I have three kids, but it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my last one that I finally got a good stroller. With the first two, I didn’t know there was really any difference between strollers. Even when I got muscle spasms in my back pushing a crappy stroller through Disneyland, it didn’t occur to me that it might be the stroller’s fault.
So anyway, once I finally got a good stroller (a Baby Jogger City Mini), a whole new world opened to me. Even though my BJCM was awesome, I was aware that it was really an entry-level good-stroller. The REAL joggers–the kind with actual air-filled tires and stuff–were out of my league. But when I got a chance to take a BOB Revolution CE for a spin (hahaha, get it?), I jumped at the opportunity.
The difference between the BOB Revolution CE and SE is the tire size. The SE has 16″ tires and is designed for serious use: rough terrain and lots of jogging. The CE, the one I used, has 12″ tires. It can also be used for jogging, but won’t handle off-roading as well. Since I’m not a jogger and spend way more time at the mall than on trails, the CE suited me just fine.
If you’re not sure which BOB Stroller is right for you, their website has a comparison chart of features which is very helpful.
Here are some measurements and specs of the Revolution CE:
Width (at wheels): 24.25″ (24″)
Length (wheel turned out): 43″ (37″)
Length (wheel turned in): 38″ (32.5″)
Seat height: 20.5″ (19.5″)
Seat depth: 8.5″ (9″)
Weight: 29 lbs
Maximum child size: 70 lbs and 44″
Minimum child age: Birth (with separate car seat adapter; for walking only), 8 weeks for walking mode without the car seat, 8 months for jogging mode
Much of the styling and features are similar to the Baby Jogger, but the BOB feels more heavy-duty. Some comparison photos:
BJCM in front (you can see the BOB is somewhat longer):
Baby Jogger on the left, BOB on the right, canopy up:
Canopy extended “one click”:
Canopy completely down:
And with kids:
And here’s how they fit in the back of a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder:
I was excited to start using the stroller, but unfortunately it had to wait a while. I received it just a couple days before we moved across the country, so it got thrown onto the moving truck with everything else. We arrived at our new home in the dead of winter, so we weren’t leaving the house much, and I didn’t want to get slush on such a nice piece of equipment. But finally spring sprung, and I could hatch the stroller out of its box and try it out.
In my haste, I didn’t exactly read the manual. I mean, I partially did, because the stroller comes unassembled and I didn’t know how to put it together. So I skimmed those parts. But I didn’t really read it, and that would come back to bite me a couple times. (As a car seat nut, I really should have followed the mantra: Read the manual!!!)
The assembly was fairly straight-forward. You have to remove a bunch of packing material, then put the wheels on. I did have a little difficulty with the front wheel. You have to tighten a nut and then push down on a quick-release lever. The manual stresses that the nut needs to be tight enough that the quick-release lever will leave an imprint on your hand when you close it. Afraid I’d have it too loose, I probably over-tightened the nut, because I could not get the lever closed. By the time my hands were black and blue (How much of an impression is too much?), I called my husband over to do it. He loosened the nut a bit and closed the lever.
For our maiden voyage, I took the BOB with us on a historic-home walking tour in a nearby town. We parked the car, I got out the strollers (I had brought both the BOB and the BJCE) and started loading the kids.
That’s when my husband said, “You didn’t put air in the tires?”
Remember I said I didn’t read the manual?
I also had never had a really, really, really good stroller, right? One with tires that need to be inflated? It didn’t even occur to me they wouldn’t be inflated right out of the box.
Luckily I had the other stroller with us, but I was bummed to not be able to use the BOB I’d been looking forward to for so long. Luckily, my industrious husband remembered he had stored an air compressor in the car. (“You never know when we might need it!”) He located it, filled up the tires, and was my hero for the rest of the day.
The sidewalks on our walking tour looked like they hadn’t been repaved since the houses were built in the late 1800s. I’m exaggerating a bit, but they were rough. However, the BOB glided over them effortlessly. (It probably would have been a bit rougher with no air in the tires…) It also pushed like a dream. I mean, my BJCM is easy to push, but the BOB practically propelled itself.
A few days later, I took BOB to the mall to see how it maneuvered indoors.
