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BabyJogger Versa, Uppababy Vista or (maybe BGB Chameleon?)

(63 Posts)
Laquila Sat 04-May-13 21:19:33

Hi all,

After an exhausting and confusing day trying out every single bloody pushchair/pram/travel system in John Lewis and Mamas & Papas, I think we've narrowed it down to the following:

BabyJogger Versa
Uppababy Vista
Bugaboo Chameleon

We have a small car so boot space is an issue. We need something relatively rugged/sturdy, with foam wheels, for country walks (and heavy-handed husband).

Having said that we have to drive everywhere so will be taking it in and out of the car a LOT. We also wanted something that could be forward and rear facing, with a carrycot suitable for overnight sleeping (so we can use it as a Moses basket for the first few months if need be).

Does anyone have any comments/advice on the above three options? Or any suggestions for anything we might have missed?

Thanks very much in advance

Hrc152 Sat 04-May-13 21:41:08

Have u checked out the baby jogger versa GT? I has the proper tyres rather than solid foam wheels. Folds up tiny and is incredibly sturdy!! Amazing smile

Hrc152 Sat 04-May-13 21:43:39

But u have chosen well these are all great!!

I've chosen the uppababy vista over the bugaboo due to the height of the child. I felt the bugaboo was v low to the ground.

Vista seems to fulfil all your wish list so I'd recommend that!

All good choices tho

Laquila Sat 04-May-13 22:18:43

Thanks both!

Hrc152 I haven't seen the Versa GT in real life but have been reading about it this evening whilst researching further...(if it's not a daft question, what does GT stand for?!)

I'd been advised to get foam tyres as air tyres will puncture, but are you advocating air tyres??...aggh so confused!

Fairydogmother I do know what you mean about the Bugaboo - tbh I was surprised at the big difference in this regard between the various brands. I think I preferred the look of the Vista to the Versa but it doesn't really make a great deal of difference to me. There was a lady in the shop raving about how great the Vista is though!

Ihateparties Sat 04-May-13 22:47:43

The gt tyres are not air filled in the traditional way.. i have the city mini gt at the moment and it's really great. The Vista has always felt too big for me. The jane rider/trider also has a high seat and in the case of the trider is reportedly good off road.

The icandy peach jogger might also fit your brief. I like the look of the concord wanderer but goodness knows where you'd find one to actually see.

Suitability for overnight sleeping has been discussed at various times in the past and i seem to recall the conclusion being that there are no universal standards for it as applies to pushchair carrycots. Tiggy knows more.. i'll try to send her...

Laquila Sat 04-May-13 23:02:05

Thank you Ihateparties for your help (on both threads!)

I didn't really take to the iCandy models, I don't know why. We did find them a bit faffy to fold and unfold, and also we'd been in JL for what seemed like a week and a half by that point and were losing the will to live.

The City Mini was in JL and we had a play - definitely liked it, but am I right in thinking it's not rear facing? This might not actually turn out to be as important as we think it is, but as first time parents we like the idea of the baby facing both ways.

I haven't seen the Jane buggies available to view in any shops near me, but I did see a lady with one out shopping this afternoon - her kid looked very comfy, I have to say! It definitely reminded me of the BabyJoggers more than anything else.

I've been thinking about the whole travel system thing - we've had advice falling on both sides of this debate but am I right in thinking that basically, if you need a car seat, there's definitely something to be said for having a travel system? (I.e., it makes sense to get a car seat that you can fit on your buggy chassis)

As far as I can work out, the alternative to getting a travel system is to get a buggy that can be used I'm birth (i.e., lies flat) and then a car seat, whether or not that attaches. So you basically end up with the same thing, but without the carrycot?

Ihateparties Sat 04-May-13 23:29:41

I don't really know, I suppose I tend to think of all the bits as separates as oppose to travel systems. Mainly because maxi cosi and britax infant seat adaptors are available for so many pushchairs now.

