<In case you’re looking for the 2015 UPPAbaby Vista review…carry on…>
When it comes to big investments – you know, a crib set or a vacation – I become obsessive (manic, really) about research. I’ll spend hours online reading about a product’s features and benefits, checking out reviews, and then spend an equal amount of time looking for the best price. So when it came to buying a stroller, I’m not sure what happened.
Dear reader, I could talk strollers all day. I’ll try to keep this blog post focused.
We had so many friends who loved their Phil & Ted’s strollers that we didn’t even take one out for a test-walk. I mean, why bother? It looked good, and everyone seemed happy. What was I thinking? I’m what you call “particular,” and I should have known better. Ultimately, the Phil & Ted’s didn’t work for us. More on that in another review.
We decided that for the right stroller (I say “right” because, I assure you, the “perfect” stroller does not exist), we would pay anything. Anything! Really, when you work out the cost-per-push, they’re all pretty inexpensive (we walk at least once per day no matter what, and more in great weather).
For all of the things that were important to us – including the absence of a rear-wheel axle (because Big B is ginormous at 6’6”), handling and ease of multi-positioning among other things – the final three contenders were the Quinny Buzz, the Bugaboo Cameleon and the UPPAbaby Vista. We went to Canabee Baby to give all of them a try, since it was one of the few places in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) that sold all three at the time. Fortunately, we could put The K Man in the passenger seat – a luxury we didn’t have with our first stroller purchase.
I can’t stress how important this step was in cementing our final decision; so if you’re pregnant now and in the testing phase, try to borrow a baby. Not joking. Ask one of your friends who has a baby (or, better still, two babies – one who’s a few months old, and a toddler, so you can see how strollers feel at different stages) to join you at your neighbourhood stroller store. You need to be able to see how easy it is to get the baby in and out of the stroller, how the stroller handles with an extra 15 to 50 pounds in it and how well the baby “fits” in the stroller. Word of caution: be sure borrowed baby is well-rested.
Some things to consider during your test-walk:
- Can you maneuver it with one hand? (You will inevitably want to drink some kind of beverage while out for a stroll or need to chat on the phone at some point)
- Can you recline the seat (and back again) with one hand?
- Does it recline smoothly (so as not to wake an already-sleeping baby during the recline process)?
- Can you apply and release the brake quickly and easily, and preferably with your foot (unless it’s at handlebar level)?
- Does it come with a sunshade and bug net or are these extra costs that you must factor into your overall stroller purchase (sunshade being a must-have and bug net being a nice-to-have)?
- Does it accept any kind of infant car seat and does it require a special adaptor to convert it for use with one? (If so, be sure you know what kind of car seat you’ll need to get and factor the cost of an adaptor into the overall price as well)
- Does it have enough storage space?
- Is the seat deep and wide enough that a bigger toddler is going to be comfortable?
- If you’re on the taller side (5’8″ and above), be sure you look at the rear wheels – is there an axle that connects them? If so, you are probably going to kick it with every long stride you take (Big B had to walk beside the P&T to avoid kicking the axle)
We looked at the Bugaboo primarily because it doesn’t have a rear axle, but also because with all the celebrity hype it enjoyed a couple years ago and the $1,000-plus price tag, we figured it had to be awesome. Here’s why we did not choose the Bugaboo:
- You need to remove the seat EVERY TIME you need to fold the stroller. Uh, way too annoying
- You need to swap the provided fabric from bassinet to seat, which means you can’t use both at the same time (so, with a newborn, you’d need a separate bassinet or be forced to change fabric every time you want to use the seat). Again, annoying
- There isn’t a ton of under-carriage storage
- Once The K Man got a tiny bit taller, his feet would dangle over the non-adjustable foot rest
It came down to the Quinny Buzz and the UPPAbaby Vista. While they both have pros and cons, the Vista won hands-down for several reasons.
The top 15 really good things:
- The seat sits high, so once your baby is eating off the table, you can use it in a restaurant that doesn’t have high chairs; it fits perfectly at table height.
