The Baby Jogger City Mini earns top marks from parents and pros, who praise its ease of use, convenient features and light weight. It can handle gravel paths and smooth sidewalks alike, and users say it's very easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Numerous add-ons make the Baby Jogger City Mini even more versatile, but they also run up the cost. That said, most reviewers say this full-featured stroller is the only one you'll need for your child.
Safe for babies to toddlers. The Baby Jogger City Mini comes with all the safety features you'd expect in a high-end stroller, plus some. It has a five-point fully padded, adjustable, no rethread harness, plus a padded sheath over the buckle to discourage babies from fiddling with it and possibly escaping. The stroller comes with one-touch, linked brakes, and a belly bar (*Est. $35) can be purchased separately to add a layer of safety and comfort.
Everything's easy to use. This stroller's recline is a simple, one-hand move; the front wheels lock with a tap and the rear wheels pop off easily with the push of a button. Its linked rear brake is foot-operated, and its one-handed fold/unfold comes with a removable locking mechanism. The harness' hook can be adjusted from the front of the seat. The stroller seat is machine washable, but must be air-dried attached to the frame to keep from shrinking or losing shape. An optional carry bag (*Est. $55) makes the stroller even easier to store or travel with.
Lots of convenience, though you'll pay for some of it. Unless you're a serious jogger or take your stroller on challenging off-road trails, the City Mini will work wherever you live. It's narrow and maneuverable enough to navigate the aisles of small boutiques, while the locking EVA wheels can handle any terrain from gravel and playground mulch to the puncture risks of desert living. The stroller folds compactly to fit in most car trunks or closets, and at 16.8 pounds, lifting and carrying it is a breeze. A full recline makes it suitable for infants, and it's also compatible with several car seats with optional adapters (*Est. $70), a compact pram (*Est. $170) and a bassinet (*Est. $260).
For older babies and children up to 50 pounds, the City Mini has a generously sized, well-padded seat, with a fully padded harness and buckle for comfort. An optional belly bar (*Est. $35) gives youngsters something to grab onto when they're riding, and a belly bar console (*Est. $35) or tray (*Est. $25) can store toys or snacks. There's even an optional glider board (*Est. $80) on which older children an hitch a ride. Storage is plentiful and easy to access.
This stroller's canopy is huge, which parents value, but at least one expert reviewer and several users complain that its Velcro closures are noisy. It has two viewing windows. The handles aren't adjustable, so you should definitely try it before you buy it if you're shorter or taller than average. But the main drawback to the City Mini may ultimately be price. Its base price of $250 isn't bad considering its features and durability, but the accessories can add up. Even the cup holder/child tray is sold separately (*Est. $25), which several parents say is unreasonable.
The Baby Jogger City Mini GT, a very similar stroller that retails for about $100 more than the City Mini, is geared more toward all-terrain use. It has a higher weight capacity of 65 pounds, a slightly larger seat back, more padding, rugged, puncture-proof wheels, an adjustable handle, and a hand brake instead of a foot brake. It weighs in at 21 pounds, so it's a heavier package overall. Both the City Mini and the City Mini GT also come in double stroller models.
Baby Jogger listens. Baby Jogger offers a lifetime frame warranty for manufacturer defects; textile and soft-side materials are warranted for one year. What's most impressive is that whenever Baby Jogger makes an upgrade, it takes into account customer complaints from previous years. So, for example, when many customers complained about the unsupportive seat in older models, the company firmed it up. They also responded to grumbles about storage issues and lack of a locking fold, fixing those issues in the 2011 and 2012 models. And for parents who wished they had a standing platform for an older child, one is now available.
The City Mini may not be the perfect stroller, but it's close. Built to last until your child -- and probably more than one -- outgrows it, it's easy to use and fits a variety of lifestyle needs. It also has all the high-end features a parent wants in a stroller, such as a full recline, plush comfort, a huge canopy, a one-handed fold and plenty of storage. The accessories jack up the price, but if you don't need them, this is a stroller with excellent cost of ownership over the long run.
1. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent "Baby Bargains" is a popular and well-organized guide to baby-related products. Authors Denise and Alan Fields conduct hands-on testing as well as parent, manufacturer and retailer interviews. The section on strollers is detailed and offers a wealth of useful information. Both the Baby Jogger brand in general and the City Mini are reviewed and rated against dozens of other popular strollers.
Review: Strollers, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition
Review Credibility: Excellent BabyGizmo.com founder Hollie Schultz gives a detailed, critical review of 2012 City Mini, testing it and demonstrating fit with her own children. She raves about the stroller's ease of use, large canopy, comfort touches for the child and, above all, the one-handed fold and automatic locking. On the downside, she's not crazy about the Velcro closures and would like an adjustable handle.
Review: Baby Jogger City Mini 2012 Stroller Review, Hollie Schultz, Feb. 23, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent Hollie Schultz compares the Baby Jogger City Mini 2012 and the City Mini GT in this comprehensive review. She says the GT model sells for $100 more, but it offers a bigger seat, higher weight capacity of 65 pounds, more padding, all-terrain wheels, an adjustable handle and a hand brake. Schultz doesn't recommend one stroller over another.
Review: Baby Jogger City Mini 2012 vs. City Mini GT, Hollie Schultz, Feb. 23, 2012
Review Credibility: Very good The editors at ConsumerReports.org rate 35 full-featured strollers for ease of use, maneuverability and safety. While the testing is commendable, editors give virtually no written details about the strollers and the report is outdated, with several models having been discontinued. Durability and the reality of long-term, everyday use are not taken into account.
Review: Traditional Stroller Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of Oct. 2010
Review Credibility: Very good StrollerQueen Janet McLaughlin tests the 2011 Baby Jogger City Mini with the optional glider attached. The glider was new for 2011, and only minor changes have been made to the 2012 model. Already a fan of the City Mini, McLaughlin was instrumental in Baby Jogger's development of the standing board. She says the 2011 version has a stiffer seat so the child can sit more upright than in older models, maneuvers well and is easy to use, which are features retained in the 2012 model.
Review: 5 Crown Royal Ratings!, Janet McLaughlin, May 26, 2011
Review Credibility: Very good The Baby Jogger City Mini 2011 makes this annual list as best urban stroller. Editors like its light weight, super compact fold, ease of use and excellent maneuverability over a variety of terrain. They add that Baby Jogger listened to customer complaints regarding past models and made upgrades accordingly.
Review: Babble Best, 2011: Strollers, Editors of Babble.com, Jan. 7, 2011
Review Credibility: Very good In nearly 20 reviews, the Baby Jogger City Mini earns 4.4 stars out of 5. Owners like its maneuverability, one-hand fold, light weight and easy push. A few complain that a cup holder isn't included.
Review: Baby Jogger City Mini Single Stroller, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Aug. 2012
Review Credibility: Very good The Baby Jogger City Mini earns an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars in a handful of reviews for the 2012 model; hundreds of users post feedback on earlier models. Owners rave about the City Mini's light weight, easy fold and compact size. The one complaint is that a cup holder isn't included.
Review: Baby Jogger City Mini Single Stroller, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of Aug. 2012
Review Credibility: Good The Baby Jogger City Mini is included in this roundup of the top five strollers for infants. Editors make note of its ease of use, large canopy and roomy seat. They point out, however, that it doesn't stand when folded and isn't a jogging stroller, despite the name.
Review: The Best Strollers for Infants, Editors of BabyCenter.com, April 2012
Review Credibility: Fair The Baby Jogger City Mini makes this top 10 list compiled by editors of CanadianParents.com from reader input. There's no mention of testing and no actual review or overview, merely a brief quote from a parent.
Review: The Top 10 Strollers Chosen by our Readers, Editors of CanadianParents.com, Not dated