Here are my first impressions. This will not be a full review, but I will provide my initial impressions on this product. Disclaimer: I purchased this with my own money and I do not have any affiliations with Gladly whatsoever.
First is ease of installation. Although the packaging was large compared to other stroller boxes that I have seen, I do appreciate that most of the Anthem 4 was already assembled, about like 80% of it. All I really had to do was separate the accessories from the packaging, find the wheels, pop them on, clip them on and zip on the accessories, and I was pretty much ready to go. The part where I had the most trouble that actually required me the most time was installing the 2 wheel covers. They are made of plastic and the part that attaches to the wagon is thin. Apparently, they changed the design as it is different than what was pictured in the instruction manual. I would have liked the quick start manual to have been updated with the photos and instructions of their changes for the wheel covers instead of the old ones. I attempted to carefully take them back off to film some close-up shots but was unable to do so without risking damaging them. Maybe I was missing something, but it was not intuitive. So this leaves me to wonder if I can take them off to clean them or something. I could leave them on, but if I frequently take off the wheels, one issue is that the wheel covers would then touch the ground and could get scratched up. So overall, I give ease of installation and product care a 4 out of 5, mainly due to the wheel covers.
In terms of physical effort, I would say it did not require too much physical effort. The part that would be most difficult is lifting up the wagon itself out of the packaging. Alternatively, you could cut up the box and peel it off like a banana to get access to the wagon. Aside from moving the entire shipping box, you pretty much will be dealing with the same amount of weight of approximately 41 pounds when you load and unload it in the back of your trunk. You could take off the accessories and the wheels, but I don’t think they weigh that much to begin with and most of the weight is in the body of the wagon itself. So I would give it a score of also 4 out of 5 for a physical effort to unbox, install, and work with. But for a 4 person stroller, this weight is actually not too bad for an all-terrain wagon stroller compared to something like the Wonderfold.
In terms of build quality, I would say it is pretty good, but it did not scream luxury or super high quality to me, but it’s not like flimsy and cheaply made either. To me, I was not super impressed coming from my Mockingbird stroller which had more attention to detail and more luxurious materials like the handlebar wrap or the buttons. For example, the handlebar uses the typical black foam that you often find on in those gym equipment handles like a bench press. The same goes for the brake lever. It is plastic and while it works just fine, it doesn’t look super high quality to me and is somewhat not smooth on the underside for flip flops. I think the wheels remind me of those kids’ electric ride-on cars and they’re made of hard plastic, not soft and rubbery. So they won’t require inflating or anything. But on the flip side, they balance out as it’s quite a smooth ride and easy ride, as you can see I took it for a quick test on the sand at the playground. You can not do this with many other strollers and wagons unless they are meant for the beach or are all terrain. The other part that I noticed was the handlebar when locked into position for push and pull. It wasn’t like a firm position and I was able to wiggle it a few centimeters up and down. Just bugged me a little bit as I am very sensitive to small movements. The welded aluminum frame seems pretty solid overall and didn’t make any creaking or squeaking noises when loaded with my child and all our gear. It has a total weight capacity of 250 pounds total. I would give the build quality an overall score of 3 out of 5, 5 being the best. This product was made in China and has a 1 year product warranty.
The last criteria I will grade, which is arguably the most important is functionality and safety based on my unboxing. I will average out a total of 10 scores based on each criteria. I think this product is very functional. In terms of safety, I would say the brakes, which only lock at the front are about a 3 out of 5. 5 Although the wagon isn’t going anywhere, I was able to with moderate effort push the wagon with the brakes engaged and slide it to overcome the friction on the ground and skid across the pavement and my astroturf. This might be overcome and I would have liked that the rear wheels also had brakes, even if they are manual push brakes for each wheel by hand because I noticed when I loaded into the back of our Rav4, the side for the small wheels moved around because they didn’t have brakes. Not a huge deal, but would have been nice to have for a product that carries 4 kids, which is a lot of weight that can move around. I would be a little nervous to park this on a steep hill with the brakes in san Francisco and step away, even without kid unless I parked it parallel to the include so that it rolls perpendicular to the hill. By the way, the wagon took almost the whole width of the trunk of my Rav4, with a little room to put a small backpack on the side, but that’s about it. Wouldn’t have room for like a carry on luggage beside it and I would probably have to put the luggage case on top of the wagon. The seatbelts are pretty solid 5 harnesses and felt secure, so 5 out of 5.
What is nice is the ability to push and pull the stroller without having to make any changes to the handle. It locks out at about 15-20 degrees, or it can go lower and move freely but it doesn’t lock out at these lower angles, so if it was lower than about 20 degrees, if you didn’t hold the handlebar, it would drop to its lowest angle, I forget how low it goes sorry. It would have been nice to have a locking position at one more lower angle say, 45 degrees or something because it would provide better ergonomics and would be physically advantageous depending on the height and anatomy of the adult pushing/pulling and where their arms are relative to the handlebar. So if you are on the shorter end, you would have to raise your hand up higher to push/pull, and conversely, if you were very tall, the handlebar would be lower at this fixed 30 degree angle. Compared to my mockingbird stroller, it has adjustments for the handlebar for like 4 or 5 different angles or more, which is super ergonomic. So I give this a 3 out of 5.
An important functional criteria is how easy a wagon deploys and collapses such as to load into the car or for storage. Initially, expanding it took a little more effort than I would have liked, but after a few times, I think it was easier. The same goes for collapsing. The first few times required even two hands to collapse the release button. And we even wondered if there was a defect in this push release button or if it was a feature itself for safety. But it took some effort to even make the button release the locking mechanism so that it would collapse. After we got used to it, it wasn’t that bad. It is nice that the wagon just collapses and you don’t have like multiple steps to break it down so you can just push a button, collapse, and you’re good to load it in your trunk, and the opposite to deploy the wagon.. And if needed, you can easily remove the 4 wheels and front basket pretty quickly too to save some space. So 4 out of 5.
The ability to provide sun protection 360 degrees and zip up the center is great, 5 out of 5. I also like the fold-out bed that is handy naps so that the child does not need to sit the entire time when they fall asleep or need to be carried, which defeats the purpose of a wagon in the first place, so 5 out of 5. There are 4 cupholders, but the one for the parent does not fit larger water bottles. There are 4 interior storage pockets. The storage bin fit my large android phone so that passed my test. There is also a front basket and it is a reasonable side. It is somewhat easy to install and remove, but I worry about its durability in the long term, so I would give storage features a 4 out of 5. The center of the wagon has a drop-down for more leg space for the children so they are comfortably supported, that’s great, 5 out of 5. I like that the large wheels have a wheel cover to prevent injuries, but it would have been nice to see some for the smaller pair too to cover all of the wheels, so 4 out of 5. S then, the average score comes out to 42 out of 50 for overall safety and functionality, which is 84%, or 4.2 stars out of 5.
I want to use this product more in different situations so I can give a better review, and plan to compare it to other similar products on the market too. One thing I will say is that this wagon got a lot of looks and compliments. So be sure to subscribe to this channel so you get notified when my next video is up with a more comprehensive review of this wagon. Thanks for watching and I hope this helped!
Safety & Functionality Score (5 is best)
Deployment and Collapsing 4/5
Sun protection 5/5
Foldout bed 5/5
Cupholders and storage 4/5
Front basket 4/5
Feet support 5/5
Wheel safety 4/5
Total Score for Safety & Functionality: 42/50