Great, Lightweight Stroller
November 19, 2014
Before our daughter was born, I spent a lot of time debating which stroller to get. I wanted one all-around stroller that I could use when we go hiking or on the beach, but also in the grocery stores and malls. Unfortunately, most strollers don't have absolutely everything you could want and many people wind up having several as a result. I originally narrowed my choices down to a Bob Revolution SE, City Mini, and City Mini GT. I wound up ruling out the GT because for its purpose- a true jogging/adventure stroller- the winner was Bob. The only problem I worried about with the Bob was how large it was for everyday use and travel. However, a few friends of mine use it as their primary (or only) stroller and they raved about it.
So, I started with the Bob and haven't been at all disappointed. Yes, it's a great stroller and will last for years. The only thing is that with a car seat, it just seems like such a gigantic item to take places. It's heavy and takes up a lot of space even in the back of my pilot, so I tended not to take it to quick shopping trips. I started realizing that I needed a lightweight stroller as an option when the Bob was just too much. So, I went back to the City Mini and finally ordered one. I love this stroller! All of a sudden, I was taking a stroller every time I went to the store or even to get coffee- even just a quick trip where I would normally either carry the car seat or wear my child. It's so light and easy to travel with- I now look for excuses to go to the store.
Now, this isn't my stroller of choice for the beach or even a walk around the block- it has okay tires, but they aren't forgiving like the air-filled ones on the Bob (and there are no shocks), which makes for a bumpy ride- but this is a great stroller. I still consider my Bob as the primary stroller and I'll use it in more situations once the baby can go in without a car seat. However, in the meantime, I now have a great alternative stroller to use especially in tight areas or when I don't think I'll need much storage space (keep in mind you can't hang bags from the City Mini's handlebar). I'll have to wait to see how comfortable the baby thinks it is as she transitions from the car seat. You can use this stroller from birth if you want if you lay the back completely flat, but I'm not anxious to try that just yet. (City Mini is recommended from 6 months on without a car seat if you don't have the seat flat; surprisingly, I read that Bob can be used from 8 weeks on if the child has good head control, though I'm not sure how many 2 month olds have good head control).
Just a word about the under-the-seat-storage, which has come up on a few sites' reviews. I don't have any problem with this at all. The curved bar makes it easy to put stuff in/pull stuff out, though you can also do this from the stretchy sides of the basket. However, it's not especially spacious. You won't fit a lot of items below. If I'm getting more than a couple items, I'll take a grocery basket at the store even with this stroller. You cannot hang bags from the handle, so you're kind of limited in terms of storage space. I have seen these mesh side bags on Amazon that you can buy to fit on any stroller and that may be a good alternative to give you a little more storage if that's a major concern.
I had originally wanted only one stroller not only because of storage, but money. I didn't want to spend a lot on a stroller that only did so much- which is why I spent so much time looking for the do-it-all-stroller. Unfortunately, there seems to not be anything like this- you have to make some sacrifices one way or the other. With the Bob, I sacrificed weight and size. The City Mini (regular or GT) is not a jogging stroller. I did manage to get a great deal on the Bob (at the time) with free shipping and a coupon, so I felt that I at least saved something. And I bought the City Mini on clearance- this 2013 version in green was $159 here ($250 elsewhere) with free shipping. One of my gripes about both strollers is that neither comes with any accessories. I think for the typical price, they should have something- the tray would be nice at least. I had to buy car seat adapters for both strollers (I have a Britax B Safe). I got the Bob's for $44 (with coupon and free shipping) and the City Mini for $20 (Amazon and free shipping). I could have gotten a Britax B Agile stroller (comparable to the City Mini) to avoid the adapter, but I found that the City Mini quality was just so much better. If I'm going to spend money on one or more strollers, they better stand up to the abuse I suspect my child will give to this equipment.
One thing of note, though, about the ease of closing the stroller: Yes, you can do this one-handed. However, the instructions say to close these red, safety straps that snap to the stroller frame and never use the stroller without them in place. Well, if you do this, you have to unsnap them every time you want to close the stroller (it won't fold with these attached). I guess people are not using them? (It prevents the stroller from accidentally folding- but it seems hard for that to happen, so use your best judgment). The other issue is that I still find it a little awkward to open with one hand. It can be done, but you do have to bend over a bit and with a kid in hand, it's not quite as simple as it is to close it. No big deal, but I just wanted to mention it. I suggest you go to your local store and give it a try.
Pros:Quality material- you can just feel it's better than many other brands with comparable strollers. It's easy to use one-handed especially on smooth areas/floors. It's so easy to adjust the harness and back. It offers a mesh area in the back of the stroller that is exposed when the stroller back is down. This allows a nice breeze to come through when your kid is in there- something that's important if you take a stroller out in major heat. They get so hot so fast, so this is a great option. The color choices are great. The product, itself, is easy to transport, light, easy to fold, pretty easy to open.
Cons:Like many of the nicer strollers, it lacks accessories. Everything has to be purchased separately. Also, it's not the greatest on terrain other than smooth or paved areas/floors. It's tough on grass, sand, gravel. I don't use this for walks around the block (our neighborhood has gravel and tar roads- not the smooth pavement, so it's pretty bumpy). Cost can be an issue, but I got mine on clearance with free shipping, so I can't complain too much.
Best Uses:This stroller is ideal for grocery store trips, mall trips, quick errands, etc. I would think this would make a great stroller to take to a parade- the kind of stroller that can go just about everywhere that's paved or smooth. I don't know about long shopping trips because the storage below the seat isn't huge and you can't hang bags on the handle bar.