our first walk as a family and my new baby equipment love {BOB stroller review}

I was a complete cheapskate when Jocelyn was born.

Nope, not thrify. Cheap.

When I saw price tags on some strollers, I thought that parents had to be crazy to foot that bill. I never bothered to look at the features that set them apart.

I was still a little cheap when Robbie was born, but I started to reconsider my stroller preferences when we committed to being Zoe's parents. A lot of you have asked about her physical limitations, and she does have definite delays in that area (at nine months: not sitting, only pushing up a little, able to roll from tummy to back but we're not sure if she can roll from back to tummy), though we're not sure what's based in premature birth and what's stemming from her brain injury and what's the result of something else altogether.

Fact is that she may never walk.

If she doesn't, then wheelchairs are in our future. We knew that when we signed on as Mom and Dad, so we're cool with that... and we also know that our stroller phase would probably be longer with her than our two big kids. We never loved our previous strollers (including a full-sized Graco one, a Kolcraft umbrella stroller, an Instep jogging stroller, a double Graco one, a Baby Trend Sit n Stand, a Graco frame stroller designed for our carseat, and a no-brand one that got used once before we realized it was useless... um, yes, I have a stroller problem. I kept searching for one I liked and struck out again and again. Thank you, Craiglist and consignment sales, for keeping us from going broke as I collected enough strollers to outfit the Duggars...)

Enter BOB. After hearing Zoe's story, they graciously offered to provide a stroller for us to try out. We have the BOB Revolution SE in Orange, and I am not exaggerating when I say that I never knew I could love a stroller like this.

It is a beast in size, but it can carry a child up to 70 lbs - and it did carry each of our 40+ pound kiddos just fine - so it needs to be solid for that. The wheels are huge too, which means we don't feel any bumps along the way and we can take it on many of the local hiking trails we love.

The cargo space is more than sufficient. This was just for a long walk around the neighborhood - one sippy cup for each big kid, a pack of Pop Tarts if they got the munchies, and a few diapering supplies.

I'll be able to easily add more cargo in there for longer treks or for shopping trips. (I wouldn't take this anywhere with narrow aisles or racks, though, because it's more than two feet wide. I usually opt for some sort of carrier - like my Peanut Shell sling or Ergo carrier or the Moby wrap coming my way from a sweet friend - in stores anyway.)

The shot above shows the lowest (left) and highest (right) settings for the shoulder straps. Adjustment was easy peasy. (Really. Even for me. Usually adjusting any straps is a frustrating chore, given the degree of permanent joint damage in my hands - thank you, rheumatoid arthritis - so the ease of adjustment on the BOB is a big deal for me.)

Here, I'm adjusting the waist strap, which also was simple for me. Given the angles of adjustment that favor the adult and not the child, I don't think you'd need to worry about your babe easily loosening herself.

As you can see, we cinched everything about as small as we could, and that worked well. At this time, Zoe was just shy of 13 pounds in weight and just at 24 inches in length. BOB recommends that babies be at least eight weeks old before riding and even older before jogging, so most babies should fit just fine.

Zoe clearly likes it!

She's traveling in style! I personally like the orange because it's a fun pop of color without being gender specific.

The sun shade is incredibly effective - just note the darkness in the pictures of her in the seat! - but it offers a peek through area, hidden under a flap of material held in place by velcro. Zoe didn't like when I could see her, though, because it was too bright, so I didn't use it much! (Why did we take our first walk as a family at 3pm on one of the hottest days of the summer? I blame jet lag.)

Given my arthritis, I was concerned by reviews I read about the difficulty of removing the back wheels, which is necessary for the stroller to fit in most vehicles. I didn't need to worry, though. I had no problem with it. Just flip that silver lever toward myself, and the slide the wheel off. It locks securely enough to be safe but comes off easily enough to be effortless.

I could push with one hand while holding Robbie's hand (or, in this picture, holding a leaf declared to be "a dinosaur feather").

I guess she was comfy, huh?

At MSRP of $449 and a current Amazon price of $321.95, the Revolution SE is certainly not cheap. The couple of weeks I've had it in use, though, have made me a believer. (Plus given how much money - from us and from others via gifts - went into my previous fleet of strollers, I could have spared myself the trouble and spent nearly the same amount by just getting one of these to start.) I have also been blown away by BOB's customer service. 

We don't know if Zoe will need the Revolution SE to serve as her first wheelchair of sorts, but we're glad that we're prepared in case she does.

Now, here are a few other shots of our first walk as a family...

Disclaimer: I did receive this stroller for review purposes, but I was not given anything else and I was not asked or required to give a positive review.