The Best Full-size Strollers of 2017
Trying to find the best full-size stroller? We were too! We considered over 150 strollers before narrowing down to test the top 19 competitors head-to-head. We spent two months testing to determine which products are the best and why. We have all the information you need to narrow your options to find the best choice for your family and wallet thanks to our hands-on, side-by-side testing process that includes more than 30 specific tests. Read on to remove some of the mystery and confusion about one of the more expensive baby gear purchases you'll make.
Read the full review below >
Test Results and Ratings
|Displaying 1 - 5 of 19||<< Previous | View All | Next >>|
Analysis and Award Winners
Updated April 2017
We have made updates to this review including testing the latest product versions for several recently updated strollers and added comparison charts for each metric. The best surprise for 2017 was finding that the most expensive products were not always the top performers (our Price vs. Value chart shows this in a graph).
Best Overall Full-Size Stroller
BOB Revolution Flex
The BOB Revolution Flex won our hearts and an Editors' Choice award with improved ease of use in their new version. With one of the highest overall scores and the best performance for maneuverability, it is easy to see why the Revolution impressed. This BOB is easy to push and turn with great off-road capabilities and the potential for running. It sports large pneumatic tires, adjustable tracking, and a locking swivel front wheel that keeps it moving straight no matter what it encounters. This stroller offers a variety of features and functions for baby's comfort and parent convenience and we think many parents will be attracted to the versatility of being jog and trail worthy that they can easily overlook the larger size and weight.
Great maneuverability, even off-road
Good for jogging
Read Full Review: BOB Revolution
High-end with a Reasonable Price
The UPPAbaby Cruz is a sleek no-nonsense product with a top score in ease of use and good scores for quality, ease of setup, and weight and folded size. While this is not the lightest option in the group, it does have an unbelievably low weight of 21.6 pounds, which is 3 pounds lower than the average. The Cruz has a large canopy, giant storage with a max weight of 25 lbs, and really easy to use seatback recline and leg rest adjustability. The Cruz lost a little ground in testing for maneuverability because it is a little larger and the 4 wheel design meant it paled in comparison to the 3 wheeled models that were easier to navigate, but it isn't hard to push or turn and scored above average in our tests. However, the foam filled plastic wheels did make pushing and turning on unpaved surfaces harder. This means the Cruz may not be the best bet for adventurous parents who plan to off-road with baby for trail style outings.
Easy to use
Lightweight and compact
No convenience features
Little harder to push and turn
Read Full Review: UPPAbaby Cruz
Best Value Winner
Britax B-Agile 3
The Britax B-Agile 3 is a budget-friendly stroller that offers a simple design with high performance at a price point that is better than most. This lightweight product has a very easy fold and is small enough to fit in most trunks or be carried with ease. The rubber covered handlebar feels good in the hand and is an adequate height for most parents. It scored well in ease of setup and has brakes that are easy to set and release. This reasonably priced option is a nice looking, quality product that can be used with Britax Click & Go infant car seats and others with additional adapters (sold separately). This stroller also scored well in our lightweight stroller review, proving it has what it takes to do double duty as an umbrella product as well.
Smaller and lighter
Harder to push and turn
Harder to use
Read Full Review: Britax B-Agile 3
Recall on Adapters
Britax has issued a recall for the Click & Go car seat adapters that come standard with the B-Agile 3. These adapters should be discarded and parents should contact Britax to receive a free remedy kit. New 2017 versions of the B-Agile 3 do not have the same concerns and do not fall under this recall.
Money Saving Full-size Stroller
Baby Jogger City Mini
The Baby Jogger City Mini is a lightweight, compact option that earned high scores for maneuverability and weight and folded size, and has a very friendly price made even friendlier if you consider its ability to function as a lightweight stroller. The City Mini was easy to push and turn with a trike design that makes turning and navigating crowded spaces a breeze. We were able to push it one-handed on most flat surfaces, but despite its moniker, it is not suitable for jogging. The City Mini has an easy to use harness and recline adjustment, as well as a nice sized storage bin and canopy with 2 peek-a-boo windows and a nicely padded seat for added passenger comfort. While it only has shocks on the front wheel and a stationary handlebar, it is still a nice product for a very nice price. The City Mini may not be the best option for parents who want to go off the beat path as the plastic wheels and limited suspension features will make it frustrating to push and uncomfortable for passengers.
