The much-anticipated Baby Jogger City Versa combines the best features of the City Mini and the City Select to make one stroller that most reviewers agree is close to perfection. However, a recall shortly after its release seems to have made consumers leery as there are few owner reviews available. But there's no shortage of expert reviews, and they love the Versa's reversible seat, big canopies and its plethora of easy-to-use features.
Safe features, but recent recall. The Baby Jogger City Versa has a five-point harness system and a secure, linked, rear-wheel parking brake that is operated by a handle on the chassis. The front swivel wheels lock for better control on bumpy surfaces. An optional belly bar (*MSRP $29.95) can add another level of security. The buckle, which includes a fabric cover, is reported to be secure and not easy for younger toddlers to undo.
In December 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Baby Jogger, issued a voluntary recall for about 10,600 Baby Jogger City Versa strollers due to a fall hazard -- the stroller frame can fail to lock, causing the stroller to collapse while in use. No injuries have been reported. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled strollers and contact Baby Jogger for a free replacement stroller frame at 877-506-2213, or go to www.babyjogger.com and click on "Recall Information" at the bottom of the page, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Couldn't be simpler. The Baby Jogger City Versa gets high praise from expert reviewers for its extremely easy-to-use features. The one-handed fold, one-handed recline, brake lever and seat reverse are all reported as simple and hassle-free. Likewise, the handlebar and footrest adjust easily. At 24 pounds, it is not the lightest stroller, about mid-range, but it's reported as easy to lift and carry thanks to an automatic, locking fold and padded carry handle. One thing experts really like -- it folds even with the seat reversed.
An almost perfect stroller. Experts say the Baby Jogger City Versa combines the best features of the Baby Jogger City Select and the Baby Jogger City Mini, making it an almost perfect stroller. It has a reversible seat that is reported to be comfortable even for larger children. The seat has a three-position recline but does not recline flat, so it should not be used for a newborn without optional car seat adapters (*MSRP $24.95 for Britax B-Safe, *MSRP $69.95 for Universal) or pram (*MSRP $189.95). Its upper weight rating is 50 pounds. It does not sit fully upright, so some children may not like the slight lean back. The all-wheel suspension and well-padded seat make it a comfortable ride for kids of all ages.
The three-panel canopy on the City Versa is large with two viewing windows that have magnetic closures rather than noisy Velcro, something experts rave about as it cuts down on waking up baby to take a peek. Storage is ample, with a large, under-seat basket and a large mesh unit on the back of the seat. At least one reviewer says the basket is not all that accessible from the front or the sides, although others disagree. The footrest and handlebar are both adjustable.
One thing that both owners and experts complain about is the wheels: They're small (8 inches) and reported as seeming like plastic (they're hard rubber). Users say they perform best on smooth terrain.
The City Versa does not have a cup holder, either included or optional, but a child's snack tray (*MSRP $24.95) is available. Other optional accessories include a rain cover (*MSRP $39.95 and glider board (*MSRP $79.95).
Long warranty. The Baby Jogger City Versa comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the frame and a one-year warranty on soft-sided materials. Baby Jogger has an excellent reputation for customer service.
Review Credibility: Excellent After expert and real-life tests, Bayless gives the Baby Jogger City Versa 4 stars out of 5. She praises its compact fold, adjustability and plethora of easy-to-use features. She says its wheels make it suitable only for smooth surfaces and the hand-operated brake may take some getting used to. The parent tester agrees, also giving the Versa 4 stars, noting that it has great features and storage, but she wishes it were lighter.
Review: We Love, You Need: The Best Baby Strollers of 2012. Which One Should You Buy?, Kate Bayless, Sept. 17, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Hollie Schultz reviews the Baby Jogger City Versa, demonstrating its seat dimensions with three children, ages 1, 3 and 5. She notes that it's a good size for larger/taller children, but the seat does not have a full recline so it's not suitable for babies under 6 months of age. She praises the large canopy, which has two, magnetic closure peek-a-boo windows, adjustable handle and reversible seats. She notes that every feature is very easy to use, including the one-handed fold. The only thing she says she'd like to see is more robust wheels.
Review: Baby Jogger City Versa Stroller - Baby Gizmo, Hollie Schultz, Sept. 7, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good Jamie Grayson, an experienced baby-gear consultant, tested the Baby Jogger City Versa over a period of several months with actual babies in New York City. He says the Baby Jogger City Versa is an innovative stroller that doesn't break the bank. He praises the easy, one-hand fold, large canopy and adjustable footrest and handlebar. He does note that the fold is a two-step process and mentions no downsides to the Versa.
Review: Stroller Review: Baby Jogger City Versa, Jamie Grayson, Aug. 13, 2012
4. Stroller Queen Reviews
Review Credibility: Very Good Self-styled "Stroller Queen" Janet McLaughlin gives the Baby Jogger City Versa a thorough review, noting that it's easy to use, from assembly to seat reverse, to recline to one-handed push. She notes that the seat is large and comfortable, even for an older child. She also likes the compact fold and says it's a small enough footprint to handle crowded spaces. There are no negatives mentioned.
Review: Baby Jogger City Versa Review, Janet McLaughlin, July 29, 2012
Review Credibility: Good Just a few owner reviews are available for the Baby Jogger City Versa, because it is such a new product, but this small sampling gives the City Versa a perfect 5 star out of 5 rating. Owners say it's easy to push, it's compact and it's a great stroller for the price.
Review: Baby Jogger City Versa Stroller Reviews, Contributors to BabyEarth.com, As of January 2013