Chicco Bravo LE Combo Review
Pros: Parent console, can use stroller canopy with car seat
Cons: Heavier, poor maneuverability
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Chicco (kee-ko) company, part of the Artsana Group and one of the largest baby brands in Europe, offers a variety of baby-centric products including items for strolling, car travel, food preparation and more. Enrico Catelli founded Chicco, and their products are sold all over the world in more than 120 countries. Chicco designs gear for children in the womb up to preschool ages.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The Bravo is slightly above average for car seat attachment; it is not that impressive for a product that should work great with its native seat. The Bravo is compatible with the Chicco Keyfit and the Chicco Keyfit 30 infant car seat. The Chicco Keyfit 30 is the only carrier we tested with the Bravo.
The Keyfit 30 installs without the seat and canopy as shown on the Chicco Website, or it can be installed using the seat and canopy attached as described in the Bravo manual. We tested it with the seat and canopy in place. However, this method is slightly more complicated because the canopy creates a barrier.
To ensure a connection is tight and secure, we had to juggle the carrier under and up to push the canopy out of the way. The foot of the car seat will get in the way of the canopy; removing the seat and canopy will prevent this and lower the weight. But, if you remove the canopy and seat, you will only have the car seat canopy for protection. You will need to apply pressure to the carrier to ensure a full attachment with both methods, and we suggest giving the carrier handle a good tug to check the connection.
Weight and Folded Size
The Bravo is neither light nor small. We think this metric is essential as new mothers may be unable to lift more than a certain weight. The Chicco Bravo weighs 23.9 lbs, making it one of the heaviest in the group. The folded Bravo is also one of the largest in the group at 11,250 cubic inches. This larger size makes it tougher to transport, lift, carry, or fit in a trunk. No matter what type of stroller you want, there is a smaller and lighter option than the Bravo.
The Bravo earned the lowest score in the group for maneuverability. This stroller is hard to push and turn. It manages smaller spaces okay, but it is slow going and won't be a quick mover should you need to get out of someone's way. It requires two hands to push, struggles on rougher terrain and didn't turn well on grass and gravel. It wouldn't go over most bumps or the grate in our course.
The wheels are foam filled plastic and don't maneuver as nicely as rubber and aren't comfortable for passengers moving over bumpy ground. The four-wheel shocks might help negate some of the sting.
The adjustable handlebar is a smaller foam covered bar that isn't as comfortable as most of the competition. No matter where we positioned the handlebar, some of our taller testers continually kicked the back of the stroller.
Ease of Use
This Chicco is fairly easy to use. This score is the highest ease of use score in this review.
Fold and Unfold
Folding the Bravo is very easy with one hand, two steps and it self-stands. This stroller doesn't have a locking mechanism, but it has a carry handle. The handlebar will get worn and dirty using the self-stand, but it rolls when folded. The unfolding process requires two hands and is a little awkward at first, but after a few tries, it gets easier.
The brakes are double-action, which means you have to depress the brake pedal on both sides to set. We worry parents may potentially set one and skip the other. The pedals are easy to use, but we had trouble getting them set every time (see below).
During our tests, the cogs of the brake skipped across the wheel without engaging. We thought the brakes engaged because we heard the click and felt the pedal shift down, but they weren't, and the stroller started rolling with little effort, which is a safety concern and something parents should be aware of.
The canopy on the Bravo is large and rated at 50+UPF. The canopy features added ventilation and a mesh peek-a-boo window that is on the smaller side, though still useful.
The Bravo has a big storage bin that fit our extra-large diaper bag. It has easy access from the rear, which decreases when the toddler seat reclines for use with the infant carrier. The maximum allowable weight is 10 lbs, which is average for the group.
The Bravo has a parent console with two shallow cup holders and a zippered pocket. This area has a weight limit of 3 lbs, the cup holders aren't the best at holding cups, and the zippered pocket is only large enough for lip gloss.
This Chicco also comes with a child's tray with 2 cup holders and a depressed area in the middle good for snacks. The tray is essential to car seat installation, so it isn't useful when the carrier attaches to the seat.
Ease of Setup
The Bravo took 9:45 minutes to assemble and has an average manual. The Bravo doesn't have a lot of parts, but the illustrations and descriptions are so simplistic they are challenging to understand. The rear wheels require the use of a washer that is tough to add, and the manual doesn't offer instructions on how to assemble the canopy. The pictures in the manual show the canopy already attached, but it did not come that way in our box.
The Bravo is unimpressive when it comes to quality. This stroller has a clean looking frame, but it has considerable flex when pushing. Ours was easy to scratch and ding and after just a few days of testing had a significant scratch. The storage bin is a thinner material with strips of mesh running down the sides. The canopy is a sturdy canvas with a loosely woven mesh we couldn't snag. The fabric fits the frame well without creating a rumpled or tight appearance. The design and the materials of the wheels are also unimpressive, with old-style bushings and press on hubcap.
We were disappointed with the overall fit and finish of this product. With flimsy feeling fabric, flexing frame, and plastic wheels, it didn't offer much that stood out in comparison to the other options in this review.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team