Baby Jogger Vue Review by Best Buggy
The Baby Jogger Vue is a reincarnation of a familiar friend – the Petite Star / NJOY UP Bubble stroller. Baby Jogger bought the NJOY factory and have tweaked and rereleased the Vue under their own branding. Best Buggy have already reviewed the Bubble, however, we were very interested in any changes or differences to this pushchair, since we saw the Bubble before its launch over two years ago.
The Baby Jogger Vue is an umbrella pushchair which has a seat on both sides of the seat back – one at the front for forward facing use; and one at the rear for parent facing use. Having the option to both parent face, or forward face, integrated into one stroller is something which is currently unique on the market. There are other pushchairs where the pushchair can have a ‘pramette’ type environment for a young baby, but the Vue allows even larger toddlers to parent face. Master BB is 4 and he fits great with the seat parent facing – in fact, he probably sits better parent facing than forward facing! The change from forward to reverse facing can be done one handed in a few seconds. This makes the Vue an interesting proposition for a family where children share one pushchair – one seat harness can be left set up for the eldest child, and the other can be set up ready for the youngest. When an older child gets tired, the seat could quickly be switched so that the toddler could sit up front, and a sling could then be used for the baby.
Baby Jogger have given the Vue block colours and the Baby Jogger logos. There is a choice of black, blue or red fabric colour on a silver coloured chassis. The wheels are different, and the hood visor is more shallow than it was on the Bubble. The fold lock has been moved ever so slightly which makes for a tighter fold. However otherwise, the Vue and Bubble are nearly identical.
Child Comfort, Seat Positions and Harness
There has been no doubt that Master BB, aged 4, 98cms tall has been comfortable in the seat unit. On our first outing he was a little under the weather and he loved being able to lie back parent facing, and still see us clearly. The benefit of the Vue is best seen in the photo of Little Miss BB playing with Master BB – the Vue offers close parent / sibling / carer interaction. A run around the shops was made much more fun and interesting for everyone. I could also keep a close eye on Master BB to make sure he was ok. The parent facing feature alone is really why you would buy a Baby Jogger Vue over any other umbrella fold buggy. At the time of writing, the Vue is unique, although two other similar reversible strollers are coming to market soon.
The Vue seat is really tall. Master BB is a long way off reaching the top of the seat, which at his age is quite remarkable. He could lie down comfortably without his head touching the hood fabric behind him. There is loads of height above him under the huge canopy.
There are two harness height settings. Master BB has the harness on the upper setting. There are harness pads, however there is no buckle /crotch pad. This may seem like a minor detail, but the harness on the Vue has sharp points and rough edges which dig into small tummies – no problem in winter, but in summer, this is an issue for us, especially as the buckle of the Bubble cut my finger. Personally we would like to see these buckles never used. This buckle is also used on the Bubble and on the Baby Jogger Lite. However on these two pushchairs there is a buckle pad to afford the child protection. We would like to see Baby Jogger add a buckle pad onto the Vue.
The seat can be reclined easily.The recline button is situated in the rear of the seat, behind the child’s head. There is a square white logo with arrows which say “Recline & Reverse”. Underneath this flap of fabric is a squeeze handle which can be accessed from the front or the back. This will recline the child through 3 positions from upright to lie flat.
It is quite tricky to get a sleeping child into the seat when it is parent facing. This is one occasion when it may be useful to flip the seat from rear facing to forward facing temporarily until they wake up. This is possible to do one handed.
The Baby Jogger Vue is suitable from birth. Baby Jogger thoughtfully provide a head hugger for a young baby. Our concern is that it is difficult to make the harness straps fit the size of a newborn baby with only two shoulder height settings and no other adjustment holes. Baby Jogger, do however make a soft carrycot for the Vue. This attaches to the D Rings of the pushchair. Inside the soft carrycot are D rings onto which a harness can be attached for safety.
There is an adjustable calf rest on both sides of the Vue. This is easy to pull up to horizontal, or even to upright for a small baby. There is a footrest on the front of the pushchair for an older child which is perfect for Master BB. However, there is no foot rest at the rear for a toddler. The angle of the Vue means that the child is well clear of the floor at the rear. Master BB could put his feet on the front wheels when forward facing which was a little annoying at times. However, he is at the upper end of the age range for use of this pushchair, and he was also being a pickle!
The Baby Jogger Vue has a small basket. Access is very poor, however two small zips have thoughtfully been inserted at the front of each side of the basket to help. The frame however severely restricts the size of items which can be pushed in. I managed to push my purse in – approx 8cms high – and it was catching on the chassis as I pushed. There was no room for my handbag on board. However, we did find a use for the rear seat when Master BB was forward facing. We could stack large packets in the back of the seat which did help considerably to get our shopping home. It may even be possible to make use of the front harness to strap a changing bag in? I also dropped my keys and purse into this area rather than mess around with the basket zip. However, this space is only available when the child faces forwards.
