≪ Go to our review of Full-size Strollers

Hands-on Gear Review

UPPAbaby Cruz Review

Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $550.00 List | $549.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to use, lots of supplies fit in storage, quality materials
Cons:  Harder to push with smaller wheels, lower safety score
Bottom line:  Editors' Choice stroller we really enjoyed with lots of features that work well
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
Manufacturer:   UPPAbaby

The Skinny

The Cruz is an impressive stroller that stands out in the crowd. This stroller has a high for ease of use and is relatively light and small for what it has to offer. It has a sleek aluminum alloy frame that doesn't flex under pressure. The adjustable seat has a variety of possible positions and removes in a snap without a struggle for storage or adding a car seat. It features one of the only adjustable leg/foot rest in the group and has a maximum allowable storage capacity that is second only to the UPPAbaby Vista, its big brother. While we wish it were easier to push, we can forgive this small failing thanks to all it has to offer and we think it is a great choice for most families.

The UPPAbaby Cruz also performed well in our Best Stroller and Car Seat Combos review, earning an Editors' Choice award and proving it is a good option from infant to toddler with infant car seat combination potential.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Full-size Strollers of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Wednesday
August 2, 2017

Share:
The UPPAbaby Cruz is an easy to use stroller with functional features that make taking your baby on outings easy and fun.
The UPPAbaby Cruz is an easy to use stroller with functional features that make taking your baby on outings easy and fun.

UPPAbaby is a family run American company with more than a decade of experience in the juvenile product industry. They draw inspiration from daily family life and strive to create products that are easy to use, safe, and fun. UPPAbaby's goal is to improve products without sacrificing convenience, usability, or style. UPPAbaby also offers an infant car seat, the award winning UPPAbaby Mesa, and several stroller options that include lightweight, full-size, double, and umbrella options.



Performance Comparison


This comparison chart shows each full-size stroller we tested and their overall scores. The UPPAbaby Cruz (in blue) came in 4th place and earned an Editors' Choice award.


The sections below detail how the Cruz performed during testing for each metric. Scores from our metric tests are combined to calculate overall scores with emphasis given to ease of use and maneuverability.

The Cruz is the easiest stroller to use in the review with features that are intuitive and simple.
The Cruz is the easiest stroller to use in the review with features that are intuitive and simple.

Ease of Use


The Cruz is so easy to use it earned the highest score in the metric with an 8 tying with its brother the UPPAbaby Vista.


Ease of use impacts your everyday experience including the amenities you use the most.

Folding the Cruz takes two hands and is started by pulling up on the release levers on each side.
The Cruz auto-locks when you fold it and is easy to unlock by pressing on the lock tab.
 

Fold and Unfold


The fold on the Cruz requires two hands and two steps to complete. It features an auto-lock and a self-stand, but no carry strap. We weren't big fans of the self-stand because it is a little temperamental, and you do need to bend all the way over to complete the fold, but the steps are few and the process is simple. Unfolding is a similar story, also requiring two hands and two steps, but we did find it a little easier than the fold.

The Cruz brake pedal is large and sandal foot friendly.
The Cruz brake pedal is large and sandal foot friendly.

Brakes


The Cruz has single action brakes that are sandal foot friendly and easy to set and release. The brake is one giant red pedal in the center of the back side of the frame near the storage bin and is easy to access.

The Cruz offers the second largest storage bin in the review and holds up to 25 lbs of supplies. We fit our extra large diaper bag inside with no problems.
The Cruz offers the second largest storage bin in the review and holds up to 25 lbs of supplies. We fit our extra large diaper bag inside with no problems.

Storage


This stroller has one of the largest storage bins with one of the highest allowable weight capacities at 25 pounds. The bin is extra-large and easy access on all sides including the front (a rarity). We fit our extra large diaper bag inside with no problem, and it didn't matter what position the seat was in.

The Cruz has a large canopy with a great peek-a-boo window that offers good visibility and magnetic closure.
The Cruz has a large canopy with a great peek-a-boo window that offers good visibility and magnetic closure.

Sunshade


The Cruz's sunshade is impressive in size and quality with SPF +50 and kick-out sun visor for extra protection. It offers additional ventilation when fully open and it has a large peek-a-boo window made of mesh that is easy to see through.

The buckle and harness on the Cruz are easy to adjust and has a smooth operation.
The buckle and harness on the Cruz are easy to adjust and has a smooth operation.

Harness


The 5-point harness is easy peasy to put on, take off, and to adjust and change shoulder height and crotch strap positions. The adjustable crotch strap increases the chances that you can get a good fit. The two side straps pop as they click in the buckle, so you know they are in, and while the release button can be a little stiff, the parts come apart easily. It offers a non-rethread harness adjustment with a unique hook system that is easy to use once you know how.

