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Hands-on Gear Review

BOB Revolution Flex Combo Review

The BOB Revolution Flex is a jogging stroller that offers adapters for several car seats  shown with the Chicco Keyfit 30. The BOB adapters click in when you place the seat in  but still require the additional step of attaching the restraining strap to properly secure it.
Price:   $480.00 List | $449.99 at Amazon - 6% 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.


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Best frame stroller with easy car seat attachment and parent console
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Quality full-size option with easy car seat attachment and storage good for errands
70
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68
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High price for a heavy, harder to push stroller but the Chicco Keyfit 30 is easy to attach
68
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The Vista is a better choice for multiple kids but not the best for single car seat attachment
66
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Poor mover with difficult car seat attachment
61
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Easy to push and turn stylish choice but attaching car seats is not ideal
58
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Not the best for car seat attachment thanks to two steps and straps
57
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Sort of universal, but its hard to push and turn, and the strap attachment is one we don't like
54
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Difficult to push and turn heavy option with only average ease of car seat attachment
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Disappointing that it is difficult to attach the same brand car seat
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Infant car seat attachment is not one of the Flex's many strengths

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

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

Last Updated:
Sunday
June 19, 2016

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The BOB Revolution Flex is a jogging style stroller with aluminum wheels, rubber tires, and adjustable tracking, suspension, and handlebar. It has a large storage bin, back of the seat stow pockets, large sunshade and vinyl peek-a-boo window. It does not come standard to accept any infant car seat, but there are multiple different adapters available through BOB for purchase. All adapters click onto the BOB frame and allow the carrier portion of the car seat to click and strap into place with additional restraint straps that screw on the stroller frame. The connection is a two-step process that leaves more margin for error than the click in only products.
The Revolution works with a variety of infant car seat brands.
The Revolution works with a variety of infant car seat brands.

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.

Ease of Attaching Car Seat


The Revolution earned the lowest score in the review for this metric with a 1 of 10 for car seat attachment. The average for the group is 6 with the Doona combo earning 10 thanks to its style of car seat and stroller in one product with no attachment necessary.

No matter what car seat adapter you use with the BOB Revolution Flex  you'll need to use the restraint straps for secure attachment. This two step process increases the chances of improper installation and we worry parents will forget  or choose not to use the required strap step.
No matter what car seat adapter you use with the BOB Revolution Flex, you'll need to use the restraint straps for secure attachment. This two step process increases the chances of improper installation and we worry parents will forget, or choose not to use the required strap step.

The Revolution does not come standard with a car seat adapter or attachment capabilities. BOB does offer adapters that work with all Britax and BOB infant car seats with Click and Go (including 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, SnugRide Classic Connect 30,32,35, and the Click Connect 30 and 30LX; and Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, SIP and SIP 30/30. We tested the Revolution with the adapters for the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35.

The Revolution  car seat adapter for the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35.
Some strollers have both a click  in and strap attachment process  like this one for the BOB Revolution and Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat.
 
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, and it clicks in place.
The adapters slide into the attachment points located on either side of the Revolution frame.
The adapters slide into the attachment points located on either side of the Revolution frame.
You also need to screw on the additional restraint straps to the frame, and this requires a Phillips head screwdriver. It isn't difficult to accomplish either process, but many of the other products we looked at offered adapters that did not need assembly and had no additional straps to mess with making the entire process easier. On the upside, you will only need to bother with this once, but you will need to remove the straps once your baby is finished using their infant car 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 Chicco attachment works in a similar fashion on the Revolution as it does on the Chicco car seat base.
The Chicco attachment works in a similar fashion on the Revolution as it does on the Chicco car seat base.
The Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 scored the same during testing for ease of attachment with the only score difference being the stability of the installed seat where the Peg edged out the Chicco by one point. The Chicco requires more pressure that the Peg to achieve the right attachment 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, you'll then need to attach the restraint straps. We are not big fans of the second strap step, and every stroller that required the use of straps lost points in our testing process.

We worry that the restraint straps on this and other strollers will not be used consistently every time the carrier is attached. Given that many seats will feel adequately connected to the stroller 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 entire attachment 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 that do not require the use of additional straps we think it is safer to find a car seat/stroller combination that does not require the use of restraint straps.

The BOB Revolution Flex is the largest and heaviest product in the review and it doesn't self-stand. This awkwardly shaped stroller can be difficult for some parents to lift and move  and difficult to fit in smaller trunk spaces.
The BOB Revolution Flex is the largest and heaviest product in the review and it doesn't self-stand. This awkwardly shaped stroller can be difficult for some parents to lift and move, and difficult to fit in smaller trunk spaces.

Weight and Folded Size


The Revolution continued to disappoint in the weight and folded size metric where it is the heaviest and the largest folded product in the group. Given that most parents will be using their stroller and car seat combinations when a baby is a newborn and mom is fresh from childbirth we think it is best to find the lightest stroller that will meet your needs when your baby is still in an infant carrier. Depending on how well childbirth went, or if mom had a C-section, she might not be able to lift more than a certain weight. With a weight of 26 pounds and a folded size over 15,000 cubic inches, the Revolution is likely too large for most moms to manage on their own.

Because of its size, the Revolution earned the lowest score in our tests for this metric with a 3 of 10. The highest score is a 9 shared by the dedicated frame strollers and the Doona.

