Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BOB SUS v Jeep Overland Jogger

I don't like to shop. I don't just not like shopping - I detest shopping. I avoid it at all costs because I think it is, generally speaking, a waste of time and money.

There is one notable exception to my shopping aversion: Baby Stuff! I don't just like baby stuff - I love baby stuff. My house is like a baby store full of cloth diapers, bottles (well, when I was trying to get him to take one anyway) & sippy cups, feeding stuff, spit-up pads (I had a major puker!), baby carriers, and strollers.

I have one child. At the most, I might end up blessed with two children. I have enough baby stuff for a passel of children. I haven't made poor purchases; I have found that different baby gear works best at different times and ages.

I purchased a used BOB Sport Utility Stroller today. The price was excellent ($65!), but I already have a jogging stroller that I love. Well, make that loved. My son is tall and his height has become somewhat problematic with the Jeep Overland Limited Jogging Stroller, which I have used for nearly two years. So I bought the BOB SUS and took it for a walk/jog this afternoon.

The BOB Sport Utility Stroller v the Jeep Overland Limited Jogger:Both strollers are great joggers that can easily handle a variety of terrain. Both have nice suspension and thick, knobby, inflatable tires. Both are heavy. Both are traditional joggers with fixed front wheels for stability and neither are really the best choice to take on a shopping excursion.

Things I like better about the BOB:The BOB isn't as long as the Jeep, meaning that it is somewhat more maneuverable. Of course, both are big sonsofguns and neither can be remotely described as nimble. As one could expect, the BOB folds much smaller than the Jeep too. The BOB has a taller and wider seat area for the little passenger. The harness buckles are very user friendly and a snap to use. No child tray to hassle with means that it is easy to put your kiddo in or take him out. The smooth foam covering the handlebar is so easy on the hands.

The BOB has a much better suspension, at least a few inches of play, and it easily handled off-roading. My kid was comfortable and the BOB was easy to push over very rough terrain. The wheels are taller, thicker, and more rugged than the ones on the Jeep. The alignment is fantastic and it rolls in a straight line! The canopy easily rotates so that you can shield your little one from the sun whether you're heading due East or due West.

I have mixed feelings about the wrist strap being attached to the rear axle. I realize it is safer because you won't tip the stroller backwards should you fall. However, I had to move it away from my feet several times to avoid getting tripped up on it.

Things I don't like about the BOB: There are no parent cupholders!!!!! This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is important and it really is irritating. For storage, it has a small & shallow basket and a mesh bag behind the seat - that is it. I realize that you probably don't need the whole diaper bag when you're going for a jog or a stroll to the park, but it's nice to have storage space whether or not you need it. Also, the handlebar doesn't jut out far enough for my stride and I have to remember to watch my steps or I end up kicking the back tires. There are no reflectors on the stroller at all - not even on the tires. The handbrake isn't very responsive and I can't figure out how to set the parking brake.

Things I like better about the Jeep:The Jeep has an adjustable handlebar, meaning that it is comfortable for my husband (6'2") and for me (5'6") to use. The handlebar also sticks out several inches further and it saves me from kicking the back wheels when I'm zoned out. The Jeep has plentiful storage. Really, it is lousy with pockets and places to stash your stuff. It has the largest basket that I've ever seen on a jogger, very deep. It has three cupholders (two for the jogger & one for the passenger) that are easily accessible. It has a music on the go feature, which is basically built in speakers for your CD-player, radio, or MP3 player. I've actually never used this feature, but the hard case for carrying your electronics is handy to keep pepper spray, keys, cell phone, & lip balm at hand.

Things I don't like about the Jeep: The handlebar is covered with a bumpy grip that hurts my hand after about 20 minutes. The passenger tray is fixed and doesn't move, making it difficult to put a long-legged toddler in the seat. The harness buckles have pinched my fingers nearly every single time I've used the stroller - and I've used the thing for nearly two years. Though there are several cupholders, they only fit small vending-sized water bottles so I've always stashed my water in one of the plentiful pockets. The canopy is bigger than the one on the BOB, but I don't find it as useful. I've never been able to get the alignment right and I always have to overcompensate for the pull.

I liked the Jeep better when my son was younger & shorter. The storage options allowed me to securely bring everything I could possibly need while we were exploring the great outdoors - diaper bag, blanket, lunch, drinks, etc. Now that my son is so tall, I prefer the BOB. He still has several inches before he outgrows the seat height and I expect to get at least a year or more of use.

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