- It comes with a bassinet (that has its own fabric; no swapping), lined with lovely organic cotton.
- It has a huge under-carriage basket. Biggest on the market that I’ve ever seen. You will appreciate this when you’re trying to cart around a diaper bag, a purse, some small toys and – if you’re in a major city – do a bit of grocery shopping on your way back from a park or play-date.
- It’s very easy to maneuver one-handed (again, this is especially important for drinking coffee/water/alcohol of choice while walking).
- It’s so easy to recline the seat!
- It comes with a huge UV sun cover.
- It comes with a bug net and rain cover.
- It has an adjustable foot rest.
- You can buy a second seat (called the RumbleSeat – another pending review)
- You can also attach a kiddie board (called the piggyBACK), which means you can put three kids in one stroller!
- Its fabric is both removable and washable.
- It has un-poppable tires, which will never deflate.
- The seat can face forward or toward you.
- The Vista frame folds with its seat on or off. Your choice.
- The handlebar is adjustable for taller folks, like Big B who comfortably uses it on its highest setting.
Honestly, this list is not exhaustive. Apparently, one can also buy a snack tray for the UPPAbaby Vista now. Bonus.
Not to say there aren’t a couple things that I think could be improved, but that list is quite short:
- The Cup Holder (an extra 25 bucks) falls off all the time, and I lost two during our time with the Vista. To UPPAbaby’s credit, their amazing customer service rep immediately sent me a replacement at no cost when I wrote to complain about the first loss. Impressive. But do yourself a favour and skip the UPPA-branded cup holder in favour of a universal one
- It doesn’t handle as well as the Phil & Ted’s in snow and ice, although if you lock the front wheels it definitely helps
- It doesn’t come with a rain cover for the bassinet – only a bug net…strange…
- The seat itself isn’t accommodating for very tall toddlers; my son outgrew it by the time he turned three (he’s somewhere north of the 85th percentile for height, if that helps)
- Once the Rumble Seat is attached, whichever child is in the main seat is forced to sit facing the stroller-pusher. Big downside when that child would really rather look out at the interesting world than at his mom who he sees day in, day out
- Folding the Vista can be tricky before you’ve had some practice
All in all, the UPPAbaby Vista was well worth the $800 it set us back, even though we’ve moved on to another stroller that better fits my very tall kids.
So…where can you get it?
- Macklem’s (notably, some of the best customer service you’ll find at any baby store)
- Moms to Be…and More (arguably my favourite baby store of all time)
- Baby Shack
- And about a zillion other places
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I am looking @ a second hand uppa baby vista 2013 model…given that we are now in 2020 I am wondering is this a foolish option. Was the spec OK back then (it looks it from your review above) v the newer models? Thanks,
Mommy Gearest says
Not foolish at all if that’s what you can afford! (It’s foolish to spend $1500+ on something brand new if that $1500 is needed to pay your mortgage, IMO.) As you may have read, I had not one, not two, not three, but FOUR UPPAbaby VISTAs over the course of several years. It’s been a long time but I do remember that the latter years were much improved over the earlier ones. I think the 2013 and 2015 were pretty similar, if memory serves. At the end of the day, it’s a fabulous stroller, regardless of the year. Just make sure it’s in good working order and that there are no missing or broken components.
caroline m. says
I would choose it in Georgie (blue). I have an pupa baby stroller, the G-Luxe, but unfortunately it is not compatible with the mesa.
