Bugaboo Cameleon & Quinny Yezz – The Perfect Holiday Combination!
This is confession time: I have just had my 40th Birthday!! Eeeek!
I was absolutely delighted when Mr BB agreed to buy me a much wanted Limited Edition All Black Bugaboo Cameleon to mark the special occasion. Mr BB has a golden rule here – once one of our pushchairs leaves BB HQ we don’t get another one. But the Cameleon has been the exception because we never wanted to sell the Cameleon in the first place!
The Bugaboo Cameleon was the ‘one-pushchair-only’ for our eldest daughter. We absolutely loved it and it went everywhere with us. We even planned for child No 2, and decided a wheeled board with sit on seat would be the ideal solution for our eldest (who walked early). But that was until we got within months of Baby No 2′s arrival, and realised our plan was never going to work. The Cameleon got sold to fund our first double pushchair.
So opening the box of the Bugaboo Cameleon was like welcoming an old friend back to the family. There were things I loved, and things that I remembered I didn’t like so much. But it was good to have a Cameleon back home.
What did I love?
First of all the looks. The Cameleon looks cute and neat. I love the quality and fabrics. I love the customisability of all the Bugaboo’s and the Cameleon has been no exception. It’s only a couple of weeks old and its already got a choice of hoods, Breezy’s, footmuffs and accessories such as the brilliant cupholder and two organisers! Beware, all Bugaboo’s can empty your purse pretty quickly with the endless options to customise, but that is also what makes Bugaboo’s fun and personal!! The Cameleon pushes great and I love the slim chassis. I love the feel of the narrow foam handlebar in my hand – which to be honest has surprised me after the iCandy Peach which I love – because when I went from the Cameleon to the Peach, the chunky handlebar (along with the open basket and easy fold) were the things that I liked the most about the Peach – but I have also been pushing a Bugaboo Bee a lot lately and that handlebar is really too slim for me. I love that you can squish things into the huge basket, but if an item doesn’t quite fit, that you can simply pull the fabric up around the item and pull the toggle, to hold it in. I love the seat – my son looks really comfy in it. I like the handbrake and adjustable handlebar. I love the easy flat fold and the way the seat sits on the floor with the legs when loading in and out of the car (or even with the child sat in on a picnic – my friends used to look on enviously as they struggled to feed their wriggling, crawling babies whilst we had a civilised lunch with crawling afterwards!) I especially love the flip over handle – it makes access to the children so much easier, or allows my son to be pushed right up to the table in a restaurant with the handlebar out of the way. Bugaboo suggest you drop the handle forwards under the table but I am yet to find a table with enough room to be able to do this!
What do I not like so much?
I am not enjoying the unfold – I have to say I have wished a few times this week, that I had been patient and waited for the new Cameleon 3 with its easy opening chassis – but the decision has been made now! I don’t like that if the chassis is folded correctly that you have to somehow (and I haven’t managed it this time yet) to kick the front wheels out with the rear bar obstructing access. I usually end up having to rotate the pushchair round and pull the wheels out by hand! Conversely having the wheels out already doesn’t help as you have to close the chassis to then release the handlebar! I don’t like the “give” in the handlebar. To be honest it feels worse if you stand still and wiggle it. You don’t notice it when pushing. I don’t like the poor access into the basket. When parent facing access isn’t too bad, but you are forced to “fish” blind in the canvas basket to find objects, and with the carrycot on, access is very restricted. I used to have to lift the carrycot off to put shopping underneath. I dont like the fixed bumper bar – I need to remove the bar to put my son in because he is heavy and the bumper bar buttons stick every time. I was disappointed to find the Cameleon 3 doesn’t have a gate opening bumper bar. I don’t like how the child has to lie on the hood fabric although I am pleased that the canvas these days is much softer. The old canvas was really hard for a child to lie on. I don’t like having to press in the stiff brake button, to release. There have been times where Mr BB has set off walking and I am still stood trying to release the pesky thing!
But on balance, I like the Cameleon – the seat is comfortable and supportive for both my children, there is plenty of storage space, and we also managed to stack two Bugaboo organisers on the rear of the seat which took care of everything we required for feeding and changing on our day trips, plus the Cameleon pushes great. I didn’t ever have to think about whether the pushchair could cope with the environment we were in – the Cameleon can do everything very well. We like having the option of flipping the large wheels to the front to make bumpy ground or sand easier.
Holidays here we come!!
