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Hands-on Gear Review

BOB Revolution Flex Combo Review

Price:   $480.00 List | $379.99 at Amazon - 21% off
Pros:  Great maneuverability, easy to use, good quality
Cons:  Heavy, two step car seat attachment w/ straps
Bottom line:  Infant car seat attachment is not one of the Flex's many strengths
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   BOB

The Skinny

The BOB Revolution Flex is a great jogging stroller that performed well in our full-size and jogging stroller reviews. It is easy to maneuver, has adjustable tracking, suspension and handlebar, and it is a quality product with rubber pneumatic tires. What the Revolution doesn't do so well is car seat attachment with the lowest score for this metric out of 15 products. While the Revolution does work with a large variety of major brands, it does not come standard with any car seat adapter. Also, the installation of all car seats requires the use of attachment straps that we think could be forgotten or ignored resulting in an improperly installed seat that could be potentially dangerous for a baby. The Revolution came in dead last and over 25 points lower than the next product making it the worst in this review for car seat/stroller combinations. However, depending on your long-term strolling needs, the Revolution might be a good fit further down the line.

While possibly not the best for car seat attachment, the Flex still impressed us in other categories, winning an Editors' Choice award for both the Full-Size Stroller Review and the Jogging Stroller Review.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Stroller and Car Seat Combos for 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD
Mom-in-Chief
BabyGearLab

Last Updated:
Friday
September 15, 2017

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Editor's Note
This combo review covers the current BOB Revolution Flex, identified on the BOB website and online retailers as the 2016 BOB Revolution Flex. Despite the 2016 moniker, it is the current Revolution and there is no "2017" version.

Roger Malinowski and Philip Novotny began the Beast of Burden Company, (now known as BOB) in 1994 by building Yak bike trailers with a quick release attachment. Located in San Luis Obispo, California, this bicycle professional and airline mechanic found a need for a new type of stroller after having families of their own which prompted the creation of the BOB Sport Utility Jogging stroller. The men continued to advance their stroller designs and in 2005 were the first company to put a locking swivel wheel on a jogging stroller. This design change made the stroller more user-friendly and versatile for activities other than jogging, which made it more appealing to a wider range of families. BOB was acquired by the Britax company in 2011.

The Revolution car seat adapters all require the use of strap attachment  in addition  to click in place.
The Revolution car seat adapters all require the use of strap attachment, in addition, to click in place.

Performance Comparison


This comparison chart includes the overall scores for the combinations we tested in this review. The Revolution is shown in blue.


The sections below offer more details on how the revolutions performed compared to the competition.

Some of the car seat adapters for the Revolution are loop style adapters that require some assembly before use and allow the infant carrier to nestle inside.
Some of the car seat adapters for the Revolution are loop style adapters that require some assembly before use and allow the infant carrier to nestle inside.

Ease of Attaching Car Seat


The Revolution earned the lowest score in the review for attaching car seats with a 1 of 10. The average for the group is 6 with the Doona combo earning 10 because it is one product that is always attached.

The Britax adapter works with both side attachment and a bar to rest on. This is technically the native brand adapter for the Revolution and works with both BOB and Britax options.
The Britax adapter works with both side attachment and a bar to rest on. This is technically the native brand adapter for the Revolution and works with both BOB and Britax options.

The Revolution does not come with a car seat adapter or attachment capabilities. BOB does offer adapters that work with the Britax B-Safe 35, B-Safe 35 Elite, and Chaperone and Britax Affinity Bassinet); Chicco Keyfit 30 and Chicco Keyfit; Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 and 40; and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35. We tested the Revolution with the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35.

The Peg Perego adapter attaches to the sides of the Revolution frame and the carrier sits in the loop where it clicks in place.
The adapter for the Chicco Keyfit 30 is the loop style adapter that attaches to the sides of the Revolution.
 
The photos above show the adapters for the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 (left) and the Chicco Keyfit 30 (right).

The adapter for these seats required some assembly but it clicks easily in place. You need to screw on the additional restraint straps to the frame, and this requires a Phillips head screwdriver making it one of the most complex adapters in the review. You will only need to do this once, but the straps need to be removed when your baby is ready for the toddler seat. You do not need to remove the canopy to attach the car seat carriers, but you might not be able to use it either.

The adapters slide into the side of the frame in the designated adapter location on the Revolution.
The adapters slide into the side of the frame in the designated adapter location on the Revolution.

The Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 scored the same during testing for ease of attachment but the Peg edged out the Chicco by one point for stability. The Chicco requires more pressure that the Peg to attach because the canopy gets in the way as you press down, but the Peg still has canopy trouble that prevents both sides from connecting every time. We often found that after the click only one side was fully engaged. The process might be easier with the canopy removed, but we kept it on because that is how the BOB website shows it.

Once the seat is in place, with both sides connected, it still needs the restraint straps attached. We are not big fans of the strap step, and every stroller with straps lost points in our testing process. We worry that the restraint straps won't be used consistently. Given that many seats will feel adequately connected to the stroller without them, we think it is highly likely that parents will potentially forget to connect the strap, choose not to use the strap, or become distracted before they complete the process. Skipping the strap leaves baby open for potential injury should the carrier detach from the stroller for whatever reason. Given that many strollers in this review offer adapters and attachments without straps we think it is safer to find a car seat/stroller combination that does not require this second step.

The BOB Revolution Flex is both heavy and bulky compared to other options.
The BOB Revolution Flex is both heavy and bulky compared to other options.

Weight and Folded Size


The Revolution earned a 4 of 10 for weight and folded size. It is the heaviest and largest folded product in the group which makes it a poor combo option. We think it is best to find the lightest stroller that will meet your needs when your baby is still in an infant carrier. Some moms may be forbidden from lifting this much weight after childbirth and it may be too large for more petite parents to easily handle.

The locking swivel front wheel on the Revolution is part of the equation that helps it perform so well in our tests for maneuverability.  Left to swivel the Revolution can make tight turns and quick responses to traffic and course changes. Locked in place it can traverse uneven terrain without going astray.
The locking swivel front wheel on the Revolution is part of the equation that helps it perform so well in our tests for maneuverability. Left to swivel the Revolution can make tight turns and quick responses to traffic and course changes. Locked in place it can traverse uneven terrain without going astray.

Maneuverability


The BOB earned a high score of 9 of 10 for maneuverability. It isn't a surprise that the Revolution is a stand out in this metric, with components and a design built for jogging, it has what it takes to make pushing and turning a breeze no matter what the terrain.

The front wheel on the Revolution can lock in place with the flick of a knob and somewhat on the fly.
The front wheel on the Revolution can lock in place with the flick of a knob and somewhat on the fly.

The Revolution performed well on pavement as well as rougher surfaces like grass and gravel. The rubber air filled tires and adjustable suspension make even the biggest bumps manageable for baby, and the adjustable tracking on the locking swivel front wheel means the BOB will be moving in a straight line over every crack. The dense plastic wheels spin well with little to no resistance, and they don't wobble or make noise. The swivel front wheel makes negotiating tight corners a snap.

The Revolution's adjustable handlebar provides a variety of options for parents of different heights. Unfortunately  the pivot design means that taller parents will be closer to the rear axle and more likely to kick it while strolling.
The Revolution's adjustable handlebar provides a variety of options for parents of different heights. Unfortunately, the pivot design means that taller parents will be closer to the rear axle and more likely to kick it while strolling.

The handlebar on the Revolution is adjustable and covered in dense foam that feels good in the hand. It adjusts by rotating on a pivot point, which we don't like as much as the telescoping adjustment found the UPPAbaby products because it means taller users will be more likely to kick the rear axle when strolling.

The BOB Revolution has an adjustable suspension that is easy to use and improves the quality and comfort of the riding experience for passengers.
The BOB Revolution has an adjustable suspension that is easy to use and improves the quality and comfort of the riding experience for passengers.


To read more in-depth details on maneuvering the Revolution, check out our Jogging Stroller Review.

While the storage bin on the 2016 Revolution is large and fit our large diaper bag  we suspect most parents won't be able to tell that it is 15% larger than the previous version (according to BOB).
While the storage bin on the 2016 Revolution is large and fit our large diaper bag, we suspect most parents won't be able to tell that it is 15% larger than the previous version (according to BOB).

Ease of Use


The Revolution earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use, which is just one point below the high of 7 for the Chicco Bravo Combo.

The first step of folding the BOB Revolution is squeezing dual levers on either side of the frame to unlock the stroller.
The second fold step for the BOB Revolution is pulling the red fold handle located under the seat bottom. The entire fold process is easy  but will require two hands.
 

Fold and Unfold


The Revolution is harder to fold than most of the competition with dual side unlock (above left) and a folding handle (above right). The process is a two-hand operation with four steps and it does not self-stand, has a manual lock, and cannot be rolled when folded. Unfolding the Revolution is marginally easier with only two steps and a single hand.

