneumatic rubber tires, adjustable suspension, and padded shoulder straps.
Weight and Folded Size
The Revolution weighs 25.1lbs, making it the second heaviest option in the top 5 scoring products. It does gain some traction over the Burley Solstice that is 2 lbs heavier, but it isn't as light as the Thule Urban Glide that is closer to 22 lbs.
The Flex is 16,680 cubic inches when folded, and can be made smaller with the removal of the quick release wheels. The awkward fold and heavier weight make the Revolution a more difficult stroller to lift and carry, but the smaller size means it might fit in smaller spaces the larger Burley Solstice can't go.
The Revolution received a score of 9 of 10 for quality, tying with the Thule Urban Glide and coming in slightly higher than the Burley Solstice.
The Revolution's fabric is heavy durable canvas with a thermo-molded seat and some reflective edges for nighttime visibility. The fabric doesn't snag, is water resistant, and easy to care for. The aluminum frame has no flex and is utilitarian is design with tight connection and hinge points. The fabric is fitted to the frame by wrapping around and doesn't look quite as finished or sleek as the Thule Urban Glide that attaches via a groove in the frame. The overall look is sort of unkempt and a little rumpled, but the materials used are top notch.
BOB offers several accessories for all the BOB strollers that either make it easier to use or increase versatility.
BOB makes several different strollers for jogging. We tested multiple BOB options in this review and others including the following:
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Carrie Vickers
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