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The best city strollers for urban parents

urban strollers bugaboo cameleon

The city has it all: museums and theatres, symphonies and ballets, breathtaking skylines, mass transit, awesome restaurants, and so much more. Plus, with crime rates dropping, more and more families are choosing to stay in the city instead of migrating out to the burbs when they have kids.

We maintain – through our experiences and those related to us by our customers – that if you live in the city, your stroller is, to some extent, the equivalent of your car. You’ll be using it every day while your kids are little to go to the cafe, the grocery store, playgroups, playgrounds, and all of those other urban mom habitats, and if you’re using a stroller constantly, it’s going to save you a lot of headaches if it performs well.

That’s why it’s worth investing in a “House Stroller”: a fully-featured stroller that will seldom if ever need to get packed into your car, and will feel great to push. The best urban strollers have plenty of storage space for diaper bags and shopping trips, and they have no problem skimming over sidewalk cracks or playground mulch. They also all have reversible seats so you and your baby can bond as you stroll, and they all have adjustable handlebars, for a custom fit for mom or dad.

These urban strollers are also all designed to adapt for the best ride for babies as they grow, with the option to use infant car seat adapters and/or bassinets. These two newborn-optimized features have their own advantages:

  • Infant car seat adapter: This handy-dandy device turns your urban stroller into a custom travel system. So, if your baby is snoozing in the car, instead of unbuckling her and risking waking her (my god, don’t wake the baby!), you can just click the bucket seat off the base and onto the stroller.
  • Stroller bassinet: Newborns need to lie flat, and a bassinet positions them properly for a longer stroll (infant car seats aren’t supposed to be used for extended sleeping). Babies also love the enclosed feel, and we love how stroller bassinets look.

With that said: each one of these top picks has a few special advantages, so let’s examine them in some more detail, shall we?

Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Stroller
urban strollers bugaboo cameleonThis is the latest version of the original luxury stroller, which means that in addition to all of the innovations of the first-generation Bugaboo Frog, it’s been refined for three generations using parent feedback. The result is a stroller that feels just as good as it looks (and it looks great): there’s nothing like pushing a Bugaboo!

Superior engineering and adjustable suspension ensure a smooth ride for your kiddo, and the Cameleon is designed to adapt for all-terrain strolling – you can switch the direction of the handlebar to put the big back wheels up front, or even click into two-wheel position for snow or sand (yes, you can take your Cameleon to the beach).

The Cameleon is also the lightest and most compact stroller in this roundup, weighing in at a relatively slender 21 pounds. Plus, you remove the seat to fold it, so you’re lifting even less. Oh, and speaking of paring your stroller down: the Cameleon comes with one seat frame and separate fabrics to use it as a bassinet or toddler seat, so there’s less extra stuff to store.

Because the fabrics are made to be removed, that also makes it easy to keep your Cameleon looking and smelling nice – if there’s a mess, just take the canvas off and chuck it in the wash. Plus, if you get bored with the color, just try another fabric set! The Cameleon is also available in some absolutely mindblowing special edition colors and patterns – check out the Elements Special Edition, for instance.

UPPAbaby Vista Stroller
vista 2015The Vista is a longtime favorite here in Boston: if you visit our store in Brookline, you’ll see herds of Vistas nosing their way along Beacon Street and Harvard Avenue, with happy tots aboard. Like the Cameleon, the Vista has gone through a few changes using parent feedback, and the latest version is winning mighty accolades for its intuitive and multi-functional use.

There’s a lot to say about the Vista, but there are two main points I’d like to hammer home:

  • The under-seat basket is truly gigantic. Parents love, love, love, love, LOVE how big it is – UPPAbaby fan Liz at MamaLoveNYC boasts, “I have even fit a case of 160 diapers under there and walked 20 blocks with it!”
  • Alone among the strollers on this list, the Vista can convert to a double! Previous models also offered a Rumble Seat, but the current version is so much better that it was a total game-changer for us.

Cybex Priam Stroller
cybex-priam-trekking-light-autumn-goldAll of these urban strollers are amazing to look at, but in my opinion, the Priam is the ultimate head-turner: the chrome accents, white-accented tires, and twill-look fabrics are all absolutely magnificent. Plus, it hasn’t been around for as long as the Cameleon or the Vista, so you’re going to have a lot of people asking you where on earth you got such a gorgeous and unusual stroller.

With that said, it wouldn’t matter how pretty the Priam was if it wasn’t an absolute joy to push! Our review here goes into some detail about the terrific engineering and suspension, and the Priam also has a unique solution to the issue of multi-terrain strolling – you can choose from three different kinds of wheels! Try the thin, light City wheels, the tougher Trekking wheels, or the ultimate All-Terrain wheels to conquer every surface.

You also can choose from two possible seats – the padded Lux seat or the transforming 2-in-1 Light Seat, which works much like the Cameleon’s seat (just switch out fabrics to switch from bassinet to toddler seat).

Finally: ever see a stroller on skis? They’re sold separately, and they are really, really cool.

Nuna Mixx Stroller
nuna mixx strollerThe last (but not least) urban stroller on this list is a newer upstart that impressed the heck out of us last year, and has won big cheers from our stroller experts and from reviewers everywhere. It has a lot of the great features we love on the other strollers above, with all-terrain strolling at the top of the list: those big back wheels and the spiffy exposed front-and-rear wheel suspension ensure that you can push this guy over whatever you need to. This is one major reason why I recommended it for a good friend in a Stroller Matchmaking session, and yes, you can also take the Mixx to the beach!

The Mixx also has a great mix(x) of other details that may surprise you: for instance, the gigantic under-seat basket has a divider and a zippered pocket, and the stroller seat can turn into a bassinet-like environment if you lay it flat, lift the leg rest, and fasten the bottom of the seat fabric upwards.

It also has an incredibly easy fold (multiple reviewers say it basically folds itself), with the seat facing in either direction, and you can roll it along like a suitcase!

Finally: we are absolutely in love with the new Nuna Jett Collection version of the Mixx, which has upgraded tweed fabrics, a leather-look arm bar and handlebar, metallic accents on the frame and wheels, and a gorgeous bassinet included. You know, just in case this stroller wasn’t already stylish enough!


This is a lot of info to absorb, right? And every single one of these city strollers is a total gem, so that makes it tough to decide. Ultimately, what we believe will make the decision for you is getting your hands on all four of these strollers and giving them a push, so if you can, come to your nearest Magic Beans and meet with one of our expert Stroller Matchmakers! You’re going to be using this stroller every day, so we want to make sure you love every minute of it.

magic beans stroller buying guide

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