The following was produced in collaboration with our friends at Baby Jogger, who are inspired by children to design ingenious solutions for parents’ everyday problems — like their newest stroller, the City Select® LUX.
What do you do after you’ve created one of the most popular strollers of all time? You make it better. After releasing their City Select stroller in 2011, Baby Jogger set out to tweak the stroller’s award-winning design. But what began as a poll of wholesale customers, store associates, and, of course, parents, to determine the most desired improvements became a full-scale reinvention. The result: the new City Select® LUX, a painstakingly researched and designed stroller that promises to fit parents’ everyday routines intelligently and efficiently.
Two of the leaders behind the new stroller were Baby Jogger senior brand manager Michelle Krilov and senior manager of industrial design Lea Stewart. They started this journey after realizing that, since the original Select hit the market, the stroller industry had cooked up some major innovations — and the Select’s early adopters had cooked up some new passengers. For Krilov, Stewart, and the team, the mission statement for their new product became maximizing parent comfort regardless of the age, size, or number of their kids.
How did they see through that mission? They knew that such parent-forward features as all-wheel suspension and a folding seat (even when used as a double) with auto-lock were must-haves. And the new version had to be able to bear more weight without getting heavier itself. The primary innovation, though, and single best feature according to Krilov, would be the LUX’s ability to seamlessly expand from single to double and accommodate secondary riders of a variety of shapes, weights, sizes, and what we’ll call “sit-still-ability.”
“Holding two kids isn’t easy. This makes it easier,” she says. “We want to offer endless options for every stage of life so whatever age your child is, it’s easy to seat them. You can buy this and if and when you plan to have your second child, you’re always covered.”
The team achieved the desired versatility, Stewart explains, using a new, patent-pending front wheel-mounted second seat adapter that gives the LUX more riding options than the Select — or any other single-to-double stroller. It packs more than 20 riding options and 16 configurations: infant car seat, pram, second seat, front-facing, parent facing, sibling facing, or even room for three. And it does it all without requiring parents to push an RV to the park.
“Holding 2 kids isn’t easy but this makes it easier.”
“It’s a great single stroller but as your family grows it easily converts into a compact double that occupies the same footprint and weighs about the same,” says Krilov. “A more versatile stroller that can grow with a child or family is a universal need.”
For every innovation like that, which was explicit to the designers’ mission, there were others that manifested as happy accidents. For example, focus group testing on an entirely separate project helped Baby Jogger engineers recognize the need for space where older kids could ride but also easily get up and walk around if they can’t — or won’t — sit in their stroller seat. The result was perhaps the coolest of the LUX’s 20-plus riding options: the bench seat.
“Now, if you have a child that’s getting bigger, you can pack a bench seat into the top seat mount with a footrest and let them keep riding a little longer — up to 65 pounds,” says Krilov.
Another element they didn’t see coming was the fold. “We always wanted to make it easier but we didn’t necessarily have a plan,” Stewart admits. “But one of our engineers found a way to fold the entire seat, including the second seat. So now the whole stroller is 30 percent smaller when folded. That’s a big deal when storage space is at a premium and speaks to what people universally want: easy to fold, easy to carry, not complicated.”
“The whole stroller is 30 percent smaller when folded. That’s a big deal when storage space is at a premium.”
Finally, the team added some finishing touches designed to help parents go anywhere with their kids and live their fullest lives every day. All-wheel suspension and a handle-integrated brake for better control. An adjustable handle that’s been tested and optimized for parents of nearly every height. A restyled, larger cupholder. New premium fabrics and patterns that are, as Stewart says, “bold, dynamic, and courageous — just like parents.” And a tote bag that can be used as extra storage with an adapter.”
Krilov continues, “How do you take your child out shopping if you want to use your stroller and a cart?” That’s a good point. “And there’s no shopping cart at the farmer’s market.” That’s a better point. One you arrive at only after you’ve already arrived at perfection.