BOB stands for Beast of Burden. The company does a great job of living up to their name by making strollers which can handle hardcore terrain. Their previous stroller, the Revolution Flex 3.0, is a big hit with hikers. The Alterrain Pro takes it to a new level.
Here’s what you need to know about the BOB Alterrain Pro, including the differences between the Alterrain and Pro versions and whether it’s worth your money.
Also read: Best Off-Road Strollers for Hiking
What is the Alterrain Pro Stroller?
The Alterrain Pro is a jogging stroller with off-road capabilities. If you just jog on smooth roads, then you probably don’t need this beast. However, if you frequently jog on trails, it’s one of the best options out there. In fact, there aren’t too many other off-road strollers.
In addition to trail jogging, the Alterrain Pro is good for:
- Terrible roads and sidewalks
- Being able to push a stroller straight through a muddy yard, field or homestead 🙂
Alterrain Pro Main Features
Rather than going over all of the features of the Alterrain Pro, here are the main ones which make it stand out.
1. Amazing Suspension System
BOB strollers use mountain bike suspension systems to give your child a smooth ride even on bumpy terrain. With the Alterrain, they’ve upgraded the suspension system even more. It’s called Smoothshox. I honestly can’t speak to the technology behind the new suspension system, but it does handle insanely well.
2. Large Air-Filled Tires
Like pretty much all other off-road jogging strollers, the Alterrain Pro has three large air-filled tires. This is what allows them to go over bumps without jostling your baby. The tires are good quality and you don’t have to worry about them popping (though adding some tire slime to prevent flats is still a good idea).
3. Good Steering Capabilities
The Alterrain Pro has a front wheel which can be locked or unlocked (360 degree swivel). It also has “adjustable front wheel tracking.” This is a little knob which allows you to easily fine tune the wheel position. There are some seriously good bearings in the wheels too, which make the stroller turn easily.
I also like that the hand brake is not in the middle of the stroller handlebar. It is incredibly annoying when stroller makers put something in the middle of the handle because it prevents you from steering with one hand!
4. Very Durable Frame
BOB stroller frames are very durable. The frames come with a five year warranty which is valid even if you put the stroller through some insane abuse. Note that there is only a 1-year warranty on the canopy and some other parts.
5. Hand and Foot Brakes
There is a big brake on the Alterrain stroller which is very easy to use even when wearing sandals. The Pro model has a hand brake too. It is similar to a mountain bike brake and will allow you to slow the stroller when going down hills.
Other Cool Features
- Fully upright seating and nearly-flat recline: It’s amazing how many jogging and off-road strollers don’t have this feature!
- Lots of storage: There is a massive storage basket plus 5 other pockets.
- One-handed folding: This really makes life easier when you have to fold the stroller while holding your baby.
- Sun and rain protection: The canopy is SPF 50 and folds almost all the way down. It is also waterproof to keep your kid dry in rainy conditions.
- Adjustable handlebar: The handlebar goes in 9 different positions.
- Good ventilation: There is ventilation in the canopy as well as the seat.
Alterrian Pro Age Limit
You can use the Alterrain Pro with newborns. There is no maximum age limit. The weight limit is 75lbs. Once you kid gets to be 44 inches tall, their head will hit the top canopy.
Note that infants can’t go in the stroller seat. You’ll need to have a compatible car seat (Britax, Chicco, Peg Perego or Graco) and buy the car seat adapter.
From 8 weeks, babies can go in the stroller seat but walking only. From 8 months and onwards, babies can go in the stroller seat when jogging or off-road.
It’s Massive and Heavy
Even when compared to other jogging strollers, the BOB Alterrain Pro is pretty massive and heavy. Check the dimensions carefully as it won’t fit in many small cars! You may need to take the wheels off to get it to fit in your truck. It is pretty fast and easy to remove the wheels, but annoying to do when those wheels are covered with mud.
