The best of both worlds
March 23, 2013
I got this because I didn't want to have to haul my huge City Elite out of the car every time I wanted to run into a store quickly. This bad boy has virtually all the functionality that I love from the City Elite (save the off-roading and running capabilities, obviously) and puts it into a package that is perfect for navigating small spaces between racks or tables in a restaurant. I've had it for about two months now, use it principally at the mall, big box stores, and in restaurants, and I love, love, love, love, love it.
ProsIt's high enough that my little one can sit in it and still be a part of the action at the table (meaning no high chair required). There's much wider sight lines out of it, so my little one can see more of what's going on around, which is a benefit over the City Elite - I just have to make sure I'm not clipping a leg or arm if I take a corner to closely. The sunshade is HUGE , has a "silent" peep window/vent (meaning you don't have to rip open a bunch of velcro to check on your sleeping baby) and does not have to be taken off to fold it. The front wheels have shocks and are lockable, the storage basket is a decent size, and it comes with a snuggly wee-one insert that is quite comfy, even for my nearly 10 month old. It stands on its own, so there's no laying it down on gross floors, and there's an attached carrying strap. There's a four position recline that goes all the way back, a five point harness that converts to a three-point for the bigger tots out there, and, for the particularly wee, the ability to convert the thing into a bassinet. I'm told it takes Graco infant buckets without a converter pack ( haven't tried this feature). Oh, and it comes with a rain cover. All for around 11 pounds.
In short, this thing is pretty freaking awesome. So awesome, that after spending some time with me with it, two of my friends ran out and got them because they were sick of hauling their beefy strollers out for every little errand, only to get caught up (literally) in the isles.
ConsI have three pretty minimal points of possible improvement to note about this thing (they don't even really qualify as "complaints" or "dislikes," and none of them are deal breakers. The first is that the padding that goes around the harness piece that goes between the baby's legs is not attached and will easily slide off in the process of unloading. You should give it a quick stitch to stay on, keep an eye for it on the ground/in your car seat, or consign yourself to losing it. The second is that it's not the easiest thing to unfold or fold up initially - you definitely need two hands and some practice. When closing it, it helps to remember to lock the front wheels (it just makes it easier). I do, however, really like the handle-locking mechanism that it uses in the folding/unfolding process; it makes me feel like the whole thing is locked into place and it won't randomly fold up on my wee one. Lastly, for mall walking and other such pursuits, it's slightly annoying that it doesn't come with some sort of parent console thing to stash a drink, my phone, and other odds and ends that I may need to access quickly. Ten dollars for an after-market thingey fixed that pretty immediately. Like I said, all pretty minimal.