In the sometimes overwhelming world of baby gear options, the Britax name has, for me, often represented high quality products that emphasize safety as well as practicality. The new B-Agile Double stroller meets the standard that I have come to expect from Britax. It is attractive in its simple elegance, sturdy and safe without being unnecessarily bulky, and appears built to last. When my husband and I learned that we were expecting twins, we considered many different stroller options and though it is clear that no existing model will ever meet every need, here’s what we’ve experienced with the B-Agile.
The best feature of the stroller is its superb ease of handling. In my husband’s words, “it drives like a Lexus!” You truly can steer it with one hand, and I have navigated narrow hallways and sharp angles without the kind of struggle that other models require, thanks to the swiveling plastic wheels (which can also be locked into a fixed position). The promotional materials brag that the stroller’s design allows it to fit through standard doors. I found this true, but only if the stroller is facing perfectly forward. The wheels lock easily with the single foot brake, and the stroller is both lightweight and strong enough to handle curbs without much effort. The user’s manual is concise and easy to follow, and the limited assembly required (snapping on wheels and canopies) is straightforward.
Another strength of the stroller is its intuitive design. I did not have a manual with me when I first received the stroller, and was able to manipulate its numerous features with relative ease. Closing the stroller is quite easy (two straps on the seats instruct you to pull up and the stroller folds and locks automatically). However, the same automatic chassis lock that is so helpful when folding the stroller makes unfolding it more cumbersome. More often than not, I have had to repeatedly bend over to unlock it when it has re-locked itself before I could yank the stroller open. As with any double stroller, the B-Agile occupies a fair amount of space when folded. It fits easily into our minivan trunk, but does not stand well when folded, which makes storage at home (and propping it up outside the car while loading) more difficult.
According to the user’s guide, the stroller is appropriate for children from newborn to 50 pounds. The seats provide ample room for babies and toddlers. Our 3-year-old hopped into the seat immediately and wanted to go for a ride, and she has not been in a stroller in over a year! The B-Agile is one of the few (to my knowledge) double strollers that can actually accommodate newborns in both of the fully-reclining seats. The manual suggests that it is best to wait until your child(ren) have head and neck control, but my 2-month-old was perfectly safe and comfortable during multiple rides in the stroller. There are head pads that help to provide extra comfort for newborns, and the straps are some of the easiest adjusting and buckling harnesses that I have used. The large canopies and peek-a-boo windows (with removable covers) allow for both ample protection from the elements, as well as, good visibility and airflow. You can click one car seat into the left seat of the stroller using the adapters (included). So unfortunately, if both my twins are asleep in their car seats and I don’t want to wake them, this stroller is not my best option. I usually opt for the car-seat ready frame on those occasions and use the B-Agile when one or both boys are awake. I prefer using the B-Agile, as it is hands down much easier to maneuver.
The below-the-seat storage is easy to access from the front zippered “doors,” but it is much harder to remove items from behind. I had a hard time taking my toddler’s soccer ball or her lunch bag out from behind and had to adjust to moving to the front of the stroller to retrieve what I had placed underneath.
Unfortunately, though many of the cloth pieces can be removed from the stroller frame, they are not (according to the user’s guide) machine washable. The canvas should be wiped clean with a cloth and mild soap.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that the stroller’s comfortable (and height-adjustable) handlebars do not include a cup holder for parent or child. Cup holders, snack trays, and storage “organizers” are sold separately which is something you will want to consider with the overall price of the stroller.
Overall, however, the B-Agile is a smooth, sturdy, and relatively compact double stroller that offers comfort and flexibility to moms of multiples.
To buy: toysrus.com