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Hands-on Gear Review

UPPAbaby Vista Combo Review


Stroller and Car Seat Combo

Price:   $840 List | $839.99 from Amazon
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
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   UPPAbaby

The Skinny

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 great adjustable handlebar, it doesn't meet one of the key criteria we think parents should look for in a stroller/car seat combo.

RELATED: Our complete review of stroller and car seat combos

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
BabyGearLab Review Team


Last Updated:
Sunday
June 19, 2016
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 2 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 fairly heavy compared to the competition, which may be a deal breaker to new mothers or those who've had a C-section.

Performance Comparison


The Vista works best with the UPPAbaby Mesa.
The Vista works best with the UPPAbaby Mesa.

Ease of Attaching Car Seat


The Vista car seat attachment varies depending on which car seat you've opted for. 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.

The Vista car seat compatibility frame attaches to the seat connection points on either side of the frame. This is the frame we used for the Chicco Keyfit 30.
The Vista car seat compatibility frame attaches to the seat connection points on either side of the frame. This is the frame we used for the Chicco Keyfit 30.
The Vista earned a score of 7 of 10 in this metric, which has it tying with the 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 has a 3rd place rank in the group for ease of car seat attachment, but thanks to ties there are 3 strollers (2 of which are frame strollers) that offer easier attachment.

The Mesa attaches to the Vista by aligning the seat up to the attachment point on either side of the Vista frame.
The Mesa attaches to the Vista by aligning the seat up to the attachment point on either side of the Vista frame.
Using the Vista with the UPPAbaby brand car seat the Mesa does not require any adapters. The two side connection points where the toddler seat connects can also accommodate the infant car seat and work in the same way. The two seats can be easily exchanged fairly quickly making it a good option for parents with 2 children of varying ages. The seat clicks in place, does not require and straps, and is easy to attach and remove. The only downside is lining up both sides simultaneously before pushing the seat into place, but this is still simpler than some of the competition with similar designs. We did not experience any potential for installing the seat incorrectly or thinking it was properly installed when it really wasn't. The release button on the handle works for detaching the seat and is intuitive to use. We found the Mesa carrier to be easier to install than the Chicco carrier.

The Chicco clicked fairly easily onto the car seat accessory frame we purchased for the Vista.
The Chicco clicked fairly easily onto the car seat accessory frame we purchased for the Vista.
The Chicco car seat adapter clicks onto the side attachment points on the Vista frame fairly easily.
The Chicco car seat adapter clicks onto the side attachment points on the Vista frame fairly easily.
The Keyfit 30 requires the purchase of an additional adapter to use with the Vista. It is a loop style attachment that connects to the side attachment points where the toddler seat ordinarily sits. The loop does not require assembly and clicks in place fairly easily. The carrier portion then sits down inside the loop and clicks onto the loop itself to secure. This requires a little bit of pressure and occasionally we thought it was fully connected when it wasn't so a good tug on the handle is needed to ensure the carrier is secure. Neither the Keyfit nor the Mesa feel super secure after attachment and they earned a below average score for this portion of the testing.

Weight and Folded Size


The Vista has an easy fold and self-stands  but it is heavy and definitely harder to carry and store.
The Vista has an easy fold and self-stands, but it is heavy and definitely harder to carry and store.
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 important thanks to new moms potentially having restrictions on how much weight they are allowed to lift. For this reason we have always 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 and lowest scoring is the Revolution Flex with a score of 3 and an overall weight of 26.5 pounds. The lightest in the group is the Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX, a bare bones frame stroller that weighs around 10 pounds.

Because the Vista frame is uncomplicated it folds fairly easily and intuitively.
Because the Vista frame is uncomplicated it folds fairly easily and intuitively.
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. Almost 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.

Unfortunately, it didn't score that well for commuting. Thanks to its larger size and weight it isn't the best for navigating small space or taking on public transport. It is likely to be in the way when you try to take it in a café, but it is one of the nicest seat heights for pulling baby up to the table and within arm's reach when you eat.

Maneuverability


The Vista earned a fairly good score for maneuverability with only 5 stroller being easier to push.
The Vista earned a fairly good score for maneuverability with only 5 stroller being easier to push.
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 front swivel wheels on the Vista can be locked if necessary for easier pushing over uneven terrain.
The front swivel wheels on the Vista can be locked if necessary for easier pushing over uneven terrain.
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.

