Britax B-Lively Review
Pros: Easy to use and push, useful features, quick fold
Cons: Heavier and larger
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Britax has been creating 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 it is 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 a variety of 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 a second press to disengage.
The bin fits our 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 important 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 seat on the B-Lively reclines deeply for napping with a plastic back toggle that requires two hands to fully 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 and even after attempting to purchase the adapters there is no description on 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 3 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 nice 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 small 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.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and Wendy Schmitz