Britax B-Agile Stroller review

Britax B-Agile Stroller (black)They see me Strollin’

The Britax B-Agile Stroller (2012/2013 edition, for 2014 see 3/5/14 entry) is a fairly lightweight easily-compactable stroller that my wife and I received from some very generous co-workers.

Before I begin, thanks to all the people linking to us on this review. We’ve used the referral traffic to buy Maggie a toy or two (we’re small time).

As a note, the stroller has been recalled as of January 2014. Please check out this post if you haven’t already.

Updated 5/31/2016 (see bottom) (I’ll keep updating as long as people keep reading and I keep using it) we also have a full website full of randomness – I just mention this because this old review gets more views a day than the rest of the daily updated website. This review has been going on for two years now.

Britax B-Agile Stroller features

The Britax B-Agile Stroller has a 5-point safety locking harness, an adjustable padded supportive seat, and is compatible with purchase of an adaptor with most major infant car seat manufacturer’s products so you can snap a car seat in there without having to unhook and rehook your baby.

Britax B-Agile Stroller, adaptor, and Graco car seat
Britax B-Agile Stroller, adaptor, and Graco car seat

As it stands right now, I’ve only used the Britax B-Agile Stroller with the carseat adapter and my carseat, so the review is mostly limited in scope to what I’ve run across so far.

The Britax B-Agile Stroller in use

I’m not a terribly tall man, I come in at 5’11” and have shorter than average legs, so I shouldn’t feel like I’m overwhelming this stroller, but I feel like it’s always just out of reach. I’m also always kicking it or attempting to walk beside it because it’s just not quite the right fit for me.

The triangular design of the wheel placement means that hitting a curb at the perfect angle will send the entire thing tipping. I had that happen to me today and was not particularly pleased. Learn from my fail – hit curbs dead on and this will never be a problem.

The ride is remarkably smooth, I’m not entirely sure how it is so smooth, but going over what should be a jolty surface barely seems to translate into the car seat area. We drove it over rocks and a little bit of trail today and the ride was amazing.

I found that the rear-wheel placement always felt like they were 2-3 inches too far out making walking beside the stroller uncomfortable and snaring chairs when I went into a restaurant.

Britax B-Agile Stroller transform!

The stroller folds down into a fairly small-footprint for traveling in a trunk or backseat. Pressing a button on the side and pulling the strap that’s indicated to pull you can collapse the thing in about a second and a half.

Should be noted that although there is text indicating to pull the strap, that without pressing the button on the side that has no text you will not succeed in doing anything except lifting the stroller off of the ground. Press button, hold, pull strap.

After the thing is collapsed, it will lock with a little latch on the side. To open the stroller back up, just flip the plastic latch and things should open right back. They claim it has a one hand quick-fold, but evidently I’m not capable of this one-handed feat. Update: it does, the button just wasn’t sticking and holding when I initially hit it.

See The Britax B-Agile Stroller in action

Wrap-up

Handles are a little too low if you’re 5’11. It’s a little wide. If you’ve got a different car seat you’ll need to purchase a small piece of metal for $40 to make your non-Britax car seat work in it (it’s seriously like $2 worth of labor and shipping,) as a medium sized man I feel the thing’s got an oddly large feeling footprint for something that’s too small.

If you entertain dreams of using this as a jogging stroller, crush those dreams right now.

The Britax B-Agile Stroller is available from Amazon for $184.99.

Updates 6/20/13

After ten weeks of use, the wheels are beginning to show some wear. Were I to guess I’d say they look to be about 1/4th worn down.

You’ve got to be very careful closing the thing or you can get your finger stuck in a closing vice. Yeah. Not a pleasant thing.

The shortness of the thing has started to wear on me and I’m looking for some handlebars to attach.

6/27/13

Notice a white chalky substance forming on the handles… it’s dried up sweat. Also appears to be milk stains on the base which reminds me to mention that if you have the cupholder addition (strongly advised) you make sure to remove bottles from it.

7/1/13

just a pic of the tires – showing some wear at 11 weeks of use

Britax B-Agile Stroller tire wear at 11 weeks and moderate usage

 

Starting to lose definition of the tire bumps which in theory means you can slide a bit easier… but no noticeable effect.

