UPPAbaby Cruz vs Vista Stroller Comparison
Trying to choose a stroller? This UPPAbaby Cruz vs Vista comparison will help you decide. Two strollers rated in seven categories…which is best for you?
Published August 28, 2020
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UPPAbaby Vista vs. Cruz Quick Overview
The UPPAbaby Cruz and UPPAbaby Vista are both quality strollers, featuring sleek design and sturdy construction. As with other UPPAbaby products, they’re also both pricey and don’t come with many extras.
The Cruz is UPPAbaby’s version of a single stroller. Meant for use with one child, the Cruz can’t be adapted to fit several children. The Cruz can be used from birth with the purchase of a From Birth Kit, but you can’t add extra seats to the Cruz.
The Vista is a convertible stroller, meaning additional seats can be added to turn this from a single into a double stroller. Unlike the Cruz, the Vista comes with a bassinet, so can be used from birth without the purchase of additional accessories.
These two strollers have a similar look, but are quite different in terms of functionality. The Cruz is for those who need to transport one infant or toddler. The Vista is really geared towards families with twins or two children close in age. Nonetheless, many parents find themselves trying to choose between the Cruz and Vista.
In this UPPAbaby Cruz vs Vista comparison, each stroller is rated in seven categories to help you decide between the two.
Quick note: In early 2020, UPPAbaby introduced new models of the Cruz and Vista, called the Cruz V2 and Vista V2. This review compares the V2 models of each stroller.
The Cruz V2 underwent a significant redesign for 2020. Bigger wheels were added, as were a larger seat and canopy. If you want more information on how the 2020 Cruz varies from the 2018 model, check out my full review of the UPPAbaby Cruz. You can still find the 2018 model for sale at many stores and online retailers, so it’s worth knowing the differences if you’re considering a Cruz.
And, if you want more information on the UPPAbaby Vista you can read the full Vista review. The changes to the Vista V2 were less dramatic than those on the Cruz model. The canopy was redesigned and better shock absorption was added to the frame, along with a few other improvements.
In this review, terms like Cruz/Vista, Cruz V2/Vista V2 and Cruz/Vista stroller are used interchangeably, all referring to the 2020 models.
Differences between UPPAbaby Vista and Cruz
|Vista V2||Cruz V2|
|Ages||0 months-3+ years||0 months – 3+ years (with From Birth Kit)|
|Toddler seat weight limit||50 lbs||50 lbs|
|Rumble seat weight limit||35 lbs||N/A|
|Storage basket weight limit||30 lbs||30 lbs|
|Car seat compatible||Yes||Yes|
|All wheel suspension||Yes||Yes|
|Stroller weight||27 lbs||25.5 lbs|
|Seat back height||20″||20″|
UPPAbaby Cruz vs Vista Features
Maneuverability (Winner: Tie)
The UPPAbaby Cruz V2 and Vista V2 tie in the maneuverability category because the two strollers have very similar features.
Both the Cruz V2 and the Vista V2 have large wheels, with front wheels that swivel for easier turning. On both strollers, the front wheels can be locked, a handy feature if you’ll be taking the stroller over uneven surfaces. Both strollers also have all-wheel suspension.
From a design standpoint, then, the two strollers have equal levels of maneuverability. However, keep in mind that adding extra seats to the Vista will change how the stroller handles. It will still glide smoothly, but the extra weight will require more effort to push. Also, adding seats near the bottom of the stroller may increase the turn radius.
Since the Cruz can’t accommodate additional seats like the Vista, it didn’t seem fair to rate the Cruz the winner in this category. As single strollers, there’s no noticeable difference in handling and maneuverability between the Cruz and Vista.
Portability (Winner: Cruz)
In the UPPAbaby Cruz vs Vista portability contest, the Cruz ekes out a narrow victory.
The UPPAbaby Cruz V2 weighs 25.5 pounds, which is typical for full size strollers. The UPPAbaby Vista V2 weighs 27 pounds, a good weight for a convertible stroller. That weight includes only the toddler seat that comes standard with the Vista; adding additional seats increases the weight of the stroller significantly.
Both the Vista and the Cruz are easy to fold, but the fold process for each stroller takes several steps. With just the toddler seat attached, the fold process for both strollers is similar. You can get an idea of how to fold UPPAbaby strollers in the video below.
The major advantage the Cruz has here is the fold size. The Cruz has a fairly compact fold for full size stroller, while the Vista takes up much more space. A bulky fold is actually one of the biggest complaints parents have about the UPPAbaby Vista V2.
Know that neither of these strollers come with a carrying handle or strap. Given that and their weight, the Cruz V2 and Vista V2 are not good for travel. If you’re looking for a lightweight travel stroller that’s also a good daily stroller option, check out my review of the UPPAbaby MINU.
Versatility (Winner: Vista)
The UPPAbaby Vista is the clear winner for versatility in the Cruz vs Vista contest. The Vista can be customized in many more ways than the Cruz.
The Cruz V2 and Vista V2 both work with the UPPAbaby MESA car seat, as well as some car seats from brands like Nuna, Maxi Cosi and Cybex. You’ll need to purchase adapters to use other brands’ car seats, but neither stroller requires adapters for use with the MESA.
The UPPAbaby Vista V2 can actually accommodate two car seats, for families with infant twins. If you don’t want to use car seats, you have the option of using two bassinets. The Vista comes with one bassinet, and you can purchase another if you have two small babies to transport.
In contrast, the Cruz V2 doesn’t come with a bassinet. You can use the Cruz V2 with the purchase of an UPPAbaby From Birth Kit, which includes a bassinet with a breathable mattress and an extended sun canopy.
If you have one infant and one toddler, or twin toddlers, you can purchase a second seat for use with the Vista. This is known as a rumble seat and can carry a child up to 35 pounds in weight. There’s no option to attach a second seat to the Cruz.
Finally, both the Vista and Cruz can be used with an UPPAbaby PiggyBack board. Also referred to as a stroller or glider board, this attaches to the back of the stroller near the rear wheels. The glider board allows an older child to stand while you push the stroller.
Since the Vista can be configured in multiple ways to transport kids of different ages, it clearly wins the versatility category. Just be aware that some of the configurations on the Vista aren’t ideal. For instance, use with two bassinets requires you to place one on the bottom front of the stroller. The second bassinet goes up top, blocking your view of the baby on the bottom. Understandably, many parents are thrilled with that setup.
Safety (Winner: Tie)
The UPPAbaby Cruz and Vista tie in the safety category, since both strollers have the same safety features.
The Cruz V2 has a 5 point safety harness, a color coded braking system on the back wheels, and a peek-a-boo window in the top of the canopy, so you can keep an eye on baby.
Likewise, the Vista V2 also has a 5 point safety harness, a color coded braking system on the back wheels, and a peek-a-boo window in the canopy.
So, bottom line, the Cruz and the Vista have the exact same safety features, and thus tie in this category of our UPPAbaby Vista vs Cruz head-to-head.
Ease of Assembly and Care
Both the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 and the UPPAbaby Vista V2 are easy to assemble. In both cases, you’ll just need to snap on the wheels and canopy, and insert the seat (or bassinet, if using). Assembly is easy and should take less 10 minutes.You can see the assembly process in action in the video below.
All fabric on both strollers is removable for cleaning. You can spot clean fabric or hand wash in cold water, then lay flat to dry.
UPPAbaby has a tune-up site that provides information on how to care for your UPPAbaby stroller. There’s a separate page containing helpful articles and videos for each type of stroller. Topics include how to remove stroller fabric for cleaning and basic stroller wheel maintenance.
Since both strollers are easy to assemble and easy to care for, this category results in another tie in our UPPAbaby Cruz vs Vista stroller comparison.
Comfort (Winner: Cruz)
It was difficult to choose a winner in this category, since the design features of the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 and Vista V2 are very similar. Both have a 20″ reversible toddler seat, a large adjustable height sun canopy, and a large storage basket. However, for overall comfort the Cruz has a slight edge, for the following reasons.
The toddler seat height on the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 and UPPAbaby Vista V2 is 20″ and the seat is reversible on both strollers. This allows younger babies to ride facing you, while older babies can ride facing forward when they’re ready.
The seats on both strollers recline to several preset positions and lay nearly flat. The recline mechanism is located on the back of each stroller and is easy to use. Both strollers have bucket style seats, so the entire seat reclines, rather than just the backrest.
The reason the Cruz ekes out a narrow win for comfort here is because some of the seating configurations on the Vista don’t leave kiddos much room. This is especially true if you use the toddler seat along with a rumble seat.
When used together, the Vista V2 rumble seat goes in front of the toddler seat. If both seats are facing forward, this limits leg room for the child in the toddler seat. You can reverse the toddler seat to face you, but then you can’t fully recline the toddler seat if the rumble seat is in use.
So, while the versatility of the Vista V2 is great, the seating configurations may mean kids are less comfortable riding in this stroller.
Canopy and ventilation
The Cruz V2 and Vista V2 both have full coverage canopies. The canopies have three panels: two visible panels, plus a hidden panel at the back of the stroller. When unzipped, the third panel extends the canopy down to the bumper bar, providing lots of sun protection and privacy for your little one. The hidden panel has a mesh peek-a-boo window that also helps with ventilation.
