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Hands-on Gear Review
BOB Revolution Flex Review
Price: $500.00 List | $449.99 at Amazon - 10% off
Pros: Easy to run with, responsive turning, high quality
Cons: Won't self-stand when folded, difficult to lift and carry
Bottom line: Rugged jogger that is easy to run with and good for every day outings
The BOB Revolution Flex earned a second place rank and Editors' Choice award in our jogging stroller review. With a top score for run-ability and solid scores in maneuverability and quality, the BOB impresses by being a great running stroller that adeptly navigates crowded spaces and rough terrain. While the BOB has lower ease of use and weight and folded size scores than the Thule Urban Glide, it shares the Urban Glide's smooth run-ability and offers a more rugged look. This makes it a great choice for those that value the proven durability of a BOB over smaller size and lighter weight. We would recommend this stroller for families who love being outside and plan to move off the beaten path regularly.
While widely considered one of the best jogging strollers, the Flex is also a capable everyday option, as demonstrated in our full-size stroller review where it earned its second Editors' Choice award.
RELATED REVIEW: The Race for the Best Jogging Stroller of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
In 1994, Roger Malinowski and Philip Novotny formed the Beast of Burden Company, (now known as BOB) in San Luis Obispo, California. The bicycle industry professional and the airline mechanic started BOB with Yak bike trailers with quick release attachment. As the two had families, they saw a need for a new kind of stroller, and the BOB Sport Utility jogging stroller was born. In 2005, the men continued to revolutionize the stroller world creating the first locking swivel wheel on a jogger, making it more versatile and user-friendly. In 2011, the company was acquired by Britax and offers a full line of stroller options designed for every lifestyle.
This chart compares the overall scores for the jogging strollers we tested. The BOB Revolution Flex (shown in blue) earned the second highest score, making it easy to see why it won an Editors' Choice award.
The sections below provide details on how the Revolution performed during testing for each metric. The metric performance was used to determine the overall score, with an emphasis on run-ability and ease of use.
The Revolution scored a 9 of 10 for run-ability, earning the highest score for the metric and tying with the Thule Urban Glide. This stroller sports a locking swivel front wheel, a design that seems to be supplanting the fixed wheel options for serious runners in our tests.
The Revolution's locking swivel front wheel and adjustable tracking are both easy to use. The tracking keeps the BOB running straight, and in our experience doesn't need adjustment very often.
Despite being on the heavier side, the Revolution is easy to tip back and turn while running, with one of the lowest rolling resistances in the group. The Revolution moves smoothly with rubber air filled tires and adjustable suspension, and our professional runner feels it is a good option for frequent transitioning from one surface to another.
The Flex offers an adjustable handlebar with an 11-inch range that helps parents maintain proper biomechanics when running. The handlebar is foam covered and has a wrist strap near the middle that works well with both hands. The handlebar shape is not as ergonomic as the bar on the Thule Urban Glide, but it is still nicer than those that don't adjust.
Ease of Use
The Revolution earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use.
This score makes it about average for the group, but disappointing compared to the Burley Solstice that earned a 9 with a simpler fold and yellow colored adjustment features.
Fold and Unfold
The fold on the Revolution is somewhat convoluted and not as easy to accomplish as the Burley Solstice. It has a two-handed fold that requires squeezing the levers on both sides of the frame (above left) to initiate and pulling the handle under the seat to fold (above right). The Revolution does not auto-lock or self-stand (where the Burley Solstice does), and the manual locking mechanism is sort of hard to use and requires pulling straps together to connect.
The Revolution has a large storage bin positioned relatively far back under the stroller that can be hard to reach. It has access from the back and sides, and we were able to fit our large diaper bag in both ways, but it is easier to use from the side. The bin has a maximum weight capacity of 10 lbs, which is average for the group, but not as much as the Burley Solstice that holds 15 lbs. This bin is marginally larger than the one found on the previous version of the Flex, but we couldn't tell. The Flex also has a mesh pocket on the back of the seat with an elastic top and inside mesh passenger seat pockets for snacks and treasures.
The canopy on the Revolution is extra-large and covers children to their knees when fully open. It is adjustable with a large vinyl peek-a-boo window with a cover that has a hook and loop closure system and a stow pocket for keeping it out of the way when open. The shade is made with water resistant canvas and has reflective materials on the corners to increase visibility when running at night.
The Flex has a 5-point lightly padded harness that is easy to put on, take off, and adjust. It offers shoulder height adjustment, an adjustable crotch strap, and waist straps with red pull rings that make them easy to tighten. The buckle snaps together easily and opens readily when the button is depressed without the need for excessive pressure or two hands.
The Revolution has a sling style seat with a non-adjustable leg rest that extends down to a plastic foot rest. The seat bottom is lightly padded but has a seam that runs across the bottom behind the knee bend that could cause chafing to exposed skin. The seat back reclines to a nap happy almost flat, and the 2016 version has a more upright position for easier viewing. Reclining the seat on the 2016 is easier than the previous version with a one hand button to recline as opposed to two hands. Once the seat is reclined, a ventilation gap opens at the top for increased airflow.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Revolution is compatible with several different infant car seats. All of the adapters are a two-step process that includes click-in and straps for proper installation.
Ease of Setup
The Revolution Flex is relatively easy to assemble, taking 5:21 minutes to put together. It requires a Phillips head screwdriver, and the manual is longer and more detailed than most, but this version is easier than the previous version.
This BOB scored an 8 of 10 for maneuverability, which is one point lower than the Thule Urban Glide, but one point higher than the Burley Solstice. We believe it is important for a stroller to be easy to push and turn, or you likely won't want to use it.
The Flex is easy to push on flat surfaces, but it is 2 inches wider than some of the competition, so you need to go a little slower in tight turns and smaller spaces. Moving on rougher terrain is just as easy as flat, with a relatively smooth transition from one surface to another. This makes it a good option for all-terrain pushing and outdoor adventures.
This stroller offers a relatively comfortable ride with a sling style seat, thermo-molded padding, pneumatic rubber tires, adjustable suspension, and padded shoulder straps.
Weight and Folded Size
The Revolution weighs 27.3 lbs, which is almost identical to the Burley Solstice. This is 2 lbs heavier than the previous Flex. The Thule Urban Glide is significantly less with a weight close to 22 lbs, which makes it a light jogger and the lightest in the top 5.
The Flex is 14,497 cubic inches which is over 2,000 cubic inches smaller when folded than the previous version. It can be made smaller with the removal of the quick release wheels. The awkward fold and heavier weight make the Revolution a harder stroller to lift and carry, but the smaller size means it might fit in smaller spaces where the larger Burley Solstice can't go.
The Revolution received a score of 9 of 10 for quality, tying with the Thule Urban Glide and coming in slightly higher than the Burley Solstice.
The Revolution's fabric is thick, durable canvas with a thermo-molded seat and some reflective edges for night time visibility. The fabric doesn't snag, is water resistant, and easy to care for. The aluminum frame has no flex and is utilitarian is designed with tight connections and hinge points. The fabric fits the frame by wrapping around and doesn't look quite as finished or sleek as the Thule Urban Glide that attaches via a groove in the frame. The overall look is somewhat unkempt, and a little rumpled, but the materials used are top notch.
BOB offers several accessories for all the BOB strollers that either make it easier to use or increase versatility.
BOB makes several different strollers for jogging. We tested multiple BOB options in this review and others including the following:
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Carrie Vickers
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