UPPAbaby is a family run, relatively new business, that has been manufacturing since September 2006 and has only been in the UK since June this year, so you will be excused if you haven’t heard of them but you won’t be excused for overlooking them. We take the ‘Vista’, their combination pushchair, apart.
Working out of Massachusetts, USA, UPPAbaby’s design appeal has spread in North America but is new to the UK and Europe. Breaking into the UK with their combination pushchair; the ‘Vista’, they are really going to give some of the more established brands a run for their money!
We first saw the UPPAbaby Vista when we went to the Harrogate Baby Show in April 2010, where retailers get a preview of everything up-and-coming. We were immediately bowled over by its good looks. A large, easily manoeuvrable frame with fantastic fabrics in funky colours, it is the ‘Humvee’ of the stroller design. The beauty in this pushchair is not just skin deep, it has been carefully thought out and delivers some good USA quality.
So what’s in the box?
Cup holder rrp £14.99
Travel bag rrp £49.99
Piggy back – Buddy board rrp £74.99
Snugseat infant liner rrp £27.99
Baby Ganoosh footmuff rrp £74.99
Clunk, click, snap, slide
Everything on the frame seems to make one of the above noises, not in a bad way, but in a reassuringly solid way. Open the frame by releasing the clip on the right and pull; the loud click will leave you in no doubt that it is ready-to-use.
The lightweight aluminium alloy frame sits firmly on the rubber/foam filled wheels. With large 28cm/11inch back and 21cm/8inch front wheels, it is a pushchair that will be able to tackle any surface. The rear wheels are removable by pressing the hub to release, the front wheels can swivel or lock depending on your terrain.
The brake is a toggle on/off foot switch near the right rear wheel. It works well and you don’t need the force of Goliath to apply it. The arched back axle allows room for a large stride which in combination with the adjustable handle height makes the Vista an ideal choice for taller parents.
One of the best features about the Vista is the huge, and we mean colossal, basket. As with a large handbag, all your ‘little bits’ would tend to end up floating around the bottom but built-in pockets prevent small items getting buried. Another ingenious touch is the sprung edge to the back of the basket, even though the seat sits high in the frame it still makes access that little bit easier.
When we review pushchairs, we try to play with them without the instructions until we get stuck and then we, like you, turn to the booklet as a last resort. Folding the Vista needs instruction, not because of any over complicated mechanisms, you just need a clue to work it out. On the left hand side of the handle is a small tab, press and hold this at the same time as the handle height adjustment button on the centre of the handle, then firmly push the handle into the frame and it will open at the middle, collapsing downwards. In writing, this seems complicated but it really isn’t.
The Vista can fold with or without the seat unit; however, it must be in the forward facing direction to fold with it in place. It stows to a compact 64cms wide, 83cms tall and 40cms deep which can be reduced to 55.5/81/18cms taking off the wheels and the seat, but it won’t stand up with the wheels detached.
Bassinet or Carrycot
Before you put the carrycot anywhere near the frame you need to unfold the base. It collapses flat for easy storage, so you have to make sure you click the braces into place. The inner and the mattress are covered in soft microsuede giving baby a cosy, fully-flat environment in which to sleep. The fabric of our stunning review specimen, in Maya, is a heavy duty nylon mixture that is thick and durable but also has a light sheen that’s really attractive. A handy pocket has been incorporated into the exterior at the foot of the bed.
The carrycot clicks easily to the frame, displaying a little green dot when it is positioned correctly. The hood has a rigid handle to make transferring a sleeping baby an uncomplicated manoeuvre; release the clip at the back of the hood and use the handle to lift off the frame.
A SPF 50 canopy extends out of the hood to cocoon the baby and give full protection; a great feature that we adore, it looks cool, it does the job it’s supposed to do, eliminates the need to buy a third party sun protector and fits neatly back into the hood when not in use. Fantastic touch!
Bums on seats
The seat unit is equally as well made as the carrycot. It can slot into the frame in the forward or reverse facing positions in the same way, turning the red dot to green when it is located correctly. It reclines in four positions by the grab handle at the top of the seat. This action is really smooth, you would never accidentally wake your toddler trying to recline them.
Using the same knuckle technology as the Quinny Buzz 4, the bumper bar is easy to release on one side or both. The padded, adjustable five point harness can be set in three positions depending upon the height of your child and the foot rest can be angled to one of six settings.
Once again, the hood has a large extendable canopy to give great sun protection. A wide peephole in the hood can be folded back to give extra ventilation. It comes with a bug net that zips into the hood and extends to the footrest but it fits so snugly that most children would kick against it and feel somewhat claustrophobic. But worse still, the raincover fits in the same way to vac-pack your offspring. A redeeming factor is that it does have a flap in the front that opens to give extra ventilation but the hole is sealed with a fly mesh, so it doesn’t allow any access to the child. Before ranting about this too much we must point out that a revision to this is on its way. This will be a cover that shields both the hood and the seat...so hang on for the latest version!
The UPPAbaby Vista has been a number one seller in the United States and we can definitely see why. It’s a great, sturdy, good looking pushchair that deserves this credit.....in the States. The only problem with it ‘crossing the pond’ is that it is built for warmer climes. Yes, the sunshades and the bug nets are great add-ons, but let’s face it; wind shielding, effective rain protection and warmth are priorities in the UK.
This said, there is very little to fault on the Vista, we are ranking this among our favourite pushchairs because it does everything so well and so smoothly. You must seek UPPAbaby out and take a look for yourself because the superb standard of manufacture is worth your consideration. Once they have made the modifications that make it more UK friendly, you will see these everywhere.
The RRP for the UPPAbaby Vista £579.99