One of the wheels has started squeaking. Will know more on that when I get a chance to look at it. Only seems to squeak at very slow speeds.

7/22/13

Squeak disappeared, not had a lot of use lately except for one day when I had to push Maggie up a hill and then off-road at an angle up a hill. This thing is heavy when going at a constant incline, it also feels like it would tip if you’re on a steep incline, but it didn’t.

Then again, I’m using a car seat adapter in it and my center of balance is quite a bit higher than it’s built for.

Have managed to capture my hands while opening the thing twice now, only once did I hurt ’em. Not sure what needs to be done, but beware holding near the car seat mount area while opening the thing up.

7/24/13

Britax B-Agile Stroller wheels at 3 monthsHave found using the combo of a Graco car seat and a Britax adapter that it is entirely possible to hear the click of the car seat without it properly latching. I learned this as I had to descend a sidewalk and while holding the car seat to stabalize it unsnapped halfway… I don’t know how to describe properly the sense of “oh holy crap” that happened.

Wheels are still smooth, but not much worse for wear – although mostly have been on carpet.. probably only 10 more miles added to the tires on land.

Right wheel has a definite squeak at certain speeds.

7/27/13

After having my hand crushed twice while attempting to one-arm the baby stroller open, let me show you where to NOT hold the Britax Stroller when you’re opening it up:

2013-07-27 11.53.59 2013-07-27 11.53.49

 

The pictures above show the best grip point when holding, and the worst grip point when expanding. They’re the same. I learned my lesson after the second finger-in-vise episode. This is most likely not an issue if you’re not holding a baby in one arm and attempting to assemble the stroller using the other.

(left) fingers being squished, (right) best grip location.

8/12/13

At about four months I have reached the point where I can one-hand everything to do with this stroller. After playing with other strollers I am not a fan of the wheels on this one for my uses. Your uses may vary, mine involve outdoors all terrain mostly.

The wheels are absolutely perfect for stores, malls, places where the sidewalk was not constructed in 1961 and then abandoned to weeds. Unfortunately I don’t really travel these areas too much.

The base is absolutely too wide for a baby stroller, however for a toddler stroller that’s different. My writings above were based on baby stroller width. Eh, my bad… still, it’s a heap’n hunk of wide-load for a new parent.

Wheel still squeaks occasionally, seems it’s only squeaky at certain speeds. Still looking for something to raise the handle bars up a bit so I don’t have to hunch over or keep kicking it as I’m walking. 5’11.5 is just a little taller than this was made to fit.

8/19/13 first use without carseat adapter

As mentioned before, I’ve been using this with a Britax universal adapter and a Graco Snugride 32 car seat. While Maggie is not of the age to be sitting unaided in the stroller, she fits now so we went on a leisurely walk close to the house and man what a difference.

The thing is no longer badly balanced. With Maggie in the carseat and perched so high getting up and down sidewalks was an event. Now it’s just pop the wheels up and go… no danger of baby tipping over.

Without the carseat I really had no tipping concerns… I mentioned above that you can hit a curb at an angle and tip… I’m assuming that’s still possible, but the balance is so much nicer now. The ability to pop baby up into sitting position or lay her down to take a nap also added to the features making this a much nicer ride.

So – to be clear here – this really works well as a stroller, I do not think it works so well as a car-seat base. The carseat just rides too high and screws with the balance. I very much dig the idea of it, but the carseat really feels like it needs to be about 7 inches lower. I can’t describe the difference in ride with baby where baby’s designed to be.

On other things, wheel stopped squeaking, tires show a little more wear at four months walking on sidewalks and a little off-roading, but not terrible, and I have learned black stroller gets super hot in sun.

9/12/13 the Britax B-Agile as a pack mule

Britax B-Agile holding a lot of stuffSome things I’ve noticed lately are that when we go anywhere the underside storage on the B-Agile is simply not enough for more than baby stuff. As such we’ve discovered that the B-Agile can handle having several items slapped onto the handle bars.

