Review: Uppababy Vista Stroller 2009

There are a lot of things to love about this stroller. For me, the best thing is that it’s one of the few strollers designed for tall people. The handle extends to a reasonable length for a 6’4″ person. There is no through-axle, but instead an arch that gives plenty of space for your feet when walking. On other strollers I’d end up kicking the stroller when walking.

Another major point in favor of the Vista is that it allows for the baby to be rear-facing, even in the seat. This way you can talk to the little guy or girl while walking with them, and apparently research has shown this interaction to be important. I’m not sure it will ever make a difference in their development, in all honesty, but it’s just really nice to be able to see and interact your kid while you’re walking with them.

Unfortunately, there are a few major design flaws in this stroller. First, the front “suspension” is terribly designed. The spring is far too heavy, and it takes me putting my (considerable) weight on the stroller to even begin to compress the front springs. Given that the wheels are made of very hard foam, the result is that the ride is extremely harsh when the stroller is in rear-facing mode such that the baby’s weight (not to mention head) is over the front wheels. This isn’t a big deal on smooth surfaces, but my poor kid gets bounced around quite a bit on the brick sidewalks where we live. So much so that he was grabbing the sides of the stroller. It’s so bad that I have to avoid certain streets where we live. I certainly expected better engineering from such an expensive stroller.

Another design desision which I question is the fact that even at the most upright setting, the baby is declined at a 45 degree angle, making it hard for him/her to see out.

Finally, the construction is a rather low-quality in areas. For example, both our wheels wobble. In fact, the fit and finish on most of the stroller is a lacking, with rivets and attachments loose and a lot of play in everything. For example, the seat frame is in two halves, with the two aluminum parts attached to a plastic center bracket with cheap rivets. Those have come loose, and now the seat is starting to “recline” a bit on its own. All in all, a very disappointing experience to have with a stroller that cost this much. My personal guess is that when you buy this stroller, most of your money is going into paying Massachusetts taxes, as this company made the poor decision to base themselves in one of the most expensive states in the country in which to do business. (I know, I live here, too, unfortunately.)

After six months of use, the stroller continues to fall apart. The wheels have developed flat spots (so much for foam being more robust), and are getting more wobbly. The frame is becoming somewhat loose. Our rain cover cracked in the cold. Nothing that affects safety, I don’t believe, but it’s very frustrating to pay this much for a product so cheaply made and badly tested. This is a lot of expensive aluminum held together with very cheap plastic. Our baby seems to be mostly content with the stroller, but often strains to try to see out given the recline of the seat.

8 responses to “Review: Uppababy Vista Stroller 2009”

  1. As a new dad myself (he turned 2 months old yesterday!), I can sympathize. However, I am NOT going to pay almost $600 for a pram, but it sure seems like a bunch of people do: “Due to high demand, 2010 VISTA strollers are now backordered until beginning of March, 2010.”

    • Congrats on the kid! I was a bit ashamed to spend that much on a stroller, I admit. Especially since I don’t think the quality was that much higher, and I don’t think it will last for more than one baby.

  2. I purchased a used 2008 model on Craigslist for my 4 month old son and only paid $100 for it. Pretty happy so far as far as the extending handle and handling.

    • Wish I’d had the brains to buy used. I’ve since tried other strollers, and agree that the Uppababy is really the way to go for men, even with the manufacturing issues. I just can’t deal with most other strollers, and keep kicking the thing or my back hurts from hunching over to reach it.

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