July 26, 2006

The Stokke Xplory: One Dad's Love Affair

stokke_xplory_folded.jpgHere's one dad Aaron's account of life with the Stokke Xplory. There are some ups and downs besides the ones afforded by the adjustable-height seat, but it's most definitely love:

Max was born in February 2005 and the Xplory didn't get much use until August 2005. Until that time, we used a Graco infant car seat and a Snap 'n Go. The Xplory became our choice for jaunts around the neighborhood. After Max turned 1, we started using the Xplory a lot more. It didn't matter that it didn't have a car seat attachment -- because he was in a big boy car seat anyway.

In a real world test, I'd give it very good scores...both for the ease of use and the customer support.

We use it as a high chair when we are out, it folds up enough to go on a plane with no problems (People in Kansas City looked at it as though it just came in off of a flying saucer [ed. note: or maybe off the set of Aeon Flux?]), and is generally usable for its intended purpose -- to haul Max and his diapers around.

stokke_xplory_amazon.jpg

When a wheel hub cracked (these things do happen), Stokke sent a new wheel assembly immediately. Try to get that kind of service with a lesser brand.

I have to carry my coffee. Big deal.

Recently, the base that the seat assembly sits on has started to ratchet down as we roll over bumbs and curbs. It was never unsafe, but I contacted Stokke to see if there was anything I could do about it.

Without hesitation, they said they are sending me a replacement.

Sure, a new stroller should have no issues, but in this case, they took care of the problem. I couldn't be happier.

Less than a week later, here's Aaron's update:
Stokke Xplory update:

The replacement Xplory arrived exactly when they said it would. They sent me a new chassis...which is everything except the upholstered pieces. I transferred all of my Green parts to the new chassis, put my old Xplory chassis back in Stokke's shipping container and sent it back to them the next day.

I have never had this high level of service. When dealing with other companies, I usually get, "we're sorry, but there's nothing we can do."

Stokke has raised the bar. Not only did they take care of my problem, they are going to send my old Xplory to engineering to see what the problem was -- and make production changes as necessary to make it better for future customers.

I did notice that there were several differences between my early production Xplory and the new one. The wheels and tires are slightly different and the seat bucket has several changes -- mostly in the latching mechanism. It's nice to know they are making running production changes -- for the betterment of the product.

I'll be the first to admit that $749.00 is a lot of money for a stroller. There is no question about that. But in my own experience, it was money well spent. I did get what I paid for. For all of you naysayers, go buy a graco and save yourself $649.00. I'll stick with Stokke products. They are built well, they are beautiful to look at, the company stands behind their products and takes care of their customers. You can't put a price on that.

Actually, I'd price that at about $649, but there you have it.

Buy your own Stokke Xplory love for $769 at Amazon/Baby Age.

9 Comments

I'm still not sure if I like those or not. They look a liitle too weird. But that might not be such a bad thing...

the little one is 4mos and we just started using the stokke in the neighborhood (before we used to wheel her around our loft to get her used to it). its great - durable, easy to maneouver, and we, at least, like the way she can be looking at us and is relatively close to us. she doesn't seem to care, mostly just falls asleep. it was a gift from a 'rich uncle',so the cost issue is not ours. the one thing is it is pretty honkin big, so we don't take into many stores, etc, and it is a bit hard to store in our buildings 'stroller storage' (which is intended more for fold ups)
im glad to hear that customer support is so good.

["stroller storage"?? Where is this paradise? -ed.]

My husband still contends that men prefer this stroller because it reminds them of a golf bag cart.

ok, two replies: the 'stroller storage' is really bike storage. we live on the 6th and top floor of a walk-up, so we pulled rank and took over the lobby storage. as for the golf bag thing, it makes me like the stroller a little less.

Here’s the wish: that all products purchased in the future are as well designed, as useful and well made, with such a wonderful customer service (swift and truly caring: follow-up phone calls to see how the son is doing!) Here’s the dream: the Xplory we bought when our 22-month-old son was six months. It is and has been the best of all the products bought and gifted for our boy. It has even won the skeptical wife/mother who now welcomes (after months of consternation) 212ers commenting while out and about as to the “coolness” of the Xplory. (The baby’s pretty cool too!) There is great satisfaction from knowing that my son learned elevator buttons, and thus some counting, has been kept safely removed from all manner of vehicle exhaust, out of reach of street hugging dogs and their waste, free from toddlers and young children’s errant touch, able to join any café or dining crowd, and even join us at the bar! Now add the fact the ride is so smooth: the transition from pavement to cobblestone, from sidewalk to curb to street crossing, all so easy and comfortable for the driver and passenger as to make any other stroller seem so 20th century! And to think that anyone would hesitate over the cost, yet purchase up to three different strollers to do the same job! Spend the money once and never ever regret. Your wife will thank you, your child will thank you and you will thank yourself for having done the best thing possible for your ultra mobile, safe and secure child. And if this isn’t enough for you, folding and traveling with the Xplory is so easy and smart – the always present high chair yet another reason for extreme Xplory loyalty – as to make those travel strollers a duplicative waste of time and money. Buy and enjoy. You will.

We have 2 for our twins and indeed has been money well-spent. It's been great pushing them around the various types of paved roads/streets in Shanghai. They feel like an all-terrain vehicle and just glides on smoothly. Can even manuever with one hand!!!

I fell in love with the Stokke Xplory in the first baby-store I visited when my wife and I found out we were pregnant. We will have our first child in december 2007 - and I ordered the Xplory. I am building a lens over at Squidoo.com where I will share my experiences with this weird looking baby stroller. Go have a look: Squidoo.com/xplory

Try as I might, I've not found any information about the brakes on this stroller anywhere. Can anyone clarify for me, or give me a quick review?

I'm currently looking toward the Bugaboo Cameleon for our coming baby, but am still trying to keep my options open. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

And thanks for this great site!

Jason

The brakes.....there is a single brake on the rear right hand wheel. You click it backwards for 'on' and forwards when you want to get going again. Very simple and perfectly able to handle our 13kg, 18month old on a very steep incline outside our house.

Hope that helps...

On a different note, has anyone else had trouble with the back wheel leaning over and wobbling off. I suspect the axel has been bashed at some point (heathrow baggage handlers?) I'm hoping Stokke are as responsive as usual.

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