In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

UPPAbaby Cruz Combo Review

Quality full-size option with easy car seat attachment and storage good for errands
The Cruz works with the UPPAbaby Mesa without adapters. The install is easy and requires little pressure to complete.
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:   $550 List | $550 at Amazon
Pros:  Lighter weight, easy to fold, easy to attach car seat, large storage
Cons:  Little harder to push and turn, handle adjustment button prevents one hand steering
Manufacturer:   UPPAbaby
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team  ⋅  Oct 14, 2019
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 26
  • Ease Of Attaching Car Seat - 35% 8
  • Weight/Folded Size - 30% 7
  • Maneuverability - 10% 5
  • Safety - 10% 6
  • Ease Of Use - 5% 6
  • Quality - 5% 7
  • Ease Of Set Up - 5% 10

The Skinny

The UPPAbaby Cruz is a sleek, stylish stroller that is easy to use and works well with several infant car seats. Its general ease of car seat attachment and overall size and weight make it a great option for parents who want to combine a car seat with a stroller, and it makes it our favorite option to recommend for parents looking to create a travel system as it nicely combines with several award-winning car seats. The Cruz has one of the largest storage capacities in the group, an easy to adjust handlebar and a quick and easy fold. We liked the Cruz best when paired with the UPPAbaby Mesa infant seat. This product earned a 3rd place rank in this review.

Update — October 2018
UPPAbaby has updated the Cruz by adding some new color options as well as including leather accents on all strollers rather than foam ones. No other changes have been made to the stroller in 2018 according to UPPAbaby.


Compare to Similar Products

 
The Cruz works with the UPPAbaby Mesa without adapters. The install is easy and requires little pressure to complete.
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $550.00 List
$549.99 at Amazon
$500.00 List
$641.81 at Amazon
$120.00 List
$119.99 at Amazon
$100.00 List
$99.99 at Amazon
$360.00 List
$379.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lighter weight, easy to fold, easy to attach car seat, large storageSuper easy car to strolling transition, easy to push and turnParent tray, compact fold, budget-friendlyEasy car seat attachment, lightweight, compact foldEasy car seat attachment, compact with easy fold, easy to maneuver
Cons Little harder to push and turn, handle adjustment button prevents one hand steeringLimited lifespan of 6-9 monthsLimited to Chicco car seats, short lifespanDual action brakes, harder to push and turnSmaller storage, small front wheel
Bottom Line Quality full-size option with easy car seat attachment and storage good for errandsBest for city dwellers looking for a safe, quick transition from taxi to on-the-go adventuresEasy to use dedicated to car seat attachment onlyBest frame stroller with easy car seat attachment and parent consoleCompact Britax that works well with car seats and is easy to push and turn
Rating Categories UPPAbaby Cruz Combo Doona Combo Chicco Shuttle Chicco KeyFit Caddy Britax B-Free Combo
Ease Of Attaching Car Seat (35%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Weight Folded Size (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Maneuverability (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
4
10
0
7
Safety (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
6
10
0
6
Ease Of Use (5%)
10
0
6
10
0
1
10
0
6
10
0
5
10
0
6
Quality (5%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
3
10
0
7
Ease Of Set Up (5%)
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
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7
10
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6
10
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8
Specs UPPAbaby Cruz Combo Doona Combo Chicco Shuttle Chicco KeyFit Caddy Britax B-Free Combo
Weight 15.3 lbs 16.8 lbs 15 lbs 11.7 lbs 22.6 lbs
Folded Dimensions 22.2"W x 9.7"H x 36.5"L 18"W x 16"H x 28.3"L 20.1"W x 11.3"H x 28"L 19.8"W x 11.5"H x 33.5"L 24"W x 10.3"H x 27"L
Capacity Limits 25 Minimum: Birth

Maximum: 35 lbs/32"
Minimum: Birth

Maximum: Infants that are within the size and weight limitations of the infant car seat.
Minimum: Birth

Maximum: Max allowable weight/height for the car seat.
Minimum: Birth
Maximum: 65 lbs/45"
Included Car Seat Compatibility UPPAbaby
Mesa
Doona Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
Britax All Britax Seats
Click-in Car Seat Adapters UPPAbaby
Mesa
Maxi-Cosi
Mico, Mico AP, Mico NXT, Mico Max 30, Citi, Cabrio, CabrioFix
Nuna
Pipa
Cybex
Aton, Aton 2, Aton Q
Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Doona Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
Britax All Britax Seats
Strap-in Car Seat Adapters None None None None None
One-handed Fold No No Yes Yes Yes
Locking Fold Auto Auto None Auto Auto
Self-standing Fold Yes n/a Yes Yes Yes
Handlebar Height - Min/Max 40.5"/43.2" 32.5"/39" 42" 36"/42" 32"/44.5"
Sandal-friendly Brake Yes Yes Yes Yes
Storage Basket Size Very Large n/a Large Large Medium
Included Accessories Rain Shield, Bug Shield Infant Car Seat and Stroller In One None None None
Setup Time 4:56 n/a 7:45 8:28 6:45

Our Analysis and Test Results

The UPPAbaby Cruz also earned an Editors' Choice award in our Best Baby Strollers review.

