The 2011 UPPAbaby VISTA and RumbleSeat

I have been a big fan of the UPPAbaby VISTA for a long time. Just before having my fourth child, 15 months after number 3 (who was born 15 months after number 2), I decided to buy a new stroller to make getting around with 4 children 4 and under a bit easier. As soon as I saw the VISTA with it’s included bassinet, superb baby, parent and environmentally friendly features plus the optional RumbleSeat and PiggyBack Board, I knew this was the stroller for me. I bought a 2009 VISTA with the brand new RumbleSeat. I loved it and so did my daughter, who pretty much lived in it for months. The bassinet was the only place she’d sleep or nap for a very long time, which made everyone’s lives easier. Her slightly older brother loved the RumbleSeat and I loved that it was so easy to use.  In fact all 4 of my children loved the Vista and would ride happily, unusual for them. Even better, it was so great to leave the giant double behind and easily switch from bassinet to seat, single to double, quickly pop our infant seat onto the adapter, fit anywhere we wanted to go and have such a beautiful stroller that could make all 4 of my children comfortable when needed. There are quite a few strollers that seem to offer something similar to the VISTA, but it is truly hard to beat the VISTA in every category, maybe impossible. If it doesn’t get you on looks alone, its superb features, versatility and performance will. Who exactly is the VISTA perfect for? Well, it might be easier to say who it’s not prefect for. If you have newborn twins, there might be a better choice for those first few months, that is, unless you want to get 2 VISTAs. But once your babies are old enough to sit in the RumbleSeat, this is a great choice for twins. (see a cole VISTA in use with twins, accompanied by their famous mother, in a previous post here on BabyRazzi and here on our other site, I’m Not Obsessed. ). My 2 youngest loved sitting face to face which is possible for quite awhile if you just flip the foot rest down on the main seat. I loved my VISTA so much that, after I switched to a certain other inline double with 2 full sized seats and so on, thinking it would be better for my huge children, I nearly cried every time I pushed it because I missed my VISTA so much. The VISTA was so easy to push, the new stroller quickly became a beast and the near tears left as I started to plot its replacement about a week into it’s stay. As I said, the VISTA is truly hard, if not impossible to beat.

Since then, the VISTA has gotten even better. The improvements made to the 2010 model and carried through to the 2011 model are great- bigger seat, additional recline position, improved wheels, easier brake. The features that I loved are of course still there too, adjustable handlebar, no-kick rear axle, huge basket (one of my all time favorite baskets actually), included rain cover and the fabulous canopy with the cute silver pop out SPF 50 sunshade (on both the toddler seat & the bassinet, pretty cool). Your child is well protected from anything with this one- sun, wind, a bit of rain and even nosy passers-by. The seat is easily reversible with an indicator to let you know it’s locked in and a one handed recline. The 2010/2011 models offer a 4th 0 position that offers a more upright seat and a bit of extra space for the Rumble rider than previous models. This is great, I didn’t realize how nice it would be until I used it and I love it. There is also a bit more head and seat room, offering an even more comfortable ride for bigger kids. Another great thing about UPPAbaby is their fabulous customer service, best I’ve dealt with, and the truly listen to their customers and work in suggestions to the model improvements, like the 0 position and the fabulously easy flip flop friendly brake. The older version was a bit hard, but this one really can be done barefoot if needed. If you are rolling your baby around the house in the bassinet at 2 AM, this really is a good thing (an on/off indicator would be a helpful touch though, so you can easily see if you’ve set the brake or not- helpful when you have to chase down a rouge toddler). The bassinet  has a lovely mattress, a great canopy and a beautiful organic cotton & soy liner. (The included bassinet cover and mosquito net are also handy if you need to keep tossed toys off of your newborn’s head.) Unlike some bassinets, this one is included with the stroller and is complete, no fabric switching, so you can switch back and forth as needed. There is even an optional bassinet stand to make it even easier, though being able to roll the finally sleeping baby as needed is great too. The main seat is rated for ages 3 months to 50 pounds (add the BabySnug and the seat can be used from birth when fully reclined) and the bassinet from 0-6 months, so for that overlap period you can still use the bassinet in the house or at night if it’s the only place you can get your little one to sleep or nap and still use the seat out and about, when your baby starts to demand a better view. By 3 or 4 months, mine always want to see where they’re going, so we use the seat if we’re not using the infant car seat adapter. With the reversible seat, it’s easy to give your baby a view and keep a close eye on your precious cargo, or if you have 2, let them ride face to face with the fabulous RumbleSeat. I mentioned the VISTA’s superb versatility, the bassinet and seat options are a great example, but so are the car seat adapter and the RumbleSeat. The car seat adapter is the easiest and most secure feeling adapter I’ve used and I have used quite a few. Nothing to fiddle with, it just pops on and off with ease, both on the frame and the infant seat, but is locked on tight when in place.  It’s one of my favorite features and another reason why the VISTA is a perfect newborn stroller.

