Building on their success with the City Go and compatible strollers and rear facing only infant car seats, Baby Jogger has expanded their product line to include a multimode car seat. If you think perhaps the City View looks a little familiar –- you’re right! It’s based on the Graco Milestone/SlimFit, both seats that we recommend often. It has 3 modes: rear facing, forward facing, and high back booster.
CSFTL Quick Stats
- Rear facing weight range: 5-40 pounds
- Rear facing height range: 1 inch below adjuster button on headrest when fully extended
- Lower anchor weight limit: 45 pounds
- Premium lower anchors
- Forward facing weight range: 22-65 pounds
- Forward facing height range: less than 49 inches tall
- High back booster weight range: 40-100 pounds
- High back booster height range: 43-57 inches tall
- Lowest harness position: 8 inches with insert
- Highest harness position: 17.5 inches
- Highest booster guide position: 19 inches
- Expiration: 10 years
- Width at widest point — child’s shoulders: 19 inches
- Width at narrowest point: 19 inches
- Crotch strap & pan depth with insert: 3, 4, and 5.5 inches from the back of the seat pan
- Crotch strap & pan depth without insert: 4, 5, and 6.5 inches from the back of the seat pan
- Seat pan depth: 12 inches
- Shell height: 28 inches tall
- Weight: 19 pounds
- Anti-rebound bar (rear facing only)
- No rethread harness
- 4 recline settings — 2 rear facing, 1 forward facing, 1 forward facing/booster mode
- Harness stores on the seat itself in booster mode
Installation — Rear Facing
There are 2 rear facing recline settings. These allow for a range of recline angles depending on the vehicle and child. The recline bubble has a single acceptable rear facing recline range, it does not specify any age or weight requirements to be more upright. We recommend using the maximum recline for newborns until they have solid head control.
Since the City View is similar to the Milestone/SlimFit in so many ways, it only made sense to compare the installation to that seat. The Milestone has been a favorite of my children for a few years now so it has definitely seen some use!
With the captain’s chairs and front vehicle seats of my 2010 Odyssey in identical positions on each side, I installed the City View behind the driver and the Milestone behind the passenger seat, both with lower anchors. The optional anti-rebound bar was on the City View. Each seat was relatively easy to secure, and when I had any struggles I could pop off the edge of the cover to do the inside-out-trick where I pulled the lower anchors from inside the car seat’s shell.
Both the Milestone and the City View were at the maximum allowable recline angle and both seats needed a pool noodle at the vehicle seat bight to achieve that recline. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the City View was actually a tiny bit more compact, by maybe a third of an inch.
I had assumed that the anti-rebound bar would make the City View take up more front to back space than the Milestone but it nestled quite nicely into my vehicle seat back. This may not be the case in all vehicles, and in some, it could cause the base to overhang the vehicle seat more than the 20% that’s allowed.
When I inclined both car seats to be their maximum upright recline angle, the City View did take up about an extra half-inch front-to-back room, however removing the anti-rebound bar put them on even footing.
Neither the Milestone nor the City View can fit behind the driver’s seat with it all the way back, so for the sake of my tall husband, I decided to test it in the middle. Since my vehicle’s center seat does not have lower anchors, I swapped to a vehicle seat belt install, storing the anchors at the front edge of the City View’s base. Like the Milestone, the rear facing belt path is rather tight.
Luckily I have tiny hands, and have installed the Milestone a LOT, so I knew the tricks to get a quick secure installation. This vehicle seat is flatter and quite compact, so even on the more upright install with a very firm push to install as upright as possible, I could not get it at the maximum incline. However, it cleared the front seats easily. It even fit side-by-side with the Milestone, making it possible to install 3 of them across my (admittedly generous) second row.
Fit To Child — Rear Facing
18 Months Old
Here we see an 18 month old model who weighs 21 pounds and is 31 inches tall. This young man fit easily on the second crotch buckle setting without the insert, with lots of room to grow.
3 Years Old
This model is 3 years old. She weighs 30 pounds and is 38 inches tall. She easily fits into the seat and found it quite comfortable with the crotch buckle on the second setting and no insert. She has about 10 pounds to grow before she reaches the rear facing weight limit so she could easily fit in this seat rear facing for years.
