In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

BOB Revolution SE Review

Best combination of performance and versatility, worth the price
Large 16" wheels in back and a 12.5" swivel wheel in front. Both wheels are pneumatic for a smooth ride  and a shock absorber is integrated into the frame design.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $449 List | $578 at Amazon
Pros:  Versatile, maneuverable, smooth and comfortable ride for baby, 70 lbs. capacity, high quality
Cons:  Handlebar not adjustable, accessories are extra, expensive
Manufacturer:   BOB
By Mariana Seif ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 13, 2015
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The Skinny

The BOB Revolution SE wowed us in our testing and earned our Editors' Choice Award Winner in the jogging stroller category. It is also worth noting that it won an Editors' Choice in our review of 21 top standard-size strollers too. It outperformed every other jogging stroller we tested by merging the superb maneuverability of a swiveling front wheel with the outstanding performance for serious runners of a fixed front wheel. While we gave our Top Pick for Serious Runners to the BOB Ironman, for most people the Revolution hits the perfect balance between great everyday performance, while still offering top-notch jogging capability. Read on to learn how it performed in our tests and why it earned our Editors' Choice Award.


Our Analysis and Test Results

In our article, How to Choose the Best Jogging Stroller, we describe our belief that the main benefit of a jogging stroller is the freedom it gives parents to get some exercise without needing to arrange for childcare. But the BOB Revolution SE was unique in our tests for its ability to not only allow you to go for a run in almost any surface while keeping baby safe and comfortable, but also give you the freedom to unlock the front wheel and glide your way through the tight spaces that keep fixed front wheel joggers away. It is so versatile that, of the jogging strollers we tested, we consider it the one that best helps new moms get back to exercising outdoors.

Performance Comparison


Editors' Choice winner  the Bob Revolution SE  impressed us with steller quality  great around-town performance  and surprisingly near-top performance when running.
Editors' Choice winner, the Bob Revolution SE, impressed us with steller quality, great around-town performance, and surprisingly near-top performance when running.

Running / Jogging Use


The SE is one smooth, smart jogging stroller. It feels like it makes the most out of every push you give it, almost as if it "springs" forward. So even when fully loaded –- it has a weight limit of 70 lbs — it glides as you run.

We scored the SE a 9 of 10 on running / jogging use, the second highest scoring jogger on this metric. Only the BOB Ironman outperformed it for running, and the most serious runners might be wise to consider that. But, the SE beat out strong contenders, including four joggers with larger 16" fixed front wheels.

We frankly did not expect such strong running performance from the SE. The combination of a swivel front wheel and a smaller 12.5" front wheel put the Revolution at a significant disadvantage in terms of specs relative to joggers with a fixed wheel and 16" front wheels. And, yet running with it was a joy.

So, why did it do so well in our running tests?

We think it came down to two key reasons, both of which reflect on the quality engineering in the BOB SE:
  1. The best front-wheel swivel lock of any jogger we tested
  1. Low-rolling resistance

All the BOB strollers impressed us in their manufacturing quality, precision fit, and materials. And, the SE's swivel wheel lock is a good example of this engineering precision.

While a swiveling front wheel that locks forward is not unique to the Revolution, the quality of the engineering that allows this stroller to perform as a serious jogging stroller is. Other locking-swivel front-wheel models we tested proved either too heavy or too weak to take the stress of long distance running. In some of these other models, the front wheel shook when locked, making it uncomfortable and possibly unsafe. Not so the SE whose wheel lock was solid, and whose precision adjustment knob allows perfectly straight and true tracking.
The Bob Revolution SE swivel locking mechanism allows you to easily switch between fixed wheel for jogging  or swivel wheel for around-town use. The little silver knob allows you to fine-tune the steering to assure a straight roll in jogging use.
The Bob Revolution SE swivel locking mechanism allows you to easily switch between fixed wheel for jogging, or swivel wheel for around-town use. The little silver knob allows you to fine-tune the steering to assure a straight roll in jogging use.

All-Terrain Use


While the BOB Sport Utility earned the top score for all-terrain use (not a big surprise, since it is custom designed for that purpose), the Revolution finished an impressive 2nd place scoring 9 of 10. Extended distances over some surfaces, like gravel or rough dirt roads/trails, are best navigated by locking the swivel front wheel. But, we found that the SE could manage the most common types of off-pavement challenges handily with the swivel wheel locked or unlocked. For those of us who need to cross the occasional unpaved surface, but mostly walk/jog on paved surfaces, it is a great choice, since it performs so well on the pavement, and yet handles rough surfaces with grace.
The front swivel wheel can be locked for jogging or rolling through rough terrain.
The front swivel wheel can be locked for jogging or rolling through rough terrain.

Ease-of-Use


In our ease-of-use scoring, the SE tied for first place alongside the two other BOB joggers. All the BOBs scored 9 of 10 on ease-of-use, well ahead of the next highest scoring strollers which earned a 7 of 10.

While not the lightest of the jogging strollers we tested — that honor goes to the BOB Ironman — the SE is light for a jogging stroller. Other factors weighing into ease-of-use:
  • It is easy to fold and unfold (although you'll need both hands to do it)
  • It has a security clip that secures the stroller when folded (believe us, having a jogging stroller unfold mid-air while lifting it is not fun)
  • It has storage in the back of the seat and an ample, easy to access, basket underneath.

