Before I had my first baby I thought stroller is a stroller, what’s the big deal about it? Once I started researching I quickly learned that there’s much more to finding a perfect stroller.
I spent days researching something great and getting stunned at how expensive strollers can be.
During pregnancy we were moving from the US to Italy, so we had an excellent opportunity to pick something on either continents, but everywhere I searched for online there was one stroller that was always coming up as the most recommended one: Uppababy Vista.
Why Is Uppababy Vista So Popular?
Once I got into stroller research I noticed that in the US most people have Uppababy strollers (vs in Europe it’s Bugaboo and Babyzen Yoyo). Every American TV series and movie with babies features Uppababy Vista (you’ll notice it super quickly once you know the design).
I remember walking around Boston and literally every single mom with a baby had this stroller (and 90% of them the green Emmett version). Not surprisingly, every new mom is thinking: this must be the best travel stroller on the market.
There’s one big con though: price. Uppababy Vista costs about $1000. We didn’t want to deal with any car seat adapters, so we also got the Uppababy Mesa carseat. Total came down to $1280 – not cheap.
Why is UPPAbaby Vista So Expensive?
Uppababy Vista is a luxury stroller and comes with various accessories – baby bassinet for a newborn (something Americans aren’t fully getting as most keep their babies in car seats during newborn stages, which is pretty bad for the baby – and wouldn’t fly in Europe), rain covers and bug nets for the bassinet and seat.
Many compare it with Mockingbird stroller, but even though I don’t recommend Vista overall I must say that Mockingbird doesn’t even come close to Vista. I did a full review on it explaining why.
The stroller is of good quality, you can easily see it and the warranty is very extended. I also used their customer service three times and I must say it’s flawless within the US.
However, the company is somehow questionable since last year’s weird recall of their Uppababy Knox car seat. They recalled it just after a month very quietly not to lose any reputation (now it’s back again redesigned).
One note about Uppababy car seats – especially Uppababy Mesa (models Henry & Jordan), thanks to its innovative use of Merino wool, are the first car seats to pass federal safety standards without the use of toxic flame retardants. It’s great news because US baby products are loaded with these toxic chemicals unnecessarily. You can read why it matters so much in another post I researched a lot.
Both myself and my husband were originally very happy with our Uppababy Vista stroller, but within 3 months I became incredibly annoyed with this stroller and my husband gave up on it after 5 months.
We barely used our Vista anymore and once I realized that buying Uppababy Vista as a double stroller was an even bigger mistake I sold it fairly quickly.
Don’t get me wrong – Uppababy Vista is NOT a bad stroller, but I definitely don’t recommend it as a double (unless you have twins) and to me it was incredibly impractical. Below I’ll tell you what I loved about this and what I hated – very unfiltered review!
Uppababy Vista vs Cruz
Uppababy Cruz is cheaper for a reason. It can only fit one child (no expansion option) and doesn’t come with a bassinet like Vista does.
Vista is meant to hold one more kid and back wheels are bigger because of that, but otherwise they look pretty comparable. Unless you’re going on very muddy mountain hikes you really don’t need the giant Vista back wheels – they’re more of a pain in the butt in realiy (read more in weight & size).
I was able to see and try them both side by side as close friends had the Cruz when we had the Vista. If you’re planning just one kid then you might as well get the Cruz and buy an extra Uppababy Bassinet separately – it will save you about $150ish.
Pros & Minor Cons of Uppababy Vista v2 Stroller
Maneuverability & Design
Design of Uppababy Vista is fantastic. At the first sight, you can see how sturdy the stroller is and how smoothly it rides with wheel suspension.
The handlebar is amazing! Extendable, sturdy, never gets stuck and it’s covered with waterproof leather.
Not counting the footrest on the seat (read more on that in the Traveling with Uppababy Vista section below).
It’s an all-terrain stroller that lasted us for cobblestones, uneven sidewalks, and mountain hikes, it didn’t fail in those aspects. I would say it runs just as smoothly as Baby Jogger City Mini GT2 that’s meant for off roading.
The brake system is good enough. It has a green & red indicator that informs parents if the brake is engaged or released.
Quite often it doesn’t lock or unlock, but that’s a common issue with all strollers I ever tried (and I tried a lot!) so complaining about it would be unfair. Overall, I must say this is very impressive.
Weight & Size
This is where our issues with Vista started. Uppababy Vista is 27 lbs with just one seat (a bit more with a bassinet). The stroller is quite heavy.
While it’s easy and smooth to push it around and you don’t feel the weight, once you have to lift the stroller it’s a pain in the butt for just one child.
