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Review: Bumbleride Flite

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Ask any geeky dad and he’ll tell you that he did a fair amount of research for their stroller and/or car seat. That’s just the way our type work, partly because there are so many sweet stroller and car seats out there. With that in mind I present to you the 2010 Bumbleride Flite. But first, some justification.

Yup, this is a stroller review and remember, no one is making you read it. You see, I jumped at the chance to review the latest Bumbleride stroller because, well, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I spent a lot of time obsessing over strollers a few years back. Say what you will, but modern strollers are a sort of gadget these days with so many bells and whistles, and when I learned that we were pregnant with our first child, I went about shopping for our main stroller, car seats, and bike trailer just like any other gadget. I visited manufacturer’s websites, fan boards, read reviews on Amazon, and even took road trips to the various high-end boutiques around Michigan trying out specialty strollers and trailers. I’m a tad obsessive about my purchases. Let’s move on.

Pros

  • Sturdy
  • Great looking
  • Seemingly comfortable
  • Compatible with many infant car seats

Cons

  • Could use a bit more storage
  • High learning curve on folding mechanism

The Bumbleride Flite nails my three main stroller requirements: durability, function, and looks. It’s simply a great stroller with just a few little design quirks but the important qualities are covered.

It’s important to note that this is a $249 lightweight stroller. The only thing smaller than it is a $15 Babies-R-Us umbrella stroller so my expectations were high going into this review. There’s actually a market for this type of stroller, though, and the Bumbleride Flite is going after the same market that Maclaren has long dominated with similarly-priced buggies. However, having spent a good amount of time with both, I must say the Flite offers a lot more for the money.

What I like about the Flite is that it feels sturdy. The tubular construction is solid and reassuring. There’s none of that cheap-feeling square aluminum here. When it’s fully deployed, the Flite feels as solid as a full-size stroller. Major bonus points in my book.

This theme carries over to almost every part of the stroller. The canopy is sturdy, the wheels solid, and even the seat seems like it will last forever — or at least until my kids stain it to the point of embarrassment.

But then there’s the comfort-level, too. Both my three-year old boy and 10-month girl can ride with no issues. Of course the smaller wheel base found on these types of strollers make pushing the youngest a bit easier. The Flite even comes with an infant pad insert that that provides a bit of head support.

Only the available storage and the folding mechanize are the two areas that could be improved. There isn’t much storage, only a hard-to-access under-seat canopy and then a small pocket on the rear. There could easily be a larger, hanging pocket off the handlebars.

The folding processes isn’t great, either, although it’s better than some others in the same class. It requires users to pull up on two tabs located by the handlebars while simultaneously pushing the control bars forward and in. It’s certainly not intuitive and requires a bit of practices.

Overall though, I’ve really enjoyed the Flite. My wife loves the spice color scheme and I’ve enjoyed pushing around the smaller frame rather than our large three-wheeler. Is it worth $249? Well, it offers a lot of superior qualities over other expensive strollers, so if you can justify the cost anyway, I’d highly recommend you track a Flite down at a boutique shop and at least check it out before opting for the trendy English alternative.

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