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Hands-on Gear Review
Baby Jogger City Mini GT Review
Price: $360.00 List | $345.98 at Amazon - 4% off
Pros: Easy to push and turn, relatively light and small
Cons: Serious tipping safety concern, harder to use
Bottom line: Tight turning, easy mover with a disappointing tipping hazard
The Baby Jogger City Mini is an enticing stroller option that is easy to push and turn and impressed during much of our testing process. This stroller is relatively lightweight, compact when folded and has some nice features like a handbrake and adjustable handlebar. Unfortunately, it also has a significant safety concern that causes it to tip backward when baby moves up the seat back in the fully reclined position. Because of this continued problem with the GT we feel parents are better off considering the less expensive Baby Jogger City Mini or a non-Baby Jogger option as their full-size primary stroller.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Full-size Strollers of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Baby Jogger company began in 1984 by parents who desired the opportunity to get out in the world and jog with their babies. To solve this little problem, they designed the very first jogging stroller. Since the beginning, Baby Jogger has designed several kinds of strollers for lots of activities. In 2015, Baby Jogger was purchased by Newell Rubbermaid, and together they have continued to create strollers popular with many parents.
The comparison chart shown here includes the overall scores for all the full-size strollers we tested in this review. The Baby Jogger City Mini GT is shown in blue.
The sections below include information on how well the City Mini GT performed during testing compared to the competition. The individual metric results were used to calculate the overall score with an emphasis on ease of use and maneuverability.
Ease of Use
The GT earned a 5 of 10 for ease of use, which is below average for the group. The high of 8 is shared by the UPPAbaby Vista and the UPPAbaby Cruz.
Fold and Unfold
The GT has a one-handed fold, auto-locks, and comes with a carry strap. It doesn't have a self-standing capability, which makes it tougher to manage once folded. The fold is an easy process with three steps if you don't count unsnapping the safety straps that prevent accidental folding. We suspect that many people won't use the straps, which is a safety concern. It takes two steps to unfold, in addition to the strap attachment (which you should do).
The brakes on the City Mini are single action brakes operated via a handbrake located on the handlebar. They are easy to set, release, and are sandal foot friendly. This handbrake has a lock feature that prevents it from accidentally releasing.
The storage basket on the GT is large and holds up to 20 pounds, but we could only fit our medium size diaper bag inside because of poor accessibility. The lower seat design and frame bar that goes across the back makes it a tight fit. This seat has a seat back pocket that is large and good for convenience items like a mobile phone or keys.The pocket is easy to use, but cannot conceal items or protect them from the weather.
The GT has a large sunshade with a UV rating of 50+. The canopy has two medium sized peek-a-boo windows made of vinyl that make viewing baby extremely easy. The window covers close with hook and loop closures and would be nicer if they were the silent magnet type. There is no ventilation on this canopy or when the back is reclined.
The 5-point harness on the GT is relatively easy to get on, and a little harder to take off with hard to adjustable shoulder height straps. The buckle snaps together easily, but it has a knob on the back that prevents release when you press it at the same time as the front button. This happened frequently during testing and is frustrating because this is what your hand naturally wants to do.
The leg rest on this stroller is padded and feels comfortable to the touch, but is not adjustable. It has a wide footrest covered in a durable fabric that wipes clean. The GT has a one-handed recline with adjustable straps on either side that are held together with a pull to recline. The process isn't as easy as it should be and raising the seat requires two hands.
Car Seat Compatibility
The City Mini GT is not compatible with any infant car seat without the purchase of accessory adapters. You can purchase adapter frames for some models of the Britax/BOB, Chicco, Cybex, Graco, Maxi Cosi, Nuna Pipa, Peg Perego, and UPPAbaby infant car seats. These adapters will work with the award winning Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, Chicco Keyfit30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa. To use the adapter parents will need to assemble the frame and remove the canopy on the stroller.
The infant seat attaches using a click-in and strap method that we think is more complicated and could potentially lead to mistakes. We imagine many parents will feel the click is sufficient and might skip the strap part, this could result in a potential safety issue, which is why we prefer the click only installation method.
