Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BOB Sport Utility Stroller

Bob Sport Utility Stroller (SUS) circa 2008
Thanks to Lia for the review!

I made lists of pros and cons, prices versus features and what I wanted versus needed before settling on a stroller for my kiddo.  Perhaps it was due to that difficult mental debate, but I have been completely happy with Bob.
Here is a run down from top to bottom-
Handlebar - I am 5’11 and it is at a comfortable height for walking and running.  It has a soft, cushion that has no sign of wear.  I received the handlebar console and love that I can store two drinks (or bear spray) in the cup holders and my phone or keys in the zippered compartment.  
Brake - I take my stroller places that it really should not go and the hand brake is essential.  While it doesn’t completely stop the stroller, it provides enough resistance that I can make a safe descent.  The foot brake is also wonderful for stopping on inclines.  The strap (you put on your wrist for running) wraps around this foot brake and stops the stroller should you fall or suddenly stop.  
Shade - There is a generous sun hood or roof that allows my child to be in a “cave”.  It also protects him from rain quite nicely.  There is a small, clear window on the top allowing me to peek in on the occupant.  I am amazed that there is no sign of wear on this part of the stroller.  My son is tall at three years old and his head is just now touching the hood.
Seat / Harness - The seat reclines quite far with two buckles (can be done one handed) allowing my son to sleep easily.  When in its upright position, my children both are comfortable.  There is some padding, but I was given the fuzzy, fleece pad that made it quite snuggly.   There is a 5 point harness with sternum adjustment.  This worked well when they were smaller, but got increasingly difficult for me to use.  I haven’t used it for quite a while and haven’t lost a chid yet. There are two little pockets for kiddo toys that I like to fill with a few items on long trips for him to find.
Wheels - These are burly and I love it.  I go off road and can work it over fallen trees, crevasses, and large roots.  It also runs smoothly on roads while I am running.  I haven’t had to pump them up or buy new ones yet and I don’t know how many miles I have put on Bob.  These wheels also allow me to push it in snow without much work.   The front wheel is fixed (doesn’t pivot, you have to lift up the front for turning) and this hasn’t bothered me at all.  It makes hiking trails easier and I haven’t had trouble running either.
Infant use - I bought the car seat adapter and my kiddo was in this from day two (day one we rested a bit).  The child faces you and raises him up for easy access.  The shocks provide cushioning and a less jolty ride for the kiddo.  I soon moved him down into the seat, fully reclined with blanket surrounds for paved trail walking.
Storage - It is hard to get items into the basket underneath the seat.  I tend to take items out of any large sack so I can access them easier.  There is a mesh area on the back of the seat for quick draw, flat items (a diaper and travel wipe container).
Transportation - You flip the top over towards the front wheel and then pull up on  handle so it folds down rather flat.  I love how small it gets and that it fits in the car.
Overall - I love this stroller and recommend it to friends who want a jogging stroller.  It is limited by the fact that you can’t tow it behind a bike or pull it on skis.  I have not had one problem, concern or failure in this stroller in its almost continuous use.  If you want a strong stroller for running that you can take off road, I recommend the BOB SUS.  

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