When looking at a stroller for baby girl, we had a few requirements that were non-negotiable. While we spent quite a bit of time looking at strollers that came with car seats, expanded, had bassinets etc. we hadn’t found anything locally that we truly loved. When spending a large sum of money on a stroller, you want it to go the distance and what we were finding locally wasn’t cutting it.
Our stroller requirements:
- easy to fold/store
- have a compatible car seat
- multiple accessories for customization and increased function throughout life span
- easy to maneuver in a city
- rugged enough to handle life in a more rural setting
Because our registry was with West Coast Kids, I looked at their stroller offerings to see what might tempt me. We had heard quite a bit about the UPPAbaby systems from friends in big city centres, so we looked into them first. Because of how much travel we do, I wanted a stroller that would work well in a city as well as where we live. Our prospective stroller had big shoes to fill!
VISTA vs. CRUZ
UPPAbaby makes a two full sized strollers: the VISTA and the CRUZ. At the base, both are very similar. They come with the same features like a lightweight frame, easy fold-up, and accessories that change in and out with the age/size of your baby.
Second Child Options
The major difference is that the VISTA can be fitted for a second RumbleSeat later, while the CRUZ cannot. Beyond that, the CRUZ’s frame is a bit smaller to reflect the fact that it doesn’t accommodate a second seat. When I was in West Coast Kids this winter I got the full demonstration of both systems to see which one suited us best.
Bruce, sadly, does not fit in either stroller, so we really need a pooch friendly seat.
The VISTA comes with the basinet for newborns (up to 30lbs), while the CRUZ does not. So if the bassinet is an important feature for you, you can always buy the CRUZ and order the bassinet separately (it can be purchased on their accessories page).
Beyond using the bassinet on the stroller, if you buy the stand, you can use it for your newborn as a sleeping/napping spot around the house (without the stroller).
The bassinet itself has a lovely quilted interior, which can be unzipped and washed if need be (Like the majority of the bassinet). There’s also a zip top to cover the bassinet for those chillier days. The nice thing is that you can easily fit a blanket under there, or some warmer clothing, and still see your baby.
The sun shade and Bug Shield is also a really nice option. It’s UV resistant up to SPF 5O and looks great up or down.
Frame & Fold up
Because both the VISTA & the CRUZ are built the same way, they fold up into a lightweight and compact bundle that fits into the trunk of our sedan. There are two levers you pull on to collapse the frame, and it folds intuitively.
The VISTA frame weighs just shy of 21lbs without any of the accessories, while the CRUZ weighs 15lbs.
When in doubt, you can check their tech specs for each model to see if it will fit with your vehicle.
The VISTA and the CRUZ both have a basket under the seat for storage, but the VISTA’s seems to be a bit bigger. They snap in, so you can remove them to wash them if you need to.
I manage to fit a boat load of pumpkins and the diaper bag no sweat. The basket has a 20lbs weight limit, so this is probably as far as I could push it.
Expandable Handle Height
This is perhaps my fave feature of the strollers – the handles can expand upwards to accommodate taller people such as myself. There’s nothing more annoying that pushing a stroller with hunched shoulders and bad posture because the handle is really low. With both models, you’re able to easy expand the handle upwards or back down to its original height, at the push of a button.
Wheels + Wheel Base
The VISTA has a wide wheel base which means that it’s sturdy. The wheels are also wide, which means they’re not likely to spin if I push them in the snow and slush once winter comes. I’ll come back and update once we have to deal with it in the snow. In the meantime it works just as well while cruising through a museum in style.
Neither the VISTA or the CRUZ come with a car seat, but both frames will easily take the MESA car seat since it’s built for it.
The stroller does not come with a cup holder. Rather, it’s an add-on which you can easily order and purchase.
You cannot fold the strollers with the MESA, bassinet or RumbleSeat, so you have to remove them to fold it and store. This isn’t a huge problem, but it means you have to have room for the bassinet or the RumbleSeat if you’re just using the MESA car seat. You can fold the stroller with the Toddler Seat on facing forward.
With the VISTA, when the bassinet is on, it’s harder to use the basket storage, but when it’s just the MESA car seat, the basket is easily accessible.
The MESA Car Seat
When we went to a car seat installation workshop (first time parents! woohoo!) the installers were GUSHING over the MESA. They hadn’t seen one in person, only read about them. This is the Cadillac of car seats, and we were oh so fortunate to receive one as part of our baby registry.
Because it’s made by UPPAbaby, it integrates seamlessly with the VISTA and CRUZ. The downside is that it does not come with the stroller, like some other systems do. Depending on how you look at it though, it could also be a plus, because it allows you to integrate the car seat of your choice through adapters. They only sell adapters for Maxi Cosi, Nuna, Pep Perego, Chico and Graco.
So if you have an existing car seat from a previous child, or were gifted one, or you just want a different car seat for whatever reason, you can still integrate it with the UPPAbaby Stroller of your choosing.
The Spenser Pattern
Not onyl were we lucky enough to get our hands on the UPPAbaby VISTA, but we got it with one of their new patterns – the Spenser! It’s part of their new line of fashion patterns, and core colours.
The plaid is a lovely mix of yellow and blue with a hint of brown, and it looks great in the bassinet as well as the RumbleSeat.
The VISTA + MESA Combo
Ultimately, the combination of the VISTA & the MESA is a match made in heaven. The two systems work in perfect harmony, are super intuitive and user friendly, and we’ve been surprisingly pleased by how easy they are to use. The best part? if we somehow decide two kids is right for us, we’ve got the whole system already and can just add another seat.
Fellow moms have looked longingly at us in the mall, but that could be because June is super adorable. Or it could be stroller envy.
Either way! Cannot recommend enough. June gives it two thumbs up!
Looking for a good travel stroller? We also love our UPPAbaby MINU stroller