BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 Review
Pros: More storage, tight turns, adjust-ability, smooth runner
Cons: No self-stand, awkward to lift and carry
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The BOB (Beast of Burden) company began when two fathers craved something different for getting their baby out and about. Searching for a stroller, they could jog with or move off the beaten path; the two men created the first fixed wheel jogging stroller. Over time, the company went on to create a variety of joggers including the first locking swivel front wheel that increased the versatility of the once awkward stroller. Britax now owns BOB. The Revolution Flex 3.0 is the latest iteration of this locking, swivel front-wheel jogger and comes with increased parent storage on the back of the canopy and a slightly longer footprint.
While fixed wheel strollers have traditionally outperformed their swivel wheel counterparts, in recent years we've seen a shift and find that a locked swivel wheel is actually easier to run with and our professional runner feels the same about the Flex 3.0.
With useful adjustable tracking (above left), handlebar height (above right), and suspension the 3.0 allows for some custom settings to improve running ergonomics making it a comfortable option to push and tilt for turning. Our stroller ran straight, and we didn't have any difficulty keeping it on track.
Ease of Use
The 3.0 is slightly easier to use than the previous version of Flex with an increase in storage options that improves the day-to-day experience for parents, especially those who want to use their jogger as their everyday option.
Fold and Unfold
The 3.0 has the traditional BOB fold and requires two hands and three steps including release levers, a pull handle, and a manual lock. This stroller does not self-stand it doesn't have a carry strap. The larger size and bulky fold mean it can be awkward to lift and carry. Unfolding also requires two hands, and it simply unfolds and locks in place.
The 3.0 has single action brakes that engage by pressing the rocker pedal in the middle of the brake bar on the back of the stroller. This pedal used to be metal and has grown in size and is now plastic. The pedal is sandal foot friendly and easy to set and release.
During testing, our brakes had difficulty staying or engaging thoroughly, and we found that we had to jiggle the stroller somewhat to ensure that the teeth on the brakes engaged fully with the slots on the wheel. Without this wiggle adjustment, the stroller often moved forward when slightly bumped or on an incline. This brake issue is something we haven't seen in the BOB strollers of yore.
The 3.0 has under-seat storage on par with previous Flex options, which is accessible from the back and somewhat form the sides. The bin is open and has a weight limit of 10 lbs. The BOB also comes with interior passenger pockets for snacks and water bottle storage.
The new 3.0 has additional pockets on the back of the canopy and seat back and instead of only a single or double mesh pocket (above left), now has a zippered pocket for a phone or keys (above right) and larger pockets for other convenience items. This additional storage means you could potentially do without a parent console.
The Sunshade is still large and covers little ones to the knees. It can rotate forward for low sun or use as a windshield. The peek-a-boo window is somewhat smaller than previous years, but it also has ventilation in addition to the vinyl window. The new canopy has a magnet closure on the window cover, which is a much-desired improvement over the loud Velcro used in the past. The shade is sturdy even if it looks a little frumpy when pulled taunt.
The harness on the BOB is easy to put on and take off with dual red loop pull tabs to tighten both shoulders and waist. This simple system is easy to adjust, and the shoulder height adjustment is the non-rethread style we prefer. The buckle doesn't require excessive finger strength, and the clips pop out, making it a quick and smooth operation.
The 3.0 seat is a padded and molded canvas with a sling-style design. The seatback reclines almost flat, and the leg rest is stationary but padded and extends to a rubber-covered footrest. Overall, the seat is cozy enough for napping.
Car Seat Compatibility
The 3.0 is compatible with a variety of infant car seat carriers with the purchase of an adapter. Most of the BOB adapters require a small amount of assembly with a screwdriver and need to be attached to the stroller using tools as well. The adapters are a to step process that requires clicking the car seat in place and then securing it to the stroller with side straps. The two-step process leaves more room for error or negligence than the single-step process found on some of the competition, and we worry parents will forget or forgo the second step leaving little ones open to potential injury. So while you can pair it with a car seat, it isn't our favorite.
Experts recommend that you do not run with your baby until they are at least 8 months of age. We suggest checking with your pediatrician before taking your baby over rough terrain or moving at any speed over a walk.
Ease of Setup
The 3.0 is easy to set up with clear instructions and limited parts to assemble. It took about 4:30 minutes to assemble, and the Allen wrench you need to tighten the front axle comes in the box, but we did need to use pliers to hold the other side to tighten.
The Revolution 3.0 is easy to maneuver with a swivel front wheel you can lock in place for traversing rough terrain or uneven surfaces.
The large pneumatic rubber tires go over almost any surface with ease, and the three-wheel design makes tight turns a breeze. Despite the larger size of this stroller, it is easy to navigate in crowded spaces, and we think it outmaneuvers the competition on bumpy surfaces. This BOB can be pushed one-handed and moves smoothly without a hiccup.
Weight and Folded Size
The 3.0 is 27.3 lbs and measures 14,748 cubic inches when folded. These measurements make the Revolution about average for the group.
It can fold smaller if you remove the wheels giving you a folded size of 10,672 cubic inches. While not really practical for everyday use, the smaller fold could be useful for longer trips or smaller trunks.
The 3.0 has similar quality construction and parts to the rest of the BOB lineup though not much has changed over the years and things that have changed didn't necessarily improve.
The BOB uses thick canvas for the fabric that gives the impression of durability and longevity of use. The thermo-molded seat is padded and easy to clean with a liquid-resistant coating. The frame is sturdy and has little flex or rattle, and the plastic wheels are dense and look off-road ready.
The overall fit and finish are nicer than the 2.0 with a few more features and better canopy detail. We appreciate the adjustable suspension (a rare treat in joggers) and the ability to adjust the tracking and handlebar height.
BOB offers some accessories that make life easier.
- BOB Parent Console — A great console is useful for keeping supplies close at hand. The BOB console has deep cup holders and a zippered center pocket good for phones or keys. It fits nicely on the handlebar, with little movement which can translate to a lower potential for items to fall out when strolling.
- BOB Single Snack Tray — This useful snack tray for passengers provides locations for cups and snacks that can make longer trips more enjoyable for little ones. While this tray isn't great for running, as items can fall out when moving at speed, we think many parents and passengers will find it useful when strolling.
- Infant Car Seat Adapters — BOB offers car seat adapters for many popular infant car seats.a nice tool to help you determine which adapter you need for your specific seat. BOB currently offers four different adapters including the BOB 2016 Single Infant Car Seat Adapter for Peg Perego, BOB 2016 Single Infant Car Seat Adapter for Chicco, BOB 2016 Single Infant Car Seat Adapter for Graco, and BOB 2016 Single Infant Car Seat Adapter for Britax & BOB.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz