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Hands-on Gear Review
UPPAbaby Vista Review
Price: $900.00 List | $879.99 at Amazon
Pros: Quality, easy to use, comfortable, expandable
Cons: Expensive, heavy, large, two-handed fold
Bottom line: Top Pick for versatility and urban living with room to grow
The Vista earned a Top Pick award for its room to grow and versatility of seating configurations for a growing family. Combine the cool seating options with top notch functionality, impeccable quality, and a unique niche as a highly-regarded urban stroller and it is easy to see how the Vista earned a top place rank in our full-size stroller review. The Vista was edged out for an Editors' Choice award both by the BOB Revolution and the UPPAbaby Cruz due to a heftier price of at least $360 higher, however, stand-out features make coughing up the extra worthwhile as the Vista is an expandable system that can accommodate more than two riders with ease. There is a solution for pretty much every age from bassinet to infant car seat, and reversible toddler seat to riding scooter and the system can change on the fly. If your budget allows, or your family is growing, you can't go wrong with the Vista.
The UPPAbaby Vista also won an Editors' Choice award in our Double Stroller Review, thanks in part to the versatile seating.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Full-size Strollers of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
UPPAbaby is an American family company that has a combined ten years of experience in the juvenile industry. UPPAbaby draws inspiration from their daily life and strives to make gear that is easy to use, fun and safe. The company's goal is product improvement for convenience, usability, and style. UPPAbaby makes the award winning UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seat and several different strollers including lightweight, full-size, and double options.
The comparison chart shown below shows the overall scores for each stroller we tested in this review. The Vista (in blue) earned the top place in this review and while it missed an Editors' Choice award due to the higher price and heavier weight, it did walk away as a Top Pick for versatility.
The sections below provide more details on the Vista's performance during testing. The individual metric scores were used to determine the overall score with an emphasis on ease of use and maneuverability performance.
Ease of Use
The Vista has the high score for ease of use with an 8 of 10, tying with the Editors' Choice UPPAbaby Cruz.
Ease of use encompasses your everyday experience. The Vista includes a bassinet, rain and bug shields, toddler seat with bumper bar, and storage bin. These kinds of amenities make outings easier.
Fold and Unfold
The Vist fold is a two-step operation that is easy to perform but requires both hands to complete (above left). Once folded, the frame auto-locks (above right) and can stand on its own. Unfolding is also easy with two steps and two hands. The fold can be completed with or without the seat attached.
The Vista has single action brakes that are sandal foot friendly. The brakes are color-coded so you can tell if they are set at a glance. They have a simple, easy push to set and push to release mechanism.
The storage bin on the Vista is the largest in the group and it has the highest maximum allowable weight capacity of 30 lbs. The bin is accessible from all sides and very easy to use. There is a bar that runs across the middle of the basket cutting it in two, but this didn't prevent us from fitting our extra large diaper bag inside. The basket sticks out past the rear wheels, which means you don't have to reach as far under the handlebar as you might with other strollers. The basket also has inside pockets near the back for easy organization on smaller items that could get lost in the basket.
In addition to the under seat basket, there is a small pocket on the back of the seat for convenience items like a phone or keys. Though it may not fit larger phones or a bottle of water, it does have a zipper to securely contain contents.
The Vista has one of the largest canopies with SPF 50+ protection in addition to a kick-out visor for added coverage. This sun shade sports a large mesh peek-a-boo window with magnetic closure and additional ventilation. The sunshade highlight is that it easily slides up or down to accommodate children of varying heights.
The Vista's 5-point harness is easy to put on and take off. The straps make a reassuring "pop" noise as they click into place to ensure they locked. The release button takes a little pressure, but it comes apart easily. The harness has a multi-position crotch strap and three shoulder height adjustments. The partial re-thread loops are sewn to the back of the seat shell under the padding. The loops are somewhat hidden under padding and can be hard to get to if you have larger fingers.
The seat recline is one button push for adjusting up and down (above left). It offers six possible recline positions, including one that is great for napping. The toddler seat also has an adjustable leg rest (above right) for additional comfort as toddlers grow. The footrest on the Vista is shallow, wide, and plastic-covered. The lower seat adjusts in length and angle and the leg rest is nicely padded.