Whether you’re on your first baby or your 4th, the VISTA is my favorite stroller for life with a baby.  Add the RumbleSeat or the PiggyBack board (or both) and you are are set for 1, 2 or 3 children and that is on an as needed basis, truly. The RumbleSeat is so easy to pop on and off, you really won’t mind that it can’t be folded with the stroller. You really can have a single or double with no adapters, straps, fussing or trouble of any kind, just a few seconds to pop it on and off. I love it. Plus the RumbleSeat sits up high, so no kneeling to get your child in and out, no fiddling with tires and it is so stable you can take either child out first. I haven’t tested the PiggyBack board yet, but it is a beauty. Made from natural, eco-friendly wooden material, it can hold a hefty 50 pounds, pops on and off easily or can be folded with the stroller.  The ride of the UPPAbaby VISTA has always been superb, but improvements to the wheels for the 2010/2011 models have greatly improved its already stellar performance. This is a one handed push stroller, with supreme ease. Even with the RumbleSeat on, it’s still a pretty easy push, more so than many other in-lines. If you have 2 heavy children on board, it might not be one handed over rougher areas for you, but the terrific suspension always offers a smooth ride in any configuration.

I should add that the stroller can fold with the seat on in the forward position. Reversed, the seat has to be removed for folding, but it is so easy, you really won’t mind. This is also a very, very light stroller for being so full featured. Believe me, no matter how many parts you end up with, it’s oh so much more pleasant than lugging around a giant double or even most similarly featured singles. I have used the VISTA with the RumbleSeat and both the car seat adapter or the main seat in 100 degree temperatures all the way down to well below freezing with several feet of snow on the ground and it always so easy to assemble that I’d rather take it in 2 or 3 pieces that my one piece 36 pound side by side. And I love that the VISTA is always ready for anything- great sun protection, rain, wind or nasty weather, you’re covered, newborn or preschooler (even a wiped out Kindergartener), you’re all set and you always have a single and a double in the car with just one stroller. As I said, pretty much perfect for anyone.

The UPPAbaby VISTA is a superb stroller and an excellent choice for almost every circumstance. It will take you from your first newborn, straight through multiple children adapting on the fly and looking great while doing it. The Vista retails for $679.99 and includes the frame, toddler seat, removable bumper bar, bassinet, weather & bug shields. Colors include: denny (red),  carlin (green), mica (silver), jake (black) and new for 2011 cole (a slate blue) and lindsey (a golden wheat). Also available, though in limited supply, is the Special Edition Maya (yellow with graphite frame, $699.99). Optional accessories include: Seat Fashion color swap kits, car seat adapters, bassinet stand, infant SnugSeat, BabyGanoosh (footmuff), cup holder, bassinet rain shield, TravelBag, Rumble Seat, PiggyBack board  and a SnackTray. The RumbleSeat  has a weight limit of 35 pounds, retails for $129.99 and includes a fabulous canopy and footrest (keeps feet out of the basket) and an optional rain cover is available as well.

Visit the UPPAbaby website to see even more details and to find retailers. If you love the idea of the VISTA, but want something a bit more compact or you know you don’t need the bassinet or the option of the RumbleSeat, take a look at the soon to be released Cruz and enter the Where do you Cruz? contest for a chance to win a brand new CRUZ.

*A sample was provided for review

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