Graco Breaze Review
Pros: Works with Click Connect car seats, nice for napping
Cons: Difficult to tighten harness, heavy, hard to push on rough terrain
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Graco company began in 1942 as a metal fabrication shop that made car parts owned by Russell Gray and Robert Cone, in Philadelphia, PA. Eleven years later Gray left the company and Cone hired engineer David Saint to help him design a new line of products. Their first product was an infant swing inspired by a coworker who used an outdoor glider to soothe their new baby. The swing sold millions and Graco became one of the world's leading manufacturers of baby gear with innovative ideas like the Pack N' Play and Travel Systems.
Weight and Folded Size
The Breaze is one of the heaviest weights in the group of 18.25 lbs. The Breaze is also one of the largest measuring 7,749.25 cubic inches. While it does have a carry handle, a shoulder strap would be easier given the heft and size.
Ease of Use
The Breaze is easier to use than much of the competition, but that isn't saying much in a category where all of the options were lacking.
Fold and Unfold
The Breaze has a one-handed fold and it auto-locks (above left). The process is an umbrella style collapse that doesn't self-stand, but it initiates with a hand lever instead of your feet (above right). Unfolding requires two hands but isn't difficult. When the lock is engaged, the opposite side hangs open, and it hangs half-open when carried.
The Breaze brakes are double action and hard to set. You need to use so much force that it feels like they are going to break before they engage. However, the pedal itself is large, easy to release, and sandal foot-friendly.
The storage bin is large enough to fit the large diaper bag inside. It has a maximum weight allowance of 10 lbs with easy access unless the seat is reclined when you won't be able to retrieve items you may need. The Breaze also sports a removable parent cup holder on the left side. The holder is small and may not fit larger water bottles or squat sippy cups.
The canopy on the Graco is medium with UV 50 protection, pop out visor, and a mesh peek-a-boo window. The window flap does not have any type of closure, but the window itself is easy to see through. The canopy is easy to operate, but it doesn't cover as much of the baby as we'd like.
The Breaze harness is a 5-point harness with padded shoulder straps. Adjusting the straps is relatively easy, but to fully tighten the straps you'll need to push the extra threading adjustment through the seatback slot to rethread the harness. The padding on the shoulder straps may need to be removed to adjust the straps properly.
The Breaze seat has an almost flat recline back, adequate padding, and adjustable leg rest. It has a one-handed recline that is easy to use, with three positions. The adjustable leg rest can be angled down or out straight for more napping room, and it turns into an attachment point for the car seat. The footrest is under the edge of the leg rest and children will only be able to get their heels on it.
Car Seat Attachment
The Breaze is compatible with all Graco Click Connect infant car seats, including the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 40 and Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35. You do not need an adapter to attach the car seat to the stroller.
Ease of Setup
The Breaze is easy to set up and requires no tools. It took us 4:13 minutes to unpack and assemble the stroller, and it has an average manual with adequate instructions that are not confusing.
With two single front wheels that are easier to push and turn than the more common dual-wheel variety, the Graco is easier to push than some of the competition. The wheels move fairly well on flat hard surfaces, but on uneven terrain, we noticed a marked decrease in ease of pushing, and it is more of a struggle to keep on your chosen course. The brakes are also a problem when hopping curbs, as they can catch and engage leaving you unable to roll.
This stroller has all-wheel suspension, a padded sling style seat, and larger wheels that help keep the passenger comfortable while strolling. It could be improved with higher quality shocks, but at least it makes an effort.
The Breaze uses average materials with average construction. While not the worst in the bunch, this stroller uses heavier materials and has exposed connectors and rivets. The fabric and stitching are okay, but it can't compete with higher-ranking competitors.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team