By Maura Keating
Last year, we wrote about the G-LITE, the best umbrella stroller around, so we were thrilled when we heard that UPPAbaby was making a RumbleSeat for their popular Vista stroller. UPPAbaby is a local company, based nearby in Massachusetts. We interviewed Lauren Monahan for our Home Work series last year. The UPPAbaby Vista has been making news as the newest stroller on the block that offers single to double conversion. Like Phil and Ted’s, the Vista’s double approach stacks the kids, offering a slimmer, shorter design than that of a side-by-side stroller model. Yet the Vista is not a Phil and Ted’s clone. There are quite a few features that make the Vista with its RumbleSeat stand out.
The UPPAbaby Vista is the only stroller that my infant daughter likes. She is tolerant of other strollers– she’ll hang out in them for about twenty minutes before she begins to fuss and demands an exit. If I want her to sleep in the stroller, for a long walk, say, or a trip to the zoo, I need to get her to sleep FIRST, then put in her into the stroller. Not so with the Vista. I’m not sure what the difference is, but my daughter is content for longer periods of time in the Vista when she is awake AND she has fallen asleep several times on walks and even in the house. Why is she in the stroller in the house? Because when the Vista arrived, my son liked it so much that he likes to take “pretend walks” around the living room.
The Vista comes standard with an interchangeable bassinet and toddler seat, as well as zip-on rain cover and a mesh sun/bug shield. I love the small size of the rain cover and sun/bug shields. They are easy to store and easy to take with you– just in case. There is no rain or bug protection available for the Vista when the RumbleSeat is attached, but UPPAbaby says that there are plans in the works . . . stay tuned! The Toddler Seat and Rumble Seat have independent sun canopies with sun protection of SPF 50+. Both canopies provided great protection from the sun. The canopy on the Toddler Seat has a very large mesh peek-a-boo window to check up on the upper rider.
When the ToddlerSeat is installed solo, it can be installed facing forward or backward, depending on Kid’s preference and/or who is driving. When you add the RumbleSeat to the Vista, the RumbleSeat must be installed facing backward (facing whomever is pushing). The ToddlerSeat can be attached facing forward for an infant with the footrest flipped upward to give the child in the RumbleSeat a little room. When Baby gets older (6 months+), Baby can transition into the RumbleSeat and the ToddlerSeat can be installed facing backward. The RumbleSeat has a weight limit of thirty-five pounds. The ToddlerSeat has a weight limit of fifty pounds. You’ll be okay using this stroller for quite some time. Facing backwards may be a drawback for some kids, but my son loves it. He can still see what is going on and he can see me. It makes conversations much easier–no more stopping the stroller to lean over to him to say, “What?” Being able to see each other makes walks more enjoyable for both of us. When both kids are facing backwards, you cannot see the lower child. My infant daughter doesn’t mind not seeing me, but might object later when she has something to say about it.
The Vista’s ToddlerSeat sits quite a bit higher than other strollers. The stroller could be used at a restaurant if a high chair is not available (or too caked with goo for use). The height means less bending for you, and Baby has a better sight line when in the ToddlerSeat. The RumbleSeat is installed below the main ToddlerSeat, but is still much higher than the lower seat on the Phil and Ted’s stroller. This will be a huge plus for parents who worry about Baby being too low, near dirty streets, or dangerously close to the wheels of the stroller. The RumbleSeat is quick to install once you figure out how to line up the plastic clamps onto the metal frame. A foot rest attaches to the bottom of the seat and divides the lower basket–preserving just enough room in the storage basket for you! A child must be in the ToddlerSeat in order to use the RumbleSeat, but the stroller is stable enough that it does not turn over when the main seat is unoccupied . . . in case the child in the main seat makes an unexpected, hasty exit. The RumbleSeat can also be used with car seat adapters for Chicco, Graco, or Peg Perego car seats–a configuration that we did not test. The RumbleSeat cannot be used with the Vista’s included Bassinet.
The ToddlerSeat reclines in three positions by pulling a handle in the back–from flat to upright. I wish there were greater variability in the seat adjustment, especially with the upright position. The entire seat reclines, but the foot rest is adjustable, making the main seat perfect for a good nap. Sadly, the RumbleSeat does not recline and must be used with children who are six months or older. When the RumbleSeat and ToddlerSeat are both facing backwards, neither seat can recline. This may be a problem for parents who want (or need) kids to take a nap in a reclined stroller.
Providence’s city streets are riddled with glass and I love that the Vista’s EVA foam and rubber tires will never get a flat–one less thing to worry about. Because the tires are not air-filled, the ride is a little less smooth on bumpy terrain, but the suspension on the Vista is very good. The wheel base is very wide–wider than the stroller seat. I often forget or misjudge the width of the stroller and run into doorways. The turning radius is extremely tight and it is easy to turn the Vista one-handed. These features make it easy to give in to my son’s demands for pretend walks around the house.
The Vista includes a bumper bar for the toddler seat that must be installed during use. My infant daughter loves the bar since I can attach toys to it to keep her entertained. My toddler son finds that the bar gets in the way for easy ins and outs. The Toddler Seat and the Rumble Seat have a padded five-point harness that is easy to adjust and easy to put on and off–too easy, in fact, since my two-year-old son was able to unclick it within seconds of his first time in the seat. The Vista has a height adjustable handle that extends further than any other I’ve tested. Another bonus for taller users is the “no kick” arched rear axle. The Vista has a very large basket underneath for storage. I love that the basket is still accessible even when the RumbleSeat is in use. Although there is no cup holder (sold separately), the storage basket has pockets in the back that are perfect for stashing a sippy cup, cell phone, or other small items for easy reach. The Vista’s brake is located at the back of the right wheel. It is easy to engage and disengage and responds with a satisfying “click” so you know it’s working. The Vista’s one-step fold is very easy (I didn’t even need to read the directions!), but it must be folded with the Toddler Seat facing forward and in an upright position. The Rumble Seat must be detached to fold the Vista, but you can leave the footrest attached. When folded, the Vista stands for easy closet storage. There is no handle to transport the Vista when it is folded.
If you are looking for a stroller that can handle just about everything life throws your way, you can’t go wrong with the VISTA. New to the double stroller landscape, the VISTA with its optional RumbleSeat paints quite a pretty picture.
Will It Fit In My Car*?: Folded dimensions (wheels on): 32″L 26.5″W 18″H; Stroller Weight: 24lbs.
Will It Fit Out My Door?*: Assembled dimensions: 35″L 25″W 44″H
Weight Limit: Toddler Seat Weight Limit: 50 lbs., Rumble Seat Weight Limit: 35 lbs.
Color Palette: Denny, Carlin, Myles, Mica, Jake & Alex
*Information provided by manufacturer
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UPPbaby provided a review sample for this article. Neither the author nor Kidoinfo has received any monetary compensation for this review and we have no undisclosed relationship with the UPPAbaby company.