Britax B-Lively Review
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|Pros||Easy to use and push, useful features, quick fold||Reasonable price, good quality, comfy napping, smaller fold||Easy to carry, lightweight, stands on its own||Well suited for everyday use, quick and slim fold, more features, accepts car seat||Inexpensive, easy to use|
|Cons||Heavier and larger||Brake hurts the top of uncovered feet, harder to push and turn off-road||Hard to push and turn, not for napping, convoluted fold||Heavy for a lightweight, crossbar over storage access||Poor quality, harder to maneuver|
|Bottom Line||Easy to push with a fast fold but heavier weight is challenging for travel||A high-scoring, reasonably priced option with nice features suitable for comfortable napping but harder to turn off-road||Upright seat with no adjust-ability that can be harder to push on uneven terrain||A bit heavier, but works great as an everyday option for those who don't need the absolute lightest||The cheapest option with disappointing functionality|
|Rating Categories||Britax B-Lively||Zoe Traveler||UPPAbaby G-Lite||Baby Jogger City Mi...||Kolcraft Cloud Plus|
|Weight/Folded Size (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Specs||Britax B-Lively||Zoe Traveler||UPPAbaby G-Lite||Baby Jogger City Mi...||Kolcraft Cloud Plus|
|Weight||18.9 lbs||12 lbs||11.8 lbs||19.3 lbs||12.6 lbs|
|Folded Dimensions||24"W x 9.5"H x 29"L||17.5"W x 23"H x 13"L||13.3"W x 10.8"H x 42.5"L||25.7"W x 10.6"H x 31.1"L||18.6"W x 11.7"H x 34.7"L|
|Folded Volume||6,612 cu in||5,233 cu in||6,105 cu in||8,472 cu in||7,551 cu in|
|Capacity Limits||Minimum: Birth
Maximum: 55 lbs/44"
|Minimum: 3 months
Maximum: 45 lbs
|Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 55 lbs/45"
Maximum: 50 lbs/44"
|Minimum: Not Listed
Maximum: 50 lbs/44"
|Included Car Seat Compatibility||Britax All Britax Seats||None||None||Baby Jogger City GO, City GO 2||None|
|Click-in Car Seat Adapters||Britax All Britax Seats||None||None||Baby Jogger City GO, City GO 2
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|Strap-in Car Seat Adapters||None||None||None||None||None|
|Handlebar Height - Min/Max||40"||40.5"||42.3"||41"||38.9"|
|Included Accessories||None||None||None||City GO Adaptors||None|
|Setup Time||5-10 Min||2-5 Min||2-5 Min||5-10 Min||5-10 Min|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Britax created baby gear for over 70 years launching in the United States in 1996. In Europe, Britax has the best-selling car seat with a specialized interest in side impact protection (SIP), installation, and strollers. The Britax company now owns the BOB company as well.
Weight and Folded Size
This stroller is heavy for a lightweight product but still lighter for a full-size stroller and potentially light enough to double as a travel option.
This stroller is heavier than the Britax B-Agile 3 it replaces and is one of the heaviest options in the review. It is, however, somewhat smaller with a size of 6,612 cubic inches when folded compared to 6,658 of the B-Agile.
Ease of Use
Thanks to various features uncommon to traditional umbrella options, the B-Lively is easy to use.
Fold and Unfold
Folding the B-Lively requires one hand, and it automatically locks and self-stands. Folding is a two-step process of releasing the frame lock (above left) and pulling the seat handle (above right).
The brake pedal is large enough with an easy-to-press design that engages single-action brakes and takes a second press to disengage.
The bin fits a large diaper bag and has a 10 lb weight allowance. It has easy access from behind and a unique front access portal behind the leg rest. The canopy back has two small pockets and a medium-sized zippered pocket that can help you stay organized and avoid losing essential items.
The canopy is large with a mesh ventilation strip that doubles as the peek-a-boo window. The mesh strip doesn't have a traditional cover, and the canopy fabric folds over the opening to close. You can't check on your baby while strolling without letting extra air under the shade.
The 5-point harness is the same as the B-Agile predecessor. It is an average two-piece buckle that is harder to connect. Straps slide easily for adjustment, but the padding could get in the way. The height adjustment is a rethread design by pushing plastic pieces through the desired slot.
The B-Lively seat reclines deeply for napping with a plastic back toggle that requires two hands to operate. The sling-style seat is padded and has a non-adjustable leg rest and narrow footrest.
Car Seat Compatibility
This stroller comes with adapters for the Britax car seats. Currently (March 2019), the Britax website makes it difficult to tell which adapters are compatible with this stroller. Even after attempting to purchase the adapters, there is no description of which seats work with it. The user manual directs you to buy a frame for other brands on the Britax website, but the website doesn't offer any information.
Ease of Setup
The B-Lively took us just over 5 minutes to assemble. You have to snap the three wheels and install the canopy with no tools required.
The manual instructions start a few pages in and are not as good as those with the quick start instructions.
The B-Lively is surprisingly agile given the dual wheel design we traditionally find hard to move. It provides impressive maneuverability for the umbrella category compared to the competition, even if it isn't great. You can lock the swivel front wheel in place (above left) for better traction over rough terrain, and the smaller footprint allows it to move easily through narrow spaces. It is best on flat surfaces with more struggling over grass and gravel.
The B-Lively is okay, but in our opinion, not as sturdy as Britax products of yore. Though, compared to the competition, it still scored well. The frame doesn't flex, but it has more parts than the old B-Agile 3. The fabric is ripstop, but the padding and stitching aren't as nice as previous versions. Britax has made some minor changes we noticed, like the lack of window cover with magnetic closure, removal of larger zippered pockets, and Velcro on the front storage access instead of the higher quality zipper it used to have.
Should You Buy the Britax B-Lively?
The B-Lively falls in the upper half of the group in terms of score. It is a good choice if you want a lighter stroller for everyday use and you plan to use it with your Britax car seat. It does not fold down small enough to fit in an overhead bin for airplane travel, so it may not be the best option for families who fly frequently. But if you want a lightweight product with better features than are traditionally found in umbrella strollers, the Britax B-Lively fits the bill.
What Other Umbrella Stroller Should You Consider?
The Baby Jogger City Mini 2 is a comparable stroller we tested. It has the functionality of a full-size product and is compatible with many more infant car seats than the B-Lively. While it is slightly bigger, heavier, and more expensive, it is worth considering if you are looking for a crossover product.
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