UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller Review

cruz 2If you’ve read my reviews before, you know that Mike and I (Susie) are huge fans of our Bumbleride Indie Twin stroller. However, while Mike goes off reviewing every car seat under the sun, I’ve slowly been reviewing more and more great strollers we come across. Last week I had the chance to review the 2015 UPPAbaby Vista stroller after a friend picked it up. It impressed me so much that I went hunting for the 2015 UPPAbaby Cruz, and sure enough, a friend of a friend had recently bought it online. I convinced her to let me borrow it for the weekend (she got to use our Indie single stroller) and have spent the last several days taking notes on it to make this review. Read on for details!

Quick Review of the UPPAbaby Cruz Stroller

cruz 1The Cruz has been out for years, and the current 2015 Cruz updates the line by adding bigger rear wheels for improved handling and comfort on bumpy terrain. That and a bumper bar are the main new changes, besides the availability of a new line of colors.

That said, there are a number of neat features in the Cruz that are worth mentioning, such as its reversible seat, which is typically not a feature you get in most strollers, the one-handed recline that’s not flat but almost, the great big canopy and pop-out sun visor, large basket, all-wheel suspension, and more. We’ll go into all of this in a moment. The weight is still steady at 22 pounds, which is on the lighter end for a reversible seat stroller.

Who is the Cruz aimed at? I’d say parents who live in urban, city-like environments. The big basket (it looks like a small shopping cart) is great for picking up groceries at the local Trader Joe’s, the 22″ wide frame means you can squeeze through narrow doorways and clothing racks without getting stuck, as well as past narrow aisles and pedestrians on crowded sidewalks. The no-flat tires and all-wheel suspension mean you feel fewer bumps and jolts while making your way through the urban jungle. It also increases your odds of keeping a sleeping child sleeping, which is huge in my books.

Above the wheels, the seat is designed to keep kids of all sizes safe and snug; the recline is deep and close to flat, and you can use it to transport a child from the day s/he leaves the hospital until the day s/he weighs 50 pounds. You can turn the Cruz into a pram for your newborn by pulling out the seat and adding the optional bassinet, or you can remove the seat and replace it with an infant seat, turning the entire setup into a travel system. The UPPAbaby MESA infant car seat Mike reviewed here works perfectly with the Cruz without needing a single adapter, and it’s an awesome car seat in its own right.

Overall, I’d rate the 2015 UPPAbaby Cruz a 5 out of 5 star stroller, especially when the larger wheels, bassinet option, travel system option, and reversibility features are considered. The main cons for the stroller include the somewhat bulky folding procedure and the lack of additional storage; as a mom, I can always use more storage. The  cheapest price I’ve yet found for the 2015 Cruz is here on Amazon, which includes free shipping, free returns, and no sales tax, depending on your state.

Buy the UPPAbaby Cruz stroller on Sale at Amazon.

Pros of the UPPAbaby Cruz stroller

cruz-2Surprisingly large canopy.  The canopy is the first thing you notice about the Cruz, and it’s a good one. It provides enough coverage to keep your little ones out of the sun’s rays and also includes a pop-out SPF 50+ sun visor that you can pull out of the canopy and extend it down to the bumper bar. On top of the canopy is a mesh peekaboo window to allow you to view your baby while simultaneously improving air circulation. The closure is magnetic, which means you can sneak peeks of your little ones without worrying about waking them.

Adjustable handle bar. The handle bar on the Cruz is designed to make both taller and shorter parents feel welcome; it adjusts from a lower height of 39.5″ to a top height of 42,” which means most parents will find heights that work for them. You adjust it by pressing a button in the center of the handle bar and pulling the handle bar out or pushing it in.

Large and deep seat. The Cruz features a seat 12″ wide, 20″ in depth, and between 20″ and 22″ top to bottom, measured from the top of the canopy to the seat bottom. The canopy is adjustable in height to give you the additional 2 inches. Are there higher canopies out there? Certainly. However, this one’s not bad for what it does. The seat has a lever recline adjustable with one hand that can be set to 5 different positions.

The main seat can be used with newborns, but it does not recline completely flat, and UPPAbaby does suggest you buy an infant insert to give your baby more support. On the other hand, the seat can be angled quite upright, which is helpful when you’ve got little ones who like to see everyone and everything. The seat fabric itself is comfortable and cool against the skin. You can remove and machine-wash it easily. The seat can also be used from birth until your child weighs 50 pounds.

The seat also comes with a 5-point harness that’s adjustable and includes a center release button. I wish the button were a bit harder to push, to be honest, since I could see some clever 2-year-olds trying to open it (and succeeding).

Reversible seating! Seat reversibility is cool enough in my books to deserve a second and separate mention. There are a pair of large grey buttons on both sides of the seat that you push inward. You then pull the seat out, turn it however you want, and then reattach it. The recline modes are the same whether the seat faces forward or backward (parent mode), but it needs to face forward for the stroller to be folded.

Adjustable foot rest. There are actually a pair of foot rests: a smaller one built into the seat for babies and a larger one built into the frame for larger and older kids. The leg rest on the seat is 10″ long and may be adjusted, while the foot rest on the frame is permanent.

