Sometimes I wonder if I agreed to have baby M simply because I really wanted an UPPAbaby VISTA?
I have been impressed with their pushchairs since I noticed them appearing in the UK around 5 years ago. In 2015 their core products, the VISTA and CRUZ had a relaunch with new designs, and it was the VISTA that had the largest rework. Not quite an overhaul, but certainly a significant number of modifications were delivered and it is as near to perfect as you can get on the market right now.
Pram systems are expensive…that is just how it works. You will pay somewhere in the region of a month’s mortgage payment on a decent one. Some of them somehow manage to cost over £1,000. That is 5 times the amount I paid for my very first car!
The VISTA is a £699 product, so it’s kind of in the middle of that pram system price point, but everything you need is in that box when it gets delivered. There is no extra cost for the CarryCot, no more cash to shell out for raincovers, it is all in there.
Sure, accessories are available such as cup holders and footmuffs, but to get you rolling in the first few months (which are the most expensive) you get it all for under £700.
Unboxing the VISTA was a doddle. One large carton box arrived with everything very neatly packed inside. I was expecting it would take a good 20 minutes or so to put together, and so went and made a cuppa to get me through the task, but it took around 4 minutes. Chassis out, learn to unfold it, put the wheels on, clip on the carrycot and boom…done!
I was expecting a little more theatre, but there was no hassle whatsoever.
Taking a few minutes to have a good look around the VISTA only confirmed what I knew already…this is the daddy of all pushchairs and what a remarkable job they have done with the 2015 redesign.
Folding and unfolding is easy and the chassis stands upright when folded which is a great spacesaver for hallways and porches. It also lies nice and flat in the boot of a car. Now, you will need to take a good look at what car you own as although it lies flat it does have quite a big footprint so do check the measurements to make sure it will fit in your car. It looks like it will be fine in most of them, but not sure about a Mini or a Fiat 500 or something like that.
The shopping basket is absolutely huge – I sometimes wonder if I could sleep in it at night. That basket takes pretty much everything you need for a day out and you can fill it with shopping bags after a supermarket trip. I’m not sure if it is the biggest on the market, but it is more than adequate and a real top feature of the pushchair.
The Universal CarryCot that comes with the VISTA is lovely also, and suitable for overnight sleeping. We initially used a Halo Bassinest for baby M when she was born as that worked perfectly next to the bed while mum was recovering from a C-Section, but over the last 2 or 3 months I would say that M has spent 90% of her nights asleep in the CarryCot (or Bassinette as it is known) on the special UPPAbaby stand that we also bought (and I will feature that in a future post).
The CarryCot had a mattress included with it which is of really good quality and looks and feels very comfy. It clips onto the chassis using the very simple UPPAbaby connectors which have a little red and green indicator for you to check that they are attached correctly. There is a clear audible ‘click’ when you attach it, but always best to check that the green indicator has come on also.
The CarryCot is removed from the chassis by pushing and sliding a button on top of the CarryCot frame and this is an operation that can easily be carried out one handed.
If I could request one teeny tiny feature to be added to the VISTA it would be the addition of some little metal feet that can fold out of the bottom of the CarryCot. Everytime I come to put the VISTA back into the boot of the car I have to take the CarryCot off and then place it on the floor while I fold up the chassis and put that into the boot first, as the CarryCot has to go on top of the folded chassis. It’s not a huge grumble, but when the ground is a bit muddy or wet and you are on your own then it has to be put down or placed onto the back seat of the car. Go on UPPAbaby, just 4 little metal feet!
The handle extends to accommodate taller people yet also can be used at a low enough height for shorter people to use with comfort. If you want a yardstick for how short you have to be to comfortably use a VISTA then check out Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage using it in the accompanying photo – he is just under 4 and a half foot!
The brake is easy to apply and remove, and once on it gives a sturdy grip and you feel confident that this saloon of a pram is going nowhere.
Car Seats can be used on the VISTA chassis, and adapters are included at no extra charge. At the time of writing in the UK you can use any Maxi Cosi car seat with is (we opted for the Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus) and the beSafe iZi Go which is actually a very, very good seat also. Other seats may fit, but these are the only ones that have been tested and approved for use with the VISTA adapters.
In the US there is a very, very good looking car seat that UPPAbaby have made called the MESA, but having made enquiries over here I have been told that it is likely to be sometime in 2017 before the MESA arrives due to new i-size regulations that are coming into the car seat market.
Loving my Maxi Cosi though, so all is good 🙂
That said, I am not a huge fan of having babies in car seats and we have only really used the car seat adapters about 3 times, preferring instead to transfer M to the CarryCot. if she wakes up then she wakes up…the VISTA gives such a smoothe ride that she tends to drop off again quite quickly in it and she is very used to sleeping in the CarryCot as it has been her bed most nights for the last 12 weeks!
The VISTA performs really well around towns and cities. The rear wheels do make it quite a wide pushchair, but it fits fine through pretty much any doorway. Now and again you can get a bit stuck in some shops where they haven’t really considered pushchair users – smaller WH Smith stores have actually caught me out a few times as they seem to like to put baskets of things in the middle of their aisles and that can turn parts of the shop into a dead end. The next time this happens I am likely to just use the VISTA as a battering ram…it’s more than sturdy enough to take out a basket full of cut-price sellotape!
We have also taken it out on a few country walks. Generally this has been on proper paths or trails and it has been fine over grass. No surface has outfoxed us yet, and it will get the beach test at some point in the near future. I suspect that it will be fine on firmer and even wet sand.
You can use the VISTA one-handed, but two hands are advised for going around corners or through doorways as it is not a lightweight system to use by any means.
It’s funny when I look at the little picture of M in the CarryCot towards the top of this post. She was only about a week old when she had that first outing in the VISTA and just look how small she is. At the time of writing this she is 3 months old and I can see that she is likely to more or less fill the CarryCot in the next 6 weeks, if not sooner. Might be time to start to think about building the cot bed!
The advice is that baby stays in the CarryCot for the first 6 months, but use your discretion with this as babies develop at different rates. I plan to keep M in this until she is pretty much ready to start poking her arms through the side. So, as it stands we have not used the toddler seat that also comes with the VISTA, so I will post about that in a few months time when we have used it a decent number of times.
For now, this pram system has passed every single newborn test and has been so wonderful to use. I cannot praise it highly enough and am pleased that it is priced so well for so much functionality and pleasure.
Without a shadow of doubt THE best baby product I have ever had the pleasure of using.
Find out much more about it over on the UPPAbaby VISTA UK webpages.
NB: I bought the VISTA myself – I have not been asked or paid to write this review…I scribe because I love!