August 10, 2006

Whassa Uppa With Uppa Baby?

uppa_baby_kickstand.jpg uppa_baby_vista.jpg
Maybe this is more a question for the retailers in the audience: Where'd Uppa Baby come from? I saw they were at JPMA, but I confess, I don't remember seeing them. From what I can gather, it's a US-based, parent/inventor-driven start-up in the Boon mode, just without the fat distribution deal at Target yet.

Their website says they're launching in September with some safety and convenience products [stretchable nylon sunshades, safety gate adaptors], and there's a patent application on file for an "Illuminated security gate unit" [inspired, no doubt, by a disastrous 2AM visit to the kitchen]. But the big products are the strollers:

The G-Lite looks like a Volo with a kickstand, basically, and two hooks on the back for...I don't know, hanging it on the wall? [But why do you need the kickstand if you can hang it? It's a mystery.]

And then there's the Vista, which looks to have kind of a Bugaboo-meets-Graco Quattro Tour-meets Safety 1st Avila thing going on. Not an unattractive rig; it certainly photographs well [except for the menacing bag bracket sticking out next to the rear wheels in one pic]. The Vista is designed for the discerning parent who "is seeking a premium product alternative with the focus on relevant and logical features," which is great, but definitely not untargeted segment in this, The Year Of Our Lord Bugaboo 0005 [or 5 A.B., for short.]

Uppa Baby
[uppababy.com via dt reader mark]

10 Comments

Speaking of Boon...a big pile of their frog bath scoop/storage thingies is currently in the clearance area at my local Target for 30% off. Sad...

The vista looks exactly the same as ABC Design Astro from Germany!

They've got the 3 wheeler version too~


[no way. it's exactly the same. I love this t-shirt-worthy warning: "This pushchair is not a piece of sports equipment!" -ed.]

We just received ours in the mail (from modernnursery.com) and can't wait to use it. It was easy to put together, rolls around smoothly and is easy to fold up, change seats, etc.

I checked out the G-lite today at a local dealer. It does compare to the Maclaren Volo, but I found some distinct differences that are worth noting. First, the fold-up method is completely different. It folds from a hook on one of the handlebars...pretty cool. No more using your foot (and splitting a toenail) to push up a lever to break the stroller down. Second, the wheels are distinctly wider, i.e., stronger than Maclaren. Although I think both brands use some type of plastic wheel, the Maclaren wheel is just like one of those cheap umbrella Costco-like strollers. Uppa Baby's wheel is wider and seems more durable. Third, G-lite comes with a cushion that's easy to take on and off. And my 19-month-old son seemed to like the cushion. In fact, he didn't want to get out of the stroller! Maclaren cushions are extra. Both strollers have the carry strap. When I lifted the G-lite, I could noticably tell that is was a bit heavier...but just a tiny bit. I also noticed that it seemed longer, which may be an issue for smaller folks. I'm 5'9", so the length didn't bother me too much. And speaking of height, the handlebars seemed to be made for tall people. I wasn't bending my back at all to push the stroller. And my toes didn't kick the wheels as I walked, which was another plus. Lastly, the G-lite frame seemed a bit stronger and more durable than the Maclaren. Yet, the mesh seat in the Maclaren seemed a tiny tiny bit more reclined than the Uppa Baby, which I like because my son tends to sleep in the stroller. On the other hand, I've read reviews that some babies slide down to a slump in the Maclaren because of this seat, so the seat cushion is a necessity for these babies. (My son didn't have this problem). In conclusion, two days ago I was set on purchasing a Maclaren Volo for an upcoming trip. But after today, I've totally switched to buying a Uppa Baby G-lite. It was obvious to me that you get much more for the money with the G-lite. I just wish there was a better selection of colors to choose from. So find a local dealer and check it out for yourselves! It's worth the effort!

My wife and I are expecting our first in May. Being a gadget guy, the stroller quickly became my new "it" gadget to have. Hey, if I'm gonna walk around town with all of my tech-geek gadgets, I've gotta have a hip-dad stroller. Or at least a geek-dad stroller. That all being said, I was undecided between a few and in the end it came down to the Peg Skate, Bug Chameleon, and the Uppababy Vista. The Vista won hands down. Honestly, it's not even a contest, which is sad because the Bug and Skate are both significantly more expensive.

First of all the stroller just moves better. It's smoother. I also love the sneaker rubber tires. Not that I can't do it with the others, but it was incredibly easy to move this stroller with even one hand. The woman in the boutique put an 10 pound weight in the stroller for us and it was just unreal how smooth it moved around. The Skate was most disappointing. Pushing the Vista and the Skate was like picking something heavy up in water or on land. Completely different. Also, the bassinet on the Vista is the best we've seen. We like it so much we took the bassinet we registered for off of our registry. The only bassinet that came close was the dreami by Quinny, but their stroller, for all its promise when researching, was honestly a piece of garbage. I could go on forever on how great the Vista is. If I could make one criticism it would be that they should make a few more car adapters so that a MaxiCosi or Britax car seat would fit. Right now you can only use Peg or Graco with an adapter. Also, a cupholder(coming in late February '08) would have been nice. One final thing is that it's made in the USA in Massachusetts. The bottom line is that Bugaboo laid the groundwork, Uppababy perfected it.

It also firmly resembles the Steelcraft Strider 4 (available in Australia) http://www.britax.com.au/Websites/Business/brproddb.nsf/LUPages/Strollers-Strider%204. . .

I live in Brooklyn and basically walk everywhere. The Uppa Vista looks great and is great for going up and down sidewalks and curbs but it is extremely heavy to carry up and down the six stairs that go up to my building and it doesn't really have a carrying handle if you have the seat in when you collapse it. Also, it's very wide. Not too good for shopping... but if you are just walking around the neighborhood it's great. If we were to buy another stroller I would go for something similar but more narrow and easier to collapse and carry. I have not been suggesting this one to friends. Looks great but I overall wouldn't say it's very easy to use day to day.

I have the Uppa Baby Vista and my 7 week old and I mostly love it:

PROS: can handle any sort of bumps, gravel, grass, brick road that Northern VA has to offer, very smooth steering, great shocks. My husband is 6'3" and I am 5'6" and we both push it very comfortably without him having to hunch over. I have gone running downhill with this thing and my 7 week old stayed asleep! The bassinet is luxurious and supportive. The price and included accessories are great.

The customer service and warantee are unbeatable. They sent me a new frame in 4 days after I called to complain about some squeaking.

CONS: heavy - I have to climb 8 outdoor steps to get out of our townhome, and it is difficult. Not good for mall shopping, being in/out of small cars to run errands. The brake is a little hard to operate if you're wearing sandals. No cup holder included (although you can buy it as an added extra) and they need more stylish colors!

Eric,

What makes you think it's made in Massachusetts? The company is based here, but nowhere do they say they manufacture anything here. In fact, they just mention having two warehouses here and an headquarters in MA. Believe me, if this thing was actually made in Massachusetts using local labor, it would cost about as much as a Honda Civic.

I hope Eric was able to secure his hip dad setup. The stroller itself looks awesome and worth considering when looking to purchase a baby stroller.

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