Bugaboo Bee 6 review
In a nutshell
A stylish, versatile buggy that ticks a lot of boxes and is packed with functionality. However, it has a high price tag and a lot of available accessories need to be bought separately
What we tested
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Comfort for child
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Worth the money
3.5A star rating of 3.5 out of 5.
- Sleek and stylish, good manoeuvrability, folds away conveniently, excellent carrycot, handles varied terrain well
- Expensive, doesn’t come with many accessories, difficult to assemble, pushchair seat not very plush
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Bugaboo’s latest version of its Bee pushchair is every bit as gorgeous and stylish as should be expected from the iconic brand. Designed for city use, the buggy is lightweight, folds up small, and can be augmented with a variety of additional accessories to make life easier for the parent on the go.
It remains one of the most premium options in the compact buggy category but is one of the more versatile of the lightweight pushchairs, with a reversible seat and extendable handle bar, for example.
Different from previous versions of the model, the Bee6 comes with some truly practical updates and functional improvements, such as the ability to self-stand when folded, larger wheels and a peekaboo window in the hood as standard.
The Loffhagen family have just welcomed a new addition; a tiny baby boy who has been immediately put to work reviewing this buggy. He was helped by his older sister who is 5 years old, but still comfortably under the weight limit for the Bee6.
What are your first impressions of the Bugaboo Bee6?
The Bugaboo Bee6 is a buggy that is meant to be seen, both from a style and a practical perspective. While available in black and grey, the iconic yellow colouring is a smart way to draw attention.
The eye-catching New York Taxi shade of yellow is good for more than just getting people to notice your baby’s stylish ride – standing out from a crowd can be very useful in an urban environment. Deliveroo cyclists are less likely to clip you at a crossing, and it’s easy for your friends or family to spot you across a busy high street.
What is disappointing is that none of the many accessories available to make life with this buggy easier, come in the box as standard. If you want to live your best Bee6 life, you’ll need to pay extra for the cupholder, the smartphone holder, the branded footmuff and so on.
Is the Bugaboo Bee6 easy to build?
Here’s a (potentially obvious) tip: if you’re buying the Bee6, make sure you take it out of the box and assemble it long before the baby arrives. This buggy does not clip together with ease, and it’s a lot harder to wrap your head around if you’re suffering from severe sleep deprivation or recovering from major abdominal surgery.
The included instructions present the assembly process with a series of wordless pictographs, so unless you’re an expert in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, you’ll want to head to YouTube for Bugaboo’s series of video assembly guides.
Even then, you’ll be dealing with a lot of fiddly bits and pieces that don’t seem like they really belong together. The canvas seat liner will fight you every step of the way, and it’ll take some heavy lifting to clip the seat in place properly.
It’s definitely not intuitive to build.
How does the Bugaboo Bee6 compare to the Bee5?
There are some great cosmetic improvements in the Bugaboo Bee6 such as the faux-leather handle bar grips, which we really rated.
There are also some great practical changes to the design that might seem minor, but do make a functional difference. For example, the wheels on the Bee6 are larger and thicker, and the Bee6 features a new kickstand that allows you to store the buggy vertically while it’s folded – this is one of those features that you will come to appreciate with use.
The Bugaboo Bee6 also has a bumper bar to provide extra security for children in the seat, and its hood has a peekaboo window and ventilation panel, which has only been offered in limited editions up to now. Some of these changes are much welcomed, as the lack of peekaboo window and smaller wheels were often cited in the past as real drawbacks to the model.
How comfortable is the Bugaboo Bee6’s carrycot?
If you’re going to push a brand new human around in a box on wheels, you’ll want something that feels a little more comfortable than a glorified shopping trolley. In this aspect, the Bugaboo Bee6 goes above and beyond, delivering an exceptionally luxurious bassinet.
It has some fantastic new features, such as the memory buttons that allow you to unlock it with one hand, and a ‘breezy window’ that adds ventilation and allows you to check more easily on a sleeping baby.
