For many parents, deciding what stroller to buy their baby is as important as choosing a family car. And just like buying a car, the ideal stroller should be a winning combination of form, function, value for money. Don’t forget after-sales service too. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at two popular stroller brands competing to be on your must-buy list: Mountain Buggy vs. UPPAbaby.
Table of Contents
- 1 Mountain Buggy: Engineered for the great outdoors
- 2 UPPAbaby: Savvy and safety in one
- 3 Full-Size Strollers
- 3.1 Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan
- 3.2 UPPAbaby Cruz
- 3.3 Full-Size Strollers: The Verdict
- 4 Lightweight Strollers
- 4.1 The Mountain Buggy Swift
- 4.2 UPPAbaby Minu
- 4.3 Lightweight Strollers: The Verdict
Mountain Buggy: Engineered for the great outdoors
Mountain Buggy is a New Zealand stroller brand founded in 1992 by a mountain-loving dad. The name, coupled with its slogan “Life without limit,” seems to be the sort of brand for parents looking to buy strollers they can push across rugged terrain.
Mountain Buggy’s claim to fame is being the first to develop the all-terrain platform stroller. With this, its strong points include durability, maneuverability, and safety. But design doesn’t take a backseat with this stroller brand. In fact, Mountain Buggy has won two Red Dot design awards for its Urban Jungle and Nano models.
Among its various baby-transport products, perhaps Mountain Buggy’s most unique is their Duet range of side-by-side strollers (which we featured in our post “The Best Strollers for Twins”). It can function as a double stroller (for twins or siblings) or a single stroller with an optional clip-on tote bag on the side to carry your other stuff.
Aside from strollers, Mountain Buggy has a range of other selections, including carry cots, bagriders (a wheeled carry-on suitcase and travelling seat for toddler in one), baby carriers, car seats, high chairs, and even a unirider (which looks like a lot of fun—unfortunately, it’s only for kids).
UPPAbaby: Savvy and safety in one
What do Adam Levine, Eva Longoria, Haylie Duff, and Rose Byrne have in common? Well, apart from being celebrity parents, they seem to be fans of this innovative stroller brand headquartered in Rockland, Massachusetts. Owned by husband-and-wife team Lauren and Bob Monahan, UPPAbaby promises to deliver “greater comfort and safety for baby, with convenience and style for Mom and Dad.”
UPPAbaby currently has two models in the full-size stroller category, the Vista and Cruz, while it offers four variants under lightweight strollers (the Minu, G-Link, G-Luxe, and G-Lite models) as well as the Mesa car seat.
Got a question on setting up your stroller? Have a bolt that needs tightening? UPPAbaby claims to have “the most responsive customer service in the industry.” You can check the schedules of their upcoming Tune-UP Gear-UP events, UPPAbaby’s travelling stroller maintenance service that covers the US, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
So far, we’ve written standalone reviews on the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle, Terrain, and Nano. For UPPAbaby, we’ve shared our thoughts on their Vista, Cruz, G-Lite, G-Luxe models. We’re trying something different with this comparison guide by focusing the spotlight on Mountain Buggy’s and UPPAbaby’s lightweight and full-size strollers.
In the full-size category, we’ll have the Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan go head-to-head with its nearest UPPAbaby rival, the Cruz. As for lightweight stroller options, we’ll check out what the Mountain Buggy Swift has up over UPPAbaby’s Minu.
Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan
- Durable dark 600 denier blue denim exterior, with soft cotton interior and a main seat offering a 5 point safety, tail free harness that ensures no risk to your child from excess straps
- Smooth drop fold with automatic frame lock and standing feature for easier storage in the house
- Ultra adaptable and infant ready out of the box with its lie flat seat mode - also compatible with the graco snug ride, maxi cosi mico, and cybex aton car seats with adapter (sold...
The Cosmopolitan is a sleek, stylish departure from Mountain Buggy’s rough-and-ready aesthetic. Its clean, modern-minimalist look makes it the sort of stroller that wouldn’t look out of place on Fifth Street or SoHo. From the sleek aluminum frame to the subdued denim exterior, the Cosmopolitan is styled for parents out to make a fashion statement.
