Chicco Bravo Stroller Review
March 2, 2017
• Five minute assembly time
• Lightweight and easy to steer
• Incredibly quick and easy one-hand fold system
• Big, roomy basket
• Canopy is a little short and no flap over the mesh
• No snack tray included
With a stylish design on par with higher-end strollers, an easy one-hand fold, and a smooth ride, the Chicco Bravo is a great, all-purpose stroller any new parent will love.
Rating: 4.5 stars
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With so many strollers on the market, it’s easy for new parents to be seduced by fancy, ultra-designed imports, which is what I did with my first stroller. It was super-stylish but in the end it turned out to be neither very comfortable nor durable, and after my first daughter essentially trashed it after only one year, I realized I had thrown a whole lot of money out the window. So when I considered my next stroller, although my checklist still included stylish, I knew I needed much more than that. A good stroller needs to provide a smooth ride so your child will actually sleep; it must be durable (and by that I really mean stain resistant and/or has pieces that can be removed and washed); it must be light enough to push, and as easy as possible to collapse and fold up. The Chicco Bravo checks all those boxes.
The Bravo has a plush, padded seat that reclines in multiple positions, including almost fully flat, front-swivel wheels that make it super-easy to steer, and the fabric and frame are both sleek and stain resistant. I also love the large basket. You can access it from both the front and the back of the stroller, and even when you fill it all the way up, it still accommodates an almost fully reclined seat, so baby can nap on the way back from a grocery store trip where you’ve bought more than just a quart of milk. Another superb feature is the one-hand fold system. There are no latches, buttons or anything to unfasten—meaning you really can do it with just one hand in a few seconds flat. You simply lift a little flap on the seat, pull up on the handle that’s underneath, and the whole stroller folds in half. Thanks to a mechanism built into the fold, the wheels lock in place when the stroller is folded until you’re ready to use it again. It stands on its own for storage or you can carry the whole thing with the handle on top (almost like a suitcase). And when folded, the Bravo fits nicely in the back of my car, which actually has a smallish trunk.
While you can buy just the stroller, it’s also sold as a complete 3-in-1 travel system, which is what it’s really designed for. If you purchase the system, it includes the Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat and base. The stroller seat and canopy easily come off so you can attach an adapter and use the frame to click in the car seat when baby is an infant. As baby gets a bit bigger and likes to sit up in the stroller, you can alternate between using the car seat (with the adapter) and the stroller seat. And lastly, when baby outgrows the car seat, the Bravo transitions again into a full-featured stroller you can use with children up to 50 pounds. The stroller weighs 23 pounds, which is about average—other popular travel system strollers range anywhere from 16.5 to 28 pounds.
I was only slightly disappointed with a few features. First, the canopy is a little too short for my taste, and the peekaboo window on the top is mesh, so if you get stuck in a rainstorm your kiddo is definitely getting wet. But the canopy does zip off completely, which would make it even easier to accommodate an older, taller child. It also doesn’t come with a snack tray, which lots of other strollers do. You have to buy it separately ($30).
It took me less than five minutes to assemble the stroller out of the box. I am not a DIY type and will dissolve into tears if I have to assemble more than a collapsible basket from IKEA, but this was so easy, even for me—there are only four steps in the instruction booklet. Once it was up, my 2-and-a-half-year-old hopped right in for a trip to the park. She is in the 97th percentile for height in her age group, but she was still comfortable in the seat, and the five-point harness was easy to adjust. She had plenty of room above her head, and although her feet did reach the step below the seat pan, it didn’t seem to bug her. We played around with the reclining seat and she loved that feature. The handlebar was easy to adjust to a height that I liked. It has three different positions and you just push in on both side buttons to release the handle and then rotate it up or down to adjust it where you want it. And the tray on the handle has two cup holders (room for both water bottles—yay!) as well as a small space in the middle for a cell phone and keys. And even though we have pretty uneven sidewalks in my neighborhood, the ride was nice and smooth thanks to the all-wheel suspension.
I took the Chicco Bravo to pick up my 4-and-a-half-year-old from day camp. She is also tall for her age, but she jumped in and looked quite comfortable, which she confirmed with a chirpy, “I do want to ride in this one, mom!” She’s at the age where she’s growing out of riding (that’s just for babies, right?) and would prefer to walk, but she was happy and relaxed during the 10-minute walk home.
We also took it to our local children’s museum, and once again the basket easily held everything (lunch boxes, diaper bag, overpriced souvenirs, etc.). My older girl actually pushed her little sister around, and at the end of our visit, my little one even sat on the big one’s lap for a bit. Chicco would never suggest doing this (their official limit on this model is 50 pounds and my girls together are at least 60), but sometimes you do what you’ve gotta do, right? I was just thrilled to be able to push them both to the car without any (extra) whining and complaining.
With two girls I have enough bright colors in my world from just their clothes and dolls, so when it comes to baby gear and other items I prefer neutral colors. I chose the Bravo in Ombra, a subtle gray-and-black pattern that I thought was sophisticated and had a unisex look. (It also comes in teal, emerald, coal and one other neutral pattern.) Plus, it definitely hides stains and scuffs, although the fabric is very easy to wipe clean, as I learned firsthand after a serious Goldfish debacle and a drippy ice cream cone (why does the ice cream lady always offer my toddler a cone?). The silver stroller frame also pairs well with the Ombra-colored seat and canopy.
I would recommend this stroller to any parents with young toddlers, or new parents with infants. The sleek design makes it visually competitive with higher-end strollers on the market, and the one-hand folding system is a major bonus for any sleep-deprived mom or dad. Overall, it’s a great value for a stroller that’s both well-designed and easy to use.
Writer and stylist Lilah Nicolaidis served as Senior Accessories Editor and West Coast Editor for ELLE and has worked as an editor at W and Women’s Wear Daily. She now lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters and writes about fashion and home decor for The Nest.