The UPPAbaby Cruz V2 and Vista V2 both have a large underseat storage basket with a 30 pound weight limit. That’s 10 pounds more than most full size strollers. Unfortunately, that’s all the storage. There aren’t pockets on the back of the stroller or near the handlebar to hold essentials like keys, a phone or a wallet. So, there’s no clear winner here, including parents.
Parent comfort features
The UPPAbaby Cruz V2 and Vista V2 have adjustable telescoping handlebars. However, the handlebars only adjust upward. If you find the lowest handlebar setting too high, there’s no way to adjust it downward.
Neither the Vista V2 or the Cruz V2 come with any other parent comfort features, like cup holders or handlebar organizers. Those items have to be purchased separately, and UPPAbaby accessories tend to be pricey.
UPPAbaby Vista vs Cruz Pricing and Value (Winner: Cruz)
According to the official UPPAbaby website, the new Cruz V2 stroller has a suggested retail price of $649 to $699. The 2020 UPPAbaby Vista V2 has a suggested retail price of $929 to $969. Both are well-designed, high quality strollers that will last through years of use, so you really can’t make a bad decision here.
That said, you’ll likely need to buy quite a few additional accessories, which will be costly. Neither stroller comes with a parent cup holder, child snack tray or handlebar organizer. And, if you purchase the Vista V2, you may need to buy a rumble seat and additional bug and rain shields. So, whichever stroller you purchase, you could still be looking at spending hundreds more dollars on accessories.
All that considered, I’ve rated the Cruz V2 as the better value for your money, and not just because of the lower price tag. There are actually two reasons for this. First, with the Vista V2, you’re forced to purchase the bassinet, whether you want it or not. Second, in order to take full advantage of the Vista’s seating options, you’ll have to spend hundreds more on extras. Let’s look a bit more at each of these.
The UPPAbaby bassinet
The UPPAbaby Vista V2 comes with a bassinet, while the Cruz V2 doesn’t. That helps explains the $300+ difference in price between the two strollers.
But remember, the bassinet is only safe to use for a few months. Once your baby is old enough to push up on their hands and knees, they’ll need to be strapped into the stroller. At that point, you’ll have to switch out the bassinet for a car seat or for the toddler seat.
A much cheaper option to use your UPPAbaby stroller with a newborn or very young baby is the Infant SnugSeat. This insert fits into the toddler seat on the Vista V2 and Cruz V2 and provides your baby head and neck support until they can sit upright on their own. At that point, you can use the SnugSeat as a seat liner.
The UPPAbaby SnugSeat retails for $49, so is a much cheaper option than the bassinet. For something you’re likely to only use a few months, the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 + SnugSeat combo is a much better option than Vista V2 bassinet. But you aren’t given that choice, since the purchase of the bassinet is mandatory if you buy a Vista.
The UPPAbaby Rumble Seat
If you need to transport two children close in age, you’ll eventually need to purchase an extra seat for your Vista stroller. The UPPAbaby rumble seat retails for around $200. The rumble seat is smaller than the toddler seat that comes standard on the Vista. It also has a lower child weight limit of 35 pounds (versus 50 pounds for the toddler seat).
Given the cost and size/weight limitations of the UPPAbaby rumble seat, you may find better value with a different convertible stroller. For example, the Baby Jogger City Select Lux can convert from a single to a double stroller, too. And the additional seat for the Lux has the same weight limit (45 pounds) as the standard seat.
The primary advantage the Vista V2 has over the Cruz stroller is versatility. But many families may only use the included bassinet for a few months, and some many not use it at all. And, as convertible strollers go, I’m not convinced the Vista is really the best on the market. For those reasons, even though the Cruz lacks the versatility, I think it’s a better value for the price.
UPPAbaby Cruz or Vista: Which Should You Buy?
The UPPAbaby Cruz and UPPAbaby Vista are both very good strollers. The new Cruz V2 has lots of upgraded features that bring it on par with the Vista V2, including bigger wheels and a full coverage sun canopy. That said, the Cruz doesn’t have the versatility of the Vista, and both strollers are heavy and lacking accessories.
The decision to buy the Cruz or Vista hinges on your current or planned family size. If you have or plan to have two children close in age (say, 18 months or less apart), then the Vista is the better option for you. The Vista will be able to fit both children, which is something the Cruz isn’t designed to do.
However, if you have an older toddler and a baby, then the Cruz is probably a better choice. Children should start transitioning out of a stroller around age 3, so paying a lot more for a single to double convertible stroller like the Vista wouldn’t be the best value for your money.
So, when deciding between the UPPAbaby Cruz and Vista, consider your family plan and, of course, your budget. Both of these are pricey strollers, so financial factors need to weigh into your decision as well. But whether you choose an UPPAbaby Cruz or Vista, you’ll get a sturdy, durable stroller that should last through the toddler years for all of your little ones.