Our staff at Magic Beans in Brookline took full advantage of the record-breaking snowfall this year by taking every floor model out for a walk. The results showed that very few strollers can gracefully handle snow and slush. Most, even with locked front wheels, turned into push-sleds. The Bugaboo Buffalo Stroller and the BOB Revolution Flex Stroller were the only models that maintained their ground.
Of course now, the snowbanks are gone (thank god), but these ultra-tough strollers are amazing in all seasons and all weather conditions. Both the Revolution Flex and Buffalo work hard for the urban pedestrian family, and handle rough terrain and the heaviest loads of all single strollers. If maintained well, either of these strollers will last you through several children. BOB strollers in general never seem to die. And Bugaboo even provides up to a three-year warrantee if you’re on top of registering your stroller.
We began getting this question from customers: “So, what are the differences between these two strollers?”
BOB Revolution Flex: The Practical Rugged
The BOB Revolution Flex is a hybrid hiking and jogging stroller that you can also use as an everyday, practical family stroller, especially designed for folks who walk more than you drive. The stroller’s three wheels are air-filled with treads that may remind you of bicycle tires meant for gripping asphalt and dirt. The three-wheel construction of the BOB gives you effortless maneuverability. Despite its large size, it seems to float. The Revolution Flex’s aluminum alloy frame can hold up to 70 pounds (perhaps a 10-year-old… or a small Magic Beans employee!).
The BOB also sports a powerful suspension system that you can adjust in tension. It handles bumps in the road with a smooth bounce. This stroller, like most jogging strollers, also uses the stroller frame to suspend the seat fabric. While the seat does not reverse, most families who buy a BOB start out with a car seat adapter to maintain face-to-face contact with young babies. Active parents can begin running or hiking with their children around the age of six months, when their baby has sufficient head and neck control.
The Bugaboo Buffalo: Rugged with Class
While not a jogging stroller, the Bugaboo Buffalo rivals the BOB in its all-terrain capabilities by packing rugged features in discreetly. The unique star-shaped frame created by Bugaboo’s designers coupled with shock-absorbing joints and four foam-filled wheels support an incredibly smooth ride – we’re mystified by how well it works without suspension, but it does!
The Buffalo’s seat supports up to 37.5 pounds, though we’ve read that it will safely hold a “seat load” of up to 50 pounds in addition to the advertised maximum cargo loads of 13 pounds on the handlebar and 22 pounds in the basket. Our translation: Bugaboo strollers are designed for carrying infants up to three-year-olds based on European stroller standards (in addition to anything you could possibly need for a day with your child). Use beyond that age/weight is at the discretion of the caregiver, though it may void the warrantee.
The Buffalo is the ultimate parent-powered car with its bassinet, reversible seat, load-bearing handlebar, and machine-washable fabrics. With Bugaboo’s modular build and selection of accessories, every Bugaboo stroller is essentially custom built for you.
So, just how much upper body strength and trunk space will I need?
If you’ve done your homework on either of these strollers, you already know they lie on the larger side of the stroller spectrum. The BOB Revolution Flex and the Bugaboo Buffalo are comparable in weight, with the Revolution Flex (26.1 lbs) coming in at roughly one pound heavier than the Buffalo (27.2 lbs).
As a stroller geek with an engineer brain, I often discuss center of gravity and ergonomics with customers. While these two strollers may weigh nearly the same, the Buffalo holds its weight closer to the ground, which provides it with traction and the convenient support for handlebar cargo. When folding these strollers, you are likely going to notice the dense weight of the Buffalo, because it will be concentrated in a more compact package. The Revolution Flex often seems much lighter than the Buffalo because it looks bigger and heavier. Both have options for one-piece folds, where the Buffalo will stand and the Revolution Flex might lean or lay on the ground. The Revolution Flex is nearly twice the volume of the Buffalo when folded; the Buffalo is twice as dense when folded. Trunk space or indoor storage space matters more for the less-compact BOB Revolution Flex.
If you’re looking for the stroller with all the features that can stand in your entryway or more easily fit in your trunk, take a look at a Bugaboo Buffalo! (You’ll even be able to jog with some components of the Buffalo later on this year, if you get the Bugaboo Runner extension, coming out later this year!) If you want an all-in-one jogger, though, then the FLEX is your guy.
Have fun getting outdoors!