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Uppababy Cruz Review by Best Buggy

Last year we reviewed the Uppababy Vista, and we struggled to fault it. The specification of the Vista is excellent and with the carrycot and car seat adaptors included, it offers a good value for money package.

So when the Cruz was first unveiled by Uppababy, we were really excited, because the Cruz appeared to offer a quality pushchair, without having to pay for the baby accessories if they are not required. The Cruz also looked simple and neat, and we hoped that the Cruz would be smaller when folded. The huge basket with easy access from all sides was as BIG draw for us too.

First Impressions – Why buy the Cruz rather than the Vista?

Our first impression of the Uppababy Cruz was the long box. The Cruz is long when folded – and this to be honest has been a huge disappointment, mainly because the Cruz is advertised by Uppababy as “a compact stroller solution without compromising on the features of a full-size stroller”. The Cruz visually looks smaller and neater than the Vista, but there actually is not much difference size wise between the two Uppababy pushchairs. The Cruz in fact it is actually taller when folded than the Vista which was the biggest shock! The weight difference between the Vista and the Cruz is just 1.6kgs, which is not a big difference. However the Cruz is 7cms narrower than the Vista which is a fair difference which might make a difference on public transport.

There is around £200 difference between the price of the Vista and the Cruz. A good chunk of this is absorbed in the cost of the Vista’s carrycot (£124.99 for the Cruz) and the car seat adaptors (£32.99), so maybe the decision of which pushchair to buy may well be influenced by whether you require pushchair from birth or not (for example, we currently have no need of a carrycot or car seat adaptors).

Opening the Box

Out of the box came a slim, shiny chassis with the seat unit already attached. Having opened many pushchair boxes, it is rare to find a pushchair where the seat unit is already attached! This is largely because having the seat attached on the Cruz takes up no more room than having it free in the box. The Cruz wheels and hood were easy to pop on. By simply undoing the storage catch, and flicking the Cruz open, the pushchair was up and standing and ready for use in seconds – it really was soooooo simple to get started. There was no need for instructions! Everything is intuitive (unlike the Vista which had us reaching several times for the instructions). In the box was also a raincover and a bug cover.

Child Comfort and Seat Recline:

The Cruz seat unit itself is very similar in style and feel to the Vista seat. On three of the Cruz pushchairs the seat unit is black. These are accessorised with coloured hoods (Pale blue – Tyler; Black – Jake; Yellow – Sydney). The ‘Denny’ colourway has a red seat and red hood. We believe that the hoods can be bought as a spare part, which if true, would give scope for customising your Cruz should you wish to have a change of colour in future, maybe for a second child.

The seat unit is really really light (2.4kgs) – it removes very simply by pressing in a button on either side of the seat and lifting up. The seat can parent or forward face. It reattaches really easily onto the chassis with a satisfying click. The simplicity of this, combined with the light, sleek, slim chassis is refreshing to be honest. The Cruz is such an unfussy pushchair but yet is packed with features.

The seat unit is has a fairly short back, at 47cms high, which would probably not support an older sleeping child well. Our photos reveal that the seat back is below the eye level height of our eldest (at 3 years 9 months old), and our youngest at 24 months old (now on the 9th centile, so small for his age) already has the top of his head over the back of the seat. However the Cruz hood does slide an additional 6.5cms up the chassis to give an older child plenty of head room when sat upright.

The seat has 5 recline positions from bolt upright to a lie flat setting. The recline is really really easy and simple using one hand on the button at the rear of the seat unit. Even with our heavy 3.9 year old in the seat, it was easy to recline and sit her upright again.

The seat has 4 footrest settings, although disappointingly there is a very high and a ‘tucked underneath the seat’ setting, but only two other settings in between – one being with the seat unit / footrest in line. However we were delighted to see that the footrest did tuck right underneath the Cruz seat, because although the Cruz seat has a long built in footrest, there are two further additional places a taller child can place their feet – first of all on the front edge of the basket which has been thoughtfully rubberised to protect it, and secondly right down at the bottom on a plastic footrest. Our eldest, at 3 years 9 months old, preferred to place her feet on the edge of the basket. We love that the child has a choice of where to rest their feet and that the seat unit footrest can be moved clear out of the way. The seat unit footrest is easily adjusted using two buttons on the side of the footrest joint.

