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Hands-on Gear Review
BOB Revolution Flex Review
Price: $450.00 List | $449.99 at Amazon
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
BOB offers various accessories for all the BOB strollers. These include:
BOB makes several different strollers primarily for jogging. In our jogging stroller review we also tested the following strollers:
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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