Choosing a stroller is a big deal. It took us a couple of visits to Tot Tank, our local baby stuff store in Alameda, and some online research. We ended up selecting the UppaBaby Vista, and so far we are very happy with the choice.
Perhaps the part of the package we were least interested in was the included bassinet. As it turned out, our little one got to sleep in it for his first three months. At that point he had grown out of it, but he is tall for his age, so you might get longer than that out of it if you're lucky.
The nice thing about it is that it attaches to the stroller wheels too, so if you are going out somewhere & the baby needs a nap (which is almost guaranteed), they will have a familiar place to sleep in comfort. Better than sleeping in the infant car seat for sure.
It also comes with a bug net cover, so you can keep the bugs off your little one while out walking.
UppaBaby sells a stand for the bassinet so you can use it at home. It is an expensive option, and we passed on that, just using the stroller base with the brake applied at night.
UppaBaby do not make car seats, but they do make adapter bars for a number of other infant car seats so you can transfer the seat straight from the car to the stroller base and wheel it around. Very useful when the baby decided to sleep in the car just as you reach your destination (another thing that almost guaranteed).
We chose a Chicco infant seat, which was one of the ones with an UppaBaby adapter. The adapters are an extra cost option (ours was around $30), but it is well worth it.
In addition to the bassinet, you do get a more conventional seat, which can be attached to the base in forward or rear facing positions, though the stroller will only fold with it attached in the forward facing position, so when using it rear facing you will need to detach the seat first. It is very simple to fit & remove, do that was not a major issue for us.
Like the bassinet, the seat comes with a zip-in bug net. It also comes with a transparent waterproof canopy that can be zipped in for times when you're out in the rain.
One of our key decision factors was how simple the stroller was to fold. We actually asked the poor sales person at Tot Tank to fold each one of their floor models so we could see how hard it was. The Vista is very simple to fold, as long as you know where the button is. Not all the ones they had were that simple.
UppaBaby has a range of attachments for both the baby and parents. The only one we have tried is the parent organizer, the fits across the handle bar and provides a bottle holder and some pockets. If you're after a cup holder for your coffee, I would pass on this one – it vibrates too much spilling the coffee. It works OK for water bottles though, as long as you remember to close them.
While we did not take the Vista with us to the UK, we did take it for a short trip to Vegas. Rather than risk it being damaged by the baggage handlers, we bought the special travel bag to pack it in at the gate & check it there. In addition to being designed to protect the stroller, it is also includes an insurance policy so UppaBaby will fix any damages.
Practice putting the stroller in the bag before you leave for the airport! You need to pop off the rear wheels (easy when you know how), and slide it in a specific way; it is a snug fit.
The other brand we were considering was Bugaboo. The reason we did not take the Vista to England was that we were lucky enough to be able to borrow my brother's Bugaboo Chameleon while there.
The first thing we noticed about the Chameleon was that it is smaller & a little lighter than the Vista. The next thing we noticed was that we did not have a clue how to fold it. YouTube came to our rescue there with plenty of videos showing how to fold it.
My brother also included a cosy fleece sack for the seat (handy for colder climates), and a waterproof canopy (essential for the UK where, even in May, we had a lot of rainy days).
After a couple of weeks with the Bugaboo, I think we have a pretty good idea of the pros and cons relative to the Vista.
- Light weight;
- The cosy seat sack was excellent (our little boy loved that);
- Harder to fold than the Vista;
- Less storage underneath;
- The waterproof canopy was complex to fit (another YouTube session needed for that)
- Front wheels would catch in holes and fold under;
- Feels less sturdy.