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Tuesday, September 13

Gearing Up for Baby: Orbit Stroller Travel System G2

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Each time we get pregnant, at some point I realize we need an infant car seat and stroller. So I head to Babies R Us and end up feeling completely overwhelmed and frozen with indecision.When I was pregnant with Cate, almost all the car seats and travel systems were UGLY. (Remember the plaid phase?) So, I’ll admit, I pretty much selected our travel system based on looks. We ended up buying an Eddie Bauer Vector stroller (three-wheel style) and car seat. It was actually really easy to use – easy to fold the stroller, easy to snap the car seat in and out of both the car base and the stroller, and the large wheels made for easy strolling over all kinds of terrain. But the back wheels were so wide it drove me bonkers when I went to any stores. When Cate grew out of the system, I sold it and for almost the same amount I bought it for. (Note, they don’t make this system anymore.)

For Anna, I bought a used Peg Perego system (it was practically new, great condition). I had a few friends who literally gushed over their Peg Perego car seats and strollers, so I thought I would love it. And I didn’t. AT ALL. In fact, the whole time we used it I was wishing I still had the old Eddie Bauer system. It was nearly impossible to snap the car seat into the stroller without a major struggle, it was not very easy snapping it into the base in the car, and folding and un-folding the stroller was a pain in the patootie. I didn’t even bother selling that one, I just gave it away.

Enter pregnancy #3. With no car seat or stroller in sight, I was going to just get the Graco Metrolite or Chicco systems, keep things simple. But then I decided it would be fun to do a review or two on the blog and actually try out some strollers and car seats that I would want to use, based on research. Today I’m reviewing the Orbit Baby travel system, a high-end product that I am sooooo excited to have. Later this week I’ll review a travel system in a lower price-range and let you know how they compare.

As I was editing DailyBuzz Moms one day, I came across this review of the Orbit travel system. I had never heard of Orbit and was immediately intrigued, especially when the title of the post included the words “life-changing.” I contacted Orbit and thankfully they decided to work with me. Yippee! They provided me with a Stroller Travel System G2 to review and use with our new baby. Orbit is based in the Bay Area, so I had the chance to meet them at their offices, where they gave me a tour of my new travel system.

First impression – parents designed this system. There are so many little things that only a parent would have thought of that are incorporated into the design. To name a few:

  • Easy to fold and unfold the stroller base.

  • Soft carrier handle on the car seat…it is so much more comfortable to carry on your arm!
  • Paparazzi shield built into the canopy – no more trying to get a blanket to stay in the right spot when you want baby covered.
  • You don’t have to remove the straps from the car seat to remove the cover for washing. Love this feature.

  • You can rotate the car seat on the stroller base and the car base. This feature ROCKS. It’s handy when using the stroller to be able to choose which direction you want the baby to face, but it’s especially handy with taking the baby in and out of the car. You can click it in whatever way it lands and then rotate it to the proper position, or you can just leave the car seat in the car and turn it to face you to put the baby in. It’s pretty much genius.

  • Side impact protection on the car seat.
  • Babies can use this car seat up to 30 pounds, and, from what I can tell, there appears to be ample room for baby to still be comfortable up to that weight.
  • They used certified green materials.
  • The stroller base folds up compactly.
  • The front wheels can swivel or be locked straight.
  • Handle height on the stroller is adjustable.
On first pass, here are the things that I don’t love:
  • When you fold the stroller, the handles hit the ground really easily. I think they’re going to get banged up pretty good, but at least the folding process is a snap.
  • The car seat is quite large. When placed in the center of the backseat of our Ford Taurus (yes, we drive a wicked-cool Ford Taurus), it stands very tall, making it hard for me to see the girls on the sides. There is still plenty of room for the girls, it’s just really tall, blocking visibility for me.
One thing the jury is still out for me on:
  • The storage space under the stroller is removable, so you can pack it up in your house, carry it around, etc. I think I’m going to like this feature because I do believe it’s hard to stuff things under strollers in general. It’s really easy to remove the pod and put it back on the base. But I’m still wondering if it will really be easier. I’m just going to have to use it to see what I really think!
Once we’ve used the system for a little while I’ll do a foll0w-up post to let you know how it goes! This system is on the expensive side but, like a luxury car, it really does have all the bells and whistles that make life easy and comfortable. I am super excited to use the system and will keep you posted on how we like it!
Orbit provided me with their Stroller Travel System G2, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
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43 Comments »

  1. I almost want to have another baby after seeing this stroller. But only if it could be a girl. ;)

  2. 2
    adrianne

    i would be interested in the carseat for the paparazzi shield alone. it looks like it would stay in place way better than other ones i’ve seen or trying to keep a blanket on it. overall, i like the look of it. i’ve never seen one in person though.

    so excited for you jane! keep us posted! remember when you called like 15 minutes after i had claire and stu picked up my phone. “oh hi jane. adrianne just had a baby.” you were the first person that knew we had her. so funny. i won’t expect nate to do the same. :)

    • Jane Maynard

      I have impeccable timing! what can I say? :)

      I love love love the paparazzi shield…and that flexible handle. soooo awesome.