Small and lightweight
Harder to use
Read Full Review: Baby Jogger City Mini
Best for Versatility
The UPPAbaby Vista earned the top score in this review with impressive results in almost every test. Unfortunately, thanks to a $820 list price and heavier size, it missed winning an Editors' Choice award that went to its smaller and less expensive brother the UPPAbaby Cruz. The truth is this full-size stroller is a very nice product that testers really enjoyed using and loved for its versatility of seating and features. This stroller is easy to use, easy to push and can accommodate up to three children, making it a versatile option for growing families with the quality to last for several years. The Vista comes standard with a bassinet and toddler seat. The frame accepts up to two infant car seats at the same time, or 2 toddler seats, and other variations including several using the bassinet with seats that can sit forward or back. This makes the Vista one of the most versatile in the review.
Easy to use
Heavy and large
Read Full Review: UPPAbaby Vista
Analysis and Test Results
We started by considering more than 150 competing full-size strollers, and eventually narrowed our options down to the 19 top finalists to put through our side-by-side comparison process for everything from maneuverability to ease of use. The finalists were selected based on their quality, innovations, and/or popularity. Our goal is to provide you with practical and detailed information on the products most likely on your short-list. The table above shows a comparison of the overall scores for each stroller we tested.
During testing, we focused on six key metrics, with ease of use and maneuverability being emphasized and scrutinized in our evaluation process. Our ratings were based on a combination of real-world testing (i.e. strolling with babies, toddlers and young children), and extensive side-by-side in–house lab tests where each product was rated compared to the competition.
Ease of Use
Ease of use encompasses the features you will need to use repeatedly every day. For example, storage options and how easy they are to use and how much they carry. Similarly, we looked at sunshades and whether or not they cover your baby, how easy they are to use, and if they offer a peek-a-boo window or ventilation. These kinds of features will impact the bulk of your experience, and a strollers ability to perform as desired and expected will be the difference between one you enjoy and one you'd like to kick to the curb.
In our tests, the UPPAbaby Vista (above left) and the UPPAbaby Cruz (above left) both earned high scores for ease of use. These products have nicely executed daily features that parents use the most. Both strollers offer high maximum storage capacity and the largest canopies in the review. They both have adjustable leg rests, easy to use recline mechanisms, and useful indicators to ensure the seat is properly adjusted.
The top two scoring strollers lacked nice-to-have amenities such as a parent tray or child tray, but these can be purchased separately. We think these convenience features are useful and recommend you consider the cost of adding them in your purchase decision.
The worst performers in our ease of use tests were the Quinny Buzz Xtra and the 4moms Origami. Both suffered from smaller sunshades, awkward design choices, smaller storage bins, and are large when folded and relatively heavy. The 4moms includes a parent tray and lots of gadgets, but its performance in our tests was disappointing compared to the competition.
Ease of Setup
Ease of setup was the least weighted category because it is a one-time task. We considered how long it takes, difficulty, required tools, and how useful the manual is.
The easiest to assemble is the UPPAbaby Cruz, with a perfect 10 of 10. It took just over four and a half minutes to put the UPPAbaby Cruz together with a simple start up guide, and we found it is so intuitive you may not need the manual. Close behind is the BOB Revolution Flex, Britax B-Agile 3, and UPPAbaby Vista, all of which set up in about 5 and a half minutes with great documentation.
The worst to set-up is the Bugaboo Bee 3, which took us more than 23 minutes to assemble, due to far more component assembly than the competition and documentation so poor that we put different portions together incorrectly.
We were disappointed to find many of the more expensive products ($500-$1,200) were the hardest to setup, due in part to poor documentation and sometimes a lot of parts. These include the Bugaboo Cameleon 3, Quinny Buzz Xtra, 4moms Origami, Baby Jogger City Select, and Bumbleride Indie 4. We find the combination of a high price tag and poor documentation to be particularly distasteful. Great documentation is largely a function of an investment decision by the manufacturer to create clear, easy-to-understand documentation in each language they consider a target market. In our experience, poor documentation typically takes an "international approach" where vague illustrations without text are in one part of the manual, and small text referring to the illustrations is in a different section.
