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Hands-on Gear Review
Bugaboo Cameleon3 Combo ReviewPrice: $1,149.00 List | $1,029.05 at Amazon - 10% off
Pros: Easy Chicco seat attachment
Cons: Difficult to attach Peg Perego, heavy, expensive
Bottom line: High price for a heavy, harder to push stroller but the Chicco Keyfit 30 is easy to attach
The Bugaboo Cameleon 3 earned 68 points out of 100 in our review for stroller car seat combinations. The score gave it a sixth place rank tying with the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo. The Cameleon is a high-end stroller that works well with at least the Chicco car seat adapter but disappointed us with the Peg Perego adapters. While it isn't the heaviest or the largest product in the bunch, we just weren't that impressed with its performance or features to offer it an award or a real nod of approval.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Stroller and Car Seat Combos for 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Bugaboo manufactures high-end strollers and luggage systems with a company wide goal to "help you move freely". The Bugaboo company was started in 1994 and creates what they refer to as "game changing" products that help people explore the world in "comfort and style".
The following chart is a comparison of the overall scores for each combination we tested for this review.
The information provided below offers details on how the Cameleon compared to the competition during testing.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The Cameleon tied with the Bugaboo Bee3 Combo for ease of car seat attachment with 9 of 10 scores. The Doona earned a perfect 10 because the car seat is always attached to the stroller portion of the product with no attachment necessary.
The Cameleon is compatible with a few more seats than its little brother the Bugaboo Bee3 Combo. With the purchase of adapters you can use the Britax B-Safe 35, B-Safe, and B-Safe 35 Elite; the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Chicco Keyfit; the Cybex Aton 2 and the Aton Q; the Maxi-Cosi Mico, Mico AP, Mico NXT, and the Maxi-Cosi Prezi; and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35. We tested this stroller with the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35.
If you already own the Cameleon, we recommend the Chicco Keyfit 30 adapter and car seat. Alternatively, you could try using any other option where the adapter is a loop style connection as opposed to the two side attachments. We suggest avoiding the Peg Perego seat and any other with the side connection.
Weight and Folded Size
The Cameleon earned a 5 of 10 for weight and folded size and is neither light nor small. This score is average for the group and certainly nothing to write home about. The high for the metric is 9, a score shared by all the dedicated frame strollers that are designed to be lightweight, small in size, and easy to fold and carry.
The Cameleon weighs 17.6 lbs, which is slightly below the average of 18. It has a folded size of 10,226 cubic inches. While the weight is reasonable, it is the folded size that is harder to manage. The Britax B-Agile 3 Combo is the smallest folded stroller in the group at 6,658 cubic inches, but is still heavy at 19.3 lbs. The UPPAbaby Cruz Combo is the lightest full-size option in the group at a little over 15 lbs, and it is relatively small when folded at around 7,860 cubic inches; a nice compromise for both metrics while still getting the features and performance of a larger stroller.
The Cameleon earned a 6 of 10 for maneuverability. The Cameleon score is average, with the BOB Revolution Flex Combo and the Baby Jogger City Mini GT Combo earning the high of 9. Both high ranking strollers have rubber tires and a single front wheel.
The smaller footprint of this product makes it easier in tight spots, but it doesn't turn as well as some of the others with more flex in the frame and handlebar. This stroller is relatively easy to push on hard surfaces with two hands and while one hand is possible you probably won't do it often. This stroller has two modes, one for off-road, which makes the pushing on rougher terrain easier, but neither mode is great, and we had some tipping problems in off-road mode, and both wheels got stuck in the grate when we tried pushing it over.
The wheels are foam filled rubber and are larger and more functional than those on the Bee. We like the performance of rubber and think foam is nice if you are worried about a flat tire, but if you aren't going to be off-roading, it seems like overkill and the extra performance of pneumatic tires might be preferred. However, the wheels spin nicely and have little resistance. The back wheels are larger than the front, but both roll equally smooth. The front wheels have adjustable shocks, and the rear wheels have none.
The adjustable handlebar has a range of 39.8 to 44.2 inches from the ground. The handle is a little larger than the one found on the Bee, but it still doesn't feel that great in the hand because the tubing is too flat
To learn more details about pushing and turning this product, please read more in our review of the best full-size strollers.
Ease of Use
Much like its little brother the Bugaboo Bee3 Combo this stroller did not perform well in our tests for ease of use with a 4 of 10.
Fold and Unfold
Folding the Cameleon requires two hands and is tough compared to the competition. It takes five steps and bending to the ground with a busy folding method that has a manual lock, and doesn't self-stand or have a carry strap. You will also need to remove the car seat adapter before folding. The unfold is marginally easier, but still a pain and requires two hands and has two steps. Once folded, you will be holding the frame, adapter, and the infant carrier.
This stroller has single action brakes that are easy to set and release. It is a handbrake model, and you need to make sure you are cautious when releasing the brake, so it doesn't slap you in the back of the hand. The brake is stiffer than other hand brakes we've seen, but it is still pretty easy.
The storage bin on the Cameleon is medium in size, and it fit our medium sized diaper bag. The bin has average access from the front, sides, and back with a maximum allowable weight of 8.8 lbs. The limiting factor to this bin is the weight limit that doesn't come close to the UPPAbaby products that are 25 and 30 lbs each. This means you will be limited in what kind of supplies you can carry with you. Most folks will be unable to run errands or buy a few grocery supplies without requiring a bag to carry them in.
The canopy on this stroller is large with no additional ventilation or peek-a-boo window. The canopy doesn't work with the car seat adapters and the lack of stroller shade means you will need to rely on the canopy that comes with the car seat as baby's protection from the elements.
Ease of Setup
The Cameleon is one of the harder products to assemble and earned a 4 of 10 for this metric; this is a tie with the Peg Perego Booklet Combo. The worst is the Cameleon's little brother the Bugaboo Bee3 Combo with a score of 3. The easiest stroller to assemble is the UPPAbaby Cruz Combo with a perfect score of 10 as it comes almost entirely assembled.
The Cameleon took just over 14 minutes to assemble from unpacking the box to ready to stroll. The documentation that comes with it is poor and made up of illustrations that are difficult to follow and no words to help explain them.
One would think a high priced product like the Cameleon would rank higher in the quality department. As it is this Bugaboo earned a 7 of 10 for quality. The high for the group is 8 shared by the UPPAbaby Vista Combo and the BOB Revolution Flex Combo.
The aluminum finish frame is more robust than the one on the Bugaboo Bee3, and we like the way it looks. It feels sturdy, but there is some flex that makes it harder to push. The frame design is simpler and looks cleaner than the Bugaboo Bee with fewer plastic components. The heavier canvas fabric lays nicely on the frame, and it doesn't wrinkle or bunch. The storage basket is a heavier material than the seat and canopy and has a plastic piece in the bottom to help it retain shape.
Bugaboo offers a variety of infant car seat adapters to couple your favorite brand car seat with your Bugaboo stroller.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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