What’s Black and Red and Loved All Over?

Today I’m going to write a love note to my stroller.

Dear Baby Jogger City Select,

Can I just call you BJ? I feel like we’re definitely close enough for nicknames, since we spend so much time together.  I just wanted you to know I love you and appreciate you. You were a wise choice.

xoxo
Suzanne

Right now my husband is wondering why I don’t ever write HIM such nice love notes. Usually they just say “Make sure you watch when the dog poops. I think he ate a sock.” We’re super romantic.

Back when I was pregnant with Caroline, I decided that this time around I was going to shell out for a good quality stroller even if the price sent me into early labor. Because holy CRAP do you know what a “mid-range” stroller costs? I could practically buy a BABY for that much money (disclaimer: I do not actually support or condone baby buying). But I was never crazy about the stroller(ssssssss) I bought for Little Evan and figured I could put all the money I was saving with hand-me-downs towards something nice. E practically choked to death when he saw what I wanted to spend, but I think he agrees now it was a good purchase.

After much debating and ordering and cancelling and blog posting, I eventually settled on the Baby Jogger City Select with the doubles kit. I loved it the second I took it out of the box, I loved it when I was using it as a single stroller for Little Evan, but I love it even more now that it’s been 6 months and I’m ready to recommend it.

My little monkey in the CS as a single while Caroline was still an inside baby

PROS:
– Can be a single stroller or double stroller (with kit)
– HUGE sun canopy
– Easy to steer
– HUGE basket under seats
– Adjustable handle height for tall or short people
– Folds with (one) seat attached in either position
– Has an adapter for my Chicco car seat
– Folds with seat attached in lower position & car seat adapter in upper position
– Disassembles really easily & quickly to fit in small spaces
– Hand brake on the side is easier to use than a foot brake (especially in flip flops)
– My diaper bag hangs easily from the handle (which it says VERY CLEARLY you shouldn’t do, but I’m a rebel)
– Toddler likes it
– Baby likes it
– Good telephone customer service
– Parts are easy to replace (I replaced a broken brake/rear axle myself in less than 2 minutes)
– Straps are easy to adjust
– I think it looks nice and stylish (totally an important factor)
– Super easy to reconfigure seats
– Seats can be assembled a zillion different ways

I was CONVINCED having all the different seating arrangements was SUPER IMPORTANT in a double stroller, as if forcing my children to just sit facing forward was some sort of parenting travesty. When obviously the parenting travesty is that I’m using a stroller at all instead of wearing them in an organic cotton and hemp wrap I wove myself (I LOVE my babies. Why would I want to PUSH them away from me?). And even though I’m sure everyone would survive perfectly well in a standard side-by-side, we use the different seat configurations ALL the time.

 

Infant seat and forward facing full sized seat
Infant seat and full sized seat facing backwards
Two full sized seats facing forwards (also, cool whale picture, right?)
Caroline in full sized seat at 5 1/2 months
Seats facing each other – of course, THIS happens, but sometimes THIS helps calm down a fussy baby.
Both seats backwards – works great at the end of a busy day when everyone needs quiet time
Two full sized seats facing away from each other – will be useful in the future to separate squabling siblings

CONS:
– In some of the positions, the seats only fit if they’re not reclined/have the footrest down
– Seats don’t recline very far
– Brake sometimes doesn’t fully disengage
– My brake broke after only 4 months of use (covered under warranty)*
– Email customer service wasn’t great*
– Everything costs extra (the bars across each seat, cup holders, rain canopy, etc)
– A little front heavy, which means it takes a little effort to get it up onto a curb (but not INCREDIBLY HARD, which some reviews I read online seemed to imply)
– Sometimes the folding mechanism sticks and I struggle to get it closed
– The seat is a LITTLE on the smaller side, so if you have a very tall toddler they might be kind of crowded (but I think that would be a problem with ANY stroller)

Wow, my list of negative stuff sounds REALLY negative, but I swear I really do love this stroller. I use it 4 times a week at Stroller Strides (including sometimes jogging), walking around my hilly neighborhood, at the crowded aquarium, on the gravel paths at the Seaport, and at the mall. I had no trouble hauling it in and out of the van when I was 9 months pregnant or when I was 4 weeks post partum. I’m planning to buy the ride-on glider attachment soon, so the toddler can stand during the kind of mostly-running-around-but-he-might-get-tired outings we often take during the summer. It also makes it a TRIPLE stroller, so if we have another baby we’re already all set.