To test maneuverability, we put each product through a convoluted course of turns and corners over a variety of surface types including pavement, gravel, grass, snow/ice, and dirt. A particularly revealing test was navigating crowded supermarkets. To compare each product in exactly the same way, we created the crowded-supermarket-from-hell simulator which is a multi-surface obstacle course that contains all kinds of tight corners and real-world maneuver challenges we observed in real life. We then scored each product on ease of pushing, ease of turning, and performance over various surfaces.
The best performers for maneuverability all share a 3-wheel design, and all have larger rubber tires. The top scoring product, the BOB Revolution Flex, earned a 9 of 10 and features pneumatic (air-filled) tires, adjustable suspension and tracking, and a lockable swivel front wheel. The second place options scored 8s and included the Mountain Buggy Swift, Baby Jogger City Mini GT, and the Baby Trend Expedition. All of these options performed well in our obstacle course and managed rougher terrain better than the competition. The [[jogging stroller review]| BOB Revolution Flex and Baby Trend Expedition also have jogging capability with both winning awards in our jogging stroller review]].
The BOB Revolution Flex, Mountain Buggy Swift, and the Baby Trend Expedition all provide an impressive combination of easy pushing, smooth ride, and fast effortless turns. Well-fitting quality construction made these three more responsive and easier to guide through tight aisles and turns. Bumps in the sidewalk were handled with ease by the larger air-filled tires with minimal impact passed on to the baby. The BOB Revolution Flex was noticeably better than both the Baby Trend Expedition and the Mountain Buggy Swift thanks to large wheels and very effective shocks.
While the Baby Jogger brand has the word "Jogger" in the name, most of the products they make are not intended for use while jogging. This is true of all three Baby Jogger strollers in this review. Parents should not attempt to jog with these strollers as they do not have the design features that make jogging safely possible.
It is worth noting that most of the high scorers performed well on both paved and unpaved surfaces. On pavement, their large wheels made for very easy pushing, single-handed turning, and they excelled in smaller spaces. When we went over grass or gravel in the park their advantages were even more pronounced. Smaller wheel products with solid tires got bogged down off the pavement and on rough surfaces, often to relatively unworkable levels. They also transmit bumps and jarring shocks more directly to the baby because the plastic wheels do not absorb the energy or they lacked suspension. The 3-wheelers with larger rubber tires took these off-road surfaces in stride. If your strolling often involves grass, gravel, or dirt, then maneuverability should be a key factor in your decision-making process. The Baby Jogger City Mini GT is a little bit of an anomaly in this metric. It performed well in our tests but has smaller wheels than the other top options. The smaller front wheel design makes it not as good at traversing rougher terrain as the larger wheel products, but still far superior to the competitors that have plastic wheels, dual front wheel designs, and no suspension. Baby Jogger advertises the GT as an all-terrain option. While we don't feel it is a good choice for regular off-road outings, our tests do indicate it manages uneven surfaces better than the other small wheeled competition.
The worst performers in our maneuverability tests were the 4moms Origami and the Chicco Bravo LE. These options use foam filled plastic wheels under 7" in diameter on the front and less than 8" in diameter in the back. They both have a 4 wheel design, with the 4moms design oddly placing the front wheels far out in front of the frame where they caught on every obstacle in our test course. We found turning these through our obstacle course was harder, and travel over bumpy and/or non-paved surfaces frustrating, or impossible. In addition, the 4moms product felt "loose" when turning, meaning there was flex in the frame when we pushed and turned (possibly a byproduct of the self-folding design); this made it less responsive and required more effort to turn effectively.
Many parents believe that quality is directly related to price, and while this assumption isn't entirely wrong, we found that many of the mid-range products offer quality on par, or better than, the most expensive options in the group. This is good news for parents hoping to find a high-performing quality product without breaking the bank.
The best options for quality are the BOB Revolution Flex (with a price of $500) and the UPPAbaby Vista ($799) each with an 8 of 10. Both options combine quality components, made of high-end materials, with a fit and finish that stands apart from the crowd with a relatively wide price gap between the two. In general, products scored higher in this metric if they offered comfortable and durable fabric, pneumatic or foam filled rubber tires, and sleek frames with smooth finishes. The lowest scoring products in the group earned 4s; these were the 4moms, the Baby Trend Expedition and the Graco Aire 3. These products show the wide range of prices for similar quality products with a range from $120 to $850. Most of these strollers share plastic wheels, stationary handlebars, and have a lot of flex in the frames with multiple connection joints. The Best Value winner, Baby Jogger City Mini earned a 6, which is above average with a budget-friendly price under $280.
