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This is our review of the "Bugaboo Cameleon". As of September 2012 the Bugaboo Cameleon3 will replace the model refered to in this text.
The 'Bugaboo Cameleon' has 3 main focuses fashion, weight and versatility.
The Bugaboo Cameleon can be used as a conventional “pram” using a removable fabric carrycot or as a stroller with a multi positional seat that can either be rear or forward facing.
Additionally, the “Bugaboo Cameleon” can be used as a travel system using the either the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix or Pebble or the Besafe Izigo. Word on the street is that Bugaboo will also make adapters for some Britax infant carriers as well come 2012.
Both the original version of the Bugaboo Cameleon and the current version have very similar features and are designed to be used in three different modes “City” (when the small swivel wheels are pointing towards the front) “Country” (where the pushing handle is reversed and the swivel wheels are at the rear) and “Sand” (when the swivel wheels are locked under the Cameleon’s chassis and the stroller pulled using just the two large rear wheels).
When purchasing "Bugaboo Cameleon” you are supplied a chassis, one frame onto which both the carrycot and seat “base” fabrics can be attached and of course the wheels.
Initially most parents use the Cameleon as a pram (with carrycot fabrics) and once baby reaches 6 months or so these fabrics are removed from the frame and the seat unit attached.
The “base” colour is available in a number of differing colours the most popular of which are Dark Grey and Sand.
With the Bugaboo Cameleon whilst some retailers may include the canopy, carrycot apron and seat fabrics (often called “Tailored Fabrics”) technically these are sold by the manufacturers separately.
Tailored fabrics come in many more colour ways that the base fabrics so it is possible for the consumer to “mix & match” by (for example) buying a sand coloured base and pink coloured tailored fabrics!
At the time of writing Bugaboo were producing 5 different base colours and 8 different tailored fabrics but a quick visit to the manufacturers web site will show you all the current options.
When in pram mode the large “overnight” soft carrycot (27x90x43) is fully breathable and has a ventilated mattress “Aerosleep”® mattress supplied which helps to keep baby cool and protected from dust, pollen and house dust mites.
Bugaboo recommends (like so many other manufacturers these days) that newborns stay flat for the first six months or so. There are significant health benefits in keeping baby flat both in relation to concerns relating to breathing (with links to cot death) and hyperactivity in later life.
It is possible to purchase, as an accessory, an adapter so to convert your Bugaboo Chassis to a travel system and to some extent this is disappointing because good many of Bugaboo’s competitors make strollers these days with integral fitting meaning fitting kits are not required.
One word of caution though is that whilst Bugaboo claim that the Cameleon is a great all rounder it is not really a off roader and would not handle going off road as well as a Mountain Buggy or Jane Slalom or Trider.
The car seat available can vary from country to country but in the UK the most popular models are the Maxi Cosi Cabriofix or Pebble or the Besafe Izigo which can all be used on a selection of bases in your car.
The fabrics on a 'Bugaboo Cameleon' are only shower proof, which is why Bugaboo supply a free rain-cover which will fit both the Seat Unit and Carrycot, and the hood has a UV and UVA protection layer, for those rare hot days in summer. A mosquito net is included for the carrycot so that you can put your little one outside in the summer without having to worry about nasty bugs bothering them.
Our Opinion: It is pretty easy to write this review. The 'Bugaboo Cameleon' is without question a genuinely great product loved by most users. The only negatives we can think of is its price, the need of fitting kits and the fact that the pushchair seat has to be removed before folding.
Certainly however, a top five stroller especially if you intend using it about town. If you like country walks and often go “off road” something like a Jane Trider will suit better.
Check out this highly informative demo video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkWpPPdFxxo&feature=channel