Until recently, I thought all strollers were created basically equal: They get your kid from point A to point B but not without being cumbersome and unwieldy—and making you look a little too mommish in the process. (“Mommish” in the not-so-hot sense of the word. Think “mom jeans.”)
Clearly, I had never tried the Bumbleride Indie. It is the antithesis of all I thought a stroller had to be. It’s easy to maneuver, lightweight, sleek and (dare I say it?) hip to boot. Plus, putting it together was a breeze.
I’m not a big fan of user manuals, and even less of a fan of the tedious, step-by-step assembly directions that come in them. When I pulled the stroller out of the box in a few separate pieces, I was a little hesitant to begin the assembly process. Turns out, there was no need for my fear. With my husband and I tag-teaming it, the stroller was together in around fifteen minutes.
Once the stroller was ready to go, I saw firsthand what all the fuss was about. (I spent more than my fair share of time reading reviews before the stroller arrived.) When I first came across the Indie weeks before, I marveled at the hefty price tag, but once we put it to work, I marveled no more. This baby is worth every penny. Comparing the Indie to the traditional, clunky four-wheeled stroller is like comparing a Ford pickup truck to an Aston Martin: They both get you where you’re going, but how you feel getting there is a different story.
The Indie offers the same smooth ride for baby (and push for mom or dad) no matter the terrain. The stroller moved as easily over rough walking trails as neighborhood sidewalks thanks to the rear-suspension system. The maneuverability is just as impressive. I can steer the stroller with one hand and can turn the stroller on a dime thanks to the 360-degree swiveling front wheel. In fact, after assembling the stroller (more on that later), I watched my husband navigate the hairpin turns around the coffee table in our tiny apartment and was reminded of those new fancy car commercials (minus the hip music). Another great feature of the Indie is the size. It is lightweight enough for me to pick up with one arm when hoisting into the trunk and can be navigated through store aisles with plenty of room for passersby.
Adding to the laundry list of the Indie’s cool features is the adjustable handlebar and the massive sunshade that covers almost the entire seat when fully extended. (A mesh window allows your little one to take in the world around him while being protected from the sun’s rays.) Oh, and I can’t forget the under-the-seat storage basket that I know will come in hand during trips to the grocery store.
Of course, despite the Indie’s great assets, there are a few things I would change. For starters, the cup holder is conveniently placed but a little too shallow to hold my favorite water bottle securely in place. Too, collapsing the stroller was a little difficult for me (although my hubby had no problem with it), and I wish it could fold a bit flatter. Finally, although the solid, deep “ocean” blue color matches my diaper bag perfectly, having an option besides a solid would be those who want to jazz things up a bit. All in all, these things are a small price to pay considering the other perks.
And, with so many perks to be had, I’m happy that the Indie will be a part of our family for more than just a year. Before getting the Bumbleride, we had a travel system we picked up at a garage sale. It was functional, but only made to last through our little one’s first year. Not so with the Bumbleride. It can go from newborn to toddler with just a couple of simple adjustments.
With our baby in the newborn stages, we can attach our Graco car seat using the adapter bar, or simply recline the seat and let the infant headrest and straps keep him securely in place. Then, when our little guy is older, we can adjust the seat to a sitting position and add the padded bumper bar.
Oh, and there’s one final bonus I have to mention: With the Indie being around for the next years, I won’t have any excuse to avoid regular jogs around our neighborhood. Prebaby body, here I come!