BUYER BEWARE, don’t assume the Uppababy Vista will last you through 2 kids (even though it is HIGHLY marketed for that reason)!!!! My 2010 Vista frame had a major weld completely come off recently. There are some major issues that warrant a BIG warning. The warranty is only for 2 years, although they were willing to stretch it to 3 for this problem (which didn’t help me at all). It can’t be fixed because it’s aluminum and to heat it up would melt everything plastic around it. They are happy to sell me a new frame for a “discounted” $180 but that new frame comes with NO WARRANTY! Seriously – charge a customer a 1/4 of the price you paid for the stroller, send a new frame but if that one fails…too bad for you. My stroller was used for 3 years with my first child, then sat unused for a year until my second child. 10 months into using it again the frame is broken so that it is completely useless. They feel that 3 years is fine because it’s more than most other stroller companies. Well – sorry but they market this to families to service them through at least 2 kids, but they won’t actually stand by your product and replace a MAJOR welding fault for the length of time that stroller is likely to be needed. If the stroller meets and exceeds all the standards of construction like they say, then this must not happen often – even more reason to replace and warranty a new frame for a more affordable cost than $180! I’ve treated my stroller with the utmost care and have sold people on it’s merits many many times. NO MORE. If anyone is asking me about their products now, this is the cautionary tale I will be telling. Very disappointing on so many levels.
Mommy Gearest says
Do you know if this is an isolated incident or if it’s a common issue? One of my VISTAs was used with 2 kids over the course of 3 years without a single issue, other than the crappy cup holder.
Found this site via a Google search for “uppa baby vista broken frame”. Because the exact same thing just happened to me last week! Purchased my vista in 2010, frame came apart at the weld just inside the left rear wheel. I’m so frustrated and have also “sold” a ton of these to mom-to-be friends, telling them how incredible the stroller is. So much for that. Anyway, felt the need to comment in order to answer your question – NO, it’s not an isolated incident!
The same thing happened to my UppaBaby Vista. The seemingly mighty welding on the frame came apart! You would think a solid steel frame like this would last a bit longer. I have a maclaren stroller from 1999 that is still functional other than some fabric discoloration. Think twice before purchasing an Uppababy.
Mommy Gearest says
I used two UPPAbaby VISTAs religiously for years and years and never had an issue…maybe you got a lemon? Did you ever contact UB?
I stumbled upon this review while searching for stroller reviews for tall children. May I ask what stroller you ended up with for your very tall children? My 11 month old is 32 inches tall already, so looking ahead to baby #2 I have been trying to do all the research – Love the idea of the vista as well as the city select, but it seems neither is suitable for a child of my son’s height.
Quick question – just bought the Vista with the Maxi Cosi infant car seat adaptor and the warnings said NEVER place child in car seat before you have attached the seat to the VISTA frame. NEVER remove infant car seat from stroller frame with child in seat.
I’m confused because isn’t the whole purpose of the travel system is to take the child from the car in the car seat and straight to the stroller and vice versa. Suppose you are by yourself – where would you put the baby while you took the car seat out and attached to the Vista stroller.
Mommy Gearest says
So here’s the thing: it’s a legal liability for UPPAbaby if they don’t put warnings like that on their products. It’s the same thing when you see the strollers for rent at the mall, and the storage area for your shopping bags in the back reads “DO NOT PUT CHILD IN BAG.” Um, DUH! But they have to do it to protect themselves legally. I can tell you that I never followed this rule. For me, the convenience of popping my kids in and out of the house to car and back again outweighed any risks. But you need to do what YOU are comfortable doing, knowing that every part of parenting comes with intrinsic risks! 🙂
Keeley Kriskey says
I see your article is now over 2 years old. Do you still think the UppaBaby stroller is the one to pick? My son is over 6 ft tall and his wife is 6 ft. Both their fathers are over 6′ 4″ so they are expecting their baby boy will be tall. They are planning on having a 2nd child in a couple of years and have been advised to go with an expandable stroller. Thoughts?
Mommy Gearest says
Hi Keeley – my review of the current UPPAbaby Vista would be very similar, though the cup holder issue has been made better – but is still far from perfect. Tall parents will really appreciate the fact that there’s no rear axle, but if they end up with a tall child (as we did), they will probably find that they need a new stroller by the time the child is about 2.5 years old. They would face the same issue with the Bugaboo Donkey and CitySelect because the seat sizes are nearly identical. It is a FANTASTIC stroller, but for very tall children, not the most ideal. Another great option may be the Britax B-Ready, which has much more generous seats (including the add-on sibling seat); also a very, very good choice as a single stroller with the option to add a second seat.