The seat does not seem very padded, but it is fine for a child. Our eldest had no complaints – and believe me, she lets us know when she’s not comfy!

In the US the Cruz seat is supposedly suitable from birth using the SnugSeat insert, but personally we do not feel this will flatten out the deep bucket of the Cruz seat enough for a newborn. In the UK it is recommended that a baby is laid flat until 6 months old, and we suggest that this would be best achieved by using the carrycot.


The Cruz harness was really easy to adjust. However the harness on the shortest shoulder settings was a bit on the loose side for our 24 month old. We were confident he was secure because the waist could be pulled tight. We liked that the crotch strap was adjustable, but there is no crotch pad. However we did have concerns that the harness would be too loose on a younger baby. The harness was easy to do up and to undo. We did like that the well padded shoulder harness pads are held in place with velcro fastenings. One of my minor annoyances is having to keep hoiking harness pads up onto the shoulders of my children. So this was a welcome touch. There are a choice of 3 harness height settings but it was really fiddly to alter. Thankfully it does not need doing very often.

There is no bumper bar included on the Cruz but apparently one will be available soon as an optional extra accessory.


We have already discussed how the hood slides usefully up the chassis to give a child additional head room. The Cruz hood is large when open, plus there is a hidden secret:- inside the rim of the hood there is a pull out silver SPF 50+ UV canopy extension, which tucks neatly away when not in use. When fully extended, the hood is huge and gives excellent coverage of the child. However, our 24 month old is driving me mad by constantly pulling at the SPF extension piece when its tucked inside the hood. He simply can not leave it alone, and I have to say I am on the verge of cutting the extension piece out. We would love some velcro tabs or toggles to keep the extension piece held securely inside the hood and to stop little fingers fiddling with it!!!

On top of the hood there is a mesh peekaboo window. As with the Vista, the peekaboo window is in an excellent position to see a child, especially when reclined. We love the magnetic closures for silent peeking on a sleeping child. The window also rolls up out of the way for good ventilation. However we were disappointed that the peekaboo window flap simply did not magnetise onto the front rim of the hood when open.  However, although it may seem a minor point, here in the UK, I would have preferred to have had a plastic window for winter / rainy day peeking, rather than the mesh.


The one BIG selling point of the Cruz for us personally, is the basket. It claims to hold 2.7 cubic feet. Although the Vista basket may look bigger, we can actually get a lot more into the Cruz basket for two reasons. First the Cruz basket is a sensible rectangular prism shape – it is roughly 59cms long x 41cms wide and is 20.5cms deep. Thus you can pack right into the corners without everything rolling into the middle. There is no bar through the centre of the basket like the Vista. We also found that shopping fell out of the rear of the Vista basket if you did not pack well, whereas its easy to load the Cruz basket up to the top with everything contained inside. Whilst we were taking photos outside, we thought we would see if the children’s very large toy crate would fit in the basket, and we were really surprised when it did!!! The basket is HUGE!

We took the Cruz to the supermarket. Usually when we take a single pushchair, we are limited in what we can buy by the amount I can fit in one wire supermarket basket, but also how much we can carry home on the pushchair. But with the Cruz we easily took home double what we usually bought which meant we could take advantage of all the 2 for 1 offers on at the supermarket on bulky items, such as cans of soft drinks and crisps. Our daughter even managed to persuade me that there was room for a Peppa Pig chair underneath as well!! We can in fact fit one wire supermarket basket in the basket whilst going around the supermarket which saves me carrying it whilst juggling the pushchair and a toddler – or else it means we can fill two baskets up instead of just the one (one under the pushchair and carrying one)!

We absolutely LOVE the Cruz basket – it is a mummy shoppers dream!!!

We also love that Uppababy have thoughtfully sewn in two pockets at the rear which means I always know where my keys, purse and mobile phone are! There’s no rummaging around trying to find them at the bottom of the basket!!

Our only minor niggle with the basket, is that it is grey. Why? The seat units and wheels are black – so why have a grey basket when black would have looked so much better in our humble opinion?!? It looks awfully odd having an all black seat and a grey basket.


The Cruz handlebar is fairly slim in the hand and is covered with quality foam. It feels good to hold. However the Cruz handle is fairly high (approx 100cms at the lowest) and this is something which I think is important to stress. I like a tall handlebar (I am 5ft 6ins) but it already feels tall for me without the need to extend the height. Thus the Cruz is probably brilliant for taller parents. There is a button in the centre of the telescoping handlebar to extend the height by 3 positions to 105cms.

