Bugaboo Cameleon Review by Elaine
I bought my Cameleon in June 2010 for my now 19 month old little girl so I have used it non stop since then. My package included the pushchair, carry cot, foot muff, maxi cosi cabriofix car seat and adapters. A rain cover and mosquito net is also included.
On the positive side of things:
Infant carrycot/pram is suitable for over night sleeping.
Raincover is included; the same rain cover fits both carry cot and push chair.
Carrycot mattress seems comfy and has a cover that can be easily washed and is approved for over night sleeping.
All fabrics are machine washable; I have not machine washed anything other than carry cot mattress cover and foot muffs, both washed very well. I have scrubbed parts of the canopy and pushchair seat and they came out very clean.
Both carry cot and push chair can be used in forward and parent facing positions.
Handle can be flipped from one side to another so that Cameleon can be used with small wheels in front or large rear wheels in front which has been excellent for grass and any other off road use. If you are suddenly greeted by a sharp wind you can flip the handle and your baby is protected in about 3 seconds! There is a definite knack to steering the cameleon with the large wheels out front but its an extremely useful feature.
I also found the handle feature incredibly useful in the early carry cot days, I could just flip it out of the way and have really good access to the baby. It doesn’t sound like this would make a difference but it definitely did to me. Also when baby is awake and lying down the handle can simply be moved out of the way so they can have a better view of you.
There is also a feature where the front wheels rest on top of the rear wheels allowing the cameleon to be pulled along sand or rough terrain, this mode can only be used with the push chair seat.
There are three seating positions when in forward and rearward facing modes, fully flat is excellent for sleeping, the middle position is great for that in between stage when the baby isn’t quite sitting upright but it still allows a nice view and a fully upright position; Ive noticed its a bit more upright than some other push chairs out there and I find it brilliant.
At 19 months I find my daughter is happiest (and sleeps longest!) in the middle position. If I need to take her for a walk to put her to sleep the middle position is excellent as she can both see out and doze off comfortably.
The push chair seat is quite spacious, she isn’t particularly big but I feel it should last another two years, size wise.
The bugaboo foot muffs are nice and cosy, she still has room in it and it is very warm and keeps the wind out. It can be zipped up to shield the child’s face which works well when they fall asleep when out in the wind.
The harness is adjustable and there are three shoulder settings in the foot muff that it can be threaded through to grow with the child. There are two settings in the seat that the lower part of the harnedd threads through making a big difference in comfort. I can’t imagine a child being able to undo it easily.
Colours can be changed with a new fabric set so if your push chair is a bit tired looking or you buy second hand you have lots of options.
The shopping basket can hold plenty. Best accessed from the back.
There is a handbrake and safety wrist strap that I always use, didn’t think it was important in the beginning but I do now.
The wheels don’t puncture.
The bumper bar is removable (same bumper bar for carrycot and seat unit). It is nice to hang soft toys from.
The cameleon maxi cosi adapters work well.
This push chair is seriously nice to push. I have walked with it for miles and miles and it has never bothered my back\shoulders/arms. It can basically be steered with your baby finger, I push it one handed a lot with no problems. The suspension system is fantastic and makes for a comfy ride for the child.
And now for the not so positive:
This is an expensive travel system but the fabrics and all materials used match the price.
Carrycot/pram is not separate to push chair seat therefore they cannot be used at the same time (turned out to be an issue for me). I would have liked to be able to continue to use the carry cot downstairs in the house for sleeping and the seat unit for out and about.
I only used the carry cot for 11 weeks. I wanted to use it for a lot longer but my baby hated going for walks in it as she couldn’t see out. It is definitely NOT recommended by Bugaboo to use the seat unit at such a young age! I know this is not an issue for everybody, my baby didn’t do a huge amount of daytime sleeping. Its not recommended to move to seat unit for 6 months, I couldn’t imagine many people using the carry cot for quite that long.
While the canopy is fine, I would like some type of pop out sun visor (maybe similar to the Uppababy Vista) or an extra panel (baby jogger style) in the canopy for added shelter and to keep the sun out. Sun can get in all year long and a parasol is not something I want to use at any time of year. There is a sun shade sold separately but I’d prefer a better canopy!
The handle cover and bumper bar are foam covered, very nice to use but I could see them getting damaged after a few years or heavy use.
The rain cover provides excellent shelter and the same one fits both carry cot and seat. However, it is not easy to put on. Once on, there is no rain getting in but if you’re caught in a shower and need to work quickly it can be tricky. I have seen a lot of people out and about with these rain covers on backwards and generally the wrong way. It is also bulky to store in the basket. There is a window in the front that opens and closes with velcro which is great.
The fold takes a bit of getting used to but is fine. The cameleon folds in two parts, I like this as it would be heavy to if it was all in one. There isn’t much room left in the boot of my Golf once the buggy is gone in. The wheels pop off very easily, I use this for longer journeys. It would be great to have an all in one fold option for storage inside the house.
The cupholder is sold separately and I think is fairly overpriced. I got one at a very reduced price but would not have bought it otherwise. It isn’t recommended for hot drinks. I use it for water on long walks and stick my phone in there or my child’s hat occasionally. It makes the buggy a bit wider.
The bugaboo cameleon is an excellent pushchair. The positives outweigh the negatives, It works with a buggy board which I have never used so if you plan about a three year age gap between children I would say its well worth the money and will work for you for years. Even if you don’t they hold value well for resale. It’s hard to use a lot of other systems once you get used to this! My little girl won’t stay in the ‘runaround’ stroller I bought for very long and never sleeps in it so I only use this. She has her daytime nap in it still. My little girl is very happy and comfy in the cameleon, thats the main thing for me.
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