When travelling with a baby, particularly overseas, it is often a dilemma about whether to bring a stroller. Especially for destinations like Japan where lifts and elevators are quite rare, or if there is one, they are often quite busy. Our daughter was 7 months when we decided to go to Japan. My husband has a bad back so we didn’t want to solely rely on just a carrier (although this is a must-bring item!). We wanted to find the best travel stroller that ticked all our boxes and we found it, the Baby Jogger City Tour Stroller.
In Australia, there were 3 on the market that I had my eye on:
Since I already have an everyday stroller, the Bugaboo Cameleon (which was a bit heavy to take with us), I was looking for something that wasn’t too expensive either, which is probably why we didn’t choose the BabyZen Yoyo Stroller as it was almost double the price of the other two.
At the time that we travelled, Japan was quite cold, with temperatures in the evening plummeting to only 2 degrees Celsius. And therefore, I wanted to bring our Bugaboo footmuff to use overseas. So this helped me make my final decision between the two strollers. The footmuff fitted the Baby Jogger City Tour better as there was a bigger footrest area. It didn’t just hang off the seat, like it did with the Mountain Buggy. So we decided to go with the Baby Jogger one instead. We used this stroller for 2 weeks abroad, and I often use it on occasions back at home.
Here’s what I love about it:
1. Carry bag with backpack straps: at only 6.5kg with dimensions of: 56cm x 23cm x 45cm and meeting carry-on requirements, it is as simple as carrying a back pack! The straps make it easier for transport and there’s no other travel stroller on the market with this design (the BabyZen Yoyo only has one shoulder strap)
2. Lightweight: The stroller is so light (6.5kg), that even I, a petite framed girl, can carry the stroller with my 7 month old in it up and down the stairs. This made it very convenient as I wouldn’t have to wake her climbing stairs.
3. Can fit a footmuff: The Bugaboo High Performance Footmuff is one of the best footmuffs on the market, you can purchase it here. It gets you ready for every season possible, from a wintery day to a snowy day! This footmuff has 2 detachable covers: one polyester padded for spring to fall and another down-filled for Winter (snowy conditions). Both covers can be opened with the 2×2 way waterproof zipper for ventilation and easy cleaning while durable Teflon® coating make it rain, snow, wind and stain repellent. We took this to Japan using it with our Baby Jogger stroller:
4. Collapses easily: This stroller is so easy to collapse that I can do it with one hand with the other carrying my daughter. To be honest, because I’ve never used a Baby Jogger before, this took a bit of time to get use to, and there’s a red button on the side of the stroller that you have to click before it collapses. After a few goes though, it was easy!
5. Has a secure storage compartment: As you can see from the video above, theres a secure zipped compartment that can be used to store the travel bag, but also your valuables can be placed here.
6. Has decent storage: The storage compartment isn’t huge like your everyday strollers, however, it is pretty decent compared to the other ones on the market. There’s storage under the seat as well as behind the seat.
7. Good wheels: Baby Jogger states that the 5’’ lightweight front wheels can be set to swivel for the daily obstacle course or locked for longer distances. With front wheel suspension and larger 6’’ back wheels, this offers a smooth ride on most terrain. The wheels on the Baby Jogger City Tour Stroller just seemed to be more sturdier than the Mountain Buggy.
8. Has a great canopy: With a three stage extendable canopy, it provides a lot of shade on a sunny day, and also blocks out light when your baby is sleeping. Fitted with a peek-a-boo window meant that I could keep an eye on her at all times
9. Has different colour options to choose from: When I purchased the stroller, there was only Black and Navy available, but it seems that Baby Jogger has released a wider range of colours to choose from!
10. Has a wider range of accessories: A raincover, handlebar and a cup holder can be purchased with the stroller
11. Five Point Harness and one button release: Secure and easy to remove baby from the stroller! Although this might be an issue later when she works out how to press the button!
12. Decent recline: In general, the recline on travel strollers aren’t as flat as an everyday stroller (I’m not quite sure why, but it might have something to do with the compact fold). However, my daughter has no issues with falling asleep in it. There is a release ‘slider’ at the back that can easily be adjusted for a recline.
Here’s what I didn’t like about it:
1. It’s not very deep: With most travel strollers, the seat depth didn’t seem to be deep enough, again this could be due to the compact fold. My daughter seemed to slide out of the seat quite easily, which means you can’t have the baby sitting in the pram without doing up the harness.
2. Not travel system compatible: Unfortunately the Baby Jogger City Tour Stroller isn’t compatible with a capsule, which wasn’t an issue for us as by 7 months she had outgrown the capsule already. The BabyZen Yoyo and Mountain Buggy Nano are both travel system compatible.
3. Can only be used from 6 months: This wasn’t a big issue for us, as Madeleine was 7 months when we travelled abroad. If she was less than 6 months and couldn’t sit up quite well, I would probably still get this pram but have it in the reclined position. However the Baby Jogger website does suggest 6 months and onwards. The BabyZen Yoyo and the Mountain Buggy Nano both have a bassinet which can be purchased separately and would be a better option for babies under 6 months.
4. The seat cannot be faced towards the parent: All 3 of the above strollers cannot have the seat facing towards the parent. Infact, all travel strollers don’t do this. I almost considered purchasing the Bugaboo Bee for this feature, however this pram isn’t as lightweight (10kg).
Other prams we considered but didn’t make it to our top 3:
Top Row from Left To Right:
1. Yellow Bugaboo Bee Stroller: This is one of my favourite strollers on the market, with the baby being able to face towards you or away from you. Although it is still considered light in weight at only 10kg, it is heavier than the other travel strollers that are available (Baby Jogger City Tour Stroller was only 6.5kg). I’m not too good with weight, and therefore we decided not to purchase this one. It is also quite expensive to purchase just for a travel.
2. Turquoise QBit Plus Stroller: This stroller actually ticked all out boxes as well, being lightweight, flat recline, and decent storage. However there was no carry bag that could be purchased, which meant we couldn’t carry the stroller when it wasn’t in use.
Bottom Row from Left to Right:
1. Red Quinny Yezz Travel Stroller: I didn’t really like this stroller, as there was no storage and no recline.
2. Turquoise QBit Pockit Stroller: This stroller is the world’s smallest stroller! However, there’s no recline, not much shade and no decent storage.
3. Maclaren Volo Stroller and 4. UPPAbaby G-Lite Stroller: Both strollers weren’t bad. However they both didn’t have the most compact fold and the carry case wasn’t easily carried (it felt more like carrying golf clubs around). The design on these two aren’t as sleek as the Baby Jogger City Tour Stroller.
When my daughter is a bit older, I’m planning to get the Mountain Buggy Bagrider, has anyone used this before?
Despite a few pitfalls, the Baby Jogger City Tour stroller is really fantastic for travel. It is lightweight, meets carry-on requirements and ticked all our boxes. I would love to have her facing towards me, however, I’ve yet to find one that does this and is just as compact.