Britax Replaces B-Agile with new B-Lively
The Britax B-Lively
is a new stroller made to replace the now discontinued B-Agile
. While the stroller has generally remained the same in design and function, there are a few changes that have been made. These include:
- Superficial cosmetic alterations
- 15% lower list price, $270 vs. $230
We are currently testing the B-Lively, but think that these changes should not greatly affect the performance of the new stroller. We believe our current review is still relevant until we have finished testing. Below you can see the B-Agile on the right and the new B-Lively on the left.
Hands-on Gear Review
While we tested the B-Agile with the Chicco Keyfit 30 (using an old adapter), Britax has informed us that the newly designed Chicco adapter will not be available for purchase until sometime in 2018.
Britax Click & Go Recall Notice and Adapter Information
Britax issued a recall for the Click & Go car seat adapters that come standard with the Britax B-Agile 3 and Britax B-Agile Double
strollers. The strollers are safe to use, but the car seat attachment adapters that work with the Click & Go infant car seats are not (prior to 2017). The adapters can disconnect from the stroller, creating a fall hazard. Consumers should dispose of the adapters right away and contact Britax for a remedy kit. For more information about this recall, and to see if your stroller is affected, please visit the Britax Safety Recall page
This chart includes the overall scores for each combination tested in this review including the B-Agile (in blue).
The following sections include details on the B-Agile 3's performance during testing.
We tested the B-Agile with the Britax B-Safe 35 infant car seat. The 2017 B-Agile comes with B-Safe adapters that are NOT part of the recent recall.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The B-Agile 3 earned a 6 of 10 for ease of car seat attachment. This score is average for the group and is based on our original review period that included adapters that are no longer available. We did test it with the B-Safe 35 and it works well with easy attachment and a secure feel. You can keep the canopy when you use it with the Britax seat which is a plus and the adapters for Britax seats come with the stroller and are not included in the recall if they were manufactured in 2017 or later.
The B-Agile comes with adapters for the B-Safe infant car seats. These adapters are not part of the recent recall on older models of the B-Agile prior to 2017.
The original review included information about our testing experience with the Chicco Keyfit 30 and Britax B-Safe 35. However, since the review was first published, Britax has begun a redesign of their infant car seat adapters and are currently not offering any adapter for the B-Agile. The new adapters will be launched sometime in 2018. The only adapter available besides the Britax that comes with the stroller is the Britax Infant Car Seat Adapters for Cybex, Nuna, Maxi Cosi. Adapters to support other brands should be available sometime in 2018.
The B-safe infant car seat carrier needs to be aligned to the side attachment points on the B-Agile for a secure fit.
As a result, we do not think parents should purchase this stroller if they intend to use it as a travel system unless they also plan to use a Britax infant car seat.
While you can fold the B-Agile with the adapters in place, Britax recommends against this as it could cause potential damage to the adapters.
Weight and Folded Size
The B-Agile earned a nice 7 out of 10 for weight and folded size. This is the second-highest score and ties with the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo and Bugaboo Bee Combo.
The B-Agile weighs 17.9 lbs, heavier than the 16.5 lbs the manufacturer claims. This weight is on the heavy side for new moms or mothers who've had a C-section and means that many will be unable to lift it. The lightest in the group are the frame strollers which offer few conveniences. The B-Agile somewhat makes up for its weight with a small folded size of only 6,414 cubic inches, which is the smallest folded stroller in the group.
The B-Agile three leg design helps create a stroller with a small turning radius that navigates smaller spaces with relative ease.
The B-Agile earned a 6 of 10 for maneuverability, which is slightly above average but 3 points below the high of 9 earned by the BOB Revolution Flex Combo.
Locking the B-Agile front wheel in place will help it navigate over uneven terrain without turning off course when it hits bumps in the road. This will prohibit turning, but the trade off is worth it.
For ease of pushing on the pavement and flat surfaces, the Britax is similar to the Baby Jogger City Mini Combo. However, the Britax has a shorter wheelbase and a slightly narrower width that make it better at negotiating turns and narrow spaces. This stroller can be pushed with one hand, but you probably won't want to, it took a lot of effort to move on the flat surfaces, and it was a struggle on the carpet. If you use both hands, it is easier to push. Things get a little trickier on grass where you can get it rolling but turning is difficult. The double front wheel design on this product is one that is harder to push than single wheels.
