Britax B-Ready Stroller as a Single: 9 Reasons to Roll With It
Before delving into the awesomeness of the B-Ready, let's be real.
Spending $500+ on a stroller was definitely not what my husband and I were prepared for or planning on. Once I started searching for strollers I quickly realized that a good quality stroller isn't cheap.
The hubs and I would like to have babies close in age... and a lot of them, if possible. So we definitely thought a stroller that could become a double was worth investing in. After agonizing over which stroller to purchase, I had narrowed it down to the Britax B-Ready, the Baby Jogger City Select.
I am a bit of a research junkie, so I had about 40 tabs open on my computer to compare all aspects of these strollers and ended up landing with the Britax.
During my research, I noticed some of the double strollers out there have price tags the size of a mortgage payment (the average monthly mortgage in the U.S. in 2011, was $1,051 according to this article). Are we serious? Since when did strollers cost the same as home ownership or a week-long, all-inclusive tropical getaway?
Pay Your Mortgage or Buy a Double Stroller?
Guzzie + Guss Connec+ 4
$700 + $200 (seat #2) = $900 CAD
Peg Pérego Duette SW
$1,300 + $350 (seat #2) = $1,650 CAD
$1,250 + $300 (seat #2) = $1,550 USD
$1,150 + $250 (extension kit)= $1,400 CAD
$1,110 + $251 (extension kit) = $1,361 USD
$830 + $155 (seat #2) = $985 CAD
Peg Pérego Skate System
$800 + $140 (seat #2) = $940 CAD
$700 or $590 (depending on color) + $?
Phil & Teds Promenade
$800 + $150 (doubles kit) = $950 CAD
$600 + $160 (doubles kit) = $760 USD
Prices as of October 2014
Not exactly the kind of "investment" we were aiming for. Instead, we opted to look at "mid-priced" strollers (still expensive, in my opinion).
Price breakdown of my two contenders:
$550 + $165 (seat #2) = $715 CAD
$500 + $150 (seat #2) = $650 USD
$600 + $220 (seat #2) = $820 CAD
$500 + $170 (seat #2) = $670 USD
In this article, I'm not going to talk about the 12 configurations or all of the listed features of the Britax B-Ready because you can see for yourself on their website. Also, I won't be singing its praises as a double because I haven't used it as a double: I only have one baby (so far). Instead, I'll be sharing my personal experience with this stroller as a single and will let you know the top 9 reasons why I like the Britax B-Ready (and why you should, too)!
Top 9 Reasons to Love the B-Ready Stroller
#1. Massive Storage Basket
#2. Free Ride Event
#4. Company Reputation
#5. Square Handle Bar
#6. Awesome as a Single
#7. Britax Customer Service
#8. Easy Navigation
#9. Fits Into a VW Golf Trunk
#1 Massive Storage Basket
The storage basket on the Britax B-Ready was far superior to the storage baskets I've seen on other strollers. It is HUGE. This was one of the major selling points for me. I tend to carry a lot of stuff around (my diaper bag is ginormous) so if I'm out and about, there's no way I'd want to be carrying a bunch of bags on my shoulder if they didn't fit in the bottom of the stroller.
Now that Buha is a toddler, outings are more like expeditions instead of quick jaunts and the stroller is a base camp. Often I'm gone from home for hours at a time and need to make sure I'm prepared with a well-stocked diaper bag, food for lunch, toys, a huge picnic blanket, and extra clothes for sudden weather changes (or the odd diaper explosion). I can easily throw all of this in the bottom of my stroller -- plus my purse and even friends' purses who happen to meet up with us at the park :)
I can fit two adult-sized winter jackets, my purse, the diaper bag, three large suitcases, our espresso machine, an infant bathtub, my husband's bicycle, a canoe... Just kidding. But honestly, the B-Ready storage basket is like Mary Poppins' bag or the trunk on a Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition.
I can easily purchase a week's worth of groceries and it all fits perfectly in the bottom of my B-Ready. In fact, the B-Ready was my quasi grocery cart all summer. I walked to the store to take advantage of the beautiful weather and to not use our vehicle. Never had any issues; nothing ever fell out. It was beautiful.
Grocery Shopping with Britax B-Ready
The storage basket is also EASILY ACCESSIBLE. With 4 zippered access points (2 sides, back and front), you never have to worry about not being able to reach something stuffed at the bottom or lodged in a corner.
The storage basket has a ZIPPERED FRONT, which means all the cargo underneath stays secure and clean. Your stuff will be protected from rain, snow, mud, slush, and wind! YAY! Who wants to show up to a playdate with a muddy diaper bag?
