We’ve written an update to our review with our impressions after using it for a few months! Check it out.
While certain people (Mighty) are known to imply that I travel with WAY too many belongings, I’ve got nothing on the Captain. You have no idea how much stuff traveling with a toddler requires. After one too many battles lost with our full-sized and extremely heavy stroller (a hand-me-down of dubious generosity, considering its wheels were known to fall off at the slightest provocation), it became evident that our only real solution was to buy a new stroller.
Friends who have travelled abroad suggest that we just purchase a new “umbrella” stroller when we reached our destination(s), but have you ever driven one of those? They suck even harder than our previous one AFTER the wheels had fallen off. I guess you get what you pay for when you pay nothing and $15 respectively.
Next we asked for recommendations from my sister, an urbanite of the extreme, who lives in the sort of place where strollers are a necessity of day-to-day life. She suggested that we look at the City Mini GT as well as the City Mini. After reading reviews on the Interwebz, both looked like good options. So we did what any right-thinking person would do and went down to a local Baby’s-R-Us and proceeded to break both of their floor models. No really, we put them through as much real-world testing (aka: abuse) as can be done on the linoleum floor of a retail store. What we found was this:
The GT is super slick, but comes in far fewer colours. They’re clearly made by the same company though and are just iterations on each other.
The GT has actual inflatable tires as opposed to the solid plastic/rubbery tires of the original mini. Mighty thinks that’s a bonus for the original, as there are fewer chances of a flat, but I still liked the GT. We both agree though that the handling of the GT was significantly better. One-handed steering was AMAZINGLY easy on the GT but only OK with the original.
While the GT has a really cool adjustable height handle, it also has an adjustable height handle. There was absolutely no way you could put any weight (like a diaper bag or a daybag) on it for any length of time because you will definitely break those hinges eventually. Sure, you’re warned not to hang things from handlebars anyway, but who listens to that? The curved handle on the original is a bit narrow and those with broader shoulders may find it too narrow, but even Mighty with his VERY broad shoulders only complains when pushing for long periods.
Like the appearance, these all function the same but I just wanted to mention how awesome they were. This is where the City Mini just shines. Finally there is a stroller where you can truly do all of these functions easily and one handed. A strap handle in the base of the seat is lifted, and bam, the stroller is folded in half and you’re on your way. To unfold, you just lift a clip and it releases. The recline for your child is handled by an ingenious little cord that reminds me of a cinch sack. So great!
This really was the deciding factor in this battle of the offspring conveyances. When it comes down to it, no matter how much we might have liked any number of other things, we really had to be aware that we could end up having to carry this stroller up and down any number of stairs at any time. Therefore, it is the Classic, weighing in at 16 lbs to the GT’s 21 lbs who wins the prize!
Since we got the stroller, we’ve been making sure to take the Captain out as many places as we can. The Mini has handled beautifully, taking in its stride everything from cobble-styled streets to gravel to crowded lines to see a mall Santa. One of the few drawbacks which we have noticed is the small underseat storage bin. It is not large enough to carry much more than a hastily-stuffed diaper bag or a baby’s blanket, and even those are tight fits. Those who are used to larger strollers will want to be rebels like us and invest in a couple of carabiners and grocery sacks to hang from the handle.
Overall, while the stroller is moderately expensive, the ease of use and portability makes it easily worth the cost.
We’ve now taken the City Mini Classic all around Arizona, on a trans-Atlantic flight, through a variety of airports, criss-crossed an ancient city, traversed countless metro stations, and most-importantly I think, gone into and out of and up and down from a 7th-floor apartment innumerable times.
We have some additional observations.
We are still super happy with the City Mini Classic, but here is our “a few months later” list:
- Even though it’s the lighter of the two strollers, it gets HEAVY if you have to carry it long distances. We’re experimenting with a strap system which will allow us to sling it over a shoulder.
- The back wheels are set on the outside of the stroller. This makes it just that little bit too wide for any number of things in Paris, which means getting the baby out, folding the stroller, and carrying both up escalators, through stores, etc. BE AWARE.
- 2 x “S”-style carabiners (one on either side) of the handle bars (these kinds) works great to fasten messenger-style bags (including baby bags) to the stroller. If not for these we would look even more like tourists (which we try to avoid).
- The tires. Those poor tires! You can really see the wear and tear on them and they’re slowly wearing smooth. We’re not sure if this is a bad thing, as we don’t know if strollers really need that much tread (as long as the break works), but if you care then keep it in mind.
I’m sure there are more, but that’s all we can think of for now!