A few months ago on Instagram, I asked you all what your top stroller recommendations were. Overwhelmingly, the answers were either “Doona” or “Uppababy,” which honestly was no surprise to me. I don’t remember the
A few months ago on Instagram, I asked you all what your top stroller recommendations were. Overwhelmingly, the answers were either “Doona” or “Uppababy,” which honestly was no surprise to me. I don’t remember the Doona being around when I had Watson and Rosie, but I know it’s a more popular baby item these days. We had Uppababy strollers with our first two (which we have since given away long ago)—the Cruz with Watson and then the Vista with Rosie. I loved them both! And now there are new players in the game, like the Doona. So deciding between those three strollers, while keeping in mind that eventually I will probably want a jogging stroller and/or a travel stroller as well, was where my decision process started.
As someone who has owned both the Vista and the Cruz (along with interest in the Doona), I’m going to share my own opinions about these three strollers and how I was able to confidently decide on the Uppababy Cruz stroller for our third baby!
Let me start off by saying we loved both the Vista and the Cruz, but for different reasons. I wrote a post a long time ago comparing the two right here, but that was written when I had just bought the Uppababy Vista while pregnant with Rosie, and hadn’t truly used it to form a fair opinion of my preferences. So it’s more fact-based rather than experience-based!
If you’re shopping for a stroller, I absolutely would not just order one online based on other people’s reviews, but actually go to a local store and try them out for yourself if you’re able. Local to the Charleston area, we have Baby Bloomers (located in Moultrie Plaza on Coleman Blvd. in Mt. Pleasant), which is such a wonderful store because it has baby clothing, gifts, nursery furniture, and all the gear you possibly could need. They are also extremely helpful, especially since they see these products every day, hear personal experiences from other parents, can show product demonstrations, and are happy to share all the helpful info needed for you to make a solid decision on what’s best for your needs!
I went in asking to see the Vista, the Cruz, and the Doona since they sell all three there. First, let’s chat about the Uppababy strollers and then I’ll get to the Doona.
Above, the Vista is shown on the left and the Cruz is on the right. I do think I have the Cruz pushed forward a bit more than the Vista, so it appears much longer, but sharing the exact specs below!
If you’re new to both of these strollers, there are three main differences between the two that are worth noting.
1. The Cruz has a more compact and lighter frame design.
2. The Cruz can only hold one seat while the Vista offers many double configuration options.
3. The Vista comes with a Bassinet, but the Bassinet is sold separately with the Cruz.
More detailed specs are below!
I do want to say that if you have multiple very young children or plans to grow your family, the Vista is probably your best choice since it can fit two stroller seats (one being the main stroller seat and one being the RumbleSeat, which is sold separately, among many other configurations using the bassinet and the Mesa carseat). That was important to me when I was pregnant and about to have two under two, but as it turns out… we never used that second seat! I tried it ONCE and it went horribly. Watson just wasn’t a fan of a stroller in general, so he cried the whole time. So I was probably the one exception to this, ha! I even bought the scooter kickboard thing to go on the back, but we really never used that either.
This is how I ended up toting two children around in the Vista most of the time… haha!
For our lifestyle, at least! The Vista is three inches wider than the Cruz, which I know is not a lot, but it made a big difference to me, given I’ve owned both of these strollers before. I remember when I had Watson and owned the Cruz, I was so easily able to move the stroller around within tight, little shops and restaurants. With Rosie and our Vista stroller, I found that the extra three inch width made it a lot harder to maneuver through these same tight spaces. Three inches is only three inches, but I found that I hit a lot of things with my Vista stroller wheels and couldn’t fit through many small areas with ease—something I never experienced with the Cruz.
Again, this is a reason I was so happy to be able to try out both of these strollers at Baby Bloomers, because I was able to drive them both around the store and get a feel for each one again and their respective sizes.
Cruz on the left, Vista on the right
One last note about frame dimensions… I do need to note that I’m puzzled because the chart from Uppababy says the Cruz is longer, but in the photo below, you can clearly see the Vista is longer, right?! But I could be totally wrong here and maybe they are getting that length measurement from a different place. I will ask Baby Bloomers to weigh in!
Vista (above) with the silver frame. Cruz (below) with the black frame.
If you look in some of the side-by-side photos on this post and especially the one below, you can very clearly see how the Vista tires are bigger. To me, this is a pro and a con! It makes it a lot bulkier to fold up to take in and out of the car, but on the other hand, the wheels glide and maneuver over bumps just a hair better. So if you want a stroller mainly just to use outside for walks, the Vista may be your better choice.
With that said, the Cruz tires are also awesome and even though they are a couple inches smaller, they still glide extremely well. So the wheel difference honestly isn’t something I ever noticed when the stroller was in use. However, the bulkier wheels on the Vista are, in fact, something that I noticed every single time I fold it up to put it in the car!
Which brings me to…
The Cruz wins this, hands down. I know the weight difference between the two isn’t huge, but with the Vista’s bigger tires, wider width, taller stature once folded, and higher weight, it really feels so much bigger and bulkier when you’re collapsing it down to take in and out of the car.
In the photo below, you can see the size difference between the Cruz (left) and Vista (right) while folded. What you can’t see below is that the Vista is quite wider from the side view as well. To elaborate… See how in this photo, I actually have the Cruz rolled slightly closer to the camera (you can tell by it’s tire placement), yet the Vista’s handle still ends much closer to the camera! It just doesn’t fold town as tightly as the Cruz.
