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Babyjogger: City Select (Double mode)

Review Overview

Babyjogger: City Select (Double mode)
Expert Reviewer
216 Reviews
Reviewed On: 05 Jan 2012
Sophie Bell
Expert Reviewer
Sophie's Verdict:

Babyjogger's roots are exactly as the name suggests – they originated in jogging pushchairs. In their more recent evolutions they have been designing ultra-practical solutions to child transport. We are taking a look at one of their solutions to carrying more than one child – The Babyjogger City Select.....

Review Summary

Summary

Altogether, the Babyjogger City Select is a well engineered, uncomplicated pushchair that has been designed to give parent and child the best possible experience when getting out and about.

What’s good
  • Many chair combinations
  • So easy to use
  • Both are full size seats
What’s not so good
  • Long wheel base
  • Awkward lifting up kerbs
  • Hard to see the front

Review Content

Babyjogger: City Select (Double mode)

I love the idea of having a pushchair that meets your every need, such as; it has a compact fold, can handle rough terrain, has a large basket, can expand to a double and can hoover and wash up at the same time....sadly, no such pushchair exists.

But chosing a pushchair that has longevity built-in is surely a wise decision. Remember the old saying, ‘Buy cheap – pay twice', well buying the right pushchair from the start is a decision that can be ill-informed resulting in a ‘pay twice' situation.

Babyjoggers catchphrase for the City Select is ‘For parents on the grow' which sums it up perfectly. A nimble pushchair with a great capacity to change to suit your needs as your family expands. Initially, you are most likely to buy this pushchair as a single, then invest in accommodating a second child if and when it happens.

In the UK the Babyjogger City Select comes in three colours: Onyx (black), Amethyst (Purple) and Ruby (Red).

So, although you're ambitiously planning ahead, how does the City Select fare as a single pushchair? Assuming twins aren't imminent, then it's this configuration that you are going to use for the longest period.

BBJcity-select-colours
Chassis

The frame on the Babyjogger City Select is brushed aluminium with black, contrasting, functional parts. The handle is a super-grip rubber that gives ultimate control. I know not everyone likes the feel of rubber, some are even allergic to it, but it affords a phenomenal grip and you seem to connect so much better that you do with foam. The handle height is adjustable from 100.5cms to 107.5cms using the central button.

Moving down the frame, the brake is mounted on the right shaft of the handle. Being hand-activated it is easy to apply irrespective of what shoes you are wearing. Pulling it towards you applies the brake to the back wheels which grip a firm hold on any surface due to the fact that they have 30.5cms pneumatic tyres called forever-air, that eliminate the worry of getting a puncture. A combination of pushing the small grey button mounted on top and flicking the lever forward will release the brake.

A little further down the handle shafts are the first of two sets of brackets that mount the seat unit, giving you the option of a higher or lower seating position. The frame then extends forward to a shallow scoop, upon which is mounted the two 20.5cm wheels that have lightweight rubberised foam tyres. As you would expect, these 360 degree swivel wheels can be locked off to be unidirectional or removed at the press of a button.

Between the front and rear axles is slung an enormous basket, expandable at the back and accessible from the front, it will accommodate the largest of changing bags.

BBJlife-photo2
Fold

In true Babyjogger style, the fold on the City Select is conspicuous due to the word ‘FOLD' being embossed on the central hubs. Lift each bracket and the whole pushchair folds in half, the handle and the front wheels meeting at the back axle. Fluid, apparent and brilliant, it is a no-nonsense, immediate fold.

It doesn't have an auto-lock but does have a manual bracket that can be applied to ensure it stays folded, however, to be fair, the frame is relatively obedient and stays closed quite well on its own. Unfortunately, regardless of strategy, we could not make the frame stand vertically independently and it is a little on the large side, especially if you fold it with the single seat in place (front facing). Opening is simply a matter of shaking out the frame until it gives you a ‘click', an audible acknowledgement that it's ready-to-go.

Seat

As I mentioned before, the seat unit can be mounted in one of two heights and either rear for forward facing. The lower, forward facing option is likely to be preferable when your child is a little older and more adventurous and the higher parent facing option when they still need to keep their eye on Mummy.

The seat is 20cms deep and 29.5cms wide with a back height of 48cms and a further 11cms headroom in the canopy if it is clipped to the seat frame in the higher of the two clamping positions. The canopy consists of three large segments, the middle having a peephole window that is elegantly covered with a magnetic flap closure.

The five point harness clips into a choice of three shoulder heights and can be conveniently adjusted by simply unclipping and repositioning.

