When it comes to baby strollers, Bugaboo is an undisputed leader. Find out more about the Cameleon 3 and why it could be the best stroller for you.
After your baby is born, your life will start to revolve around them, but it doesn’t mean that you have to stop doing everything. Whether it’s a leisurely walk to enjoy the fresh air or going to the mall to buy essentials, bringing baby along can be fun. In some cases, it’s a necessity. Either way, you will need a baby stroller.
Finding the best stroller involves asking yourself a few questions. How often and where will you use it? How will you store it when it’s not in use? How much are you willing to spend? If the price is the least of your worries, then the Bugaboo Cameleon 3 is a top choice that you may have caught your attention.
Bugaboo is famous for making luxury travel systems that combine form and function. The Cameleon 3 is the latest iteration of the ever-popular Cameleon line that uses a modular approach for bassinets and seated strollers. The Dutch design is sleek and stylish, pushing the innovation envelope while retaining the elegance that it is known for.
To find out if this model is the right one for you, check out this review.
Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Pros and Cons
Here is a brief roundup of the pros and cons of the Cameleon 3. It has some great features like the classic appearance, but it needs improvement in other areas, such as the brake system. For a detailed explanation, continue reading until the next section.
- Stylish design
- Suitable from birth to toddler
- Easy to maneuver
- Machine-washable fabrics
- Includes a rain cover
- High price
- Not compact enough
- Insufficient storage
- Difficult to use brake
- Car seat adapter not included
What We Love
Bugaboo strollers are a popular choice for jet-setters and celebrities. Among them are style icon Victoria Beckham and British royal Kate Middleton. The Cameleon 3, in particular, has many advantages that could make it a must-have item for you. These are:
1. Stylish Design
When you hear the words “baby buggy” or “baby stroller”, the Cameleon 3 silhouette immediately comes to mind. Parents fell in love with this timeless design when the original was launched in 2005 and it’s still going strong. The beautiful form makes it look picture-perfect, whether you’re out in the park or on a grocery run. But at the same time, it’s functional in a variety of landscapes. Switching from mom- to dad-powered is a cinch, too, with the height-adjustable handle.
2. Suitable from Birth to Toddler
The Cameleon 3 can transition for use throughout your baby’s early years. Thanks to the included bassinet, you can bring your newborn straight from the hospital in it. In the sitting position for older babies, you can recline the seat to full horizontal, semi-upright, and totally upright. Simply push the white button on either side and tilt to your desired angle. The depth of the seat is a generous 10 inches and the five-point harness with shoulder adjustment allows fidgety kids to be secured easily.
Although there are lighter pushchairs in the market, this one is fairly easy to carry with its weight of 22 pounds. The slim chassis is made of light yet sturdy aluminum, but the premium fabrics do add to the weight. Nevertheless, getting it on and off your vehicle or public transport isn’t very challenging.
4. Easy to Maneuver
You can push and steer the Cameleon 3 with just one hand. The small front wheels swivel freely for taking sharp turns in narrow spots. For rougher terrains, you can flip the handlebar to put the bigger foam-filled rear wheels forward—no need to turn the seat around. You could also use this model in two-wheel mode for sand or snow. The adjustable wheel suspension ensures a comfortable ride over any surface.
5. Machine-Washable Fabrics
Cleanup is a breeze with this stroller. The bassinet, seat, and sun canopy are all machine-washable even if they look and feel like luxury materials. The canopy, by the way, is water-repellent and provides an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+. It’s a simple hood without any peek-a-boo window or ventilation, but the coverage is more than adequate.
6. Includes a Rain Cover
Not all strollers come with a rain cover or weather shield. Bugaboo includes one in this package which saves you the time and money you would otherwise spend on purchasing it separately. It’s a nice convenience, although it is kind of expected at the price you’re paying.
What We Don’t Love
Such a high-end baby product is bound to have some critics. Although the Bugaboo Cameleon 3 looks impeccable, there are a few things that parents would prefer to change. Among them are:
1. High Price
This product is not cheap. Granted, it’s the complete package that baby can use from age 0 to 3. Plus, it’s a Bugaboo, after all. Nonetheless, a few more accessories like a Bugaboo Cup Holder would have been a welcome inclusion.
If you’re looking for a more inexpensive option, the Bugaboo Bee 5 is also a fine stroller. You would have to buy the Classic Bassinet as an extra, though.
2. Not Compact Enough
To fold the Cameleon 3, you have to remove the seat first. Push in the small white buttons on the inside of the handle and lower it to the ground. Lift up the center of the chassis and it will fold down. The resulting dimensions are 35 x 20 x 12 inches which is not bad. However, it is still too bulky for many cars, as well as taking on a plane as a carry-on.
For the traveling baby, the Bugaboo Ant could be a better choice since it folds down to a tiny 9 x 15 x 21.5 inches. It is also much lighter at only 16 pounds.
3. Insufficient Storage
The under-seat basket is a semi-circular canvas bag that is located below the center of the chassis. It closes with a drawstring and can carry up to 8.8 pounds of stuff. That isn’t a lot by most parents’ standards. In addition, it is difficult to access with the bassinet attached and you can’t really store large objects when the seat is being used.
4. Difficult to Use Brake
The number one complaint about the Cameleon 3 is the brake. It’s a hand-operated lever mounted on the right side of the handlebar. This position would have made excellent sense, except it can be extremely hard to use. To put the brakes on, lift the brake handle until you feel it latch. That’s simple enough to do, but releasing the brakes is a different story. Undoing the lever involves pushing in the button which is so stiff that you need two hands. This is definitely not ideal in situations where you have to switch quickly, like traffic crossings.
Furthermore, you can see the brake wire running down the side of the handle. Not only does it look messy, but it could also cause an entanglement when you’re loading the stroller in and out of vehicles.
5. Car Seat Adapter Not Included
The Cameleon 3 is car seat-compatible, but you need to purchase an adapter separately. Bugaboo recommends the BritaxRömer Click & Go or the Maxi-Cosi.
Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Statistics
- Minimum age of child: Newborn
- Maximum weight of child: 37.5 lbs
- Maximum height of child: 40 inches
- Stroller width: 23 inches
- Stroller weight: 22 lbs
- Folded stroller dimensions: 35 x 20 x 12 inches
- Bassinet dimensions: 29 x 13 inches
- Seat dimensions: 18.5 x 12.5 inches
- Seat depth: 10 inches
- Leg rest drop: 9 inches
- Under-seat basket capacity: 8.8 lbs
- Under-seat basket dimensions: 18 x 13 x 9 inches
- Push handle height: 39 to 44 inches
- Front wheels diameter: 6 inches
- Rear wheels diameter: 12 inches
The Bugaboo Cameleon 3 is a well-designed product that you can use from baby’s birth until toddlerhood. With its classic silhouette and premium materials, you can be sure that it will last for many years. The sun canopy is practical and looks darling, while the included rain cover is much appreciated. Easy maneuverability and cleanup are a plus.
On the flip side, dealing with the brake system can be a pain. The under-seat storage could also be improved. The retail price of $999 is steep, but the overall durability and functionality of this stroller make it worth the cost. Moreover, compared to other models, it could also fetch a good resale price in the secondhand market.