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BOB Revolution Flex Review

Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $450.00 List | $404.99 at Amazon - 10% off
Pros:  Ease to maneuver, easy to use, comfortable, jogger
Cons:  Large and hard to lift
Bottom line:  Great moving jogger with all-terrain capability that works well as a full-size stroller
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   BOB

The Skinny

The 2016 BOB Revolution Flex is a cool jogging stroller that can do double duty as a useful full-size option (note this is the current model sold in 2017, they just call it the "2016" since that was the last major update). This means this easy to push stroller can potentially be your only stroller purchase! We love the Revolution for its off-road capabilities, locking swivel front wheel, and tight turning radius that you won't believe for such a large stroller. This stroller is easy to use, has a large canopy and storage bin and impresses with adjustable suspension and handlebar. While possibly not the right option for all families given its larger folded size, heavier weight, and lack of sleek styling, the Revolution does offer versatility at a reasonable price, something most of the competition can't claim. We would definitely recommend this stroller to a friend.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Full-size Strollers of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

Last Updated:
Friday
April 21, 2017

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The BOB Revolution Flex is a great full-size stroller option that also lets you jog should you feel the need to get moving.
The BOB Revolution Flex is a great full-size stroller option that also lets you jog should you feel the need to get moving.

Editor's Note
This review is for the current 2017 model of the BOB Revolution Flex, identified on the BOB Gear website and other online retailers as the 2016 BOB Revolution Flex. This model is the current version, despite the 2016 moniker. There is no "2017" version.

Roger Malinowski and Philip Novotny started the Beast of Burden Company, (now known as BOB) in 1994 in San Luis Obispo, California. The bicycle professional and the airline mechanic built Yak bike trailers in the beginning with a quick release attachment. After the men had families, they discovered a need for a new type of stroller, and the BOB Sport Utility Jogging stroller was created. The men continued to revolutionize the stroller in 2005 by putting the first locking swivel wheel on a jogging product, which made it more versatile and user-friendly for activities beyond jogging. The company was acquired by Britax in 2011 and now offers a full line of strollers designed for a variety of lifestyles and family activities.



Performance Comparison


This comparison chart includes the overall scores for the full-size strollers we purchased and tested in this review. With a high ranking score and impressive performance in multiple metrics, it is easy to see how the BOB Revolution Flex scored an Editors' Choice award (shown in blue).


The sections below include information on how the Revolution performed in our tests for each metric. The individual metric scores were used to calculate the overall score with an emphasis on ease of use and maneuverability.

The Revolution Flex is easier to use than the previous version of this BOB stroller with a larger storage bin and easier to use recline adjustment feature.
The Revolution Flex is easier to use than the previous version of this BOB stroller with a larger storage bin and easier to use recline adjustment feature.

Ease of Use


The Revolution earned a score of 7 of 10 for ease of use; it tied with two other products in this review including the Baby Jogger City Select.


The high score for the group is an 8 for the UPPAbaby Vista and the UPPAbaby Cruz.

The first step of folding the BOB Revolution is squeezing dual levers on either side of the frame to unlock the stroller.
The second fold step for the BOB Revolution is pulling the red fold handle located under the seat bottom. The entire fold process is easy  but will require two hands.
 

Fold and Unfold


This BOB requires two hands to fold and four steps to accomplish, this is a lot compared to some of the competition. Despite the extra steps this stroller is still easy to fold with dual release levers (above left) and a pull handle to fold (above right). It has a manual lock, and no self-stand or carry strap feature, which makes it somewhat of a bear to transport and fit into a trunk. Unfolding is easier with only two steps, but you will still need two hands if you are going to accomplish it with any finesse.

The BOB Revolution brake pedal is plastic and large enough to be easy to set  release and pain-free for sandal feet.
The BOB Revolution brake pedal is plastic and large enough to be easy to set, release and pain-free for sandal feet.

Brakes


The Flex has single action brakes that are easy to set and release. Parents can feel confident that the brakes are set, with false sets in our tests. The brake is a single pedal in the middle of the frame that is sandal foot friendly.

While the storage bin on the 2016 Revolution is large and fit our large diaper bag  we suspect most parents won't be able to tell that it is 15% larger than the previous version (according to BOB).
While the storage bin on the 2016 Revolution is large and fit our large diaper bag, we suspect most parents won't be able to tell that it is 15% larger than the previous version (according to BOB).

Storage


The Revolution has a large under seat storage bin with average access from the back and the sides and no front access. The basket is large, and we were able to fit our large diaper bag inside. It has a maximum storage weight of 10 pounds. This capacity is average for the group with The UPPAbaby Vista packing in a max of 30 pounds.

This stroller does not have a parent console or a child tray. It does, however, have two mesh pockets inside the seat so little ones can have snacks and treasures close at hand. It also has a large mesh pocket on the back of the seat. This pocket lacks any protection from the elements, but it is useful for holding water bottles.

