Side By Side: The City Mini and the New Scooter

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Recently I reviewed the Joovy Scooter 2014. I often get asked by mom friends about strollers – which single or double is my preference and why. Though I have told countless people about my former favorite single stroller over the years, I have never done a blog post on it. (Busyness, I suppose.) Today I’m showing you that stroller, but I’m doing it a little differently. I am going to show you a side by side comparison of two awesome strollers and show you why I think the Joovy Scooter 2014 may now be in the lead, in my book.

Before I continue, let me just say that Joovy and Baby Jogger actually have nothing to do with this post. Though I am a Joovy Mom blogger and review products for them often, this post is all on my own. As for Baby Jogger, I have never actually worked with them. As a baby gear guru, according to friends, I really am hoping to help moms looking for a great single stroller. And like I said, posting about my favorite single stroller has been on my to do list for years and just hasn’t happened. Today, I’m spicing things up.

Meet two of my favorites.

scooter vs city min

First let’s take a look at the City Mini. I will first preface by saying that the City Mini photographed is the 2011 model. I will tell you as we go about the changes made over the years and how the 2014 model compares.

Let’s go top to bottom. The handle bar has an awesome grip. And where the handle bar used to be a set height (as my model is), it can now be adjusted, making it perfect for taller and shorter parents.

Also, the parent console is sold separately. I really hate that stroller companies sell “essential” items like this separately, but in the high end stroller world, this is expected. It’s a great console and holds lots of things. I have used it on several different strollers over the years.

city mini

The canopy is amazing. It extends to be three panels long, which means that because it has been broken up into three units, you can extend it all the way or shorten it as needed. Plus there are two huge peek-a-boo windows that make it easy to see your child (especially great if they’re napping!) no matter if your canopy is extended all the way or just partially.

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In this next photo I pushed the canopy all the way back for you to see how minimal it becomes. Virtually gone. Also you can see that the stroller reclines to almost 180!

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When the stroller is reclined, this mesh window allows for a nice breeze without totally exposing your child to the elements.

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Let’s look at the straps. They could be sturdier. This has never actually bothered me though. I like how you can easily adjust the height of the safety straps by simply unhooking and rehooking. This is so much easier than rethreading! Also five hoop heights allow for a more precise adjustment.

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Additionally, the seat is roomy, both in the seat and height, and the canopy’s height allows for a tall child to ride is the stroller. My tall 3-year-old can ride in the stroller comfortably. I’ve seen 5 and 6-year-olds in City Minis as well.

The selling point of this stroller, in my opinion, is the one-handed fold. Simply pull (sometimes it’s a yank) on this strap and the stroller will collapse. I have often held my child and closed the stroller at the same time. Weighing in at just 16 lbs (my model) makes this an easy task. Not to mention that a 16 lb weight makes this stroller a dream to push and travel with. It was the reason I bought the stroller. Of note, Amazon says that the latest model is 21 lbs.

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Now we are getting to my least favorite part of the City Mini: the storage, or lack of. The basket is huge. Unfortunately though, getting a bag in there, especially with a child in the seat, is a nearly impossible task. Though Baby Jogger claims to have fixed this issue, if you talk to moms of the 2013/14 stroller and look at the photos, this is clearly still a large issue.

Maybe you’re a mom who travels light with just a wallet, diaper, and wipes? If so, teach me your ways, and know that the City Mini will work for you. But if you are like most of us and carry a larger purse or diaper bag to tote around a sippy cup, nursing cover, paci, wipes, diapers, an extra onesie, plus your wallet, keys, sunglasses, and phone, know that the storage on this stroller IS a problem.

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Let’s move on now and see how the Joovy Scooter 2014 compares.

The Scooter has a parent cup holder that attaches to the side of the stroller and another one, mesh, in the back. Neither are stable enough for my large Tervis tumbler that I carry around, but they are great for a bottle of water. I typically use the side holder for my drink and the mesh one in the back as my parent console, for keys, chapstick, etc. And then that zipper pocket is great for anything else you may need it for! Usually I don’t need it though because this stroller has awesome storage… more on that later.

Additionally, the handlebar is adjustable, making it ideal for both tall and short parents. (If you weren’t able to picture what I meant by adjustable handlebar above, with the newer City Mini, this is what I was referring to.)

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Unlike the 3-wheeled City Mini, the Scooter has 4 wheels, but I feel it steers just as well as the City Mini. One-handed? Absolutely.