The Revolution is harder to fold than most of the competition, and it requires more steps than any other in this group. The process is a two-hand operation with 4 steps. The stroller does not self-stand, is a manual lock, and cannot be rolled when folded. While the folding process itself is easy, it isn't as easy as those products that are one hand and 2 steps or less. Unfolding the Revolution is marginally easier with only 2 steps and one hand. The downside is you will have to bend all the way to the ground to unsnap the lock and pick it up, which might be painful or prohibited if you have a bad back or are recovering from a C-Section. Unless mom is strolling right out the front door and there is no need to fold or unfold this product she will need help.

The Revolution has air filled rubber tires that make maneuvering the stroller over various terrain a breeze.
The Revolution has air filled rubber tires that make maneuvering the stroller over various terrain a breeze.

Maneuverability


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

The front wheel on the Flex can swivel or be locked in place depending on the kind of terrain you are attempting to traverse.
The front wheel on the Flex can swivel or be locked in place depending on the kind of terrain you are attempting to traverse.

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 mean the BOB will be moving in a straight line over every crack. Also, the swivel front wheel makes negotiating tight corners a snap and gives it an edge over other BOB joggers that have a fixed front wheel.

To learn more or read more in-depth details on maneuvering the Revolution you'll want to read about it in our Jogging Stroller Review and/or in our review for the Best Full-Size Stroller.

The storage bin on the Revolution is fairly large  but has poor access from any side but the back.
The storage bin on the Revolution is fairly large, but has poor access from any side but the back.

Ease of Use


The Revolution earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use, which might not seem that great, but the high is only 7 for the Chicco Bravo LE, so it is close to meeting that score.

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 pounds apiece. Ease of access to the bin is only average with rear and limited side access available. It also has a large storage pocket on the back of the seat where parents can store convenience items or bottles of water.

The Chicco Canopy doesn't work that well with the revolution canopy for covering baby.
The Revolution canopy works slightly better with the Peg Perego seat and canopy than the Chicco option.
 
The photos above show the canopy on the Revolution in conjunction with the Chicco Keyfit 30 (left) and the Peg Perego car seat (right).

The single action brakes on the Flex are easy to use  even if the pedal is on the small side.
The single action brakes on the Flex are easy to use, even if the pedal is on the small side.

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.

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.

Other convenience features on this stroller include passenger mesh storage pockets, padded leg rest, reclining seat and adjustable handlebar and are included in our more detailed ease of use section in the full-size stroller review.


Quality


The Revolution earned the high in the metric 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.

The frame is a solid, 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 and advanced. While this might be true, it is still a beautiful ride that functions well and doesn't have any identifiable missteps in design or execution.

The tires are air filled rubber, and the wheels are dense plastic They spin well with little to no resistance, and they don't wobble or make noise. These are some of the nicest wheels in the review and are what give it some of the best maneuverability in the group.

The Flex has a handlebar that adjusts by rotating the bar up and down on pivot points attached to the frame.
The Flex has a handlebar that adjusts by rotating the bar up and down on pivot points attached to the frame.

The handlebar on the Revolution is adjustable from 34.3 to 45.7 inches from the ground. It is covered in dense foam and feels good in the hand, but is not ergonomic in shape. 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 causes taller users to be too close to the rear axle where they can end up kicking the back of the stroller while walking. However, the adjustment is better for parents of differing heights than a non-adjustable option.

This product is the only one in the group that has adjustable suspension on the rear wheels. This provides increased comfort for the passenger.

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 5 and 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.

Best Applications


The best use for the Revolution Flex is as a standard size stroller without a car seat attached. Using the Revolution as your standard stroller gives you the maneuverability and performance you need with the ability to take it jogging or over rougher terrain for hiking adventures. The Revolution does a lot of things well, but in our tests, it doesn't appear that car seat attachment is one of those things, and while we love this stroller, we do not love it for that use.

Value


The Revolution is not the most expensive stroller in this review, nor the cheapest. It has a mid-range price that makes it a good value for a standard stroller you also plan to use jogging. Alternatively, if you do not plan to jog, then there are better strollers with similar or cheaper prices in this review that also work better in conjunction with infant car seats. The Britax B-Agile 3 Combo is a better value and provides a nicer car seat attachment method than the Revolution. Also, the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo is a high-quality stroller that works well with a car seat and won an award both in this review and the full-size stroller review. It has a list price of about $100 more than the BOB but may be a better value depending on your needs.

The Revolution only looks bigger and sort of awkward with a car seat in place.
The Revolution only looks bigger and sort of awkward with a car seat in place.

Conclusion


We like the BOB Revolution Flex. However, we do not like the way the infant car seat carriers attach to the Revolution's car seat adapters. Even though this stroller is a breeze to maneuver, has rubber air-filled tires, and a large canopy, it is not enough to make up for the poor attachment design that requires the use of restraint straps in addition to the click in adapters. We worry the restraint straps will go unused for several different reasons, which could leave baby open to potential injury due to a poorly installed carrier. We think parents will love the Revolution for many reasons, but car seat attachment is not one of them and we caution against this combination unless you plan to job and only want to buy one stroller.

Other Versions and Accessories


The Britax B-Agile 3 Combo is made by the same parent company as both BOB options and it scored higher and won our Best Value award in this review and our full-size stroller review.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

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Most recent review: June 19, 2016
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