The ARB takes a bit of finagling to install. There are small slits in the cover at the front edge, which requires lining up carefully. Luckily you can push each side in individually so it can be done without needing extra hands. The anti-rebound bar can only be used in rear facing mode. There are buttons on the side of the seat, under the cover, to release the bar.
Anti-rebound bars have been used for a long time on car seats sold around the world. They absorb more of the impact before that impact reaches the child.
Crotch Buckle Adjustment
There are three crotch buckle positions -— 4, 5, and 6.5 inches from the back of the seat pan. Moving the crotch buckle between these positions was not as easy as the Milestone, as the buckle flares out a bit so you have to turn it at the right angle to get through the cover and insert. However, adjusting the crotch buckle in the shell is easy — simply twist it sideways to switch to another position. The correct slot is the one that is closest to your child without being underneath them. I did find that with the vehicle seat belt install, the 3rd crotch buckle setting was blocked by the vehicle seat belt in the belt path. This may vary depending on vehicle seat/belt geometry but could be a factor for larger children.
Accessories and Cleaning
The manual clearly states that the strap covers are allowed only for children who weigh less than 40 pounds. The body insert is not required unless it’s needed to help infants reach the lowest harness setting. Along with the head insert there is no weight limit for their use. The City View’s body insert is much heftier than the version that came with the Milestone. WHile this insert reduces the space from the back to the crotch buckle, it didn’t raise the child up much — this may mean that smaller newborns might not fit well in the City View.
The cupholder is also a bit different than the Milestone/SlimFit. Rather than being made from plastic, they’re made of leatherette to be pliable and foldable. However it is still strong enough to hold drinks easily with the buttons keeping it secure. When the seat is installed rear facing, the cup holder will be at an angle, that wouldn’t work for open drinks. Stick to sippy cups!
Like the Milestone and other Graco seats, the cover is machine washable on the delicate cycle, but must drip dry. See the manual for more detailed cleaning instructions.
Switching Between Harnessed Modes
Switching between rear and forward facing modes is pretty simple. If not using lower anchors, simply adjust to one of the forward facing reclines.
The lower anchors are for children who weigh less than 45 pounds. To use the lower anchors, it takes a few quick steps. Unsnap the front portion of the cover to provide full access to the seat pan. Then, pull the lower connectors up into the seat. Next, slide the strap along the handy bar inside the seat’s shell, until it reaches the orange forward facing belt path label.
Move the lower anchors connectors to the new belt path — watch that you don’t wrap the lower anchors around the harness, but it’s a quick fix if you do. Snap the cover back in place, and the seat is ready to install!
The rear facing belt path is clearly labeled in blue. This color coding is similar to the Milestone/SlimFit and is well-appreciated by CPSTs because it helps caregivers prevent misuse.
Installation — Forward Facing
When you first look at the labels it may seem a bit unclear but there are two allowed recline settings for forward facing. One is a bit more reclined, while the more upright one is also used for booster mode.
The installation instructions for both lower anchors and vehicle seat belt include using the top tether anchor for forward facing installations. In addition, the manual does not treat the tether anchor as optional, and nor do we! We always recommend using this important safety feature on forward facing installations, so we applaud the move to making tether anchor use required.
The lower anchors were a breeze for installation, however since that can’t be used for children over 45 pounds, only some children can use that method. On the more reclined setting, the seat did have a small amount of overhang, well within the allowance.
When it was installed forward facing, the open sides allowed our models to climbed into the seat on their own with ease.
Fit to Child
Three Years Old
This model is 3 years old. She weighs 30 pounds and is 38 inches tall. While this little lady still rides rear facing the majority of the time, she can and does ride forward facing at times. She found the seat very comfortable and had lots of room to grow.
Five Years Old
Our 5 year old model happily climbed in and easily buckled himself into the City View. He weighs 43 pounds and is 47 inches tall. He still has a few clicks left for the headrest, so will likely outgrow the seat when he hits 49 inches tall before he reaches the weight limit stated in the manual and on the seat’s labels.
