Baby Jogger City Mini Combo Review
Pros: Easy fold, canopy with some seats
Cons: Two step attachment with straps, plastic wheels
Manufacturer: Baby Jogger
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Baby Jogger was founded in 1984 by parents who wanted to jog with their babies but couldn't locate jogging strollers. Necessity being the mother of invention, the parents decided to create the first jogging stroller. Baby Jogger has created a variety of strollers from the get-go to fill the niche for various activities. It is important to note that the majority of Baby Jogger strollers are not suitable for jogging.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The City Mini might be one of the most versatile car seat stroller combinations.
This product works with almost every major brand car seat, including Britax/BOB, Chicco, Cybex, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, and Peg Perego. All require the purchase of a car seat adapter, and most need the canopy removed, but the primary seat can stay attached (whew).
Our test adapters work with the Chicco Keyfit 30, Cybex Aton 2, Maxi-Cosi Mico, and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35. The Peg Perego and the Chicco adapters are the loop style and require assembly. Some testers feel the assembly is a pain, but given that you only need to do it once with no tools, we think it is acceptable. The others are all click in adapters that slide into connection points on either side of the toddler seat.
The seats are very similar in how they attach to their adapters, but the Chicco Keyfit 30 is the easiest with no additional pressure required to click into the loop.
The car seats that connect with side adapters are more complicated because the sides need to line up before connection. In our tests, the most difficult to install is the Maxi-Cosi, which we had trouble lining up correctly and often only one side would connect. Alternatively, the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 managed to feel installed and we heard the click, but we were able to pull the carrier off the frame with a tug on the handle. All of the carriers have a strap step to complete the connection no matter what kind of adapter they have. Buckling the straps isn't tricky, but we worry some parents will skip this part feeling the click is sufficient. However, given our experience during testing, the strap is not only a manufacturer requirement but mandatory to ensure a secure connection every time.
In short, the additional step of securing the straps make this a stroller we don't think is the best for a car seat/stroller combination.
Weight and Folded Size
With a heavier weight but smaller folded size, the City Mini impresses for weight and folded size. For a smaller stroller, the City Mini is surprisingly heavy. We feel an essential feature of a stroller used with an infant car seat is that it be lightweight, so new moms can go it alone. This stroller is over 18.4 lbs without the canopy or car seat attachments, which is comparatively heavy.
The City Mini offers good maneuverability given the plastic wheels. Pushing is relatively easy and can be accomplished with one hand. It is better on hard surfaces than rough, fits easily through narrow doorways, and gets the job the done without too many problems. For greater detail on the maneuverability of the City Mini, please read our full-size stroller comparison.
The handlebar is not adjustable but is a good height for most users. It has a rubber material cover with ridges for grip-ability. The cover seems more durable than foam covers and might hold up better over time.
Ease of Use
The City Mini isn't easy to use. The Mini struggled to keep up with the competition, and the lower score indicates you may find it frustrating as a car seat stroller.
Fold and Unfold
The Baby Jogger is a one-hand fold, with a pull handle on the seat bottom. It is one of the easiest to fold and it auto-locks and has a carry strap, but it doesn't self-stand. Unfolding is slightly harder and requires two steps to finish.
The City Mini single action brakes have a single center-located pedal that is easy to set and release, with a sandal-friendly design.
The storage bin is large and accessible from the front and back. We fit our medium-sized diaper bag inside, but you'll have to reach pretty far under the handlebar to reach the bin. The bin has a weight allowance of 10 lbs which is not as good as others with 25+ lbs limits (go UPPAbaby!). The Mini has slim pockets on the back of the toddler seat, but they will be difficult to access with the seat reclined and carrier in place.
You are unlikely to use the canopy with your car seat on this stroller. While a few of the adapters allow the canopy to remain on the stroller, we weren't able to use the canopy for protection over the carrier like it can on other strollers.
Ease of Setup
The Mini is easy to set up and took us about 6 minutes. The manual is only average, so it is good that much of the assembly is intuitive.
The Mini scores about average for quality. The Mini has a nice sturdy frame, and the fabric wraps around it without bunching or pinching. However, the mesh on the sides of the storage bin is loose and snags easily. The wheels are foam filled plastic and are on the small side but are relatively wide; they solidly attach and do not wobble. Rubber wheels would be better and likely improve maneuverability. The Mini only has shocks on the front wheels. Overall the fit and finish aren't bad, but it doesn't look as sleek as some of the competition.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team