Monday, April 26, 2010

Review of the Bumbleride Indie Stroller

We set out convinced we would not become a 3, 4, or *gasp* 5 stroller family. Everyone told us that no matter what by time baby was 1, we had at least 3 strollers. We decided we would NOT conform to that norm. So, we decided we could splurge a bit on the stroller. We'd been careful about our other spending. Thanks to two nieces, we have plenty of baby clothes (and toddler clothes, and pre-schooler clothes, so money wasn't going there)...we started looking for strollers while I was still comfortably pregnant. We read every review available on every stroller available. Google started noticing. Suddenly, my gmail account was flooded with ads about babies. Wait, we're having a baby!? whoa. Anyway, once we were past that, we spent literally every spare moment consumed with stroller searches. If we're only getting one, it has to be sturdy. and all-terrain. and pretty. (have I mentioned husband and I are designers by trade?) It has to be well designed and look nice. And, while I decided we could splurge, my practicality (or what husband would call my cheap-skate side) still overtook me. $500 for a stroller?? (or $1000 for that matter...I'm not buying a car, here). We looked at SO SO many. I soon had my heart set on a 3-wheel model. I have friends with babies. Watching them try to push a 4-plastic-wheeled Graco through a lawn makes me cringe. Surely, there's better design out there. Plus, I had visions of myself going on really intense hikes with this thing. (where can you hike that is stroller friendly?! I've learned that requires a backpack or sling, and that's for another time). We also went with a not-super traditional infant carseat (read, not Graco), and I was convinced we could find a stroller that worked with our Chicco Keyfit 30. This was one of the few that did.
Soon, husband had me convinced the Bumbleride Indie was the stroller for us. I still balked at the price, but after I found a site with no tax, free shipping ,and 15% off, I was sold. (it was a sale, I couldn't resist). I did have some nervousness of buying a stroller sight-unseen, but seeing as there are no retailers within a 100 mile radius of us, and none for sale on Craigslist, I decided we'd done our research and it would be ok.

When I was at 38 weeks and still had no stroller, due to delays in shipping, I began to panic. Why couldn't I have picked something out from a store that I could SEE? How would I take baby for walks? What if I wanted to go somewhere? (Little did I know a 3 day old baby does not need a stroller, and a 3-day postpartum mommie cannot walk around the block). Stroller FINALLY arrived when baby was a week or two old. (see, I don't even remember when it mattered so little at the time). I (yes, I, husband was at work and I could not wait) immediately assembled it. In about 10 minutes. It looks nice! But how does it perform? I took it out for a walk, and immediately loved it.

Simply stated, we love this stroller.

The list of things we love:
• The weight. Only 20lbs! (if you've done your research, you know this is pretty good for a full-sized metal framed stroller)
• The look. This is a cool looking stroller.
• Easy to fold.
• Easy to store. It folds relatively small for a full-size.
• It comes with a rain cover. (and we've actually used it!)
• VERY easy to steer. Even one-handed.
• Lockable front wheel. While this is not a REAL jog stroller, it serves its purpose for me, as I'm not a jogger. On the rare occasion I decide to pick up the pace, the locked wheel is a necessity.
• Large under-basket. I can fit a yoga mat in there! (ok, it sticks out a little, but still). I can realistically fit a full-sized diaper bag in there, AND snacks AND shopping bags AND a blanket. really.
• Mommy cup-holder. While it does seem like a bit of an after-thought, design wise, its a feature I need. And its expandable. Full size Nalgene, no problem. Small Starbucks, still no problem.
• Large sun-shade. We live in Colorado. 300 days of sunshine. This is one of the better sunshades. And with the carseat, I could connect the two and baby was in her own little shaded bubble.
• Adjustable handle. I am 5 feet tall. Husband is 6'2" Adjustable is a must. While it doesn't telescope, the adjustments fit us both great.
• Metal frame. Its durable. Trust me. I backed into ours when it was folded and stored behind my car in the garage. I pushed it out the garage, where one wheel got stuck between our garage and driveway, and pushed some more. It still works! Husband had to re-align the wheels a bit, but its not even bent.
• It works as a 'system' with our Chicco Keyfit 30.

The list of things we wish it did/had:
• Reversible seating. Baby was ready to sit in the stroller sans-carseat far before I was ready for her to not face me.
• Child tray. As baby gets older, I see the value a snack tray/cup holder would have for her. You can buy an attachment, but I like things to come with my original purchase.
• I feel like the seat could be more upright. It is fully recline-able, even to almost flat. But, when its completely upright, I feel like baby is still a bit reclined.
• While the sunshade is one of the larger, I wish it was larger still. Is it ever enough when trying to keep baby out of the sun?
• Wish it had an option of adding a second seat, somehow. Like Phil and Ted's. Seems almost silly to have bought a single stroller that we love knowing we'd be having another.

When I asked hubby for some ideas of what he wish he did/had, he said: "our stroller? ummm, I wish it teleported." Guess that means he likes it too.

The final testament to how much we love this stroller: Baby is 11 months now, and we own exactly 2 strollers. Why two you ask? While I COULD fly with this one, (and we considered it), I decided I would be absolutely devastated if anything happened to it while it was being gate checked. So, step in travel/flying stroller. We did cave and we do own two. But that's it!

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