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Hands-on Gear Review
UPPAbaby Vista Review
Price: $860.00 List | $789.99 at Amazon - 8% off
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 in our stroller review for its strength in versatility with room to grow combined with top notch functionality, impeccable quality, and a unique niche as a highly-regarded urban stroller. It 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. Nonetheless, stand-out features make coughing up extra worthwhile as the Vista is an expandable system that can accommodate more than two riders with ease. Regarding versatility, there is a solution for pretty much every age from bassinet to infant car seat to reversible toddler seat, and the system can change on the fly.
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
The UPPAbaby brand has reliably hit a sweet spot in the stroller market by producing high-end, easy to use strollers at a lower price point than other well-known, uber-expensive brands like Bugaboo and Stokke. Because UPPAbaby products are durable, highly functional, and timeless in design, they present a great value for growing families. Both the Vista and the UPPAbaby Cruz pair nicely with the UPPAbaby Mesa infant car seat, which won an Editors' Choice award in our Best Infant Car Seat review.
Update — January 2017
UPPAbaby has updated the Vista for 2017. The 2017 version of this stroller will have a 1" narrower wheelbase and will be about 24 ounces lighter than the previous version. Other changes include updated textiles and colors. The new Vista will be available sometime in spring of 2017.
Committed to quality, UPPAbaby made big improvements to the beloved Vista in 2015:
The comparison chart shown below shows the overall scores for each stroller we tested in this review. The Vista is shown in blue and earned the top place of 19 strollers. While it missed an Editors' Choice award due to price, it did walk away with a Top Pick award.
The sections below provide further details on how the Vista performed in each metric during testing. The metric scores were used to determine the overall score with a weighted emphasis on the ease of use and maneuverability performance scores.
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.
Included with the Vista are the following accessories:
The inclusion of a bassinet with the Vista is really a valuable feature. Suitable for infants up to 20 pounds and 25″ long, it is also passes muster with ASTM safety standards to be used as an overnight sleeping solution because of its attention to breathability. The bassinet has a perforated breathable mattress pad and vented base and, with a back that unzips and opens for additional airflow. The mattress is sold with two liners, one inner and another zip-out for laundering. The bassinet also has a boot cover to keep baby further cocooned from germs and warm in colder weather.
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 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.
The recline is an easy to use one button push for adjusting up and down. It offers six possible recline positions, including one that is great for napping. Only a handful of other products offered a button as opposed to the more common two straps meeting in the middle through a plastic pull. The photos above illustrate the variability in seating angle between fully upright with the canopy open versus fully reclined with the canopy closed.
An adjustable leg rest is an important comfort feature as a child's legs become longer. While the footrest on the Vista is shallow, it is a wide, plastic-covered spot for older feet to rest. The entirety of the lower seat adjusts together and the leg rest is nicely padded.
The Vista has one of the largest canopies in this review with SPF 50+ protection in addition to a kick-out visor for added coverage. This sun shade also sports a large peek-a-boo window with magnetic closure for silent peeking and a mesh window for additional ventilation. The surprise canopy highlight is its adjustability to easily slide up or down to accommodate children of varying heights.
The storage bin on the Vista is not only the largest in the group of 19 products, but also has the highest maximum allowable weight capacity of 30 lbs. The second best is the UPPAbaby Cruz at 25 lbs. The Vista's 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 in our extra large diaper bag during testing. The back of the basket sticks out far past the rear wheels, which means you don't have to reach as far under the handlebar as you might with other strollers. In addition to the storage basket under the seat, there is also 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 so you can feel comfortable knowing that items are securely contained.
The Vista earned a 7 of 10 in maneuverability, below the BOB Revolution Flex with a 9 of 10.
Thus, for pushing and turning on bumpier surfaces like shallow gravel and grass, the Vista managed fairly well. It has larger rubber wheels, which gives it an edge over the competition with plastic wheels.
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.
The Vista has shock-absorbing, no-flat, foam core rubber wheels with independent suspension between the front and rear. 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 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 used compliment 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.
For safety, the Vista earned a 7 of 10 for safety, just below the highest scoring Baby Jogger City Select.
The Vista wowed with colored indicators that signal a faulty frame-seat attachment (above left) versus a correctly installed seat (above right).
The Vista's 5-point harness is easy to put on and take off, but both side straps are a little stiff. They do make a reassuring "pop" noise as they click into place to ensure they are locked appropriately. The release button takes a little pressure to to release, but it comes apart easily. Along with a multi-position crotch strap, there are three shoulder height adjustments that can be made. The partial re-thread loops are sewn to the back of the seat shell under the padding that the shoulder straps clip onto. However, these are somewhat hidden under the padding and can be hard to get to if you have larger fingers. Once you get the loop out, it is very easy to change.
Weight and Folded Size
The Vista scored a 5 of 10 in weight and folded size. At 27.8 lbs and 14,416 cubic inches when folded, the Vista is neither the lightest nor most compact stroller in this review.
The featherweight strollers at 17.5 pounds in this review are the Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini.
The Vist fold can be accomplished with or without the seat attached. With seat attached, it 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.
Ease of Setup
The Vista is second only to the UPPAbaby Cruz when it comes to ease of setup earning a 9 of 10 to the Cruz's perfect 10. With good documentation and a simple 8-step quick start guide, assembly feels intuitive and took us about 5:35 minutes to complete. In fact, unpacking components took more time than assembly, which in our book is a good thing as quality packing lessens opportunity for breakage during shipping.
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 side lined up, and we felt it was stable once installed.
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 is 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, something we didn't experience with the Mesa seat. The Chicco is a cheaper car seat, but once you purchase the adapter, and considering it is harder to install, we prefer the Mesa seat over the Chicco. The Mesa also scored higher in our car seat review, so you can feel confident you are getting a nice seat for your stroller.
If you are going for the Chicco KeyFit 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 and Cruz also are compatible with some infant car seats made by Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, and Cybex.
Though it has a price point of $860, everything about the Vista screams VALUE, offering much more than any of its higher or similarly-priced options tested in this review, namely the Bugaboo Cameleon3 $1149 and the 4moms Origami $850. With an included bassinet, parents can begin strolling baby in the Vista from birth. In addition, with attention to sleep safety, the bassinet also meets ASTM guidelines for use as an overnight sleeping option. Its toddler seat is reversible for parent-facing or forward-facing, depending on age and/or preference, and with a deep adjustable recline and large sunshade, napping on the go is a shoe-in.
Earning a Top Pick award for versatility and the highest score in this review, we highly recommend the UPPAbaby Vista. It is a top-performer with impressive performance in most metrics and strengths for both ease of use and quality. If the Vista is within your budget, don't let the higher price deter you; in the long-run this full-featured, highly functional, and expandable system is a great buy and beloved stroller among families.
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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