Chicco Activ3 Air Review
Pros: Below average price, adjustable shocks
Cons: Challenging runner, hard to use, crud collecting fabric
Our Analysis and Test Results
Chicco (KEE-ko) is an Italian company with more than 30 years creating baby gear. Chicco experienced great success in the United States when they introduced their infant car seats and strollers.
The Activ3 is a Chicco running stroller but you may not know it thanks to poor run-ability. It has a locking swivel front wheel and adjustable handlebar that rotates on a pivot point.
It has adjustable rear wheel suspension, but no adjustable tracking to keep the stroller running straight. Without tracking you are at the mercy of however the stroller comes and it may or may not stay on course. The Activ3 is challenging to turn and maneuver while running and we experienced more difficulty tipping it than most of the competition. This stroller wanders when you run straight and you have to work to keep it on track.
Ease of Use
The Activ3 is average for ease of use tying with some of the competition.
Fold and Unfold
This stroller requires one hand to fold and it auto locks and self-stands when folded. Folding has 8-11 steps depending on how compact you'd like the stroller to fold, but given that much of the competition has closer to three, even eight sounds like a lot. Unfolding is 1-5 steps and is very easy to operate even with one hand.
The single-action parking brakes of the Activ3 are unique as the control is located on the handlebar. It is a twist and press to lock and then press again to release mechanism that is easy to use but hard to get used to.
The storage bin (above left) on the Activ3 is medium and held our large diaper bag. It has accessibility from all sides and comes with a maximum weight allowance of 10 lbs. It also features a parent console (you shouldn't use while running) with a weight allowance of 2 lbs and two cup holders with a center storage tray (above left).
The sunshade is large with a small, vinyl peek-a-boo window in a good location for viewing. However, if you extend the canopy to its full capacity the window will be too far forward for adequate viewing.
The 5-point harness on this jogger is average for putting on and taking off. The adjustment of the straps is a partial rethread system sewn on the front of the seat and uses sewn-on loops to lower the height.
The seat on the Activ3 is hard plastic and not as cozy as a sling-style option. It has an easy to operate one-handed recline with four positions. There is no ventilation at the top of the seat in any position and you need to unzip and open the canopy for additional airflow. The seat has a stationary, padded leg rest that ends on a shallow and narrow, plastic footrest.
Car Seat Compatibility
Ease of Setup
The Activ3 took us 10:31 minutes to assemble and is average for difficulty with more parts to attach than the competition. The manual is a multi-language format that can make following along challenging so it takes time to find the right instructions.
The Activ3 has a swivel front wheel that makes negotiating turns and tight spaces easier than a fixed wheel, but it is still only average for maneuverability.
This stroller feels bulky and clunky compared to the competition on flat surfaces, but it is on par with the Chicco Tre. Because of its size, it has a tendency to feel less responsive and it requires more forethought than you'd expect. Moving off-road is somewhat harder which is disappointing in a jogger with larger rubber tires and suspension. The flex in the adjustable handlebar translates to less control over bumps and uneven surfaces.
Weight and Folded Size
The Activ3 is on the heavy side compared to the competition with a weight of 27.1 lbs, but it measures 14,229 cubic inches when folded which is smaller comparatively. While it isn't the heaviest, which is closer 35+, it is heavy compared to the higher ranking stroller we tested.
The Activ3 is similar to other Chicco fare with an average look and feel. This stroller has pleats, folds with internal plastic ribs that Chicco calls "3D Air Mesh" for breathability, but it really just collects dirt and crumbs and doesn't seem like it was designed by someone with children. It snagged in our tests and doesn't feel bare skin-friendly. The rest of the fabric has a rough, plastic feel.
The frame is sturdy with more give in the handle than we'd like. It is the same as the Tre's and is clean without being busy. The adjustable handlebar has a soft foam cover that lacks the density of higher-end models but is still comfortable. The tires are no-flat rubber on dense plastic wheels. The seat hard with minimal padding and the shocks are adjustable providing an average comfort experience.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Carrie Vickers