Studies published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), who both analyze US hospital injury databases, identify falling injuries as the most common safety issue with strolling representing more than half of the 46,200 strolling-related injuries between 2008-2011. Tip-over related injuries were the second most common. Experts conclude that use of a restraining harness would have prevented many of these injuries.
To score safety, we examined basic safety features such as harness systems and parking brakes. The top scoring product for safety is the Baby Jogger City Select with an 8 of 10. Seven other products came in second place with 7s, and including award winners UPPAbaby Vista and Britax B-Agile 3. These options all scored well in our safety tests.
The lowest scoring products in our safety ratings were the Baby Jogger City Mini GT that earned a 3 of 10 score. This product failed in one test that gave us pause and great concern over its overall safety (see below).
We found the Baby Jogger City Mini GT scored poorly in one very specific safety area, that of backward tip-over risk
Weight and Folded Size
To test weight and folded size we performed our own measurements. This proved important as we discovered that some manufacturers provided weights or measurements that excluded components such as wheels or detachable seats. Our measurements all include wheels and seats. We did not include accessory items like bassinets or rain covers which only some products include.
The best scoring products for weight and folded size, scoring 8 of 10, are the Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini. Both strollers weigh about 17.5 pounds and are closer to 6,500 cubic inches.
The worst scoring products for weight and folded size are the 4mom Origami and the Quinny Buzz Xtra. The 4moms Origami is the heaviest at 34 pounds, while the largest is the Quinny Buzz at 17,160 cubic inches. The average for the group is closer to 11,500 cubic inches and 24 pounds, with the BOB Revolution Flex and UPPAbaby Cruz coming in closer to these values.
Car Seat Compatibility
The photos above show the UPPAbaby Cruz coupled with the Chicco Keyfit 30 (left) and the UPPAbaby Mesa (right).
Most of the products we tested are compatible with different infant car seats and some are light enough to work as a possible stand in for a car seat frame product. A few of the products are really restricted in the seats you can use or don't accept infant seats. Others strollers have a lot of flexibility in brands and models that will work, including the Chicco Keyfit 30, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, and the UPPAbaby Mesa, which all one awards in our infant car seat review.
If your plan is to use a stroller as a travel system in conjunction with an infant car seat carrier, then we encourage you to choose a car seat first and then find the best strolling product to go with it. We also think most parents should first purchase a car seat frame product for the first 6-9 months because they are easier to use, lighter, cheaper, and can give parents a better idea of how they will be using the next strolling product. However, all that aside when you are ready to choose your main strolling product, the compatible infant seats are kind of a big deal if you plan to use the two together.
We tested the seats with the compatible car seats we had in the lab and ordered an adapter for the Chicco Keyfit 30 if one was available. We used the Chicco because it was compatible with the most products in the review, and it is an award-winning seat with a reasonable price tag. For the most part, the products worked best combined with the same brand seat, i.e. the UPPAbaby Vista and UPPAbaby Cruz with the UPPAbaby Mesa. However, many of them worked equally well with the Chicco, and a few even seemed more stable or easier to install.
Some seats connected using a click in method, while others required click and strap in steps. On the whole, we prefer the click only variety because they are easier, more foolproof, and sometimes feel more stable. That being said the strap isn't necessarily more difficult, it is just another step in the process and we worry parents will fail to follow through with a second step, which could lead to potential safety issues. If you choose a product that has a strap, like the BOB Revolution Flex, we encourage you to always use the straps. Pairing your infant seat of choice with the best strolling option possible is the goal of combining the two reviews to create a travel system that will work best for you.
Is there one right choice for everyone? We don't think so. Your needs will vary from others due to your strolling habits, travel needs, and budget. In this review, our goal is to share relative differences we saw between top competing products so that you can make the most informed decision for you and your baby.
We hope that between our awards and ratings we can help you narrow down the field to a few top contenders. We strive to provide enough detail to help make it significantly simpler for you to find the exact right product for your family's budget and needs. If you still aren't sure what item is best for you, and feel none of the top performers offer exactly what you are looking for, please read our Buying Advice for further guidance on what to consider and how to narrow your options, and review our comparison chart where you will be able to narrow the field based on what features and performance metrics mean the most to you.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
Table of Contents
You Might Also Like