The Revolution sunshade is one of the largest in the group and has a very easy to use peek-a-boo window. The shade can look a little frumpy when open  but the superior coverage makes this design flaw completely forgivable.
The Revolution sunshade is one of the largest in the group and has a very easy to use peek-a-boo window. The shade can look a little frumpy when open, but the superior coverage makes this design flaw completely forgivable.

Sunshade


The Revolution has one of the largest canopies in the group with a vinyl peek-a-boo window. The canopy has additional ventilation when the back is reclined for help with airflow on hotter days.

The Revolution harness is easy to tighten by pulling on the red side rings and the shoulder straps slide up and down for quick height adjustments.
The Revolution harness is easy to tighten by pulling on the red side rings and the shoulder straps slide up and down for quick height adjustments.

Harness


The 5-point padded harness on the Flex is easy to put on, take off, and adjust to size. It has no rethread shoulder height adjustment and an adjustable crotch strap. The red pull rings on the harness straps make getting the harness snug easier than the competition. The buckle snaps together and opens easily.

The seat on the Revolution is cozy with a one piece sling style design. While it lacks an adjustable leg rest  it is padded and reclines far enough for great napping.
The seat on the Revolution is cozy with a one piece sling style design. While it lacks an adjustable leg rest, it is padded and reclines far enough for great napping.

Seat


This stroller has a leg rest and foot rest, but neither are adjustable. The leg rest is padded, and the foot rest is large and covered in durable rubberized fabric. The recline on the new Flex is significantly improved over the older versions and is much easier to use with just the squeeze of a button to lower.

The new recline adjustment button on the 2016 Revolution is such a huge improvement over the previous version that it helped increase its overall ease of use score.
The new recline adjustment button on the 2016 Revolution is such a huge improvement over the previous version that it helped increase its overall ease of use score.

Car Seat Compatibility


The BOB does not come compatible with any car seat. However, you can purchase a car seat adapter frame for most of the top brands on the market. The frames require some assembly and work with several Britax/BOB, Chicco, and Peg Perego infant car seat models. This includes our two Editors' Choice award winners from our infant car seat review, the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35.

The Revolution works with a variety of infant car seat brands.
The Revolution works with a variety of infant car seat brands.

The car seat attaches to the frame by clicking in, but you also need to use the straps provided by BOB as a second step for attaching the seat to the stroller. We aren't big fans of the strap-in method because we think many parents will skip the second step leading to a potentially unsafe installation. The straps need to be screwed onto the frame of the stroller and then attached to the seat, and we think many parents won't even bother to attach them to the frame.

Ease of Setup




The Revolution earned the second highest score in this metric with a 9 of 10. The easiest stroller to put together is the UPPAbaby Cruz with a 10. It took us 5:30 minutes to put the Revolution together from box to ready to use, and it requires a screwdriver for assembly. The manual is wordy and far longer than is probably necessary. It added somewhat to the time as we sorted through the pages for the useful information.

The Revolution is the easiest stroller in the review to push and turn. It excels over uneven terrain and off-road hiking with rubber pneumatic tires and dense wheels that make it easy to push even with one hand.
The Revolution is the easiest stroller in the review to push and turn. It excels over uneven terrain and off-road hiking with rubber pneumatic tires and dense wheels that make it easy to push even with one hand.

Maneuverability


The Revolution earned a 9 of 10 for maneuverability, which is the high score for the metric.


For pushing and turning on the pavement and other hard surfaces the Revolution excels, though some testers feel it was more akin to driving a sport utility vehicle than a sports car. In general, the Revolution is very easy to push even if it is wider and longer than some of the competition. It rolls smoothly and with little effort; it can even be pushed with one hand.

The locking swivel front wheel on the Revolution is part of the equation that helps it perform so well in our tests for maneuverability.  Left to swivel the Revolution can make tight turns and quick responses to traffic and course changes. Locked in place it can traverse uneven terrain without going astray.
The locking swivel front wheel on the Revolution is part of the equation that helps it perform so well in our tests for maneuverability. Left to swivel the Revolution can make tight turns and quick responses to traffic and course changes. Locked in place it can traverse uneven terrain without going astray.
For maneuvering off-road, the Flex is possibly the best in the group. Thanks to its jogging stroller design with features like large rubber tires and adjustable suspension. It is hands down the easiest stroller to move on uneven surfaces. If it has any trouble, you can lock the swivel front wheel to help keep it tracking straight. You can even choose to jog with this stroller.

The Revolution is the only full-size option in this review with adjustable suspension. The suspension helps increase comfort for the passenger and pusher  as well as improving its overall maneuverability.
The Revolution is the only full-size option in this review with adjustable suspension. The suspension helps increase comfort for the passenger and pusher, as well as improving its overall maneuverability.

The tires on the Flex are pneumatic rubber wheels on high-density plastic rims. They are larger than most of the competition and designed for jogging over various terrain. The adjustable suspension and rubber tires help increase the general comfort for passengers.

The Revolution's adjustable handlebar provides a variety of options for parents of different heights. Unfortunately  the pivot design means that taller parents will be closer to the rear axle and more likely to kick it while strolling.
The Revolution's adjustable handlebar provides a variety of options for parents of different heights. Unfortunately, the pivot design means that taller parents will be closer to the rear axle and more likely to kick it while strolling.