I would chose a car seat based upon safety and fit in my car first and foremost (realistically that would probably leave you with a few options, not just one, more if you have isofix) after that I guess compatibility with pushchair. Jane are a bit of an anomaly these days, with their systems only taking their seats.

For you, if you're in and out of the car a lot then fold is way more important to you than it has ever been to me. The versa wins on this score but I also have a pram that shares components with the vista and i find the fold on that easy too, just not one piece when parent facing.

I agree on parent facing but it really is personal choice, like with most of the rest of this stuff ^ As long as you find something of the best quality you can for your budget with the features that suit you and your lifestyle then you can't go far wrong. Sounds easy doesn't it.... grin

DoodleAlley Sat 04-May-13 23:58:24

I loved the versa but in the end had to go with the cam3 as the versa was just too high for me, esp the handle.

I love my cam 3 it moves like a dream but I think the versa is probably the better value pushchair and I seem to recall scored better by which.

As has been said you have great pushchairs so go with your gut instinct as it comes down to personal preference and needs

shelbelle100 Sun 05-May-13 09:27:17

We are having exactly the same dilemma - I could have written your post! The only difference is that we are considering the joolz day too since we were shown it yesterday. I think we are leaning towards the BGB cam as it was the lightest. However...really liked the height of vista and it seemed a bit better thought out.... We probably can't go wrong with any of these. There seems to be a new BGB coming out in late summer that may replace the cam though - the buffalo...not sure what to think about this.

We got a chameleon 2 years ago for DS and he is still comfy in it now, it looks like new (with added mud grin) and is a dream to push. The only 2 issues I've had with it were it folds up big so you have to take the back wheels off to get it in the boot of a fiesta, not a problem, just a bit of a pain if its raining. And it is impossible to fold on the bus if you need too, although when in baby made I don't expect anyone would make you!

Oh and I could fold/unsold the cam after a section on my own which was a big thing for me.

Laquila Sun 05-May-13 09:41:32

Hi Shelbelle - I think you're right - everyone keeps telling me that these three are all great choices, so hopefully we won't go too far wrong!

I woke up this morning (no really...) thinking about the carrycot - whether it would be that useful and whether we should do away with it entirely and look for something suitable from birth without the use of a carrycot. We'd told ourselves we were going to use it for regular overnight sleeping/as a Moses basket for the first few months, but having already been offered two second-hand Moses baskets for free I'm beginning to wonder whether we should just ditch that idea and look for something that can be used from birth, like one of the other BJs!

Hrc152 Sun 05-May-13 15:00:00

So it's tempting to try and fulfil two purposes with the carrycot but I'd take the Moses basket, and if anything use the carrycot for sleeping over night if you go and stay somewhere. It's good to have a carrycot for the first few months if you can afford it, as trying to find a rear facing pushchair which is suitable from newborn is a whole other issue!!

Someone told me not to get air tyres as they puncture... BIG mistake- I personally found the solid foam wheels far too hard and hated watched my baby being bounced around!! All baby jogger air tyres are actually filled with a type of foam so they don't puncture which is great! The versa GT has these. And don't worry too much about the term travel system - almost all pushchairs now have the option to attach a carrycot and car seat!

Tiggywunkle Sun 05-May-13 22:21:46

I dont really know what else I can add. These are great choices. Any one would serve you well.

Carrycots and overnight sleeping. Its a bit of a grey area in some respects. One top company claimed there was no standard for overnight sleeping when I queried if their products were suitable for O/N sleeping. This set me off on a bit of a mission to discover if carrycots were suitable. Basically from what I understand (and without paying for the full standards which is expensive) a carrycot has to pass both the moses basket and carrycot standards ie be safe as a bed for O/N sleeping and safe on a pushchair chassis. This includes a critical height between the mattress and the top of the carrycot - hence why you shouldn't add in a different mattress (or one higher than a certain depth) and why you shouldn't put things like cocoons inside the carrycot.
I know the iCandy carrycots need to be placed on a hard surface ie not a stand or bed to stay safe.

