I’m often asked what’s the best buggy for travel. Living in Hong Kong (the world’s least buggy friendly city), I used a baby carrier more than a buggy when my girls were really small. With slightly older kids (4 and nearly 2), I use my Maclaren Volo which lacks frills but is easy to fold and incredibly light.
On a recent trip to London, my sister was waxing lyrical about her Baby Jogger City Mini, a brand I hadn’t been aware of when shopping for buggies in Hong Kong five years ago. Having taken it for a spin, I too can endorse it. This is a really great buggy and would be perfect for travel. Want to hear more? Let my sister Georgina give you the low down:
Now that a buggy has become a part of daily life, I now view them in the same way as my husband sees cars. If I see a parent walking down the street, I might not notice what they are wearing, but I’ll definitely check out their wheels.
We bought a bulky travel system when our little girl was born, but a few months later we were in the market for something lighter and more flexible. Our pick? The Baby Jogger City Mini. We initially bought it just to go on holiday, but it soon replaced our old pram for daily use.
- Folding mechanism. The City Mini’s biggest selling point is the incredible one-handed fold mechanism. Look it up on youtube. You can tuck baby under one arm, and easily fold the buggy to load it into your car or onto a flight. The only downside is that the folding handle is located in the seat of the buggy itself, making it slightly cumbersome to use if you have any kind of blanket or footmuff attached.
I have heard that the Britax B-Agile (a relative newcomer to the market) now offers a similar mechanism, but that the buggy itself does not feel as sturdy and comfortable as the City Mini.
- One handed steering. You can steer and push the City Mini easily with one hand
- Ease of manoeuvre. It comes as either a 3 or 4 wheeled buggy, and it pushes like a dream; just the right balance between a heavy duty pram and a lightweight buggy.
- Size when folded. It folds small and flat, and you can remove the wheels if you need to make it even tinier. This came in very handy when trying to persuade cabin crew to store it directly in a cabin locker during a long haul flight.
- Sunshade. The sunshade offers full coverage of the buggy, keeping your child out of the sun during the day and allowing them to sleep easily at naptime.
- Full recline. The seat folds all the way back into a flat position.
So what’s wrong with it?
- Shopping basket. The shopping basket isn’t massive and it can be a bit tight to access, although it has loosened with use. This hasn’t been a problem, as I have just attached a couple of buggy clips to the handle.
- Forward facing only. The standard City Mini has the buggy facing forward only. However, if you use it with an additional carrycot attachment (which costs extra, and is designed for newborns) then this will be facing you. The new ‘Versa’ model also allows you to turn the buggy to face either way.
- Fixed handle height. You can’t adjust the handle up or down, which could be a problem if you are particularly tall or short.
In conclusion? It’s not the cheapest, it’s not the lightest, it’s not the smallest, it’s not the most comfortable. But it crams in so many great features in one go, that it’s easy to see why City Mini users are evangelical about it. We love it!