We spent my birthday packing the car for our holiday – many miles from home – on the south coast. The Bugaboo Cameleon is one of the very small handful of pushchairs which fits under the roof clearance of our convertible car. So although we have a Bugaboo Bee (which doesn’t fit under the roof), we knew the Cameleon would pack flatter on top of all our bags and would be easy to then lift out whenever we stopped. Our packing was so good that we didn’t even need to remove the wheels of the Cameleon; and we decided at the last minute to squeeze the Quinny Yezz into the car, because as we quite rightly discovered, several nights sharing a room with Mummy, Daddy and a nocturnal brother would mean that our eldest would end up going to sleep much later than usual, but would also be up early each morning excited, thus meaning a culmulative sleep loss over several days!!
By day 3, as predicted the sleep loss was kicking in and our eldest was becoming grumpy. So having the Yezz for her was fantastic. If she wanted a ride, or we felt she was better in a pushchair eg around shops, then it was easy to take the Yezz off our back, flick it open and strap her in. The Yezz also came into its own at the hotel. We were assigned the room furthest from the car park, and so the tiny Yezz meant we could push our son down the corridor, past the room cleaning trolleys, to and from the room, where it got folded up and slipped into a gap. The Quinny Yezz was also brilliant to take into a restaurant. It could easily be folded up and stood next to the table, or pushed underneath. En route, at service stations, the Yezz was easy to simply pull out, flick open, and use to run in and out. We even managed to strap a Bugaboo Organiser onto the handlebar of the Yezz above the hood!
Our 3 year old was desperate to meet Peppa Pig, so off we went to Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park. The Bugaboo Cameleon came with us. But the day was showery and bearing in mind, I had barely tried the Cameleon out before putting it in the car, the first test was the raincover. The raincover is tight, but after the Donkey raincover it was a breeze!! I love the ventilated window. The two fully loaded organisers fitted neatly onto the rear of the seat which left the basket free for all our other bits and pieces. The Cameleon coped brilliantly with the all day outing. We had room for drinks, coats, nappies, food etc. It pushed great. It provided somewhere comfy for our son to sit and sleep. All round it was great.
Our other main outing was to Gun Wharf Quays in Portsmouth for some retail therapy, and to go up the Spinnaker Tower. I am not sure the children were too happy at shopping, but each came away with goodies as did Mummy and Daddy Having the Yezz definitely made a huge difference with a tired, and therefore volatile, 3 year old. She wasn’t that pleased to be in a pushchair, but she loved being whizzed around and having races with her brother! The Yezz was great on the flat hard surfaces of the shopping mall and dockside. However the Yezz is never too happy when you meet carpet in a shop!!
We ate out quite a lot on holiday and both pushchairs proved their worth. The Bugaboo Cameleon’s flip handle, and removable bumper bar, made it easy peasy to push the Cameleon right up to the table so that our son was at the correct height without needing a highchair. Equally the Yezz folded up one handed and was put under or next to the table. I love that you can open the Yezz without standing up, so that you aren’t conspiciously trying to open a pushchair whilst others are eating around you.
Sadly our son slept through the amazing views in the Spinnaker Tower, but the Cameleon was the perfect place for him to nap. The Ocean hood lived up to its name by almost matching the colour of the Solent beneath us. Our eldest was set free to explore the Spinnaker Tower. Our brave little girl even walked across the glass panels at the top of the tower, over 100 metres high, not just once, but twice!! Eeeeep it was a long way down!! The Yezz meanwhile was on Mr BB’s back for the first part of the outing, but later the Yezz started to ping open every time either of us started to walk with it on our back!! We finally worked out that we were putting it on upside down. We find it most comfy with two wheels down, but you are supposed to have the single wheel pointing down. Since returning home we have been experimenting and the Yezz fits really neatly in the basket of the Bugaboo Bee. One to remember for a future trip!
We did several more shopping trips at various places, and between the two pushchairs we really had a perfect pair. I was glad that we had the choice of pushchair depending on the outing or stop, but the Cameleon would have done everything we needed and more on its own. This was our first (brave) holiday without a double pushchair. Space in the car was at a premium too, and the Yezz bridged the gap nicely between needing a double pushchair and just one single pushchair. The Yezz meant we had a back up pushchair when we needed without it taking up precious room in the boot or hotel room.
All round this pair of pushchairs suits our family and children well. The Bugaboo Cameleon was designated for our youngest but it can equally carry our almost 4 year old relatively easily – she fits well in the seat still and is fairly easy to push – easier in the Bee and Donkey though. The Yezz harness can be quickly adjusted for either child and its simplicity makes it great for either child. These pushchairs are really polar opposites for cost, function, size etc. but on this holiday they complemented each other well – although Mr BB teased me constantly for having matching pushchairs (totally unintentional!)
Other Bugaboo Cameleon Reviews: