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Britax B-Ready Stroller – an in depth review

When Britax called a few months back and asked to schedule a time to come to Boston to show me a new stroller, I have to admit I rolled my eyes. Britax, a brand revered for quality and design in car seats, has been trying unsuccessfully to break in to the stroller category for years. I’ve never seen a stroller I really liked from them, and I didn’t have high hopes for their newest entry. So I was really surprised when they wheeled the B-Ready into my office — and I loved it.

By way of some important background information, the in-line double stroller category has exploded over the past three years, starting after Phil&Teds (who first came up with the idea) themselves expanded their product line from one stroller to four (five, now, actually). All five (five!) strollers use the same basic framework – a single, all-terrain stroller with a doubles kit – a second seat that can attach to the front or back of the frame to take a second child. Over the years, Phil&Teds has improved the design (some models’ doubles kit offer a small recline), but you still can’t use a car seat with a doubles kit, and there’s no option for a bassinet. Plus, the all-terrain frame means you can’t reverse either seat to face the parent.

The UPPAbaby Vista is a hybrid stroller, with large rear wheels, small front wheels and a reversible seat. It has a Rumble Seat accessory, but that can only be used facing the parent. It does have a modest sun canopy (which the Phil&Teds seat doesn’t) and it can be used in tandem with an infant car seat. It doesn’t recline at all, so it can only be used with babies over 6 months old and up to 35 pounds.

The Baby Jogger City Select has caught on like wildfire because it is the most versatile in-line double stroller on the market. It starts as a single hybrid stroller, but you can add a full-size second seat. You can also use any combination of bassinets and car seat adapters, and there are multiple configurations for which way the baby can face. The stroller has a lot of strengths, but it’s got a very long wheelbase, and it’s not as easy to push as the other in-line doubles.

None of these strollers can effectively be folded with the second seat in place.

Why am I talking about the competition instead of the product I’m actually supposed to be covering? Because you need to understand what Britax was trying to accomplish with the B Ready. They wanted to produce an in-line double stroller that solved the key problems still plaguing the others.

Britax B Ready with UPPAbaby Vista

The B-Ready uses a hybrid stroller frame that is similar, but not identical, to the UPPAbaby Vista. The wheelbase is longer on the B-Ready to make room for the second seat. The extra length does have an impact on the responsiveness of the steering if you compare it side by side with the Vista, but the B-Ready still produces a nice, smooth ride. The main stroller seat offers three recline positions and is reversible. The mechanics for turning the seat work very smoothly. The basket is very nice – large and uninterrupted. The clever designers at Britax put zippered access panels on the front and sides, so parents can access the basket even when the second seat is in place.

The second seat is exceptionally easy to attach, and it offers a four-position recline as well as a reasonably sized sun canopy. I had a little trouble getting the second seat off the frame – the release button mechanism was sticky on one side, but that should loosen up over time. The placement of the release buttons is a little awkward, but since the stroller can fold with the second seat attached, it’s not a big issue. What’s that? The stroller can fold with the second seat attached? Why yes, it can. And it’s easy, too. There’s a sliding release that collapses the second seat flat, and then it folds right down with the rest of the stroller.

screen-shot-2010-07-16-at-124118-am

Let’s talk about car seat adaptability. The B-Ready comes with an integrated car seat adapter for the Britax Chaperone infant car seat. If you want to use another brand (Graco or Chicco), you can purchase a separate adapter. For the lower seat, you can purchase a Britax Chaperone adapter, but there’s no option currently for other brands. So if you’re using the stroller with an infant and a toddler, you have plenty of options for infant car seats. But if you have twins and you need to use the B Ready with two infant car seats, you’re limited to the Britax Chaperone – which isn’t a bad thing. The Chaperone is a really nice infant car seat, but it’s been severely handicapped by a lack of good stroller options. The B-Ready will help with that.

All in all, there are 14 possible configurations for the B-Ready stroller. See them all.

To recap, here are the key advantages to the B-Ready:

  • Smaller, more maneuverable frame than a true tandem or even the City Select
  • Very large basket with easy access from all four sides of the stroller
  • Second seat that reclines flat and offers sun protection, appropriate for newborn to 35 pounds
  • Versatile configurations include two car seats, a car seat and a second seat, a bassinet, and options to face the parent or the world
  • Easy to fold and folds with the second seat attached
  • Comes with cup holder, rain cover and Chaperone car seat adapter
  • Nice suspension system in both the main seat and the second seat

Things to watch out for:

  • Some mechanisms need to be broken in before they work smoothly – the buttons to disengage the second seat and the “automatic” chassis lock, which keeps the stroller securely folded, were both a little stiff right out of the box.
  • Longer wheelbase creates slightly sluggish handling. If you’re strictly in the market for a single stroller, this will not perform quite as well as the UPPAbaby Vista or a Bugaboo.

stroller_guide

25 comments

  1. Can you comment on the dimensions of the seats? I have a 20 month old and a newborn and my 20 month old already doesn’t fit comfortably into the seat of the BJ City Select due to his height. I have not been able to find an UPPA Baby vista 2010 model in stock somewhere to try out but have read that it is more spacious.
    Thank you!