You might think “why would I have to lift the stroller?” at first, but trust me – on many occasions, especially in Europe. Most apartments have a few steps to get to the elevator, not all buses have easy access, not to mention you need to fold it and lift it to simply even put it in the trunk of the car.
I wasn’t able to lift the stroller myself once the baby was over 6 months, I had to back up which wasn’t always possible and sometimes there was no one around to help.
Not to mention both us and our friends who purchased the Cruz gave up those strollers and started calling them ‘monster trucks’, because in most places in Europe these strollers are simply too wide to even get through the door. Or elevators for a fact.
I still remember trying to get to our hotel room in Rome and having to remove the seat, fold it, then fold the stroller while holding the baby, just to get into the elevator and then carry it all through the door as well. Not to mention having to leave the baby in another aisle of the supermarket or not being able to go through check-out because it’s too narrow to fit my monster truck.
I’m also yet to find a car that’s not a mini-van or SUV that would fit Vista. Even when folded it’s huge with only one seat (25.7″ x 17.3″ x 33″ (WxLxH)). We rented various cars around the world and every single time we had a regular 5-door car we had to remove the bigger back wheels of the Vista to fit it in the trunk. Otherwise, the trunk wouldn’t close as it was too big.
While removing the wheels is an easy process, if it’s rainy, snowy or muddy outside it’s not something you want to do every single time.
Folding & Traveling with Uppababy Vista
Uppababy Vista folds super easily. Literally, one click and ta-da!
Although… traveling by plane with Uppababy Vista was a nightmare. Don’t ever gate-check your Vista!
I was naive thinking we don’t need a second travel stroller when most people told me that, but you really do. REALLY, you will thank me later 😉
We only took Vista with us on 4 flights (because we had to) and guess what – 2 out of these 4 times the stroller arrived broken! Gate checked strollers get thrown around, but I quickly realized that’s the design flaw of the footrest.
P.S. Some airlines will not even allow you to take big strollers like Vista for a gate check and you have to give it away at the counter. For instance, American Airlines only allows strollers up to 20 lbs to be gate-checked.
The stroller folds into one piece with the bassinet, carseat or seat, but the footrest of the seat isn’t strong enough to hold a simple pull or side hit. Even when we wrapped it in these very environmentally unfriendly plastic wraps it arrived broken two times!
We had to deal with making a claim with the airline, then re-ordering the parts of the stroller from Uppababy directly and while they sent new frame instantly and major airlines (AKA not cheap ones – those aren’t responsible for damages if you read the fine print) will refund you, when we got to Italy it wasn’t possible to send us a new frame because Uppababy only operated in the UK in Europe.
We were riding with a broken footrest for a while until we went back to the US to pick it up. If a whole stroller frame got damaged we would have to purchase another stroller basically.
That said, I highly recommend buying a stroller that operates everywhere – Bugaboo, Cybex, Stokke, Baby Jogger, just to name a few.
One thing I miss from the Vista is the basket. The bottom basket is huge and holds up to 30 lbs. It’s the best of the best if you ask me – durable, accessible, and convenient.
We used to load a huge pile of shopping in there, our cat, diaper bag – all of it fit at the same time.
The bassinet was super handy for us. As I was giving birth in another country we had no crib there and the baby slept with us and in the bassinet. We just rolled him around the house (no need for the bassinet stands that are sold separately).
Uppababy bassinet had zip-able breathable mesh parts which were fantastic during the summer. The inner liner and boot cover are easy to remove as well.
It had enough space and we used it a lot until my baby refused to lie down without seeing anything and we had to move him to a reclined seat at just 4 months.
Seat Compartment, Recline & Canopy
The seat, minus the footrest as I mentioned above, is sturdy and the canopy is unbeatable. The canopy can cover the whole baby, made of UPF 50+ material, it’s easily foldable and most importantly – it doesn’t get onto the child’s head (which is a common issue with many competing strollers). It also features a peek-a-boo window you can close.
It comes with a bumper bar and you can purchase an extra snack tray for it as well. Removing and adding seats/attachments is quick and easy – never gets stuck.
The harness is highly adjustable to fit the kiddo comfortably. There are three shoulder height positions and several crotch strap positions.
The recline isn’t flat. While in a bassinet you baby lies flat, the seat is profiled despite its 6 recline positions. This means, even if you recline it to its maximum, which many people claim is flat – it’s not.
See the photo below to see what I mean, but baby’s but will always be down and their legs up when reclined.
The toddler seat be front or rear-facing which proved to be very hand and it has the capacity to hold a kid up to 50 lbs – which is a lot!
This brings me to the final reason why we got rid of the Uppababy Stroller and why I wouldn’t recommend it overall, despite many amazing features...
