Bumbleride Indie 4 Stroller Revieww
January 30, 2017
• Smooth ride over all kinds of rough terrain
• Car seat compatible
• Eco-friendly fabric
• Awkward to fold at first
The Indie 4 offers a very smooth ride over bumpy terrain, making it an ideal stroller for navigating dirt trails and uneven sidewalks. Think of it as the 4 x 4 of strollers.
Rating: 4 stars
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When you’re looking for a stroller, you almost always end up having to compromise. For example, I love my Uppababy Cruz because it’s light and slender, but I would never take it on a hiking trail. And then there are all-terrain strollers perfect for off-road strolling but weigh twice as much as my sleek Uppababy. That’s what makes the Bumbleride Indie 4 a really great find: You get the performance of an all-terrain stroller in a much lighter-weight package.
The Indie 4 has four air-filled tires, all-wheel suspension and large wheels—8.5 inches in the front and 12 inches in the back—and together these features allow for smooth navigation over all sorts of uneven terrain, whether it’s dirt trails, gravel paths or cracked city sidewalks. The stroller also offers a high clearance, which means you can glide right over rocks and other obstacles that would normally snag a more standard stroller.
For a stroller with such excellent off-road capabilities, you’d think the Indie 4 would weigh as much as others in the all-terrain stroller class, which can be well over 30 pounds. Instead, the Indie 4 is an impressively light 22 pounds. That’s significantly lighter than other all-terrain strollers and is even on par with many standard strollers.
The seat is roomy and well-cushioned and offers a nice deep, near-full recline, which adjusts using the strap system behind the seat. It also holds children up to 55 pounds, so the Indie 4 can really go the distance and grow with your child. The five-point adjustable breakaway harness is easy to use and allows you to unbuckle the straps either at the shoulders or at the legs. We didn’t have a preference on a forward-facing seat, but some parents might prefer to see what their kids are doing, which you can with the Indie. Other nice features include the huge sun canopy, which nearly covers my son Silas’s entire body and is terrific for long walks on sunny days, and a manageable foot brake—the large pedal, which is centered right between the two back wheels, is easy to engage and disengage with a firm nudge of the foot. The handlebar pivots between two different heights—25 inches and 43 inches. I personally prefer a telescoping handle (it extends up or retracts down to get longer or shorter), but the pivoting handle on the Indie does feel sturdier and luckily it comfortably accommodates the differences between my 5-foot, 2-inch frame and my husband’s 6-foot, 2-inch frame.
When it comes to storage, the basket below is easily accessible, though it may be a bit small if you tend to stuff coats and shopping bags in your stroller baskets. There’s also a detachable cup holder (which is included) but it’s a little flimsy. You may want to spring for the Parent Pack (sold separately for $29). This fabric holder attaches directly to the handlebar and has two cup holders and a secure magnetic pouch for keys and other valuables. Just note that it’s made of durable fabric, not plastic—so it’s convenient for carrying bottled beverages but is a bit too wobbly to hold containers that could easily spill.
Last but not least, one of the big bonuses of the Indie 4 is the matching bassinet, which is included. It’s spacious (31.75 inches long, 15 inches wide and 10.5 inches high), comfortably padded and can hold infants up to 19 pounds. Unlike some other stroller bassinets, this one sits on top of the fully reclined seat rather than replacing the entire seat. Though I wasn’t able to test the bassinet (Silas had long outgrown it by the time we got the Indie 4), I have a feeling he would have napped quite well in it thanks to the smooth ride and the comfy padding. One thing to note: There does seem to be a learning curve to attaching and detaching the bassinet, so you’ll definitely want to read the directions and anticipate some stiff latch-release buttons. And the Bumbleride Indie 4 can also become a travel system—it’s car seat compatible and even comes with its own adapter bar which works with Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 32, Graco Click Connect 40, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP 30/30, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, Chicco Keyfit 30 and Britax Chaperone. For Maxi Cosi, Nuna and Cybex car seats, you’ll need to buy a special adapter for $40.
The first time I used my Indie 4, I took it on a hilly dirt trail riddled with tree roots and rocks. I passed an UPPAbaby G-Luxe and an umbrella stroller parked at the trailhead and wondered if I’d be turning right back to park mine right next to them. But I quickly realized I had nothing to worry about: Navigating over the trail turned out to be a breeze. I’ve since taken the Indie 4 on a range of terrains—more dirt paths, gravel roads, grassy fields—and every ride has been impressively smooth. While standard strollers are difficult to impossible to push over these sorts of terrain, the Indie 4 is quite easy to maneuver. Even on the bumpiest of rides, Silas remains perfectly happy and comfortable in his seat.
But it’s not just off road where it performs well. The Indie 4 also makes for easier navigating on city sidewalks. With a standard stroller I find myself carefully steering around cracks and potholes. With the Indie 4 I can steer straight across rough ground without having to worry that I’m pushing it beyond its limits. I can also cut across fields, rather than having to stick to paths.
The one area I tried to avoid with the Indie 4 was crowded indoor spaces. Despite being compact and lightweight for its class, the Indie 4 is still a beefed-up stroller (it’s 24.5 inches wide compared with some of the sleeker, everyday strollers you can find that measure 18 to 22 inches across), so it’s not ideal for narrow aisles or densely packed restaurants. I had no qualms about taking the Indie 4 into an empty frozen yogurt shop, but I definitely hesitated when I entered my local indie book shop.
To store the Indie 4, you collapse it into a folded standing position by simultaneously sliding the latches on both sides of the frame, which means it requires two hands. And, like many strollers, it’s a bit clumsy to fold and unfold at first. After a few times, though, it gets pretty easy. Once folded, there’s a convenient handle to carry the stroller around—not that you’d really want to. It’s light enough to carry short distances (say, from the house to the car) but it’s not the kind of stroller you just sling over your shoulder. I should also note that it takes up a lot of trunk space in my Toyota Camry. I try to keep this in mind if I’m planning to haul a lot of goods in the trunk.
The Indie 4 is a nice hybrid between off-road and urban stroller, and that applies to the design as well. The large, heavy-duty tires give the appearance of a rugged stroller, while the lightweight frame and padded seat look stylish and modern. I love the bold, vibrant colors. We went with the Cayenne Red but could easily have picked any of the other seven colors (Lotus Blue, Lotus Pink, Green Papyrus, Aquamarine and Black, Jet Black and Fog Grey).
For eco-minded moms and dads, you’ll be happy to know Bumbleride uses eco-conscious Oeko-Tex-certified fabrics made of 50 percent bamboo charcoal fiber and 50 percent recycled plastic bottles.
The Indie 4 is a great stroller for families who regularly find themselves tackling rough terrain. Though it’s a bit too bulky to make it my everyday stroller, the heft might be well worth it if your family spends time off the beaten path while also maintaining residence in a more urban setting.
Mina Hochberg is a freelance writer in Hudson, New York. She lives with her husband, her son Silas and their dog Petey. She loves traveling and devouring TV and movies after the kiddo goes to bed.