  2. Thank you for the in-depth feature on the B-Ready. I am so intrigued! I love the size of the in-line double but have never used one. This looks awesome – and the second seat looks roomier than others and I love that it also reclines.

  3. You’ll actually find that the Uppa baby was based on the Britax product.

    As the Britax product originates from Britax Australia, who have been selling the Strider for a number of years which is what the new B-ready is based on, and one of its previous guises was with the seat infront.

    Its only now that the other sides of the Britax business USA and UK have realised what great products the Australians were developing and opened them up to the rest of the world.

  4. @Chi-mom I didn’t notice any shin-bumping when I was pushing the B-Ready, walking with a natural stride. @Mary I will try to get some dimensions for you for both seats.

  5. Similar question to Mary, because I have a 2.5 year old and a 2 month old and need to find an in-line stroller (no Phil & Ted’s) for traipsing around NYC. I tried the iCandy in a shop, but my toddler had to scrunch down in order to fit in the seat. I tried the Uppa Baby in a shop, but I feared he would kick his baby brother unintentionally on a regular basis (never mind the intentional kicks!). The City Select seemed great, but was so hard to steer due to the long wheel base. I’m not sure how the dimensions would fit my kids. So, what are the weight – and more importantly – height limits for the B-Ready? My 2.5 year old is 39 inches tall, so my biggest challenge is height. Thanks!

  6. Some differences with Uppababy Vs. Britax B-Ready:

    WHEELS – Vista wins. Vista had better wheels. Vista had tread and were more grippery tire like feel. B-Ready had smooth plastic feel to them. I can see that they would get all scratched up easily. B-Ready also had fenders on them which seem to add to bulk. Comparing closely it almost appear one could put Vista’s wheels to B-Ready. It’s that similar!

    HANDLE – B-Ready wins. Handle on B-Ready was nicer than Vista. It pivoted instead of telescoping (which was what the Vista does). The center was had a grip that was molded for one-handed steering. The arms and wrist seem more comfortable (rested more parallel like on a keyboard). My wife at 5’2 found the Vista handle too high and wished it could adjust lower.

    FOLDING – Vista wins (barely). Comparing the two, the wife like the Vista (it did take several attempts for wife to get the feel for it, as did I ! Once figured out it was ok).B-Ready required two hands as well but you sort of have to use your stomach so that you could pull the levers toward you and have it collapse. We also found that you had to straighten out the B-Ready’s handle so that when you fold it, it would stand properly stand up and you could lock the folding clasp. DEFINITELY TRY FOLDING IT YOURSELF IN THE STORE! (just to add an another stroller, the Baby Jogger City Select has really easy folding capability!). Both stands up when folded although you have to consciously stand it up. The sales person always seems to fold it and let it flop to the ground. I doubt one would do that outside.

    Note on second seat folding – The folding of the B-Ready allows the second seat to be on but it was very bulky (and heavy at a total of 35 lbs) and the canopy of the second seat would get dirty. It’s better to just remove the seat.

    MAIN SEAT – Vista wins. Vista has 0 degree seat position and B-Ready did not. Vista 2010 added this to address a common complaint. B-Ready is slightly on the decline. So while the B-Ready has a handle that is more ergonomically correct for mom’s wrist, it seems the seat upright capability is better for the kid. (previous Vista 2009 owners found the kid pulling themselves forward to get upright).

    SECOND SEAT (REAR) – B-Ready wins . Recline of 2nd child add on – B ready was clearly better since it can recline to horizontal sleeping position. Vista had one position. It was not upright but slightly tilted back. More for a child chilling out and may nit be the best if kid is sleeping. The Vista seat was also closer to the front seat and B- Ready has more room for child in rear. A taller person may hit the B-Ready seat with their stride but I’m 5’10 and its not a problem.

    STORAGE – B-Ready wins (barely). B-Ready is accessible on all sides. Vista’s is on the rear only. With the rear seat, this is important. However, the Vista has a bar running across where the kid can sort of step their feet on. The B-Ready has their feet in the entire basket and the kids would probably kick at your diaper bag.

    CONFIGURATIONS – B-Ready wins. B-Ready has 14 configurations vs. Vista’s 3 configurations. Most notably are: B-Ready has ability to use two infant carriers at the same time. You can also place infant carrier in the rear (Vista you cannot. You can only put it in the front). B-Ready can use the bassinet with the second seat. Vista cannot use bassinet with rear seat.

    After all this, I am still having problems deciding. For me, it comes down to Vista’s 0 degree position but no full recline in rear seat Vs. B-Ready’s full recline rear seat but lack of 0 degree position.

