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Baby Jogger City Mini Zip – First Impressions Review by Best Buggy!

The Baby Jogger City Mini Zip arrived at Best Buggy HQ today.

We were not expecting it, so when a tiny a parcel arrived, we all looked at it wondering what on earth it was.

We were amazed when out of the box came the Baby Jogger City Mini Zip! The fold is tiny for any pushchair, but especially for a Baby Jogger. It also feels very light, although surprisingly it is still 7.25kgs.

We quickly popped the wheels on and opened the Zip stroller up.

I will be honest and say that when we saw the Baby Jogger City Mini Zip in photos and online, we were not too sure about it. We wondered if the fold with the ‘breaking point’ being along the mid point of the pushchair would make it a bit wobbly. We weren’t convinced about the look of it.

However, all those worries simply flew away, once we got the City Mini Zip in hand, and pushed it.

The Baby Jogger City Mini Zip is incredibly sturdy – I am still marvelling in how sturdy it is! There is no ‘give’ in the handle or the chassis at all. Absolutely rock solid! This is unusually a small fold pushchair which has a full sized pushchair feel. There seems to be no compromise between a small fold, and the pushchair size. This is probably a pushchair which you could use every day in the same way as you can a City Mini. However we will reserve judgement on this for now, as it is early days.

We took the City Mini Zip out for an initial run today, so this is a quick first impression review. The outing was a tough challenge, but the Zip handled so beautifully, that we honestly did not know we had it. This is the best accolade a pushchair can get from us. If we don’t know we have it, then it is doing a great job with no niggling features. At one point, I noticed one of the wheels was locked, but even with the wheel locked, it has presented no challenge to steer!

The handle height is just perfect for me at 5ft 6ins – absolutely spot on. We don’t know the measurements at present, but we would suggest it is a tad lower than a City Mini. However it is not too high, as Little Miss BB who decided it was her pushchair to push around and we had to prise the Zip back off her to try! Little Miss BB could manoeuvere the Zip perfectly, unlike her little shopping trolley which she kept crashing!

We were surprised at how large the basket is. Access is restricted from behind, however the sides were elasticated enough to be able to push my fairly large handbag through. It would probably be a challenge to get a large changing bag underneath though.

With almost no rear basket access, we were very pleased to see the classic Baby Jogger large mesh pocket on the rear of the seat. The City Mini Zip even comes with a free cup holder which clips simply onto the side, and then folds in really neatly when the pushchair is folded.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that there is a lift up calf rest on the Zip. This should help create a very comfortable sleeping place for a young child.

The hood is absolutely huge – massive!!! Look how far it comes down over the nearly 6 year old Little Miss BB! However, it is made from a thin lycra type material which we are not keen on, but on such a small folding pushchair, it is a compromise that we are prepared to make.

What we are less keen on is that the harness has such a minimal choice of height settings. There is a small strap and the shoulder straps move up and down this. It seemed to be ok for 4 year old Master BB, although we do need to have a play around, as he did manage to remove his arms too easily for our liking, and we suspect the harness slipped loose somehow. We will probably add a Belt Up strap to the harness to keep him secure – but this is something we really should not need to have to do to keep a child safe in the seat. (*EDIT* the harness constantly slides loose and the Belt Up hasn’t resolved the issue. We are looking to swap the harness.) We have our concerns that having a high harness height settings, along with the sliding harness will mean that smaller babies and children, are not securely fastened in.

We must at this point say that our Baby Jogger City Mini Zip was very kindly brought back from the US by one of the Best Buggy team. It is not available yet in the UK, and it may well be, that the harness or spec, may change once it arrives here.

The harness itself breaks annoyingly into 5 pieces if you are unlucky. If you are lucky it stays together. However chasing around for all 5 parts is annoying – and the top pieces are really tricky to fit back on because they are tiny.

The children in the photos are aged 4 years 1 month (98cms tall – the height of an average 3 year old); and are aged 5 years 10 months (116cms tall). We were amazed that the eldest fitted in the seat so well.We had been trying her in pushchair seats earlier in the day, and she was too tall for every pushchair that we had tried her in. So this was great news for anyone with an older or taller child who needs a pushchair. The City Mini Zip is certified for use with a child up to 55lbs in the US – this is a huge 25kgs!! Little Miss BB had no complaints about the seat comfort, although she did grumble when we asked her to get out!

We were even more surprised to find that the Zip handed brilliantly with her in the seat. She is heavy, but the Zip tipped up super easily up kerbs and dropped off them fine. There was still no flex or give in the frame anywhere. Absolutely awesome!

There are two places for longer legs to rest. The footrest shown in the photos, and the lower footrest. However the latter was really too low for Little Miss BB. She could reach it but she preferred the upper footrest.

Did we mention the fold is teeeeeny for such a full size pushchair? The fold is really what the City Mini Zip is all about!! Hence so many pictures of it. We can’t believe it is so tiny! The Zip folds both in half but also from the side as well, making it extremely compact.

It was a last minute decision to take the City Mini Zip today. However, we filled the car completely to the brim. Thankfully, the tiny folding Zip slid underneath Master BB’s feet in the footwell, and we all made it home! If you need a size comparison, look at the car boot photo. Bear in mind we have things behind the zip, but it barely fills a quarter of the width of our boot – probably less if we stood the zip on our side. A compact pushchair usually fills to the central line in our boot.

To unfold – remove the storage lock – it reminds me of a hair clip because it doesn’t open the way you want. Then we have had to check which way round the pushchair is, as so far, we keep opening it upside down!
The City Mini Zip simply unfolds in a similar way to a normal City Mini or City Mini GT, but the pushchair doesn’t just open upwards, but also outwards.
It is important at the end of the fold, to ensure that the handlebar and the footrest are both clicked into the lock position.
There are red safety straps which should be poppered on at either side of the frame to complete the unfold.

To fold, remove the red safety straps. Then there is a button hidden underneath a cap in the centre of the handlebar: press down on the button to release the handles. Pull really really hard on the handle in the centre of the seat (ours is very stiff), and the City Mini Zip folds really easily. There is an autolock, but we have squashed the Zip together so far. Bear in mind though, that this is only a first impressions review, and we hopefully will become expert at folding! We LOVE that the Zip freestands once folded! Fab! I had to run back outside to quickly take some photos of the Zip freestanding just to show you! The Zip is also easy to carry. We love that there is a backpack travel bag for the Zip. We would love to get one for travelling with.

What else do we need to quickly mention?

The seat had a toggle recline down to flat. Thus it is suitable from birth. The recline does have a protective cover which velcros down the side of the mesh at the back of the seat. We have not tried this feature out properly yet.

The wheels are hard plastic. There is a tiny vibration from them, but it is barely worth noting. We didn’t notice after the first minute or so.

The brakes are really well labelled with red and green step on buttons.

In the US, there are car seat adaptors which fit into two sockets on either side of the City Mini Zip seat. We do not know whether we will get this option in the UK. It is worth noting that we nearly lost one of our blanking stoppers today, so hopefully Baby Jogger UK will bring plenty of spares!

Overall, our first impressions have been excellent. After being initially skeptical of the City Mini Zip, we believe that it could well be one of the pushchairs of 2014. The handling and teeny fold have completely won us over. The Zip is packed with features which we did not expect. We think that the City Mini Zip feels similar to a City Mini 4 – if not better and more zippy! We love the City Mini Zip, and we can’t wait to get it out and about some more.

We will take more photos as soon as we can, including some comparison photos next to some of our other pushchairs. We will review the City Mini Zip more thoroughly later on, once we have used it more.

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