The Vista can expand for up to 3 children with additional seating and riding options sold separately. With the Lower Adapter attached to its frame, it can accommodate 2 UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seats, as well as two bassinets for a nice early solution for twins. The Vista can also work as a double stroller with the inclusion of the RumbleSeat. To create even more room in between each seat, purchasing both the Upper Adapter and Lower Adapter will help keep the troops more comfortable during longer outings. Finally, for a third, older passenger, the PiggyBack ride-along board offers flexibility to catch a ride or to walk.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Vista is compatible with the UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seat, which won a Top Pick award in our Best Infant Car Seat Review and does not need an accessory adapter in the upper position. The Mesa clicks in place on the Vista where the toddler seat or bassinet would go. The connection is easy once you get the sides lined up, and it feels stable.
We also tested the Vista with the Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat, which earned an Editors' Choice, using the UPPAbaby Vista/Cruz Infant Car Seat Adapter for Chicco (sold separately). The Chicco adapter and seat are easy to install, but requires more pressure on the car seat to properly attach the seat to the frame. It creates a stable attachment, but we did have a few incidents of thinking the seat was attached when it really wasn't. We prefer the Mesa seat over the Chicco for this reason. If you are going for the Chicco car seats and are going to use the Vista as a double with the infant car seat in the lower position, you will need to purchase the UPPAbaby Lower Adapter with the Chicco adapter in order to do it.
The Vista is also compatible with some car seats made by Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, and Cybex.
Ease of Setup
The Vista is second only to the UPPAbaby Cruz when it comes to ease of setup earning a 9 of 10. With good documentation and a simple 8-step quick start guide, assembly feels intuitive and took us about 5:35 minutes. Unpacking components took more time than assembly, which in our book is a good thing as quality packing lessens the opportunity for breakage during shipping.
The Vista earned a 7 of 10 in maneuverability, placing fifth in this metric. The BOB Revolution Flex, a jogging stroller, earned the top score with a 9.
In our testing, though the Vista both pushes and turns easier than the UPPAbaby Cruz, due to its increased width, it is predictably more difficult through narrow passageways and tight turns. For pushing and turning on bumpier surfaces like gravel and grass, the Vista managed fairly well. It has larger rubber wheels, which gives it an edge over the competition with plastic wheels.
The Vista has shock-absorbing, no-flat, foam core rubber wheels with independent suspension between the front and rear. The front wheels swivel and can be locked in place for easier pushing over uneven terrain. The wheels are substantial in size with the front ones being 8.2" and the rear 11.3" which renders a very durable feel. The combination of the Vista's shocks, rubber wheels, and cozy seat padding, help create a more comfortable riding experience.
The handlebar has a telescoping adjustment with a center of the bar push button control. The bar can now be ordered in a leather wrapped cover or foam cover depending on the textiles you choose. The tubing shape and size is nice and easy to grip. The stroller rests on the plastic portion of the bar when folded and standing saving the foam or leather from standing damage.
Weight and Folded Size
The Vista scored a 6 of 10 in weight and folded size and it is smaller and lighter than the previous version of the Vista we reviewed.
At 25.9 lbs and 13,043 cubic inches when folded, the Vista is neither the lightest nor most compact stroller in this review. But, it lost almost 2 pounds and 1,000 cubic inches over the old version so improvements have been made in this area. It is about a ¼ of an inch narrower and it is shorter when folded.
The Vista earned an 8 of 10 in quality tying with the BOB Revolution Flex.
The frame is a magnesium aluminum alloy that has a nice finish, a simple design, tight connection points, and very little flex. The telescoping handlebar slides easily in and out of the frame, and the design prevents the flex found in models that have the rotating handlebar adjustment. The handlebar is mostly covered in foam with a plastic center where the adjustment button is located. The overall fit and finish of the Vista is a thoughtful one with very little clutter and nice attention to detail. The fabric and other materials complement one another and appear durable and easy to care for. The fabric fits the seat frame well with no errant stitching or bunching and wrinkling of materials. It has a sleek minimalist feel that still manages to be useful.
Many accessories are available for use with the Vista for an additional cost. Some of our favorites include:
UPPAbaby's other strollers are similarly well-made and worth consideration depending upon your angle.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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