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October 7, 2005

Bugaboo-hacking: The $99 Cameleon?

frogeleon-front.jpg frogeleon-back.jpg

If you could make a Frog look convincingly like a Cameleon by dressing it up in a $99 fleece of your choosing, you could save $779. How's it look? Because it was so overcast today, my cameraphone pics didn't turn out that great, but the answer is, eh, so-so.

The fleece sets have three pieces: a seat cover, a canopy, and a zip-on bassinet top.

Because it's contoured and zips into place, the fleece bassinet top is useless on a Frog. You just stuck $33 of your $99 in the dispos-all.

The canopy goes on, and the outer edge fits extremely well; it's tight and smooth. If all you're ever gonna do is put the canopy at half mast, it's perfect. The back half, though, is baggy, no two ways about it. Not a dealbreaker, I guess, but definitely suboptimal.

The seat cover's the best fit. The grippy nylon of the Frog seat holds it in place, which is good, because the cover's Velcro strips have nothing to attach to. Also, the Frog buckles come in from the side, while the Cameleon's now come from the back. With a kid in there, you'll always be tugging a bit, gapping the fleece away from the seat. But otherwise, it looks a lot like a Cameleon, at least to the untrained eye. The trained eye, on the other hand, might look at the straps, the fixed-height handle bar and the side-mounted brake handle and wonder who you think you're foolin'.

Which gets right to the heart of the matter: if you want a fleece because it's comfy for the kid, fine. But if you for some reason want to try and make random people think you have the Cameleon, not "just the Frog," you're adrift in a world of chumpness, my friend, and you need some help.

posted October 7, 2005 6:40 PM | add to del.icio.us | digg this


I actually emailed Bugaboo to ask them if the fabric would fit the Frog--justfor kicks. Of course, they said absolutely not.

[they're more than 2/3 right, though. imagine if they said, "oh sure," and then one piece looked like crap and the other was useless... -ed.]

posted by: dsm at October 7, 2005 8:25 PM

I am wondering how much bugaboo is paying you for all the advertising you do for them on your site. Must be a bunch, considering it's not that great a stroller. Pity the kid of a bugabooger, he or she can not even lie down flat to sleep and is forced into an awkward airplane-seat-like position at all times.

[Zero, Birgit. If you click through to stores like Amazon/Babies R Us, babystyle or Target, Daddy Types earns a commission on those sales, and I'm very upfront about that. If I ever decide to put advertising or sponsors on the site, I'll be upfront about that, too.

The reasons I write about Bugaboo's so much are because we have one, and we love it, and the kid loves it. Actually, we have two at the moment, and we're deciding what to do with our Frog, which is why I put the Cameleon costume on it yesterday. It's not perfect, and I don't pretend it is, but it works very well for us, and we like the way it looks and feels. We have a Volo, too, which we like, but no one seems to care when I freak out over the new Philippe Starck Maclarens... -ed.]

posted by: Birgit at October 8, 2005 6:49 AM

Umm, all three Bugaboo strollers provide not only a bassinet for an infant to lie flat, but the seat adjusts into three positions including all the way flat for sleeping.

Do some research there Birgit. You don't want to sound uninformed.

posted by: Stella at October 8, 2005 3:09 PM

On a recent trip to Spain we also picked up the Bugaboo fleece fabric pack in pink to spruce up our navy blue frog. Our daughter is out of the basinette so the apron isn't of any use, but the canopy and seat cover do give our frog a new more feminine look. We were a bit disappointed that the canopy bags a bit, but what did we expect? We are in no way trying to pose as cameleon owners (wouldn't be fair to our frog!) but just like everything, a little facelift everynow and then does prove to make life a little more interesting and the seat cover is much more comfortable and cozier now for the winter months.
We wanted to pick up the footmuff too, but decided on the frog model instead of the gecko models since they don't come with the furry inside.
We saw loads of geckos and cameleons in Spain, and even more frogs which was a nice change since we hardly see any in Portugal (where we live) and a few frogs even sported the new updated fleece covers. I don't think they were posing, but rather just wanted a little more variety in their life.

[see, the Europeans can pull it off. It's like when I try to wear a scarf around all day, I look like a dork. Meanwhile, some Frenchman ties his scarf in the dark, suddenly he's the king of Madison Avenue. -ed.]

posted by: Tania at October 9, 2005 8:18 AM

by the way :

The european cameleon and the american cameleon are different.
Look at this message board thread posts #20 and # 23.

posted by: tranginotta at October 9, 2005 1:50 PM

Thanks for pointing that out tranginotta...we have the European version. Just verified it after seeing your post. Looks like we either have to order our fleece from Europe or cut slits in the US version. I wonder why the difference?

posted by: renefjr at October 10, 2005 7:54 PM

If the EU buckle set up is like the US Frog's, while the US Cameleon is different, it would make it easier for Euros to put fleeces on Frogs.

And it'd make it possible easier for US'ers to put a EU fleece on a Frog, too. Hmm.

posted by: greg from daddytypes at October 10, 2005 9:18 PM

Daddy Types, thanks for clarifying!

@ Stella: I know there is a bassinette. However, the child seat does not go flat, it tilts way back, but there is always the same bend at the child's bottom and at the knees. Show me a child who can sleep comfortably on their side or tummy in a Bug seat (not the bassinette), and I will be convinced.

There is, alas, no perfect stroller in the world.

posted by: Birgit at October 11, 2005 2:00 AM

Bugaboo is super comfortable, my kid sleeps it all night every night. It started because we went out and he would fall asleep in it and now he prefers it over the crib. It really is a super stroller.

posted by: jane at October 11, 2005 5:23 PM

The first time I saw the Cameleon at buybuybaby in Garden City, NY back in summer of 2005 the first thing I asked the sales rep was if the tailored fabric would fit my Frog. Just as you demonstrated the seat is a bit long. As for the canopy, she said they can special order the Cameleon canopy frame which fits perfectly on the Frog. =)

[really?? that sounds highly implausible to me. -ed.]

posted by: JANE at February 7, 2006 6:09 PM
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