The wheels are a type of plastic called Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) that are foam filled. Britax claims that EVA is "rubber-like, but we found it to be a slightly better plastic than the hard plastic wheels found on low-end strollers. In our side-by-side comparison, we found the B-Agile wheels had more in common with plastic wheels on than they did with the foam filled rubber wheels. The foam helps give some density to the wheels to prevent them from becoming misshapen, but it would be better if the tires were rubber. The wheels are larger than most plastic wheels, and they spin freely without resistance. We do not believe the wheels have the same level of durability or quality as the rubber options in this review.
This stroller has rear shocks, but they aren't great; it took a lot of pressure for us even to get them to move, and we suspect lighter weight babies won't be able to engage the shocks at all, so there is no impact to passenger comfort. In fact, when we first reviewed them, we thought they didn't have rear shocks!
The B-Agile has the largest storage bin in the group, with easy access from the back. This bin can carry supplies for all day adventures or a few shopping bags when running errands.
Ease of Use
The B-Agile earned a 5 of 10 for ease of use, which is the average score for this metric. The high for the metric is only 7 earned by the Chicco Bravo Combo.
Fold and Unfold
The B-Agile has an easy, two-step fold you can do with one hand that includes unlocking the frame (above left) and pulling the fold handle (above right). This product auto-locks and has a carry strap but does not self-stand. It requires two hands to unfold but is still easy with only 2 steps.
The B-Agile has a press to set and release design that makes it easy to use and friendly for sandal feet.
The B-Agile has single action brakes that press to set and lift to release. The pedal is sandal foot friendly and works well.
The older version of the B-Agile had a nice zippered pocket (above left), while the newer version has 2 smaller open pockets (above right). The new pocket swings less than the older version, but we miss the security of the zipper closure.
The B-Agile has a medium-size storage bin that fit our medium-sized diaper bag inside. It has average access from the sides and back, but there is a cross bar on the back of the bin that curves up and limits what will fit inside. In addition to the bar, the toddler seat may be fully reclined when the infant carrier is attached further limiting access. The maximum allowable weight is 10 lbs, far below the maximum for the group of 25-30 lbs.
There is a large zippered pocket on the back of the canopy that swings when you walk. However, the real problem is the canopy won't be on the stroller when you use it with a car seat carrier unless you use the Britax car seat.
The mesh peek-a-boo window on the B-Agile is easy to see through and has a cover that closes with Velcro.
The canopy is large and offers additional ventilation and a medium-sized peek-a-boo window. The canopy is adequate for the stroller, and the toddler seat, but you won't be able to use it with most of the car seat options, as it only works with the Britax car seats.
Ease of Setup
This Britax earned a 9 of 10 for ease of setup. The high is 10 earned by the Doona Combo as it comes completely assembled. It took us 5 minutes and 42 seconds to unpack the box and prepare the stroller for use. The documentation is good and the instructions are clear with helpful pictures for each step, and you don't need any tools.
The B-Agile earned an average score for quality with a similar look and feel as the Baby Jogger City Min.
The Britax earned a 6 of 10 for quality, which is average for the group. It has a nice sturdy frame that is finished well and has a little flex. The components and materials attach to the frame nicely giving it an overall pleasing fit and finish. The back of the frame curves up and while this limits the storage access, it does prevent taller parents from kicking the rear axle while strolling and is a thoughtful design to solve a common stroller problem. The B-Agile could have scored higher with rubber wheels, an adjustable handlebar or fewer plastic components.
The B-Agile 3 is may leave some parents hoping for more in the way of convenience items. Adding optional accessories to the stroller can increase functionality depending on your needs. We think the following accessories would make interesting additions:
- Britax Stroller Organizer — This organizer is a parent console that has two cup holders and a covered storage pocket. The console attaches to the handlebar keeping items close at hand for easy access. BabyGearLab reminds all parents to never use cup holders for hot liquid of any kind.
- Britax B-Agile Rain Cover — This rain cover is made of clear vinyl and covers the entire stroller to protect baby from the incremental weather. This cover works for rain, snows, and wind. This handy cover keeps baby dry without blocking their view.
- Britax Infant Car Seat Adapters for Cybex, Nuna, Maxi-Cosi — This is currently (August 2017) the only infant car seat adapter available for the B-Agile with the exception of the Britax adapters that come with the stroller. Other adapters will be available sometime in 2018 including options for Chicco and Peg Perego brand car seats.
Because Britax has not set a specific launch date for their redesigned adapters, we suggest parents who are looking for a travel system assume they will only be able to use the B-Agile with infant car seats made by Britax, Cybex, Nuna, and Maxi-Cosi.
The same parent company that makes the Britax B-Agile 3 also makes the BOB Revolution Flex Combo. This option didn't score that well here, as it is too heavy to be a great travel system, but earned higher scores in our full-size stroller review with an Editors' Choice award.