Generous basket. The basket in the Cruz is capable of holding a good number of groceries, diaper bags, and other baby supplies. It’s easy to access, durable, and can hold up to 25 pounds of materials.

cruzWheels. There are four AirGo wheels beneath the Cruz, and they’re designed to never need inflation, since they’re filled with rubber but mimic the comfort and performance of tires filled with air. The front tires are 6.5″ in diameter while the rear wheels are 8.25″ in diameter. You can swivel or lock the front wheels. The rear wheels are larger in this generation than they were in the previous Cruz, but it’s important to note that the stroller is still most comfortable on flat and even terrain. You can handle grass, playground mulch, or most sidewalks, but this definitely isn’t a jogging or even all-terrain stroller.

All wheel suspension. While the Cruz has small wheels, it also comes with suspension on all four of them to help take some of the bumps and jolts your child would otherwise experience.

Foot-activated parking brake. The parking brake is between the two rear wheels and is easy to activate and deactivate with flip flops, tennis shoes, general walking shoes, or light heels.

Bumper bar included. There is a foam molded bumper bar with the UPPAbaby insignia at the front of the stroller, and it swings in and out of the way smoothly.

cruz-foldFast and easy fold. The fold is marketed as a one-step fold, but unless you’ve got the seat and canopy set up already, you’re likely to have to use at least another step and another hand. First of all, your seat needs to be upright and forward-facing. You then pull a pair of levers on the sides of the handle bar to fold the stroller. The seat may be removed before you fold it, and the stroller locks automatically. It’s still somewhat bulky after folded, which is surprising when you see how small the wheels are.

Buy the UPPAbaby Cruz stroller on Sale at Amazon.

Optional bassinet. You can add a bassinet to the Cruz if you don’t want to spend the money for the Vista, which has a bassinet included. The optional bassinet for the Cruz is the same one already in the Vista, and it’s awesome. You attach it to the frame and it weighs 8.4 pounds. You can use it from birth until your child weighs 20 pounds, and you can even use it at home as another bed for your baby due to the depth and size. It includes its own canopy with a mesh for sun protection and the same SPF 50+ sun visor present in the Cruz’s canopy. The mattress within the bassinet is soft and comfortable while everything inside is machine-washable and relatively easy to remove. Overall, I’m a big fan of bassinets and the UPPAbaby bassinet is one of the best on the market. You can buy it with free shipping here.

Optional travel system. If you want to use a dedicated infant seat and turn your Cruz into a travel system, you can do so by buying the UPPAbaby MESA infant seat and plugging it in directly without any need for an adapter. You can even reverse it on the stroller, which is awesome. You can also use a range of other infant seats like the KeyFit 30 and various Graco and Maxi-Cosi seats as long as you buy an adapter first. The travel system is also available as a package here.

Optional Piggyback Ride-Along Board. The Piggyback Ride-Along Board, or PiggyBoard, is a sideways skateboard that attaches to the back of the stroller. It works well with older kids who don’t need the stroller but who don’t always want to walk, or who get tired. It’s made out of ecologically-friendly wood and works with children who weigh up to 55 pounds. You can fold it into the stroller when you don’t want to use it, or even fold the stroller with the board attached. It also works with older Cruz models, which is a nice way to save money. You can buy it here with free shipping.

Cons of the UPPAbaby Cruz stroller

Folds up bulky. The Cruz doesn’t fold up very compactly when you need to pack it up, which isn’t a surprise when you consider the additional functionality of the reversible seat. If you’re looking for a tiny folding double, you’ll want to check out a side-by-side stroller like the Mountain Buggy Duet Double.

No additional storage spaces. This is a small quibble, but it might matter to some folks. Unlike the Vista, there just isn’t much extra storage space for the Cruz besides the generous basket beneath the stroller.

Specifications of and Warranty for the 2015 UPPAbaby Cruz stroller

The Cruz weighs 22 pounds with the seat and 16.5 pounds without it. It can be used with children from birth until 50 pounds. When folded, its dimensions with the seat are 22.5″ in width, 11″ in length, and 37″ in height. The overall length of the stroller is 37″ while the overall width is 22.25.”

There is a 2-year original owner warranty offered by UPPAbaby, and the clock starts ticking from when the stroller was purchased. You can read more about it here.

Where to buy the UPPAbaby Cruz stroller

Whenever possible, I buy my strollers, car seats, and other baby goodies on Amazon, since their prices tend to be the lowest I come across. They also sweeten the pot with free shipping and free returns, and you typically don’t pay sales tax with them unless you’re in a state that charges it.

When it comes to high-end tandem strollers, the 2015 Cruz is a good one. You can buy it here in Jake, Lindsey, Pascal, Samantha, Maya, Georgie, Maeve, and Denny. You can buy the UPPAbaby MESA infant seat here and the bassinet separately here. You can buy a package that includes the Cruz stroller and MESA infant car seat here. Canadians can buy the Cruz, car seat adapters, and a range of other accessories here.

If you find the information on car safety, recommended car seats, and car seat reviews on this car seat blog helpful, you can shop through this Amazon link for any purchases, car seat-related or not. Canadians can shop through this link for Canadian purchases.

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