UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz Stroller Comparison
Published August 12, 2020
Trying to choose an UPPAbaby stroller? This UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz comparison can help you decide. Two strollers go head-to-head in seven categories...which will win?
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UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz Quick Overview
If you're looking for a daily use stroller, the UPPAbaby MINU and UPPAbaby Cruz are both great choices. The MINU is UPPAbaby's version of a travel stroller, but it's sturdy and has many features of a traditional stroller. Lots of parents turn to the UPPAbaby MINU as a lightweight, portable alternative to heavy full-size strollers.
That said, you'll find more amenities in the UPPAbaby Cruz, including bigger wheels, better suspension and a reversible seat. But those come at the expense of more bulk and weight. And what about value? Both strollers are pricey, but is one a better value for your money? Read on to find out.
Quick note: In February 2020, UPPAbaby introduced the Cruz V2, a significant overhaul of the 2018 Cruz model. In this UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz stroller comparison, we refer to the new Cruz V2. The terms Cruz and Cruz V2 are used interchangeably, both referring to the 2020 model.
If you want more information on how the 2020 Cruz varies from the 2018 model, check out Little Spokes' 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 MINU, you can read the full MINU review, too. The MINU was first released in 2018 and didn't get any significant upgrades for the 2020 model year.
UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz Features
UPPAbaby Cruz V2
0 months - 3+ years
0 months - 3+ years
Child weight limit
Seat back height
11.5"L x 20.5"W x 23" H
16.5"L x 22.8"W x 32.5"H
35.5"L x 20.5"W x 41"H
37.5"L x 22.8"W x40"H
Maneuverability (Winner: Cruz)
In the UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz competition, the Cruz earns a narrow win in the maneuverability category.
The UPPAbaby Cruz has large wheels; in fact, the back wheels on the 2020 Cruz V2 are 2" bigger than those on the 2018 Cruz. This is one of the most noticeable differences between the two models. These larger wheels come with all-wheel suspension, and dual action suspension on the rear wheels. The front wheels on the Cruz stroller swivel for easier turning, but can be locked, which is helpful when steering over bumpier terrain.
Like the Cruz, the UPPAbaby MINU also has all-wheel suspension. However, the wheels on the MINU are much smaller than those on the Cruz. This isn't surprising, since the MINU is designed primarily as a travel stroller, but it means the Cruz is better able to handle rough terrain. This is especially true because the front wheels on the MINU swivel, but don't lock, making trips on uneven surfaces a bit more challenging.
Due to larger wheels and locking front wheels, the Cruz has a slight advantage over the MINU when it comes to maneuverability.
Portability (Winner: MINU)
In the UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz portability contest, the MINU wins without question.
The UPPAbaby MINU weighs just under 15 pounds. The unique design of the MINU allows it to fold into thirds, creating a nearly square fold less than 12" long. Once folded, the MINU is easy to transport. You can carry the MINU using the attached padded shoulder strap or place the MINU in the drawstring storage bag that's included with your purchase.
In contrast, the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 weighs more than 25 pounds. This is a typical weight for full-size strollers like the Cruz, but makes the Cruz much less portable than the MINU. The Cruz does have a compact fold for a full-size stroller, but doesn't come with a carrying strap or bag.
Both the MINU and Cruz are easy to fold, but here too, the MINU wins. The MINU has an easy one hand fold process, while the process to fold the Cruz is a bit more involved. Neither fold is difficult, but if you'll be folding and transporting your stroller a lot, the MINU is definitely the better option here.
Compatibility (Winner: Tie)
There's no clear winner for compatibility, since both the UPPAbaby MINU and UPPAbaby Cruz V2 are car seat compatible. You can also use each stroller from birth, but in both cases, you'll have to purchase additional accessories for use with newborns.
The UPPAbaby MINU is compatible with the UPPAbaby MESA car seat, as well as select car seats from other brands, like Nuna, Maxi Cosi and Cybex. You'll need to purchase adapters to use any of these car seats with the MINU.
The UPPAbaby Cruz is also compatible with the MESA car seat, and select car seats from other brands. You don't need to purchase car seat adapters to use the MESA with the new Cruz V2, but will need to purchase adapters for car seats from other brands.
Unlike many lightweight strollers, you can use MINU with newborns, provided you purchase the From Birth kit. The UPPAbaby MINU From Birth Kit includes a bassinet that allows your baby to ride in the MINU until they're able to sit upright unassisted.
