Baby Jogger City Mini Stroller (Review)
When it comes to pushchair options, the choice can be overwhelming. Forward or rear-facing; three or four wheeled; travel system or lightweight; the list is exhausting!
For the Bunny, we opted for a travel system so that we had a car seat that she could use while still very young and the option of a better pushchair for longer walks and days out. The pushchair attachment could go forward or rear-facing and was almost lie-flat so was ideal for a newborn, especially with a cosy-toes addition. We would use the car seat when she fell asleep en route as it was easy to manoeuvre from the car to the frame – and it made it much easier to access the shopping basket space underneath as well! As she got older and grew out of her car seat, we bought a cheap umbrella fold buggy that was lightweight and easier to transport.
When the Bear came along, we opted to reuse the travel system rather than invest in a new one, using a sling as an alternative for days out when a pushchair was too cumbersome or her sister came too. It was ideal as she fitted in the car seat attachment and her sister still fitted in the pushchair attachment so we were able to be quite flexible with how we went out and about. However, the frame was quite heavy and stiff and I found it difficult to move around when I had Bear in it and Bunny walking next to me. It was also starting to play havoc with my weak wrists: there were a few occasions where getting across the road and up the kerb on the opposite side in time was difficult despite the single handle design. However, the lightweight buggy wasn’t ideal for naps as it was too upright, didn’t have a very good sunshade and it was starting to be a bit tatty. It also had two handles which didn’t allow for holding Bunny’s hand as she walked next to me. The Bear was getting bigger and was about to outgrow her car seat anyway, so we decided to look into something new.
A good friend showed me her BabyJogger City Select which has multiple options for seat attachment and can be rearranged to fit a second seat; ideal for her 18 month and 3 year olds! It was really easy to move around and looked fantastic! It wasn’t cheap though at around £500-£700 for the multi-way system she had so was beyond our budget. However, the City Mini was cheaper and more than adequate for us.
Although the Mini only has a single seat, it is lightweight enough to manage with Bunny walking next to me and is big enough for her to go in as well if Bear is in the sling. The easy-grip single handle and three-wheel design also make it incredibly easy to move around making even getting around tight spaces (most shops!) a breeze. It has a variable recline that goes to fully flat for those all important toddler naps and a mesh screen allows you a good view of your napper from behind, while still allowing air to circulate. The tri-fold sunshade is the best I’ve seen with windows in each section to keep an eye on your child, but enough cover to keep all sun (and almost all rain!) off them. However, it is the innovative fold design that makes it stand out from other pushchairs using a pull strap in the middle of the seat that literally collapses the pushchair in half so it lies flat. It isn’t entirely compact, and boot space in a car can be compromised if it is laid down rather than stood up, but it is truly one-handed fold unlike many others I’ve tried!
In addition to these wonderful attributes, the basket underneath is a good size, if a little inaccessible and there is also a handy pocket at the back of the seat space (I keep the sling and raincover in mine which hopefully demonstrates the size). Even though it clearly states not to hang a bag from the handlebar, I always keep the change bag on here and as it’s non-slip, it doesn’t need clips to hold it in place and has never tipped up while on it, even when the pushchair is empty. The foot brake is very easy to apply, even in flipflops and is well located in the middle of a lower cross bar. The clips to change strap heights are a little fiddly, but very simple to use and give a good range of height options. They also rotate fully which helps avoid messy, twisted straps.
Finally, there are some optional extras that are well worth investing in, although frustrating not to be included in the price. The raincover zips through the middle which makes accessing the passenger very easy and can let air in from the sides without compromising on rain protection. The cosy toes is simple to fit using the easy-clip straps and really is very cosy looking! There is also a cross bar option which we don’t have, but a friend does and is a good looking final touch!
I really can’t recommend this pushchair highly enough for slightly older babies and young children. The lie-flat option means that it could be used for newborns, but as it is only forward-facing, it isn’t ideal. Some children may find it isn’t upright enough for their comfort but we haven’t had a problem yet! And, finally, as mentioned, the shopping basket underneath is difficult to get to, despite an amended design that has dropped the back bar slightly, meaning large bags cannot easily be put there. All in all, these are fairly minor irritations for what is a fantastic pushchair that makes getting out and about with a pre-schooler and toddler a breeze. If you get a chance, try for yourself and I am sure you’ll agree!