We weren’t sure what to expect. But last Sunday’s stroller test drive event put on by Babybot.com ended up being not only awesome, but super-wickedawesome.
Back story – I received a personal invite from Babybot Managing Partner, Michael Tran, a few weeks ago and I immediately thought it could help us decide the right stroller for us. I mean, the only real “test drive” experience my Hun and I had had was the two or three minute little push around the children’s store, which proved nothing but a pain in the ass and completely unproductive. What we really needed was some true outdoor experience, complete with screaming kids as background noise, which is exactly what we got, and then some.
The day began bright and early – 10am. That’s right, we’re getting our sleep ins while we can. We arrived at 10:45am with rain coats on, ready to take to the wheel – excuse me – handle bar. Check in was from 9am – 11am so we got there just in time to get extra ballots for some of the amazing draws they had. I was super surprised to see draw items worth a few hundred bucks a piece: two baby bags filled with goodies; a $200+ riding toy; and a baby carrier. We didn’t win anything. As usual.
Once checked in, and with skeptical eyes, we scoped the place out. Babybot had filled the little picnic site hut to the brim with products – bags, strollers, toys, baby carriers, this, that, everything! They even had a table full of stuff from their site for sale… all discounted for the day’s events. And, little laptops inside the hut were humming and buzzing, ready to make sales.
We started feeling more comfortable. Close by there was a little kids play area with riding toys to demo. They were having a blast riding wooden elephants and what looked like a fattened up dodo bird. Best part was we got to sneak a peek at what really worked well and what didn’t. Oh yeah! A little insider product testing knowledge! (dodo was definitely the winner here)
There were two other demo stations on the go: a baby carrier demo with a few of the latest items on display (complete with over-sized mirror to cop a peek); and a food-making demo where Babybot experts were sharing recipes and showing off food freezing cubes. Supa’ cool.
The best part, of course, next to the unbelievably awesome hot dog condiments at the free lunch, was the actual stroller test drive. Like little kids waiting to get on the ride, my Hun and I eagerly awaited our turn at taking one of the seven beauties out for a spin – excuse me – stroll.
Here again, the Babybot team was exceptional. Each stroller was introduced in detail. Down the line we went – Bugaboo Chameleon, Bugaboo Frog, Bugaboo Bee (the newest latest and greatest Bee prototype), Phil & Ted’s Vibe and all new Smart Buggy, Quinny and Mountain Buggy. We got to see how they folded, what options each came with, the cost of the different models… everything was covered. Only thing left was the actual drive.
In no time, we were off! There were four of us on this particular demo, each selecting a stroller to start off with. “check out the handling,” the Babybot team member said. “play with the steering and control. You need to get a feel for these things. Take it over these curbs. Now switch with someone else.”
Our group was great. Even the Babybot team grabbed a stroller allowing each of us a turn at handling a different ride. Best of all, discussion ensued. Each of us had pros and cons spewing out of our mouths like 10 year old’s after a day at the zoo. “Love the tires.” “This one’s so light.” “I’m not so sure about the handle of this one. Does it extend any further?”
For us, there was clearly one winner – The Bugaboo Chameleon. Hands down, this piece of design love out maneuvered, out weighed, out featured and out performed, in our opinion anyway, the other six. However, my Hun and I had a bit of a secret going into this test drive. We already had this particular model in mind. But in all honesty, it was the test drive that, well, drove the decision home for us. Without question, the Bugaboo was THE machine.
So thanks Babybot, for allowing us to get your beautiful strollers dirty, eat your food, bring the dog to the park, and take advantage of the ridiculous offers you gave us at the event. You truly helped make our lives easier. Now, we get to enjoy our empty stroller, nine weeks before we can use it for real. Sweet.
*disclosure – There is really no disclosure to mention here cause we didn’t get paid by anyone to go to this event. Nor did Babybot or Bugaboo ask us to mention their names. We just went to the event, had a good time and bought a stroller. If they do want to pay me for saying all this, and by all accounts I encourage it, they can contact me here.