Bugaboo Bee5 Review
Pros: Unique fold, large canopy, stylish
Cons: Poor storage, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Bugaboo is a high-end quality baby gear company that started in 1994. They design strollers that can "move freely" with a focus on what the company markets as "game-changing" items. The Bugaboo goal is to create things that help families live in comfort and style.
Ease of Use
This stroller performs better than average for ease of use, but it lacks somewhat in this metric, especially for the price point.
Fold and Unfold
To fold the Bee5 includes unlocking the sides of the stroller frame (above left) where the handle telescopes into the frame. Once this is complete you slowly push the handlebar in and lower the stroller to the ground as it collapses more or less flat. It locks closed automatically and will not self-stand or roll like luggage.
The single-action brakes are press to set on the wide plastic pedal between the rear wheels. You need to lift the pedal to unset and this can be problematic to some shoes or sandaled feet.
The storage bin on the Bee5 is lacking with a maximum limit of 8.8 lbs. So despite being a nice design to fit a larger diaper bag, the weight limit will stop you from carrying all your supplies and anything you buy while out and about.
The Bee5 canopy is a 2-stage sunshade with a basic opening that covers from directly above and it can zip open more panels for more coverage that can extend over your baby's knees protecting them from sun and non-wind driven rain. This canopy has no peek-a-boo window or additional ventilation which is an oversight in our opinion for a stroller in this price range.
The Bee5 has a 5-point harness with a quick-release button that is easy to operate. The harness height adjustment is non-rethread and quick to adjust on the fly by moving the headrest up or down.
The seat reclines with a single hand and moves smoothly to an infinite number f positions including near flat. however, it doesn't have much of a leg rest down to the footrest and what is there isn't adjustable, though it is well-padded. The seat feels somewhat small and larger babies might not be comfortable as they get larger.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Bee5 is compatible with a handful of infant car seat carriers including options from Chicco, and Maxi-Cosi. Bugaboo offers click-in adapters for purchase for use with these brands. The Maxi-Cosi adapter works with Maxi-Cosi Cabriofix, Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus, Cybex Aton Q,
Nuna Pipa Icon, Cybex Aton 5, and the Cybex Aton Q i-Size. The Chicco adapter is al oop style adapter and Bugaboo isn't currently compatible car seats, so double-check with the company before making a combination purchase.
Ease of Setup
The Bee5 took us almost 12 minutes to set up, and that is a professional stroller assembler with over 60 stroller assemblies under his belt.
The user manual isn't great with the multi-language format on a single page that can make following the steps frustrating. The manual also shows steps for putting together parts that are already installed or are not included.
The Bee5 has lockable front wheels with all-wheel suspension designed to give your little one a better riding experience. The single front wheel design is better than those with dual front wheels on each leg, but the Bee5 still isn't the easiest option to maneuver. Pushing and turning on flat hard surfaces is easy, but movement on gravel, grass, or carpet is more challenging because the wheels are so small. While this stroller will get you through the city streets, it struggles in parks or over greenbelts in our tests and regular off-roading will be a no-go in our opinion.
Weight and Folded Size
This stroller gives the look and feel of a lighter weight option. It weighs 21.7 lbs and folds to a relatively small 8,685 cubic inches. While 21.7 lbs may seem heavy, it is still under the average for the group which is closer to 24. The folded size is small compared to most, with a size over 10,000 cubic inches smaller than the larger strollers.
The quality of this Bee is nice, but we feel it isn't up to the level the price indicates. The frame is sturdy and feels solid with no wobble or rickety connections. The fabric is heavy with a durable feel that is still soft enough to be comfortable. The canopy material can snag and we caution parents to treat it with care, especially when folded. The wheels are foam filled rubber and dense but small and we feel they would be more functional if they were larger. Overall, it has a nicer fit and finish than much of the competition, but in our opinion, it doesn't match the competition in the same price range.
— Wendy Schmitz