Buying a stroller is a costly business, and if you love your stroller, you won’t want to part with it when your second child is on the way. But what’s the solution? Well, now you can keep the stroller of your dreams by transforming it into a double buggy. Genius!
Why Trust Us?
Because my full-time job is being mom to 2 precious daughters, and I know a thing or two about strollers. Besides personal experience, I get feedback from other moms who use these strollers every day and put all that research into our unbiased stroller buying guides
In this guide, we’ve compared two popular transformational strollers from two renowned manufacturers: Baby Jogger and Contours. The strollers we’ve compared are the Baby Jogger City Select and the Contours Options Elite.
So, first, let’s find out more about these two market-leading stroller makers.
Table of Contents
Baby Jogger: No Limits. No Boundaries
Baby Jogger launched their first stroller in 1984. That stroller was designed for use by active parents who enjoyed exercising with their child in tow.
Since then, the Baby Jogger range has expanded to cater to the needs of families who like to use their stroller for running everyday errands and tackling more challenging terrain on family adventure outings.
Contours: This Baby’s Got it All
Contours is a brand of the Kolcraft company that was formed in 1946. Kolcraft makes crib mattresses, strollers, and car seat attachments for their tandem strollers.
Contours strollers come as tandem or single reversing seat designs. As the company motto suggests, Contours strollers are designed and created with the comfort and enjoyment of your child in mind.
Baby Jogger City Select
The Baby Jogger City Select is an award-winning convertible stroller that you can transform into a double vehicle by adding a second seat.
With Baby Jogger’s patented adapters, you can mix and match seats, a bassinet, and a car seat to personalize the stroller exactly how you want it. The City Select offers you an incredible 16 different seating combinations, including a traditional tandem formation.
- Most versatile tandem stroller on the market today, the City Select was designed to keep your family rolling as it grows from one child to two
- Now sold with the Second Seat Kit included, the City Select Double is allows parents to mix and match seats, bassinets and car seats to suit their family's needs
- Over 16 different combinations from double tiered car seats to a bassinet and single seat combo (Car Seats, Bassinet Kits and accessories sold separately)
What we like
- 45-pound weight capacity per seat
- Hand-controlled rear parking brake
- Four-position seat recline
- Adjustable leg rest
- Front wheel suspension
- Puncture-proof wheels
- Lots of storage
- One-handed, super-quick fold mechanism
Room for improvement
- Not self-standing when folded
Contours Options Elite
The Contours Options Elite is a relative newcomer to the stroller market. The Options Elite is a double stroller that boasts seven different configurations, including a tandem layout. Both seats are removable too so that you can arrange your kids to best suit their needs and ages.
The seats fit most car seat brands, and you get one car seat adapter included with the stroller. Your kids are guaranteed a comfortable, smooth ride thanks to the excellent front-end suspension system and larger, rubber coated rear wheels.
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What we likeNo products found.
- Seven seating layout options
- Freestanding fold with auto-lock for stability
- Includes one car seat adapter
- Multi-position reclining seats
- Stadium-style seating, so both kids get a great view
- Front-wheel suspension system
- Puncture-proof wheels
- 40-pound weight limit per seat
- Large underseat storage basket with zip-fastening side access
Room for improvement
- A bulky stroller that will hog all the trunk space in an average car
Baby Jogger City Select vs. Contours Options Elite: Features that matter
So, now let’s compare these two super-convertible strollers head-to-head, focusing on the features that matter most to parents.
Seat and seating options
The seat on the City Select is molded. That means that when you recline the seat, the back doesn’t recline independently of the rest of the seat. For that reason, you can’t use this stroller for newborns or infants who are unable to hold their head up independently, unless you use the bassinet or car seat option.
The City Select seat has four recline positions via an easy to operate, one-handed push-button mechanism. Each seat has a 45-pound weight limit. Although the seat back is not especially long at 18.5 inches, the sun canopy and harness are both adjustable, which caters for taller children.
The big deal about the City Select is its convertibility. With a few simple clicks, you can turn the seats from forward to rear-facing or have the seats facing each other. If your toddlers are squabbling, click the seats to face in opposite directions. You can switch one or both seats with a car seat to convert the stroller into a travel system.
Options EliteNo products found.
In comparison, the Options Elite offers fewer seat combinations. That said, there are seven different seat configurations to choose from, including both children facing you or each other. Kids can both be seated facing forward, or they can be put back to back if they’re feeling angsty. Like the City Select, the seating on the Options Elite is stadium-style, so neither child can complain that they don’t have a good view!
If you currently have one child, but you’re planning on extending your family soon, and you don’t want to buy another stroller when the second little one arrives, you can attach a second seat to the Options Elite by using the infant car seat adapter that’s included. The car seat adapter fits most popular car seat brands, including Chicco, Combi, Baby Trend, Britax, Evenflo, Graco Classic, Cybex, Click Connect, Peg Perego, Safety 1st, Maxi Cosi, and UPPAbaby.
The Options Elite has very comfy seats with a weight limit for each seat of 40 pounds, slightly less than the City Select’s capacity. Unfortunately, the seat back measures just 19.5 inches, which is shorter than the City Select, and you may find tall children struggle to sit comfortably. The Options Elite has seats that recline fully for comfortable napping. However, this stroller has just three recline positions to choose from versus the City Select’s four.
The Options Elite has bumper bars that can be removed easily or unlatched on one side for easy in-and-out. Although there’s no snack tray, the Options Elite does have a small mesh pocket inside each seat that will take a child’s sippy cup or a little snack. Each seat has an infant headrest roll to support a newborn’s head and neck. That’s great news for you if you don’t want to use a car seat with the stroller.
You can buy some useful accessories to complement the seating system on the City Select. Choose a bassinet that matches the seat kit you choose for your second seat or go for contrast instead. Unfortunately, the bassinet does not come with a canopy, but you can use the canopy from the second seat instead.
If you’re having twins, you can buy the Baby Jogger City Select as a double stroller. However, if you buy the single version, be sure to get the second seat kit too, as you’ll need that for the bassinet. Also, if you plan on using the car seat as a travel system, you’ll need to buy a car seat adapter. Check that you buy the correct one though, as there are separate adapters for the different car seats that are compatible with the stroller.
The City Select and the Options Elite both have a five-point safety harness with a toddler-proof buckle. Padded shoulder straps make for the ultimate in passenger comfort, as well as safety!
Passenger comfort features
The City Select has an adjustable, four-position footrest to provide extra comfort and leg support for your child while he’s napping.
The Options Elite also has a footrest for each child that adjusts through three positions.
The City Select has a very generous canopy that provides plenty of coverage for your child. You can adjust the canopy by sliding it up the frame to allow for a growing child or a tall toddler. There’s a peek-a-boo window with a covering flap and silent, magnetic closures.
The Options Elite has generous, individual canopies for each seat that reach right down to the bumper bar. The canopies each have a zip-out mesh panel that gives valuable extra shade and improves ventilation too. Also, you get peek-a-boo windows for extra sun protection and shelter from the wind.
The City Select is easy to fold via a two-handed process. Unfortunately, there’s no auto-lock, and the stroller isn’t self-standing. Also, the stroller is very bulky when folded and will take up most of the trunk space in an average family car. However, you can slim the stroller down some if you remove the wheels before you fold it. When folded, the City Select measures 28″L x 25″W x 13″H.
The Options Elite measures 26″W x 21″D x 38¾”H when folded. The fold is easy and quick to do, and the stroller is self-standing when folded, unlike the City Select. And you don’t need to remove the seats to fold the stroller – easy!No products found.
The City Select has an adjustable handlebar with a wipe-clean grip. The fully-extended handlebar is comfortable for very tall parents, and it’s just as good for more petite moms too.
