Thursday 3 July 2014

The 16 Looks of a Baby Jogger City Select

I've been dreaming of having a double stroller since I was pregnant with Baby Boy. Wouldn't it be cool if I can push both my kids on a stroller so that they will stop fighting over who gets to sit where.

Next thing I knew, Baby Jogger fulfilled my dreams!  =)

Of the Baby Jogger strollers (all of which have won numerous awards), the City Select was the one that I was the most interested in. Its innovative multi-functional (I love things that can serve multiple functions) design allows you to choose up to 16 unique combinations of seating arrangement when used with an additional seat, car seat and conversion kit and/or bassinet (each sold separately).

The 16 Faces of the Baby Jogger City Select
Photo credit: Baby Jogger

The main seats are generally meant for children 6 months old and up so parents are advised to buy the bassinet for newborns. There are 3 colours available, and we were lucky to have received the Ruby =)

The City Select comes with the stroller frame, wheels, one seat and canopy, all packaged within a box.

What you would see after unpacking your box

It was not difficult to assemble the stroller following the instructions of the user manual, which was pretty easy to understand.

Some of the features of the City Select include:

1) 8" lightweight front wheels
Comes with front wheel suspension and sealed ball bearings. The swivel in the front wheels can lock into place if you are strolling for long distances.

Left: I love the suspension in the front wheels, which helps to cushion impact and enable a smoother ride for my girl
(who usually rides in front)
Right: Shift the grey clasp in and out to lock/unlock the front wheels

2) 12" forever-air rear wheels
Sturdy and very stable, the wheels can handle the combine weight of 2 kids, up to a maximum of 40kg (20kg each).

They look and feel just like bicycle tyres!

3) Adjustable 5-point safety harness with shoulder pads and buckle cover
The 5-point harness ensures the safety of your child while the "kid-unfriendly" buckle ensures that they stayed buckled up in the harness.

The straps of the harness are fully adjustable with 3 height options
(Baby Boy uses the lowest position while Girlee uses the highest) 

4) Multi-position seat recline
Position it horizontal so that your child can sleep or position it upright so that your child can watch the world go by. I personally love the many recline positions of this stroller, which was lacking in our current umbrella stroller. The multi-position foot well also tilts up to add extra leg support for smaller children (like Baby Boy in the picture below).

Left: A smaller child like Baby Boy can ride in a more horizontal position
 Right: An older child like my girl can ride fully upright

5) Large under seat basket
For storing baby stuff and even our shopping, without toppling the whole stroller like we do with our current umbrella stroller

6) Multi-position sun canopy
Comes with peek-a-boo window and adjustable head height.

1. Generous canopy that provides more adequate coverage than our current umbrella stroller
2. There are magnets along the edge of the flap that adheres to the edge of the canopy to prevent it from flapping around in the wind. Pretty neat!
3. The flap flips open to reveal the netted window

7) Fully adjustable handlebar
The handlebar can be extended with just a push of the button in the middle of the handle. It is also great to grip when steering the stroller and can be wiped easily.

Left: I personally love the extended handle which makes it a lot easier to push
Right: Close up of the large middle button

8) Hand operated parking brake
Unlike most strollers, the brakes are operated by hand rather than by foot, giving you more dexterity.

1. Red handle with the word "brake" so you won't miss it
2. Just pull up the handle in order to engage the brake
3. For safety, you'll need to pull the top of the handle to release the brake

You can purchase an additional seat to easily turn the City Select into a double stroller! =)

The seat comes with its own full canopy as well as a pair of metal seat mounting brackets which allows you to attach the additional seat to the stroller.

1. You can adjust the seats according to your child's height;
I've adjusted the bottom seat to be shorter for my boy and the top seat to be longer for my girl (they're originally the same size)
2. The additional seat and adapters before assembly
3. I put the kid's name labels on each seat so that they (more like we) will know which seat is theirs
Left: Remove the top cover of the front wheel frame
Right: Insert the metal adapters nicely into the stroller frame

You are now able to attach the additional seat to the adapters, thereby converting your City Select into a double!

