As a mother of four children under the age of six, I have tried many double strollers. I had all but given up hope of finding one that suited my needs or didn’t have more positive than negative features. The Baby Jogger City Select is the fourth double stroller I have owned, and I can honestly say my faith in this product type has been renewed. Not only is this stroller a versatile double, it also functions as a fabulous single stroller with a few simple adjustments. Since my youngest children are three years apart, the ability to transition back and forth between the single and double modes has been indispensible.
I was a bit intimidated when I received my stroller because the box was so substantial. I was excited to break open the box but also prepared to wait until my husband got home to help me assemble it. What a wonderful surprise to discover the stroller is assembled in just a few simple steps. There is no fumbling with tiny parts to wheels—each wheel of this stroller pops right on. The seat is preassembled and simply slides right into one of two placement options. The second seat kit consists of two short arms that pop onto each side of the lower half of the stroller base, and a seat identical to the first slides right into the grooves at the top end of the arms.
I am a visual and tactile learner, so once I had my stroller put together, I went straight to Baby Jogger’s website. The demonstration video I found there was extremely helpful in allowing me to discover each feature. The video not only goes through each feature, but also demonstrates assembling the stroller as a single or a double and folding up the stroller once it’s disassembled (more on that later). Let’s face it—sometimes figuring out how to fold the stroller is a hilarious comedy of errors. The video also emphasizes the accessories and sixteen possible combinations Baby Jogger offers and is a great place to start when you’re ready to take your new stroller out for a test run.
Structurally, the stroller is very sturdy and well-made. The base is durable and balanced. The wheels are not tiny, plastic wheels that stick or turn in on themselves after too much use, but rather quality wheels that handle many terrains and swivel without complication. The handle is wide and comfortable with a great option of length extension at the click of a button. For moms who are tall like I am, this feature is one of the small elements that make this stroller so special.
There are two placement options on the stroller base for the seat if you are using the stroller as a single. The seat can be placed at the top position facing backward toward mom or forward toward the outside world. The incline of your baby’s seat is adjusted simply by pushing a button on the back of the seat and raising or lowering the height according to baby’s needs. The seat can also be placed at the lower position facing backward or forward, but there is less range for incline at this position. The lower placement works well for my daughter when she is tired and happy to recline, while the upper position is perfect for times when she’s alert and eager to absorb her surroundings. The lower half of the seat (where your child’s feet rest) can also be lowered and raised simply by pushing a button on each side and adjusting the height.
Because each seat has a weight maximum of 45 pounds, I was excited to order my second seat kit. My three and four-year-old sons each weigh under 45 pounds and often get tired on shopping trips or excursions that my husband and I take into the city. With the double option, they can take turns resting next to their little sister. To use the stroller as a double, I simply attach the three pieces of the second seat kit. The second seat can be positioned forward facing or rear facing. The most ingenious feature is that I can let my two little ones face each other, or I can face both of them in a rear or forward-facing position. I love that I have options.
The removable canopy on each seat is generously sized and easily adjustable as well. There is even a window flap that can be pulled back and forth (held in place magnetically) that allows you to sneak a peek at your little one without having to pull the canopy all the way back. The cargo basket on the bottom of the stroller boasts zippers that expand or contract depending on your size needs for your outing.
Another particularly inventive attribute on the stroller is the placement of the brake. I have always been irritated when I had to finagle with a foot brake and figure out how to lift it without breaking my toe or taking the skin off the top of my foot. The hand brake on the City Select is conveniently located on the right side of the handle. You simply flip it up when you need to keep the stroller stationary and flip it back down with your hand once you’re ready to get on the move again.
This stroller is a great attribute in my arsenal of baby items. However, it is probably not ideal for quick trips into the grocery store to grab a few items just in time to make it to soccer practice armed with snacks. Assembling the stroller takes a few moments. The stroller folds up easily but is a bit bulky for folding and loading in a hurry. My only real complaints with the City Select are that there is no standard tray and cup holder, and you cannot hang bags from the handle. For moms juggling multiple things like grocery bags, diaper bags, and food and drinks for yourself and your little ones, additional places to stash items are important and just plain helpful. It would be great if Baby Jogger discovers a way to make a cup holder standard on this particular model. Those who wish to add a tray or cup holder can purchase it for around $25 as an accessory. Overall, I am extremely pleased with my City Select and highly recommend it for other busy mommies.