The long leg rest is 23cms and can be angled at four positions between 0 and 90 degrees. Similarly, the recline function, a button on the rear of the seat, will angle the seat in four locations, from sitting to fully reclined. Also on the rear of the seat is a net basket for all your vital essentials, to keep them close at hand.

The seat attaches to the frame by simply dropping into one of the two sets of brackets. To remove it, the grey buttons can be pushed with your thumbs as you lift the seat off. It's a very natural, fluid, uncomplicated movement.

tandem
Conclusion

I love the Babyjogger City Select, in single mode it is brilliant in many ways. It feels super-stable, thanks to the long wheel base. The tyres give excellent grip on any surface and in conjunction with the rubber coated handlebar it feels like you have full control over every aspect of this pushchair. The options of seat height and orientation give you fantastic flexibility and the size of the seat will accommodate the largest of toddlers.

The functional elements, such as the seat recline, the handle adjustment and the seat release are all unambiguous and elementary to perform.

The expanding basket is the cherry-on-the-cake, giving you enough room to carry enough gubbins to last you a week away, let alone a day out!

Altogether, the Babyjogger City Select is a well engineered, uncomplicated pushchair that has been designed to give parent and child the best possible experience when getting out and about.

Double mode

In keeping with the essence of simplicity, the Babyjogger City Select transforms effortlessly into a tandem pushchair. Blanking caps above the front wheels can be removed to reveal sockets that take the two extension bars. The second seat is mounted on these stems and the primary seat is located in the top mounting brackets on the frame. This is where descriptively this could get a little messy as there are 16 possible pushchair combinations to the City Select.

Single:

  • Car seat – parent facing
  • Carrycot – parent facing
  • Seat unit – parent facing
  • Seat unit – forward facing

Double:

  • Car seat top/car seat bottom – both parent facing
  • Carrycot top/seat unit bottom – both parent facing
  • Seat unit top/seat unit bottom – both forward facing
  • Seat unit top/seat unit bottom - both parent facing,
  • Seat unit top-parent facing/carrycot bottom-forward facing
  • Seat unit top/seat unit bottom – facing each other,
  • Seat unit top-parent facing/carrycot bottom-forward facing
  • Seat unit top-parent facing/seat unit bottom-forward facing
  • Car seat top/seat unit bottom – both parent facing
  • Car seat top-parent facing/seat unit bottom-forward facing
  • Car seat top/carrycott bottom - both parent facing
  • Seat unit top/carrycot bottom - both parent facing
BBJcityselect_cominations

With so many combinations to choose from, you are bound to find one that suits your brood. For instance, face-to-face might work for some siblings but not my two, they would prefer back-to-back or both forward facing, as face-to-face is just an argument waiting to happen! However, it is great to have such an array of possibilities available.

The second seat is the same size and functions in exactly the same manner as the primary seat. This is unusual, as most tandems compromise one seat in size or capacity to maintain balance or to simply be able to accommodate two children on one chassis.

During our last group test (tandems), one thing that was highlighted was the difficulty incurred when using a tandem pushchair with such a long wheelbase. Our testers found that regardless of whether they were carrying their oldest or youngest in the front seat, it was tricky to get up kerbs, as the weight ratio turned pivoting the back axle into an arm wrestling competition. With all the weight of one child centred over the front wheels it becomes extremely difficult to lift, relying on some beefy downward force on the handle to counteract the weight of child and chair at the front. As one of the more vertically challenged members of the team it was particularly difficult for me, but even the husbands taking part in the test had their work cut out for them. This glitch is definitely a negative as it contradicts the brilliant useability of the rest of the pushchair.

Depending upon the configuration you choose, you can retain the use of the enormous, much needed basket space that is imperative when you are on-the-move with all the paraphenalia that has to accompany two toddlers.

Conclusion

All tandems have their limitations, we haven't found a perfect solution yet, however the Babyjogger City Select puts up a strong fight towards the idealism of a do-all pushchair. The fact that it has full size seats for both passengers means that you aren't seating one child at the sacrifice of the other. This becomes more evident if you are the parent of twins, the Select treats both equally but only when they get to the age of around six months because it doesn't have a two carrycot configuration. So, until then, you have to choose which will go in the car seat/seat unit whilst the other lays flat in the carrycot.

This pushchair only encounters a problem when configured as a double, until then it is ideal.  Although your second child is not compromised in seat size, you take a cut in manoeuvrability due to the fact that it makes the whole pushchair very long.

The essence of the Babyjogger City Select, lies in it's simplicity. Everything you have to encounter, be it adjusting the harness or removing the seat, happens without any drama - no sticking, wiggling or nail breaking. It has been designed to give you the best in functionality which in turn makes parents and kids happy.

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