Days before we headed to Germany, we were still debating which stroller to take – the typical Graco stroller that’s also compatible with a car seat base, or the Bob Ironman.
It would be nice to have the carseat and base, but they are fairly bulky. And we could rent a car seat when we had the rental car. The BOB Ironman is a bit longer and harder to collapse. But we rolled the dice that it’s big pneumatic wheels would ride better in more situations.
After two weeks abroad in cities, on cobblestones, in sunshine, in rain, in rural forests, I can tell you this: If you travel abroad, get a BOB Ironman and take it with you. Here are a few observations on traveling abroad with a baby in a BOB Ironman.
- Yes, it’s a bit longer than a typical stroller. And you might have to take all the wheels off to get it through security screening. You’ll get good enough at it where it won’t take much time.
- The big wheels aren’t the only recipe to its smooth ride: The bearings also spin smoothly. Cobblestones in little European towns? Way smoother thanks to the tires and bearings. Huge difference for us all.
- Elevators in Europe can be kind of small, so that’s one challenge you’ll run into with the length of a BOB Ironman.
- You’ll sometimes feel lucky to find an elevator at all. There were more than a few places where they were out of order or nonexistent.
- Don’t even get me started on ramps. Europe might be ahead of the U.S. on many social issues, but accessibility is not one of them. We wound up carrying Anneka up the stairs
separately from her stroller more than a few times.
- We also took the escalator a few times. Despite the length, the BOB Ironman seems to fit on escalators more securely than Anneka’s Graco stroller.
- The cover on the BOB Ironman can handle quite a bit of sun and drizzle. When the rain started to come down hard and the wind really picked up, though, I improvised extra shelter with some duct tape and a rain poncho. You might want to have these items on-hand.
Bottom line – if you have a stroller struggle, opt for the BOB Ironman. From the forests of the Einkorn to the cobblestones in Belgium to the paths of The Regent’s Park, it is up for the challenger of going anywhere. And you can score them used on Craigslist for a decent deal, too.