Some carrycots like the Vista and Cam have very very clear ventilation in the mattress or base - the Vista actually has it through the wooden base of the carrycot.

I had a carrycot with both children. I used one more with DC1 than DC2, but its lovely to have the option of one especially when its either cold, windy, wet or even hot. On the pushchair I had with no carrycot, I ended up buying a cocoon because DC2 looked too exposed.

Laquila Fri 10-May-13 16:30:30

Hi all, just a quick update (in case anyone isn't yet sick of talking about the merits of very similar pushchairs!)...today I tried out a Jane Rider and a Trider and liked them both (think I preferred the Rider).

Does anyone have any strong feelings either way about the Rider in comparison to the Versa (or GT), Vista or Chameleon? I know the Rider is a bit bigger and heavier, but to be honest the suspension on it was so nice and bouncy that, push-wise, it knocked the Versa off its perch a bit. The lady in the shop was also clearly a bit less keen on the Versa, so that made a difference.

I think it we went for the Rider we would probably get the Strada car seat and Micro carrycot, rather than the Matrix system, although I did like the idea of this in theory.

Gaaaaah I thought we were nearly sorted!

Ihateparties Fri 10-May-13 19:28:57

I think this is where taste comes in. I like the light bouncy feel of the rider too.. and other similar feeling things. I haven't had a cam, did have a gecko and really enjoyed pushing that, soft, bouncy etc.

I agree the versa has a different feel but it's not necessarily bad. When i first saw one in a shop i wasn't expecting to think much of it but unexpectedly really liked it, the man in the shop was very very keen on it though.

I like jane prams, had a twone for quite a long time but i do hear of them having issues. Not that any of the others are untouched by problems. Is the rider really bigger and heavier? I would have guessed it would be almost identical in width and length if you lined them up, with the vista being slightly bigger again.

Laquila Sat 11-May-13 00:02:43

Ahhh, parties bless you for responding - I don't know how you have the patience!

I think you're right about taste though...I thought the Jane was nicely bouncy, but I wasn't convinced my husband would like it. When I got home and told him about it he looked slightly unsure and said "I don't know if I like bouncy" (ooh err). Am going to take him along tomorrow to try it but I think it'll be an instant yes or no. Also, I don't know how I feel about the Matrix Light system - I'm not completely convinced on the lie-flat carseat. The collapsible Micro carrycot was quite nice though.

I keep going back to the Versa (or GT), basically - I only ever hear good things about it. And it somehow feels sturdier than the Rider, although the latter didn't feel flimsy - just bouncy!

Ref height and weight of the Versa vs the Rider, I keep finding conflicting info online abut the weight of the letter - some sources saying the chassis weighs 9.5kg and some saying 14kg! It didn't feel that much bigger or heavier than the GT, but when folded was definitely not as flat. Still compact though.

FWIW, I also had a look at the Britax Affinity, as suggested by Tiggy. I quite liked it - neat and unfussy looking, but didn't feel the sturdiness was quite up to the others. I liked the carrycot thought.

Ihateparties Sat 11-May-13 10:20:15

I have the patience cos i'm a weirdo and i love this stuff! You find out what you like and dislike mostly in use unfortunately. The best you can do is predict it as much as possible. Your baby is the other significant variable, temperament, size etc.

I'm a bit :-/ about jane and their you can only use our car seats thing. I too would be tempted to go with the micro carrycot as you suggest and a more traditional infant carrier or even something like a Hauck Varioguard that will allow your baby to rear face in the car longer than an infant carrier, which is increasingly accepted as the safest option.