The Cruz leg rest is adjustable for more cozy napping for little ones. Very few full-size strollers we reviewed offer this useful feature.
The Cruz leg rest is adjustable for more cozy napping for little ones. Very few full-size strollers we reviewed offer this useful feature.

Seat


The Cruz has an adjustable leg/foot rest, which is rare and only two other products we reviewed offered this. The pair is adjustable in several positions, and the footrest is wide but shallow. The footrest is made of plastic, and easy to clean.The seat back recline is another shining feature. It is easy to use with a push button operation that works with one hand.

Even when upright the Cruz seat back is somewhat angled for a comfortable ride.
The Cruz has a very nice recline that is flat and cozy for napping.
 


The photos above show the Cruz with the seat back in the upright position and fully reclined.

The Cruz works with the UPPAbaby Mesa without adapters. The install is easy and requires little pressure to complete.
The Cruz works with the UPPAbaby Mesa without adapters. The install is easy and requires little pressure to complete.

Car Seat Compatibility


The Cruz works with the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat and uses the toddler seat attachment points on the stroller frame, so there are no adapters to misplace. The Mesa connects with a click in method and requires the toddler seat and canopy (they are connected) to be removed. It is easy to click in once you get both sides lined up properly, and feels stable. In our tests, we did not experience any false installations where we thought it was connected but wasn't. The frame weighs 14 pounds 14 ounces, making it on par with some of the stroller and car seat combos we reviewed, this potentially makes the Cruz the only stroller you need to buy. The UPPAbaby Mesa won a Top Pick award in our infant car seat review and would create a great travel system with the Cruz.

With the purchase of additional adapters  the Cruz can work with a few other infant car seat types  including the Chicco Keyfit 30 seen here.
With the purchase of additional adapters, the Cruz can work with a few other infant car seat types, including the Chicco Keyfit 30 seen here.

With the purchase of an adapter, the stroller is compatible with some Maxi-Cosi seats, Chicco options, the Nuna Pipa, and several Cybex options. The Chicco Keyfit 30 is an Editors' Choice winner in our infant car seat review, making it a nice budget-friendly option. However, after purchasing the adapter and the car seat, it comes closer to the price of the Mesa which fits on the frame without an adapter. For additional information on how the Cruz works with an infant car seat, please see our stroller and car seat combo review

Ease of Setup



The Cruz is the easiest in the group to set up. Its brother, the UPPAbaby Vista, is also easy and earned a 9. The Cruz takes about 4 and half minutes to assemble, and the included manual includes a simple, quick start guide with seven clear steps.

The Cruz isn't the easiest to maneuver  but there are harder options in this review and it works well enough to prevent frustration.
The Cruz isn't the easiest to maneuver, but there are harder options in this review and it works well enough to prevent frustration.

Maneuverability


The Cruz struggled a bit with maneuverability compared to some of the competition. It is better than about half of the products, but not good enough to make it a top performer with a 6 of 10.


The BOB Revolution Flex, a jogging stroller, earned the top score with a 9.

For pushing and turning on pavement the Cruz requires two hands. It rolls smoothly, but the turns are a bit difficult. The handlebar adjustment is in the center of the handle, which makes it hard to use one handed. The stroller has a longer wheelbase that makes sharper turns more difficult, but it did move well over carpet and in general, was nicer than about half the competition.

For pushing and turning off pavement it manages fairly well with no trouble over grass and only the occasional hiccup over gravel. The front wheels tend to get hung up on irregular rocks and the front wheels can be locked to prevent swiveling if needed for pushing on rougher surfaces.

Locking the front wheels in place can make pushing the Cruz over uneven terrain easier and prevent random veering.
Locking the front wheels in place can make pushing the Cruz over uneven terrain easier and prevent random veering.

The Cruz doesn't have the typical suspension. The wheels are foam filled plastic made with what UPPAbaby calls AirGo that offer shock absorbing properties and lightweight foam filling that prevent them from becoming misshapen. It is hard to tell if these make for a more comfortable ride, but we feel the stroller is relatively comfortable with nice padding on the seat and no wobble or movement where the seat attaches to the frame.

The Cruz handlebar telescopes in and out for height adjustment and the leather wrapped bar feels good in the hand. We do wish the button wasn't in the center because this makes pushing it with one hand difficult.
The Cruz handlebar telescopes in and out for height adjustment and the leather wrapped bar feels good in the hand. We do wish the button wasn't in the center because this makes pushing it with one hand difficult.