The UPPAbaby company is an American, family-run company with over a decade of combined experience in the juvenile industry. UPPAbaby draws inspiration from their family experiences to create products that are easier to use, safer, lighter, and more fun. Their goal is to make improvements without sacrificing convenience, usability, or style. UPPAbaby's gear lineup includes an infant car seat and several strollers.

Performance Comparison



The UPPAbaby Cruz is a great full-size stroller that works well as a combination with an infant car seat. Shown here with the UPPAbaby Mesa which attaches to the frame without an adapter.
The UPPAbaby Cruz is a great full-size stroller that works well as a combination with an infant car seat. Shown here with the UPPAbaby Mesa which attaches to the frame without an adapter.

Ease of Attaching Car Seat


The Cruz earned an 8 of 10 for ease of car seat attachment, tying with the UPPAbaby Vista Combo.


If you choose the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat  it attaches to the Cruz at the same connection points as the toddler seat and doesn't require an adapter.
If you choose the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat, it attaches to the Cruz at the same connection points as the toddler seat and doesn't require an adapter.

The Cruz is compatible with the UPPAbaby Mesa; Maxi-Cosi Mico, Mico NXT, Citi, Cabrio, and Cabrio Fix; the Nuna Pipa; Cybex Aton 2, Aton, and Aton Q; and the Chicco Keyfit 30 and Keyfit (not 30). We tested the Cruz with the Mesa and Chicco Keyfit 30 (requires an adapter) car seats.

The Mesa car seat can be detached from the Cruz by pressing the button on the handle and lifting the carrier straight up off the frame.
The Mesa car seat can be detached from the Cruz by pressing the button on the handle and lifting the carrier straight up off the frame.

The Mesa fits on the Cruz without adapters. The seat attaches to the side connection points for the toddler seat once you remove the toddler seat/canopy and you need to line up both sides simultaneously. The carrier clicked into place smoothly and installed correctly during testing. The connection doesn't feel as secure as the UPPAbaby Vista and Mesa combination, but it is one of the few strollers where the car seat can install facing either direction.

The Chicco loop adapter for the Cruz attaches where the toddler seat attaches and are easy to remove with the press of two buttons simultaneously.
The Chicco loop adapter for the Cruz attaches where the toddler seat attaches and are easy to remove with the press of two buttons simultaneously.

Using the Chicco Keyfit 30 requires an adapter (sold separately). The adapter attaches at the same points, doesn't require assembly, and increases the overall weight by almost 2 lbs.

With the adapter for the Chicco attached to the Cruz  it creates an open loop that the carrier portion of the car seat nestles into and clicks onto.
With the adapter for the Chicco attached to the Cruz, it creates an open loop that the carrier portion of the car seat nestles into and clicks onto.

The Chicco Keyfit 30 drops into the adapter loop and you only need a little pressure to make the connection. We had some instances when we thought the seat was installed only to tug on the handle and have the seat break free. Overall, it isn't a complicated installation, but one you need to double-check. The Chicco Keyfit 30 is slightly harder to install than the Mesa, but after installation, they both feel equally secure.

With the purchase of additional adapters  the Cruz can work with a few other infant car seat types  including the Chicco Keyfit 30 seen here.
With the purchase of additional adapters, the Cruz can work with a few other infant car seat types, including the Chicco Keyfit 30 seen here.

Based on our testing, the UPPAbaby Mesa has a slight edge over the Chicco Keyfit 30 thanks to the lack of adapters, lower weight, easier release, and no installation mistakes. However, if you like the Keyfit 30, you won't be disappointed.

The new version of the Cruz is about 1 lb heavier but almost 1000 cubic inches smaller when folded. The trade-off means it may fit in where the older version could not.
The new version of the Cruz is about 1 lb heavier but almost 1000 cubic inches smaller when folded. The trade-off means it may fit in where the older version could not.

Weight and Folded Size


For a full-size stroller, the Cruz is small and relatively compact when folded. It is the lightest full-size stroller in this review at only 15.3 lbs without a seat. Only the dedicated frame strollers weigh less.


The Cruz has a small fold measuring at 7,860 cubic inches, which makes it smaller than the majority of full-size strollers we tested. All of the frame options are smaller, but if you want better features and performance, then the Cruz offers more in a relatively small and light package.

The Cruz has foam filled rubber tires that UPPAbaby claims provide properties similar to traditional suspension methods.
The Cruz has foam filled rubber tires that UPPAbaby claims provide properties similar to traditional suspension methods.

Maneuverability


The Cruz is not challenging to push or turn on flat hard surfaces, but it isn't as good as the joggers.


We had to use two hands to move it smoothly, and the turns were slightly harder than some of the competition. With the handlebar adjustment in the middle of the handlebar making it challenging to push one-handed.