To note: While this was the ultimate decision maker for us, everyone and everyone’s lifestyle/stroller needs are different! The extra bulkiness might not be an issue at all for some, such as if you mostly keep the stroller unfolded in a garage or similar area or if you are super strong and just don’t notice the extra bulk! And maybe, the pros of the Vista just far outweigh the cons of the bulkiness! No stroller is going to be the all around perfect stroller. You just have to find what’s most important to you.
The Vista comes with a bassinet and the Cruz does not. But we decided to buy the bassinet separately because it fits on there just perfectly! The bassinet is not a “must have,” but it sure is nice during those early newborn days, when you need to get out of the house for mental clarity and the baby can nap comfortably in the bassinet. You can also buy a bassinet stand and use it as a bedroom bassinet! (And later it converts to a laundry hamper.)
Here is the Cruz with the bassinet attached.
This is a hot ticket question because, based on the responses I got when I asked for stroller preferences, people either LOVE or HATE the Doona. And goodness, I don’t want to offend anyone here! Haha!
There is one main reason I didn’t choose the Doona. Our home is elevated, along with other homes in our area that are right by the water (for flood purposes). So that means to get to our main floor, you have to walk up a full flight of stairs from the garage. With the Doona notoriously weighing more than other infant carseats, I know I don’t want to carry that up and down all of those stairs every single time. It sort of defeats the whole purpose of the Doona anyway, which is to pop out the stroller wheels whenever you need to move with it. Sure, I could buckle and unbuckle the baby every time while the Doona stays in my car, but this is my third baby and I know from the first two babies that I prefer to carry the infant carrier all the way inside (with baby still buckled), at least during the time that my baby is in the newborn stage. There are many reasons for this preference, but the main one is safety! I don’t want to walk up and down the stairs to our main living area with a newborn cradled in my arms, along with all of our cargo and two other children running up the stairs alongside me, an 80lb golden retriever running down the stairs towards me to greet me, and a cat that sometimes walks in between my feet. I just know that I would prefer to carry the infant carrier all the way up the stairs, then unbuckle the baby there safely.
We used the Uppababy Mesa Infant Carrier with Watson and Rosie—and I know I like that because it fits right into the stroller without any attachments needed. SO convenient. It weighs 9.9lb. The Doona weighs 16.5lb. The Doona is also a bit bulkier, as you can see below. Again I have to remind you that this probably doesn’t matter to others who can wheel the Doona from their car straight up to their house, but remember I have a whole flight of stairs to climb while holding the Doona! And that extra 7lb and larger overall size felt like a substantial difference to me.
Doona is green. Mesa is black.
Among a few other things, that is the overall summary of why the Doona just wasn’t right for us. But it is incredibly cool, don’t get me wrong!! I can understand 100% while people rave over it. One thing I would love about it is the idea of having it in restaurants! I love how tiny it stands and how the handle can go all the way down, so it would take up such little space in a restaurant walkway. I am sure it would also be fantastic for travel! But ultimately, I just couldn’t justify it. Not for the little time we would use it. Touching more on that below!
Well, you already know by now that we chose the Cruz, along with the bassinet and the Mesa Infant Carrier/Carseat. But here are some final thoughts…
Since I went into Baby Bloomers trying to decide between the Doona, the Cruz, and the Vista, I soon realized the Cruz was best for our needs because it has some features of both the Doona and the Vista, but all in one stroller. I played this scenario in my head:
If I had the Doona, I would still want a Cruz or a Vista for neighborhood walks and as our general stroller. I would likely want another infant carrier eventually once the baby got to a point where his weight made the overall setup too heavy. (Many said they experienced this around 6 months or so.) And if I went with the Doona + Cruz, I would likely want a jogging stroller, too. If I went with the Doona + Vista, I would want a travel stroller as well! So in my mind, that’s just a lot of strollers and potentially another infant carrier, too.
If this were my first baby, I would likely splurge on the Doona as well because I’m sure we could get enough use out of it to justify the cost for the short use. But since this is our third and final baby, I really want to eliminate the need for as much gear as possible. And I really appreciated Baby Bloomers for helping me to realize this, when they very easily could have tried to sell me on both!
And for what it’s worth, Brandon ultimately preferred the Cruz because of how much less space it takes up in the car… and because of knowing I will be taking it in and out of the car by myself so often, with two other kids by my side as well. So that says something!
The fun part came when we got to customize our Cruz. We went with the black frame (you can also choose silver) with the leather handles and the “Anthony” fabric, which is like a creamy grey knit. It’s so pretty!! We ordered the bassinet to match, of course, and then ordered the Mesa Infant Carrier in all black. We left Baby Bloomers after ordering and I swear it arrived within about a week!
Here’s how the black Mesa looks snapped into the black framed Cruz!
Also, this is a fun perk… if you order a carseat from Baby Bloomers, one of the owners is a Certified Carseat Installer and will install it for you at no extra fee! I haven’t quite figured out how to arrange all three kids in our car. (It has three rows with captains chairs in the middle row), but I’ll likely swing by after we install ours and get him to look it over just to make sure we remembered our installation steps correctly! They told me that option is always available anytime.
Ok, if you read this far… you deserve an award! I really hope this helps any of you who might find yourself trying to make a similar decision!