Baby Jogger City Elite Single Review by Best Buggy
The Baby Jogger City Elite Single is a fabulous all terrain pushchair!
We are probably biased because we have owned a Baby Jogger City Elite for several years, but let Best Buggy tell you why we love it!!
First of all, as our Side by Side Comparisons Baby Jogger photos show, all the Baby Jogger pushchairs with the hammock seats (ie not framed seats) all have a very similar size chassis once folded and with the seats removed. This means that the best way to choose a Baby Jogger – whether the City Mini, Mini GT, Elite or Summit X3 is by choosing the wheels to suit your purpose ie smaller wheels for about town, or the bigger wheels for heading off road. This means that whatever the size of your car boot, the Baby Jogger to suit your purpose should fit in with the wheels popped off.
So, why the Baby Jogger City Elite?
The Elite for us is a great combination of a serious off road pushchair, combined with a swivel wheel for nipping into town. The 12″ ‘forever air’ tyres on the Baby Jogger City Elite, just seem less intrusive than they do on the bigger Summit X3, but yet afford the advantages of off road use.
Seat and Child Comfort
The seat on the Elite is huge. It seems to swallow up school age children easily into the seat. The children all report that it is comfy to sit in. There is plenty of room under the hood for a taller child.
Meanwhile the Elite has a lie flat seat and a lift up calf rest, which means even the smallest of newborn babies will be able to stretch out comfortably on the seat with their legs and backs well supported.
The seat is reclined using a toggle system. Its simple to lower the seat down to any angle from upright to lie flat. It is a little harder to push the seat upright again as the toggle needs two hands, so a shoulder or an arm is useful to hold the seat upright whilst the toggle is pulled taught.
When the seat is reclined, there is a mesh back panel. This can be left open for ventilation in summer, or there is a storm flap which can be pulled over the mesh to keep a child snug and warm.
The Elite has also the options of a choice of 3 carrycots – the compact, compact plus or hard bodied carrycots. The Elite can also take a Maxi-Cosi Pebble or Cabriofix car seat with the addition of the car seat adaptors.
The Baby Jogger City Elite has a great solid footplate which is angled upwards. I believe this is one of the reasons older children sit comfortably in the seat as it makes them sit deeper in the seat.
We love the super padded seat of the Elite, and the chunky buckle. I always appreciate these two things whenever I come back to the Elite (we have several other Baby Jogger pushchairs). I do like that the buckle is harder for a child to undo (no harder for an adult), as my son is getting increasingly interested in undoing buckles! The 5 point harness otherwise, is similar to the other Baby Jogger pushchairs, in that there is a big choice of harness height settings, and the harness can easily be clipped to the correct height for your child. There is no faffing round pushing the harness through holes in the seat! Its dead easy and simple! This is especially useful if the pushchair is being used by two children of different ages. The harness has shoulder and crotch pads.
I really like the addition of the parent console on the Elite. However, it hasn’t gone unnoticed here at BB HQ that the console has been redesigned and has lost 3 of its pockets (which were covered with a flap) and now there are only 3 exposed pockets on top, instead of a total of 6 pockets! However the 3 pockets are still very handy to keep drinks, keys, my camera, purse etc. close to hand.
The Baby Jogger City Elite also has a good sized basket. This has been improved in recently years to give better access from the rear over the scooped curved lower bar. The sides are also elasticated and allow larger items to be pushed through. There is also access from the front via the lift up calf support to put things into the basket, or to allow longer items to poke through.
There is also a large mesh pocket on the rear of the Elite which is handy for flatter items, or for a raincover. We recently saw one child who was playing with an ipad through the mesh pocket whilst sat on a sit on buggy board!! Ingeniuous!
The huge hood is one of the best features of the Elite. The trifold hood can be opened at any point to give a child great cover from the elements – whether rain, wind or sun. The Baby Jogger hoods, and especially the Elite hood, are some of the best there are on any pushchair. The Elite has a plastic covered peekaboo window on the top (2 peekaboo windows on older versions), plus it also has 2 side windows which are mesh covered for through ventilation. The windows are magnetic, so that you can view your child without waking them up (as can happen with velcro fasteners).
Handlebar, Brake and Bumper Bar
The handlebar is highly adjustable with many choices of handle position from very high, to very low. There should be a position to suit everyone. However, I do like my handle to be horizontal, and at that level the handlebar is higher than the Baby Jogger City Mini GT. The handlebar is textured rubber which is easy to grip and comfy to hold.
The Baby Jogger City Elite can have a bumper / belly bar or a snack tray added to the accessory bracket. There is also the option to have a console on the belly bar.
The brake on the Baby Jogger Elite is a handbrake. It is situated at the side of the pushchair near the top of the hood. The handbrake needs 2 small buttons squeezing together, and then needs lifting up and flicking forwards or backwards to apply or remove the brake. Having a handbrake high up is really handy to have, although sometimes having the brake on one side can be a disadvantage too. However its no issue to lean over the pushchair to reach the brake.
The Baby Jogger City Elite fold is fabulous. Like the other Baby Jogger pushchairs, to fold the Elite is a simple tug of the fold handle in the centre of the seat. The new Elite pushchairs have an autolock which will snap shut upon folding. This does however mean that the autolock needs undoing before opening the Elite, or the autolock could easily be removed. There are two red safety straps under the seat of the Elite. These snap onto the frame of the Elite on either side to give additional security against the pushchair accidentially folding. These need poppering on manually, and will need undoing before folding too.
The Elite is quite a compact square-ish package when folded. However it does not freestand. We prop our Elite upside down against a wall, or else store it on its side. The Elite doesn’t take up much room in the boot of our car, especially with the wheels popped off.
Wheels and Suspension
The 12″ forever air wheels mean that the Baby Jogger Elite will have a good attempt at tackling any terrain that you put in its path. The ‘forever air’ tyres mean that you will not get punctures. The front wheel will swivel for easy manoeuvering, or will lock underneath the pushchair for going over rough terrain. There is front suspension but no rear suspension. The larger Summit X3 has all round suspension for serious off roading!
However the Elite is quite wide and I know this is an issue for some people.
The wheels do pop off really easily for storage, which makes the Elite a great option for a compact car or where storage space in the house is an issue. It is probably one of the the smallest folding off road pushchairs.
The Elite, for us, has a great combination of large 12″ ‘forever air’ wheels with a swivel option, which means that it doesn’t look too large to nip into the local shops with, but yet the pushchair will try to tackle anything that you choose to put in its path.
We also love the excellent storage, the huge hood, the thickly padded seat, chunky harness and large seat. We love that the Elite folds so small which makes it easy to store both at home and in the car boot.
Having just come back from a holiday which had a combination of small tourist shops, fields, rough mountain paths and sand dunes, I have to admit that the Elite would have been the perfect pushchair, if we hadn’t needed a parent facing seat. The Elite is definitely coming with us on our next beach holiday!!!
Other Baby Jogger City Elite Single Reviews: