The Cruz is designed to be light and compact while offering the durability and smooth ride of a larger and more rugged model.
I like to know about a company’s philosophy and approach to product design before purchasing, so I did some research into what UPPAbaby is all about.
The company focuses on three main aspects: safety, usability, and style.
In their own words, "we explore ways to deliver greater comfort and safety for baby, with convenience and style for Mom and Dad."
Now, on to the Cruz, which was recently redesigned in 2015.
What’s changed? The Cruz now includes features like a bumper bar, larger rear wheels, and additional color options.
UPPAbaby’s founders, Bob and Lauren, note that they draw upon their personal parenting experience when designing UPPAbaby products.
That care and know-how are evident in the Cruz: I really appreciate this stroller’s versatility, including an adjustable canopy, footrest, and even a bassinet option.
- Sophisticated look with nine color options.
- Flexible features and many accessories available.
- Wheels redesigned to navigate rough terrain while being lightweight (21.5 lbs).
- Plenty of storage (will hold up to 25 pounds).
- 3-year extended warranty.
- Somewhat limited car seat compatibility.
- Can seem bulky when folded. However, does stand upright.
- Many accessories must be purchased separately.
If you’re looking for a stroller that balances these factors, the Cruz might be a good fit for you.
Retail price for the UPPAbaby Cruz is between $499.99 and $529.99.
Things to Consider Before Your Stroller Purchase
Finding the perfect stroller is a process: there are so many features to consider, and it can be challenging to define and balance your wants and needs.
We’re hoping that this UPPAbaby Cruz stroller review will cover everything you need to know in order to decide whether this might be the right fit for you and your baby.
Even if the UPPAbaby isn’t for you, we want to make sure that you still have some helpful guidelines that will help you throughout your personal stroller search.
Here are some thoughts to consider before taking the plunge:
Do you want your stroller to be compatible with your car seat? —Whether you’ve purchased a car seat or are still on the hunt, you’ll want to know the answer to this question. Many strollers have adapters available for various car seat brands, but if you’re seeking compatibility, you’ll want to double-check.
Where will I use this stroller?— If you’re outdoorsy, you may want a different stroller than an urban mama who will need to navigate crowded sidewalks or narrow store aisles. Look at factors like your stroller’s size, wheel design and materials, and the terrain the stroller is designed for.
What are your storage needs? — Remember, this stroller isn’t just for your little one. You’ll likely want space for a diaper bag, and you may also want extra space for shopping bags or other cargo. Make sure your chosen model has the right capacity for you!
What accessories are available? — Often, some accessories are included with your stroller purchase. However, it may be worthwhile to see what else is available, even if it comes at an additional cost. Maybe an otherwise perfect stroller is missing a feature that you can purchase separately.
Now that you know a little bit more about the Cruz, let’s talk specifics, top to bottom!
As you look at the UPPAbaby Cruz’s available features, you’ll likely notice a trend: many of these additions go the extra mile in allowing your stroller to adapt as your little one grows. That flexibility is what makes this stroller a winner in my book.
Adjustable Canopy with Sun Shade
Let’s start with one of my favorite features: the Cruz allows you to adjust the stroller’s canopy height as your child grows. This is one of the several unique factors that make the Cruz adaptable over time (more on that later!).
The Cruz’s canopy is substantial, but I also like their addition of a pull-out sun shade. The shade is attached, so all you need to do is pull it forward when your little one needs a little extra sun protection.
The canopy is also equipped with a small mesh window that can offer some extra ventilation without completely exposing your baby to the sun. This peekaboo window closes magnetically, which is a nice touch if you like something a bit quieter than Velcro.
Here’s a look at the sun shade and the ventilation window: Photo: © UPPAbaby
Adjustable Handle Bar
I loved being able to easily adjust handle height so that my partner and I could both use it comfortably. The more adults you throw into the mix (nannies, grandparents, and so on), the more convenient this feature becomes. The Cruz’s telescoping handlebar adjusts up to 4 inches.
Seat Adjustment Options
As your child grows, the UPPAbaby Cruz can be used in both forward- and rear-facing positions and switching between the two is remarkably easy.
It also has five different reclining settings, which range from upright to completely flat.
After hiking my poor kiddo up so that he didn’t slump in his seat, I also really appreciate that the foot rest is adjustable to help toddlers sit comfortably regardless of height.
I love this video too; it provides a great overview of many of these options:
Video by UPPAbaby
This is a newer feature on the Cruz, but I think the addition is a vast improvement. A bumper bar can be a great handhold for little hands, or you can also attach special toys to keep baby occupied on the go.
