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Gear Guy Guide: April Edition

Checking out the City Mini GT, Stokke MyCarrie, UPPAbaby Cruz, and boon Naked

We never buy baby gear or gadgets without first running it by our Gear Guy, Jamie Grayson (a.k.a. The Baby Guy NYC). Here’s his take on the latest big-buzz releases: new strollers from UPPAbaby and Baby Jogger, plus boon’s take on the infant bathtub and Stokke’s new carrier.

UPPAbaby Cruz, $459.99*
“You know the Vista. You love it. We ALL love it. Well, UPPA’s latest is pretty kick-ass, too. The UPPAbaby Cruz offers the same basic features as the Vista, but in a lighter frame (and with no bassinet). It’s a nice option for parents who like the look and performance of the Vista, but don’t want the bulk. There’s a huge undercarriage basket, a spacious seat with an awesome canopy, and it’s compatible with the most popular car seats on the market. Plus, the fold is one-step, as opposed to the Vista’s two-step fold. That said, this is a first-generation product with a few issues that I hope will be addressed for version 2: there is no belly bar (though I hear it’s coming in May), and for those of you who curb-bump or deal with stairs, the wheels are not large enough to make up for the rise of a step, making stairs a bit jarring. Otherwise, the Cruz is really sleek, works well, and of course comes with UPPAbaby’s tremendous customer service.”

City Mini GT, $349.99
“Keeping the same great one-handed fold of the City Mini, but offering better suspension and tires, the new City Mini GT is set to become one of the most popular strollers on the market. The seat of the GT is more padded and structured; the undercarriage basket is much easier to get to (a change that has also been implemented in the City Mini); the brake is now a convenient and easy-to-use handbrake on the side of the frame; and the handlebar is adjustable. And the tires. Did I mention the tires? Chunky tube tires filled with foam—think Bugaboo Cameleon, but smaller. I am obsessed. The only question is: because this stroller really is THAT good, what will happen to the City Mini?”

boon naked, $69.99
“Bathtubs, for the most part, are giant plastic eyesores that are a pain to store. That’s why I’m pretty riled up about the boon naked. Aside from having boon’s signature wicked-cute aesthetic, the tub is collapsible. Add to that an easy drain, a built-in hook for storage, and an angling mechanism for newborns, and you’ve got a tub in a whole different league.”

Stokke MyCarrier, $249.99
“I know what you’re thinking: do we really need another carrier to confuse us even more? The answer is, Yes. Yes, you do. For starters, in the front-wearing position, the Stokke MyCarrier allows your child to face in or face out. When wearing your child on your back, (once she can sit unaided and is at least 28 inches tall), you can actually harness your child into the carrier first, then place it on your back—eliminating the awkward “back-wearing-shuffle” other carriers require. Stokke has also nailed it with their textiles again—big surprise—the fabrics are all breathable and organic, so you don’t need to worry about what your baby is chewing on. The MyCarrier begins at 7.7 pounds and has a weight limit of 33 pounds, so it’s not going to hold bigger toddlers; and it takes a moment to understand what all the straps are for when you get it out of the box. That said, I still highly recommend this guy. It’s awesome.”

*Please note the UPPAbaby review was revised on April 12, 2012 to reflect upgrades that were made to the Cruz between Grayson’s test session with the prototype and the original date of publication.