Best Travel System 2018
Bugaboo Cameleon3 Review
Packed with handy features including a lightweight chassis, a huge shopping basket, and everything in between – the Cameleon3 more than lives up to Bugaboo’s design credentials
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 car seat travel mode and carrycot to folding down with one hand. As travel systems 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 car seat too. The Cameleon3 is pricey, but worth every penny.
Most travel systems are bulky, and while the Cameleon3 is indeed a larger buggy, 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.
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.
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 car seat requires adaptors (sold separately for £34.99), which were easy to fit. It’s worth noting though that the travel system 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 travel system, 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 swiveling 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 buggy 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 buggy 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 travel system which is intuitive and just plain convenient.
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.
How we test
After lots of research, we handpicked 11 of the top travel systems on the market, collating the models most frequently searched for and most highly rated both on Mumsnet and across the webRead more »
Agree? Disagree? Leave your comment below...
You might also like
Are you thinking about using a sling?
Everything you need to know about carriers
Advice on foods to avoid while breastfeeding
Your need-to-know on nuts and other foods
Get the rundown on the top lightweight strollers of 2017
Mumsnet's got you covered
Now to get that perfect changing bag?
Meet our top pick, the Storksak Noa