Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bumbleride Flyer Review

Our needs are pretty specific, a compact stroller that can do a mile walk across bumpy sidewalks in an urban setting and will let us have the baby facing us once we are downtown -- and it needs to fold up easily for the drive back home. Not all corners have curb cuts/ramps so the stroller needs to be able to perform well. We also have to lift it up a few stairs into our home.

After looking around at the options, the Bumbleride Flyer stood out as a good option. I found a lightly used one on craigslist last night and today was our first day using it, I'll compare it to our other stroller, the Graco Metrolite LE:

Weight: Flyer is definately heavier than the Metrolite. Feels like more than a pound difference but I don't have a scale.

Fold: both require two hands but the Metrolite folds to a standing position, the Flyer folds to the ground. Not sure how that is going to work in the rain. The Metrolite folds far more compactly and fits in our Prius well -- I can get groceries in the back with the stroller in there. With the Flyer I can only get it in the back on its side and its folded depth is bulky. I know I couldn't get as much in the back along with it in there -- if at all.

Control: The Metrolite is really easy to maneuver; it turns well and tips up for curbs easily. The Flyer is harder to turn and not as easy to push -- plus the basket is hitting the wheels below(!) When the Flyer has the handle in the reverse position (baby facing you) you can't tip the thing up onto curbs.

The Flyer has some nice features though, and it was well thought out:

A canopy that pulls all the way down for a sleeping baby

Four position seat with 5-point harness and a built in leg divider sewn in so baby can't fall down.

Rear-facing position

Nice foot muff with front mesh pocket and zip back

I'm not sure if we are going to keep it or not. So far it looks cool and has some nice features but it is hard to handle and that's a huge drawback as that's the key thing for a stroller.

Update 8/18 --
I contacted Bumbleride to ask about the basket issue -- was it a design flaw or a manufacturing flaw. They confirmed that it was a design flaw and they are having new baskets made and would send me when they got their next shipment in. The basket only rubs when the stroller is in the rear-facing (also called pram mode) position.

We have continued using the stroller all week and it is easier to push in the normal outward facing position, but baby has indicated that he prefers facing daddy once they get into the busier areas closer to downtown -- just what I thought. I've been getting more used to its parts and how it works and taking advantage of all the little parts -- like the window in the canopy with its cover, the foot rest which works better for baby being young, and the ability to pull the canopy all the way over to help block the sun or let the baby sleep better.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rear-facing Strollers Compilation

I've been considering getting a rear-facing stroller so that we aren't stuck with having Jonah facing out -- particularly in downtown Seattle. Up until now we've been able to use the infant car seat, so he's used to watching the world with us there to provide some filtering.

There aren't too many rear-facing models on the market, perhaps a dozen or so, and Bugaboo makes three of these. I've compiled my basic research with price, weight and pics -- plus some notes, if you are interested.

After all this research, the Bumbleride Flyer is standing out as a reasonably priced option.

Manufacturer/Model Cost Weight

Aprica Boardwalk

$749.99 12.1 lbs

Britax Vigour


29 lbs.

Bugaboo Gecko


18 lbs

Bugaboo Frog


32 lbs


"The Chameleon has a height adjustable handlebar extending an extra 6 inches for taller parents"

20 lbs

Bumbleride Flyer

Bargain Board Review

Might need to get used to the reverse position so as to not kick the chair support. Perhaps hard to lock in folder position (problem with our Metrolite as well). Easy to unfold.

Light frame bends, no tray for baby, no compartments for parent



Epinions Reviews
Discontinued. Poor construction?

23 lbs

Graco Coach Rider

Canada only?

Bad reviews by merchant, unstable wheels, poor construction compared to other Graco products.

Peg Perego Venezia

Big with poor steering and not good for travel
$400 28 lbs

Quinny Buzz

Small basket below, looks weird.

24 lbs

Stokke Xplory

Not good on uneven surfaces
$799 23.15 lbs

Zooper Zydeco or Boogie

$519 29 lbs