  7. Also, do you know if a buggy board can be attached? There is no real axle and I see that Britax does not offer one. Will a universal work? Thanks!

  8. Hi
    I went to see the britax b ready and i was 100% certain that it is the dream pram for us. we have a 2yr old and another baby on the way in few weeks time. i felt the fireworks that you described! why has this pram not been around earlier??
    HOWEVER even though my 2 yr old is very very slim, i couldnät actually put the harness around her! why did they make the straps so small that only fits an infant!? that is just crazy.I am trying to find any pictures where the kids are actually strapped in around the waste- but there are no such around???

  9. In the review it stated that the universal car seat adapter would work for Chicco and Graco. I belive it also works with Peg Perego. This is what i have seen in my extensive research on these inline strollers. Thank you so much for your in depth look!

  10. @Lainy
    From the Britax website FAQ page:
    Q. The B-READY stroller harness is tight on my child – is a longer one available?
    A. To obtain a longer harness length, please contact BRITAX customer service at 1-888-427-4829 and they will send you one at no charge.

    Also does a 2009 or 2010 Britax Chaperone carseat fit with this stroller?
    How are the wheels on rougher terrain?

  11. Are there any differences between this and the Strider Plus made by Brittax in Australia?

  12. Does the B-ready have a “skateboard” accessory (such as the “piggy back” for the Uppa Baby Vista? Is there a universal “skateboard” that would fit?

  13. We purchased the B-ready a month ago b/c Britax is having their “Free Ride” event until June 3. You can get the second seat for free. I don’t see Uppababy doing that! PS-The B-ready is a dream to handle with two kids. My 7 week old sits in his Chaperone seat and my 18 month old sits in the 2nd seat. Perfect! The fenders on the wheels are to keep his curious hands from getting caught. If in doubt, visit babygizmo dot com and click on “video reviews”. Hollie reviews both strollers. You won’t be disappointed with the B-ready.

  14. I checked out Britax website. It says that as a single it can hold 55lbs in main seat.
    As a double second seat holds 35lbs. What is main seat capacity with second seat or car seat attachment.

  15. Hello,
    I have been looking for the answer everywhere. It says that the main seat has a weight capacity pf 55lbs when in singles mode. The 2nd seat has 35lb max weight. What is the max weight of main seat in double mode? Or does adding second seat not affect weight max?
    Thanks.

  16. Can you tell me if the Universal Car seat adapter can be attached to the Lower Infant seat adapter in order to use a different car seat? I’ve seen conflicting information. Also, does the Universal adapter fit Peg Perego? Also getting conflicting info on that.

  17. I have also read a lot of conflicting information about whether or not the universal adaptor fits the Peg Perego infant carseat. After seeing it in the store, it doesn’t seem to be a snug/secure fit… Wondering if it actually is “universal” with the Peg. Please advise!

  18. I saw a few others make this comment, but it seems everyone is still waiting for an answer. Is Britax coming out with a ‘buggy board, hitchhiker or piggy back board’? Uppababy and Babyjogger have both come out with them, so I was wondering if it is a work in progress or what? If not, does anyone know of a universal board (brands-lascal or valco) that will fit well to a Britax B-Agile stroller? Thanks!

  19. Can you tell me if the Universal Car seat adapter can be attached to the Lower Infant seat adapter in order to use a different car seat? I’ve seen conflicting information.
    Also is the second seat really secure enough for a newborn? Neck support … ?

  20. Yes Britax does have a “piggy back board” its called the Britax Stroller Board. It retails for $90 but you can find it for less on amazon and a few other sites.

  21. I too am interested in the newborn neck support element, how does this fair in that respect?

    Kindest Regards

    Jemma
    X

  22. Hi there
    does anyone know if the britax second seat can be used on Britax Vigour 3+ – older version of B Smart – looks almost exact same – thanks

  23. I need to know if the Britax b ready carseat can go into other strollers? I will be watching a 3 year old and newborn. The newborns parents have a britax carseat and I’m looking to purchase a double stroller to accommodate both. Can’t afford a britax stroller.

    Thanks, Sherri

  24. HI!!
    A few questions…. we wanting to keep our options open, as we have a 2.5 year old, 15 month old and I’m due in about 3 weeks. We already have the britax double (side by side) However we bought it in the states and once we moved back to Australia the capsule/ carseat didn’t fit Australia’s standards.
    Looking for another stroller that can be used as a single, double, maybe even a triple with “piggy back board”. but allowing for the carseat to fit the new stroller and my old one.
    I guess my main question is- what’s the difference between the britax b-ready and the strider plus 4? or are they the same stroller and just called different names in different countries?

    Thanks, Deborah

  25. I am wondering if the Uppababy bassinet can be used with the Britax stroller click and go system, are they compatible or is there an adaptor that can be purchased? I would like to get a bassinet but the Britax bassinet is not approved for overnight use like the uppababy.

    thanks, Carrah

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