Guys, I was so excited to open the Austlen Entourage that I unboxed it in my workout gear and filmed it just so I could show it to you all! (And by “workout gear” I mean the “athleisure” clothes I wear when it’s 6pm and I wish I could put on pajamas.) Anyways, I made this video for you all as a sneak peak at the Entourage! This post includes my first impressions of the Austlen Entourage and jump seat! I haven’t got my hands on a second seat yet, but I will add that when I do! Thus, without further ado, my Austlen Entourage unboxing and first impressions video…
Whew, OK, we got through that. Next time, I will dress up a bit for you all. Anyways, let’s just take a few minutes here and look at the Entourage in all it’s glory. The Entourage comes in two colors, Navy and Black. I have the Navy, and I have to say I love the contrast to the chrome. The navy has a beautiful melange style fabric that almost looks like denim up close. I love that it comes with a “market tote,” which is essentially a beefed-up parent console. Inside the covered portion of the console is cupholders and dividers, and the remainder is large compartments. The outside section has slots for cell phones or other small items.
SEAT AND CANOPY
When I see a stroller I alway wonder how long my huge kiddos will be comfy in it. While this seat back is average at 18in high, the canopy has a whopping 26in clearance underneath. That is HUGE in the stroller world! And, speaking of canopies, check out that 4 panel canopy with, count them, TWO peek-a-boo mesh windows with (gasp!) magnetic closures! That’s right, no noisy velcro waking your sleeping beauty! The seat is attached to the canopy, however, so you lose a little bit of height when you recline. The recline is a nice, flat recline which is suitable for newborns, and the seat has a little fabric piece that folds out to make it a bassinet! The seat comes with a vegan leather belly bar, but I have switched that out for the optional snack tray in the picture. The snack tray is a really nice size, and the stroller even folds with it attached (!!!). If you don’t want to use the seat, car seat adapts are available for both the front seat and rear area.
The Austlen Entourage has 30 (!) different configurations available! Yes, 30! I have the stroller and jump seat, but will update with the second seat once I get the piece. This stroller can hold 150lbs of babies and gear. That is insane! The main seat holds up to 50lbs, the market tote up to 35lbs, and the underseat basket will hold up to 65lbs. The basket has a spring-loaded metal frame for stability, and is made of thick, high quality nylon that will clean easily and hold whatever you can stuff in there without stretching out! The frame of the stroller is very unique. It extends forward to make the stroller longer, and accommodate the different configurations. It is easy-peasy to extend the frame. No fiddling with lots of buttons or locks; just grasp the front handlebar, squeeze the trigger, and adjust the stroller larger or smaller!
I tried out the stroller as a single and also with the jump seat. You can see the stroller in its 3 lengths below…single, 1.5 length, and 2.0 length. I also added the optional snack tray (purchased separately) instead of the vegan leather belly bar (included) because my little man always needs a snack readily available! You can see the market tote easily expands to the proper size for each configuration.
So, I added the accessory of the Jump Seat + Platform Rider to accommodate my toddler. Jump seats are excellent options for kiddos that don’t always need to ride, and are fairly reliable out of a seat. This is probably over approximately 3 years old for most kids. This particular seat combines a platform rider standing board plus a padded neoprene seat, to give the option of sitting or standing. The seat also folds up and out of the way when not in use! Amazing! You can actually see it folded up in my pics above. You can also easily remove the seat when you don’t need it, and even leave the platform attached. The seat is incredibly high quality–it is heavily padded, includes a 3 point harness, has handlebars, and the neoprene feels durable and easy to clean. It has a weight limit of 50lbs. The platform rider can be used when the stroller is in singles mode, but the jump seat will require that the stroller is extended at least to 1.5 mode. If you want to recline the front seat, you’ll need to extend the stroller to 2.0.
IT LOOKS NICE, BUT HOW DOES IT PUSH?
Short answer: like butter. Even when completely extended and loaded up with my large 14 month old (95th percentile and the size of an average 2 year old) in the front and toddler (4 years old next month) on the jump seat, this thing still pushes with one hand. I was actually shocked to see that, since my experiences with other tandems had been less impressive. Don’t get me wrong, it is stretch-limo long, but I am confident you can load this thing up with the 150lbs Austlen brags about and still push it around with ease. I have owned and used Baby Jogger City Selects and Uppababy Vistas, and I feel that this pushes easier and smoother than either. Now, it doesn’t have air tires, so you will feed some bumps from the road, but the ease of push and no worry of punctures definitely makes up for that. It also feels very solid and sturdy when pushing. I would have NO reservations about loading it up with the advertised weight, because this baby can handle it!
Well that stuff above is all nice, but even if the stroller strolls with the best of them, if you can’t fold it up and take it anywhere, what good is it?? So, how is the fold? In a word, transcendental. I cannot believe how small this thing folds up, and in ONE gosh-darn piece. I have never seen anything like it! You can leave the jump seat on, leave the second seat on, leave the market tote on…and it STILL folds into the same sized tiny package. It’s like the Mary Poppins bag of strollers. Here is a pic of it next to my Uppababy Cruz (a popular compact-folding, lightweight single stroller)…same size (?!?!). And tucked away, quite unobtrusively, next to the stairs.Oh and it STANDS by itself when folded, and even rolls like luggage on its wheels! Hat’s off to the engineers on this one!
While the Austlen Entourage may be a bit robust for families who only need a single stroller, it is an excellent option for a double, sit-n-stand, or single for someone who has to haul a lot of gear. There are beach wheels that have just become available that will make this thing a beast for the beach! You can travel with it thanks to the excellent fold, but definitely take care if flying and always gate check in a padded travel bag. The push is quite amazing for a tandem double and actually blows my expectations out of the water. In short, the Austlen Entourage should be on the short list for anyone consider a double stroller or one that can haul ALL. THE. THINGS.
Buy it from Amazon, Albee Baby, or your favorite baby retailer. Keep in mind coupon codes and tax when deciding where to purchase! Many independent retailers such as Albee Baby, etc can offer free shipping and no tax, which may beat an Amazon price; Amazon, however, usually has the best return policy if you need to try before you buy. There are occasional promotions such as a free jump seat going around, but you’ll have to act fast! This is a luxury, in-demand item and sales are few and far between!