Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: Graco Spree Travel System, Barcelona Bluegrass

Overall: a decent travel system. Next time I'd probably get something different though.

First, the pros:

Car seat - Very sturdy, pattern is nice for a girl or boy, clicks easily into the base of all 3 of our Graco strollers, canopy is great for shade, padding is comfy, cover is easy to wash (we hang it to dry), seat belts work well and are easy for us to buckle/unbuckle.

Stroller - Love how it folds up! Basket is nice and roomy, pattern is pretty, canopy works great, cupholders are fairly deep, child's footrest is wide.


Car seat - this may be a personal preference, but the seat belts can only be adjusted from behind the car seat. During quick weather changes (snowstorms, rain, etc.) it's a huge inconvenience to get the straps adjusted correctly when time is of the essence! We keep the base latched into our van, and it's nearly impossible to adjust the straps when the car seat is clicked into the base. So we end up doing a weird dance called, "balance the car seat sideways on the base and hurry to adjust the straps while the baby is screaming and the other kids are running in the thunderstorm." Next time, I'd buy a car seat with straps that can be adjusted in the front!

Stroller - loved pretty much everything about this stroller...until the folding mechanism stopped working. After a few weeks of having the stroller, the button and twisting part on the handle started "sticking". Sometimes they would work, other times we had to just shove the stroller in the back of the van without folding it (I don't know what we'd have done without a ginormous trunk!) After a few more weeks, the folding mechanism stopped working altogether. We wrote to Graco and they had us return the stroller in exchange for a different one. (Their customer service was fantastic in this regard!) Unfortunately, the stroller they sent us is a 'Graco Dynamo Lite Classic Connect Stroller'. It's an ok stroller, but unfolding it is really bizarre. (See my other review for more info).

I still love the Graco brand (and their customer service!) but next time I'd buy a car seat with front seat belt adjustment, and a stroller without folding mechanism issues.

Click below to see it at Amazon:

Graco Spree Travel System, Barcelona Bluegrass

Update: May 2014
We're now using the car seat with our youngest child and it's still in fantastic shape! Still wish we could adjust the seat belts from the front, but at least it's lasted us a good, long while.