Looks aside, the Cosmopolitan retains the Mountain Buggy DNA of maneuverability, durability, simplicity, and adaptability. It’s got puncture-proof tires with all-round suspension that shifts seamlessly from concrete to dirt path. It’s light and compact but everything about it screams extra—from the wide handlebar, the extendable canopy, surprisingly roomy seat, to the spacious gear tray underneath.
Overall, we recommend you go for the Cosmopolitan if looks matter to you as much as function and ease of use do.
Things we like:
- Convenient two-step lock makes it easy to fold and unfold with one hand (while carrying little bub on the other)
- Roomy, convertible seat with three levels (upright, recline, and lie-flat) accommodates your child from birth up to around 4 years of age
- Easy-access and large storage tray capacity that supports up to 10 kg. allows you to carry all your essentials
- Puncture-proof Aerotech tires and all-round suspension make it off-road ready
Things we don’t like:
- The handlebar height is not adjustable—bad news if you’re on the taller or shorter side
- In order to fix the front wheels in place, you have to crouch down and use your hands, which isn’t exactly convenient
- At only 44 cm., seat height falls a little short of what we would have expected from a full-size stroller
Price-wise, the Cosmopolitan falls somewhere in the mid-range among Mountain Buggy’s stroller range. Expect to fork in around $350-$500 for this stylish number (and some $200 more if you choose the Cosmopolitan GEO Luxury Collection).
Apart from its sleek, contemporary look, the Cosmopolitan’s roomy and easy-to-access gear tray was what had us excited to get our hands on it (and one of the features that makes the Cosmopolitan one of our top picks). According to the spec sheet, you can load it with up to 22 lbs. of stuff (roughly 10 kg.). There’s enough storage space in it to carry your diaper bag, your handbag, and maybe even a shopping bag.
Additionally, the storage tray is lined with two support bars underneath to keep it from sagging. But perhaps the best part of it is the high clearance: you can easily load and unload your stuff from the storage tray without the bottom of the seat getting in the way.
The Cosmopolitan sports puncture-proof Aerotech tires that measure 12 inches at the rear and 8 inches in front, making for a comfortable ride for your little one whether it’s cross-country or the city streets. Additionally, you can shift the front wheels from fixed to swivel by pushing the two buttons that sit just above the two front wheels—which we weren’t a big fan of, to be honest.
Portability and Mobility
Don’t let the solid frame and the massive seat space fool you—the Cosmopolitan weighs in at just a slight 11.9 kilograms and, when folded, can fit into the trunk of a tiny car. It’s a spiffy marvel of space-saving design indeed. Just click the two buttons on either side, push the button under the handlebar, and it automatically folds to about a little over a foot flat and a height of about 3 feet.
To unfold, just release the auto-lock on the side, pull up the handlebar while you push down at the bottom, wait for the click, and you’re all set to go.
The Cosmopolitan is also travel system ready with the Mountain Buggy Protect Car Seat.
Handling and Maneuverability
One of our pet peeves with strollers is the awkwardness of having to navigate it up curbs and irregular surfaces. Thankfully, Mountain Buggy engineered the Cosmopolitan in such a way that you won’t have to exert superhuman force just to “pop” it up a curb. Just give the handlebar a gentle but deliberate push down, and up the front wheels go.
One thing we weren’t too fond of was the fixed handlebar height, which might pose an issue if you’re either too tall or too short. The solid rubberized handle is wide and thick, if not a bit chunky (but we’re not complaining as we find it makes for a better, more comfortable grip).
As for drivability, the large wheels, the swivel front wheels, and the even weight distribution allow you to comfortably push the Cosmopolitan across any surface with minimal effort.
The Cosmopolitan comes with a dizzying array of optional accessories. Although it comes with a fully reclining or lie-flat option, you can purchase an optional carrycot to easily transport your newborn on and off the stroller.
Planning to take more than one child with you? Get your older child to hop along with the freerider stroller board. For added protection against the elements, you can attach a mesh cover or a storm cover (or buy the all-weather cover set to get both).
For your convenience, you can also attach a bottle holder or a cup holder to your Cosmopolitan—pushing a baby around is thirsty business, you know!
There are three levels to the Cosmopolitan’s seat style: upright, reclining, and lie-flat. You can recline the seat in both the parent-facing and world-facing positions; additionally, for your little one’s added comfort, you can adjust the leg position while they are in the upright or reclining positions.
With its various seat levels, the Cosmopolitan ensures you can use it with your newborn up until they’re about 3 to 4 years of age (or a maximum weight of 20 kilograms). We tested it with a friend’s three-year-old, and they fit snugly in it. The seat height only comes up to a little below 20 inches (44 cm. approximately) though, so taller toddlers may outgrow it early.
Safety and Protection
To keep your little one in place, the Cosmopolitan comes with a standard five-point tail-free padded harness that you can use in all three positions (from lie-flat to upright). As for keeping the stroller in place, the red single-pedal foot brake on the side is hard to miss.
There’s a large extendable canopy for baby’s privacy as well as protection against the sun. (On a side note, we’re not sure if we got a dud, but the stroller we reviewed had a rather clickety-clackety sound going on in the canopy after riding the stroller through bumpy terrain. It’s not loud enough to disturb baby’s sleep, but it does give the impression that the hood isn’t too put together.)
- This stroller is suitable for children from birth (with optional Infant SnugSeat accessory) until the child height is approximately aorund 40 inches (101 centimeter).
- Includes toddler seat, rain shield & bug shield-Full size front and rear facing toddler seat-180-degree recline with one hand
- Adjustable canopy with peek-a-boo window-Extendable UPF 50+ sunshade
We’ve raved about the UPPAbaby Cruz in a previous review. Now we’ll help you see how its features stack up against the Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan.
Looks-wise, the two could be mistaken for twins. Just like the Cosmopolitan, the UPPAbaby Cruz is made for parents who want comfort and mobility without sacrificing style. The two even sport similar features: a large extendable canopy, extra-large storage tray, and modular seats.
While UPPAbaby classifies it as a full-size stroller, the Cruz has a slightly smaller, more compact build compared to the Cosmopolitan (and even the Vista), which is complemented by its lightweight aluminum with magnesium frame.
The higher-end models sport a handle and bumper bar decked in stylish full-grain leather—a double-edged sword in our opinion: on the one hand, leather handles mean you can wipe away messes easily. On the other, leather gets worn over time and will need extra care if you want to make it last till your newborn is toddler-age. (We also know of one friend who refused to buy it because it isn’t animal-friendly.)
Perhaps owing to its size, we found the Cruz easier to maneuver with one hand. The smaller wheels on the Cruz had us worried it might not give as smooth a ride as its larger-wheeled counterparts. Surprisingly, despite the small wheels and the lack of suspension, the stroller navigates curves and obstacles with ease—but we’re probably going to keep it away from rough terrain.
Overall, the UPPAbaby Cruz is the stroller for you if you’re one to put a premium on portability, maneuverability, and mobility.
Things we like:
- It comes bundled with free accessories—namely a bug net and rain shield (what can we say, we’re suckers for freebies), making it outdoors-ready.
- Adjustable, telescoping handlebar (extendable up to 4 inches) makes for a more customized, comfortable use.
- Canopy comes with a pop-out SPF 50 sunshade, giving baby extra protection especially in the summer.
Things we don’t like:
- The 8.5-inch rear and 6.4-inch front wheels feel small for a full-size stroller, and it has no suspension system, making it unsuitable for rough terrain.
- Locking the front wheels in place is tricky and can be hard to get right at first try.
The Cruz sits on the higher-end spectrum of UPPAbaby’s stroller range. For the 2018 edition, expect to fork in around $550 for the base variant. (Add an extra $30 for the premium edition that features a lighter carbon frame and leather handles.)
Just like on the Cosmopolitan, the storage tray in the Cruz is large, roomy, and easily accessible. With a capacity of 25 lbs., the storage tray can easily carry your diaper bag and maybe a grocery bag too. Additionally, if you want more space or just easier access to your stuff underneath, you can fold the leg rest out of the way.
The rear and front polyurethane wheels on the Cruz measure 8.5 and 6.4 inches, respectively. Unlike the Cosmopolitan and Vista, however, the Cruz doesn’t come with all-round suspension. That said, while it can handle flat surfaces with ease, you should probably keep it away from rough terrain as it could make for a bumpy ride for baby.
The Cruz folds down to a height of 36 inches and a slim 17 inches. It folds with the use of just one hand in under 10 seconds (half of that if you use two hands), and it unfolds in about the same time (although you will have to bend a bit to set it up for use). It can stand on its own, and tidily slips into the trunk of our tiny subcompact.
Handling and Maneuverability
The aircraft-grade lightweight frame of the Cruz lends itself exceptionally well to single-hand maneuvering. Additionally, the telescoping handlebar means you can adjust it comfortably to your height, which is great news if you’re on the taller side.
The Cruz takes turns with effortless ease, as we found out when we took it for a road test. If you’re dealing with shifty, uneven surfaces, you can lock the front wheels in place; however, doing this requires some practice, as you will have to angle the front wheels a certain way before you can successfully lock it.
The UPPAbaby Cruz comes ready for your next outdoor adventure with a free rain and bug shield. Other than those two, you will have to purchase accessories like cup holders, food trays, and bassinets separately. To use it as a travel system, you can also buy the MESA Infant Car seat (or other brand car seats, provided you buy the appropriate adapters).
You can use the Cruz as a newborn stroller (although they don’t recommend it for use until your baby is three months old) or a toddler stroller that can either face in or out. Just like the Cosmopolitan, you can adjust the leg rest to any angle that is comfortable for your little one.
The spec sheet lists the recommended age of use at three months to 50 lbs. However, you can buy the optional bassinet if you want to use the Cruz to safely carry and transfer your newborn. For your older child, the Cruz can accommodate toddlers up to four, thanks to its extendable canopy and its deep and tall seat back.
The Cruz is equipped with a five-point harness.
At the center of your foot rest you’ve got the brake pedal, which you engage by flipping down with your foot. We’re used to having brakes on the sides, but quickly found ourselves warming up to this system, as it is more accessible (and, unlike those side brakes, keeps your shoes from getting those accidental nicks).
Full-Size Strollers: The Verdict
It’s tough handing out a verdict on which is better between the Cosmopolitan and the Cruz. For all their similarities, it seems these two were built for different purposes. The Cosmopolitan—with its large wheels and rigid frame—seems better suited for parents with a love for the great outdoors. The Cruz—with its small wheels and compact, lightweight frame—feels more at home in urban environments. One thing’s for sure though: if style, mobility, and convenience matter to you, then you’re not going to go wrong with either choice.
Now on to Mountain Buggy and UPPAbaby’s lightweight strollers. We’re going to let you know how the Mountain Buggy Swift measures against the features of the UPPAbaby Minu.
The Mountain Buggy Swift
- FULL RECLINE TO UPRIGHT SEAT - total adaptability to go from lie flat to upright, offering versatility to meet the individual needs of your baby & LONGER SEAT BACK - more growth room for...
- SHORTER FOOTPRINT - less space is always best when out and about in the city (new 32.5", old 40") & OUTSTANDING CURB POP - cleverly engineered with perfect weight distribution, allowing you...
- HANDLEBAR COMFORT - durable, yet soft and ergonomically formed for your comfort when pushing & MULTI ADJUST HANDLE - easily adjust the handle height for a more comfortable push
Let’s get one thing straight; the Mountain Buggy Swift is a compact, lightweight jogging stroller. A lot of negative reviews we read online had buyers complaining that it was too small. (In Mountain Buggy’s defense, they never marketed it as a full-size stroller, so we didn’t expect much in the size department.)
So now that that’s out of the way, let’s have a closer look at what makes this stroller a good choice if you’re looking to buy a lightweight stroller.
The Mountain Buggy Swift in a few words: It’s a lightweight stroller with full-size features. At only 9 kgs., the Swift opens and folds easily with just one hand. It folds into a neat compact box about the size of a carry-on, making it the perfect stroller to take on quick trips.
Despite its small frame, the Swift comes packed with plenty of features: you’ve got large 10-inch air-filled tires, wide aluminum frame, full recline to upright seat options, reversible seat liner, comfortable, multi-adjust handles, to name just a few.
Since its latest version came out in 2015, the Mountain Buggy Swift has earned praises for its design and ease of use. The Mountain Buggy Swift won Silver in the 2016 OHbaby Awards and was voted finalist in Australian Mother&Baby Magazine’s 2017 Awards.
Things we like:
- Easy to assemble—fewer parts to put together mean less down time
- Compact and lightweight—the Swift weighs only 9 kgs., and packs discreetly into even the tiniest of spaces
- Adjustable handle height allows you to choose a position perfect for you
- Magnetic (read: noiseless) peek-a-boo flaps on the canopy are a thoughtful touch
- Hand-operated brake with idiot-proof green-“go” and red-“stop” indicators take out the guesswork and allow for easier handling
Things we don’t like:
- This stroller is on the shorter side, so if you’re six foot or above you might want to first test if it’s the right size for you
- For its price, you can look at other, more premium stroller options
- Storage tray at the bottom is small and fills up easily
The Swift currently comes in two variants: the older Legacy and the latest 2015 edition. It costs anywhere from $350 to $400, depending on the fabric color you choose.
Does it feel as expensive as it costs? Well, the Swift comes with an anodized aluminum frame, large air-filled tires, reversible seat liners, a bumper bar, and bottle holder, so it does feel like you’re getting plenty of value for your money.
If you’re like us, you know how much of a non-negotiable storage space in a stroller is. Unfortunately, in the Swift, the storage basket underneath felt more like an afterthought (probably a consequence of its compact design). It probably won’t hold anything larger than your handbag, so getting your diaper bag in there might be a tight squeeze.
One of the very things we noticed about the Swift are the large, 10-inch air-filled tires. The solid oversized wheels on the Swift offers a cushy ride for baby when you’re navigating the hiking or jogging trail—even with the absence of suspension. It’s not puncture-proof, however, so to be on the safe side, better stick to flat, pebble-free surfaces.
The Swift impressed us in this department, as its small frame ensures you can stow it away in relative ease. It weighs only 9.1 kgs. and when folded collapses to only 23 inches wide. Storing it in the back of your car will leave you with still a lot of trunk space, making it the perfect companion for travel.
Handling and Maneuverability
A quality we’ve come to expect of Mountain Buggy is maneuverability, and the Swift certainly does not disappoint. You can push it with one hand easily, with the large wheels ensuring your stroller won’t veer off-course (although there’s a front wheel lock too). Mountain Buggy is also known for their outstanding “curb pop,” and we found ourselves easily popping the Swift up curbs and elevated surfaces with just one hand.
If you want to spiff up your baby’s ride, you can choose from a variety of compatible accessories. With the Swift, we recommend that you buy the maintenance kit, which is a must if your stroller has pneumatic (air-filled) tires. You can also upgrade your Swift by getting it the 10″ Aerotech wheel set, to make sure you’ll never have to worry about getting a flat.
You can get the seats on the Swift to lie flat or sit upright, ensuring you can use it from newborn age to 4 years. It’s worth noting though that the lie-flat option on the Swift doesn’t really go all the way flat. It’s still slightly inclined, so if you want your newborn babe to be completely comfy and safe, you’re better off purchasing the separate carry cot.
The Swift is compatible for use with children from 0 to 4 years. But as we mentioned previously, if you’re going to use the Swift with your newborn, it’d be safer to use it with the carrycot accessory. Despite its size, the Swift also comes with a longer seat back, leaving plenty of growth room for your child.
Mountain Buggy strollers come with the industry-standard five-point harness. In the Swift you have the round, easy-to-use kind that needs just one push to release. Other than that, we think the hand brake is a great safety feature too. It’s color-coded (green for go, red for stop) for easier, foolproof use.
- Suitable for children 3 months up to 50lbs
- One-hand action fold with shoulder carry strap, Stands when folded
- Hand-sewn, leather handlebars with perforated pattern for extra grip
UPPAbaby is quickly setting itself up as a premium stroller brand, and it continues this legacy with the Minu. We haven’t reviewed the Minu before, so we thought now was the perfect time to finally test it out—and see how it fares against the Mountain Buggy Swift.
At first glance, there’s a Zen-like simplicity to how the Minu looks: the clean lines of the frame, the aptly sized canopy, the slim, no-frills handlebar. Handling it, you get to appreciate why it looks that way, as it weighs just under 15 lbs.
