The Bugaboo Bee3 earned a high rank in this review. It is one of the easiest product to attach a car seat to, and it has an easy to use one-hand fold and auto-locking mechanism. With all-around shocks, single-action brakes, and storage bin, the Bee is an interesting choice for car seat combination and won a Top Pick for Urban Use. There are some downsides to this stroller, including the higher price tag and the 8.8 lb storage capacity, but depending on your lifestyle and needs, you might be able to overlook these flaws for the sleek design and easy car seat attachment.
Bugaboo Bee3 Combo Review
Pros: Easy Chicco attachment, lighter
Cons: Bulky fold, harder to use, expensive
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Bugaboo is the manufacturer of high-end strollers and luggage systems with a mission to "help you move freely." Bugaboo started in 1994 and has been creating what they call "game-changing" products that help families explore their world in "comfort and style."
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The Bee earned a 9 of 10 for ease of attaching car seats mainly for its combination with the Chicco Keyfit 30. There is no easier car seat combo attachment in this group.
The Bee is compatible with the Britax B-Safe 35 Elite, Britax B-Safe 35, and B-Safe 35 Elite; Chicco Keyfit and Chicco Keyfit 30; Cybex Aton 2 and the Aton Q; Maxi-Cosi Mico, Mico AP, Mico NXT, and the Maxi-Cosi Prezi. We tested this stroller with the Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat, an award-winning seat from our infant car seat review.
The Chicco car seat adapter is an aluminum loop that requires a Phillips head screwdriver to assemble. The loop is four parts with four screws that are easy to assemble, and you only have to do it once. You need to remove the seat and canopy to use the adapter, but removal is easy, and they slide out with the push of a button — the adapter clicks-in using the seat connectors on the frame. The carrier sits in the loop and virtually installs itself by clicking into place when you let go of the carrier handle. This seat did not require any additional pressure in our tests and fully connected by itself test after test.
The Bee and the Chicco Keyfit 30 is one of the best combinations. Given that the majority of the car seat adapters for the Bee incorporate the use of a loop, we think that there is a chance that other seats will be as easy as this one, but we did not test any other carrier.
Weight and Folded Size
The Bee weighs about 15 lbs with the car seat adapter, which makes it one of the lighter full-size options.
The Bee is on the large side for a folded full-size stroller measuring in at 10,886 cubic inches. There are multiple non-frame stroller options in this review that fold smaller.
The Bee is easy to push over most terrain, excelling on hard flat surfaces and negotiating tighter turns and smaller space. You do lose some control over the carpet and with the handle fully extended thanks to flex in the frame.
Overall, it is one of the easiest to maneuver if the ground is flat, but the smaller wheels struggle in the grass and gravel and over small bumps. You might be able to manage it over a green belt on the way to a play park, but it isn't going to perform well on a gravel trail.
The tires are foam-filled rubber that provides the benefits of rubber without the potential flats. The wheels turn easily, but their smaller size inhibits maneuverability and prevents it from being great over rougher terrain. The Bee has four-wheel shocks that are not adjustable. To learn more about the Bee and maneuverability, please take a look at the in-depth review presented in our full-size stroller review.
The Bee has an adjustable handlebar that telescopes in and out. We like this design because it allows taller people to find a good height without bringing them too close to the rear axle. The handlebar is smaller in circumference than some of the competition.
Ease of Use
If there is a metric where the Bee struggles, it is ease of use.
Fold and Unfold
The Bee requires two hands to fold and auto-locks. It does not self-stand, but it has a carry strap. Folding is easy, does not require bending, and rolls similar to luggage when folded. The car seat adapter does not interfere with the fold, but the toddler seat does. You can unfold the Bee with one hand if you need to. Unfolding the Bee might take a little practice, but it isn't tricky just different.
The brakes are single action and very easy to set with a design that is friendly for feet wearing sandals. Releasing the brakes is achieved by either lifting the pedal from underneath or pressing it a second time.
The Bee has a medium size storage bin that fit our large diaper bag. It has access from the rear and front only. It has a limited weight allowance of 8.8 lbs which is unlikely to be adequate for all the things your baby will need. This limit could decrease outing types and length as it has no place to store items heavier than a loaf of bread (forget grabbing groceries).
The canopy is nice looking and larger. Unfortunately, the canopy needs to be removed to use the car seat. So you will need to rely on the car seat canopy for protection from the elements.
Ease of Setup
The Bee is one of the most challenging strollers to put together because it comes with almost nothing pre-assembled. This product took us over 23 minutes to assemble, which is over twice the time it took for the next hardest option. The documentation relies solely on illustrations with no written instructions. We put several portions of the product together incorrectly the first time with about ¾ of the time spent on the canopy and seat.
The Bee is higher-priced, which makes it's just above average quality level somewhat disappointing.
The Bee has a complicated frame with several parts and connectors. Surprisingly it manages to look sleek and functions without too much flex, though enough to impact maneuverability. The fabric on the seat and canopy fit tightly to the frame with no wrinkles or bunching, giving the product an overall nice fit and finish that stands out in a crowd with a stylish, high-end look.
Bugaboo makes a few different car seat adapters for coupling with popular brands of infant car seats. These adapters include:
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team