Test-riding the Bugaboo Cameleon3


Testing the Bugaboo Cameleon 3

Bugaboo contacted me to see if I would try out their newest stroller, the Cameleon 3, for 30 days.

We decided to go with the Bugaboo Bee when we chose our stroller. (After a long deliberation process between it and the City Mini –two great options for city dwellers and frequent travelers for foldability, low-weight, and infant-to-toddler practicality–the Bugaboo won out for its extending handlebars, a must for a parent combo of 5’6″ me and 6’7″ Aron. And we’ve been very happy.) But I was also always a little curious to see what people loved so much about the iconic Cameleon–and was excited to give it a try!

Testing the Bugaboo Cameleon 3

People I knew in the city who had chosen the Cameleon loved its bassinet for the teeny newborn stage and the fact that the stroller could serve every age. Some even used the bassinet as a co-sleeper early on. They loved the Cameleon’s large wheels for uneven sidewalks and cobblestone streets and they raved about the smooth ride. They tended, however, to also have a second stroller–a lightweight foldable like a Maclaren–that they ended up using most often once their baby was a bit less, well, floppy–citing the ease of carting it in and out of taxicabs and up and down subway stairs. These parents also tended to have larger apartments than ours, the kind where you could fit two strollers or at least store the bassinet (when set-up).

I think this is the reason Bugaboo promotes the Bee as its stroller for Urbanites (even though it could also be fairly labeled their travel stroller). We were even able to learn how to collapse it single-handedly.

But now we have more space. And a car! So I was curious to see if this would have changed our minds. Afterall, the car makes a larger stroller more practical, but it also means I’ll be folding up/breaking down the stroller more often than when I was simply rolling in and out of an elevator and onto the sidewalk.

Testing the Bugaboo Cameleon 3

We’ve just used it the one day so far, and while I admit that we loved it, the jury is still out on “what if.” It would take a lot for me to put aside the whole foldability/ease-of-travel factor, but I can say I’ve already noticed a more than a few positives: the seat is higher and nicer for pulling up to a restaurant table (if need be); the brake is near the handlebar instead of at the footbase (where someone might be tempted to play with it); the large wheels make even the most root-torn sidewalk feel like a cakewalk. There are some railroad tracks near the house that my Bee wheels often get caught on (only slightly unnerving), so that last bit is no small thing.

If you have a stroller, which did you choose? Would you recommend it?


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Let’s Discuss

  1. We have two – a bugaboo donkey and a city mini double
    I love the donkey, it’s great to have them face me (was the only double stroller that could do this, I think Valco has one now), bassinets were good when they were little (and they are the same frame so just a piece of fabric to store). It does great in the snow and is thin enough to fit in alsmot every door.
    But it’s not practical to have to bring a stroller back and forth between the house and the car when you have two little babies, so having the city mini double in the car, which folds in a second is great.
    When the babies were little we also had a double snap n go for the carseats that was easy when you needed to take both of them quickly out of the car.

  2. We have a Single Bumbleride Flite and a Double Zooper stroller. Both are just okay in my opinion. My biggest complaint right now, is that our double is a side by side and while it’s great in most cases, the hardest part is just getting through doorways. It’s just a little wide and on a narrow doorway, we just don’t fit.

    The Bumbleride was a stroller that we won and at the time, I thought… A $400+ stroller for free is going to be awesome. The sad part is that if I would’ve paid for this stroller, I would’ve been pissed at the ability to withstand simple use. We just don’t use it that much and it just didn’t hold together as well as I thought it should’ve. Maybe I’m too particular, but I don’t think I’m asking too much. What fell apart? Well, the seat cover was held on with velcro to the body of the stroller. It was sticky to the stroller body and when we used the stroller with our infant carrier, the cover started to peel down and eventually the sticky part just peeled off enough so that we couldn’t stick it up anymore.

    Big bummer.

    This stroller, however, looks really nice. I like the bucket underneath for storage! Looks very ample!

    • That’s so frustrating! Finding the right stroller can be such a challenge. That bucket underneath is a detachable bag–haven’t used it yet, but it seems like a nice option.

  3. We have the City Mini and love it! We live in a walk up in Brooklyn, and since I have to fold up the stroller every time we get to the apartment, you can’t beat the City Mini. I love that I can fold it up one handed, and it is pretty easy to take up and down subway stairs. My biggest knock on it is that the wheels are plastic and not inflatable, but I believe they fixed that with the new GT model.

    I have to admit though, I love the look and smooth ride of the Cameleon. :)

    • We were initially sold the minute we tried that foldup feature. Sooo awesome! I wonder if they’ll add telescoping handles for extra height?

  4. We have the Bugaboo Frog (discontinued I think? but it’s basically a slightly smaller version of the Chameleon). We got it three years ago and it has held up really well! It’s the same one-piece bassinet to seat system. At the time we were planning on moving to D.C., but ended up staying in Florida where we use our car everywhere. It’s fairly simple to assemble, and to date we have bought no other strollers! I plan on using it all over again for our second when he comes in February. They are pricey, but if you are looking for quality and versatility, the Bugaboos can’t be beat. I know friends who have gone through three, sometimes four different strollers and probably ended up spending more than us!

    Also loving your red shoes, so cute!

  5. Mariann

    I’ve been deciding between the citi mini, the bee, and the Cameleon. I was thinking of the smaller two, but now that the 3rd generation is out, the cameleon seems more appealing. What you said about the seat converting to the Bassinet was the tipping point for me. And the stroller looks so great!

  6. We live in Barcelona, Spain so a stroller with easy city maneuverability was important. We also wanted something lightweight enough to carry up and down stairs in our apartment building (we live on the 3rd floor with no elevator) and the metro. Our last consideration was to have something that was suitable from infant through toddlerhood without a bunch of separates like a bassinet, etc. We went with the Maclaren Techno XT and have been really happy with it. I should mention that in Spain, EVERYBODY has either a Maclaren or a Bugaboo.

  7. Thanks for writing up your thoughts on the Cameleon 3! Looks super stylish!

    I’m curious whether the Cameleon 3 is good for tall kids and up to what height and age you think your kiddo will last in it? He already seems to fill it out height-wise.

    My daughter is a tall kiddo and from the time she was about 1 1/2 years old I had a hard time finding comfortable, light weight strollers that would fit her height wise. Poor thing! Now, I’m expecting another tall kiddo (a boy! yay!) and I don’t want to invest a lot of money in stroller that won’t last into his toddler years.

    Thanks again for writing about strollers!

    • You know… I think he could be in it at least another year, but I couldn’t say for certain (and we haven’t used it with the shade yet). He’s tall–90%–but he definitely has room. I wonder if he’ll want to ride much beyond that… Hope so!

  8. I am also really curious about this stroller as I see it everywhere here in Vienna (Austria), where we just moved. We lived in NYC for the 1st year of my son’s life and like Kiana, we also have a Maclaren Techno XT. I love this stroller because it is lightweight and travels very well, but since it is somewhat low to the ground, I think my son’s feet will be dragging by next summer. What do you think about this stroller for toddlers? My son is almost 2 and on the taller side, and I’m wondering how much use you can get out of it after a certain age. We are hoping to have another baby within the next year and this could be a great option for a newborn with the convertible bassinet, especially if the Bugaboo can last well into toddlerhood.
    Also, can I be nosy and ask how tall Hudson is to get an idea of fit? Thanks!

    • Hi! He’s 32 inches–sorry for delay, had to measure him–and I think he can fit for at least another year. The shoulder straps are height adjustable but the limiting factor could be the awning. (Haven’t attached it yet.) He def fills it out but it seems like it would last into toddlerhood for sure.

  9. oh they contacted me too! but we never use the stroller anymore so I declined. but I’m curious to know what you think. we also have the Bee, an older model that I found on Craigslist, but have been thinking about upgrading when we’re ready for #2. :)

  10. Hannah

    “*The new model, the Bugaboo Cameleon 3, has a seat that converts to and from a Bassinet rather than a separate bassinet.”

    No it doesn’t.

  11. Rosie

    I think what Hannah means and that you have commented, is that you still have two separate fabric sets – one for the seat and one for the bassinet. They simply attach to the same frame. Just to clarify this is also the same as in the previous model (which we have), so you do still need storage space for the bassinet fabric, when not in use. Great article and very useful. But I think it did make it sound as though the seat tilted back and just converted to a bassinet or something, which is doesn’t. You do have to switch out the fabric as in the previous model.