UPPAbaby MINU with optional From Birth Kit attached.
image source: uppababy.com
You can also purchase a bassinet for use with the UPPAbaby Cruz. An additional from birth option for the Cruz stroller is the UPPAbaby SnugSeat, an insert that provides head and neck support to newborns and young babies. You can learn more about the SnugSeat and how to turn your UPPAbaby Cruz into a complete travel system in the detailed review of the Cruz V2 stroller.
Since both the MINU and Cruz can be adapted for use with car seats, and since both require the purchase of additional items for use with newborns, there's no clear winner in the UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz compatibility category. Just keep your budget in mind, since additional accessories for both strollers tend to be costly.
Safety (Winner: Tie)
The UPPAbaby MINU and Cruz also 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.
The MINU 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. The only real difference here is that the safety harness on the Cruz V2, unlike the MINU, is a no rethread harness. That means you don't have to thread the harness straps through slits in the seat to adjust the harness.
The no rethread harness on the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 is a nice feature, but it doesn't impact the safety of the harness. So, bottom line, the Cruz and the MINU have the exact same safety features, and thus tie in this category of our UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz head-to-head.
Ease of Assembly and Care (Winner: Tie)
Both the UPPAbaby MINU and the UPPAbaby Cruz are easy to assemble. For the MINU, all you need to do is snap the wheels and canopy onto the stroller. No tools are required, and assembly should take less than 5 minutes. For the Cruz, you'll need to snap on the wheels and canopy, and insert the seat. Again, this is an easy process that should take less 10 minutes.
All fabric on both the MINU and the Cruz is removable for cleaning. You can spot clean fabric or hand wash in cold water, then lay flat to dry.
Since both strollers are easy to assemble and easy to care for, this category results in another tie in our UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz stroller comparison.
Regardless of which stroller you buy, UPPAbaby has a series of helpful articles and videos on how to care for your stroller, including how to remove fabric for cleaning and how to perform basic wheel maintenance. Check out the UPPAbaby DIY Tune-up page for more information on how to care for your particular UPPAbaby stroller model.
Comfort (Winner: Cruz)
When it comes to comfort, UPPAbaby Cruz is the clear winner. Not that the MINU is uncomfortable. But, the Cruz has a roomier seat, better suspension, and other features that give it a slight advantage in this category of the UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz matchup.
The seat height on the UPPAbaby Cruz is 20", two inches higher than on the MINU. This means the Cruz is more comfortable for older and taller kiddos. The Cruz seat is also reversible, so younger babies can ride facing you, while older babies can ride facing forward when they're ready.
The seat recline on the Cruz isn't fully lay flat, but it's close. The recline mechanism is located on the back of the stroller and is easy to use. You just push a button and adjust the seat to one of several preset recline positions.
In comparison, the seat on the UPPbaby MINU is typical size for a travel stroller, but the MINU seat is shorter and less roomy than the seat on the Cruz. The seat reclines, which often isn't the case for lighter weight, travel friendly strollers. However, the deepest seat recline is only 142 degrees. This is a shallower seat recline than you find on full size strollers, including the UPPAbaby Cruz V2.
The seat recline mechanism is located on the back of the MINU and is easy to use. To raise the seat, you simply pull the straps on the back of the stroller away from each other. To recline the seat, you run a clasp down the length of the straps until you reach the desired recline position. While not complicated, this is a more involved seat recline process than on the Cruz.
Canopy and ventilation
Another notable feature on the new UPPAbaby Cruz V2 stroller is a full coverage canopy. The canopy consists of three panels: two visible panels and a hidden zip out panel located at the back of the stroller. When unzipped, the canopy extends down to the bumper bar, providing lots of sun protection and privacy for your little one. The hidden panel also has a mesh window. This works as a peek-a-book window and also increases ventilation.
In contrast, the canopy on the MINU is similar to the one on the 2018 model Cruz. The canopy has two panels with a hidden pop out sun visor on the front panel. This doesn't provide as much sun protection or privacy as the full coverage canopy on the new Cruz v2. The MINU canopy does include a peek-a-boo window, though, which helps with ventilation, too.
The UPPAbaby Cruz V2 has a large underseat storage basket with a 30 pound weight limit. That's 10 pounds more than most full size strollers. Unfortunately, the Cruz has no storage up top. There are no pockets on the back of the stroller to hold parent essentials like keys, a phone or a wallet.
