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Update 4/18/19: I’ve gotten a lot of messages asking whether BOB strollers have been recalled. Here is my understanding — no BOB strollers have been recalled, though many argue that older models should be recalled. BOB updated its strollers in 2015 doing away with a bicycle-like quick release on the front wheel. There is an issue with the quick release disengaging and the front wheel coming off mid-ride, which can be extremely dangerous (and I’ve seen companies voluntarily recall baby gear for less serious issues).
If your front wheel has a bolted wheel (vs. quick release) then I believe you are in the clear but you should contact the brand to confirm.
Since writing the below review, I traded in the pictured stroller for the BOB Rambler (same frame, smaller wheels), which I find to be more city friendly. The Rambler does not have a quick release wheel. My original BOB is pictured in this post and does have the quick release (at issue) wheel.
BOB Strollers have been around for a long time and have a strong reputation as an amazing jogging stroller. But does it make sense to buy one as your all-around, everyday workhorse stroller? I'm not much of a jogger (and definitely not a runner), but I have used my BOB multiple times a week for general use over the past four months. In this review I explain why I bought it considering that I rarely jog, share my experience, a list of pros and cons, a hack to address one con, and anecdotal feedback from other BOB owners.
Why Would I Buy this Stroller if I Don't Jog or Run?
A few months ago, my husband mused that if he had a jogging stroller he would jog. I kind of ignored him. Not that I don't take him seriously, but we live in a two bedroom apartment in Manhattan and already owned multiple strollers (plus I kind of didn't take seriously that he would ever jog). But then he made the comment again.
Here is why I agreed to buy one:
My husband teases me endlessly about my interest in baby products and often says "are you sure we have enough strollers," so I figured I could throw this right back at him.
My son is in a day care that requires you to leave your stroller folded. My full size stroller doesn't fold easily. I was tired of walking 15 minutes each way, including in bad weather, with our small wheeled lightweight strollers (I have this one and this one), and saw that other day care parents had an easy time with the BOB.
My son is tall (by some miracle, so hopefully this doesn't jinx it) and will probably outgrow our full size stroller before he turns three and we will still need a comfy stroller.
I asked the opinions of the thousands of awesome moms in the Facebook group that I run and they gave me overwhelmingly positive feedback (see some examples below).
The feedback included that the strollers hold up well and maintain their value, so if we didn't end up getting enough use out of it I could always sell it at only a small loss.
Which model to buy?
BOB makes a few models and I was initially a bit confused about which to get. I chose the red Stroller Strides because (1) it was considerably less expensive than others (it was on sale for 40% off -- follow my deals group where I post awesome sales like this one), and (2) I didn't think I needed the extra features of the other BOB models. It turns out that it was on sale because it is being replaced with a fit4mom stroller that will come in blue (it hasn't been released yet, but will be available here).
The model that I have has a fixed handlebar. I'm 5'4 and my husband is just over 5'10 and we are both comfortable with the height. If you are very tall or short (or just particular) you might consider the 2016 Revolution Flex, which has a handlebar that offers nine positions. The 2016 Revolution Flex also has a five lb higher weight limit and comes in more colors. If you are a more serious runner, you might also appreciate that the 2016 Revolution Flex model has a more advanced suspension system. If you are a super serious runner, you might consider the Ironman as it features lightweight aluminum wheels, though my runner friends say they are harder to maintain.
My impression after four months of regular use
As I predicted, my husband jogged with the stroller a grand total of one time. But we do use it regularly -- it has turned out to be a great workhorse stroller. We are both really happy to have bought it.
It has been super convenient for daycare. I'm able to stash everything that we need in the pockets and generally don't even need a diaper bag. There is also plenty of space for groceries if I need to shop on the way home. It handles snow and uneven streets well.
The only times we wouldn't use it are when we take public transportation (we opt for one of our smaller more lightweight strollers), and at restaurants (because it takes up a lot of room and there is a limit to how much we can annoy the staff and other patrons).
If I was doing things over, I'd consider getting just two strollers -- a BOB and the Yoyo+, which has a bassinet for a newborn yet folds up small. The only issue with that selection is that they aren't compatible with the same infant car seats (below is a list of car seats that are compatible with the BOB).
My son is having surgery this week at a hospital that is a few blocks away. This is the stroller that we are bringing because it is comfortable for him, he can even fully recline on the way home, and we can fold it up and put it out of the way while he is in surgery.
Here are the pros and cons of using the BOB as your everyday stroller:
Easy push and maneuverability (I can easily go on and off curbs and prop a heavy glass door open with one hand and whip the stroller around and in with the other).
Great suspension (handles well on rough roads and cobblestones).
