The Bugaboo Bee5 stroller can really roll. With its swivel wheels, easy manoeuvrability and relatively lightweight frame (19.6 pounds), this is an urban stroller you can really get around in. It’s also customizable, so you can choose the materials and fabrics to make you and baby stand out as you run your daily errands. Your little one will be comfy with three recline positions, and the extendable canopy with a UPF of 50+ will keep her protected from the weather. The easily reversible seat lets you keep an eye on your little one in the rear-facing position, or you can turn the seat around so he can take in the world. Plus, the adjustable handlebar makes it easy for parents of any height to stroll in comfort—a big bonus if you and your partner aren’t a similar height.
FOLDING AND CARRYING
A stroller with a simple fold is essential if you’re a family on the go, and the Bugaboo Bee5 easily collapses and reopens in one swift movement, whether the seat is in the forward- or rear-facing position. To fold this stroller, the canopy has to be closed and the seat has to be placed in the upright position if it’s forward-facing, or folded forward toward the handlebar if it’s rear-facing. Once that’s done, you have to use your thumb and index finger to simultaneously press the buttons
When folding with the seat in the forward-facing position, you use your thumb and index finger to simultaneously press the buttons and lift the levers on either side of the handlebar—you’ll feel the stroller start folding down and towards you as you lower it to the floor (the seat has to be in the most upright position with the canopy closed. (Folding with the seat in the rear-facing position is very similar—you just have to fold the seat back all the way forward toward the handlebar.) It is possible to fold the Bee5 with one hand, but our parent testers recommend using two hands, and we agree. Parents also told us the stroller struggles to stand on its own, and they felt it is a tad bulky to carry (though not impossible).
To unfold, grab the handlebar and place one foot on the frame near the brake and push the stroller open until it locks in place. Our parent testers agreed the Bee5 could easily be stored in the trunk or back seat of their vehicle. If you find yourself using public transit, our parent testers found the stroller’s 21-inch width narrow enough to get in and out of buses and trains with ease.
WHEELS, BRAKES AND MANEUVERABILITY
Whether you’re using one hand or two, the Bugaboo Bee5 is super easy to push. Our parent testers were in resounding agreement that the stroller’s high-quality wheels (foam-filled and made of rubber) make it easy to roll over smooth flooring, sidewalks and paved roads. Their opinions were more varied, however, when it came to maneuvering the stroller over grass and gravel. In our field tests, we found that locking the front wheels to stop their swivel movement helped to navigate rougher terrain.
“I can push this with one hand, leaving my other arm free to carry my daughter, hold an umbrella or check my phone. It’s just so light and easy.” —Samantha, mom of one
All of our parent testers found it very easy to engage and release the stroller’s rear brakes, and they told us they felt their child was safe and secure when the brakes were applied. Simply press down with your foot on the brake pedal between the rear wheels to engage the brake, and flip it back up with the top of your foot to release.
RECLINE AND LEG REST
The Bugaboo Bee5 offers three different recline positions so your child has the option to sit upright, go into nap mode with the seat fully reclined, or just relax in the middle position. To move the seat, squeeze and pull up on the white lever on the back of the seat. Release the lever to lock in place. All of our parent testers found the backrest easy to adjust and most found their child was able to nap comfortably with the seat fully reclined. The one downside they mentioned was that the stroller doesn’t offer an adjustable leg rest.
However, the Bee5 does have a height-adjustable backrest and an extendable seat, so whether you’ve got a long toddler or a sleepy baby, you can make the necessary tweaks to keep them comfy. Bonus: the canopy and harness are designed to adapt to changes to the backrest height change, so there’s no hassle when rethreading the shoulder straps.
“I never would have looked at something in this price range, but the quality and ease of use is so good, plus my child is so comfortable. I think it’s worth the extra dollars.” —Colleen, mom of one
Keeping your little one shaded from sun or rain is easy with the extendable canopy and the included rain cover. The canopy of the Bugaboo Bee5 can be shortened or lengthened using the zipper extension. The “clicks” when opening and closing the canopy are a bit loud, so be cautious if you know your little one is a light sleeper. Our parent testers told us they weren’t worried that their child would get too hot underneath the canopy when it was fully extended. The Bugaboo Bee5 doesn’t offer a peek-a-boo window, so make sure to change the seat position to face you if you want to keep a closer eye on your child.
Both the seat cover and canopy are easy to remove and are machine-washable. All of our parent testers found the fabric breathable, durable against possible snags or tears, and fairly easy to spot-clean.
STORAGE AND ACCESSORIES
When you’re heading out the door with your little one, your stroller has to be built for all your supplies as well as the things you might pick up along the way. The storage basket underneath the Bugaboo Bee5 has a maximum weight of 8.8 lb, which is less than other strollers we’ve tested. It’s more easily accessible from the front of the stroller, but it can be accessed from the back as well. (If your child is in the seat, you’ll have to lift up their legs to store larger items.) There’s also an elastic mesh pocket inside the storage basket for storing supplies like wipes or snacks. One of our parent testers found that reversing the seat so your child is rear-facing gives a little more storage underneath, but other than that, the Bugaboo Bee5 doesn’t offer additional storage options. Parent testers agreed it wasn’t difficult to place items in the basket, but they did wish for a larger capacity. If you opt for other accessories like the cupholder, our testers found it easy to attach to the handlebar and told us its location didn’t hinder their ability to maneuver the stroller.
Your child’s safety is of the utmost importance and we’re happy to report that the five-point harness on the Bugaboo Bee5 is easy to secure, adjust and release. The grey centre button releases all the buckles at once, so there’s no hassle when setting your child free. All of our parent testers had no issues with securing their child, and none reported any discomfort for their children while they were buckled in.
When it came to drilling down on the quality and ease of use of the Bugaboo Bee5, our parent testers gave it a good to very good rating. However, when we asked about the stroller’s value, the answers were more lukewarm, with two-thirds of our parent testers saying the stroller was worth the price tag and the rest saying it didn’t meet their expectations. All of our parent testers were satisfied with the stroller’s style, and all but one said that its quality is better than other strollers they’ve used in the past. The majority of our parent testers would recommend the Bugaboo Bee5 to other parents and parents-to-be. We find the stroller’s easy maneuverability and bevy of adjustments to maximize comfort for everyone make it a stroller worth considering. The sophisticated design alleviates the stress of folding and unfolding, and having the opportunity to customize so many different parts of the stroller means you can create something that’s one of a kind for your family.