Orbit Baby: The Good & The Not So Good

Posted on Nov 18 2013 - 12:56pm by Aubrey

I am the proud owner of a G2 Orbit Baby Travel System. When I first started stroller shopping I was really overwhelmed and never imagined I’d “invest” that kind of money in a travel system, but after doing some research, figuring out what was important to me and what made sense…I ended up with the Orbit Baby G2. One of my friend’s who I had consulted for advice on how to choose a stroller said to me, “It’s your baby’s wheels,” and so why not give my child the “Lamborghini” of strollers! Some of the factors that went into my decision to go with this system were ease of use, weight, safety, durability and logistics. I needed something adjustable for a tall Daddy, and a couple Dad’s I know said they loved it because of where the seat sits and how the handles extend, plus there’s no bar at the bottom for big feet to kick when at the helm of the stroller. The 360 base is also super impressive and the fact that it’s engineered so well, a product of a Bay Area, CA company (my home) and its “green” factor pretty much solidified the decision.

A slew of celebs also rock the Orbit Baby stroller, everyone from Jay-Z and Beyonce to Kristen Cavallari…

… Brian Austin Green & Megan Fox, and how could I leave out KimYe’s baby North West!?!? Mind you, while it is “cool” to know celebs share their taste for strollers with me, celebrity was NOT a factor in my decision!

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So, I really loved my stroller as a single, I got the bassinet too, but my baby outgrew that fast. I loved it’s lightweight, smart design, easy to fold and load into the car and my Skip Hop baby bag clipped onto it really easily! The only not so good thing about it was the storage bag underneath. You can’t have anything in the bag if you fold it up, AND while it slides out and can be a shoulder baby bag, you can’t just dump things in there when you’re strolling around. Additionally, there isn’t much storage room, say if you’re at the grocery store and don’t want to carry a separate basket for a few items…you’d need the panniers (which I have too) that attach to the sides and can easily fold down when not in use. And with the panniers, it can also be tricky to fold the base unit if you leave the attached, but overall, those are minor details and the handling, rotating base and paparazzi shade made me a fan. I’ve traveled cross country many a time by myself and I would push the stroller with one hand, while rolling my luggage in the other. Using the infant seat in a rental car was also super easy to strap in without the car seat base.

Well then I found out baby numero dos was on the way…so I pondered for a half second if I needed a new system, only to find out Orbit Baby now had a Double Helix to accommodate 2 bambinos and if you had a single, there was an upgrade kit, so once again, decision made! Here’s the good…it was extremely easy to install the upgrade kit. Orbit has some amazingly easy to follow “how to” videos and the pieces fit perfectly, just excellent engineering. I thought the new handles with a tablet pocket looked cool and it’s very easy to go from single to double and vice versa with the added based that you can switch in and out in seconds. The new storage basket, while no longer removable, was much bigger and easier to put things in and take out. Note, I’m hesitant to use the tablet pocket with the iPad because as my other half pointed out, by putting it on display could be an open invitation for theft…which is sad, but true!

Soon enough it was time to put my upgraded Orbit to use…and while it works great as a double, there are some things that were not so good. First, I couldn’t easily attach my diaper bag, then a “Mommy Hook” I got couldn’t be easily attached either! After a few uses, I started referring to it as my big rig…this thing gets so much attention and while we probably look pretty chic rolling around in it, I feel like we need the back up alarm noise to let people know we are coming through. The handling that I loved and ease of use have been compromised with the additional base, as the rotating wheels on the back tend to “get caught” and start dragging because they catch when making sharp turns. I did complain to customer service and I got a new set of wheels for the back attachment and it has been a lot better, but still has issues here and there. Then, getting to the storage basket underneath can be challenging when you have a stroller seat on the main base facing forward because the foot rest blocks it. Now I love that the seats swivel and can be configured in several different positions, but since I can’t attach my diaper bag, I have to shove it in the storage compartment and when I go to grab something quickly…it’s not too easy!

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Orbit’s customer service is definitely on point, as any issue that has ever come up has been handled quickly and to my satisfaction. They actually have you send in a video or photo to show/demo what is wrong, and that’s usually easier than trying to explain it. Other pluses are the easy to clean fabric and huge sunshades on any of the seat/carriers, the wheels are durable – for big babies like mine, and with the double, an added drink holder with a compartment for a smart phone and the nesting system for storage is great.

If I had to choose again, I probably would do everything the same, but I might shop around a little more for the double. I casually looked at another double stroller, but the Orbit just impresses so much I didn’t consider some of the minor annoyances I just mentioned, and there is no way to KNOW until you start using it. At any rate, I think they’re coming out with the G3 in 2014, hopefully they’ve addressed some of the things I think could be improved upon for the Double Helix version.