Baby Gear Review: BOB Revolution SE

I’ve been running a lot lately. I’ve been hesitant to mention it too loudly here in the blog, since technically, I’m training for a half marathon that I’m still not entirely certain I’m going to be ready to run. Even if I don’t manage the race, I will have finished the summer in the best shape of my life. I have to admit, I owe a lot of that success to my jogging stroller.

When I first got pregnant, I knew the one place we wanted to buy quality was in a stroller. I figured we would use our stroller so much, we would want something that could stand up to some abuse and be easy, even fun to use. I knew I wanted a jogging stroller, so I could give myself the best chance possible to get active again. Do 5 minutes of online research into jogging strollers, and it seems pretty unanimous that the BOB Revolution is the best in the industry.

In the end, we didn’t have to pay the $500+ to buy it ourselves. It was gifted to us by Isabel’s grandparents instead.

I started using the stroller with Isabel the day we brought her home. With an adapter, her car seat snapped right in and she was good to go. We walked everywhere in those early weeks. Once I was given the go-ahead by my doctor to start running again, we even went for a slow, easy jog. BOB doesn’t recommend running with the car seat attached at all – it makes it top-heavy and more liable to tip – but I felt comfortable enough running on smooth paths at a very slow pace. I would white knuckle the handle and keep a careful eye on Isabel to make sure she didn’t bounce around too much, and we went.

Those runs weren’t long, and over the winter, came to a complete halt. It’s pretty much impossible to run through the snow with any stroller at all, even one with wheels the size this one has. In fact, over the winter, I hardly used my stroller at all, preferring instead to pop Isabel into our Boba baby carrier. But, it still got plenty of use, two days a week, through all types of weather, by Isabel’s awesome babysitter.

We switched Isabel out of the car seat after I had stopped running with her, as the weather got colder, when she was about 4 months old. According to the manual, BOB recommends using the car seat adapter until babies are 8 weeks old, but cautions against running with them until they are 8 months old. Obviously, I broke that rule, but by the time I was ready to start running again in the spring, Isabel was their recommended age, and was thrilled to come along with me on my runs as they got longer and longer and longer.

Some things I love about the BOB:

  • The wheels! They’re air-filled and huge, allowing it to glide like nothing else. The large wheels also mean stairs aren’t a barrier to us. While I still tend to seek out elevators for convenience, we’re quite capable of bouncing down or up a set of stairs. There’s one entrance to the path I run on which is accessible only by about 50 steps, and they have never stopped us. 
  • The maneuverability. I can steer this bad boy easily with just one hand. Tight corners are also easy to navigate, since the three-wheel design means I don’t need a lot of space to turn. Rocky, muddy, or snowy terrain don’t stop us either.
  • The fold. For being such a large stroller, it folds down pretty flat and, since all the wheels are easy to take off and put back on again, it’s no chore to fold it up to put it in our car. We drive a Volkswagen Golf hatchback, so we don’t have a lot of space, but it fits without any problems.

Some things I don’t like about the BOB:

  • The storage. The basket is fairly small and difficult to get things in and out of. There is a pocket on the back of the seat as well, but I mostly find it useless for storing anything of note. It also doesn’t come with a caddy, so all of this storage is out of reach while you’re walking, so there’s no such thing as multitasking.
  • The size. It’s huge! I have taken it on the subway twice and have felt self-conscious and in the way both times. We now have a small umbrella stroller for those trips, and to take anywhere there might be crowds or really tight spaces that the BOB just doesn’t fit into.
  • The seat incline. I guess it makes sense that, for running purposes, Isabel should not be sitting entirely upright. It’s probably safer for her to be somewhat reclined. But, I wish there was another setting, a strolling setting, so I could put the seat into a fully upright position when we’re walking around and she wants to see the world. She spends a lot of time clinging onto the snack tray so she can see everything.
  • The accessories. The BOB comes very stripped down – just the stroller and nothing else. We had to purchase the car seat adapter separately and, later on, I added a stroller caddy for a place to put a cup of coffee and my phone while I’m walking. I bought a rain cover and, I shelled out the $50 for the snack tray for Isabel. Some of these accessories seem to me like they should be included – the snack tray and the stroller caddy in particular. But, the big problem isn’t that they don’t come with the stroller. The problem is how expensive they are, and how inaccessible. If I had purchased the BOB car seat adapter, the BOB snack tray, the BOB stroller caddy, and the BOB rain cover, I would have been looking at another $200+ in accessories. I managed to find a stroller caddy and a rain cover that were much cheaper, however. Perhaps an even bigger problem is that I had difficulty getting my hands on both the BOB car seat adapter and the BOB snack tray. They don’t actually carry these things in store; they need to be ordered and shipped. For some reason, at the time I ordered the snack tray, the only place I could get it had it on back order, while everywhere else that had previously carried it last year mysteriously removed it from their catalogs or upped the price by a good $20. 
All in all, I love my stroller and think it’s completely worth the expense. Bonus: Isabel seems to like it too.

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