User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Overall handling, good padding, car seat attachment (albeit not included), low weight
Cons:Folding mechanism somewhat iffy, cup holder and tray not included
The Bottom Line: A great performing stroller albeit not perfect and not the cheapest.
Britax won our latest trust regarding the car seat for the soon-to-be-born addition to the family, mostly based on the good experience we had with the toddler seats Marathon 70 which our twins are currently using. While the B-Safe car seat didn't live up to the expectations, it wasn't too big of an issue to actually return it. With that in mind, the product strategy worked in Britax's favor as the associated stroller not only fits the car seat like a glove, but it's also an excellent design.
Recommend this product?
Design: [*****] Colors are somewhat limited to the standard range and the red stroller basically turned out to be a compromise of an all-black car seat and the desire for some more color. Personally, I like the shade of red and overall balance to the black and silver frame. The frame practically oozes stability and even the plastic parts leave no doubt that this wouldn't be a sturdy design.
Comfort: [*****] The padding and seat suspension are well designed for the toddler sitting in the stroller. The height adjustable belt system can quickly be changed to fit the toddlers wardrobe without having to get the child out of the seat, tilt it over and re-thread the belts. The neoprene covered handle makes it comfortable to grab even in colder climate. Only the front wheel is suspended while the larger rear wheels are less prone to transmit every little bump anyway.
Canopy: [*****] An easily under-estimated feature is the canopy. Virtually all strollers have one, but not many can claim to have one that actually works well. The Britax manages to be big enough for every but the lowest sun angles and an optional rain cover makes your little one virtually invincible to the elements. I guess one would expect for a British design to be rain proof. ;-) In conjunction with the Britax B-Safe car seat both canopies can be joined for a virtually seamless coverage. Of course
Storage: [***--] The under-seat storage is relatively typical albeit a bit small as the stroller is compact and not a tank. The compromise won't find everybody's approval when it comes to shopping and the need for having a diaper bag as well. However, it sure looks a lot better providing minimal storage than pushing an over-sized truck that doubles as a shopping cart. (Of course beauty quickly becomes secondary when you're face with actually having to push two.)
Cup Holders: [**---] This is clearly not design in America where cup holders seem to be the biggest single feature in cars and strollers typically offer at least two. Britax decided to make this an accessory and aside from having to spend $15 for one, it's a somewhat flimsy addition. While I don't believe this is to get more money from customers, it's certainly a reflection of a style centric design.
Belts: [****-] Britax generally has a very easy to use buckle system which supports clicking both parts in separately (which only sounds like a minor deal until you're faced with having to fightboth latches with a less-than-compliant toddler). The height can be adjusted via slider in the back and does not require to unthread the belts and pull them thru a different slot. That in itself can be rather annoying depending on your patience levels, and not having to re-thread is certainly a welcome feature.
Handling: [****-] The sturdy frame, large wheels and thick cushioned handle make it an easy to handle stroller. The big wheels certainly have a big hand in that, although the smaller front wheel --a compromise with the suspension-- is almost negating the advantage of the rear wheels. Having said that, even the front wheel is larger than typical strollers (not counting jogging strollers with even larger wheels). That's quite suitable to cobblestone walkways, but I wouldn't attempt to turn it into a jogging stroller as the front wheel is not designed to take potential big steps. On a flat surface, the Britax is exceptionally easy to steer. However, taller and shorter than average parents quickly wish the handle bar to be height adjustable and at my 6'2" I'd like to have it raise an inch or two. This solid handle bar is unfortunately not adjustable.
Folding: [***--] Single handed folding mechanisms are pretty much a much for the demanding parent, and the usefulness strikes as soon as you're face with having to pack up the stroller while holding your toddler (who most likely insists on not being put down). Previous designs place a trigger in the handle bar to unlock the mechanism. The Britax has a button on the side instead which needs to be depressed before using the cloth handle that's sewn into the seat. While the button doesn't need to be held down, the overall mechanism appears less intuitive than described handle latches. Further, if you look for review this is typically a complaint that it doesn't work as advertised for long and soon required two hands -- defeating the purpose.
Seat Installation: [***--] While the stroller comes pre-assembled, the --not included-- car seat relies on two receivers that are installed in the same slot an optional tray would fit in (once your baby is a toddler). This makes the attachment specific to Britax car seats, but it's also much more secure than the typical straps used in other designs. The car seat sits in the latches and it's not obvious on first sight that the latches to remove the seat are right there, while other design deploy a more logical latch that's also used to hold the car seat in the car base. Not a big deal, but dual mechanisms like that aren't the most intuitive. Note that the seat adapters are not included with the stroller, but they are when you're deciding on the travel system.
Cost: [****-] At $178 ($249 MSRP), there are certainly cheaper designs and some of them are even more practical (with regard to storage and/or the folding design), but the Britax B-Agile manages to provide a solid design for the price.
© 2013, theuerkorn
Amount Paid (US$): 178
Age Range of Child: 12 to 36 Months