Super secure brake -- reminds me more of an emergency brake on a car than a typical stroller.
Easy fold (but requires two hands).
It folds as one piece and fits in the trunk -- this is especially convenient when I want to walk somewhere far and be able to fold it and stick it in an Uber Family trunk for the way home (Uber Family provides car seats, click here for your first ride of up to $20 free).
Trusted brand provides five year warranty on frame and one year on small parts and fabric.
High height/weight limit so you can use it for years. My model has a 70 lb capacity and the 2016 Revolution Flex has a 75 lb weight capacity. I couldn't find a height limit in the materials provided with the product, but I see really big kids in it in Manhattan all the time. My friend has a daughter with physical limitations and she still uses it at age eight (though she is petite).
Lots of pockets and storage space.
Front wheel can lock for safety while jogging or running but can be unlocked to swivel for easy maneuverability during everyday use.
The seat can recline very far back for naps.
The 5-point harness is well designed. My son gets his arms out of all his other strollers but keeps them in this one.
Huge canopy offers generous sun protection and peek-a-boo window (why doesn't every stroller have this?!).
Can use with infant car seat, so safe from birth (but only for 8 months+ for jogging).
Tires are easily removable for travel, to fit in a small trunk, for storage, etc.
Cons/Considerations (most of these are just a function of it being a jogging stroller)
While the seat reclines far back it doesn't go all the way upright. My son was annoyed by this. See the hack below for a solution. BOB informed me that the 2016 models do go more upright.
It's long, which can sometimes make it difficult to get in or out of a small elevator, or through a busy area.
My model weighs 25.9 pounds and the fold isn't super compact, so you probably won't want to take it on public transportation.
Fold requires two hands.
The lock/unlock for the swivel wheel is located right above the front wheel (pictured above), which means that you need to bend down to lock/unlock the swivel wheel, which isn't great if you do walk/jog intervals.
You can't remove the seat fabric to wash it (so mine may be covered in white sunblock spots forever unless I fork over $50-75 to have it professionally cleaned).
Air filled tires need to be reinflated occasionally (true of all joggers but not all other strollers). Mine arrived deflated and I easily filled the tires with my bike floor pump.
While the seat reclines far back, the seats of the pre-2016 models don't go all the way upright. My son was annoyed by this and I hear that it is a common issue. Thankfully, there is an easy and inexpensive hack. I don't recommend using the hack while jogging or running. I bought this exact product.
It comes with three pieces that connect to one another. Two of the pieces have loops, you can discard the third piece (third piece isn't shown in image above). The BOB has an adjustable strap that runs behind the seat to adjust the recline (let's call this the "Recline Strap"). With the two pieces that you are using disconnected from each other, loop each loop around an outer edge of the Recline Strap, and then clasp the two pieces together. You may need to adjust the length of the strap (the one from the product) to get the seat upright. I initially had it running over the Recline Strap and it would pop up. I fiddled with it to loop and run it under the Recline Strap and that worked like a charm. This sounds complicated but I was able to figure it out within five minutes. I would show a photo to illustrate, but the product and stroller strap are both black so it is hard to tell what is going on from a picture.
Whenever people ask me for my recommendation for "the best stroller" I say that there is no such thing and it depends on your priorities. Hopefully my review helped you, but in case you want additional personal opinions, I'm sharing some anecdotes from other BOB owners.
Anecdotal Feedback from Other BOB Owners
These are more or less direct quotes about BOB strollers from my friends and the moms in the Facebook group that I run:
We went to Disney and my husband referred to our BOB as the hero of the trip (this is from my friend with four kids including an eight year old with physical limitations).
Best purchase ever.
The push is so smooth, it almost pushes itself. Come to think of it, you better use the attached wrist strap as it tends to run away from you.
I LOVE both my single and Double BOB strollers. I couldn't recommend more highly.
We have this one and LOVE it! Go for it! Strollers are like handbags--each serves a different purposes & you can never have enough!!
This stroller is awesome. Even survives sidelines at sporting events. I met someone who had one fall out of a truck and didn't damage.
We've had a BOB as our primary stroller (before baby #2) and have loved it. Amazing for NYC-especially in snow. Easy to travel with.
You will not regret this purchase!
BOB strollers are solid all around, not just for jogging.
Easy to push, even on the beach.
I bought mine used and it has held up so well!
BOBs hold their value, you can always resell it if it doesn't work out. Think of it as a rental for the season!
My husband admits it's the best purchase baby wise we probably ever made! :.
If I had to limit myself to one stroller, it would be the BOB.
This post was sponsored by BOB. All opinions (besides the anecdotes) are my own.