Handlebars, Handling, Wheels and Brake
The Baby Jogger Vue is a two handled pushchair. The handle height suits me at 5ft 6ins. We have enjoyed using the Vue although handling was much easier with two hands. I tend to push with one hand, and my steering was all over the place at times! The Vue may well have worked better for us if we had added our Dooky bar for one handed manoeuverability at certain times. The handlebars are covered in foam which makes them comfortable to hold.
The Vue has 4 double wheels. These are pretty standard, hard plastic buggy wheels. They coped fine with the every day challenges which we threw at it – paths, mown grass, playground bark etc. It is possible to lock the front wheels when going across more tricky terrain.
There is a foot brake pedal between the wheels, on both sides at the rear of the Vue. The brake has needed a good press at times to get it to engage.
The Baby Jogger Vue comes with a cupholder. The cupholder to be honest is a bit flimsy and it fell off constantly. However, if you need a cupholder then, you have one! Just please promise not to put hot drinks into it!
In line with the rest of the Baby Jogger range, there is no raincover included. It feels a little strange not having a raincover in the box of an umbrella fold pushchair!
There is no option to add a bumper bar. However there is a matching footmuff.
The Vue can be turned into a travel system with the addition of car seat adaptors and a compatible infant carrier. We have been informed that only the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix has been safety approved for use at time of writing.
Folding, Reclining and Reversing the Seat
The Baby Jogger Vue is a traditional umbrella folding pushchair which usefully autolocks once folded. To fold, make sure the hood is back. Then using your foot, press up in the centre of the back bar to release the chassis. Then step on the lever located on the right hand side of the back bars, and push the handlebars forwards to the floor to lock. The Vue will fold with the seat left facing either direction, however the fold is slightly easier when the seat is left parent facing.
To unfold, simply release the autolock and pull the handlebars upwards. Place a foot on top of the back bar footplate, and push the chassis down to lock the Vue open. We have found that the fabric of the rear footrest does obstruct sight of the tiny back bar footplate, which has made it a little awkward when unfolding.
There is a very useful carrying handle on the side of the chassis. We have noted that the folding lock is in a slightly different place to the Bubble which gives a neater fold. However, we are noticing that our left hand handlebar is already splaying more than we would like to see for a nearly new pushchair. The fold is 107.3cms which is a little longer than a usual umbrella fold. So do check the dimensions of your car boot before buying.
Reversing the seat is simple. Use the recline handle from either the front or the back of the pushchair to move the seat forwards or backwards. Moving the seat forwards from the horizontal, essentially turns the seat around; thus revealing the harness on the other side.
The hood however is now on the wrong side of the seat. The hood attaches at the rear of the pushchair to the handlebars using two velcro tabs. When these are released, the hood can be easily flipped inside out so that the front faces the direction the child is travelling in, and the rear fabric sections can be secured using long velcro tabs, to make it look neat and tidy. It may be necessary to rearrange the fabric at the top of the seat to ensure that it is behind the seat and not in front. The two velcro tabs need doing up again on the handlebar. The hood is a floppy lycra type fabric which can look a bit messy, however if the hood rods are lined up and the hood is pulled taught, then it looks smart. The hood is noisy, and can be a bit unwieldy to position. If the velcro tabs on the handlebar are undone, then the enormous hood can be pulled all the way forwards over the child.
We do find it a little odd having the ‘empty’ seat at the front of the pushchair when the seat is sat upright parent facing. The dark fabric of our Vue helps to hide this though, and the calf rest of the Vue can also be moved to an upright position to also help hide the second seat. This is a minor but big improvement on the Bubble.
Just a point to note is that the “Recline & Reverse” fabric panel is an additional improvement, because the Bubble used to allow sunlight through the recline release handle onto the head of the child underneath. This does not happen on the Vue.
The Baby Jogger Vue is the elusive parent facing buggy which means that it will appeal to many parents; especially as it has newborn and travel system options from birth. The concept of an easily reversible seat is a brilliant one. Having a reversible seat on an umbrella fold pushchair makes the Vue good for travel or storing easily at home. Having a choice of two seats, can make the Vue a useful pushchair for siblings too. The cost of £199.99 is high for a buggy (£219.98 with raincover), however, there would be no requirement for any other pushchair.
The colours and chassis of the Vue have made this stroller look more ‘normal’ than its predecessor, the Bubble did. The lift up calf rest at the front helps to hide the front seat when not in use. However, we are not keen on the hood, or on the slight movement in the handles. The lack of storage is a little frustrating, but there are ways around that.
It has been good to see the changes which were implemented since we had the Bubble, because they have made a difference. However the Vue is not perfect….yet! The Baby Jogger Vue is unique in its class and it works extremely well. Thus we are awarding it a Best Buggy 4.5 gold star rating.
If you need a parent facing umbrella fold buggy, then the Baby Jogger Vue is it!
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