The BOB Revolution brake pedal is plastic and large enough to be easy to set  release and pain-free for sandal feet.
The BOB Revolution brake pedal is plastic and large enough to be easy to set, release and pain-free for sandal feet.

Brakes


The brakes on the Revolution are single action brakes with a center pedal on the rear axle. The pedal is wide and easy to use with little pressure and is sandal foot friendly even though you need to use the top of your foot to release it.

The Revolution has good rear storage access and limited side access. The back seat pocket will be available for small item storage as the infant car seat attaches with the toddler seat in the upright position.
The Revolution has good rear storage access and limited side access. The back seat pocket will be available for small item storage as the infant car seat attaches with the toddler seat in the upright position.

Storage


The storage bin on the Revolution is large, and we were able to fit our large diaper bag inside. It has a 10 lb weight limit, which isn't as high as the UPPAbaby products that hold over 25 lbs. Ease of access to the bin is only average with good rear and limited side access. It also has a large storage pocket on the back of the seat where parents can store convenience items or bottle of water and passenger mesh pockets for sippy cups and snacks.

The large Revolution canopy has a giant peek-a-boo window that makes it easy to spy on your baby in an infant carrier or the toddler seat.
The large Revolution canopy has a giant peek-a-boo window that makes it easy to spy on your baby in an infant carrier or the toddler seat.

Sunshade


The sunshade on this product is large and has an SPF rating of 50+. It is one of the nicer options in the group with added ventilation and a vinyl peek-a-boo window with cover. The canopy is compatible with the car seats which we like, but it doesn't open all the way with every adapter, and it does get in the way when you install the seat, so you'll need to juggle it around a bit.

Ease of Setup


The Revolution earned a 9 of 10 for ease of setup. This stroller comes almost entirely put together with only a few parts to add. It took us about five and a half minutes to put this stroller together from unpacking to ready to use. The documentation is good with clear instructions and a picture for every step.

With the use of high-end materials and a nice design  the Revolution earned an impressive score for quality.
With the use of high-end materials and a nice design, the Revolution earned an impressive score for quality.

Quality


The Revolution earned the high for quality with an 8 of 10 tying with the UPPAbaby Vista Combo. This is where the BOB shines coming in ahead of most of the competition, but unfortunately for the Revolution, this metric isn't weighed as heavily as the others in this review.

The frame is a sturdy frame that has no flex even with the additional connection points, and the fabric wraps around it nicely with no pinching or scrunching. The overall fit and finish of the stroller are good, but it hasn't changed much in the last five years which leaves us wondering if it has stayed the same while others have improved. While this may be true, it is still a beautiful ride that functions well and doesn't have any identifiable missteps in design or execution and if history indicates anything, the BOB will last for many years and retains an impressive resale value.

Manufacturer Video




Accessories


BOB offers accessories that include infant car seat adapters:
  • BOB Parent Console
    The BOB parent console has two cup holders and a zippered pocket for smaller items.
    While a parent console is not a necessity and the back seat storage pocket on the Flex means you may not even need one, BOB does offer a console for the Flex. It provides deep cup holders and a zippered security pocket which is great for keys, wallet, and phone (or iPod). This console attaches securely to the frame and doesn't feel like an addition.
  • BOB 2016 Single Infant Car Seat Adapter for Britax & BOB — If you would
    Revolution infant car seat adapter for Britax and BOB infant car seats.
    like to combine the Revolution with a BOB or Britax brand infant car seat this is the adapter you will need. The Revolution does not come with an adapter and you will need to purchase one if you plan to make it a travel system.
  • BOB 2016 Single Infant Car Seat Adapter for Graco — Looking to
    Revolution infant car seat adapter for some Graco models.
    combine the Revolution with a Graco car seat? This is the adapter you will need to combine the BOB with a Graco brand car seat. be sure to research which Graco seats work with the revolution because models change and seats are discontinued and added to the lineup.
  • BOB 2016 Single Infant Car Seat Adapter for Chicco — This adapter
    Revolution infant car seat adapter for the Chicco Keyfit 30.
    works in conjunction with the award-winning Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat. This adapter, like all of the Revolution adapters, has a second strap step for proper car seat attachment.

Other Versions


The Britax B-Agile 3 Combo is made by the same parent company as the BOB and it scored higher in this review and works well as a lightweight stroller. However, given recent changes in car seat adapters and a future release date for popular adapters including Chicco and Peg Perego, the B-Agile may not be the best combo at the moment.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

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Most recent review: September 15, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

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