A Review by Meg
Hi there! I’ve been meaning to share my thoughts on the Britax B-Lively with you ever since it made its debut in 2019. So, here we go!
The B-Lively, Britax’s successor to the popular B-Agile stroller, has certainly captured the hearts of parents looking for a compact but feature-rich option. Weighing in at just 19 lbs, it’s impressively lightweight.
Let’s dive into its story…
A Legacy of Excellence
The B-Agile, introduced in 2011, quickly gained a stellar reputation for its agility, ease of folding, compact size, smooth ride, and incredible value for money. In fact, it was considered a close replica of the highly acclaimed Baby Jogger City Mini, which remains popular to this day.
Britax has a tendency to create their versions of successful strollers, team them up with top-notch infant car seats, and offer them at competitive prices (just like they did with the BOB Alterrain and Thule Glide). While this may seem sneaky, I’m (sort of) okay with it because it means we, as consumers, benefit from their strategy.
Ultimately, getting a high-quality compact stroller bundled with an excellent infant car seat for $319 is an absolute steal!
Car Seat Compatibility
It’s important to note that the B-Lively is only compatible with Britax infant car seats. Unlike most strollers, which offer adapters for car seats from different brands, the B-Lively exclusively works with their own line of seats. However, this isn’t a concern because Britax is renowned for producing top-notch car seats. So, if you’re prepared to commit to the brand, rest assured that you’re making a wise choice. But if you already own a car seat from another brand, this stroller may not be the right fit for you.
The B-Lively is suitable for newborns up to 55 lbs. It features a fully reclining seat with ample legroom and headspace, making it perfect for taller or older children. While the 5-point harness system easily adjusts as your child grows, some reviewers have noted the absence of a crotch pad, which could provide additional comfort during rides.
When it comes to storage, the B-Lively shines. It boasts an improved under-basket storage space, and the best part is its accessibility. You can reach your belongings from all angles – front, rear, and even the sides. In comparison, the City Mini has a curved metal bar that hinders access to the storage basket from the back.
Additionally, the B-Lively surprises you with a hidden compartment near your child’s legs. This feature proves to be incredibly helpful when your little one is napping with the seat fully reclined, preventing you from reaching your bag from behind.
Both strollers do not come with a cup holder or snack tray, but you can purchase them separately. The B-Lively, however, includes a zippered built-in organizer that offers ample space for your essentials, such as keys, cellphone, tissues, and two closed bottles. It’s worth noting that hot beverages or open cups are not recommended in this organizer. For that purpose, I suggest investing in a separate cup holder or even the Britax stroller organizer, which is absolutely worth every penny.
With a weight of 19 lbs, the B-Lively meets all airline gate-check requirements, including those of American Airlines. So, if you’re planning to travel, this stroller is a convenient option. For more travel stroller recommendations, check out our article on the best travel strollers.
Apart from its spacious storage basket, the B-Lively is best known for its easy folding mechanism. In fact, it folds even smaller than the City Mini 2, making it remarkably compact. The one-handed fold is intuitive and straightforward, making it particularly suitable for those who frequent public transportation. While it may not be as compact as the Yoyo+ or Minu, it still fits comfortably in most city apartments. Although it lacks a self-standing feature, with a little coaxing, you can make it stand.
Brake, Canopy, and Handlebar
The linked parking brake is flip-flop friendly and allows you to lock both rear wheels with a single step. The large, ventilated UV 50+ canopy provides excellent sun protection, perfect for long walks. Users have even reported it to be waterproof during unexpected rain showers.
The stroller’s canopy complements the car seat canopy seamlessly when used together, ensuring full coverage with proper ventilation.
However, please note that the handlebar is not adjustable, so it may not be ideal for extremely tall or short individuals. If you fall into this category, consider investing a little more in a luxury stroller with an adjustable handlebar.
The Britax B-Lively, along with the Baby Jogger City Mini 2, features a double front wheel design. Although the B-Lively also offers all-wheel suspension, some users have expressed disappointment in the wheels, which feel somewhat plastic. This change in materials may have compromised the overall quality compared to its predecessor, the B-Agile.
While the all-wheel suspension improves the ride on paved surfaces, it may not provide the smoothest experience on rough terrains. It’s important to remember that the B-Lively is marketed as a compact stroller, not an all-terrain one. If you desire a stroller with a superior ride, I recommend checking out the Britax B-Free, which is comparable to the City Mini GT. Both these options can be considered compact, lightweight, all-terrain strollers.
The Britax B-Lively stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its competitor, the Baby Jogger City Mini, as an exceptional compact stroller that excels in everyday use on paved surfaces. It offers a convenient zippered pocket for personal items and easier access to storage when compared to the City Mini 2. While some may find the wheels less satisfactory, the overall package of the B-Lively, when paired with a Britax car seat, guarantees affordability and exceptional quality that won’t disappoint.
Enjoy your strolling adventures with the incredible Britax B-Lively Travel System!