Note: the storage basket size for the UPPAbaby Vista is comparable to the B-Ready - just pulled up to one today at the park and side by side, they looked quite similar.
** Oh. And yes. I realize that once Baby #2 comes along, the storage basket capacity will decrease a bit because little feet may extend into the basket. C'est la vie.
#2 Britax Free Ride Event
Britax hosts a "Free Ride Event" each year. If you purchase a B-Ready stroller you get a free item. Usually the item is either a bassinet, second seat, or B-Safe Infant Car Seat. What?? This event is a great way to save ~$200 if the date jives with when you need your stroller.
The 2012 Event was July 1st - 31st. You could choose between a free bassinet, second seat, or B-Safe Infant Car Seat.
The 2013 Event was June 1st - 30th. If you purchased the B-Ready stroller you got to choose either a free B-Safe Infant Car Seat or a free second seat (no bassinet option).
The 2014 Event was September 5th -18th, and included a free B-Safe Infant Car Seat (no second seat or bassinet option).
#3 Super Effective Canopy
The B-Ready's extra large canopy has an extension you can pull down as a sun visor for early mornings or evenings when the sun is low and shines directly into your babe's eyes.
I also use the canopy when Buha is getting tired or is over-stimulated. It blocks out activity so that she doesn't see as much. This was awesome for TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) rides. For whatever reason, Buha HATES the TTC when she's in the stroller. She'll start bawling if strangers wave, smile, talk to her or make faces at her. So I'd always just put the canopy down while riding on the TTC so that she didn't see as many faces. It seemed to help calm her down a little bit.
If I'm baby-wearing and she's wrapped up in the Maman Kangourou, she's all smiles and waves. Go figure!
Fun fact: The canopy on Baby Jogger City Select is almost identical to the B-Ready in terms of sun coverage, but the UPPAbaby Vista sun canopy beats out both, hands down. It's the best on the market.
#4 Britax Reputation
BRITAX has been a leader in mobile safety for more than 70 years. The European company has been around since 1938 and launched its first stroller in 1975. Britax Child Safety, Inc. entered the U.S. market in 1996.
Baby Jogger was established in 1984, UppaBaby Vista in 2006.
Some people (aka "thestrollergirl.com") recognize Britax as best in the world for car seat safety but suggest they stick to car seats and stop making strollers. According to "stroller girl," the B-Ready was originally released in Australia as the "Steelcraft Strider" (in 2007?) and was apparently an epic fail and was recalled and re-released later as the "Plus" (it has since been renamed as "B-Ready" for the U.S. market).
Fair enough. But mistakes are what make products better, in my humble opinion. Companies (usually) learn from what went wrong and do things that much better next time around. And Britax has been around the block - more than a few times.
#5 The Square Handle Bar
The Britax B-Ready handle bar is square-shaped and has a middle grip for steering with one hand, which I never do. Instead, I've reserved this convenient grip space for my "Mommy Hook."
The Mommy Hook
This hook is amazing.
It has gotten me so many comments from people because I can hook my purse onto it, grocery bags, clothes on hangers when shopping, diaper bag, or anything else that hangs. Most of the comments about the Mommy Hook sound like this: "That's a great hook - it sits so nicely on your stroller. It would never work on mine" OR "I used to have a hook like that, but it always slid down the handle bars and put my stroller off-balance" (ie: Baby Jogger City Select - it has rounded handlebars).
Thank you, Britax, for making square handlebars with a middle grip space to accommodate the Mommy Hook!
#6 B-Ready is Awesome as a Single
Some people say the B-Ready is wide, heavy, and overall pretty large as a single stroller. True, but I love it anyway. La Buha feels like a queen in it. She's up high, can see the world, and feels comfy and secure. I like knowing that she's in a sturdy piece of equipment.
#7 Britax Customer Service
After about six months of using my B-Ready, I noticed the left side of the brake didn't engage. The stroller would be braked securely on the right side, but the left side would skate around a bit. It didn't bug me much but I definitely noticed it when using public transit. I called Britax customer service May 6, 2015 (21 months after getting the stroller!! Yes, I left it THAT long...) and Britax sent me a brand new frame, no questions asked.
Pretty stellar if you ask me.
This blogger, Caroline, had these things to say:
- "Britax in their awesomeness has sent me a new set of wheels no questions asked..."
- "We also had the brake fail to engage after about 6 months and Britax sent us a whole new stroller no questions asked. They have amazing customer service."
- "Again, one quick phone call to Britax and they had a new harness set in the mail to us the next day. Have I mentioned already how awesome their CS is?"