  3. Dang, strollers have come a very very long way since I had babies. It was all Winnie the Pooh and checkers when my babies were little. I’m 150% jealous.

  4. 4
    Maria

    I need one of these!!!

  5. 5
    sea wall

    It feels a little naked to me – like it woke up and forgot to put its pants on before grabbing the baby and heading out the door.

    • Jane Maynard

      ha ha! nate thinks that it looks “too cool” – don’t know if he’ll be able to handle strolling it about town!

  6. 6
    Marie

    Oooo, that is awesome. Love the swivel, the under carrier, and that it would hold my 3 year old, who is still under 30 lbs!

    Have fun with that :)

  7. 7
    Michelle

    I have been looking for a good double stroller. I want one where the kids face me because it annoys me that my three year old tries to talk to me and I can’t hear him all the way up front in our stretch limo type stroller we have now. Any suggestions?

    • Jane Maynard

      doubles have me STUMPED. hoping others have some good feedback on this!

      we have a double BOB Revolution, which is great for walking about town, but it doesn’t fit in our car. so, not super convenient for travel.

      the Orbit has a little skateboard thing you can buy that your older kids stand on.

      my friend recently got one of those phil and ted’s and loves it, but her older child is only 2 so he’s smaller than a 3 year old…

      see, I’m stumped! :)

    • Jane Maynard

      look what I just found – orbit will have a double soon, bet it will be cool!
      http://www.orbitbaby.com/en/double/

  8. 8
    Nikki CB

    Lovely photos of a lovely sounding system! Awesome! I also think it’s fun/nice/interesting to work with/support companies in communities where I’ve lived/traveled. OKAY, how many slashes can I have here? My comment is starting to look like a URL.

    Seriously though, this looks great!

  9. 9
    Cora

    If I ask pretty please can I borrow yours? I’m loving the soft handle, rotating base, and paparazzi shield. Not to mention the sleek look.

    Wait…just looked at their website, are those mini-skateboards you attach to the wheels for the older children to stand on?! Umm, how much cooler can it get?

    OKAY. Tell you what. I’ll send you my old stroller and base, ask everyone to call me “Jane” for a bit, and write the “in-action” review. Think about it. It’d be the charitable thing to do…

  10. 10
    Kristen

    My how strollers have changed, even in the two years since I’ve had a baby. What a nifty little stroller! I love how compact yet durable it seems.

    • Jane Maynard

      it is amazing how fast baby gear changes!

      and yes, this system feels really durable…especially that car seat.

  11. 11
    Shaina

    I was drooling over a stroller earlier today…and I have no baby on the way with no plans for more (I have done my time with 4, right?). The Orbit system looks great. My only issue would be that for that investment I’d want to be able to use it for a long time. All of my kids have been big and grow quickly as babies. I wouldn’t get much use out of this system because of the lack of use after they grow out of the car seat without making another large purchase. My 3-year-old is already over 40 pounds and extremely tall. He sometimes still uses a stroller when we’re at the zoo all day or on long family walks, but he is over the weight limit for the G2 model (with the seat). However, I’m sold on the car seat. I love that it fits up to 30 pounds, and the swivel feature would be so nice when getting in and out of the car.

  12. Great review, there are so many useful features in this system. Almost makes me want to have a baby….almost. lol

  13. 13
    Kelly

    Why does choosing a car seat and stroller have to be so overwhelming?!? Both times I had to pick I had a hard time. That’s awesome that you get to try a few out, and this one looks pretty cool!

  14. 14
    Lindsay Rutman

    i love the washability factor. i shudder when i reflect on how infrequently i washed my baby seat covers because it was just such a pain. how does the orbit cover stay in place?

    • Jane Maynard

      on the edges it wraps around like a normal car seat cover. in the center (see the picture above) all the areas that go around the straps velcro in and out. totally stays put and you just un-velcro to pull the cover off. so smart!