Our boy hasn’t yet got the hang of beds in general – he’s not very eager to spend any time in his crib and will ordinarily fuss or cry when he’s put down for any length of time. He loves the Bee6 carrycot, though, to the point that we’ve started using it to pop him down whenever we need to wash our hands after a nappy change.
While the carrycot is sadly not suitable for overnight sleeping (in contrast to, say the Uppababy’s), our boy naps more comfortably in the Bugaboo Bee6 than on any other surface that isn’t a human body.
Considering that our daughter was unimpressed with her carrycot when at the same age, this is one of the biggest selling points of the Bee6.
How does the seat unit feel on the Bugaboo Bee6?
In my opinion, baby boy is in for a rude awakening when he gets a little bigger – moving from the carrycot to the Bee6’s seat is going to be a hard adjustment. The buggy’s awkward assembly period will give you plenty of opportunity to feel the seat’s hard, unforgiving plastic and the thin, minimally padded canvas that stretches across its inner skeleton. It doesn’t feel very comfortable to me.
However, I recognise that some parents think differently. For example, our MFM reviewer of the Bee5 found that model’s seat very comfortable and padded. She tested it with her 2-year-old who would often crawl on the seat to sleep. It also has a great recline – you can tilt the seat back to near-lie flat position, so that should be really useful for those toddlers who still need a nap during the day. Our MFM user reviews of the Bee5 model also remark on the comfort for their children, so I might be in the minority.
In addition, the seat is designed for up to 22kg forward-facing, so it’s a very generous capacity compared to some other compact buggies that are only designed for kids up to 15kg. It is also a more generous size to some of its competitors – 47cm in width to the Babyzen Yoyo’s 44cm, so it feels like a more roomy, full-sized seat. And it’s great that it now includes a bumper bar.
Does the chassis feel sturdy?
Some buggies are built like tanks, and others are built like aeroplanes. The Bugaboo Bee6’s chassis falls squarely in the middle – it’s made from sturdy, tough metal that will withstand a beating and remain safe and protective, but it’s also lightweight enough to be lifted up kerbs and down stairs without too much hassle.
What do you think of the Bugaboo Bee6’s handle?
One of the best things about the Bee6’s handlebar is that it extends quite significantly – whereas similarly priced competitors such as the Babyzen Yoyo have a fixed handlebar height. You can choose a height between 91.5cm to 109cm, so it should suit most families.
The Bee6’s new handle is also gorgeous and much improved on its predecessor. It’s soft, durable, and it feels wonderful in the hand. It’s clear that a lot of effort went into making this part of the buggy feel luxurious – after all, it’s the part that adults are going to have the most contact with. There’s a convenient space for a cupholder or bag hook, to help make the Bugaboo Bee6 fit around your lifestyle.
How useful is the Bugaboo Bee6’s new hood?
The buggy’s hood is a strong selling point – it’s thick, easy to adjust, and provides a lot of shelter from the elements. Our 5-year-old, in exploring the buggy, absolutely adored its mesh “peeky-holes” which give a parent (or older sister) a good view of the baby inside. They are a great improvement on previous models which didn’t have any peekaboo window, often a cause for gripe for users.
Our daughter is a tiny little thing and is well within the weight limit for the buggy, so she sat in it herself to try it, pulled the hood all the way down, and used it as a dark and quiet space in which to play a handheld computer game.
What did you think of the wheels on the Bugaboo Bee6?
The Bee6 is not designed for off-roading in the same way as, say, the Bugaboo Fox. This buggy has small wheels which are more designed for getting on and off public transport than for running or sloshing through mud – however they are larger than previous models’. There are definitely buggies that offer better suspension, which may be worth bearing in mind if you’re going to be tackling cobbled streets or cracked footpaths regularly. However, compared to other compact buggies, these perform well.
Do the brakes perform well?
The Bugaboo Bee6’s brakes fulfil the two major requirements expected of a buggy: they stop it from moving or rolling around, and the brake pedal is large and convenient enough to be found with a foot at a moment’s notice.
The buggy doesn’t roll around on a moving bus, which is nice, and the brake will handle a moderate incline without any problem. While there are limits to any buggy’s brake power, once we hit the pedal, we felt that our child was safe and wouldn’t be rolling away any time soon.
Is the Bugaboo Bee6’s shopping basket a good size?
The Bee6’s basket has its advantages and disadvantages. While it does the job, it can be a bit difficult to get to.
The basket is a nice, flat, relatively enclosed space that can be filled with shopping, a small changing bag, or other assorted baby paraphernalia. It’s not as deep as the space under some buggies, but it could be worse.
However, there is a bar at the back, above the brake pedal, so access is restricted and you’ll be loading the basket from the front. This is fine if you’re using the buggy for a newborn in a carrycot, or if your smaller child is parent-facing. When your kid gets over 15kg, though, you’ll need to put them front-facing, and at that point, their legs will be in the way of the only access point to the basket.
This isn’t a deal-breaker, but if you’re using the Bugaboo Bee6 for an older child, you’ll get very used to asking them politely to move their legs out of the way so you can stash a shopping bag or two in the basket.
How easy is the Bugabooo Bee6 to fold?
While it takes a little practice, folding the Bee6 is a quick and easy process. The mechanism features a couple of improvements, which to some parents make quite a bit of difference. These include the memory trigger mechanism that allows you to fold it with one hand, and the kickstand that helps the Bee6 free-stand when folded. As with previous Bees, you can fold it in either parent, or forward-facing mode, which is fantastic.
To fold you:
- Adjust the seat back to be roughly in line with the handlebar
- You retract the handlebar
- You release the memory safety buttons on both sides of the handlebar, which allows the buggy to collapse on itself
The Bee6’s dimensions when folded in one piece are H:34cmxW:47cmxL:76cm. This is not as compact as some of the ‘travel buggies’ out there and wouldn’t allow you to place it in overhead compartments on airplanes, but it is very handy for city living and ease of storage.
How lightweight is the Bugaboo Bee6?
The Bugaboo Bee6 is not the world’s most lightweight buggy at 9.4kg and lifting it up to put it into a car boot can take a bit of strength. These days, there are many more lightweight strollers out there, such as the Babyzen Yoyo which 6.6kg in toddler mode or the 5.5kg Silver Cross Avia, while Bugaboo’s Fox is only 0.5kg heavier at 9.9kg.
Is the Bugaboo Bee6 easy to push?
Absolutely. It’s easy to push, the wheels turn beautifully, and on paved roads or flat paths the buggy provides very little resistance, offering a smooth ride.
The buggy is a little bumpier on roads that are rockier, and the steering can prove more difficult if you’re struggling against an uneven surface. The Bee6 will make it over these obstacles, but it’s a bit of a chore if you’re going a long way over non-standard terrain. But we never feel like we lost control of the buggy or that it won’t go where we want it to go – it functions well.
We took the Bugaboo Bee6 to an expansive country park after a spot of rain to give it a good test drive. We wheeled through thick, oozy mud puddles and across loose, cracked stones. To our surprise, the buggy handled this with ease – the small city wheels might not be designed for slogging through mud, but they perform admirably nonetheless.
The handling of the Bee6 gets thumbs up from most parents, with shoppers at John Lewis giving it an unanimous 5 stars out of 5, and many remarking on the smoothness of the ride and the improved wheels.
What’s in the box?
The Bugaboo Bee6’s base model comes with:
- Seat cover
- Simple rain cover
- Safety bumper bar
The carrycot comes at an additional price of £200, along with its connectors – while the seat clips onto the chassis by itself, the bassinet requires two large connectors which are included in the purchase but can also be bought separately.
Are there any additional accessories?
The Bugaboo Bee6 is only the simple starter kit for the full Bugaboo experience. After getting hold of the buggy, you’ll be tempted to augment your baby mover with a variety of extras including:
- Cupholder £20.95
- Smartphone holder £31.95
- Footmuff £114.95
- Newborn inlay £83.95
- Toddler buggy board £94.95
- High performance rain cover £57.95
- Travel bag £47.95
- Changing bag £95.95
With so many Bugaboo Bee6 accessories to choose some, which ones are essential?
Some of these accessories are more essential than others. It’s possible to make do without a Bugaboo branded changing bag, for example. You can go without the cupholder if you must.
However, there are some that I wished were included. The high performance rain cover is more of an essential purchase, because the cheap version that’s included with the base buggy is so lacklustre. While the bassinet is nicely padded, the seat could definitely benefit from the footmuff or liner.
If you’re considering travelling a lot, I would recommend the travel bag to protect your precious investment from knocks in transit.
Perhaps the most gruelling additional expense, though, is the carrycot itself. The carrycot is this buggy’s best feature, and while it makes sense that Bugaboo would charge extra for it, you really need to be aware that the cheapest pricepoint only offers the basic bundle.
However, this is the norm for many pushchair brands – and it depends on the brand business model whether you have a bundle that includes a carrycot or not. You can buy the carrycot/seat Bee6 bundle from £825. As a comparison, Uppababy’s city pushchair costs £679.99 without a carrycot or up to £999 as a carrycot included bundle.
As for the other accessories, not every pushchair brand offers to many options, so it’s great Bugaboo offers such ‘nice-to-haves’ that allow customisation to such a degree.
Is the Bugaboo Bee6 car seat compatible?
Yes, you can use the Bee6 with Bugaboo’s Turtle Air b Nuna i-Size car seat (£179), and you can also get an Isofix base (£139) to make installation super easy.
What should you know before buying the Bugaboo Bee6?
I am not sure how my child will find the Bee6 for comfort once he gets older, as the toddler seat feels hard and off-putting to me. So for me, I would have wanted to know that before. However, as mentioned previously, it doesn’t seem to bother other parents who have tested the model.
Who would the pushchair be most useful for?
The Bugaboo Bee6 is aimed squarely at trendy city parents who need it as part of a busy urban lifestyle. Everything from the small, lightweight wheels to the bright yellow colour make this buggy as city-friendly as possible. It can get on and off a bus, tram, or tube with ease, and it stands out from the crowd.
Is the Bugaboo Bee6 worth the money?
The value that you get from the Bugaboo Bee6 will really depend on your personal needs – specifically, how much stock you place in having a stylish parenting accessory. There’s no use denying that Bugaboo is a fashionable brand that looks great, but the Bee6 does also back that up with quality and functionality.
Having said that, there are cheaper options available that deliver a similar level of quality without quite such a high price tag – especially when you consider the amount you’ll need to spend on accessories to supplement the basic out-of-the-box Bee6.
Where can I buy the Bugaboo Bee6?
The Bee6 is available at Bugaboo, Mamas & Papas and John Lewis.
The Bugaboo Bee6 is a wonderful buggy for zipping around in urban environments, but it’s also capable of managing the challenges of a muddy field or a rough country path. The carrycot is an absolute dream and we loved using this with our newborn. The Bee6 doesn’t come with a lot of accessories, so for the best possible experience you’ll need to spend quite a bit extra if you want it all – however, the improvements to the new model are really practical and make the Bee6 as functional as it is stylish.
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Dimensions||H:91cm–109cm W:53cm L:86cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:34cm W:47cm L:76cm – Compact two-piece fold|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 4 years|
|Child weight||Up to 22kg|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats|
Compatible with a variety of car seats when used with the right matching adapters
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Four-wheel suspension|
|Wheel size (front)||7in|
|Wheel size (back)||7in|