Best-known for its well-made car seats, Britax launched a stroller line back in 2005 to expand its baby gear empire.
The models. Britax offers two stroller models: the full-size B-Ready and the more compact B-Agile (both in single and double versions)
The B-Ready G3 ($500, 28.1 lbs.; pictured) is Britax’s flagship stroller, a multi-function design that works with an optional bassinet and second seat. It has 12 different configurations, much like the Baby Jogger Select and UPPAbaby Vista.
Out of the box, the stroller will work with Britax’s infant car seats (a separate $40 adapter is needed for Graco and Chicco seats). The B-Ready features a seat that reverses to face forward or rear, full tire suspension with foam filled rubber wheels, large storage basket and full seat recline.
Got two kids? A second seat ($170) transforms the B-Ready G3 into a double stroller.
The most recent version of the B-Ready, dubbed G3 (which debuted in 2018) is just a fashion refresh of the 2017 G2 version—with one exception. A new deluxe version called the B-Ready Nanotex adds an expandable canopy, adult cup holder, child tray and rain cover for $599 (or $799 with the second seat included). The Nanotex is only available at independent baby stores that are part of the Brixy network.
The B-Lively (20 lbs, $239.99) is Britax’s entry in the three wheel/quick fold stroller market dominated by the Baby Jogger City Mini. This stroller was first known as the B-Agile, but subsequently was rebadged as the B-Livey with a few new features: a squared off frame and canopy, recessed foot rest, zippered pocket on the back of the canopy and breathable, ventilated canopy with peekaboo window. The B-Lively accommodates kids up to 55 lbs.
The B-Lively has an one-hand fold, Click & Go car seat attachment, all-wheel suspension and infinite recline.
What if you don’t care for the three-wheel style of the B-Lively? The Britax Pathway is a lightweight stroller (20 lbs.; accommodates kids up to 55 lbs.) with four wheels like a traditional stroller.
It comes with a one-handed quick fold and has the Click & Go adapters, so you can attach a Britax infant seat for a travel system. In addition, it has a full recline, large storage basket, expansive UV 50+ canopy and zippered pocket. The Pathway is a four-wheel design which they say “gives baby a smooth and steady ride.” The stroller sells for $169.99.
A recent addition to the Britax line-up is the B-Free ($379.99, 22.4 lbs), a tri-wheel stroller that is an upgraded version of the B-Lively (with which it shares a similar fold). The B-Free improves on the B-Lively with more storage (seven (!) pockets), expandable canopy, height adjustable handle and fully reclining seat.
While the B-Free does have a lockable front wheel, it isn’t really designed for running and is probably more at home in the city or the mall.
As for looks, the B-Free is either all black (BuyBuyBaby has an exclusive all black model paired with a Britax infant car seat as a travel system for $600) or black with small color pops (see right).
So if you are in the market for a three-wheel stroller, should you spring for the B-Free or save $100 and just get the B-Lively? Well, we think for most folks, the B-Lively is an excellent stroller with a good quality track record (the B-Free is new as of this writing).
We could see a few folks opting for the B-Free upgrade however—if you live in an urban walkabout environment, then the extra storage pockets, extendable canopy and upgraded wheels may make the extra $100 worth it.
New in the past year, the Britax B-Mobile ($160, 16.2 lbs), a lightweight four wheel stroller that features a near-flat seat recline. Impressively, the B-Mobile can be paired with a Britax infant car seat . . . most compact folding lightweight strollers aren’t infant car seat compatible. The B-Mobile features a black stroller base with contrasting color hoods. Example:
The B-Mobile was too new as of press time to get much reader feedback.
Our view. After struggling in the stroller category with several product stumbles, Britax has scored success with the current model lineup.
We liked the B-Ready’s ability to morph into different configurations—many more than the comparable UPPABaby Vista (which notably, runs $350 more than the B-Ready). And you can fold the B-Ready with the second (toddler) seat attached—that’s something the competition can’t do.
Critics, however, knock the B-Ready’s overall bulk and weight (about two pounds heavier than the comparable Vista). To Britax’s credit, however, they have made small tweaks to improve the B-Ready (example: new rubber wheels replaced the previous foam versions).
So we have the function and value, but what about style? That’s probably Britax’s weakness . . . and we aren’t just talking about the B-Ready’s paint-by-number fabric color choices. Britax strollers lack a certain je ne sais quoi when compared with Baby Jogger (see: Quick Fold, definition of) and UPPA. And when you are trying to sell a $500 stroller like the B-Ready, you need some zing. (The 2016 B-Ready may address some of the latter criticism).
On a more positive note, the Britax B-Live gets good marks on quality. The price makes it a good deal. Parents like the smooth glide, large canopy and easy to adjust harness. We recommend the B-Lively as a credible alternative to the Baby Jogger City Mini. The most recent revision adds some needed improvements, including that larger storage basket.
Bottom line: we recommend the Britax B-Ready and B-Lively. The B-Ready in particular is a credible and affordable alternative to the Uppa Baby Vista; and the B-Lively is a good bet compared to the Baby Jogger City Mini. Baby Bargains Resale Rank: Excellent. Rating: A-