  15. 15
    Emily

    super cool stroller! i always took the cheapie route because i knew my kids were just gonna destroy whatever stroller i bought. but, when i am pushing my “you get what you pay for” stroller uphill through the zoo i am going to be dreaming of this one.

  16. Why didn’t they have cool strollers like this when I had my babies! Very cool.

  17. I’m also in the market for a stroller, Jane. Baby #3 due in March and my old car seat is past it’s expiry date.

    So, this doesn’t really work as a toddler seat, does it? I mean, once they’re past the baby stage, that’s it, right?

    • Jane Maynard

      yes, congratulations, aimee! so excited for you!!!! :)

      so, yeah, for bigger kids you’d need the stroller/toddler sized seat, which also works with babies. http://www.orbitbaby.com/en/products/stroller-g2/ it’s actually pretty cool – I looked at it at their corporate offices…it has a bunch of different positions. it’s kind of annoying that it’s a whole separate piece, but it IS cool when you use it.

      I have one more system I’m going to write about friday…so stay tuned for that, too! but, if you have the budget for this one, it IS pretty sweet!

  18. Umm…if I were provided with an Orbit I’m pretty sure I’d be good to go with that one!! I mean I was happy with my Maclarens and all, but Orbit is kind of the ultimate!

  19. That is one cool car seat. We just found out that #3 will be joining our family in March, but my daughter’s travel system is still in good condition, which I plan to use UNLESS baby #3 is a boy.

    I am getting all excited over baby gear again. It is such a fun thing.

    Amy
    http://kitchenandkids.com/2011/09/11/mompact-review-and-giveaway-of-the-strap-tamer/

  20. Looks like a great stroller for a new little one, lots of fun features.

  21. 21
    Mawa

    Strollers have come a long way baby! Yours was metal – wish I had a picture of it handy….

    Baby Boy Maynard is a lucky young man (and his parents are lucky too!)

  22. 22
    Erin O.

    Um. That soft handle on the carrier is AWESOME. I hate hauling my 6-month-old in his carseat into Preschool 3 days a week to drop off my girl. He still randomly lurches away when I’m holding him. Just to keep me on my toes. Brace yourself, Jane. Boys are daredevils right off the bat!

    This carseat looks cooooool.

  23. 23
    Jessica Hansen

    Jane- It looks like you got the perfect set up. I love that spinning function. Red works for boys or girls. I can’t wait to hear how you like it.

  24. Wow! That stroller is neat-o!

  25. 25
    naomi

    Where is the adult version! All kidding aside, this is awesome. I’m bookmarking this for our second kid!

  26. 26
    Andy

    I like the rotation function. I think it’s very creative and very well designed. It’s cool.

  27. 27
    Lyndsey

    If I had money coming out of my ears then maybe I could throw down for something like this but really you are only going to use it for a year. Right? Is the carseat convertable? Does it turn front facing? I have been using the graco metrolite for all 3 of my kids. Love how it folds so tiny.

  28. 28
    annie

    I don’t think I can ever have children for the mere fact I’m not positive I’d be able to figure out how to use their stroller :)

    Looks lovely though!

  29. 29
    Sarah

    I was just reading in Consumer Reports that this carseat travel set FAILED their ratings, and they discourage people from purchasing the Orbit System because it poses a safety hazard. In their tests, the carseat disattached itself from the base in a 30 MPH simulated crash.

    • Jane Maynard

      Hi Sarah!

      already researched this issue! :) So, the fail rating applied to their first generation seats, and when Consumer Reports performed the test that resulted in the car seat doing that, they had not installed it properly. All other third-party testing never had this problem and it was approved by the NHTSA. And, Consumer Reports gave a Good rating for the G2 system

      Here is some information that Orbit provided to me directly: “[Consumer Reports'] concerns have been refuted by every subsequent test and piece of research conducted by regulatory agencies and independent labs, including the government regulatory authority, NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Orbit Baby’s products have always consistently met all federal safety standards and our real-world safety record is spotless with no reported injuries or car seat separations.”

      There is more comprehensive information about the issue on the Orbit website: http://www.orbitbaby.com/en/support/safety-statement/

      And here is a third-party article I found regarding the issue, as well: http://carseatblog.com/4944/carseatblog-issues-warning-on-consumer-reports-labels-their-carseat-reviews-a-dont-read-nonsense-risk/

      Hope that’s helpful and clears up any concerns!
      Jane

  30. 30
    Sarah

    Thanks for clearing that up. We just found out we’re expecting number two, and I have to start researching all these things again :)

  31. i am still researching these stroller systems, but this was great info.

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