We’ve been putting the Bumbleride Indie (Natural Edition) stroller to the test for the last couple of weeks, and I’m now a fanboy of this company.
Our family has never been big on strollers. We’re more baby wearers than baby pushers, but the bigger our kids got (and the more stuff we haul around with us), the more sense a stroller made to us.
And we’ve had some crappy stroller experiences, due to everything from cheap materials to shoddy design, so it’s been a dreamy couple of weeks with the Bumbleride buggy at our house (our kids call it a buggy, not a stroller. Go figure).
The Bumbleride is the Mercedes of strollers.
There, I said it.
We pushed this thing, fully loaded with a kid and all the assorted kid gear we could cram into it, up hills and over grass, through dirt and gravel and nuclear waste (ok, I’m stretching it a bit here), and it performed with extreme awesomeness. Yup, awesomeness.
Some of my favorite points about the Bumbleride Indie Stroller:
- Fully adjustable handle: When I say fully, I mean fully. The handle can go from all the way forward over the top of the canopy (great for uphills) to all the way down behind the canopy (great for when our 5 year old wants to push it), with several positions in between.
- Big inflatable wheels: If you’re still pushing a stroller with little hard plastic wheels, I’m sorry. The wheels on the Bumbleride make short work of any terrain, and the ride is smooth and gentle for your kid (a huge plus when they’re conked out).
- Front wheel which both locks and swivels: We’ve had strollers with swiveling front wheels and ones with a fixed front wheel (jogger style), but never one that did both. For ease of steering in small places, like a store or crowded sidewalk, unlocking the front wheel gets you maximum steerability. But if you’re taking this stroller onto uneven surfaces (or if you actually jog with it), having a front wheel that locks into a straight position is very handy. With the Bumbleride, you get the best of both worlds.
- Rear suspension: The rear wheels have a small suspension unit on the axle, making for a comfortable ride for even the smallest of babies.
- Easy to fold and transport: This stroller is super sturdy, but folds up quickly and easily, and even has a carrying strap built into it. It’s not as tiny as the ‘umbrella’ style strollers, but the extra space it takes up is well worth it in terms of comfort and ease of use.
- Seat reclines easily: The kid seat goes from upright to laying down in just a second, and can be adjusted to stay at any position in between.
- Full sun canopy: The top canopy casts some major shade over the baby seat, and has a zipper on the back which lets the breeze through (or lets you peek in on baby). There’s also a little zippered pocket on the back, and a small mesh window on top, both of which are thoughtful additions to a canopy.
- Bamboo blend and 50% recycled material fabrics: It’s great to see some alternatives to the virgin materials usually used in kids products, and the Bumbleride seat and canopy are both made with a bit different fiber content.
- Adjustable footrest: The footrest adjusts upward for small children and baby carriers.
- Simple rear wheel lock: A large bar across the back of the stroller connects to the wheel locks, which makes locking the stroller in place as easy as putting your foot down.
- It’s light: The Bumbleride Indie weighs in at only 20 pounds, which is a huge plus when loading it into your car or carrying it inside.
And to be fair and balanced, here are a couple of the weak points of the Bumbleride:
- Foam handle cover: While this is comfortable to push, in my experience, it doesn’t take much for foam to start flaking off all over the place. My suggestion would be to use bicycle handlebar tape for the handle, which can be replaced easily if it gets trashed.
- Bottom cargo area: I love having a cargo area under the seat, but the way that this one is constructed isn’t the most well designed, in my opinion. And the mesh sides on it seem like they would be the first thing to get ripped. My suggestion would be to have the back of the cargo area higher than it is (or with a cover that snaps over it), and to use much stronger material for it (ripstop would be perfect.)
- Plastic wheel locks: With a previous stroller we had, the teeth on the plastic wheel locks broke easily. I’d love to see aluminum wheel locks on this stroller.
- Cup holder: The Bumbleride comes with a removable cup holder, which seemed really cool until the first time we put a water bottle in it and it turned upside down. And because it’s on the side of the handle, it has a tendency to get hung up in doorways (and could get ripped off that way, as it’s plastic.)
- Wheels: At first glance, the wheels on the Bumbleride have the ‘mag’ wheel look (sporty/custom), which is cool. But because they aren’t built with standard bicycle wheel technology (adjustable spokes and steel rims), but with plastic rims, I wonder if they will get trashed easier. I’m just guessing on this one, but based on my experience with plastic vs. steel and aluminum, my suggestion would be to use metal rims for longer life.
While I did find the above items to be somewhat weak, they don’t detract from the overall awesomeness of the Bumbleride (I just like picking things apart and playing the devil’s advocate.)
Kudos to the folks at Bumbleride for such a great product!
If you’re in the market for a new stroller (or looking for a great gift for new parents), I highly recommend the Bumbleride. Like I said, it’s the Mercedes of strollers.
[Disclosure: I received a Bumbleride Indie Natural Edition for review, but it did not affect the content of my review. I stand behind my opinions here.]