Hatfields vs. McCoys
Jets vs. Sharks
Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts
Bugaboo vs. UPPAbaby
There are many battles that shall live in the annals of history, but none of them as controversial as the Great Buggy Battle (from here on out referenced as GBB). The Bugaboo Frog was the stroller that got me into this business, and the UPPAbaby Vista is the baby stroller that got me my first mention in the press (The Wall Street Journal, actually — I felt so fancy). I love both brands, I've become friends with the employees and owners of both companies and they're both terrific products. That being said, one question that always pops up on my Facebook wall is, "I am looking at the Bugaboo Cameleon and the UPPAbaby Vista. Which one should I get?"
Well, since I don't know everyone's lifestyle, and it's certainly hard to answer the same question 50 times a day, I thought I'd break down the GBB in an easy-to-swallow format. Here we go.
The Bugaboo Cameleon is a convertible system. Think of a frame with wheels that comes with a rectangle and two slipcovers. These slipcovers are used to make the bassinet and the baby stroller seat — they are not two separate pieces, so storage is a little bit easier. The Cameleon is suitable for use from birth to 37-1/2 pounds.
The UPPAbaby Vista is a modular system. Think of a frame with wheels that comes with a bassinet and a stroller seat. Two parts that click onto the frame (at different times), so there's more to store — although the bassinet does collapse to be more compact. The Vista bassinet is also made of eco-soy material, has a huge sunshade and vent built into the canopy and has a proper carry handle. The Vista is suitable for use from birth to 50 pounds.
Car seat compatibility
The Cameleon is compatible with Graco, Peg Perego, Chicco, Maxi Cosi, Aton and Britax infant seats. Personally, I find the Graco and Chicco adapters easier to deal with because they are a frame and you cannot mistakenly put the adapters on backwards and have to get a knife to jimmy them out again (I am looking at you, Maxi Cosi!).
The Vista is compatible with Graco, Peg Perego, Chicco, Maxi Cosi, Aton, and UPPAbaby's soon-to-launch Mesa infant car seats. Again, the Graco and Chicco adapters are a bit easier to use because they are a frame instead of pegs, but they're all fine.
Baby stroller seats
The Cameleon seat is reversible, has three recline positions in either direction, a decent-sized canopy and can actually sit on the floor with the child in it without being in the stroller frame. This is a nifty, yet overlooked, feature that can be convenient if you're visiting friends or relatives and don't want to take a bouncer. There isn't an adjustable foot rest, but Bugaboo finally joined the Bellybar Swivel Club. This feature allows the bellybar to disconnect at one side and swivel out for easy access getting kid in and out. The bellybar is covered with neoprene, so when kids start to teethe and chew on things you will want to be aware of them biting chunks of that foam off. It's non-toxic but you might want to avoid it. Hopefully they address this issue soon.
The Vista seat is reversible, has a one-handed multiple-position recline, a ginormous canopy with a built-in sun visor, a peekaboo window for airflow and a peekaboo window. The foot rest on the stroller is adjustable to many different positions, and there's a pocket on the back of the seat for storage and playdate cards. The Vista is also a member of the prestigious Bellybar Swivel Club, but they have a removable and washable cover. Score.
The Cameleon has two different sets of wheels. The smaller wheels have adjustable suspension so that you can control the bounce and ride as your kid gains weight. These wheels swivel, but you can lock them for more stability (more on that later). The larger wheels in back are a rubber tire injected with foam. This means you're never ever going to have a flat. Score. The suspension designed into the Bugaboo Cameleon, combined with those wheels, really does give it one of the smoothest rides on the market. It didn't get to where it is just because someone used it on Sex and the City.
The Vista has foam and rubber wheels, but they're not an inner tube that's injected. It's hard to explain, so you might want to check the links at the end of the article. The wheels in front are a bit larger than the Cameleon’s, which means you're going to take large sidewalk cracks and what-not a bit easier. The rear wheels are also quite large and made of the same material, and the stroller has front and rear-wheel suspension. The Vista also gives you a great ride.