Dh and i probably chose the first pram we had together, not that he ever has any particular opinions on them as he is in the "they're all the same, have wheels and you push 'em" school of thought. Ultimately, assuming you are going to be on mat leave and him at work, you will be living with it day to day, he won't.

duende Sat 11-May-13 10:29:16

We picked the versa on the advice of parties and twiggy and I love it. Baby not here yet but my 3.5 loved pushing it around the house and sitting in it.

It seems so well made, well thought out and practical, I really don't think you would be disappointed. I like it that we can use our maxi cosi car seat with it too.

Fwiw, my other options were vista and icandy strawberry. Discounted the vista in the end as too wide, the strawberry has a silly shallow basket and some people complain that the wheels get clogged up with leaves which would drive me crazy.

Enjoy choosing smile

Laquila Sat 11-May-13 10:48:51

parties I share your ambivalence about Jane making you stick to their car seats, for no other reason really than it feels a bit proprietorial! Ridiculous I know. I also share your weirdness ref prams...I've been amazed at the number of people who've said to me, "oh, we just got inherited ours from family - I don't even know what it's called - works fine though" - or even more baffling, the people who said they just went out and bought the first one they liked! What?! You didn't spend a solid month of your life, and a subscription to which.com, on sending yourself insane over-researching pram systems?! Fools ;)

duende FWIW I think you made the right choice out of those - I have a colleague with the iCandy Strawberry who says that footprint and fold-wise, it's brilliant, but that their (fairly sturdy) baby is bounced all over the place as soon as they go anywhere that isn't a tile-floored shopping mall. They've ended up with a BJCM as well....

We're heading back to the pram shop today so my husband can see the Jane Rider, but I think in my head I'm already back at the Versa. The GT they have in the shop does feel slightly heavier/less bouncy than the standard one, but we do live out in the middle of nowhere, so now I just Need to spend another 3 weeks deliberating over which of those to go for. Happy days smile

(I honestly think I'm more worried about the pushchair than the birth at the moment, but am very much aware that in 16wks time, pushchairs are going to seem like an absolute effing walk in the park!...)

chocolatemartini Sat 11-May-13 15:35:54

I haven't tried them all but I'm loving my cameleon. It's the best pushchair I've ever pushed. If you can try any outside the showroom and if poss fully loaded on uneven pavements and curbs you'll get a much better idea of which you prefer. I think they all feel good on a showroom floor

Laquila Sat 11-May-13 22:25:30

Just a quick update - my husband wasn't too keen on the Jane Rider, so in the end we ordered a Versa GT, the matching carrycot and a BeSafe iZi Go car seat.

The main clincher was that despite the fact that practically everything nowadays folds up so small, the Versa seemed to be the only one we could fit in our boot (Clio) given that the seat unit folds whilst still on the chassis (love this feature!). We could probably have fitted the folded Jane Rider in our boot, but would then have struggled to get the seat unit in too, and certainly no shopping! Also, we liked that we could use Maxi Cosi and BeSafe car seats, rather than just the Jane ones if we'd got the Rider.

Overall, the Versa just seemed like a sturdier option, and taking into account that we'd really be using it for longer as a pushchair, rather than with the carrycot, we just thought it worked better for that (love the long seat unit and footrest). I think the only disadvantage is that the carrycot can't be used for overnight sleeping, but we'll get over that.

The independent we went to (Ladybugs in Poynton) did us a good deal - Versa GT, raincover, carrycot, BeSafe car seat and adapters for £632 - and I have to say their customer service so far has been excellent.

chocolatemartini I think the Chamelon would still have been a great choice, but for us, the extra price just wasn't really worth it - I can certainly see how some people would get excellent value from it though.

Thanks everyone for your help and comments so far - they've been invaluable!

I'll be back with feedback in a few months...

Ihateparties Sat 11-May-13 22:59:47

<loves it when people buy versas>

I'm vaguely disappointed you've decided already though... grin

chocolatemartini Sun 12-May-13 07:25:56

I'm sure you're going to love it. That quick fold is unbeatable and the long seat back means it really should see you right through. smile

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