I am a woman of many strollers. Some (like my husband) would call me ‘unsettled’, others (such as myself) would consider me a connoisseur of baby products. What can I say? I like to try things! The Bumbleride Indie is my current stroller of choice. Its one of those strollers that makes you go “ahh, someone did think of that”. The strollers offers a lot of great features and a lot to talk about so let’s get into it.
Handling: The Bumbleride Indie handles well, really well. It’s got the requisite single handle bar that makes pushing with one hand possible and stroller is so lightweight that it really is perfectly easy to push with one hand – even sharp turns are no issue. The stroller is more heavily weighted at the back, which makes it easy to pop the front wheel up to go up a curb or step. The 12″ air-inflated tires easily carry the stroller over any surface from snow and ice to grassy fields to bumpy cobblestone. The rear suspension and swivel or lock front wheel can easily take on any terrain – I’ve even pushed her through sand. The brakes are equally effortless. The quick-locking brake bar runs parallel to the rear axel and engages easily. The brakes render the back wheels completely immobile even on steep inlines. Pressing up to unlock the brakes does seem to take a little more umph – doable with flip flops but may chip you pedi.
Comfort: No doubt my kids are comfortable in this stroller. In fact, my nearly 2-year old falls asleep every day on our daily constitutional to pick the 4-year old up from school. I really like that the seat back has a full range of recline from pretty darn close to 90 degrees to down flat. My oldest liked to sit up straight virtually all the time. This made it virtually impossible to have the harness on in many other strollers because it would force her to sit back against the back that was slightly reclined. The adjustable footrest adds another well thought out measure of comfort because besides the normal down or extended positions, it also adjusts upward to box a smaller baby in by creating almost a bassinet space. The seat is comfortable while not overly padded so it’s still easy to clean. The canopy is massive and provides ample sun or rain/snow coverage. It even does a pretty good job at keeping M dry when I forget the rain cover (whoopsies!). The canopy glides easily open and closed, does not have fixed positions, and has never pinched a finger (do your kids love to play with the hood as much as mine do?). The stroller holds up to 45 lbs, so technically my 4-year old can still ride – and yes, it was just as easy to maneuver with the bigger kid inside.
Adjustments: I have mixed feeling about adjustments on the Bumbleride Indie. The one-hand release on the harness I like, the adjustments for the handlebar, footrest, and backrest I find a little bit tedious. Let me explain, The footrest and the handlebar both have two depression buttons that you have to press to move them. Once you’ve got a hand depressing each button you’re sort of out of hands for moving the thing to the desired position. I’ve always been able to make it work (hooray for opposable thumbs) but it’s not as effortless as some other brands. The back rest is also a tad irritating to adjust HOWEVER the complete range of positioning without any preset positions that you have to click into is well worth the trouble. The backrest has a strap and clasp system so to lower it you simply press the button on the clasp and pull it down the strap to the desired recline. To raise it, you press the clasp button and move the clasp up the straps to the desired place. Sounds easy but it’s a two-hand affair for sure and if you’re raising the seat rest, you’ll need the brake on unless you want to chase the stroller forward.
Folding: Folding the Bumbleride Indie is easy as pie. Pull up on the triggers on either side of the handlebar and fold forward to collapse the stroller over onto itself. I like that it folds with the fabric seat tucked inside so it stays clean. The Bumbleride Indie has a plastic locking mechanism at the bottom of the rear frame bar. It was stiff the first few times and took a couple of practice runs to get the hang of but once we got it we haven’t had any issues and it does it’s job of keeping the stroller closed. The stroller is quite compact when folded and can slim down even more by taking off the quick-release rear wheels. It easily fits in the trunks of our cars and on the floor in the coat closet in the house. Weighing in at only 20 lbs, it’s easy to lift in and out of the car or up the steps.
Storage: The Bumbleride Indie has an ample under-seat cargo area. I’m pretty happy with the size but it could be better attached. It attaches to the stroller frame by way of velcro straps that re sort of poorly sewn. Not long after purchasing it the sewing started to unravel so that while the velcro is still firmly attached to the frame, the basket is tearing away from the velcro. Easily fixed, but at close to $600, it could be more durable.
Accessories: With the exception of the just ok cup holder and the completely useless “shoulder pads” and infant headrest (we took them out), the Indie does not include any accessories in the purchase price. A plethora of nice accessories are available for purchase separately though. The car seat adapter, rain canopy, and snack tray/bumper bar are particularly worthwhile. The carry cot is well designed and would be useful for a summer babe (mine were not). The footmuff looks great but I find it’s no where near enough for our lovely Canadian winters and we passed on that, opting instead for the massively more substantial 7am Enfant Sac Igloo.
Summary: A sweet ride! The Bumbleride Indie offers great functionality, exceptional handling, and it looks great. It’s easy to fold and has one of the biggest hoods we’ve seen. At the price we wish it included some accessories (we’re not counting the flimsy shoulder pads and headrest) but all around it’s a great buy.