June 02, 2014 02:00 PM

Courtesy Regan Stephens

We tried it: Baby Jogger City Mini GT

Who tried it: Regan Stephens, Contributing Photo Editor

Why she did it: For city dwellers, a stroller is often your little one’s primary form of transportation.

And after two and a half years of ours taking its fair share of winter abuse (snowy streets and salty sidewalks) and summer’s sticky popsicles, it was time for an upgrade.

We decided to go with the City Mini GT because it promises ‘Go Anywhere with AllTerrain Mobility.’ And after traversing countless city miles and a few jets and jaunts, we put it to the test.

Pros: Perhaps the biggest ‘pro’ of this stroller is the ease in which it folds down.

Before parenthood, I might have raised an eyebrow (or two) if someone touted that feature as being indispensable. But after juggling groceries and a Mary Poppins-esque diaper bag while maintaining hold of a wiggly toddler hand, it becomes clear the one strap pull-to-close is everything.

Among other things, folding the stroller down in seconds allows us to enter a restaurant a little less like an elephant parade, as it locks into the fold position and tucks easily in a coat closet. Similarly, my suburban sister-in-law loves how simple it transfers in and out of the car.

But what good would the fold-down simplicity be if the stroller weighed a ton? At 20.9 lbs., I don’t have to be an amateur weightlifter to manage it along with my aforementioned Mary Poppins bag. Plus, the handlebar’s adjustable height allows both a 5’10” me and my 5’2″ sister-in-law to push in comfort. Seriously, after hunching over an umbrella stroller for hours one particularly terrible day, I’ll never go back to a fixed-height model.

In car speak, this stroller is the crossover SUV versatile to the core. The sturdy body and allterrain wheels let us smoothly span both city sidewalks and country trails, yet it’s more compact and lightweight than most alternatives thus easier to transport. I can easily get in and out of doors without the help of a sympathizing stranger, maneuvering it with just one hand.

And we affectionately call my daughter Nosy Rosy, so she appreciates the ability to sit forward and scan her surroundings. If we’re on the go during naptime, the seat reclines nearly flat and, coupled with vented sides and a closed canopy, it makes for a comfortable place to snooze.

The UV 50 sun canopy opens to several positions to offer shade and when I forget the plastic cover, it acts as a pretty impressive rain shield. There are also two peekaboo canopy windows so I can keep an eye on her while we’re strolling, which is especially useful while she’s snacking on the go.

Cons: I’m not able to use my ‘Mommy Hook’ (great product, terrible name) to hang my purse or groceries from the handlebar and the undercarriage storage is on the small side. (That said, I’ve transported half a load of groceries home from Trader Joe’s on many occasions.) Depending on personal needs, this might be a problem for some. For me, it’s a small price to pay for a stroller that handles so easily and folds down in seconds flat. We don’t store much under the stroller because we have to remove it to fold it down flat, anyway.

The Cost: In comparison to other popular brands, the City Mini GT’s $350 price point is very reasonable, especially considering its versatility. With the purchase of the $70 car seat adapter, this stroller can be used from Baby’s first day, eliminating the need for an extra infant stroller or Snap N Go.

The Verdict: When I was pregnant with our daughter and blissfully ignorant on the subject of baby gear, my visiting sister (and mother of two older boys) observed that many a passing parent in my Brooklyn neighborhood was pushing a City Mini.

Over two years later, now I understand why. The stroller’s mix of easy maneuvering and sturdy durability along with the fold, the FOLD! makes it a perfect fit for our family.

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