Britax B-Lively Combo Review
Pros: Works with canopy, compact, price
Cons: Only works with Britax seats, heavier
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Britax is a European company that came to the US in 1996. The company has been making products for babies for over seventy years, including their popular best-selling car seats. Britax also owns the BOB company and together they make a variety of stroller types and infant car seats.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
Attaching car seats to the B-Lively is one of the easiest in the review. The upside is the stroller comes with adapters for the Britax seats, but the downside isn't compatible with any other car seat.
The adapters click easily in place on the sides of the frame, and the toddler seat and canopy remain in place. The car seat carrier needs to be aligned with both sides simultaneously before you press it into place. Attachment takes little pressure over the weight of the baby, and it almost feels like it installs itself. You can use the canopy of the B-Lively in conjunction with the car seat. The carrier is easy to attach and very easy to release, but it isn't as secure feeling as you would suspect a brand-specific combination to be.
Weight and Folded Size
The B-Lively gained about 2 lbs over the B-Agile with a weight of 19.6 lbs. It measures 6,612 cubic inches when folded making it one of the smallest in the group including some of the frame strollers. With several options weighing less, it isn't the best if you are looking for a lightweight stroller for car seat transport. However, its smaller size makes it suitable for small spaces or cars.
With plastic wheels and the dual wheel on a single leg design, The Lively's ability to traverse uneven terrain could improve with a single wheel and rubber tires. The shorter wheelbase and tighter design make it easy to navigate narrow spaces or tight turns. While it manages hard, flat surfaces relatively well, you won't want to take it off-road for long as it struggles with bumps and rocks.
Ease of Use
The B-Lively may be somewhat difficult to use, but it still manages to be easier than most of the competition.
Fold and Unfold
The B-Lively is easy to fold, can be managed with one hand, and has few steps. With a quick-release pull handle (above left) and auto-lock (above right), it is quick and straightforward to fold. Unfolding is also simple and easy.
The B-Lively has single action brakes that are some of the easiest in the review to use both for setting and releasing. The brake is press only and good for bare or sandaled feet.
The large storage bin has front and rear access with enough space for our large diaper bag. It has a maximum weight allowance of 10 bs which isn't impressive but is average. The B-Lively also has two small pockets and a medium zippered pocket on the back of the canopy. While convenient, the smaller pockets aren't as useful as the one with a zipper.
The B-Lively canopy stays attached when you use it with the car seat and works well to cocoon little ones in the car seat carrier. The peek-a-boo window can help you keep an eye on your baby.
Ease of Setup
The B-Lively is easy to set up, taking just over 5 minutes to unbox and assemble. Set up includes attaching wheels and installing the canopy.
It doesn't require any tools, and the manual would be better with a quick start guide.
While the B-Lively is nice enough, it struggles to meet the competition. This stroller has canvas fabric and a narrow plastic footrest with foam-filled, plastic wheels. The frame is angular with more parts than other Britax options, but it still looks nice and has minimal flex. Britax has replaced the magnet cover on the canopy with nothing and Velcro for the front storage access instead of a zipper. While not the end of the world, it shows less attention to detail than previous Britax offerings. This stroller has a stationary handlebar, padded sling-style seat and stiff suspension creating a relatively comfortable ride for passenger and parent.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz