You always want the ultimate level of safety for your child but I also know you prioritize practicality when it comes to baby products. That’s my approach, often making it difficult to identify the best brand to support. For example, in the Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby contest, each has winning features. That’s why I did in depth research to help you pick the best brand for your baby’s travel needs.
You may be used to the brands’ strollers mostly, but actually, all three have car seats and travel systems to offer, too. All three categories are described below.
You’ll need to pick between these brands according to your priorities, but I must say I was most impressed by the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat and the brand’s UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller + Mesa Infant Car Seat. It has an excellent mix of practicality for me as a parent and comfort and safety for the little ones. For just a stroller, try the Bugaboo Lynx. You’ll fall in love with the lightweight design.
Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby – What Parents Must Consider While Shopping
When shopping for baby equipment it doesn’t help to measure the value against only one characteristic. There are many factors at play and not even the price is the best way to measure value.
When deciding between brands, it’s wise to consider where they originate from. Even if it’s an international company it’s often easier to obtain replacement parts from brands headquartered in your native country. For the US, this makes local brands like UPPAbaby more practical than Stokke.
I also feel in today’s world one should research a company’s attitude towards its carbon footprint. It helps to know you’re supporting brands like Bugaboo that consider environmentally friendly practices.
When you know you can trust the brand, it’s time to look at product features. So, let’s get to know Stokke, Bugaboo and UPPAbaby a bit better. Use the video links to find out how some of the products work, so you don’t waste time trying to figure it out on your own.
Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby – Are They Good Brands?
UPPAbaby is an American company owned and run by Bob and Lauren. It’s comforting to know they’re parents themselves. They had experience and various other industries first. They now use these skills in their juvenile product company. I appreciate that they give back to the community by donating strollers and other items – to date they’ve given away over $2 million worth – and they’re serious about chemical compliance. It’s very handy that they sell various accessories separately.
Here’s a quick summary of what you need to know about UPPAbaby:
- Country: USA
- Product range: Full-size strollers, Lightweight strollers, Car seats, Accessories/spare parts
- Spare parts available: Yes
- Years in operation: Since 2006
It has also been around for a while, ever since 1999. Apart from strollers and car seats you should also look at their accessories and their Bugaboo Stardust 1 play yard is impressive since setting it up or collapsing it only takes seconds. Once again, you can purchase many spare parts separately, which means you’ll use the equipment for longer. The brand cares about its environmental impact, which is valuable in today’s society.
Similarly to the previous brand, this is an overview on the Bugaboo brand:
- Country: Netherlands
- Product range: Strollers, Car seats, Playard, Accessories, Spare parts
- Spare parts available: Yes
- Years in operation: Since 1996
This brand has been respected for over 40 years in the kids’ accessories industry and it comes from Norway. Before that, the brand designed other items such as furniture. Today Stokke still manufactures other items, so their focus isn’t only car seats and travel systems. But with a long and impressive track record dating back to 1932 one can rather respect the experience than doubt their expertise. The brand is innovative, creating helpful products to simplify bath time, traveling with your child and many other scenarios.
And this is what you should know about the Stokke brand:
- Country: Norway
- Product range: Strollers, High chairs, Nursery items, Bath items, Carriers, Car seats, Travel accessories
- Spare parts available: Contact customer service for more information
- Years in operation: Since 1972
What to Look for When Buying Strollers and Carseats
For your baby’s sake, safety is a major feature when shopping for car seats or strollers, since your baby’s life could sometimes depend on it. A car seat should have features like side impact protection, which you’ll find in the Stokke PIPA by Nuna Car Seat. It’s also helpful if newborns are comfortable yet secure, thanks to practical inserts to accommodate their small bodies. There also needs to be comfort features such as breathability.
You want long term investments, so the more weight the car seat or stroller can handle, the better. Comfort is also a major priority, so look at the quality of the padding and in a stroller a footrest is helpful for bigger kids.
During travel your child deserves a smooth ride, so harnesses should keep them secure and in a stroller, you need an excellent suspension system. Also, consider yourself and make sure your stroller will be comfortable to push, collapse and lift into the car.
For even more information on shopping for car seats, you can look at my article on narrow car seats that give you a lot of insight into smart shopping for your family.
Car Seat Shopping – Should You Pick Stokke, Bugaboo or UPPAbaby?
Is there really a winner when you consider these three top brands? For me, because you’re using a car seat in a large, moving object that gains a lot of momentum on the highway, safety comes first. So the quality of the harness and how securely it stays in place are paramount.
UPPAbaby is impressive in this aspect because the brand provides handy features such as theSmartSecure system. That doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing convenience because the brand makes it easy to let the seat’s layout change as your baby grows. The harness and headrest will always be comfortable, without too much effort on your side. You can see that I’m leaning towards UPPAbaby for the winning car seat in the products I reviewed here.
This seat is fairly easy to use, but this video will answer all your questions about the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat.
Finding a Stroller between Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby – Which Brand is Best?
Safety is still vital when it comes to a stroller, but let’s not forget both you and baby need to be comfortable if you’re planning a long excursion. Excellent suspension is valuable, which makes the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 Stroller valuable. But an equally important fact is that you’re tired after walking around with the stroller the entire day. Make it easy on yourself by picking a lightweight unit that’s easy to load into the car, such as the Bugaboo Lynx.
If you’re wondering why I’m so enthusiastic about the Bugaboo Lynx, this video may prove why and you’ll know exactly how to fold and store.
For some helpful tips on picking the right stroller for you, my article on Best Stroller for Tall Parents provides some valuable insight.
Travel Systems – Does Stokke, Bugaboo or UPPAbaby Come Out on Top?
For a travel system, versatility is key and you need a system that will last you years to come. It’s a large investment to purchase an entire kit, so you don’t want to use it for only a few months. Research whether you can use it for infants as well as bigger children. And then, of course, there’s the ease of use to move the car seat between the car and the stroller. It must click in place easily and the stroller shouldn’t be too much of an effort to place in the car. Once again UPPAbaby impressed with the UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller + Mesa Infant Car Seat that has a compatible Mesa infant car seat which you’ll use for quite a while during your baby’s growth.
To make sure you don’t waste time trying to figure out how to fold or unfold the UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller + Mesa Infant Car Seat I found this video for you.
My Top Picks
- Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby Car Seats
- Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby Strollers
- Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby Travel Systems
When preparing for a child, these buys are crucial and my suggestion is that you put the following ones on your shortlist.
- Stokke PIPA by Nuna Car Seat
- UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat
- Bugaboo Turtle One by Nuna Car Seat + Base
- StokkeXplory V6
- UPPAbaby Cruz V2 Stroller
- Bugaboo Lynx
- Stokke Beat Compact Urban Infant Baby Stroller Travel System
- UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller + Mesa Infant Car Seat
- Bugaboo Fox Complete Full-Size Stroller
Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby Car Seats
My first seat comes from Stokke and this product sure looks comfortable upon first glance. There’s a lot of padding to keep your baby comfortable, in part thanks to the insert that’s included, making infants and even newborns safe and comfy.
Hidden inside that structure there’s additional protection for safety even if there’s impact from the side. It feels sturdy, so don’t be worried you’re buying low quality.
Other safety features include a five-point harness and for protection against the sun, you’ll appreciate the canopy that carries an SPF50 rating.
You can use this seat when the baby first arrives up to when he or she weighs 32lb or measures 32”. There’s also a car seat base included which you’ll find it fairly easy to use.
The seat itself weighs 11lb, which isn’t too heavy. Stokke does make its products compatible with each other so you can use this with Stokke’s strollers. Just note that it won’t work with other brands’ products and sometimes it’s difficult to remove it from the stroller.
If safety is your top priority you may want to go for this car seat. Apart from the standard features such as the harness and locking securely into the base, this one offers some protection against fire. It’s the first seat of this kind that passed a test on federal standards, without the use of fire retardant chemicals. Simply the chair alone and the brand’s innovative way of using Merino wool adds an extra safety feature to give you more peace of mind.
In this seat, you can carry your baby up to 35lb, although he or she may grow out of it in size before then.
UPPAbaby added helpful features to the MESA infant car seat, such as the SmartSecure system for installing this unit in your car much easier. Embedded into the design is an indicator window that will change color – from red to green – when it’s firmly in place.
For parents’ ease of use, you’ll appreciate that the harness and headrest will adjust simultaneously, instead of you taking apart all the components to adjust them. So, when your baby gets bigger it’s less effort to keep the harness fitting correctly.
It’s unfortunate that the seats often have areas with labels or stickers on. This ruins the effect of the soft wool exterior and it can even make babies sweat more than usual in hot weather since it makes the seat less breathable. Hopefully the brand will amend this going forward.
The car seat has many features I appreciate as a parent, such as it weighing 8.8lb, making it much lighter than some other car seats. Similar to the Stokke model mentioned above, you can cater for your baby from newborn to 32lb.
Both you and your baby will love the visor on this design because it works silently thanks to magnets instead of using Velcro or other clips and buttons. No more accidentally waking up a sleeping infant! There’s a window so you can keep an eye on your child even while the visor is in place.
The brand does focus on compatibility so you can use this car seat on some of its strollers, but it won’t fit on the Bugaboo Ant. In general, the seat is easy to remove from the car and secure it back in place.
Especially for infants, I found the padding to be suitable. There’s a lot of support for the head and neck area AND the inserts don’t allow too much movement. Without letting the baby feel constricted, I know the seat keeps my child secure. Also, the seat cover is truly soft and luxurious so your baby will be comfortable.
Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby Strollers
Stokke designed this with various helpful features, such as being able to adjust the height so you can have your baby quite close to you. Now you can connect with the baby more while out and about. Other adjustments include allowing you to have the seat facing forward and different positions to allow comfort for the one pushing the stroller. It’s fairly easy to go around a corner and manage it between obstacles.
The stroller works for more or less the same age group as the brand’s car seats, since you can safely use it for children up to 33lb.
This stroller is one of the more impressive models in the Stokke product list, but this isn’t my favorite stroller overall. Along with many other users who give it a fairly average rating, I suggest you rather look at the other products on the list. For one thing, the company’s warranty service isn’t ideal and it may be difficult to get replacement parts, giving your pricey stroller a shorter lifespan.
If you want to, you can turn this into a travel system by combining it with the brand’s car seat.
A better option that does come at a more inviting price too, is this UPPAbaby stroller. The entire stroller only weighs 25.5lb and when folded up it’s easy to fit into the car, even if you’re not driving a large SUV.
When it comes to the experience, parents will appreciate the tire design that makes it easy to maneuver, thanks to them being fairly large; appropriate even for rough terrain. In addition, your child will enjoy not waking up from the bumps in the road, because an innovative suspension system absorbs shock and ensures a smoother ride for the little passenger. With six different recline options, this is definitely one that will make your baby comfy.
The practical features that make this value for money are the seat that’s somewhat bigger than certain other strollers. It can safely take on a weight of up to 50lb, so you don’t have to buy a larger stroller once your baby has grown a bit. Note that certain accessories such as the SnugSeat for infants are sold separately, so you need to budget accordingly.
This product is worth considering because of its lightweight design. Yes, this one is actually even lighter than the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 Stroller, weighing in at only 20.7lb, making it even easier to get it into your car. The brand uses aerospace aluminum. That’s why it can be so light without it losing durability and value. To protect your child from the sun you’ll have a UPF 50+ sun canopy.
Once again, adding large wheels makes it easy to maneuver even on rough terrain, but the footprint itself is small, so you won’t take up the entire grocery aisle when shopping.
You can easily turn this into a travel system if you match it with one of the Bugaboo car seats. Note that although it’s compatible with the brand’s bassinet and car seats, not all these options are included in the stroller purchase. What’s great is that you can get the Bugaboo Lynx for less than the StokkeXplory V6, with all its impressive features. Simply plan well what you need most, a car seat or a bassinet, and buy accordingly.
Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby Travel Systems
So, what do you do if you want an entire travel system? You can simplify life because your child can stay in its car seat and be moved in that unit, instead of being woken up to be placed in a bassinet or different baby chair.
For your best options from these brands, I picked the
This one’s attraction lies in advanced features of the stroller, such as the suspension absorbing shock on rough terrain. There are even perks for you pushing the stroller because you can break the stroller by simply tapping on the structure with your foot. This is also a handy safety feature in an emergency situation or while you unload groceries.
Speaking of shopping, you’ll enjoy the spacious design that provides enough room for odds and ends or even a few grocery bags.
As you’ve seen in the Stokke products mentioned above, the brand is big on customization. You can adjust the position of the baby to keep a close eye on your child. If you want to interact with him or her, simply bring the seat up.
Another customization feature is switching between having your child face you or the front. This is helpful for when they get older and want to see what’s going on around them. Stokke added a footrest to increase comfort for bigger children and this can even help them have better posture while seated.
With this travel system, you can opt to simply use the car seat but there’s also the bassinet that’s handy. Some parents prefer carrying the bassinet which is lighter, especially if only doing a quick trip into the store. Others always opt for the stroller. With this set, you’re ready for any scenario. This is a slightly more expensive travel system than the others, but you get your seat, bassinet and framework included so you won’t need much more than this.
The seat you’ll use with this travel system is the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat which will work with both the UPPAbaby Cruz V2 Stroller and Vista V2 strollers from UPPAbaby. No adapters are necessary, so you have to respect the brand for making compatibility so easy.
You can enjoy the benefits of the brand’s quality car seats, such as the SmartSecure system described in my UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat review above and it’s great this installs in seconds. Baby won’t even have time to wake up and you’ll be ready to get on the road.
The stroller’s framework itself is of excellent quality, providing suspension. The attractive wheel feature is that they’re softer, all helping to make the ride smooth.
You won’t see that this stroller is called a travel system, but since the stroller is fully compatible with the brand’s car seat, it serves exactly the same purpose. Also, if you already own the car seat, it means less expenses for you. Also, the bassinet can be converted into a seat for an older child and the frame will be safe to use until your child weighs 48.5lb. That makes this travel system a long term investment.
There’s space for up to 22lb of items like your groceries in the stroller. The sun canopy can be washed in a machine so it’s easy to keep your travel system clean and it has a UPF 50+ rating so your child is safe from sunburn.
As mentioned, I value ease of use and it does help that this stroller folds very easily and when collapsed it can also stand by itself. This makes storage much easier and organized.
There are multiple positions and you can reverse the seat, so similar to the Stokke Beat Compact Urban Infant Baby Stroller Travel System, this is customizable to your needs.
With the help of many facts and feedback, I can say that in the comparison of Stokke vs Bugaboo vs UPPAbaby I definitely would pick the UPPAbaby Vista V2 Stroller + Mesa Infant Car Seat, even though it’s a bit expensive. Features like the SmartSecure System give you value for money and that’s also why I pick the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat as my favorite.
Simply looking for a stroller? There’s no denying that the Bugaboo Lynx with its lightweight aluminum framework is a winner. I do appreciate anything that makes it easier to load and carry baby equipment.
If you’ve had some experience with these products, why not share with us so we can all make smart choices together?
Last update on 2021-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API