Double Back-Facing position
This is by far our favourite position as it allows us to see what our kids are up to.
Girl is usually the one at the bottom as she is old enough to get in and out on her own
1. Face-to-Face position
2. Back-to-Back position
3. Double Front-Facing position

You can try out different combinations of seating arrangements depending on the temperament of your kids. For example, kids that fight a lot get to travel back to back while kids that get along (at least most of the time) can face each other.

It is recommended that newborns (0-6 months) travel in a bassinet, which you'll have to purchase separately. You will have to assemble the bassinet by using the metal frame from one of your seats (if you have more than one).

Seat frame from one of the seats (left), everything you'd need to assemble the bassinet (right)
1. Align the bassinet canvas to the seat frame
2. Attach the plush fabric to the frame using secure metal buttons
3. Ensure that the top of the bassinet matches the top of the frame (i.e. line up the words "top")
4. The bassinet comes with handles so that you are able to carry your baby in it
(my baby has outgrown this unfortunately so I'm using my girl's doll to demonstrate this)

Attach the bassinet to the stroller like you would the seat and viola.

It's a carriage for your infant! Pretty eh =)

There are 4 different combinations of seating arrangements that you can try with an additional seat, which is best for parents with an older and a younger child (not so good for parents with twins who are the same age and require the same seat type).

1. Face-to-Face position
2. Double Back-Facing position (with Bassinet on top)
3. Back-to-Back position
4. Double Back-Facing position (with Bassinet at the bottom)
in case your child likes to kick and disturb the baby

The big stroller frame looks really difficult to keep but it's actually really easy. Baby Jogger's patented Quick-Fold Technology allows you to fold your stroller in just one simple step by lifting the "fold" handles.

Just lift this catch labelled "fold" and the whole stroller folds up (it's not rocket science) =)
Folds flat, with a secure fold latch to keep the stroller folded for transportation or storage

Having used an umbrella stroller for the past 4 years, the hubby was very apprehensive of the bulkiness of our City Select. As it is a heavy duty stroller that is built to take the weight of two children of up to 20kg per seat (a lot more than umbrella strollers), the weight of the stroller is also double that of umbrella strollers (weight as a single is 12kg while as a double it's 15kg).

The hubby was not sure if a bigger stroller like this would be easy to maneuver or if it could fit into our car. It took some rearranging but we managed to fit it nicely into our car with space at the side for other things.

A tip from me: Stack the seats up and place the frame in first before putting the seats on top of the frame.
It's more compact this way =)

Admittedly, our City Select does take up more space in the boot than our current umbrella stroller. However, with some creativity, we managed to make it work. Plus over time with some practice, I found opening and closing the stroller as well as loading and unloading the car quite a breeze =)

Kids riding in the stroller in the Back-Facing and Front-Facing positions

For its size, the City Select is surprisingly easy to maneuver. Keeping in mind that I'm pushing a load of almost 30kg each time, I found pushing the stroller relatively painless and definitely good for long haul travelling.

The most important thing is that my children really enjoy riding in this stroller! They don't have to fight over one seat and they can choose to face forward or backward. My girl especially likes the seat back storage compartment (of the seat in front of her since she rides in the back most of the time) where she likes to store her books and water bottle.

"See ma, I can put my bottle here!"

Other than the bulkiness and the fact that sometimes my girl's shoes might dirty the under-seat basket when she is seated facing the back, I'm enjoying the ease and multiple functions of our City Select.

The stroller is just nice for me (but not my petite mum-in-law *laughs*)

You can buy stroller accessories to complement your Baby Jogger strollers; for us, we'll most likely buy a travel bag to store the stroller when bringing it overseas with us on our trips.

Baby Jogger City Select is available at various Mothercare and Mothers Work outlets in Singapore. Do visit their website and Facebook page for more information.

Disclosure: A complimentary Baby Jogger City Select and additional seat (bassinet was on loan) were received from Baby Jogger and The Amazing Baby Company for the purposes of this review. No monetary compensation was received; all opinions are my own.
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