Review: BOB Revolution SE

After buying our Chariot CX1 (see my review), I took one look at it’s size and realized that I would probably need something a bit smaller and easier to pack into my trunk for quick outings with a newborn.  Enter one of my good friends who was done with her BOB and offered to sell it to me at a great price (thanks L!).  I knew my friend put a lot of research into her decision to buy the BOB so I felt confident it was going to be a good stroller.

Chilling by the pool

Chilling by the pool on our trip to Las Vegas at 3 months old. Not old enough to use the seat, but it worked well as a portable outdoor bassinet. With supervision of course :)

What I used it for & at what stage:

  • 0-3 months (winter): occasional walks outside & walking indoors on cold days, travel
  • 3-6 months (spring): rarely used during this time as E was too small for the seat but didn’t like being in her carseat
  • 6-9 months (summer/fall): occasional walks outside, some small trips around town, travel
  • 9-12 months (fall/winter): occasional walks outside, some small trips around town, travel

Things that I loved:

  • The suspension makes for a very smooth ride and it turns easily with the front wheel unlocked
  • The quick release for the front wheel is easy to use (though I only found it necessary to do this when I had other things I needed to pack in my trunk as well)
  • The cupholder attachment is great! It holds two beverages and has a zippered compartment for keys/phone.
  • Travels well.  We’ve taken it on two trips and had no issues with parts breaking or being damaged.  And this is after the stroller was used by another family before us for everyday use & regular travel.
  • Opens and folds easily once you get the hang of it (it’s quite fun to pop open with one hand!)
  • Sunshade is very generous and will block most of the sun
  • There’s a weather-proof window you can open on top of the sunshade to check on baby
  • No need to switch wheels between jogging & strolling.  There’s a simple latch you flip to lock the front wheel.  This is great for vacations as you can bring one stroller for walking and running.
  • The seat reclines flat to let baby nap, though we didn’t use this often.
  • Pushes easily on well-packed snow or smaller amounts of fresh snow but … (see below)
Checking out Red Rocks with our sturdy travelling BOB!

Checking out Red Rocks with our sturdy travelling BOB!

Things that didn’t work for us:

  • The cargo bin at the bottom is a little small.  My diaper backpack was about all I could fit down there (~20 L bag) and I’d have to squeeze it in if it was stuffed full.
  • It takes up much less trunk space (folded) than the Chariot but it still felt bulky and heavy
  • I noticed that on several other brands of strollers, when you click the carseat in, the sunshade can be pulled down to meet the sunshade of the carseat to block the sun/wind/snow.  On the BOB, the sunshade will pull down, though not far enough to provide good coverage.  This may have to do with my carseat (Chicco) as well as the stroller, though.
  • You can only run with this stroller once the baby is old enough to use the seat (~6 months for us).
  • It’s not possible to have the seat as upright as that of the Chariot and the 5 point harness is harder to adjust than the Chariot
  • Though the wheels are larger and you can push the BOB through snow in the winter, there is a limit to how much it can handle while still giving a smooth ride and being easy to push (though you could get around this with these cool stroller skis -> Polar Stroller)

Accessories

(yup, they have to be bought separately)

  • Cupholder attachment
  • Bucket seat attachment (different for every brand of carseat)
  • Weather shield, bug net, UV shield – I never bought any of these as the Chariot has all of this integrated in it but I thought it was worth a mention that you can buy them.

Would I buy it again?

Yes and no.  Given that I knew I was buying a Chariot, a brand new BOB would have been very pricey second stroller especially when the features I’d be paying the money for are mostly covered by a Chariot.  That being said, a secondhand BOB was a great choice for us as it gave us a sturdy second stroller to take on trips that we could still get outdoors and exercise with.  If I could go back in time, I would absolutely buy our second hand BOB again.  Buying used is an excellent option if you’d like to have a sturdy second stroller but don’t want to pay full price.

Review: Chariot CX1

Before having a baby, Chariot was probably the only brand of stroller I could identify as I had seen so many of them in town and on the trails in Canmore and Banff.  To me, it seemed this was the obvious choice for an outdoor parent.  Now that I’m the proud owner of one, I thought I’d share my views on how owning a Chariot worked out for us (spoiler alert – it’s awesome!)

Yes, I am strolling down the middle of the road! If you're in Calgary, a fun spring outing is to cycle/stroll/run down any closed road in Kananaskis before the winter gates open.  This is past Elbow Falls but you can also do this at Highwood Pass.

Yes, I am strolling down the middle of the road! If you’re in Calgary, a fun spring outing is to cycle/stroll/run down any closed road in Kananaskis before the winter gates open. This is past Elbow Falls but you can also do this at Highwood Pass.

