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Hands-on Gear Review
UPPAbaby Vista Combo Review
Price: $840.00 List | $671.99 at Amazon - 20% off
Pros: Large storage, adjustable handle, coded brakes
Cons: Heavy, higher price, wide
Bottom line: The Cruz is similar, has easy car seat attachment, and costs less
The UPPAbaby Vista is a higher end stroller that works with several different brands of infant car seats and its own UPPAbaby Mesa. We tested this product with the Mesa as well as the Chicco Keyfit 30 and both worked well, with the Mesa having a slight edge for ease of attachment. The downside of using the Vista as a car seat stroller is its overall size and heft. This combination would be one of the heaviest in the group and is not something most new moms want to lift or carry, and in fact, it might be prohibitively too heavy for mothers who've had a C-section. So while it has the largest storage bin and a cool adjustable handlebar, it doesn't meet one of the key criteria we think parents should look for in a stroller/car seat combo.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Stroller and Car Seat Combos for 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Vista is a larger standard stroller with the silhouette of a smaller product. This stroller has an aluminum alloy frame, adjustable handlebar, rubber foam filled tires, and all around shocks. It works with two seats simultaneously or one seat with a car seat in several configurations. The standard attachment works for the native Mesa and adapters are available for several other car seat brands. The Vista is easy to maneuver, easy to fold, and self-stands and auto-locks. Unfortunately, it is somewhat heavy compared to the competition, which may be a deal breaker to new mothers or those who've had a C-section.
This chart is a comparison of the overall scores for products in this review, including the Vista (shown in blue).
The information provided in the sections below include details on how the Vista performed during testing compared to the competition.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The Vista car seat attachment varies depending on which car seat you chose. In our tests, we used the native UPPAbaby Mesa and the award-winning Chicco Keyfit 30. Keep in mind though that the Vista is fairly versatile and is also compatible with the Maxi Cosi Mico, Mico AP Mico NXT, Citi, Cabrio, CabrioFix, Nuna, Cybex Aton, Cybex Aton 2, Aton Q, and the Chicco Keyfit not 30.
UPPAbaby Cruz Combo and Peg Perego Booklet Combo for ease of attaching car seats to the stroller. The high score for this metric is the Bugaboo Bee 3 Combo with a score of 10 using the Chicco Keyfit 30 adapter that allows you to pretty much set the carrier into the loop and it clicks in place by itself. The low score for the group is 2 for the BOB Revolution Flex Combo with the Chicco. This installation required a little bit of finagling around the canopy and then pressure to get the seat locked in place. The added step of using the strap to secure the carrier sealed its fate as the lowest ranking combo in the review. Overall, the Vista came in 3rd place for ease of car seat attachment, but thanks to ties there are three strollers (2 of which are frame strollers) that offer easier attachment.
Weight and Folded Size
Weight and folded size is always an issue with strollers as most parents want to avoid a monster that is difficult to lift or lug around. In the early days of newborn care, this is even more necessary thanks to new moms potentially having restrictions on how much weight they are allowed to lift. For this reason, we always have sort of favored the frame stroller for new moms because they are significantly smaller than a standard size stroller and fold easily into small compact packages that are easy to lift and store. However, if you don't want to purchase a frame stroller because of its relatively short lifespan, then finding a lighter weight standard stroller might be the ticket to bridge the gap between newborn and toddler phases of gear life.
The Vista is one of the heavier options in this review with a frame weight of 20.4 pounds without the included toddler seat that includes a canopy. This weight is the frame and storage bin alone. The Vista earned a score of 5 of 10 for the metric making it below average, but not the lowest score in the group. The heaviest stroller, with the lowest score, is the Revolution Flex with a score of 3 and an overall weight of 26.5 lbs. The lightest in the group is the Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX, a bare bones frame stroller that weighs around 10 pounds.
On the upside, though, whatever the Vista lost by being heavy it almost makes up for in being super easy to fold and being relatively small once folded for a stroller of this magnitude. Nearly half of the strollers fold into a larger package than the Vista and it earned an 8 of 10 for ease of fold and unfold. This product self-stands, auto locks, rolls for transportation like rolling luggage. It requires 2 hands to fold and unfold, each being a 2 step process. While it is heavier than its little brother the UPPAbaby Cruz, it is actually easier to fold and unfold with less movement in the frame and fewer shin banging incidents in our testing.
Unlike the frame style products, the rubber tires on the Vista help make it fairly easy to maneuver. With a score of 7 of 10, this stroller came in 3rd place for maneuverability. This tied with the Baby Jogger City Mini Combo and the Bugaboo Bee, with the BOB Revolution earning a high for the group of 9. The low score for this group is a 3 for the Chicco Bravo LE Combo, which earned fewer points than all the frame strollers in the review.
The locking swivel front wheels help it manage uneven terrain better and the single front wheel design makes it easier to push than the double wheel design seen on some of the competition. It does work better on flat and hard surfaces than grass and gravel, but if you need to do it, it will for a short distance. This product managed surprisingly well on stairs and curbs given its larger size and weight.
