Chicco Tre Stroller ReviewSeptember 14, 2016
- Huge sun shade
- One-hand fold action
- Adjustable shocks
- Awkward hand brake design
- Complicated seat buckle
- Hard seat
The Chicco Tre is a mid-range stroller that’s better suited for strolling down sidewalks than going on extended runs. It has some design issues going against it, and for the price it should offer more.
The Tre’s most noteworthy design feature is the hand brake on the handlebar. It does double duty: you squeeze it to slow down, and to lock the rear wheels you squeeze and flip a separate locking lever. It’s a good idea that falls short in execution. Slowing down works fine, and is actually a convenient feature to have, but the locking mechanism is far from idiot-proof—definitely double-check it’s actually locked. The lever is also large and right in the middle of handlebar, making it awkward for small hands and anyone who prefers to grab the bar in the middle. There’s a wrist strap, front wheel lock and halfway-decent parent console on the handlebar. The rear suspension has two settings, although you have to switch each side separately. The canopy is huge and detachable.
The Tre is only a so-so jogger. Each rear wheel has its own axle, which offers more striding space in the middle, but it just doesn’t roll as smoothly as many of the other models tested, and feels more top-heavy. There’s a good bit of play in the front wheel when it’s locked, which is a mixed blessing: it lets you make corrections without lifting the wheel, handy without adjustable tracking, but it also keeps the stroller from staying on a straight line when you want it to, especially off the pavement.
The bucket-style seat on the Tre has a plastic bottom that isn’t as comfortably padded as other models. It sits very upright at its highest setting, like a car seat, and reclines easily with one hand to four different positions. For some reason the crotch strap isn’t adjustable. For the pusher, the handlebar is height adjustable and has a nice ergonomic bend to it.
The Tre isn’t poorly built, but for the price it should offer a better value. One particular beef: the plastic cover on the front wheel rattles whenever the wheel lifts, which is often, since the overall design is rear-heavy.
A rotating grip between the canopy and the handlebar lets you fold the Tre up with one hand. It auto-locks and stands when folded, if the front wheel is locked, which is quite convenient. On the other hand, the buckle on the harness is unnecessarily complex, with five separate parts to click together as you beg your squirming toddler to sit still. Underseat storage is moderate, and you can take the stroller seat out and click a KeyFit brand car seat carrier in its place.
Runner, cyclist, father, writer—Julian Smith is a guy with a lot in tow, and a lot to say about the best running strollers and trailers for active parents wth kids.