Mariela Diaz-Garrido says
I am a first time mom, 38 weeks pregnant and just recently bought this stroller. I did a lot of research before buying it, and what really got my attention were the bassinet, the easy maneuvering of the stroller, and the ability to buy a car seat adaptor so it makes it easier for me to not wake up baby to move her from car seat to stroller.
These are really great characteristics, especially for me, that I only plan to have this baby in a very long time. So if I ever have a second one, it would be very nice and convenient to have the same stroller which am sure am going to get used to. I hope I don’t regret buying the UPPABaby Vista in the future. After all, $800 invested in a stroller should be worth every penny.
Mommy Gearest says
I think you’ll be really happy with it, Mariela. It’s absolutely one of my favourites and UPPAbaby has made a lot of improvements over the past few years. Good luck with your baby!
I have 3 kids and has been the worst of all. Broken twice the feet support. 1 replacement didnt connect in one side . Will not buy it again .
Laurie withrow says
I have the uppa baby vista but it now seems too short in the leg area or my toddler. Which stroller did you switch to next? Thanks for your input
Mommy Gearest says
Hi Laurie! If your child isn’t a fan of sitting with his/her knees up (resting feet on the bar), then it does start to feel small fast when you have a taller toddler. I’m sure mine looked silly by age 3 but I didn’t want to let the stroller go! I ended up going to an EasyWalker DUO (side by side double), which has its flaws but has overall been a good choice for us. The seat backs are very high and my now-5 year old is still comfortable in it. The seats lean way back, though, which is my biggest annoyance. And you can say goodbye to the huge amount of storage space you get with the Vista. The other thing you might consider – if you’re quite active and would get lots of use out of its versatility – is the new Chariot Chinook. I have played with it a bit at baby shows and it’s pretty impressive (and has the price tag to match). Let me know if you have any other questions!
The Vista actually comes with two raincovers – one for the bassinet and one for the seat.
Mommy Gearest says
That must be on the newer models, which I haven’t tested. I had Vistas in 2009 and 2010 – at that time, the company couldn’t get Canadian approval for a bassinet raincover, so it was only available in the States. SOOOO glad to hear that’s changed!
After seeing that I already agreed with you about the Ergo – we just recently graduated out of a sling (blue celery wrap) and were given a baby bjorn, but bought the Ergo (after a very serious recomendation from a friend who rivals you in carrier and stroller purchases!)… I had to see what you thought of the Uppa. I chose the Uppa while pregnant, and I’m still using it with the travel system attachment for the Peg car seat. I love it so far, and I’m sure it’s going to work for a long time. I have the cup holder and the snack tray – have only used the cup holder and mine has fallen off too, luckily only in the trunk. I’ve never used the basinette for an actual walk, but it was our bedside basinette for the first two and a half months; which was a very unexpected bonus (I had visions of my baby sleeping in his crib through the night after the first week?? I don’t know, just never realized how crucial the basinette would be). Love it!
Mommy Gearest says
I know…the cup holder really sucks. I can’t believe they haven’t found a fix for it yet! I didn’t get to use the bassinet with my son because we had a Phil&Ted’s at the time but we totally used it with my daughter so she could sleep in our room the first few weeks. You’ll use that stroller for years! We just outgrew ours last fall. I was sad to see it go.
Mommy Gearest says
I’m obsessed, too! We’ve had – and still have – so many. We use the Britax Blink for our umbrella stroller but that’s just a single. For our new double, we have the EasyWalker DUO – it’s a brand from The Netherlands and it should fit my tall son until he’s 5 (a must for those Canada’s Wonderland trips). I’ll be posting a review about that soon, too, along with a review for our Chariot Carrier Corsaire XL – also amazing because it’s so versatile and BIG but not so portable. I’ve heard the City Mini is great – do you love it?
Karen Anne Burns says
What stroller have you moved on to now? I am obsessed with strollers! Just bought a city mini!