Once a US only brand, BOB were purchased by BRITAX in 2012. Their range of jogging pushchairs now finds its way to the UK. We check out the BOB Revolution SE.
We have seen more and more pushchairs that have an off-road edge to them in recent months. There is certainly a trend emerging for mums and dads to take to the country in bid to escape the urban sprawl and perhaps get into better shape. BRITAX had obviously observed this trend when they decided to acquire BOB, a US brand of off-road pushchairs. After a little wait, we have our hands on our first one to take a look at. What do we think in our BOB Revolution SE review.
What's in the Box.
BOB Revolution SE pushchair.
• Car Seat Adaptor (For BRITAX Baby-Safe Car Seats) £20.00
• Carrycot £110.00
• Warm Fuzzy £63.00
• Weather Shield £16.00
• Sun Shield £15.00
• Snack Tray £20.00~
• Travel Bag £40.00
Navy, Plum, Red, Orange, Black
BOB revolution SE review Chassis
The BOB revolution comes in a surprisingly small box. When you see it in the pictures, you expect a huge stroller box to appear. Not so! The BOB SE's box is nice and compact – this bears well for the fold.
Upon opening, you are greeted with a nicely compact product. Pull it out and follow the instructions to unfold and you very quickly begin to realise that the BOB SE is a really well made pushchair. The Chassis, the plastics and the fabrics are all superb quality.
Assembly is a just a case of fitting the wheels, but I do recommend that you read the instructions at this point. The wheels are fitted using quick release connectors similar to those used on bike wheels and the instructions provide some good tips on getting these to the correct tension.
At this point it is also a good idea to adjust the ‘tracking'. This will ensure that when the front wheel is locked in off-road mode, your Revolution SE will go straight as an arrow.
Starting at the top, the BOB Revolution SE does not have an adjustable handle bar. On some off-roaders, you can depress two buttons and flip up the rear portion of the handle bar. This is a nice feature which I think I would miss when on rough terrain. But, is the BOB handlebar at a good height? You bet. I am 5 foot 10 inches and it is perfectly positioned for me. It's covered in high quality foam and has a wrist restraint (that doubles as the frame lock) for safety.
Heading half way down the frame, you come to the suspension. Now this I like! BOB have incorporated a Coil spring and elastomer shock absorber unit (it's a man thing). It gives an amazing 7.5cm worth of travel. Better still, it is adjustable giving two positions soft and hard. It's a fantastic feature not seen executed this way on the competition. If you are serious about getting off the beaten track, this feature alone should make BOB a real contender when it comes to choosing off-road wheels.
The wheels themselves are pretty large. 16 inch at the back and 12.5 inch at the front. Bigger wheels help the pushchair tackle ruts, tree roots and ridges with ease. The downside is of course the added weight, but as the BOB weights just 11.3 kilos all in, the wheel size has not had a significant impact. Trust me, the first time to head out you will understand why the BOB's wheels are so huge!
When you get to the basket, I am afraid that you cannot expect to do the weekly shop! The basket is around 42 x 33 x 15cm. It's not massive but let's face it, this is not what this pushchair is about. If you are looking to go shopping, the BOB Revolution SE will do the job, but it will be happier out in the woods. It would have been nice to see a zipped top to the basket though. This is something I have seen a couple of times now and I think it would make a good edition to pushchairs like these to stop your stuff bouncing out as you go along.
Finally the brakes are simplicity themselves. The brake bar goes across the back above the rear axle. Down for on and up for off. The brake has a pleasing weight, going on with a nice clunk. Use your toe to take it off – not flip flop friendly, but as you will probably have walking attire on – who cares!
The BOB Revolution SE review Seat
The BOB seat is wide.... Measuring 37cm, there is loads of space. Couple this with a depth of 22cm and some well positioned padding and you have an excellent seat – well nearly. The back height is also quite impressive at 52cm, the only thing is, the hood material gets in the way when the hood is fully retracted. I would therefore suggest the usable back height is around 36 – 40cm when the hood is fully back and 45cm when the hood is half out.
In front of the seat is a great space for your little ones feet. It's covered in wipe clean material and will no doubt act as a step for older ones when it's time to climb in.
The element that really deserves a mention is the 5 point harness. This has to be one of the best designed adjustable harnesses I have seen in some time. Starting at the shoulder straps, these can be raised or lowered by simply sliding them up and down a length of fabric that is attached to the seat back. It's simple to do with no slots or holes to poke straps through. Down at the waist, adjustment is made by pulling on a red D-ring. Lastly the crotch strap is adjusted in more conventional means. The waist and shoulder straps plug into the buckle independently so you can do the harness up one side at a time. Overall, it's a great piece of design and will prove to be simple and effective to use.
The same cannot be said for the seat back adjustment. It's a strap pulling job. The seat can be reclined to 70 degrees from vertical by pulling the black plastic toggles outwards. It's when you come to put the seat up that you will most likely feel you need a third hand. Pull the fabric straps outwards to move the seat up while at the same time holding the seat back up with your hand, then repeat this on the other side. There has to be a better way!
Lastly the hood is massive!!! It comes over 120 degrees. Let me put it this way, with the hood pulled all the way down, you little one will never be at risk from the sun – ever. Seriously, the hood is really good with an excellent 25 x 22cm viewing window at the top.
Folding the BOB Revolution SE
I mentioned earlier that the box the SE came in was pretty small, well that is partly due to the compact fold – and a well designed box!
To fold the SE, first put on the brake. Then pull the two triggers that sit underneath the handle bar up to the bar itself. You can then rotate the handle bar forward. Next reach down and grab the red cable that protrudes at the rear and pull this gently. The pushchair will come backwards collapsing the rear wheels into the frame. At this point you are done, however if you want to go one stage further, it is simple to remove the wheels. With this done, the BOB revolution SE chassis measures a respectable 84 x 65 x 27 cm. Once folded, there is a great strap that holds everything together so that the pushchair does not come apart when you put it in the car.
Unfolding takes second. Ensure that BOB Revolution is on the ground with the red cable uppermost. Lift the back of the pushchair up with this cable. The rear wheels will come round as you do this and lock into place with a click. You can now lift the handle back over and you are ready to go.
BOB Revolution SE review Conclusion.
If you are in the market for an off-road pushchair, don't overlook BOB. I guarantee that you will be impressed. The build quality alone marks it out as something special.
There are a few niggles, the seat recline is something seemingly unavoidable with this type of design, but that does not mean I have to like it! The hood will get in the way of tall children when retracted, and I would like to see an adjustable handle bar, but there is nothing here that really grates.
At £405 the BOB revolution is well priced. It's light, manoeuvrable and folds down nice and small once the wheels have been removed, oh and it has really cool suspension. If you are in the market for something to hit the forests and hills at the weekend, I would take a look at the Revolution. I think you might just like it!
We give the BOB Revolution SE 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Suitable from: 6 months - 17kg
Unfolded Size: 117 x 102 x 65cm
Folded Size - Wheels on: 100 x 41 x 65cm
Folded Size - Wheels off: 84 x 27 x 65cm