What I used it for & at what stage/time of year:

  • 0-3 months (winter): occasional walks outside
  • 3-6 months (spring): jogging and walks
  • 6-9 months (summer/fall): jogging & walks
  • 9-12 months (fall/winter): jogging, walks & skiing

*We didn’t use the bike attachment during the summer as we felt E was too young and preferred to hike

Things that I loved:

  • It’s a very smooth ride for baby because of the large wheels and (adjustable!) suspension
  • The handbrake was extremely handy when running or walking down steeper hills
  • There’s no need to buy separate sun shields, weather covers or bug nets.  It’s all part of the package!
  • The plastic side panels unzip to allow for a breeze through the stroller.  Great for temperature control!
  • In cold weather, with all the plastic weather covers on, the inside stays very warm.
  • The “trunk” in the back is huge and can store a ton of stuff. It can be folded up for running but I found I was able to run with it down.
  • There is an infant sling you can attach for young babies.  While she was <6 months, E loved the infant sling in the Chariot and preferred it to her carseat clipped into the BOB
  • 5 point harness is very easy to adjust and the seat is comfortable for younger babies to sit in (we used it from 6 months up)
  • Very comfortable for running as there are lots of places to hold the handle bars
  • Pushes easily on well-packed snow or smaller amounts of fresh snow but … (see below)
Right after running our first race!

Right after running our first race!

Things that didn’t work for us:

  • It’s heavy, large, and needs to be taken apart to some degree to fit in cars.  I have a Subaru Forester and to fit in the trunk, I’d have to fold it down and remove both the jogging wheel and handle bar.  Otherwise, if I put down one of the backseats I could get it with just the jogging wheel removed.  Because of this I only put it in my car when I was doing an activity that I needed the Chariot specifically for (ie jogging, winter walks, skiing)
  • While it’s awesome you can unzip the side panels for ventilation in the summer, it also means you lose any sun protection on the sides and sun can get in baby’s eyes (this is a minor complaint and easily fixed by draping a blanket over the side).
  • The handle bar & wheel are removable but not the easiest to remove.  While this means it takes a few more seconds to put together/take apart, I do appreciate that it means the stroller is VERY sturdy when put together.  Just don’t expect it will be as easy to collapse as other strollers, though you will get faster at it over time.
  • There’s no good spot to put a coffee mug.  Yes you can buy a cupholder attachment but no, it’s not convenient to attach or use
  • Though the wheels are large and you can push the Chariot through snow in the winter, there is a limit to how much it can handle while still giving a smooth ride and being easy to push (though you could get around this with these cool stroller skis -> Polar Stroller)

*Note: there is no way to attach an infant bucket carseat to the CX unlike other strollers.  While this may be a negative for some, my daughter never liked sleeping in her bucket seat while on walks so it wasn’t an issue.

Accessories

(and yes, you have to buy them all separately)

  • Infant sling – needed if you want to use the chariot before baby is sitting independently (~6 months)
  • Bike attachment
  • Ski attachment
  • Baby bunting bag – bought this but never used it, and wouldn’t recommend purchasing
  • Stroller wheels – we bought these but rarely used them, instead preferring to walk outside with the jogging wheel
  • Jogging wheel
An (over) bundled baby on her first Chariot walk.  Mountains in the distance made for good motivation and excellent views :)

An (over) bundled baby on her first Chariot walk. Mountains in the distance made for good motivation and excellent views :)

CX1 vs CX2 vs other models

There are several models of Chariots available but the main ones we considered were the Cougar, CX and Chinook.  The Cougar and CX are very similar except the Cougar doesn’t have side panels that unzip and has no handbrake.  This was the reason we chose the CX as we wanted those features.  We didn’t like the Chinook as it seemed to be geared towards more of an urban lifestyle and was heavier.

While it was recommended to me to look at buying a double chariot (in case of a second child, for more room, etc), I’m happy with my choice of the single.  I found it was quite large and heavy to lift (though worth it!) on it’s own, without adding the weight and bulk of a double minus having second child to fill the seat.

Would I buy it again?

Absolutely!  If you’re an outdoor family who plans on jogging, biking and skiing with your child, this is the stroller that does it all and does it very, very well.  Though there are a few things I didn’t love about it, they were minor in the long run compared to how well it performed.  Depending on your lifestyle you may be able to get away with this as your only stroller though likely you will want a second stroller in which you can snap your infant bucket seat or a less bulky umbrella stroller when they’re older.

If you have any questions about the Chariot please feel free to ask! I’d also love to hear if there’s anything in particular you liked or disliked about your Chariot.