The max I believe we’ve ever had (baby included) with this thing was two low-profile lawn chairs, baby bag, purse, two phones, drinks (down low,) toys and formula (under car seat/adapter) and food. Basically the thing became a giant shopping cart with what you can hang off of it.

Unfortunately, with all that you do lose some stability, especially when you take baby weight off the front of it. But then again, it’s not really supposed to do this I’m assuming.

Attached is a pic of Baby M riding with just a daddy bag weighing about 13 pounds hanging off the back. Under/behind the Graco car seat there’s a 32 oz baby formula can, a couple of towels, a tablet, and some work I had to bring home.

10/3/13 Baby M fits now

Baby M’s in a stage now where she seems to fit properly into the B-Agile, and she also is fitting in the Graco car seat whenever I need that. So she had her first stroll in the rain yesterday. It wasn’t particularly bad rain, it was just misting fitzing.

After a while of seeing that the rain was not going to leave her feet alone I popped an umbrella, and then finally decided to turn the stroller around and drag it backwards as the misting was not letting up on her piggies.

I’ve had a chance to play with some other strollers, I’m pretty sure most of my beef with this one can be solved by some handlebar extensions.

I tried a little later to change the angle of the seat, that’s a little bit difficult with a baby laying in it but doable. I’ll try again when it’s not misting mode and see if it’s any easier.

10/12/13 the state of the wheels/stroller

Britax B-Agile stroller wheel at 6 months Britax B-Agile front stroller wheels at 6 months

You can click to expand these pictures. Rear wheels (first pic) you can see are getting pitted, the divots are worn a bit. The wheels seem a little louder than they used to on sidewalk. The front wheels just look bad. The side wall has lines in it like a lot of weight was put on them

Other than the wheels still occasionally deciding to squeak and the handle grip starting to show some wear, not a terrible lot going on with the thing.

10/28/13 gravel is not our friend

Took Maggie to Honeysuckle Hill Farms this weekend to get some photos of her and pumpkins, but also just because I kind of dig these sorts of things.

They’ve got a large amount of the area with grey filler gravel, which is fine to walk on but with 17 pounds of baby and about 10 pounds of stroller+random stuff in the bottom it ended up sinking the stroller.

I ended up popping a wheely for most of the loose gravel areas as the front wheels tended to plow straight on in.

Also, an ear of corn can bring this to its knees… but I wouldn’t expect it to handle that with such small tires. So, not particularly great for rough-terrain off-roading, but did get the job done with only two dead stops, neither of which bothered Maggie.

11/5/13 the photo is finally ready

Paul behind the Britax B-Agile StrollerI promised in the comments I would attempt to get a photo of what a nearly six foot man looks like behind the Britax B-Agile stroller. Finally after months I managed to get this…

So you understand what you’re seeing – this is Maggie in her Graco carseat facing forward on the Britax B-Agile stroller universal adapter.

I’m standing directly behind the stroller, perhaps and inch or two with feet basically on the wheels. Basically I had drawn the stroller back for the photo, this is not how I’d walk as the thing’s almost on my foot.

Based on what I can figure out from my arm, I have roughly three inches of extension here, which at that angle gives me about eight inches with arms extended from front of feet to back of wheel.

Basically I’ve determined I’d be happy with about four more inches of distance and two to five of height.

For quick comparison – I’m 5 feet 11.5 inches tall. In shoes with about a quarter inch sole. My belly button is above the handle.

11/18/2013 Four inches too short

I decided to figure out exactly where my feet landed today while pushing the empty stroller (friend was holding the baby.) With arms comfortable and with my standard gait, my feet naturally had the inclination to be past the wheel hub.

This leads me to kicking the tires or whatever’s in the bottom basket if I’m walking and not thinking about my stride.

Unfortunately this means for me I have to keep my arms totally extended in order to walk naturally, which ends up bugging my shoulders. If I relax my arms I shuffle along fine. I’d be able to walk perfectly if the handles came back four more inches I think.

Stroller still holding up, wheels feeling softer and rubbery now and showing seam. Also looking worn hard. Squeaking has been gone for a while now.

12/11/13 this is not a snow stroller

The long and short of it is this doesn’t plow through snow or crushed gravel too particularly well. Small wheels = dig.

