Bentley isn’t really a name that jumps out as a leading edge in children’s gear. We all know Bentley as a luxury car brand and the idea that they’ve signed up to put out a children’s convertible stroller was more than a little intriguing to say the least. When the Bentley 6 in 1 Convertible Trike arrived at my door, the intrigue turned to awe.
Why the Bentley Convertible 6-in-1 Trike isn’t just a brand name
When our Blog Editor-in-Chief told me what was coming, I admit that I was a bit surprised. I shouldn’t be, considering other luxury auto brands like Mercedes Benz have been manufacturing ride-on cars for years. I’m a bit surprised at the style choice, however. I think this is the first time I’ve seen a luxury branded convertible stroller trike.
This convertible tricycle is a joint partnership between Bentley and Posh Baby and Kids, a Burnaby, BC based company that specializes is safe, high end baby mats and playthings. With both of those names behind this, you can bet on high build quality and good attention to detail.
As we progress further down the review, you’ll see why this attention to detail is so crucial, and why this Bentley model is in a class all its own compared to other convertible trikes available.
What is a convertible stroller trike?
Chances are that you’ve seen convertible stroller/tricycle units before. These are units designed for multi-stage fun for your little one. From as young as 6 months, you can use this as a stroller and the stages progress from there as such:
Stage 1: As of 6 months – Canopied functional stroller with leg rests. Mom and dad maintain total control. The seat can face forward or face backwards using a simple button press located under the seat. One thing to be aware of though is that you’ll have to tend to the foot rests before you try to flip the seat over since it will get stuck on the main bar otherwise.
Stage 2: As of 18 months – You can remove the foot rests here (or tuck them in) but keep the canopy. You can also enable freewheel mode here where your child can learn how to use the trike pedals while you maintain control.
Stage 3: 2 to 3 years – You can remove the parental restraints here and teach your child to pedal themselves
Final Stage: 3 and up – You remove the padded back rest, safety belts and the other restraints and convert this into a tricycle
Most of what you see come off and enable/disable through button presses or release latches. While it does look large in stature all installed, you should be able to disassemble some of the standout pieces to make it fit into any car trunk. Assembly on the other side should take mere seconds. The canopy, for example, is just on a sliding button release clip and takes about 10 seconds to put up and tear down.
You’ll notice in the demo video that I’ve left most of the normal features intact, preferring instead to show you photos of what the various stages look like. While we’ve had a similar tricycle at home for my daughter since she was a year old, she hasn’t shown much interest in it and as such, hasn’t quite picked up how to pedal. The safety features on the Bentley are much better and much safer than our existing tricycle, so I felt a bit more secure about having her safe in case she started to guide herself down the hill (our home is located at the top of a slope.) She started rolling backwards on attempt #1 though and so I chose to leave everything intact.
Riding and staying safe in style
There is one common theme that you see with a lot of convertible tricycles: Questionable build quality. One of the things that I can’t stand about the one we have at home is the fact that the pedal release is an absolute trainwreck. I’ve only been able to get it to work properly a small handful of times and finally, I’d just give up and have my daughter steer us while I held on in the back. The wheels wouldn’t sit in place properly and the belts lost their shoulder rests during a park visit (I didn’t even know they could fall off like that.)
The thing about this Bentley model is that you won’t really have to worry about any of that. Everything about this convertible trike is well constructed and done better than your everyday model. The seat itself is a fairly fancy cross-stitching design that has a really wide back to relax in. The wheels are replicas of their continental GT wheels too. For all of you Bentley enthusiasts, the trike comes outfitted with chrome logos and that usual flare as well. I’ve taken a few pictures to show you. It’s nothing over the top or flashy but the brand name is well represented throughout.
Best of all, as a parent, this thing pushes and navigates so smoothly. I had no trouble with the wheels or steering on the Bentley I tested: unlike the trike we own which is a constant challenge. The safety features and comfortable seating is extremely refreshing and I like the fact that your child stays as safe as they do too.
One thing that makes a world of difference in the ride quality is the size and style of the tires. The Bentley look and feel are present in the air filled tires. You run across so many of these convertible smart stroller/tricycle hybrids that base off hard rubber or composite wheels. As with any actual stroller, the ride quality is fairly severed as a result. If you look at urban vs. jogging strollers and the cruisibility of wheels on those, you have the same issue here. Rubber composite wheels make for rougher rides and harder to navigate sidewalks and pathways. Really, you’re not going to ride this at the flat floors of the mall often (if at all) and you need something that allows your kid to be a kid. Hard and unforgiving tires mean for a difficult ride.
The tires on this allow you to go up and down basic slopes easily and navigate cracked sidewalks or uneven pavement with ease.
Why the Bentley Convertible Smart Tricycle stands out
You do have options in the convertible tricycle market, but a lot of them aren’t very good. Buying one of the cheaper options means that you often get a fairly rickety build which isn’t good for anything but the smoothest pavements. Unless you plan on your child riding this thing around your garage, you need something with a little oomph in it. The Bentley Convertible Smart Trike is almost the other extreme, but when your child’s safety is on the line, it shouldn’t be a question.
This is a very sturdily built and very impressive piece of work. It won’t be for everybody, granted, but if it’s in your price range (and it does cost a lot less than you think) then it’s a very solid option. You’ll be impressed by just how well it glides and moves and your child will have endless hours of fun.
My one piece of parental advice to you though is to make sure you get them on it early and get them pedaling as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll end up in my boat where I’m still not sure how I’m going to get my daughter using her tricycle alone and pedaling by herself.