Suspension, Handling and Wheels:

The words “urban” and “city” use are appearing in other reviews of the Cruz – and this probably is a sideways reference to the smaller wheels of the Cruz, but also that Cruz is a very hard ride. The Cruz feels solid underhand. There are clear sections of the chassis above the rear wheels, which are ‘suspension’ but you honestly can not feel it when you push. We have tried leaning on the handle, going ‘off road’ etc and these ‘suspension’ sections barely move. There is no ‘give’ in the handlebar if you lean slightly on it – or even lean heavily on it!  I like a firm handlebar and not too much suspension on a pushchair, but the Cruz is too hard for me. There is only one pushchair that I have reviewed that felt harder, and that made my hands hurt within half an hour. I am conscious that this could also be an issue with the Cruz on an all day trip. As a result, I think this ‘hard’ ride combined with the small wheels means that we would hesitate to choose the Cruz as a reliable pushchair for an all day, worry free, outing. I have to say this was a major issue for us – and one that should not be overlooked when buying. This alone would decide for us that the Vista or another pushchair was a better choice of pushchair to buy.

The tiny rear wheels have always put a question mark for us over the usefulness of the Cruz ie whether it could cope with more than just pavements. So we put the Cruz through a mini off road assault course of tufty soft grass, high verges, edges, kerbs, bumps, gravel – all with our heavy 3.9 year old on board – and the Cruz was gobsmackingly easy peasy to push over everything. We are not saying that the Cruz is an off road pushchair, but we were really really surprised how easy the Cruz just floated over everything – we certainly wouldn’t be afraid to take the Cruz to the park with us, or to feed the ducks at the lake, or even to go along a woodland path. It handled far far better than one leading pushchair which we recently reviewed which claims to be suitable for all terrain!! To be fair, I suspect most people wouldn’t even attempt anything other than flat terrain with such small wheels, but we like trying pushchairs out properly in our every day life!

Whilst we think the Cruz probably does fit the “Urban” description well, we also think that the Cruz would handle most situations that the average family would find themselves in during the first few years of their child’s life, whether its the park or playground, the odd wander down a rough path or trip to a children’s farm.

The foam filled front wheels are 16.5cms wide and we like that the wheels have been rubberised. Its a touch that gives a pushchair a bit of class, and a smoother, quieter ride! The rear wheels are 19cms wide. The wheels all pop off fairly easily although to be fair, its not going to make a lot of difference to the fold to do so.

Carrycot and Car Seats:

The Uppababy Cruz has an optional carrycot. It is great that it is optional, as I do hear parents being put off buying a Vista for an older child because they don’t need the carrycot and car seat adaptors. We haven’t seen the Cruz carrycot at close quarters, but if it is anything like as lovely as the Vista carrycot then it will be fab. There is an extending UV canopy on the carrycot which is similar to the pushchair one but it also has mesh panels. The Cruz carrycot simply drops onto the Cruz chassis without the need for any adaptors. The carrycot comes with a mattress, insect net and raincover.

The Uppababy Cruz does have Maxi-Cosi car seat adaptors available for sale as an optional extra.

There will also be a PiggyBack board to fit the Cruz later in 2012 along with the bumper bar.


The Uppababy Cruz fold is easy. Its a simple press of a button and then a slide backwards with each hand to ‘break’ the pushchair. Then fold down towards the floor. It is possible to fold the Cruz with the seat on forward facing (not parent facing). However, we use a pushchair rear facing, so for us, the Cruz may just as well be a 2 piece fold, as it saves us turning the seat around each time we unfold / fold the pushchair. But you have the choice with the Cruz of a one or two piece fold. What is lovely is being able to store the seat attached to the chassis in the house, and that having the seat attached takes up no more room than the chassis alone.

The Uppababy Cruz chassis freestands when folded – but only when you extend the handlebar which is an extra additional step if you do not already have it extended. Given the Cruz freestands onto the handlebar, we do wonder how durable the handlebar will be, although there are two ‘stoppers’ on it. Our handlebar already is dirty from folding. More of a disappointment to us, is how after just a few days of use, the front plastic footrest of the Cruz is already scraped and damaged.

