With my first child, I bought everything a baby could possibly need (or want) brand new. I can’t even remember how much money I spent. Between the furniture for the nursery, clothing, and all the other baby essentials, I easily racked up thousands of dollars.

With the second child, I was luckily able to use most of the hand-me-downs from Duke. Jake didn’t seem to mind too much that he was using Duke’s things, and since they were only 18 months apart, it worked out well.

Twelve years later, Lulu came along. I remembered how kids outgrow things quickly and decided that I would buy most things used (some things, such as car seats, should never be purchased used due to safety regulations).

So, I happily shopped at thrift stores, craig’s list, ebay, and freecycle to get everything Lulu needed. I checked with the manufacturer of each item for recalls or other safety issues. I got a crib for $20, a free changing table and high chair. The rocking chair was $15 – new – at a home improvement store. Pottery Barn crib bedding was a steal at $50 (including shipping) from ebay. A friend gave me a Snugli, baby monitor, and an exersaucer. A practically brand new swing that runs on electricity rather than batteries was only $40. I was doing well.

There was one thing, though, that I knew I wanted. And I wasn’t willing to compromise. I had my heart set on the ubiquitous Bugaboo Frog stroller. Sure, the stroller would cost more than my first car, but boy did it look cool. I rationalized that since I was spending so little on everything else, I could splurge on a stroller. It was also important to me to have a good quality stroller since I planned on using it every day to exercise.

And, since I was going to spend so much money on the stroller, I thought it best to buy it new. Besides, the prices on used Bugaboo strollers hardly made it worth my while to shop around for a used version. Since the local Babies R Us didn’t keep the stroller in stock, I decided to make a trip to my local baby supply store to try the stroller out. I went to Baby-Go-Round in Hampton Falls, NH with every intention of ordering my new cherry red stroller.

When I arrived, the patient owner and her daughter showed me the Bugaboo and some comparable strollers. When I saw the silver UPPAbaby VISTA stroller, I fell in love. I spent about an hour in the store trying to decide between the two. In the end, I chose the UPPAbaby and after using it for six months (so far) I’m glad that I did. My main reasons for choosing the VISTA over the Frog were:

• The VISTA sits higher, so you don’t have to bend so far down to get baby in and out.

• The chassis on the VISTA is high so you don’t hit your shins when you walk with it.

• The telescoping handle is easy to use and adjust.
• The VISTA’s bassinet is made out of organic and soy fabrics.
• The basket on the VISTA is much bigger and easier to access.
• Tires on the VISTA never go flat.
• The VISTA has an optional “rumble seat” which turns the stroller into a double stroller (for an additional $130).
• The sunshade has an SPF 50 and can be expanded to practically cover the entire baby, keeping her safe from sunburn.
• The company is committed to being green and eco-friendly.
• UPPAbaby is located right in Rockland, Mass.

My two complaints about the VISTA are petty. For one, the cup holder is really cheap looking. For $25, I expect something a bit better looking. Heck, when you pay almost $700 for a stroller, they should throw in a cup holder! Secondly, there is a part on the front of the stroller where the aluminum is soldered together that also looks a bit cheap.

Overall, I have been very happy and impressed with the VISTA stroller. At one point, I thought my stroller had a problem with the wheels. I emailed customer service and had a reply within hours. It turns out that I didn’t have the wheel in a locked position.

My husband jokes that the stroller has a smoother ride than his German car. I agree. Also, it’s very easy to swap the bassinet for the regular seat, and folding the stroller is a breeze. Lulu loves her VISTA!

10/10 UPDATE: After using my VISTA for about 18 months, the frame wouldn’t close and the wheel made  a clicking noise that drove me crazy.  I contacted the folks at UPPAbaby and they sent me out a new frame at no charge. About one month later, the mechanism that clicks the seat onto the frame broke. Again, I contacted customer service and they sent out a new seat frame. UPPAbaby’s customer service is great!

12/10 UPDATE: I decided to sell my VISTA. While I love it as a single stroller, it just doesn’t realistically work for us as a double.  And with a five-month-old and an 18-month-old, we really need a double stroller.  So, now we’re off to find the perfect double stroller!

The UPPAbaby VISTA with a rain cover

The UPPAbaby VISTA with a rain cover.

Lulu at three months in the VISTA.

Lulu at three months in the VISTA.