Ease of Setup
This Baby Jogger earned an 8 of 10 for setup, tying with the regular City Mini and 4 points higher than the Baby Jogger City Select. It took us about 6 and 1/2 minutes to put this stroller together. The documentation for this stroller is only average; the instructions would be easier to follow if the three languages were separated into sections instead of occurring on the same page. There are no tools required to assemble this stroller.
The GT scored an 8 of 10 in maneuverability, which is higher than the other Baby Jogger strollers we tested. The high here is a 9 for the BOB Revolution Flex which makes the score of 8 pretty impressive.
This stroller has a sportier feel than the other Baby Joggers and is easy to maneuver even in tight spaces. The wheels roll smoothly and it can be pushed with one hand in most of the time. For pushing and turning off-road this stroller is almost equally up to the challenge as it is on hard flat surfaces. The GT rolled over pretty much everything we threw at it without too much trouble. It is a little stiff to turn on grass, but it managed the better than some of the competition and parents will probably find they can make it over most terrains without cursing. However, if parents are looking for a true all-terrain option the BOB Revolution Flex is designed for off-road use as opposed to "capable of" occasional off-road use.
The wheels are where the GT diverge from the City Mini with foam filled rubber instead of foam filled plastic. The form and function of the GT's wheels are far better than its sibling. The GT has an adjustable handlebar and is about average for comfort. This stroller has two wheel suspension, but it does offer more padding on a sling style seat than its smaller sibling. The rubber tires combined with the padding make for a more comfortable experience than the non-GT City Mini.
The GT earned a 6 of 10 for quality. There are no discernible differences between this stroller and the non-GT version of the City Mini, the Baby Jogger City Mini. The high for this metric is 8 shared by the BOB Revolution Flex and the UPPAbaby Vista.
The fabric on this stroller is slick, finely woven canvas material. It is smooth and wipes down easily, but probably isn't breathable. The material is continuous on the entire stroller and wraps around the frame, seat, and canopy in virtually one piece. The material on the footrest is durable, but not as nice as the easy to clean rubberized material found on some of the competition. The basket material is similar to the rest of the stroller but slightly thicker with mesh sides.
The frame on the GT is simple and sturdy. It has a nice finish and is similar in design to the Baby Jogger City Mini* and the Britax B-Agile 3. The overall fit and finish of this stroller are not as sleek and appealing to the eye as some of the more expensive competition, but it looks nice.
We found what we believe is a significant safety concern for the City Mini GT that is not present on the other Baby Jogger strollers we tested. In our tests, and described by some Amazon users, this stroller has a tendency to easily tip backward when the seatback is in the full recline position. Even without added weight on the handlebar (which should not be done on any stroller) this stroller tips when baby moves up the seat back. Frighteningly, in the event of a back tip like this, there is a significant risk that baby's head will hit the ground potentially causing serious injury. We found this safety concern in our stroller review from 2013 and 2015 and hoped that Baby Jogger would fix this design flaw in the new 2017 GT, but our testing shows it is still a concern in the 2017 model, just the same as it was in prior years we tested. Part of the problem is the seat back length on the GT is significantly longer than the other Baby Joggers we tested, placing the center of gravity further forward.
In our culmination of testing that included our backward tip over test as well as comparing the GT to other strollers, it had the most severe back tip issue in our tests. The problem is so significant that we do not recommend using the seat fully reclined.
Weight and Folded Size
This Baby Jogger weighs 21.6 pounds. This is is below the average for the group, making it a good choice for a lighter stroller, but not as good as the Baby Jogger City Mini and Britax B-Agile 3 that each weighed 17.5.
The GT measures at 24"W x 9.5"H x 30"L and 6,840 cubic inches. This makes it one of the smallest in the group and about 500 cubic inches smaller when folded than the previous version. The City Mini and the Britax B-Agile3 are both under 6500 cubic inches, but given that the largest stroller in the group is over 19,000 cubic inches and 37+ pounds it is still on the smaller side for this group.
Baby Jogger makes several strollers and we tested some of them in this review including:
Out of the three Baby Jogger models we've tested, the City Mini is the only award winner in the group, earning awards for a full-size stroller as well as an umbrella option.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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