The fold can be made more compact by folding the footrest down, but this is an additional two handed stage to the fold. The chassis autolocks shut.

However there are several things about the fold that I really do not like – and to be honest – they were enough for me to want to sell this pushchair:

First of all I have already discussed my disappointment in the folded length of what is billed as a “compact stroller solution without compromising on the features of a full-size stroller”. I am sorry Uppababy, but the Cruz IS a full sized pushchair. It’s tall and large when folded – its taller than the Vista! The Cruz is narrower than the Vista but the Cruz still feels large.

Secondly, I really really hate the pointy sticking up parts of the Cruz chassis – where it folds in two – the tallest points when folded.  Every time I go to put the Cruz in my car, I worry about scratching or denting my car with these. I have never worried about scratching my car even lifting in some large side by side pushchairs. But these pointy bits really worry me! Silly maybe, but true.

Thirdly, the Cruz does pretty much fill the length of our boot  - the Cruz is not much shorter than the Mountain Buggy +One, which is a big tandem pushchair! Since the Cruz is so long folded, for my car (personal I know), I need to lift the Cruz up higher than I do for a smaller folding pushchair to get it up and over the sills in the boot, doing this makes the Cruz feels quite heavy. I only generally have to lift a double pushchair this high to get it in. I was however surprised to discover that the Cruz is only 9.9kgs because it does feel heavier.

Finally, there is on the side of the Cruz chassis, just above one rear wheel, a light grey rubberised panel. When you first get the Cruz this has a label on it saying something along the lines of this is a non slip place to grip and carry your Cruz. At first it looked like a great idea, and an even better idea to flag it up with a label; until I tried it, and I promptly caught my hand in the chassis as the handle folded down on top of my hand!! There is too much ‘give’ in the chassis when folded, so that as you pick the Cruz up the handle and front wheels ‘flap’. This can be seen in the angle the pushchair stands when folded ie a ^ shape because it will actually fold flat when laid on the floor. There is a small dark grey bar – which sits above the rim of the basket and this is jointed and moves, and we have also caught ourselves on this part trying to carry the Cruz. Although these may sound like minor points, its quite hard to find places on the Cruz where you feel confident and safe about carrying it. This is important if you are very car based and are constantly lifting the Cruz in and out of the car, or need to carry the pushchair into the house. I have to say, these two instances where I hurt my hands, were enough for me to dislike this pushchair enough to want it to go. It was Mr BB who saved the Cruz from the fate of Ebay. The HUGE basket is the factor that saved it simply because we can now do a reasonable amount of shopping with just a single (rather than a double) pushchair! So the Cruz is still here…… just……but given I do need to put any pushchair in and out of my car boot a lot especially in term time, I am going to have to find a way that I feel confident to handle the Cruz every time. Folded size, ease of handling, weight etc are all important to me, especially in a ‘compact’ single, and the Cruz for us does not win here.

Brake, Raincover and Bug Net:

I love the Uppababy Cruz foot brake. It has a lovely decisive click when you step on it. It is a simple step on the top to release the brake. Lovely!

We haven’t had reason to use the raincover or bug net as yet – but we will soon (Thunderbug season is about to hit here with the harvesting), so we will update this when we have used them. But it is good that these two items are included in the box.

In Conclusion:

The beauty of the Uppababy Cruz is in its simplicity. It is simple, easy and intuitive to use. The seat unit is so light to turn around and drops into place so simply. The huge shopping basket is a massive draw for any parent who needs to get shopping home on board a pushchair. I know for us, this feature alone sold us the Cruz. The handle height should please even the tallest of parents. The fold and unfold itself is easy. However we wish the folded Cruz was smaller, more refined and less ‘scary’, as this fear of hurting our hands, or damaging the car is spoiling the Cruz experience for us. The ‘hard’ ride with almost zero visible suspension is something that was instantly obvious to us from the first push, and is really affecting our enjoyment of using this pushchair. Would we buy the Cruz again? Probably not – for a similar size both open and folded, we may as well have had the Vista which would have given us better suspension and bigger wheels – but for a ‘compact’ pushchair, the Cruz is too large for us.

*Best Buggy Edit 2014*
We have recently had another look at the Uppababy Cruz, and the suspension issues appear to have been resolved. On the pushchair we tried out, the suspension was working great – as we would have expected in our original review.

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