The handlebar has a telescoping adjustment that prevents flex in the frame or handlebar. It has a nice range from 40.6 to 43.2 inches. The tubing is a nice size and shape and it is easy to grip. The bar is foam covered with the exception of the handle adjustment button that is hard plastic and the new updates include a leather wrapped handlebar that feels good in the hand.

The Cruz is relatively lightweight and compact for a full-size stroller and it will fit on most average sized vehicles with ease.
The Cruz is relatively lightweight and compact for a full-size stroller and it will fit on most average sized vehicles with ease.

Weight and Folded Size


For a stroller with so much to offer it is surprisingly light with a weight of 21.5 pounds.


The lightest strollers in the group are the Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini, both weighing 17.5 pounds. The folded size of the Cruz is also relatively impressive measuring at 22.2"W x 14.7"H x 36.5"L and 11,911 cubic inches.

The Cruz offers a durable design made with quality materials for a finished product that has few equals.
The Cruz offers a durable design made with quality materials for a finished product that has few equals.

Quality


We were impressed with the overall quality of the Cruz and it earned a 7 of 10 in this metric 1 point below the high score shared by the UPPAbaby Vista and the BOB Revolution Flex.


The fabric on the seat, basket, and canopy is a soft and tightly woven canvas that is nice to the touch and wipes clean relatively easily. The canvas reaches all the way down to the footrest that is made of smooth plastic.

The solid connection and adjustment points on the Cruz limit any flex or sway we found while pushing other strollers.
The solid connection and adjustment points on the Cruz limit any flex or sway we found while pushing other strollers.

The sides of the basket are made of a sturdy rubber coated mesh. The storage basket has a stiff piece of plastic on the bottom to help retain shape and prevent the bottom from dropping low when loaded. The peek-a-boo window is a very loosely woven mesh that didn't snag in our tests. The extendable sunshade is made out of new thicker reflective material that fits the seat nicely.

The welded aluminum frame has a nice tight finish that is simple in design. Everything lines up nicely and attaches well with no rattle. The overall fit and finish are very nice and the fabric wraps around the seat frame well with no bunches or wrinkles. The stitching is well done and we didn't see any doubled stitching or errors. The frame is sturdy and the materials appear durable. There is no flex to this frame or handlebar.

Manufacturer Video




Accessories


Many accessories are available for use with the Vista for an additional cost. Some of our favorites include:
  • UPPAbaby Parent Organizer — This handy organizer accessory gives parents a place to store items close at hand. With cup holders and storage, it offers what is otherwise missing for convenience on the Cruz.
The Mesa uses the so-called "American belt path" method over the lower portion of the carrier. This is super easy to do and helped it earn a Top Pick award in our review.
  • UPPAbaby Infant Snug Seat
    UPPAbaby Infant SnugSeat — The SnugSeat offers extra support for infant's neck and back that can be used until baby is 21 pounds. This Snugseat is made with reversible plush material on one side and moisture wicking material on the other that allows for versatility depending on the weather.
  • UPPAbaby Snack Tray — Remov
    UPPAbaby Snack Tray
    able and dishwasher-safe, this UPPAbaby accessory Snack Tray comes complete with a shallow dish for snacks and a cup holder. This accessory attaches in the same location as the bump bar, so you will need to remove the bar to use the tray.

Other Versions


UPPAbaby makes several strollers including the Cruz and Vista in this review.
Other UPPAbaby Strollers include:
  • UPPAbaby G-Luxe
    The G-Luxe is a lightweight stroller with a reclining padded seat and large canopy. This stroller has a carry strap, under seat storage, and adjustable leg rest. It is a nice stroller but it didn't score as high in our umbrella review as we would have thought.
  • UPPAbaby G-Lite
    The G-Lite is an umbrella stroller that doesn't recline but is lightweight and small when folded. This stroller has fewer features than the G-Luxe and is good for travel but will likely disappoint for longer outings due to a lack of napping space and proper storage.
  • UPPAbaby Vista Double
    The UPPAbaby Vista can also be a double stroller with the addition of a second seat or infant car seat. This makes it a versatile growing family option with large storage and nice features that make outings with multiples a breeze.
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

  • Share this article:
You Might Also Like

Where to Buy?

Seller Price sort asc Shipping Cost Visit
Amazon $549.99 Check Site see it

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help BabyGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above links and if you make any purchase, a portion of sale helps support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund things like our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states, and for ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


BabyGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 2, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
 
Where to Buy?
Seller Price
Amazon $549.99

*You help support BabyGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.

Follow Us

Unbiased.