Switching between harness and booster mode is identical to the Milestone and SlimFit, and does not require removing the harness completely like some other multimode and combination seats. The harness and buckles tuck into a little compartment under the cover that nicely snaps closed.
Converting the City View from harness mode to booster mode can be done with the seat installed via lower anchors. This could be highly useful for some caregivers who transport children of various ages and sizes.
Following the recent trend among manufacturers, Baby Jogger has increased the height and weight minimums to 40-100 pounds, 43-57 inches tall. The City View explicitly lists a minimum of 4 years of age to use in booster mode. While we recommend waiting until at least age 5, this is an improvement over the lower weight limits and 3 year age minimum that other Graco combination, multimode, and booster seats have had.
For booster mode, the seat must be on the most upright setting and cannot overhang the vehicle seat. This could make it incompatible with some shorter vehicle seat benches.
Shoulder Belt Guide
The shoulder belt guide is easy to access and thread the belt through, as long as it is above the shell. For shorter booster riders it may take a little more finagling so we’d suggest using the City View in harnessed mode until the child has outgrown the harness, then converting to booster mode.
The top shoulder belt guide barely reaches 19 inches. This measurement is on par with other multimode car seats so the City View makes for a nice transitional booster but isn’t particularly long-lived in booster mode. Most children may need a longer-lasting high back booster once the City View is outgrown before moving to a backless booster.
Lap Belt Guide
This is probably the only feature where I feel the City View is not as great as the Milestone/SlimFit. Both the Milestone and SlimFit have a relatively open lap belt guide that made buckling fairly easy for the child. However, the City View’s cover extends into the belt guide area, making the space very snug. This small space makes it all too easy for the lap belt to twist or get stuck. Making sure the lap belt is positioned properly may not be possible for booster riders without adult help.
Fit to Child
Five Years Old
Our 5 year old model remains 43 pounds and 47 inches tall. He found booster mode very comfortable, but getting buckled proved to be somewhat difficult for him. Since the City View sits up on a higher base than a dedicated booster seat, the buckle was out of reach, and the small lap belt guides made getting the lap portion of the vehicle seat belt into position a bit of a challenge. We did not have this particular struggle with the Milestone or the SlimFit.
With a little help from mom, he was able to achieve a proper lap belt fit. He did have to be reminded not to slump forward, because his legs were not quite long enough to bend naturally at the edge of the City View. This could be an issue for smaller booster riders, depending on how they are proportioned. For reference, he wears 5T pants for length, but needs a size 6 shirt.
Important Information: Where to Find
Manual Storage — the manual tucks into a compartment on the back of the seat. The Date of Manufacture label is just below the Manual Storage.
Date of Manufacture — the Date of Manufacture label is on the back of the seat, between the manual storage and the FAA approval label on the base. This label now includes the expiration date. This change is terrific because the expiration date is a common question!
FAA Approval — the approval for use on aircraft is the red lettering found on this label. It’s located on the back of the seat, on the top of the seat’s base, underneath the manual storage and Date of Manufacture label.
- Easy to install
- Easy to convert between harness and booster modes
- Good fit for most children in all three modes
- Can use LATCH in booster mode
- Recline range while generous does not make it very compact
- Booster lap belt guide is difficult
- 40 pound booster minimum weight may exclude smaller older children
While it used to be that all-in-one car seats were at best marginal in all modes, and often downright difficult in some, the City View joins a growing lineup of multimode seats that work well in all modes. The clean design and clear labels will help to lower misuse, which along with higher booster minimums makes our team of CPSTs here at CSFTL very happy.
The City View’s price tag does make it a bit expensive, however for parents who appreciate the anti-rebound bar and other features, that extra money may not seem like too high a price.
Being able to switch it between modes so that my three children can easily use it within minutes is definitely a huge plus, making it a great choice for families that need a seat that can adjust to fit various ages and sizes in a snap.
You can find the Baby Jogger City View at Amazon and at various boutique stores. Baby Jogger graciously provided the seat featured in this review but as always, the opinions shared in this review are all our own!
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