The handlebar on the Revolution is adjustable from a two-sided pivot point on the frame. We didn't like this style as much as the telescoping adjustment on the UPPAbaby products, but it works well. The bar is covered in a slip-resistant foam that feels good when you hold it.

The BOB Revolution Flex is a nice quality choice that is put together well even if it lacks the sleek styling of many modern day full-size strollers. This BOB earned the highest score for maneuverability  easily moving over almost any surface.
The BOB Revolution Flex is a nice quality choice that is put together well even if it lacks the sleek styling of many modern day full-size strollers. This BOB earned the highest score for maneuverability, easily moving over almost any surface.


Quality


The Revolution earned an 8 of 10 for quality, tying with the UPPAbaby Vista.


The fabric on the Revolution is a heavy canvas that wears well over time. This same fabric is used to create the thermo-molded seats and leg/footrest, though the bottom for the footrest has a rubbery coating for easy cleaning. The seat is padded and has reflective elements for increased visibility in dim lighting. The fabric is spot clean only but it is water resistant so it should wipe clean. The storage basket is a combination of canvas, semi-reflective elements, and mesh.

While utilitarian in looks  it is hard to find any flaws with the materials or construction of the Revolution.
While utilitarian in looks, it is hard to find any flaws with the materials or construction of the Revolution.

This stroller has an aluminum frame that has more connection points than the UPPAbaby products, but they are tight and do not rattle or cause flex when pushing. The adjustable suspension functions well and the plastic components of this frame do not detract from its look or performance. The overall fit and finish of this BOB are very nice with no rough edges on connectors. While the look is a little more utilitarian than the sleek look of much of the competition, the jogger design has proven itself to be very functional with few flaws.

Even though the 2016 Revolution is about 500 cubic inches smaller than the previous version when folded  it can still be difficult to fit it in smaller cars. Parents can remove the wheels to make it smaller  but they should probably still double check their trunk space before committing to this stroller. Luckily  Amazon has a very easy return policy.
Even though the 2016 Revolution is about 500 cubic inches smaller than the previous version when folded, it can still be difficult to fit it in smaller cars. Parents can remove the wheels to make it smaller, but they should probably still double check their trunk space before committing to this stroller. Luckily, Amazon has a very easy return policy.

Weight and Folded Size


The Flex is one of the bigger products in this group. At 27.3 lbs this stroller is above the average for the group and two pounds heavier than its previous version. The lightest strollers are the Baby Jogger City Mini and the Britax B-Agile 3 that both weigh about 17.5 lbs.


The folded size of this stroller is less than the previous version, measuring 25.2"W x 15.3"H x 37.6"L and about 14,500 cubic inches. The weight and size of this product will prevent it from fitting in smaller trunks. You can cinch the lock down so the stroller is really tight or take the wheels off to make it smaller, but it is still going to take up more space than most of the competition.

Manufacturer Video




Accessories


BOB offers various accessories for all the BOB strollers. These include:
  • The BOB parent console has two cup holders and a zippered pocket for smaller items.
    BOB Parent Console — While a parent console is not a necessity and the back seat storage pocket on the Flex means you may not even need one, BOB does offer a console for the Flex. It provides deep cup holders and a zippered security pocket which is great for keys, wallet, and phone (or iPod). This console attaches securely to the frame and doesn't feel like an addition.
  • The BOB Snack Tray is removable for easy seat access and has a cup holder and shallow snack compartment.
    BOB Single Snack Tray — This snack tray is a good way to offer older children a place to put their drink and snacks. While probably not necessary for younger children, as they won't be able to reach it, this tray can keep must have items nearby for independent little ones.
  • The BOB weather shield is a great way to keep baby cozy no matter what the weather brings.
    BOB Single Weather Shield — Because you never know what the day might bring, owning a weather shield is always a good idea. This shield wraps around the Flex seat and protects little ones from rain, snow, and even wind. We think it is a good idea to keep this shield on hand so you never have to stop your adventure for an unexpected change in the weather.

Other Versions


BOB makes several different strollers primarily for jogging. In our jogging stroller review we also tested the following strollers:
  • The Ironman is a nice fixed wheel jogger  it just didn't score the best in our tests
    BOB Ironman — This BOB stroller came in fifth place in our jogging stroller review. It features a locked from wheel and spoked aluminum bike wheels instead of plastic. While dedicated serious runners might be attracted to this lighter option with the handbrake, most families will appreciate the versatility of the Revolution Flex and its locking swivel front wheel that makes running errands much easier.
  • The Sport Utility is easy to push on and off the sidewalk
    BOB Sport Utility — The Sport Utility stroller is a beefed up version of the Ironman with a locked front wheel and dense plastic wheels. This off-road beast is designed for trail running and moving from one surface to another with ease. This option earned a sixth place rank in our jogging review and may have some hardcore fans, but most active families should consider the Flex first, especially if the goal is a dual purpose stroller that can work as a primary or only stroller purchase.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz

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