The Minu is a great choice for parents who want a lightweight stroller for navigating tight urban cityscapes with baby. It comes with an ingenious one-handed, one-step fold that allows you to fold and unfold the stroller while holding on to baby.
Other features worth noting are extra-large storage space, multi-position recline, all-wheel suspension, and an extendable UPF 50+ sunshade. Come to think of it, the Minu’s features remind us of the Vista—just smaller and lighter.
Things we like:
- Folds into a size compact enough to fit most overhead compartments—which is good if you’re taking it on vacation.
- Storage pocket at the back of the canopy stores your phone and wallet and keeps it within reach.
- Large-capacity storage basket at the bottom makes shopping and carrying around stuff more convenient.
- One-hand fold feature is a game-changer.
Things we don’t like
- Handle bar height is not adjustable and at about 40-inches tall, isn’t very ideal for short people
- Adjusting the seat recline using adjustable straps takes up too much time and isn’t very intuitive.
The Minu is UPPAbaby’s high-end model in its lightweight stroller range. Its price tag ranges from $399 to $429, depending on the variant you choose. Just like the Vista, the Minu features a 100% full-grain leather handlebar that gives it a premium, classic appearance.
We love how the Minu is just like the lightweight version of the full-size Vista. UPPAbaby certainly got it right by giving the Minu lots of storage space (and a weight limit of 20 lbs.). While the storage space in the Minu isn’t as large as the Vista’s, it still has enough room to carry both your handbag and your diaper bag.
There isn’t much to be said about the Minu’s wheels except that they’re small, in keeping with its portable and lightweight frame. With that, you won’t have to worry about getting through tight spaces like narrow doorways and crowded supermarket aisles.
The Minu also features a shock-absorbing, all-wheel suspension, with the foam inside the wheels giving you a smooth, stable ride.
We can’t sing enough praises about the one-handed, one-step fold feature of the Minu. It folds in place with just the swipe of a button (found at the bottom of the handlebar) and a quick push down. Getting it to fold with just one hand takes a few tries to get perfect though, but once you do, you’ll realize how much of a game changer it is (especially if you’re dealing with a crying baby that refuses to be put down).
Even better, the Minu comes with a built-in carry handle and shoulder strap, which makes it handy for taking with you.
Handling and Maneuverability
Owing to its small wheels, the Minu handles corners exceptionally well and offers great maneuverability and turning radius. The handlebar is positioned a bit high though, so we suggest you try pushing it about for a couple of meters or so before deciding if the Minu is for you.
If you’re into modding your Minu, UPPAbaby has several optional accessories you can buy. Preparing to transport a newborn? You can purchase a From Birth Kit, which allows your little human to lie completely flat inside a bassinet.
While the Minu is a compact number, it has a comfy and roomy nine-inch-deep seat. The Minu features a multi-position recline that you adjust with the use of two straps that thread through the back seat.
This is good if you want to get that perfect angle that’s comfy for your baby to sit or lie in. However, we found ourselves in a bit of a bind getting the seat back to an upright position using the straps. It’s especially problematic if your baby is already settled in.
The spec sheet lists the Minu’s recommended age range at 3 months to 50 lbs. (around 4 years old). If you plan to use it with a newborn though, just get the From Birth Kit.
The Minu comes standard with a five-point safety harness to keep your little one safely buckled in. Additionally, to keep your stroller in place, you’ve got foot brakes either side of your stroller. And they’re handily labelled red on the right for “stop” and green on the left for “go.”
Lightweight Strollers: The Verdict
Here’s the hard part: deciding which stroller is better. From what you’ve read, we’ve only got good things to say about both the Swift and the Minu. So, it isn’t really our place to say one is better over the other.
The Swift, for us, would be a good choice if you’re more on the active, adventurous side. With its big wheels and tough exterior, you’ll love to take it for a spin on your favorite jogging or hiking trail (watch out for sharp rocks though).
Are you the type who’s always on the go? Then we suggest you choose the Minu for its compact and easy-to-carry size. It’s a great stroller to take with you to the park, for quick errands, and even when going on holiday.