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Baby Jogger City Lite – First Impressions

Best Buggy are proud to have been given the very first Baby Jogger City Lite in the UK!!

These photos above are a quick photoset to give an initial first look at this very stylish brand new pushchair. Apologies for the poor quality photos – we will get outside and take better photos as soon as we can.

The first impression was of the relatively small box! Out of it came a very light chassis, a hood and three wheels. Putting on the wheels was interesting because it was the first indicator that the City Lite does not take the usual pattern of previous Baby Joggers. The button to release the wheel (needs pressing in to put the wheel on) is located in a slightly different place to say the City Mini or GT. The hood clips onto the chassis around a small button, rather than the usual ‘plug in’ style pins which most Baby Jogger pushchairs have.

The black chassis is very smart. It looks great. We love the metal rim of the hood at the front. The fixed height handle is much flatter than the typical Baby Jogger handles – and it is foam covered instead of covered in rubber.

At this point, I am wondering how to say the most glaringly obvious…..but I think I need to say it quietly… shhhhhh!!! I hate to say it as a massive Baby Jogger fan……. but the Baby Jogger City Lite seems to have more in common with the Britax B-Agile than it does with its fellow Baby Joggers……
On the one hand, this is no bad thing. The fold auto lock is much improved from the Baby Jogger fold locks. There is a large pocket on the rear of the hood, as well as typical Baby Jogger mesh pocket on the rear of the seat. The City Lite has a very similar rear basket bar to the B-Agile. The step on and off brake by the rear right wheel is very similar; as is the way the seat fabric zips off around the footwell. There are even sockets down each side of the seat which have removable blanking plates over them – these are where car seat or carrycot adaptors would fit on the B-Agile, which begs the question, if such accessories will ever be released for the City Lite.

The basket is huge. The hood is massive, with two good clear windows which have covers across them. These covers can be rolled up and secured with toggles. Thankfully, the hood has solid fabric panels.

The seat reclines down to flat, thus it is suitable from birth. The recline is done using a toggle recline which means the seat can be stopped at any incline. There is mesh at the rear of the seat, which has a cover to keep out the elements. We are not fans of how the mesh drapes across the rear of the seat when the seat is pulled upright from being reclined. The mesh can be tucked behind the seat to make it look neater. We like the inclusion of harness pads on what is a low end priced pushchair.

We were surprised how large the seat was. We invited our 5 year old into the seat, and on initial first impression, she seemed to have more room – especially head room – than she does in our Baby Jogger City Mini GT. We will take photos of her in both, and compare. However this did surprise us. Our youngest, couldn’t wait to clamber in too. He looked comfy as well. He has several inches of room to grow before he reaches the footrest. We like the hard wearing, easy to clean footrest fabric. We did wonder if the footrest was too shallow from previous photos, but it seems perfectly adequate in real life, which is great!

The other surprise was finding a new harness. Baby Jogger have only just altered the harnesses on their other pushchairs, and we expected that the City Lite would have the same harness as our new 2014 City Mini GT. However, the City Lite does not. The harness instead is similar to the one found on the NJoy Up Bubble, which is no surprise when you consider that Baby Jogger now own the factory which produces the Bubble. However, sadly, unlike the Bubble, someone has decided to give the City Lite a harness which breaks into 5 pieces every time you undo it. We haven’t done any more than have a quick look at the City Lite, but believe me, if we could find a source of a replacement harness, then it would be swapped tomorrow…….these new breakaway harnesses really are a big mistake, Baby Jogger……..
The new 5 point breakaway harnesses on the new 2014 City Mini GT are frustrating enough, but on initial look, the City Lite harness is worse. It literally falls apart into 5 pieces in your hand, and then needs piecing back together like a frustrating jigsaw puzzle. We would like to invite whoever made the decisions about the new harnesses to come here and try to do them up with a wriggling child, in a thick winter coat, with a footmuff on, in the rain, with a freezing howling gale in a UK winter….

The fold is a two stage fold. There is a small red button located down one side of the chassis (the right as you stand at the front of the pushchair). Once depressed, the handle in the centre of the pushchair can be pulled and the City Lite folds in half, shuts and autolocks. Very neat and tidy. We do need to practice finding the red button!

There are two odd little abutments on the handle at the top of the seat unit – they look like a parent console or cupholder would attach on top of them – however the only accessories currently available to for the City Lite at present are the raincover (the same as the City Mini and GT one) and the universal Baby Jogger footmuff. We are intrigued as to why these have been incorporated into the pushchair.

We LOVE the new modern styling of the Baby Jogger City Lite – the black chassis and new fabrics (although the hood would benefit from being lined). We would love to see Baby Jogger take this design concept and update the image of the other Baby Jogger pushchairs. However, we are a little disappointed that the City Lite is more like a Britax pushchair than it is a Baby Jogger. As we said at the start, this is not a negative – it was just odd to see on a Baby Jogger branded pushchair! However we have yet to properly try the children in the seat and to try out the fixed handle height.

One thing is for certain – the Baby Jogger City Lite does live up to its name. It is very light to lift and carry which is refreshing for us, given we usually use our City Mini GT. The Lite should be great to fling into the boot of the car! I suspect the small neat fold, large hood, lie flat seat and light weight, will make the Lite a good holiday pushchair, at a slightly cheaper price than a Baby Jogger City Mini.

However, these are just our first impressions – we will be getting the Baby Jogger City Lite out and about as soon as we can, and we will then write a more detailed review.

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