12/22/13 Hey Southwest Airlines, don’t strand parents without this

Southwest stranded us in three airports without the stroller. You have no idea how much I appreciate this thing after having to haul a very annoyed baby around airports in four states. Yeah four, checked it in state one, and after re-routing in state four finally got it back.

Always pack a chest burster in carry on is what I learned. Otherwise you’re going to walk a couple of miles carrying a sweaty infant.

12/30/13 it can handle a 40 pound kid assault

At Zoo Lights in Oregon a child of a friend of ours jumped into the seat without any modifications from baby mode. Worked fine. Worked surprisingly fine actually. We interchanged between our 20 pound infant and the four-year-old without any adjustments needed.

Only thing that happened was due to us still having the car seat adapter struts in, there was a shirt that got stuck for a second. Not a biggie. We didn’t have the car seat with us so there was no adapter in, just the struts.

1/2/14 the handle’s getting worn

Britax B-Agile Stroller handle starting to wear
Click to embiggen

At this point we’re almost nine months in, the handle foam has started showing little cracks and minute tears throughout the thing. Mostly it’s not where my hands go, nor where anything puts any stress on the thing, so I’m a bit confused as to these.

There’s a chance that the damage came from the airline, but the thing seemed pretty untouched afterwards. My best bet is the heat and cooling of the car it’s stored in are contributing factors, but who knows.

It looks more like stretch tears. Can’t feel ’em, nor do they hamper use.

1/27/14 the problems walking

Just a quick video of exactly what I’ve been talking about with the handlebars being too short. Shows you where my feet land naturally while walking behind the stroller. Arms at close to full extension.

This stroller would be much better if I was about 5″5, with slightly longer arms.

1/30/14 Stroller recall

The stroller has been recalled for partial fingertip amputation hazard. The recall involves some parts you can stick on that will keep your fingers from getting destroyed.

You can read detail here.

3/5/2014 New 2014 model, same ol’ same ol

Britax B-Agile Stroller 2012 vs Britax B-Agile 2014 Stroller
Click to embiggen

The 2014 version is out, it’s called the Britax 2014 B-Agile stroller on Amazon. Functionally it’s the same, cosmetically a bit different. Also supposedly not affected by the recall of the previous versions.

Here’s a link to it and a picture of it next to the 2012/2013 version so you can compare. Click the picture to go to see it on Amazon. Clicking and buying from that will earn us the huge blogger dollars, so feel free to remove the link embed code &tag=tib06=20 should you feel this review wasn’t worth referral money.

 

Going by the reviews and what you can see above, there’s no functional differences, the things that were affected by the recall have been fixed in this model, the frame has been exposed a bit in front, and the canopy is slightly different.

I’m not sure the wheels are different even though they look like it as my wheels looked more like the ones on the right than on the left.

4/11/14 handle foam damage

The foam on the handle seems to have got some damage on the side. At one year of use the handle, some squeaky wheels that settled down, and the potential for finger amputation, the stroller has held up pretty well.

I’ll get a picture of it, but it’s just split. Damage occurred most likely in a trunk.

4/30/14 30 inches of baby dislike this

Something Maggie’s been annoyed at recently is the lack of ability to see out the sides. She’s also constantly trying to sit straight up to get a better view of the world.

In short, at 30 inches she’s not particularly fond of this as a seating choice.

I’m also less than enthused about the prospect of adjusting the seat recline position every time I do it. It’s a pain with a baby on the other side. It’s also annoying I can’t get it to sit straight up and down. I’m sure that’s for safety, but it bugs the baby, who wants to see the world.

5/30/14 seat adjustment woes

When I initially started this review I was mostly using this with a car seat. We’ve since transitioned and with longer times in the seat, Maggie requests to be up or reclined a couple of times on an average stroll.

I do not like the seat adjustment. I don’t even know how to properly describe it, but it’s two straps and an adjustable cube. To make the seat go up, you press and hold a release on the cube with one hand, push and hold the seat into an upright position with your other, then pull each one of the straps through with your other hand.

Yup, that’s too many hands. I’ve substituted a head to push the seat into position, which is very difficult when you have a baby’s weight on it.

It’s easy enough to adjust if you flip the stroller sideways, but not particularly a dream in action.

6/9/14 what a 14 month old in the stroller might look like

A couple of days before she hits 14 months, 90-95th percentile for height

6/18/14 The removal of the car seat adapters buckles

We received the stroller as a gift, and said gift came with car seat adapters installed by the gifters. We haven’t used the car seat adapter for some time, but the little buckle things on the stroller have remained.

The other day I went to look at them figuring it would be a struggle to remove, I was wrong. You can remove and stick the adapters back in one-handed and do it right.

Britax B-Agile Stroller car-seat adapterBritax B-Agile Stroller car-seat adapterBritax B-Agile Stroller car-seat adapterBritax B-Agile Stroller car-seat adapter

 

Congrats to Britax on that – those adapters are really well done. I’d been preparing for yet another long and complicated baby project for nothing.

Oh yeah, if anyone wants to purchase those or a hunk of metal that makes the Graco baby seats work it it, drop me a line.

6/30/14 I’m validated by other parents

As I was strolling in Shopryland the other day Maggie was struggling to sit up so she could see the world (you can look up about a page to 30 inches of baby dislike this,) and we passed another stroller/parent combo and overheard “look, she’s struggling to lean forward too.”

Today I was also at Shopryland for a bit to deliver the stroller to ITMama due to accidentally leaving the stroller in my car, saw another kid leaning forward as best as he could…

Maggie’s pulled so hard she loosened the restraints over the last few uses… either that or she’s lost size, and I don’t think she has.

8/21/14 heavier baby tripod tipover time

Maggie’s gotten a bit larger these days and wants to see the world. As such she keeps leaning forward and there doesn’t seem to be anything built into the back of the stroller to keep her from pulling the entire thing forward, so even if the seat back is set to down she’s able to lift the seatback and her to a sitting position.

What this now means is that if the front tips down (such as going down a stair step,) she goes forward into the restraints and the seatback is pulled straight forward.

This happened twice (Nashville doesn’t invest in sidewalks except where they won’t be used, there are some dropoffs) and both times I was suddenly aware that a tripod shape with a high shifting center of gravity is not ideal. Nothing happened, baby didn’t fall out, baby didn’t even almost fall out, but I did have to wrestle to keep the wheels on the ground as she jerked to see what was going on and threw the balance off.

The range of movement allowed a fairly strong baby is where the problems seem to lay for me. I’m going to tinker with the thing and see if there’s any way I can lock the back of the seat so she can’t throw herself forward or backward at the exact instant I’m trying to navigate South Nashville’s obstacle course sidewalks.

Baby ~25 pounds with 4-6 inches of wiggle room + downward angle + tripod setup = eek.

Still, been pretty happy with this stroller.

11/18/14 19 months in and still chugging

Not been using this as much lately as Maggie demands being carried or walking, but broke this out the other day on a long walk as there was no way to direct her in the right direction. At 19 months Maggie is determined that if it has wheels she’ll be the one pushing it, and the B-Agile doesn’t allow for that very well at her current height.

The wheels look a bit pitted, but they don’t squeak any more and the ride is still smooth.

I guess with the added weight of the baby I’ve started realizing that the stroller is a bit heavier than I’d like it to be. But that is more of one of those straws breaking the camel’s back sort of things as it’s stroller+26 pounds or so.

Were I to do it again with this stroller, I’d have gotten the handlebar extenders, but at this point with the amount we’re using it it’s fine as it is.

Tried it out as a jogging stroller for about a block (my slow jig jogging pace). Don’t try it. Center of gravity on a turn is too high. It’s not designed to be a jogging stroller, it’s not built like one, it just isn’t one. If you want to try it out as one, slap a watermellon in there and go for it.

3/16/15 Spring weather and breaking out the stroller

Got the stroller out for the first time in a while. Went to take the 23-month old out for a spin at the Nashville Zoo. I don’t think we’ve used the stroller since last year as Maggie either wanted to ride on shoulders or walk. This time we broke out the stroller and she indicated she wanted in immediately.

