Here’s to you
So to all you thrill-seekers, explorers and dreamers. You walkers, runners, and sprinters. To those who dare to venture outside of the ordinary, with your children by your side. We have YOU to thank for the past two decades of adventures.
We spend our days creating revolutionary products that give families the freedom to get out and explore--together. The mantra we live by? Put quality first, and the rest falls into place. This commitment is at the forefront of our innovations.
Back in 1994, Roger Malinowski, a bicycle industry maven, met Philip Novotny, an airline mechanic, in the California town of San Luis Obispo. Philip had turned a decrepit beach cruiser bike into a versatile, lightweight, single track bike trailer. He called it the YAK and was rolling them out of a machine shop on a small scale. Roger knew a great idea when he saw one and together, they took Philip’s invention and built a booming business. The Yak trailer revolutionized the way bikes transport gear and as a result, it has become the world standard for bicycle tourists, commuters and enthusiasts.
Originally, the name of the company was Beast of Burden, which many thought was a burden unto itself. However, in typical California fashion, that mouthful was soon shortened to its acronym BOB. “BOB is easier to spell, funny and simple,” Roger explains.
Running with Baby
When Roger and Philip began to start families, they were inspired to design and build a superior jogging stroller that held the same high standards as their trailers. The result was the BOB Sport Utility Stroller, complete with patented suspension system, tough polymer wheels, easy-fold frame, a reclining, padded seat and several other features no one had ever put on a stroller before. “We wanted the best of a bunch of worlds,” says Roger. “A lightweight, high-quality stroller that you could still take running, hiking or off-road and also fold up easily and compactly. The fact we could put all of these elements in one stroller is what really attracted people to it.”
Of course, no successful product can be introduced without going through rigorous laboratory testing. “We used our kids,” says Roger. “Out on the driveway. They squeaked, burped, cried, hurled, scratched, ripped, kicked, tripped, clawed and jumped on the prototypes we gave them. It was great. Those kids helped us raise the performance levels and quality of the stroller farther and faster than we may have been able to otherwise.”
It wasn’t long before they had a successful product and the resources they needed to expand their features and product line. Soon after the Sport Utility Stroller hit the streets, customers started asking for a two-seat stroller, which led to the introduction of the Duallie in 2001.
Turning on a Dime
In 2005, BOB introduced another innovation that revolutionized the stroller: a swiveling front wheel. No longer would parents have to tip their strollers backwards to make a sharp turn or awkwardly maneuver congested areas. The new stroller was called the BOB Revolution and it was nothing short of it. The rotating front wheel made turning tight corners, walking narrow aisles and navigating crowded sidewalks a sheer breeze. Complete with a locking mechanism, the front wheel could also lock forward for uneven terrain or faster speeds.
In 2006, attracted by a favorable business climate and a lifestyle conducive to its philosophy, BOB moved its corporate offices to Boise, Idaho. As in California, many of the employees rode their bikes to work, sometimes taking new stroller or trailer ideas home for a little product testing.
In 2011, BOB Gear was acquired by Britax, a manufacturer of premium car seats, strollers, baby carriers and accessories. Since its founding in Britain in 1939, Britax has established itself as a trusted juvenile products brand, known for a commitment to thoughtful, innovative engineering of safe, top-quality and intuitively designed products.
The addition of BOB to the Britax family reflects the company’s commitment to offering a full line of strollers to meet the modern family’s lifestyle needs, and continues the cherished BOB legacy of quality and innovation.
We are so proud that BOB has become a part of so many families over the past 20 years. From the snow covered peeks of Colorado, to the sandy beaches of Florida and everywhere in between… where has BOB taken you?
Britax USA, and now BOB Gear, are located in Fort Mill, SC, and together employ more than 200 people. For more information, visit www.BritaxUSA.com.