The handlebar on the Options Elite is not adjustable, which is disappointing. However, the handlebar is pretty tall at 49.5 inches and provides a comfortable push for most parents. Thanks to the design of the stroller, tall parents can stride out without fear of catching their feet on the chassis.
The City Select has a substantial underseat storage basket that’s readily accessible from every angle. You’ll comfortably fit a diaper bag in there, plus some spare clothes, and a few grocery items too. On the back of the seat, there’s another storage compartment that will take smaller items such as snacks, wipes, and extra toys. Unfortunately, the stroller does not come with a cup holder, parent organizer, or child snack tray included, but you can buy them separately.
The storage basket on the Options Elite is comparable in size with the storage on the City Select, and it’s accessible from the side when you have passengers in both seats via a zip-fastening. If you want more storage space for your shopping, you can buy the Contours Shopping Basket separately. The basket clicks into the car seat adapter for convenience, and it holds up to 40 pounds!
Unlike the City Select, you get a cup holder included with the Options Elite! If you want to upgrade your stroller with some extra accessories, you can buy a parent console that has a zippered pouch attached. That’s a handy addition to the stroller’s storage and is the perfect place to keep your smartphone, keys, and bottle. There are mesh pockets inside the seats to take kids’ snacks and drinks, and you can buy a snack tray for each seat if you prefer.
Handling and maneuverability
Although the Baby Jogger City Select is quite heavy and bulky, it still pushes smoothly and efficiently. And the weight of the stroller makes it feel sturdy and safe, even with two children on board. The City Select fits comfortably through store doors and aisles, unlike many side-by-side strollers.
The City Select’s front swivel wheels make it agile and maneuverable, and you can lock them to give you better stability when you’re pushing the stroller over uneven ground. The stroller’s pneumatic, puncture-proof tires measure eight inches in front and 12 inches in the rear, ensuring your child of a silky-smooth ride. And you don’t have the hassle of repairing punctures or topping-up the air in the tires!
The Contours Options Elite is shorter than most comparable tandem strollers and is only a fraction longer than a regular stroller at 49.5 inches long. That makes the stroller super-maneuverable yet still comfy for most toddlers. The eight-inch front wheels and ten-inch rear wheels give a lovely smooth ride for your passengers, and the lockable front swivel wheels give you excellent turning capacity.
With the Options Elite, you’ll never have to worry about flat tires thanks to the stroller’s EVA wheels. EVA is a sturdy, puncture-proof material that’s elastic and flexible and won’t crack easily. The rear wheels are rubber coated to give a smoother ride and better grip on shiny surfaces.
The Options Elite has linked parking brakes, so all you need to do is step down once on the pedal to engage the brakes and flip the pedal back up to disengage. That’s so much more convenient than having a single brake on each rear wheel, which means twice the work!
The City Select comes in a wide range of gorgeous new colors for 2019, including carbon, black, teal, blue, beige, and slate gray. You can still get last year’s shades too, including amethyst, red and black, ruby red, quartz, and teal and black.
For 2019, the Contours Options Elite comes in three subtly stylish shades, including graphite gray, Aruba teal, and carbon gray.
Wrapping it up
If you have one child and you’re planning a second, you can save some cash by buying a stroller that can be converted to take two.
For the ultimate in convertibility, you should consider the stylish, colorful Baby Jogger City Select. With 16 different seating combinations, ample storage, a large canopy, and high-quality, durable construction, and a wide range of gorgeous colors to choose from, the City Select offers excellent value for money. And taller parents will love the adjustable handlebar!
The Contours Options Elite is compact and easy to maneuver, while still having plenty of room for your passengers. With this convertible stroller, you get seven different seating configuration options. The stroller also boasts two generous canopies and a large, easy access storage basket that will easily take two full shopping bags. Although the handlebar is not height adjustable, most parents have no complaints about the comfort the push, and the design of the stroller means that you won’t kick the rear of the chassis, even if you have a long stride.
Given the quality of materials used, the intuitive designs, and the superb convertibility options, both these strollers offer great value for money, especially if you’re planning on growing your family.