#8 Easy Navigation
This stroller turns on a dime, feels like gliding. It handles Toronto winters like a champ. I've trudged through snow-laden streets for two years without a problem.
I can get up and down off sidewalk curbs with ease (unlike the Baby Jogger mom in reason #10's video). Hehee. Duly noted: I only have one kid in there :)
#9 The B-Ready Fits the Trunk of a VW Golf
We own a Golf and needed to make sure the stroller fit into the trunk. As a single, it fits! Another option is to take the main seat off and accommodate it in the trunk along with the frame instead of folding it up with the stroller. It's not a hassle (imo).
What About the Other Features?
These other cool features are great but they didn't make my top 10 list.
- Comfort - Buha looks comfy and hasn't complained unless she's been in there for 2+ hours on the odd occasion. But honestly, who wouldn't get restless after sitting for 2 hours straight!
- Magnetic Peek-a-Boo Window - I rarely use this. Funny because before I bought the B-Ready, the magnetic window was a major selling point for me. I did NOT want to wake a sleeping baby with velcro or zippers or snaps. But Buha doesn't sleep in the stroller.The few times I used the peek-a-boo window this summer Buha was forward facing and I wanted to check to make sure the sun wasn't in her eyes and that the canopy was shading her legs enough so she wouldn't get sunburned. It's also netted so acts as a ventilator - it was nice to be able to let in some fresh breeze on super hot days. I still think it's a pretty cool feature even though I barely use it.
- Five-Point Harness - It's pretty standard, I think. It's never excited me or bothered her. Not much to say.Wait! There is something: You don't have to re-thread the harness to adjust it. In cooler weather, when Buha wears bulky clothing I want to give her a bit of breathing room, so I loosen the shoulder straps a bit. Conversely, this summer when she was wearing only a dress or T-shirt and shorts, I'd tighten the shoulder straps so she was secure. And then there's growth spurts — you'll need to adjust the straps yet again to accommodate a bigger baby! All of this strap adjusting can take its toll if you have to keep taking apart the back of the seat to re-thread. With the B-Ready, there's a little glider at the back that you simply slide up and down to adjust for strap height. It's a sweet deal. Hassle-free.
- Four Recline Positions - Buha has never been a stroller napper. I think she slept in the stroller once so I really haven't used the recline positions. Let me rephrase: I've used them but then have promptly returned the seat to its most upright position after Buha keeps straining her neck to sit up! She wants to see the world. Even when she's tired. Doesn't want to miss a thing. I guess I trained her to be a crib napper (vs. an on-the-go napper), what can I say?
- Brake - It's a "one-touch" system, operated by your foot. The red indicator shows when the brake is engaged and the green indicator tells you the brake's off. Pretty nifty.
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The Pros: Britax B-Ready
So yeah. I've sung the praises of this stroller and you've read my top 10 reasons for loving it, but there are two things they could definitely improve.
The Cons: Britax B-Ready
- Cup Holder - The cup holder that comes with the stroller is garbage. Its weight capacity is limited to 1 lb. It won't even hold your average, run-of-the-mill 500 mL (16.9 fl oz) water bottle, which weighs 1.1 lbs. This cup holder fell off almost immediately after I used it. Honestly.
- Snack Tray - Britax doesn't make a snack tray to fit the B-Ready. Really? The B-Ready is designed specifically to accommodate at least one older kid who will be snacking on the go, and there's no snack tray. Brutal.
UPPAbaby Vista snack tray
The only snack tray out there that apparently fits the Britax B-Ready is the UPPAbaby snack tray (for Vista and Cruz). But for real... Are we seriously paying $80 for a snack tray?
Britax does have a child's cup holder that can also be used for snacks. You have to remove the bumper bar and attach the cup holder, so your child will need to be secured with the straps (bumper bar isn't there when cup is attached).
Low-Priced Double Strollers
There are double strollers out there that won't break the bank, like these three from the 2014 Moms' Picks: best double strollers list:
- Baby Trend Sit N' Stand $130-$165 USD
- Graco Twin Ipo Classic Connect $190 USD
- Combi Twin Cosmo $220-$260 USD
But will these last til baby #2 comes along? Are they sturdy and will they trudge through Toronto winters and offer a comfortable and secure ride for my babies?
I wasn’t convinced.
These opinions are my own. Britax did not send me product in exchange for a review (just in case you were wondering).
Once baby #2 comes around I'll update to share how I feel about the Britax B-Ready as a double!
Oh, and "La Buha" means "The Owl" in Spanish.
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