Thursday, May 26, 2011

Baby Jogger City Mini and Glider

BJ Books
In my last review, I talked about the 3 "Big B's" that rule my local Strollerland. I showed you the first, now here is the second, sitting grandly under the iconic Tommy Trojan, at USC.
 In luscious, lascivious purple.

  It's the new, 2011 Baby Jogger City Mini, with glider board!
Years ago, when the City Mini first came out, one of the members in Strollerland had a question about it. So I asked CEO Dave Boardman , at the "BIG Stroller Roll-Out!"
The question was--"Why haven't you made a ride-on board for the City Mini?"  Dave thought about it, and his reply was "Because no one has asked! But now that someone has, we will work on it."

And, good to his word, they did! Here it is! It's marvelous. The surface has a non-skid grid, to help little feet stay on board. It can attach to the single or double, and holds up to 45 pounds. You can also strap it up, if you aren't using it.

We had a lot of walking to do at this Festival of Books; through throngs of people. A true double stroller would have been hard to navigate. This is the kind of situation where the Glider excels.

I've had boards in the past that were very difficult to attach, and took the patience of Job. But, as is everything else in the BJ line, the Glider is easy.
As for the City Mini itself, there were a few improvements made for 2011. The seat now has a board in the back to make the seat stiffer. 
The slouchy seat was a common complaint about the City Mini. There is also now a strap you can pull to make it more upright.
You have to hand it to the Baby Jogger crew for listening, and responding!
The basket is also bigger, and easier to access.
 But they also don't mess with success. The fabulous huge canopy, and one hand, one step fold remain. 
And as for the push with the board, loaded up with two kids...well, we were able to do it one-handed, over grass, across busy streets, and through crowds, all day long. The steering was fluid, too, not clumsy or heavy.

 Aside from the Glider board, there are loads of accessories you can add--including car seat adapters, carrycot, snack tray, belly bar, rain cover, and travel bag.   
   The seat on the Mini is larger than average, with a deep recline. Yet the fold is smaller than average, and you don't need a University degree to fold it!

Baby Jogger City Mini 2011

Weight:  17  pounds
Width:  24"
Length: 36"
Height:  40.5"
Seat Width:  13"
Seat Depth:  9"
Seat Back:  21"
Seat to Canopy:   25"
Drop to Footrest: 10"
Seat to Floor:   19"

Folded:  24" x 9" x  32"

Space for board rider: 8" on the diagonal

Glider Board

15.5 x 9.5 x 7 (w/out attachments)

Attachments: 3"

Space between wheels: 11"

Weight: 5 pounds

For more 2011 models, or for help choosing a stroller, go to

Thursday, May 19, 2011

BOB Revolution SE Review

BOB at the Beach
 I live in "3 B" country. Oh sure, you'll see the odd Quinny Buzz and Zapp, Mountain Buggy, Uppa Baby Vista, and Maclarens, of course. But by and large, around these parts, the big "B's", as I like to call 'em, are the dominators.
So we were eagerly awaiting the long anticipated 2011 Revolution SE, which had been shrouded in secrecy..
  It's the first time BOB has updated the Revolution in several years. Not that they needed to; at least based on it's popularity around here.  But I was really looking forward to this plum. So stunning! 
The changes BOB made to the Revolution SE pretty much address all of the complaints I heard about BOB, over the years.
  The first thing you notice is that the overall look is sleeker and more streamlined; a nice update.
   Here at the beach, you notice a lot of BOBS with faded footrests. The sun is pretty strong around here. But the new plastic tip will hopefully make that a thing of the past.
  The seat is much more padded now, and sits more upright. Some people thought the older style seat was too laid back, too hammock-y. 


  Some also thought that the narrow wheelbase of the old Revolution made it prone to tipping. The SE addresses that issue, adding two more inches of width. 
The basket seems a bit bigger, and more accessible, on the SE.
I wish it wasn't 2.5 pounds heavier. But at least the feather light, responsive steering has stayed the same. Ditto the springy, adjustable suspension.. 
  I personally like the newer, thinner handlebar. Feels better in my hands, easier to grasp.
I always liked those little side pockets inside the seat. Glad to see they are still there.
  The two-buckle back strap recline system now allows for more positions.

One change I don't quite get is that the wrist strap was moved from the bottom axle, to the handlebar. (Maybe so you could see the red buckle, that latches the Revo closed?) It's always a good idea to keep that on your wrist, especially if it's windy. But with the strap up on the handle bar like that, it is easier to flip the stroller backwards, if you fall down.  

    The canopy is still huge, with a bigger  peekaboo window..
As is the seat! It's wonderfully big---measuring up to 16" at the widest point! 
 And, by popular demand, there's now an integrated accessory adapter; which makes it a breeze to snap in a snack tray, or infant carrier!

Just one word of caution from the manufacturer; please don't run with infants under 8 months old. And ESPECIALLY not in car seats! The higher center of gravity makes any stroller prone to tipping.  Not a risk you want to take with your precious progeny.
Weight: 25.5 pounds
Width: 24"
Length: 36" (from front wheel turned inward to back wheel)

Height: 40.5"

Seat Width: 14"- 16"
Seat Depth: 8"

Seat Back: 20.5"

Seat to Canopy: 23-25""

Canopy to handle: 8" (board rider headroom)
Drop to Footrest: 8.5"
Seat to Floor: 22"
Folded: 38" x 24" x 16" 

For more 2011 models, or for help choosing a stroller, go to

Monday, May 2, 2011

Quinny Zapp Xtra Review

Extra! Extra! May Day! May Day!

I once reported on a May Day demonstration in Mexico. Thousands of people crowded the town square, protesting working conditions. In that country, it is known as International Labor Day. In this country, May Day saw me dancing around a Maypole with a wreath of flowers in my hair. As a little girl, of course. I  still don't know why. Except I'm thinking it was probably one of those pagan flower goddess holidays that was co-opted and watered down for modern times.  

 Now we seem to have random celebration or festivals, basically a good excuse to get out and enjoy the spring weather. And what better buggy to "weather" the crowds, than the new Quinny Zapp Xtra! 

As StrollerQueen readers know,  I have long been a Zapp fan. LOVE the pinkie steering,  cool look, and small fold. 
There were a couple of features that citizens of Strollerland wished the Zapp to have. Namely, a recline, and a reversible seat. Well, Quinny has waved it's magic wand and "poof", wishes granted!

There is a huge demand for lighter weight reversibles out there. Especially since more and more people are learning that sticking car seats in strollers is not such a good idea. 
 So this new Xtra helps fill that big niche. It is probably best to use it in reverse mode for a younger baby, though. Because in that position, the seat doesn't sit very upright.

The seat is very easy to recline and reverse. For both, you just pull down on the back lever. It's the same to reverse the seat, except that you also pull out a little lever on the right. Note, too, the linked brakes, and good sized basket.

You have to pop the seat off to fold the Xtra. But it is easy to do.  And having a separate seat adds a couple of pounds to the package. Which is to be expected. 

The egg shape of the seat means it's still nice and wide.  Definitely one of the bigger seats out there. 
Of course, you can use the seat forward facing, too, for toddlers.
 With a 50-pound weight limit, the Zapp Xtra is still very easy to push with heavier children.

Another nice new feature on the Xtra is the extended canopy. Still has the side peekaboo windows. 

 It seems like most manufacturers are offering bigger canopies for 2011. Which means those extra, giant, floppy overlays may become a thing of the past. They are useful, but it is always easier to not have to deal with additional pieces. 
Speaking of which, the travel bag and rain cover that used to come with the Zapp is now, well, extra.  Other additional accessories are the cupholder,  and footmuff. Car seat adapters are included.
 The reclining, reversible Zapp Xtra, with 4 wheels, is the only version that will be sold in the U.S. It's available now, so rush to get yours! :)

Weight:  21.5  pounds
Width:  23.5"
Length: 26"
Height: 40"
Seat Width:   15"
Seat Depth:  9"
Seat Back:  21"
Seat to Canopy:   24"
Drop to Footrest: 11"
Seat to Floor:   17"

Folded (chassis only) :  27" x 7" x 13"

For more 2011 models, or for help choosing a stroller, go to