When my son was born, my parents gifted my wife and I an UPPAbaby Vista stroller. In case you’ve never heard of the Vista, it is pretty much the top-of-the-line for baby strollers. They tend to retail online for anywhere between $900 and $950, though previous year’s models have been known to go on sale around Black Friday.
Like most strollers, the Vista comes with a manufacturer’s warranty against any material or design defects. But if you or someone else accidentally damages the stroller? You have to pay out of pocket. Yikes.
My family went on vacation to Hawaii at the end of December and faced a tough choice: do we bring the UPPAbaby stroller and risk it getting damaged in transit? Or do we suffer through pushing our Joovy Zoom jogging stroller through the airport?
Okay, that’s not really a fair description. The Joovy Zoom 360 is a perfectly capable stroller. But like most things, you get what you pay for. And if you try a $199 stroller and a $899 stroller side-by-side, you will notice the difference. When my wife and I travel, we use our stroller primarily to get through the airport. My wife carries the baby and I get to lug all of the bags. Since my wife is notoriously for packing 4 bags when one would have sufficed, the stroller proves invaluable in navigating airports.
There just is no comparison between the Vista and the Zoom. I’ve used both in airports and I swore that I would never choose the Zoom over the Vista again.
But I would get sick to my stomach whenever I would gate check the Vista. Don’t get me wrong, the Vista folds into a surprisingly small size. But a single plastic clip is responsible for keeping the stroller folded and I knew it would only be a matter of time before that, or some other part of the stroller, suffered damage from being gate checked. Luckily, UPPAbaby has a solution.
It is called the UPPAbaby Vista Travel Bag with TravelSafe. For $129, UPPAbaby sells a bag roughly the size of a checked piece of luggage that will safely secure your stroller during air travel. But the best part is that the bag will extend your stroller’s manufacturer’s warranty to damage incurred during travel. All you need to do is make sure the bag and stroller are registered with UPPAbaby before your trip and that your stroller is still inside of its warranty period.
I thought that this was just an insurance policy in case something happened to the stroller. But on our trip to Hawaii, the second time I have ever used the TravelSafe bag, our stroller was damaged during the gate check.
Despite being packed in the TravelSafe bag as instructed, the fine employees at United Airlines managed to crack the plastic hinge in the Vista’s toddler seat frame. Not just one one side, mind you. BOTH sides were completely cracked.
Replacement toddler seats cost approximately $199 online. But because both the stroller and bag were registered with UPPAbaby before we left on our trip, the whole thing was covered!
All I had to do was email UPPAbaby support and include a picture of the damage, the bag and stroller’s serial numbers, and some proof that we were on a plane. I included a photo of the gate check tag.
Within 24 hours, UPPAbaby had responded and shipped out a replacement toddler seat frame. Now, I will still have to move over all of the upholstery onto the new frame, but the whole warranty service request was painless. And instead of paying $199 out of pocket for a new toddler seat, I’m getting one for free.
So if you’re going to travel with your UPPAbaby Vista, or are afraid of purchasing such an expensive stroller because you don’t want to pay to fix it, I strongly recommend UPPAbaby’s TravelSafe bag. It’s a true lifesaver.
EDIT: One other thing I noticed. If you travel with your UPPAbaby Vista, you need to fold it up and remove the wheels in order for it to fit inside of TSA’s x-ray machine. So if you want to avoid the hassle of folding up the stroller at the security checkpoint, you can bring the VISTA to the airport already folded up in its TravelSafe bag and simply toss it onto the TSA conveyor belt.