I don’t miss the snack tray and cup holder from my old travel system stroller, but I DO recommend buying the belly bars. It keeps Little Evan in the stroller even when I *ahem* don’t buckle the straps and is perfect for attaching toys.

I purchased my stroller (the 2011 version) from PishPoshBaby and was very happy with them – good customer service, very fast free shipping, and no sales tax. I also tracked down a teeny tiny discount code after a few minutes Googling, although it was only applied to the accessories and not the stroller.

So was that EVERYTHING YOU EVER DREAMED OF? Are you jealous? Are you bored to death? Are you going to buy one of your very own right this minute?

*So the story with the brake is one tiny spring somehow got twisted and it locked up my wheels. I called to ask if I could get just that ONE piece replaced and the person I talked to asked me to email a picture. I did, waited, emailed again, waited, emailed again and then gave up and called back. Second customer service rep just said “Give me your serial number right now. A whole new rear axle is on its way.” I had it within 2 days at zero cost. Eventually CS rep #1 emailed me back that she was still checking on sending me just a spring and I told her the problem was fixed. I did NOT say “WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST SEND ME THE WHOLE THING SINCE IT WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT THAT HARD??” But I wanted to.

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20 Responses to “What’s Black and Red and Loved All Over?”

  1. Robyn says:

    you won me over. it looks like an awesome stroller. if i had a child (or two) that would be willing to ride in a stroller i’d totally get it, mine refuses all things stroller or cart like though.

  2. Megan says:

    Sooooooo, does it fold up pretty small-ish? I live in a SMALL condo and do not drive a minivan, so I need something small-ish. Did you ever look at the city-mini? Why didn’t you go with that one?

    • bebehblog says:

      If you take the seats off and the wheels off (its takes just a couple seconds) it folds very small. But then you have to store the wheels and the seats, although it would all easily fit in a closet.

      I wanted a detachable tandem instead of a side by side, so it didn’t ALWAYS have to be a double stroller. But I see the city-minis all the time and people seem to love them.

  3. Denae says:

    I have the City Mini and adore it. I wasnt gutsy/rich enough to shell out for the select for my first child. Maybe I will too get it for #2 given the savings the second time around.

  4. Londonmum says:

    wonder what this make is called in the UK? I am currently debating whether to buy a double stroller or not. I haven’t used the stroller I have with Munchkin for a good few months as we either go places by car and then he walks or his dad carries him when he is tired. However, I can imagine we may be doing more walking when baby no.2 arrives. I have bought a little buggy board attachment for my current stroller which I am thinking he can stand on if he is tired but wondering if this is going to be enough. Difficult one as I am loathe to shell out loads of cash if he is hardly ever in it. Does Evan still like to be in the stroller?

  5. Audrey says:

    I was about to say D’OH! in having gotten the Joovy instead of the Autobot of strollers, but then I noticed that the full sized seat looked kind of small and you mentioned it might not be good for GIANT TODDLER and I heaved a great big sigh of AHHHH at having gotten the Joovy. There’s so much room for Ev to sit or stand on that thing it is ridiculous. If I had normal sized children I’d be jealous. Heck, I’m still a little envious of the configurations Autobot can get into, but I grow GIANT BABIES so..yeah. If we get to meet up in August when I’m in the area we’ll have to compare so that I can ooh and aaah at it, though. Cus…Autobot…yeah.

  6. SusanK says:

    OMG. THANK YOU. I am 31 weeks pregnant with my second and STILL stressing out about what stroller I want/need. The price tag is a bit hefty, but it is everything I’ve been dreaming of :)
    You saved me hours of internet shopping and reading reviews that contradict one another….
    YAY. Double stroller? DONE.

