Some families have multiple cars. Others have a ton of strollers. That’s us — the stroller depot.
Living in the great city of Boston means I don’t need to use my car much. My stroller, on the other hand, sees VERY heavy use — multiple times a day, in all sorts of weather, and through varied terrain. Year round, we walk to preschool and back. We walk to the library. We walk to the grocery store. We walk to the playground, the post office, the bakery, the drug store.
So I need a stroller that fits my walking-centered lifestyle. The Uppababy Vista has been an absolute dream. But at the hefty price of $850, it’s simply not practical for most people (I purchased mine gently used — so at a steep discount!). That’s where the Britax B-Ready comes in!
Britax generously sent me a fancy new 2017 B-Ready stroller to test out and provide feedback on. And I’ve been pretty pleased with it. In many ways, it meets my snooty stroller standards. It really only falls short in a few aspects. Here are my five favorite features so far:
1. It’s super versatile
I’m a huge believer in the power of talking to your baby, so I like lots of face-to-face time with my kids. I love a stroller that has the option of turning the child’s seat toward the parent or caregiver. The B-Ready has that — and more. It’s super adaptable. It boasts 12 seating options that allow you to configure your kids in a variety of ways — a bassinet or a car seat for an infant, two carseats for baby twins, a single seat that faces parent or faces outward, two regular seats facing front or facing each other, and so on.
2. It has a GIANT storage basket
My under-stroller storage basket sees all kinds of action. It carries dozens of library books at a time. It carries backpacks — mine and my kid’s. And it carries pumpkins and watermelon home from the produce shop. It carries collected rocks and sticks, giant containers of bubbles, and picnic blankets plus food for a lunch at the park. So I need my storage basket to be big and sturdy. The Britax B-Ready nailed this one. The storage space is enormous, and the material is really easy to clean (it’s not unusual for me to find a very old and very mashed-up banana at the bottom of my stroller basket!).
3. It’s sleep-friendly and sun-friendly
Sometimes you need a stroller nap, you know? And sometimes it’s really sunny. Four-position recline and super oversized canopy to the rescue! Both seats recline to multiple positions, which is really accommodating for various nap needs. And the sun shade is fantastic in its size and design. You can pull it down all the way for complete shade and a dark space for a nap, or leave it halfway closed for regular sun blockage. There’s even a bonus sun visor that pops out for that last bit of sunlight that might sneak in. Also, on the top of the canopy there’s a mesh viewing window that stays closed with a magnet — no noisy velcro to wake the sleeping baby! The mesh is also great for breathability — and for playing peekaboo!
4. It looks sleek
Excuse my vanity, but I like a good-looking stroller. The dark frame and modern look are right up my alley.
5. The little details add up
The B-Ready has a few nice little details that I wouldn’t have thought of but that come in SO handy. The red and green indicators on the parking brake, for example — so great to see instantly if the stroller is locked. And the back of the seat offers a nice-sized pocket, where I usually toss my keys and phone, lest they become buried in the bottom basket. I can’t say that about my Uppababy!
To be fully honest, though, I better note the few things I found lacking in the B-Ready:
1. This thing is HEAVY
It’s big. It’s bulky. And it’s super heavy. I recently got a new car with a large trunk, and the B-Ready barely fits. With the second seat on, I bet it wouldn’t have fit in the trunk of my Honda Civic. The specs say it’s three pounds heavier than my Uppababy. And its folded length is a whopping 42″; the Uppababy folds to just 33″ tall. The folded height is quite a bit different as well — 19″ for the B-Ready, just 15″ for the Vista. So you can see how the B-Ready would dominate your trunk.
2. The frame doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as I’d like
We wandered around Mount Auburn Cemetery a few days ago, and we wandered off the main roads on a few occasions. I was surprised that on a few hills and sloping, bumpy paths, I had to keep the stroller from tipping to the side. With as heavy as the stroller is, I wish it were a little sturdier and bottom-heavy. Also, I’m pretty rough on my strollers — I bounce them up and down stairs, I hop up and down curbs, etc. And the B-Ready just doesn’t handle like the Uppababy does.
3. The handle, though adjustable, isn’t telescoping
The B-Ready’s handle adjusts up and down, but a telescoping handle would better accommodate people of varying heights. I’m 5’4″ and my husband is 6’3″, so we need very different handle heights!
4. The seat is oddly far from the parent
With my Uppababy, I can easily peek through the mesh window while I’m walking to see what baby is up to. When he’s forward facing, he likes to look up at me every now and then to say hi — it’s sweet. With the B-Ready, the seat is too far forward to make this happen. If he looks up, he can’t see me. And if I want to look at him, I have to stop the stroller and really lean over to get a glimpse at his cute head.