Ample under carriage storage is provided by the Low-boy Cargo Basket. Placing heavier items here maintains a stable  low center of gravity. Additional storage is available in a large pocket in the back of the seat.
Ample under carriage storage is provided by the Low-boy Cargo Basket. Placing heavier items here maintains a stable, low center of gravity. Additional storage is available in a large pocket in the back of the seat.

Considering that nothing will cut your run shorter than an unhappy passenger, it is very important to choose a stroller that keeps baby comfortable. With an ultra-padded, reclining seat; a five-point padded harness; a large, adjustable canopy to protect baby from the elements; and shock absorbers that can be adjusted as your child grows, the three BOB strollers we reviewed — the Revolution, the BOB Ironman and the BOB Sport Utility — excelled in this regard over the other brands we tested.

The 5-point harness system is easy to use and comfortable for baby.
The 5-point harness system is easy to use and comfortable for baby.

Like every jogging stroller we tested, the SE does not fold small when the wheels are kept on. But the wheels are easy to remove and put back on, so if you can't fit it with the wheels attached, you can take them off and increase your storing options.

The feature that we would have liked to have is the ability to stand and roll while folded. While the lack of this feature in no way affects the stroller's performance, or our choice of this BOB as the best jogging stroller, it would be like a cherry on top, so we're throwing the idea out there for the BOB engineers to consider.

The BOB's optional Handlebar Console has a zippered pocket and two 5 inch deep cup holder pockets. Caution  never put hot drinks in cup holders because they could fall out and land on baby.
The BOB's optional Handlebar Console has a zippered pocket and two 5 inch deep cup holder pockets. Caution never put hot drinks in cup holders because they could fall out and land on baby.
None of the three BOB strollers we tested has an adjustable handlebar. If you are much shorter or much taller than average, we recommend you try this stroller in person to make sure the height of the handlebar feels comfortable and does not affect your running form.

You should be aware that accessories included with other jogging strollers we reviewed, like the BOB Parent Console for bottles and keys, or the snack tray for baby, have to be bought separately for the BOBs. But the superiority in the quality of the BOB accessories over those of the other strollers is such that we don't think is truly comparable.

Maneuverability


A relatively small width  larger tires with a quality swivel  such as the BOB's (shown above) help simplify navigating narrow supermarket aisles.
A relatively small width, larger tires with a quality swivel, such as the BOB's (shown above) help simplify navigating narrow supermarket aisles.
The SE distinguished itself in our maneuverability tests, out scoring all the other competitors, and earning a 9 of 10 rating. Many jogging strollers, especially those with a large fixed front wheel, are quite cumbersome to turn, and require lifting the front wheel off the ground to turn. This is a lot of work in crowded shopping areas, and often simply impractical in narrow aisles.

In our tests, the Revolution is the jogging stroller that best combines the maneuverability of a swiveling front wheel, which allows a stroller to turn easily even in tight spaces, with the performance of a permanently fixed front wheel, which is better for running because it keeps the stroller going straight and makes it more stable.

And why is this a huge advantage?

Because you'll be able to use this stroller in more situations, not just for exercising, but for everyday strolling around town, going to the park, and shopping. And yet you still have a high-performance running stroller, and as your fitness level increases from short walks to long runs, this jogging stroller will be able to keep up with you.
With the swivel wheel unlocked and ample storage  the SE is unique among joggers in that it performs very well when shopping and maneuvering through crowded aisles
With the swivel wheel unlocked and ample storage, the SE is unique among joggers in that it performs very well when shopping and maneuvering through crowded aisles

Best Applications


The Revolution is ideally suited, and we feel uniquely suited, to the person who is looking for one stroller that meets both day-to-day needs around town and serves as a high-performance jogging or running stroller too. We found it offers a great combination of performance for exercise, and practical features for strolling to the park or through the store. It is not ideal for a person who travels or most frequently uses the stroller after driving some distance. We consider a lightweight umbrella stroller to be a much better choice than a 25 lbs jogging stroller for use on the road. But, if like many people, you have a need for one stroller that can serve both every day and jogging use, the BOB may be just the ticket.

The Revolution is not our favorite if you are a serious runner and desire a dedicated stroller just for running and jogging. The BOB Ironman is a better choice for that application and winner of our Top Pick Award Winner for Serious Runners.

Value


We consider it expensive, but yet an excellent value. It's built-to-last, and you can be confident it will command a high price if you decide to sell it used a few years down the road. If you consider the price difference between what you'd buy it for, and what you can sell it for later, it is actually quite competitive with much lower quality strollers. We've seen other review sites complain about the price of the SE, but if you consider the quality, versatility, performance, AND the weight capacity limit -– it can be used with a child who weighs up to 70 lbs. — and the higher resale value of a used BOB stroller, we think it's hard to disqualify this stroller based on price.
The clear window in the canopy lets you keep an eye on baby  and visa-versa.
The clear window in the canopy lets you keep an eye on baby, and visa-versa.

Conclusion


We awarded the BOB Revolution SE our Editors' Choice Award because it is the jogging stroller we would most recommend to a friend or family member based on our testing. The quality of the components and of the materials is outstanding. If you are a new mom who wants the freedom to strap baby into a comfortable seat and go for a run anytime, yet also use it as an everyday stroller without maneuverability tradeoffs, it is the stroller for you.

Editors' Choice winner  the Bob Revolution SE  impressed us with steller quality  great around-town performance  and surprisingly near-top performance when running.
Editors' Choice winner, the Bob Revolution SE, impressed us with steller quality, great around-town performance, and surprisingly near-top performance when running.


Mariana Seif