For more details on the maneuverability of the Vista, please check out our in-depth look of the Vista in our standard stroller review.
Ease of Use
The Vista earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use, which is above average for the group and the second highest score with only the Chicco Bravo earning a higher score of 7. The low for ease of use is a 3 shared by the Chicco Liteway Plus Combo and the Graco Snugrider Elite.
The Vista has the largest storage bin in the group with a max load weight of 30 pounds. The only basket that comes close to this is the Cruz with a max weight of 25. The remainder of the group are all less than 11 pounds capacity with the Chicco Liteway allowing only 5 lbs of storage in its bin. A weight easily rivaled by most newborn diaper bags. The unfortunate thing about the basket is the cross bar that is curved up and travels across the middle of the basket. This effectively cuts the basket in half, and while you can still place items on top of this, it feels like a design flaw that limits the overall capacity of an otherwise really cool bin.
The Vista has a rather large canopy that we liked in our standard stroller review. Unfortunately, however, when you remove the toddler seat you lose the canopy as they are one unit. This means the only canopy for use in the stroller car seat combo is the canopy on the carrier. The upside is this decreases the overall weight of the stroller more than those that retain the canopy, but it still isn't enough to make the Vista a light weight option; meaning that in the end, given the higher overall weight, we wish there was still a useable canopy attached to the frame so we had extra coverage for the carrier.
The Vista has no other storage or accessory options to improve ease of use. There is a zippered storage pocket on the toddler seat, but this too is gone when you remove the seat for the car seat connection. Given how we generally aren't fans of any cup holders and most parent consoles lack real usability we don't think this is necessarily a downfall, and the super high max weight of the storage bin means you don't need other locations for storing most items.
Chicco Keyfit Caddy with a 3. The Caddy is a cheaper frame stroller and is not designed to be a long term use product so we can somewhat forgive its lower quality standards and materials. In our full review of the Vista you can find more information on the seat fabric and canopy, but for this review, we didn't focus on those features as much given that they are no longer a part of the stroller/car seat combination.
The tires on the Vista are foam filled rubber with a dense plastic wheel. The wheel feels more solid than that on the UPPAbaby Cruz and the tires are made with a thicker rubber. The rubber will offer baby a little more comfort over rough terrain, but the foam filling means you'll never have a flat. While we like rubber tires and the idea of a no-flat wheel, we think pneumatic tires usually offer more comfort for the passenger; the Vista does, however, have 4 wheel shocks, and even though they are not adjustable it does provide a little more support to the overall ride.
Ease of Setup
The Vista earned a 9 of 10 for ease of setup shipping to us almost entirely pre-assembled. It took us about 5 and half minutes to get the stroller out of the box and completely put together. It comes with a simple quick start guide that has 8 steps and we did not need to open the manual to put it together. The unpacking actually took more time than the assembly, but the attention to packing detail was appreciated in that there were no broken or bent pieces in the box. The easiest to put together is the UPPAbaby Cruz and the most difficult is the Bugaboo Bee3, which required over 23 minutes to put together.
The UPPAbaby Vista is a great stroller though on the large size and potentially larger than most parents need. Parents attracted to the UPPAbaby name and quality will likely be drawn to this versatile stroller for the large storage bin and the 2 seat capacity, as well as the ability to attach a car seat. Because the UPPAbaby Cruz is very similar in form and function we think many parents will be equally happy with its lighter weight and won't miss what the Vista brings to the table that the Cruz does not. This makes the best application for the Vista as a 2 seater for parents who need to accommodate two or plan on having two stroller age children at some point.
UPPAbaby offers a quality product for a reasonable price. While the Vista is no exception to this, we do think the Cruz is a better value for most parents because it is very similar, lighter, and costs over $300 less than the Vista. The Vista has a list price of $860, while the Cruz has a more modest $500 price tag.
The Vista earned a 64 of 100 overall in this review for stroller and car seat combinations. It really took a hit in the scoring department for being heavier than the majority of the competition in a category where having a lower weight is so vital. That being said, however, the Vista is easy to use with most car seats and those we tested, the UPPAbaby Mesa and the Chicco Keyfit 30 were both easy to attach and remove with very few mistakes or pressure needed to ensure a secure connection. While we loved the large storage basket and the ease of folding this option with the self-stand and auto fold, we weren't fans of the larger size or the larger price tag. This makes the Vista a combo we wouldn't necessarily recommend, but if you plan to get the Vista for two children or were drawn to other aspects of the stroller covered in our standard stroller review, we think it works best with its native car seat, the UPPAbaby Mesa. The Mesa did win an award in our infant car seat review and is one most testers really enjoyed.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Vista has a few different car seat adapters available should you have a different brand car seat. These are available for purchase through UPPAbaby and other vendors.
We also review the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo in this review and out standard stroller review. While we like the Vista, the Cruz is very similar and is likely a good stand in for most families that will save them around $300.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
BabyGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 19, 2016
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