Uppababy Vista as a Double Stroller
The main reason why I picked Vista over Cybex Priam was an opportunity for expansion. We planned on having a second kid soon after (which didn’t happen that soon due to postpartum issues), so not having to buy another stroller was an important factor to me.
I was wrong.
Uppababy Vista simply doesn’t work well for two kids of different ages for various reasons I didn’t even consider when buying the stroller.
I considered three expandable strollers: Uppababy Vista, Silvercross and Joolz Day.
Thankfully, my friend had Joolz and I wasn’t impressed with the lack of a storage bag once you put the second seat how low the baby was sitting (it literally bumped a sidewalk curb on the butt) and how close to your feet the lower seat was. It was a big NO from me.
Silvercross strollers had the most possible configurations, but they were even more expensive than Vista – almost $2000 (although once you need to purchase adapters and another seat or bassinet for Vista it comes down to roughly the same)! Regretfully, I can say now that it’s the only expandable stroller with a logical configuration.
These days there are also Evenflo & Mockingbird stroller that’s super affordable, but I noticed it has the same issue with the leg rest than Vista, so I expect it to break easily. If you don’t travel with it, go for it though!
When I first looked at Vista’s configurations as a double, or even triple with a piggyback board, I thought it was amazing with so many possibilities. However, now I know they make no sense at all for not-twins.
Even for twins, the combination of two bassinets is also pretty terrible. They are very close to each other and the upper one completely covers the lower one, so you can’t see your baby and not get the baby out unless you close the canopy and unclip the top one. That, on top of the weight issues with the seats (keep reading).
With a baby and a toddler, first of all, you’re unable to have the bassinet with the younger baby close to you. Who on earth wants to keep the newborn under the toddler with limited access to the bassinet?!
The only option to put the newborn at the top is to keep him in a car seat, while your toddler rides the bottom seat. Keeping a newborn in a car seat is bad for him – that’s one thing, and second… if you have a bigger or fatter toddler you’re also screwed with this configuration, because.
Keep in mind that although both seats look very similar, but they’re not at all! The seat you’re allowed to have on the bottom part is called a Rumble Seat. It’s not the same seat as a toddler seat that cannot be placed on the bottom part of the stroller.
The Rumble Seat is smaller, more narrow and has a weight capacity up to 35 lbs (not 50 lbs like the Toddler Seat). This basically means that at a certain point the older kid will be forced to always ride up top, closer to you, since most kids reach this weight around 2.5.
So even with twins once they reach this weight I guess the stroller is useless as well, as it can’t be used as a double anymore.
With my older son this wouldn’t fly at all. He wants to be able to get in and out of the stroller freely and isn’t happy when facing me instead of looking around, so I’d lose the ability to ever have a younger sibling facing me and end up with an unhappy toddler. All of this was a deal-breaker for me.
I was able to find a better expandable tandem stroller after all – Cybex Gazelle S. With this stroller there’s actually no need for the bassinet because Cybex Cloud Q car seat reclines flat, so it does no harm to the baby’s spine.
However, I’ll be real: once I tried the ZOE Twin I realized quite quickly that side by side strollers are MUCH easier to push and have more sense for two kids. At the moment, since both kids are older and the youngest is almost 11 months we’re using Evenflo Pivot Stroller Wagon.
Additional Accessories – Uppababy Mesa
Uppababy Mesa car seat is a great piece of equipment, especially the new non-toxic models of Henry & Jordan.
The problem with car seats and attaching them to strollers is that most simply don’t fit without adapters, and even with adapters it’s not always possible. Uppababy Mesa fits really mostly into Uppababy strollers.
UPPAbaby VISTA doesn’t require any adapters for MESA infant car seat.
On the other hand, Uppababy Vista can fit other popular car seats with adapters, but truth to be told – some of the adapters for Vista are incredibly giant and annoying and can’t be used in a double seater option.
Don’t get me wrong – Mesa is a lightweight non-toxic car seat with good side protection for the head. The included base also worked great!
There were only two things I wasn’t happy with: the canopy and the material (although the material got upgraded).
The canopy on Uppababy Mesa was way too small. Wish it could be expanded more.
The second fault was the material of which the seat was made (I had a model that’s no longer for sale and it was polyester). If you buy the non-toxic merino wool model you won’t have that issue. It made my baby sweaty non-stop! It was seriously ridiculous that within 5 minutes of him being there he was covered in sweat. When we swapped to another car seat this problem disappeared.
To sum up, I don’t think Uppababy Vista v2 is a bad stroller. But, considering the price to me it wasn’t worth it and it simply wasn’t practical.