- Weight: 32.3lbs
- Folded dimensions (wheels on): 39.3(L)x25.5(W)x16(H) inches
- Folded dimensions (wheels off): 33(L)x21.5(W)x13(H) inches
See the video below for how to get BOB strollers into a small car trunk.
Stroller Doesn’t Stand Up Well
The Alterrain Pro technically can stand up on its own when folded. But it also topples over easily. This is a minor annoyance – until the dirty stroller falls on your wall and makes a stain.
Hand Brake Isn’t the Best
While I love that the BOB Alterrain Pro has a hand brake, it’s not the best. It uses a lever-style brake (like on a bike). The lever attaches to a cable which runs down the stroller and then branches out into two cables for each back wheel. This means you’ve got to pull really hard on the lever to brake. The cables will get stretched out quickly, which means more maintenance.
Another issue with the lever brake is that it is fairly large. If you have small hands, it will be hard to reach the lever. You definitely can’t use the brake one-handed, like you would be able to with the Thule Urban Glide 2.0’s twist-style brake.
If you are the DIY type, you might even want to buy the regular Alterrain stroller and install a braking system on its yourself!
Has a Learning Curve
All strollers have a bit of a learning curve but the BOB Alterrain may take a bit longer to get used to. The auto-lock knob is a bit weird and it will take some practice to unfold the stroller quickly. Likewise, it can take a while to get the wheel tracking right. A lot of people also complained that putting the stroller together was complicated, though IMO it isn’t harder than any other stroller.
Requires Some Maintenance
Considering that the BOB Alterrain Pro is meant to go on rugged conditions, they could have done a better job of protecting the wheels. As they are now, the wheels are exposed and parts get wet. This in turn can cause the wheels to squeak. You will need to get yourself some WD-40 and lubricate those wheels occasionally.
I also read a few complaints that the hand brake was tight and needed adjustment. Don’t be surprised if you need to make a trip to your local bike shop to get the stroller tweaked a bit!
Folds with the Fabric Outwards
The one-handed folding mechanism is located in the middle of the seat. This means that the stroller folds with the fabric facing outwards. As someone who has an incredibly dirty car trunk, I find this incredibly annoying.
Unfortunately, pretty much all one-handed folding joggers are like this. The BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 folds with the fabric inwards but you need two hands to fold. You’ve basically got to choose between easy folding or being able to keep the seat fabric clean!
Snack Tray Sold Separately
Again, this is a minor issue. But, if you are spending this much on a stroller, it would be nice to have a snack tray included. Likewise, other accessories are sold seperately. Some of them — like the console with a cup holder — are actually quite pricy. I’m sure you could find some cheap generic accessories that would fit the stroller though (maybe I’ll research this for a later post).
The Alterrain Pro stroller is definitely not cheap. If you go off-road a lot, then the price is worth it. However, if you mostly go on smooth trails or paved roads, then you probably don’t need this advanced of a suspension system. The BOB Revolution Flex 3.0 is usually at least $100 cheaper (see here). There are also some decent budget-friendly joggers which are “good enough” for occassional off-road use like the Jeep Deluxe Patriot Open Trails stroller.
Alterrain vs. Alterrain Pro
There are two versions of this stroller: the regular Alterrain and the Alterrain Pro. The main difference between the two versions is that the Pro has a hand brake and the regular Alterrain does not.
Aside from the hand brake, the Alterrain Pro also has these features not found on the regular Alterrain:
- Zippered basket (the basket on the regular Alterrain is open)
- More reflective details on wheels
- Canopy has a zipper extension for better ventilation
- 100% waterproof fabric (the regular Alterrain just has water-resistant fabric)
The video below shows the regular Alterrain stroller
Which Alterrain model to get?
The price difference between the two models isn’t that much. So, if you frequently go on hills, it is worth it to pay for the Pro version to get that hand brake. It helps control speed on the downhill. If you don’t go on hills and don’t really care about the other features, then the regular Alterrain is fine.