One of the first things you need to think about for your new baby is how to take them out with you. There’s a lot at play when it comes to picking the best stroller for you and your child. Aside from all the details on safety and function, which I’ll be getting into shortly, the price can really be intimidating. Quality strollers can easily crest the thousand-dollar mark, and for that level of investment, it is critical that you know your purchase is worth it.
To help you make the best decision for your family, today we’ll be comparing the Nuna Tavo and the 2018 UPPAbaby Cruz. Both are made by excellent brands and both are well reviewed (averaging 4.5 stars or more) across multiple sites by real parents just like you. We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of each stroller, as well as any defining features that could be deal-breakers or deal-makers for your particular parenting needs.
The first step is to understand what kinds of strollers are available. If you don’t know your options, you can’t possibly make the best decision for you. If you’ve done any looking before today, you’ll know that the options can be a bit overwhelming. The different options available can be the deciding factor when it comes to adapting to your lifestyle and meeting your needs. We’ll break it down into three main types of strollers to start with.
- 1 What Types of Strollers are There?
- 2 Differences Between the Nuna Tavo and the UPPAbaby Cruz
- 3 Nuna Tavo or UPPAbaby Cruz?
- 4 Nuna Tavo
- 5 UPPAbaby Cruz
- 6 Decisions
- 7 Final Thoughts
What Types of Strollers are There?
Strollers come in a plethora of styles, designs, and sizes, and tend to have a few standard features like reclining seats, sunshades, and storage. What sets them apart from one another is a range of differences in function. They tend to fall into three different general categories:
Car seat strollers
This one is fairly self-explanatory. The seat of a car seat stroller can be detached from the frame and placed into your car as a car seat. This type is made to solve two problems at once by saving you the hassle of getting a separate car seat while still having to load a stroller into your car as well. Just pack the frame into the car and put the seat back on it when you arrive at your destination.
Lightweight or Umbrella Strollers
Another one that seems pretty obvious. Lightweight strollers tend to be under 15 pounds in weight and are well suited for parents on the go or who lack storage space at home. They tend towards having convenient features like extra storage or snack trays and drink holders and they’re easier to fold and store. The main drawback is that most are only suitable for children 6 months and older, so you may need a different solution for the early months.
These don’t just look sporty and fun; they’re built for it. I wouldn’t recommend one of these unless you really are an active jogger, runner, or hiker, but they will allow you to take your baby with you on the trail. They have 3 wheels tighter control and come loaded with safety features like harnesses, hand brakes, and wrist straps for an extra layer of protection for your high-speed baby. They’re suitable from birth through toddler years, but they are also bulky, hard to turn, and difficult to collapse and store. I reiterate that these are fantastic if you need them for their intended use but are just inconvenient otherwise.
Whatever style you need, you should also be able to find them in double or triple models for multiple children, though you may have more trouble finding those options with lightweight strollers. You can also usually get a stroller as part of a bundle or travel system, which includes a compatible car seat.
Differences Between the Nuna Tavo and the UPPAbaby Cruz
- Tavo is suitable from birth right out of the box. Cruz needs an addon.
- Tavo connects to matching car seat with no adapter. Cruz requires one based on your car seat.
- Cruz comes with rain and bug shields that Tavo lacks.
- Cruz has luxury style and real leather hand grips, at a higher luxury price.
The main differences come down to a few key features. The Cruz has additional bug and rain shields but needs extra addons to be infant safe. The Tavo is infant ready right out of the box but doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Cruz. Infant compatibility and options to protect from rain are the main points to contrast, but both companies offer an addon for the base feature they lack.
Nuna Tavo or UPPAbaby Cruz?
You’re going to find that this largely depends on your baby’s (and your) needs. Both weigh under 25 pounds (the Nuna weighs 24.3 and UPPAbaby 21.5) and both are suitable for a child up to 50 pounds. The key differences between the two will come down to price, and what features you get for your money. We’ll look at both options in detail to help you make the best decision, with a focus on safety, size, handling, and features, as well as looking at what parents like you have to say about them.
The Nuna Tavo is all about convenience at a modest price point without sacrificing style. The goal for the Tavo is to use it from the very beginning until your child fully grows out of it. All year, all the time, and with an easy car seat connection for their travel system. The Tavo is suitable for newborns, so you can start using it right away, and being rated up to 50 pounds, you should be able to use it until your child no longer needs a stroller.