Perhaps most importantly, it may give you some extra peace of mind should your stroller encounter obstacles on its way. I particularly like the bumper bar’s removable cover, which is easy to toss into the washing machine when it gets messy.
The Redesigned Wheels
The list of things I didn’t know before stroller shopping was extensive, but among the features that most surprised me? A wheel is not a wheel is not a wheel. Stroller wheels can affect a variety of factors: stroller weight, durability, and suitable types of terrain.
With most strollers, you’ll see either foam-filled (think light, but less durable) or air-filled (think four-wheel drive) tires. The UPPAbaby Cruz, however, seeks to strike a balance between the two.
The Cruz’s wheels are foam-filled, but the new design includes large rear wheels, which steady the stroller and act as shock absorbers.
Accessories to Grow On
There are several accessories available to make the Cruz suitable for newborn babies though they must be purchased separately.
Try UPPAbaby’s SnugSeat insert if you’re seeking some extra support for baby’s neck and back.
For a more versatile newborn-friendly option, consider the UPPAbaby bassinet, which can be used without the stroller chassis and is even suitable for overnight sleeping.
Accessories for the UPPAbaby Cruz range from the ordinary to the super cool!
A rain shield and bug shield are included with your purchase of the Cruz, but it’s worth mentioning some of the additional options UPPAbaby offers.
While some parents may want features like a snack tray or cup holder to come standard with their stroller, these options are at available as add-ons for the Cruz.
Additional organizers — to supplement the under-stroller basket — can also be purchased.
One accessory that I think merits a special mention is the Cruz Piggyback, which allows your older child to ride on the stroller.
Photo: © UPPAbaby
To see the value there, all you have to do is think about every time your toddler insists that she simply cannot walk another step. My friend spent years struggling with a double stroller, and trust me: she would have loved to have an option as compact as the Piggyback!
The attachment easily can fold up or detach when not in use. It is approved for kiddos up to 50 pounds.
There’s a lot to like about the UPPAbaby Cruz, but maybe this isn’t the right stroller for you. Whether you’re looking for differences in price, available features, or a better fit for your lifestyle, here are some alternatives:
You will often see it compared to the Cruz, and for good reason: the two are remarkably similar. Both offer features like reversible seating, multiple recline options, and ventilation at comparable prices.
This stroller could be a good fit if you’re not worried about car seat compatibility, or if you need a more compact fold.
- Fewer available accessories.
- Even larger wheels than the Cruz.
- Only works with Nuna's Pipa car seat. The adapter is included with purchase.
- Easy to fold. More compact when folded, and can be rolled like a suitcase.
- A wider variety of accessories.
- Works with a wider range of car seats, though you must purchase an adapter separately.
- Easy to fold, but somewhat bulky to store.
If price is your main concern, check out the Mutsy Evo, which retails for less. It’s equally stylish and has a lot of the same features as the Cruz, including a reversible seat and 4 reclining positions.
Mutsy also offers a wide range of accessories, including a bassinet.
You’ll sacrifice a few features for the price difference, but what’s left is still formidable. Here’s a closer side-by-side look:
- Lower price point.
- Fewer color options, but more finishes available for the chassis.
- Slightly heavier than the Cruz.
- More car seat compatibility (Maxi-Cosi and Graco).
- More expensive.
- More color options.
- Fewer car seat options.
- More reclining positions.
The Vista has a heftier price point, but does include a bassinet, and is a convertible stroller.
If you’re looking to transport more little ones, the UPPAbaby Vista might be your stroller soulmate. Could work particularly well for you if you have multiples.
Other factors, such as available features, colors, and car seat readiness, are comparable.
- Can transport up to 3 children (2 seats and the Piggyback).
- Can combine bassinets, toddler seats, or car seats in a variety of positions.
- Even more accessories available than the Cruz.
- Heavier than the Cruz (27.5 pounds, plus any additional seats).
- Adjustable seating, but limited to 1 child unless you purchase the Piggyback accessory.
- Fewer accessories, and bassinet not included with purchase
- Lighter (22 pounds)
- Less expensive
The UPPAbaby Cruz won’t be the right fit for every family or budget, but it’s a great stroller that has been thoughtfully designed to adapt to your family’s changing needs over time. It can be made even more versatile with some added accessories.
The Strollable team curates only the best products so that you can quickly know what to get. When you choose to buy our independently selected editorial picks, we earn affiliate commissions that support our work.