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Light & Nimble: the Bugaboo Bee5 vs UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller 2018

Light & nimble: Bugaboo Bee5 vs UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller 2018

If you’re looking for a lightweight option for whatever your lifestyle, then these two stroller juggernauts will most likely come into the conversation. Both the Bugaboo Bee and the UPPAbaby Cruz have been around for almost (if not more than) a decade and have a tried and true value. Let’s look at their latest versions: the Bugaboo Bee5 Stroller and the UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller 2018!

Bugaboo strollers are notoriously city-focused. That doesn’t mean they can’t work well for suburban families, but they’re built beyond the quality of your average stroller. They tend to last nearly a decade with minimal maintenance, and have backwards compatible parts that allow older models to be updated with current fabrics, canopies, baskets, and wheels.

The reason they last so long is twofold. First of all, the Bee5 has some of the most brilliantly overt suspension of any stroller on the market. Since its inception it has had thick, durable 3 inch coils on both its front and rear wheels. From years of working with strollers, we know if a coil is of the best quality, because we’ve seen and tested so many. We consider it quality if it begins quite stiff, only to gradually loosen over time with the weight of the child bearing down on them. The coils on the Bugaboo Bee give the stroller a bounce that allows it to take cobblestones and bricks incredibly well, which always surprises people considering its size. 

The other half of the equation is the Bugaboo Bee5’s rounded frame, which distributes the weight of its cargo (child + basket) very evenly between all four wheels, and stops it from putting too much pressure on one particular part of the stroller as you go over rougher spots. As of right now, there are no 2018 updates to the Bugaboo Bee5.

Aside from suspension, the Bee has some other cool features too. Two of the more unique features involve the seat. The Bee’s seat is reversible, and it is one of the few strollers we carry that are able to fold with the seat facing either way (you or the world). It also has a truly one-of-a-kind method of adjusting the height of the straps. Bugaboo have, in my opinion, the easiest straps to deal with, and the Bee5 Stroller adds the particularly unique method of just lifting up the back of the seat as kiddo grows. The butt of the seat does the same, so you’re essentially extending the back and the butt of the seat to accommodate a larger child. It gives them unparalleled space for the crotch strap, as well as a great way to make a small stroller work for a super tall kid.

Otherwise, the Bugaboo Bee5 has some features that compare with the UPPAbaby Cruz. Features like:

  • Reversible seat
  • Ability to add a bassinet
  • XL UV protectant canopy
  • The stylish leather(ette) handlebars

The Bugaboo Bee5 features vegan leather while all styles of the UPPAbaby Cruz 2018 feature real leather. The Bee5 also has a surprisingly extendable handlebar that makes it possible even for parents 6’5” and above to push without kicking the back of the stroller. The Bee5 is customizable from the top down (frame, seat fabric, canopy, leather, wheel caps!), able to match whatever style aspirations you set for your new life with baby.

UPPAbaby are still one of the most tried and tested strollers on the market, but I tend to view their two full-size strollers as Urban vs. Suburban. The Vista is their Urban stroller, and the Cruz is their suburban. The UPPAbaby Cruz has some of the absolute best features in its weight class. It has a great reversible seat with 5 positions of recline (vs the Bugaboo Bee’s 3 position recline). Like the Bee5 it has great canopies with easily cleanable fabrics, but UPPAbaby strollers feature the only real leather on the US stroller market. The fabric updates for 2018 put it directly in competition with the style of the Bee.

The UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller 2018 has a bunch of unique features for its weight class as well.

  • It has a sleep safe bassinet and a stand option (both sold separately), so your bassinet won’t just be for stroller usage.
  • It has a standing fold that keeps the stroller upright and out of the way if you have to keep it in a small space (great for apartments), as well as an enormous storage basket.
  • For a stroller in its weight class, the Cruz has one of the deepest and easiest to access storage baskets on the market, which is great for anyone who has to grocery shop with a stroller, or just happens to carry a lot of cargo.

The UPPAbaby Cruz 2018 stroller seat fits babies 6 months and up, meaning it requires a newborn insert, UPPAbaby’s SnugSeat, to accommodate children under 6 months. Where the Cruz becomes more suburban leaning is in its wheels. It has rubberized foam, similar to the Bugaboo Bee5, but lacks rear wheel suspension. Its frame is quite rigid comparatively, so it takes bumps more roughly. Its front wheel suspension is there, but minimal. 

Nonetheless, I think what makes the Cruz so unique is its size, considering its weight class. Both the Bugaboo Bee5 and the UPPAbaby Cruz weigh around 19lbs, but their profiles are drastically different. The Bee feels somewhere between a travel stroller and a full-sized stroller, considering how low to the ground it is and its minimal storage basket. Its fold is quite small too, folding one handed and collapsing onto the ground in a small ball.

The UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller feels much more substantial in size, with a wider and longer profile and basket to match, and the standing fold makes it feel much more like a full-sized stroller than a travel stroller. Both are equally easy to carry or lug in and out of your trunk. The smaller profile of the Bee makes the stroller feel heavier due to its condensed fold, but don’t believe that illusion. The Cruz is much longer and distributes its weight very evenly over the whole of its frame, making it feel lighter than the Bee. That said, for those with truly compact cars, the Bee is absolutely the better fit in regards to trunk space.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions. No matter where you are in the stroller search process, we’ll be here help. Give our baby gear experts a ring at (866) 600-2326 or send us an email at questions@mbeans.com. 

Mike is a Gear Guru at both our Boston and Brookline locations!

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