Not only is it designed to support your child for all the time they’ll need it, but it’s also designed with extra space for all your baby’s swag, as the Nuna website puts it. It also boasts the ability to connect to the Nuna Pipa line of car seats with just one click and no additional adapter. If you pick this up along with its matching car seat, they intend for you to be set for years.
For those with comfort in mind, the Tavo has a one-hand, four position, true-flat reclining backrest, and adjustable calf support to keep your child happy and comfortable in their spacious ride. It even includes an infant insert to add extra comfort for your newborn. Once they grow out of the extra padding, it comes out no problem to keep plenty of space available for your growing child.
The wheels are made of foam which may not be ideal for the roughest of environments, but in any urban or suburban locale front and rear wheel suspension promises a smoother than average ride even over uneven sidewalks. When you need to keep it still the open toe-friendly brake allows for easy locking even in your summer wear.
The oversized UPF 50+ canopy shelters your child from the sun, and the basket underneath the seat has plenty of room for all your supplies and personal items. The safety harness is three-point or five-point with a slide height adjustment and a quick release button. There’s even a removable arm bar if you want that little added safety in the front. Did I mention that the stroller can be collapsed to a trolley style fold and back again with one hand? The Tavo oozes convenience.
Add-on Options for the Nuna Tavo
The Nuna Tavo is a great option, but a budget one so there isn’t much in the way of optional additions. That being said, the options you have are smart and affordable.
- Tavo Rain Cover
- Tavo Child Tray
- Nuna PIPA series car seat (no adapter required)
- Weighs 24.3 lbs.
- Dimensions: 42.5”H x 22”W x 35.6”L or 18.5”H x 22”W x 36.8”L when folded
- Suitable from birth to 50 lbs.
- Additional newborn insert for extra support
- Travel system compatible
- One-handed fold
- Extra spacious seat for lounging and stretching
- Generous storage space, witha zipper compartment
- Front and rear wheel suspension
- Adjustable quick release harness
- Adjustable backrest with calf support
- Oversized UPF 50+ canopy
- Dream Drape for extra protection
- The only stroller you’ll need from birth till they grow out of it
- One handed folding so you can hold the baby while you get the stroller ready or put it away
- Trolley-style operation while folded
- Wheel suspension makes for a smooth ride
- Plenty of storage space
- No adapter needed for the travel system
- Relatively few options for accessories
- Storage space can be hard to reach
- The seat is not reversible
- Wheels are foam, which may not be suitable for roughest of environments
What do parents say?
This stroller is reviewed consistently at 4.5 stars or higher across the web. Parents praise its one-handed fold and out of the box infant friendliness for the convenience it offers. They also love its instant compatibility with the PIPA car seats requiring no adapter, again for the incredible convenience. The most common thread amongst those who us it, though, is the unbelievable level of quality you get for the price. This is a stroller for under $400 that looks and performs like a luxury model.
UPPAbaby is a reliable brand that’s been talked about here plenty before. The Cruz model from UPPAbaby is on the lower end of their spectrum for price, but that in no way compromises its quality. It comes well-reviewed and well-loved by parents everywhere who find it more than satisfactory for its price range.
The Cruz is a true luxury model, including genuine leather handgrips on its telescoping handlebars, that will transport your child in style and in any position they want. The seat can face forward or backwards and has a reclining system with many angles between upright and horizontal that you can freely adjust with just one hand. This flexible design will accommodate your child as they grow more curious about the world around them, or if they just wanna kick back for a nap under the extendable sunshade.
For your comfort and convenience that telescoping, leather wrapped handlebar is more than just stylish. Its purpose is to be adjustable for parents of any height. You and your partner can both be comfortable with the grip and change it freely as you trade control of the helm. The extra-large storage compartment under the seat has a weight capacity up to 25 pounds, perfect for your diaper bags or purse, and its super easy to reach no matter what way your child faces.
Worried about keeping your child safe from the elements? The Cruz comes with a rain shield and bug shield included. Either one can be attached to the toddler seat to keep your child dry or mosquito free. In the same realm of safety, the five-point harness is comfortable and adjustable. While the release button may be a little stiff, you shouldn’t have to worry about your child releasing themselves.
The biggest downside is this stroller isn’t quite suitable right from birth, but UPPAbaby does offer an Infant SnugSeat to get you through the first three months. If you want to get through the early times in maximum comfort and style that will last longer than the first few months and be usable elsewhere, they also offer a Bassinet that will fit into the stroller while being fully functional on its own. They even offer further accessories just for the bassinet. This stroller can also be part of a travel system, but you will require an adapter, one of a few depending on the car seat you use.
