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Bugaboo Cameleon3 review
Best Pushchair 2018
It's got a lightweight chassis, full wheel suspension, flexible seating and a huge shopping basket – the Cameleon3 more than lives up to Bugaboo’s design credentials
By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Dec 14, 2022
Suitable from: Birth – 17 kg
Weight: 9.6 kg
Folded Dimensions: H90 x W59 x L31 cm
RRP: £849.99-£970 depending on the customisations you choose
Resale value: Average £430, depending on design
Compatible with (car seats): Maxi Cosi Cabriofix and Pebble, Cloud Q, Aton Q, Recaro Zero 1 Elite and BeSafe iZi Go car seat. Attaches using adaptors (each sold separately).
Available in orange, red, soft pink, petrol blue, ice blue, off white, black and grey. Other designs also available in limited editions.
Dutch company Bugaboo is known for its beautifully-designed pushchairs, and the Cameleon3 is no exception. We loved the style and quality of the design, and the detailed personalisation options which mean you can really make it your own. We were also impressed by how easy it was to use, from switching between the baby car seat travel mode and carrycot to folding down with one hand. As pushchairs go, the Cameleon3 pretty much has it all.
As its name suggests, the Cameleon3 adapts to both its surroundings and your preferences; you can easily switch from parent- to world-facing, from all-terrain to swiveling wheels, and from you to your partner with height-adjustable handlebars. The seat can be converted into a carrycot which clicks into place, and it’s easy to attach a baby car seat too. The Cameleon3 is pricey, but worth every penny.
Most pushchairs are bulky, and while the Cameleon3 is indeed a larger travel system, it’s much lighter than most. Its aluminium frame makes it strong but lightweight, and with adjustable suspension and large wheels it glides over rough terrain. The seat and carrycot are both ultra comfortable too; we loved the snugness of the carrycot in particular, which felt extremely safe and secure for even the littlest of passengers. We did find the recline a little clumsy though – it’s controlled with two white buttons which require both hands to operate.
Related: We take a first look at the new Bugaboo Bee 6
The Cameleon3 comes with one frame, which creates both the seat and carrycot. You simply remove the fabric of the seat (or carrycot) from the frame using the velcro fastenings and replace with the carrycot (or seat) fabric. To be honest, it can be a bit of a faff, but you may only need to do it once when your little one outgrows the carrycot, so it's not a big deal.
I have a Cameleon3 and love it. Perfect for long walks and negotiating hills, or for pushing around parks etc. Easily fits on and off London bus too.
Aside from this, the Cameleon3 lives up to its name in that it can change and adapt with ease. The seat/carrycot simply clicks into place; the baby car seat requires adaptors (sold separately for £34.99), which were easy to fit. It’s worth noting though that the pushchair can't be folded while the adaptors are attached, which we found slightly inconvenient but not the end of the world.
One-handed folds are tricky with any pushchair, as you usually first have to remove the seat or carrycot in use with both hands. Once this is done however it’s easy to pick up and fold the Cameleon3 in one smooth movement. We loved the fact that the chassis is freestanding once folded, making storage easy. As with all prams, it's worth checking the size of your car boot before you buy, but we’d be surprised if you couldn't squeeze the compact Cameleon3 in.
Spacious for older babies, got the crib thing for newborns. Very sturdy and smooth ride. It takes a hammering without a problem which is good as I intend to get double use out of it.
Your baby can face you or the world, and you can change the direction easily in one of two ways. First, the seat and adaptors work whichever way they’re facing, so it’s easy to detach them and swivel them round. The second method is genius – you can move the handlebars over your child's head until you're pushing from the opposite direction. This feature also means the Cameleon3 can adapt to your environment; we found it extremely easy to manoeuvre around small spaces in urban settings with the small swivelling wheels at the front, while for rougher terrain, you can simply move the handlebar and have the larger wheels leading the way. The handlebar can also be adjusted to suit multiple heights, which is perfect if you're sharing pushchair duty with someone else.
The brake is really handy – literally. Instead of a foot pedal, the brake is controlled by a switch that sits under your hand. We found it incredibly easy to use, and the pram felt sturdy and safe.
The Cameleon3 stands out when it comes to the details. The shopping basket is huge, the UPF 50+ sunshade is extendable, and the fabric is all easily cleaned by simply removing it and sticking it in the wash. If you’re going on holiday, the entire system can be packed down into a wheeled travelling case (sold separately for £120). These small but thoughtful features combine to create a pushchair which is intuitive and just plain convenient.