The maneuverability was great, but the BOB is longer than the BJCM, and I ran into a few clothing racks and whatnot. On the plus side, the BOB’s storage basket is much more accessible, and it easily held all my bags.
Even the kids get storage! My toddler happily played with the side pockets in the seating area for a good 20 minutes one day:
Folding and Unfolding
Folding the stroller isn’t exactly complicated, but is a bit more involved than what I’m used to with the BJCM. You have to squeeze levers under the handle and fold it forward, then pull up on a red strap to finish folding it. Unfolding it proved to be a humongous challenge for me. Turns out it wouldn’t have been so bad if I had read the manual…
See, I had assumed that the red strap was just for folding and carrying the stroller, so it didn’t occur to me that you’d actually use it when unfolding. Therefore, I was engaging the handlebar and then sort of flailing the stroller around until it popped open. It wasn’t very graceful, and I sort of hated it.
Then I read the manual…and it turns out you set the stroller down on the ground, pull up on the red lever to get the wheels where they need to be, and then engage the handlebar. D’oh! I’m still not graceful with it, but it makes a lot more sense now:
The folding isn’t exactly intuitive, though. (But really, strollers never are, are they?) Remember how my husband was the hero of this story early on? Well, one day we were at an outlet mall. I needed to make one more quick stop, so Steve decided to take the kids to the car and get them buckled, then drive around to pick me up on the other side of the mall. No problem.
I finished my shopping, then stood around waiting for him, wondering what was taking so long. Finally, I get a text from him asking how he’s supposed to fold the stroller. I typed what I thought was a relatively simple explanation, then waited. And waited.
I had just taken out my phone again to tell him I’d walk over to the other side when I saw our car pulling up. I assumed Steve had figured out the stroller…but then I noticed that the back hatch was open and the full-size stroller was sticking out of it. I pretended not to know him, and some guy walked by and said, “Man, that’s funny.”
Canopy, Seat, and Wheels, and Other Stuff
The seatback on the BOB is nice and tall, but because of the way the canopy folds, it tends to interfere with head room. You can shove it up, but it’s something you have to remember to do. There were several times I realized my not-even-2-year-old’s head was sitting on or being sat on by the canopy.
The harness is very nice and easy to adjust, plus it’s non-twisty. It buckles into the side of the buckle rather than the top, which I was surprised to find I prefer (I didn’t think something like that would matter to me one way or the other).
To recline the seat, you just loosen the webbing in the recline buckle. Pull on the webbing to put the seat back up. Easy! Here it is reclined:
The parking brake is a heavy-duty metal bar that runs the length of the back of the stroller and locks both wheels at once. The first time I used it, it gave a satisfying “clunk” sound when it locked. That thing meant business! It was remarkably smooth to lock and unlock, though, which I loved: Secure yet easy.
Ok, so this is a jogging stroller. To use it for jogging, you need to lock and align the front wheel. I don’t jog, but I did play with the wheels a bit for the sake of writing this review. If you read the manual, it’s all pretty clear. I did not, however, actually jog with it, because there are some things I just won’t do, even for CarseatBlog.
The wheels are relatively easy to pop on and off (just remember: if the quick-release lever is bruising your hand and not moving, you can probably loosen the nuts a bit…) I’m lazy, though, and can’t imagine actually going through the trouble of removing the wheels unless I actually needed to. It’s nice to have the option, though.
Infant Carseat Compatibility
Infant car seat adapters are available for the BOB Revolution CE. I didn’t have one to try out, but adapters are available for Britax, Chicco, Graco, and Peg Perego infant carseats. The BOB B-Safe Infant Carseat by Britax is available in matching BOB fashions to create a stylish infant travel system with your Revolution CE, Revolution SE or any other BOB travel-system-compatible stroller.
The BOB Revolution CE has totally spoiled me for other strollers. There were a few downsides, but the positives more than made up for it.
- Amazing handling
- Good-sized basket
- Sturdy yet easy-to-use brake
- High seatback
- Easy to recline
- Slightly awkward folding and unfolding (even when you do it right)
- Canopy smooshes on top of kids’ head
The BOB Revolution CE is available from Amazon and other fine retailers.
Thank you to BOB for providing a Revolution CE for review.
More information on all BOB Strollers, Infant Carseats, Bike Trailers & Accessories can be found at the BOB website: http://www.bobgear.com/