This is where I noticed that little ledge directly above the front wheels is remarkably useful for a toddler her size to knee-up and climb into the seat, which she did many times.

I’m not entirely sure that the restraints are set right now. They look like they are but Maggie will remove the shoulder portions while I’m not looking. She’ll still be strapped in with the lap belt, but it seems like something she’s into.

The weight of the stroller, which seems so light in comparison to the toddler plus the toddler suddenly hit yesterday. Then again, that might be because we’ve all been confined to the house for what feels like months. But there was some significant umph pushing around Maggie yesterday.

Everything’s still holding up 23 months in.

5/7/15 The stroller is giving Maggie an ab workout

Maggie sitting forward
Sitting forward you can see she’s pulled the back a good foot forward

Although Maggie will lay back and be strolled for a few minutes, at two years and a month she’s now wanting to see the world… everything in it. And she can’t do that with the obscured side views so she has to sit up.

We went on a couple of mile walk last night and the grunts from her sitting up to look around were fairly amusing. Buckled into the unit, she pulls the backing forward with her. It’s not a pleasant way for her to ride until she gives up trying to see the world.

The stroller and her have reached the point where they’re heavy. When I am holding her in one arm and attempting to unfold the stroller in the other, it’s a haul.

The only thing really feeling degraded at two years out is the handle foam feels the slightest bit crunchy. Nothing major, just I think that in the next year the handle foam will need to be replaced. That or it’s just filthy.

6/1/15 something stinks

Just check your bottom storage rack area before you fold it up. We’ll leave it at that. Still airing out the thing. Totally not its fault.

7/14/15 the weight now weighs on me

Take one 29+ pound toddler, add one 16.5 pound Britax B-Agile Stroller (according to Amazon, I haven’t weighed it,) I now feel like I’m pushing a tank. A very well moving tank, but I am starting to think it’s time to consider switching to something lighter or getting into shape.

Considering it’s lasted for a good two years three months and is in the same condition it was at six months, I’m considering this a win at the moment.

The wheels still look bad, but they never got worse. The squeak worked itself out. So far still mostly positive.

3/7/16 good run, still running

Coming up on year three now. The handlebar foam is getting a bit stiff and brittle. Pushing a 30+ pound toddler in this takes some effort.

As I’ve mentioned the handlebars are not the right height for me so I have to put extra effort into turns up hills, and everything in general. Throw in a hefty near threenager and we’ve got something I no longer particularly want to use for her.

Kim’s moved onto babywearing with #2, and I’d rather #1 ride my shoulders these days, but that stroller did a lot more than I expected of it. Still on good condition, wheels still look meh, still works perfectly.

4/12/16 the wheels on the stroller go round and round

I had a chance the other day to examine the stroller for a while. Basically we were sitting in the grass waiting for something to happen at Mule Day and I wanted to see if there was anything new going on with the wheels.

There was. The plasticy wheels are now feeling rubbery. That only took three years.

They still feel plastic on the outside, but if you squeeze them they’re responding like rubber tires.

Still holding up the same as last entry.

5/31/16 it would be seriously easier to carry a toddler and the stroller, surprisingly easy cleanup

Had my first huge “wish I had not brought the stroller” moment at the Tennessee Renaissance Fair this weekend. It has to do with the gravel they use in some worn out areas (construction gravel, grey) and a toddler (Maggie,) who refused to walk.

What ensued was the small front wheels continually digging into the gravel so far that I was actually completely stopped by the wedged stroller on probably 30 occasions. I regret not attempting to use my brain until near the end, but the only way to traverse that gravel was to turn the stroller around and let the larger wheels handle it.

The tiny front wheels got my full weight at a 90 degree angle several times that they decided to plow down and hit something hidden.

The next day baby A decided to vomit a bottle of milk and some solids all on the interior of the stroller. It looked like about a bowl full of vomit pooled up in the seat and the front areas. We had to transport it back home with only minimal wiping, at which point I removed everything and cleaned it with a garden hose, let dry, and that was that.

Cleanup was surprisingly easier than I’d anticipated. Also if I’m remembering correctly this is the first major cleanup this has had to have in 3+ years.

4 / 5 stars