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Hands-on Gear Review
BOB Revolution Flex Combo ReviewPrice: $480.00 List | $449.97 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
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
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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.
To read more in-depth details on maneuvering the Revolution, check out our Jogging Stroller Review.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
BOB offers accessories that include infant car seat adapters:
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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