It has been labeled as average on paper, but in the real world, Baby Jogger’s City Mini outperforms most of its critics’ reviews. Our Baby Jogger City Mini review will help explain things in more detail.
Baby Jogger is a stroller manufacturer with decades of experience under their belt. Still, not all their products reflect the level of quality expected from decades of perfecting their craft. In this review, we look at the City Mini, one of their budget strollers, in an attempt to highlight what they’ve done right and where they could do better.
Baby Jogger City Mini Overview
The City Mini is one of Baby Jogger’s mid-tier offerings. You will like it because of its compactness, its lightness, and more importantly, its reasonable price tag.
You will love it for its weight—it weighs just a little over 17 pounds when folded—and its folding mechanism. Maneuvering this stroller through tight spaces will not be a problem either. It pushes (strolls?) like a dream, and Baby Jogger deserve props for making it less of a headache to walk (or jog) with a baby.
Now for the downsides.
Most reviewers have a problem with the City Mini because of two things. The first is its peek-a-boo window, which suffers from some unfortunate placement. The second is the storage. Though ample, accessing said storage is not an easy task.
Are these two downsides big enough deal-breakers? You be the judge. Before you go writing off the City Mini, however, let’s take a closer look at it.
• Weight: 17.6 pounds (when folded)
• Max weight capacity: 33.1 pounds
• Canopy: Adjustable UB 50+ Sun Canopy
• Swivel front wheels with suspension
• 2 peek-a-boo windows
• Patented Single-Step Quick Fold technology
Despite being bought out by Newell Rubbermaid four years ago, not much has changed in the design of the Baby Jogger stroller. The City Mini, in particular, has an average build quality—nothing to write home about. Does its performance suffer because of this? A little, to be frank.
Still, the build quality is not all that bad, especially if you consider how light the stroller is. You’ll start to appreciate its lack of dense materials when it’s time to fold it up and lug it around.
Folding the City Mini is a breeze of a task, thanks to its single-step folding mechanism. Just pull on the fold handle under the seat (it is clearly labeled “pull to fold”) and voila! The stroller folds effortlessly into half.
This one-handed fold mechanism is accompanied by an automatic lock, which means you won’t have to fumble around for more knobs to lock it. What you might not like is that it doesn’t stand on its own when folded. The chances of toppling it over as you hurriedly pack it up? Pretty high.
The canopy on the City Mini is large enough to cover your baby all the way to their knees, thankfully. More than that, it provides SPF 50+ protection from the sun.
There are few mistakes to point out here, but it would be unfair not to mention the terribly placed peek-a-boo windows. The windows can be opened or shut using hook and loop closures. Even so, most users found their placement very uncomfortable.
The leg rest on the City Mini is non-adjustable, although it is comfortably padded. The seat itself can recline via an easy-to-use recline adjustment mechanism. Interestingly, City Mini have kept the seat-back plain and flat. This is much more comfortable to nap on.
The harness is secure enough, being a 5-point harness and all. Adjusting it is not easy, especially if you’ve been blessed with large hands.
The harness must be re-threaded from the back, which is only accessible via a pocket that you can’t see into. There are two layers of harness, and the back layer is quite difficult to get to. However, if you get it right, you won’t have to worry about it being secure enough.
The bin below the seat can accommodate items of up to 10 pounds in weight. Not a lot, but also not too little. In any case, you won’t have any problems stashing away your diaper bag and a few toys.
Accessing storage is a whole different story. It is easy enough to fit a medium-sized bag from the back or sides, but thanks to an unfortunate design flaw in the form of a curved support bar, fitting larger bags can be an unwinnable battle.
Moving on, there is also a mesh pocket behind the seat where you can stash a magazine, a bottle, or whatever else you need to access quickly.
Single-action brakes are used to keep the City Mini immobile. The company has made it easy enough to access the brakes by installing a center pedal. You release the pedal either by pressing it again (pressing it once activates the brakes) or by giving it a slight lift from underneath.
If you don’t like reaching down every time you’ve got to stop the stroller, nudge it into position with your foot, and you’re good to go (or stop, to be more accurate).
Car Seat Functionality
You can get a compatible car seat adapter if you wish to turn the City Mini into a car seat. It is easy enough to do with a universal car seat, but if you prefer getting an adapter under the Baby Jogger brand, there is one available too.
Do You Want the City Mini or the City Mini 2?
Baby Jogger have also released a second version of the City Mini, the City Mini 2. Is there much of a difference between the two?
Well, the City Mini 2 has a larger canopy that’s also slightly different design-wise. Unlike the City Mini, it comes with an adjustable leg rest. Some might say that it is lighter and/or a bit more compact than its predecessor. I say that the difference is marginal at best.
The two strollers share a lot of similarities, nevertheless. For instance, Baby Jogger has retained the dual front wheel design, so in terms of maneuverability, you’re not missing much either way.
It might look basic—cheap even—but the City Mini is as decent as they come; at least at this price point. The pros? Excellent value for money, easy to fold, decent usability, and a nice balance between weight, capacity, and comfort. Apart from a few unfortunate flaws here and there, this is not a bad stroller at all.