The canopy is just as big as the City Mini and can become larger or smaller. There is only one peek-a-boo window here though, which is a drawback for me, personally. Plus it’s smaller. That said, my baby won’t nap anywhere but her crib (or MAYBE on me), so for now, it’s fine.

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Let’s talk recline. This stroller has a good amount of recline. Rather than 180, like the City Mini, it looks to me to be more of a 160. My oldest would not have had a problem with this recline though, as it’s still much more reclined than many other strollers on the market.

joovy scooter 2014

And check out how the foot rest raises for napping children! Yep, their feet can be propped up too. Point for Joovy. Also notice the belly bar that comes with the stroller. The City Mini considers the belly bar a perk you need to buy separately, so another point for Joovy.

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As far as safety straps though, good chance your child cannot get out of this clasp on their own! These are sturdy straps with a 3 tier adjustment for height. Unfortunately, these straps do need to be rethreaded rather than the easy hooks of the City Mini, but they were not as difficult to rethread as I thought when I initially saw them.

Additionally there are mesh pockets in the seat, which is awesome for sippy cups and toys!

Also (not shown) the Scooter comes with an additional back panel for the seat that has fleece on one side for warmth and normal colored seat cover on the other side. This is great for cleaning, since you can take the entire panel out to wash it.

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The seat measures similar in size to the City Mini, but my 3-year-old seemed more comfortable in the City Mini. Since I am pushing my 9-month-old in the Scooter, and we still want more kids, this is not a huge deal to me. It will always be the youngest in the stroller, or I will have my double, the Joovy Caboose Too Ultralight!

Folding up the Scooter requires two hands, but it is a quick and easy fold. It’s 19 lbs, so 3 lbs heavier than my older City Mini but still pretty light weight. Though I loved the one-handed fold of the City Mini, I usually put my child in her car seat before closing up the stroller, so a two-handed fold isn’t a huge deal for me. I do like that there is a latch to hold the stroller together when it’s in the folded position. And it’s very easy to secure the latch in place too!

As for the storage? It’s HUGE! The basket can make this stroller look bulkier than the City Mini, at a glance. But the basket is dreamy. After 3 years with the City Mini, I was desperate for storage! I tried a diaper bag with stroller straps, but the light weight stroller became top heavy. There just wasn’t a great solution. The Scooter, on the other hand, has offered a variety of new features AND given me storage! Oh and check out the zipper pocket on the basket that allows me to get, say my wallet, out of my bag while I have a sleeping baby in the stroller! Can’t beat it.

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Here’s a side by side look at the two strollers.

Folded, the City Mini is a bit more compact, but not much.

city mini and joovy scooter

From the front, the two strollers look pretty similar, aside from the wheels. Lilleigh is sitting in the Joovy.

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The two strollers from the back. Remember that the new City Mini has the same handle bar as the Scooter.

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These two strollers have a lot of similarities and will surely both stand out to moms looking for a luxury umbrella stroller.

Light weight? Yep. City Mini at 21 lbs, I believe, and the Scooter, 19 lbs. Scooter wins.

Compact? Yes for both.

Huge canopy? Check mark for both. Bigger peek-a-book windows on the City Mini.

Easy fold? Again, check mark for both. But City Mini’s is one-handed. A bonus.

Easy maneuverability? Check. Check.

Comes with extras? Only Joovy comes with a cup holder (two actually!) and a belly bar.

Storage? Useless for the City Mini. Tons of storage for the Scooter.

Recline? The City Mini reclines more (180 versus 160ish), but only the Scooter provides an elevated position for legs and feet of littles, allowing for better rest.

Price? Amazon has the City Minis for a range, from $175 for an older 2012 model to $250 for a newer model. Right now Baby Jogger is really pushing the City Mini GT, which is $350. Keep in mind you need to buy the parent console plus the belly bar for $30 each. The Scooter 2014, on the other hand, comes with both of these “extras” and is currently $200 on Amazon. (Prices subject to change with Amazon pricing.)

For me, the selling point for the City Mini, three years ago, was the maneuverability and the one-handed fold. For the Scooter though, it shared many of the wonderful features of the City Mini that I loved, included awesome maneuverability, but also had several bonuses, the selling point of which was the huge basket and zipper pocket! Though the City Mini has the sweet one-handed fold, from experience, I know that the one-handed fold comes second to storing my diaper bag. I made myself choose one stroller. The Joovy won!

Check out these two strollers here:

Baby Jogger City Mini

Joovy Scooter 2014

What has your experience been with these two gems?

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