Since the day I found out I was pregnant, I knew exactly the stroller that I wanted. The BOB Revolution. Sure I would look at other (cheaper, crappier) options, but in my heart of hearts, I knew this was the only stroller for me.
Right before Baby D was born in July 2010 we went ahead and bought a "Snap and Go" stroller, where we could just snap the car seat into a stroller frame and that was what I used for seven months. It did the job as a decent stroller, but by February 2011, I knew I was rapidly outgrowing the S&G. And on Valentine's Day, Mr. D (with some financial backing from parents and in-laws) bought me my coveted BOB. Certainly in the top 10 Best Purchases of My Life.
I think the best description of this stroller (even though I only have the 2010 Revolution, not the new SE version from this year) was from this little story I found off of mbeans.com:
You have this friend we'll call Practical Mom, who has just invited you out for coffee (or, since you're pregnant, hot chocolate). Practical Mom is your go-to for mom advice, because she has three kids and always seems to know what she's doing. She's the queen of comparison shopping, who only buys her toilet paper at Costco but spent $300 on her hiking boots, which still look good five years later. She has a well-practiced five-minute makeup routine and an immaculate everyday ponytail, her car gets the best gas mileage and has the best safety rating, and the Practical Kids have impressive manners. Practical Mom knows that squeezing a dollar doesn't always mean buying things that are cheap, or drab. It means buying things that are Practical.
This morning, Practical Mom tents her hands and announces, "Today, we're going to talk about BOB."
As you rack your brain to try and remember what Mr. Practical's first name is, and whether it's Bob, she continues, "You're going to want to jog after the Spud is born, right?"
"So you're going to need a jogging stroller, and I think you ought to get a BOB Revolution SE. The key about this stroller is..." Her eyes take on an uncanny evangelistic brightness as she says: "...if you get this stroller, you only need to buy one. One stroller that you can use every single place you go, to run, walk, shop, whatever. It looks good. It pushes like a dream. It's solid, it's safe. This baby does everything. Everything."
Front swivel wheel that can also lock straight. I almost always have the wheel in swivel mode, but if I am trying to take it up steps or fold it up, locking the wheel makes that easier.
I can literally take it everywhere with me. Grocery shopping, library, walks to the park, church, mall, EVERYwhere, not just to the gym or on a run. And it manuevers (turns on a dime) better than any stroller I have ever used. It is my everything stroller.
Just the right amount of bulk. I (who am of slight, 5'1" frame) can easily fold it up and store it in my car, and take it out again. Not so easily (but still doable) is carrying it down a flight of stairs. So it's sturdy enough that I am able to off-road or run without worrying about it tipping over, but at 22 pounds, it weighs about as much as any other travel system.
I can run with it. Everyone I know thinks my arms look great from pushing this stroller. But its a breeze to push! I swear it actually glides. My arms look great because I do a bazillion pushups and love lifting weights, that's what's up.
Safety and everything in between. I think I have read at least 500 stroller reviews in the last two years, and at least 200 reviews on this stroller in particular. No other stroller, jogging or otherwise, has such consistent customer satisfaction and high marks in child safety, convenience, and comfort.
HUGE adjustable sun canopy and mild recline. Unless I am running directly into the sun as it is rising or setting, Baby D is covered in the shade. And there's a window at the top of the canopy so I can keep an eye on those cute hands and feet. Mild recline has proven good for when Baby D is thirsty, the reclining helps him to keep his bottle tipped up.
It's a consistently smooth ride, looks good (dare I say beautiful?), has real tires you can replace or fill with green goo (been there, done that... that's what I get for too much off-roading!), and has a good amount of storage space.
1. Cost. This sucker does not come cheap. We lucked out buying the 2010 version, since the 2011 had just come out, it was on sale. We ended up paying just over $300, while the SE version retails about $450 right now.
2. Lack of locking device. The actual folding is not the difficult part, it's keeping it folded, since there IS NO locking device. It is definitely requires both hands, but I have realized in stroller shopping that most strollers are not single hand fold (even if the packaging says so). I just need to buy some kind of bungee cord to tie it together, but for the last six months, I've just folded it and stowed it in the trunk of my car, no problem. The challenge will come in a week when I have to take it on a plane.
3. Accessories. If you want anything in addition to the actual stroller, you will need to pay more for it. That includes cupholders, snack tray, car seat adapters, sun shields, etc.
4. Handlebar is not adjustable. But I've never felt the need for it to be adjusted, so this doesn't really bother me.
5. Seatback is not very supported. Baby D usually looks like a total slouch when he's sitting in the stroller (they have redesigned the seatback in the 2011 SE version).
THE FINAL VERDICT:
I ADORE my BOB. Even with a few minor flaws, it is absolutely perfect in my book and far exceeds my expectations. Whenever Baby #2 comes along, I will certainly be (very nicely) requesting a BOB Revolution Duallie.... which considering the cost of such an ordeal, I should probably start saving up my pennies now :)
Mr. D got me the BOB 2011 in September 2011 and two of the five Cons were fixed: there was a locking device on the stroller to keep it together, and the seatback is better supported. Still love my BOB!