Add-on Options for the UPPAbaby Cruz
The UPPAbaby Cruz has a wealth of accessories offered by the company, and not all of them are directly related to the stroller. Sticking with the ones that are, though, there’s plenty to choose from.
- Infant SnugSeat
- Bassinetand optional Bassinet Mattress Cover for baby to grow into
- Car seat adapters for UPPAbaby and other travel systems
- Cruz PiggyBack for an older sibling to stand between you and the stroller and enjoy the ride
- Leather Bumper bar Cover
- Parent Organizer to attach to the handlebars
- Snack tray and cup holder
- Ganoosh to keep your child warm on brisk days
- Weighs 21.5 lbs.
- Dimensions: 37″L x 22.3″W x 40.5″H or 17″L x 22.3″W x 36″H folded with seat attached
- Suitable from 3 months to 50 lbs.
- Attachment available for use from birth
- Travel system compatible with the adapter
- Extra spacious easy to access storage compartment
- Genuine leather hand grips
- Telescoping handlebars
- Included rain shield and a big shield
- Adjustable reclining seat can face forward or backward
- UPF 50+ sunshade
- One step fold, with or without toddler seat, stroller stands when folded
- Genuine luxury design with sleek style and leather grips
- Adjustable handlebars make it accessible to all parents, tall and small
- Reversible seat so your child can face you or the world in front of them
- Easy to access storage space
- Wealth of options for accessories
- Rain and bug shield mean you don’t need any accessories to use in most weather
- Requires accessories to be suitable for newborns
- Requires adapter to be used in travel system
- Can be slightly more difficult to turn than an average stroller
- Rougher ride on less than smooth surfaces
What do parents say?
The UPPAbaby Cruz holds a staggering 4.8 average review score on Amazon, making this a runaway hit with parents who can fit it into their budget. The storage space and ease of access is almost always mentioned, as is the smoothness of the ride so long as you stick to smooth surfaces like concrete or indoor flooring. The Cruz was found to be easy to assemble and all-around great quality in any metric one could want to pass judgement on. You should expect no less from a stroller that’s stepping into true luxury territory, but it is undeniably worth every penny.
At the end of the day, both of these strollers are great options for your family. The main thing that separates them is the price, the Cruz is $200 more in its less expensive styles. The crux of your decision will come down to what you need and whether that price difference gives it to you or makes up for what you lose. If you need an infant stroller, you’ll have to buy even more accessories for the Cruz; if you want rain protection, you’ll need a separate rain cover for the Tavo.
The strollers are only within a few pounds of each other in weight, and nearly the same dimensions as well. Both will handle well in smooth environments, though the Tavo has a slight edge on cobblestone or rough sidewalks but begins to lose out again on gravel. Neither can traverse it well, but the Tavo wheels may be damaged by something so rough.
Most basic features aside from infant compatibility or a rain cover are shared by both. Both have a sunshade, storage compartment, and both have a fully adjustable seat allowing your child to recline, though only the Cruz can also be parent facing. Your decision will likely be influenced heavily by budget and infant readiness.
I don’t think I can safely say that either of these is a clear better choice for all families, because all families are different. If you can afford the Cruz without any issues, I’d say it’s your better bet. The reason I say easily, though, is because if you can easily afford it then you won’t have a problem getting the one or two accessories you may need to do the few things the Tavo does out of the box that the Cruz can’t. If the Cruz is already the top end of your budget, I would make sure you won’t need any of its accessories to make it fit your family as well. If you need an infant ready car seat and just lack a rain cover, Nuna offers one for just $39.95, and you’ll still be saving $150 over the Cruz that you’d still need an infant seat for.
FAQ’s About the Nuna Tavo and UPPAbaby Cruz
What does the Cruz come with as standard?
Toddler seat and canopy, bumper bar, frame and basket, wheels, toddler seat rain shield and bug shield.
Can the Cruz be used with other brand of car seats?
Yes, with the correct adapter purchased from UPPAbaby.
What updates were made for the 2018 Nuna Tavo?
Mainly cosmetic updates. The 2018 Tavo has a more cotton-like fabric and a sleeker design.
Like I said before, the number one factor will be your budget. If the Tavo is way better for your budget, you won’t be disappointed by your choice. If you can afford the Cruz even if you need an accessory or two, you’ll see why it maintains such a high review score online. It is generally higher quality, and I recommend it if you can get it. Otherwise, there’s no shame in picking up the Nuna Tavo. It packs an incredible amount of value in its somewhat smaller price tag.
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