Safety


The brake pedal on the Vista has a red indicator to help parents determine if the brakes are set or not.
The brake pedal on the Vista has a red indicator to help parents determine if the brakes are set or not.
The Vista earned a 7 of 10 for safety coming in 1 point below the high of 8 earned by the BOB Motion Combo, Britax B-Agile 3, and the Bugaboo Cameleon 3. The lowest score for safety in this review is a 4 shared by the Chicco Keyfit Caddy and the Peg Perego Booklet.

The Vista brake pedal has green color coding for brake engagement.
The Vista brake pedal has green color coding for brake engagement.
The Vista has single action brakes that are easy to set and release with a sandal foot friendly pedal that pushes to set and release. It also features a red/green indicator to assure parents that the brakes are fully set. There is very little play in the brakes once set and the sliding resistance on an incline is good.

The Vista does not have cup holders so there is no cup holder safety concern. However, if you plan to purchase the cup holder accessory you need to be aware that items in high cup holders can and often do fall out and can possibly fall on baby.

While you will be using your infant car seat carrier on the stroller for the combo we are looking at in this review the seat that comes standard on this stroller does offer a 5 point harness that is easy to use. For more information on the safety features and testing of the harness and harness adjustment see our full review of the Vista in our standard stroller review.

The Vista design has the car seats attaching fairly high on the frame which can impact the side and back tipping test results.
The Vista design has the car seats attaching fairly high on the frame which can impact the side and back tipping test results.
The back tip weight of the stroller with a 20 pound "baby" in the car seat is 22 pounds 9 ounces, this is lower than the maximum weight of 23 pounds using the toddler seat. This is lower than the average for the group with is closer to 26 and significantly lower than the max weight of 56 pounds required of the Britax B-Agile 3; the Peg required the least amount of weight before tipping with a max weight of close to 14 pounds. The side tip angle is about 25.4 degree from flat before the stroller tipped to the side; this is the best in the group.

Ease of Use


The Vista storage bin is large and has a maximum capacity of 30 pounds  the largest in the group. However  the bar across the bin will limits what you can place inside.
The Vista storage bin is large and has a maximum capacity of 30 pounds, the largest in the group. However, the bar across the bin will limits what you can place inside.
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 bin 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 pounds 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 really liked in our standard stroller review. Unfortunately however when you remove the toddler seat you also remove 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 true 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.

Quality


The Vista earned the highest score for quality in the group tying with the BOB Revolution Flex Combo.
The Vista earned the highest score for quality in the group tying with the BOB Revolution Flex Combo.
In general we find all UPPAbaby products to be higher in quality than most of the usual baby gear offerings. The frame is made of a lightweight aluminum ally that is smooth, has few connection points and moves well together without rattling or give. The Vista earned an 8 out 10 for this metric, which is the high for the group and only shared by the BOB Revolution. The low for this group in quality is the 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 offer a little more comfort to the overall ride.

The Vista handlebar adjustment is poorly placed in the middle of the handlebar which limits one handed pushing. However  we do prefer the telescoping height adjustment on the UPPAbaby products compared to the handlebars that adjust on a pivot point.
The Vista handlebar adjustment is poorly placed in the middle of the handlebar which limits one handed pushing. However, we do prefer the telescoping height adjustment on the UPPAbaby products compared to the handlebars that adjust on a pivot point.
The handlebar on the Vista is adjustable by telescoping in and out. The adjustment is smooth and stable without the give and flex of the rotating style of adjustment found on other models, and the comfort of the foam grip is good. The bar itself has a center plastic pieces with foam edges and the transition from one material to another is relatively smooth. The overall fit and finish of this frame is nice and well thought out with adjustments and buttons placed in useful locations. It has a clean look that isn't cluttered or cumbersome.

Ease of Setup


The UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seat connects to the same attachment points as the toddler seat on the Vista.
The UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seat connects to the same attachment points as the toddler seat on the Vista.
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 Bee, which required over 23 minutes to put together.

Best Applications


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.

Value


UPPAbaby generally offers a nice quality product for a reasonable price given what you get and how well it is made. While the Vista is no exception to this, we do think the Cruz is likely more of a 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.

Conclusion


The UPPAbaby Vista is compatible with a variety of car seats and it works well with those we tested.
The UPPAbaby Vista is compatible with a variety of car seats and it works well with those we tested.
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.
BabyGearLab Review Team

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User Reviews


Most recent user review: June 19, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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