Locking the front wheels on the Cruz can help keep it pushing straight when moving over uneven terrain.
Locking the front wheels on the Cruz can help keep it pushing straight when moving over uneven terrain.

The longer wheelbase makes turns a little tricky, and we find you have to prep in advance for tighter turns. It did manage carpet, grass, and gravel with only a few snags on rocks. It isn't an off-road stroller, but you won't be struggling to negotiate through a play park either. You can find more details on how the Cruz moves with the toddler seat attached in our best full-size stroller review.

The new Cruz handlebar has a leather cover  but it still has the center adjustment button that makes one-handed pushing a challenge.
The new Cruz handlebar has a leather cover, but it still has the center adjustment button that makes one-handed pushing a challenge.

The adjustable handlebar uses the telescoping method that places the pusher further from the rear axle, which prevents kicking of the stroller. The handlebar is an easy push-button adjust, but the button is in a bad location in the middle of the bar. The size of the tubing and the foam or leather-wrapped handle makes it easy to grip and comfortable. The wheels on the Cruz are foam-filled rubber with UPPAbaby AirGo technology. The Cruz does not have traditional shocks or suspension, but UPPAbaby claims their AirGo wheels offer suspension in the design.

The Cruz storage bin holds up to 25 lbs and we fit our extra-large diaper bag inside with no problem.
The Cruz storage bin holds up to 25 lbs and we fit our extra-large diaper bag inside with no problem.

Ease of Use


The Cruz is one of the easier options to use in a metric where none of the options really shined.




Ease of use tests the day to day functionality of a product and attempts to predict any frustration parents might find.

The Cruz fold is initiated by pulling up on the frame locks located on both sides of stroller the to release the frame for folding.
The Cruz auto-locks to keep the stroller closed and easier to manage.

Fold and Unfold


The Cruz is average for ease of folding requiring two hands (above left) and significant bending. It has two steps, auto-locks (above right), and self-stands. There is no carry handle, but it rolls when folded. Unfolding the Cruz is easier, but you still need two hands.

The Cruz's brake pedal is centrally located and easy to set and release with a sandal foot friendly design.
The Cruz's brake pedal is centrally located and easy to set and release with a sandal foot friendly design.

Brakes


The Cruz has straightforward, single action brakes with a pedal that is big and easy to reach, even with the seat fully reclined or with a carrier attached. The underside of the pedal is friendly to sandaled feet.

While the Cruz storage bin is accessible from most sides and works well with the seat in place  it is easier to fit larger items inside before you place the infant carrier on top.
While the Cruz storage bin is accessible from most sides and works well with the seat in place, it is easier to fit larger items inside before you place the infant carrier on top.

Storage


The Cruz has a large storage bin and one of the highest maximum allowable capacities at 25 lbs. The larger allowance means you can carry the baby's diaper bag and other items. The basket is accessible from all sides and easier before attaching the seat.

Sunshade


The Cruz has a nice large sunshade with ventilation and a peek-a-boo window. However, when used with an infant car seat, the canopy won't be there.

The Cruz is super easy to setup and the Chicco adapter did not require any assembly before use.
The Cruz is super easy to setup and the Chicco adapter did not require any assembly before use.

Ease of Setup


The Cruz is one of the easiest in the group to set up taking under 5 minutes. The stroller comes with a quick start guide with seven steps and useful pictures. We found the pieces and parts to be so minimal and the assembly so intuitive that we didn't need to use the manual.

Only one option earned a higher score for quality than the Cruz.
Only one option earned a higher score for quality than the Cruz.

Quality


The Cruz has nice quality materials and construction with attention to detail.


The storage bin, seat, and canopy are soft, tightly woven, thick canvas that fits well on the frame and doesn't have any visible fasteners, loose threads, or bunched stitching. The sides of the basket have stiff rubber-coated mesh, and the bottom is hard plastic. The frame is aluminum and has a sleek appearance with few connection points and no visible rivets. The overall fit and finish are tight, and everything lines up with a smooth finish that is straightforward and simple.

Manufacturer Video




Accessories


The Cruz does not offer much in the way of conveniences, so you may want to consider adding a few below:
  • The UPPAbaby Cup Holder — Some parents feel a cup holder is an absolute must and while we think you can get by without it, the addition of a cup holder may be just what the doctor ordered to hold your water bottle on a hot day to stay hydrated.
  • The UPPAbaby Parent Organizer — Want to keep your wallet and mobile phone nearby? The parent organizer is a good addition that will allow you to keep quick access items close at hand so you can answer calls, retrieve your keys, or pay for lunch at a food truck with ease.

Other Versions


The Vista works well with up to two infant car seat carriers while maintaining easy access to the storage bin.
UPPAbaby also makes the UPPAbaby Vista Combo that works with two infant car seats and is a good choice for growing families or those with twins. The Vista did not win an award in the Combo review because of its larger size and heavier weight, but it did win awards in the double stroller review and our full-size stroller review where it impresses with its versatility quality, maneuverability, and storage.

Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team