The UPPAbaby MINU has also has a large storage basket, especially for a lightweight stroller. The MINU basket has a weight limit of 20 pounds.
The MINU does feature a fairly large pocket on the back of the stroller, below the handlebar. This pocket can hold items like a phone, keys or wallet. The pocket has a one pound weight limit, so isn't meant to store heavy items. Still, it's more up top storage than offered on the Cruz. While the Cruz V2 wins the comfort category overall, the MINU wins when it comes to storage.
UPPAbaby MINU side and rear views. Note the pop out sunshade and rear storage pocket.
image source: albeebaby.com
Parent comfort features
The handlebar on the UPPAbaby MINU sits 41" high and is not adjustable. This is probably a good handlebar height for taller parents, but shorter parents may feel the handlebar is too high.
In contrast, the handlebar on the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 is adjustable. However, the handlebar only adjusts upward. If you find the lowest handlebar setting is too high, there's no way to adjust it downward.
Neither the MINU or the Cruz V2 come with any other parent comfort features, like cupholders or handlebar organizers, so there's no clear winner in the parent comfort features category.
UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz Pros and Cons
Whether you choose a MINU or Cruz, you'll get a well-designed, sturdy, durable stroller made with quality construction and materials. However, each stroller has positives and negatives. These tables summarize the pros and cons of the UPPAbaby MINU and UPPAbaby Cruz V2.
UPPAbaby MINU Pros and Cons
UPPAbaby Cruz V2 Pros and Cons
UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz Pricing and Value (Winner: MINU)
According to the official UPPAbaby website, the MINU stroller has a suggested retail price of $399 to $429, while the new Cruz V2 stroller has a suggested retail price of $649 to $699. Both are well-designed, high quality strollers that will last through years of use. You really can't go wrong with whichever one you purchase.
In both cases, though, you'll likely need to buy quite a few additional accessories, which will be costly. While the MINU comes with a storage bag, it lacks a bumper bar, which comes standard on the Cruz. However, the Cruz doesn't come with a storage/travel bag, and neither stroller comes with a parent cupholder or child snack tray. And, if you want to use either stroller with very young babies, you'll need to purchase a bassinet or car seat. So, whichever stroller you purchase, you could still be looking at spending hundreds more dollars on optional accessories.
The MINU is designed for travel, but remember, here we're evaluating both the MINU and the Cruz as daily use strollers. In that context, the Little Spokes rates the MINU a better value for the money.
You'll get a cushier ride on the Cruz, due to larger wheels, but the MINU still has all wheel suspension, which is unusual in lightweight strollers. The Cruz has a reversible seat, while the MINU doesn't, but you'll likely use that feature less and less as your baby ages. The Cruz has some other nice features, like a bigger canopy, a bigger storage basket and an adjustable handlebar, which may be important to some parents.
On the other hand, the Cruz V2 also has a much larger price tag. You'll have to decide if upgrades like a larger canopy and reversible seat are worth the extra $300. And don't forget about the extra weight: one big advantage the MINU has over the Cruz is that it weighs 10 pounds less. That is a huge consideration, especially if you'll need to transport the stroller often.
UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz Final Verdict
The UPPAbaby MINU and UPPAbaby Cruz are both excellent strollers. Though the MINU is designed as a travel stroller, many parents happily use it as their daily stroller. It's lightweight, easy to fold, and has a lot more storage than you typically find in strollers this size. It doesn't have all the bells and whisltes of a full size stroller, but is still a great value for the price.
The new Cruz V2 stroller has many upgraded features, such as bigger wheels and a full coverage canopy, and is also a great daily use stroller. However, if you don't need all the features of a full size stroller, the MINU is likely a better value.
The bottom line is that you need to consider your lifestyle when choosing UPPAbaby MINU vs Cruz. The MINU is good for parents who prioritize weight and portability in a stroller. If you live in an upstairs apartment, rely on public transit, travel often or will be transporting the stroller by car a lot, then the UPPAbaby MINU is much better suited to your needs.
However, if weight and portability are less of a concern, then you may be happier with the UPPAbaby Cruz V2. The Cruz is good for parents who prioritize comfort and ease of use in a stroller. The bigger wheels and seat mean a more cushioned, comfortable ride for baby. The no rethread harness is a big improvement over the harness set up on the MINU. And the seat recline process is much more user friendly on the Cruz. So, if you can deal with the increased weight and price tag of the Cruz, it may be a better option for you.