    • bebehblog says:

      You’re welcome! I’m glad SOMEONE found this useful. I don’t know why but I had a horrible time finding reviews of double strollers online – especially PICTURES of CHILDREN actually USING the double strollers so I could see how they worked. It’s one thing for the site to say “seats can face in or out!” and another to actually see the seats facing in or out while the stroller is in use and the basket is full of junk.

  7. Thanks for posting this!!! I’ve been planning to get the city mini double, but now I’m kinda considering this. I just worry that I won’t like having them side by side. Do you ever wish the kiddos could just sit next to each other or do you find it better to have them separated? I guess my main concern is when they are like 2.5 & 1, they might like it better being right next to each other. Plus I thought it would be good for the toddler to be able to look in on the baby next to her and help entertain when she’s still tiny in her carseat. Thoughts?

    • bebehblog says:

      When Caroline was in the carseat, she was almost always asleep, so having her separated from the toddler was a good thing. Now that she’s a little more alert and rides in the real seat, she likes watching where she’s going, so I usually face her out and give Evan instructions to “check on the baby” when she fusses. He can either turn around in his forward facing seat (because unless we’re going somewhere like a city with a lot of dangerous traffic I don’t buckle him) or I can face him backwards and he tickles her feet. I know a lot of people with side-by-sides who have trouble with their kids biting/kicking/hitting each other and often wish they could put up a barrier, so I feel like the separation is more often a good thing.

      My theory is when they’re a little older, they can face each other and share food/drinks/toys for a while, until the inevitable meltdown, and then it’s super easy to just turn them around and the problem is solved. With a side-by-side you’re stuck with one configuration.

  8. Laura says:

    Looks awesome. BUT — the price tag for the stroller alone, not including all the add-ons? No way I’ll buy one. I’d rather spend that money on a vacation. :-)

  9. Definitely looks like an awesome stroller. Love all the different seating options. How cool.

  10. molly says:

    Yay for BJ’s!!! (ahem, you know what I mean)

    We have the city mini double. We almost had to take a second mortgage on our house to afford it but sooooo worth it. It’s light and very easy to close up and pack in the car. I’m a wuss so that’s a big deal.

  11. Miranda says:

    That stroller looks AWESOME. I’m sitting here going “Damn…I need that.” Seriously cool stroller. (Uh, I so do not. I just have itchy spending fingers right now.)

  12. Sarah-Anne says:

    holy awesome stroller, batman. i think i’m in love <3

  13. bellegourmande says:

    I totally want this stroller for when we have a second. Probably should’ve gotten it the first time around since it had just come out right before #1 was born last year. Thanks for the review!

    Emily

  14. TMae says:

    DAMN YOU with your super-stroller! I was all set for you to HATE it, because that would leave me secure in my UPPA purchase. When we were in Chicago last month we saw TONS of UPPA’s but also TONS of City Selects. I.AM.JEALOUS. Almost enough to get pregnant again.

  15. suzanne says:

    I am going to bookmark this post so I can find it again when getting a double stroller for when #2 is born! Thanks for the recommendation!

  16. Bobi says:

    I loved reading this post. At first my husband was anti double stroller and def anti anything side by side so we said no double stroller for us. fast forward to baby number 2’s arrival and 2 shopping trips and he was all in favor of the double stroller. I knew exactly which on I wanted as I first saw it in 2010 right after getting our bumbleride indie all terrain stroller. Since I had no plans for a 2nd baby I didn’t think much of it however now I wish I could have gone back in time to have purchased the single version on this stroller from the very beginning. I love this stroller it is expensive but there is seriously nothing else on the market that quite equals it. We finally just got ours 2 weeks ago, however I introduced my sis-in-law to it back in 2010 when she had her 2nd baby and she found it used on craigslist and saved like 500$ because it came with every attachment under the sun. i wasn’t as lucky to find as great of a deal but got mine off eBay brand new for 200$ cheaper than retail with the sell of my first stroller and some money received as a gift for baby #2 I was able to cover the cost and also get exactly what I want and needed. you can find some semi-good deals out there but this stroller is only 2 years old so it will take a while for them to be readily available used or discounted in any way.
    sorry for the long comment i just felt like sharing. ;)
    Bobi recently posted… 2011 in Review

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