Bugaboo Bee vs Bugaboo Cameleon3: Which is best for you?

It’s the lightweight versus the heavyweight, the Bugaboo Bee against the Bugaboo Cameleon3. Both are iconic, best-selling buggies, but which one is better?

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How much do they weigh?

Bee 3 8.5kg  Cameleon3 9.6kg 

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Being from the same brand there is not much that separates these two pushchairs, but the biggest difference, which we will start with, is the weight.

The Bee 3 is the lightest buggy in the Bugaboo repertoire.  Primarily sold on the basis of its buoyancy and swift maneouverability (hence the name), the Bee is a kilogram lighter than its counterpart, the Cameleon3

That might not sound like a huge variance in mass, but it can make all the difference to a parent trying to juggle a baby, changing bag and shopping.   

And our MFM reviewer found that it is the difference of being able to steer a buggy with one hand, which she managed with the Bee 3, or two used to steer the Cameleon3 during its test.

Compare the Bugaboo Cameleon3 compare with the BabyStyle Oyster 2.

How does the Cameleon3 do against the UPPAbaby Vista?

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Which is the best to push?

There is a reason Bugaboo calls the Bee its ‘urban’ stroller, because it’s specifically designed for parents who live in a busy metropolis and have to travel at the quicker inner-city pace.  Because of that, the buggy excels when pushed on flat surfaces and is most certainly comfortable on pavements.  It is small enough to manoeuver in cafes and fly down shopping aisles.  And being lightweight, it can also take tight turns at the drop of a hat. 

But it is the weightlessness of the buggy that is its downfall.  In fact, our MFM review found the Bee a little “too easy to push,” saying that if her daughter leaned to one side, the buggy would veer off in the same direction, leaving her to work hard to keep the buggy straight.

Another common complaint from Bee users is that the pushchair, while great on smooth roads, feels every bump it goes over, especially without a child in the seat. This is not surprising, considering it is the only pram Bugaboo does not recommend for rough terrains.     

The Cameleon3 also takes the city in its stride; it’s easy to push on level planes and responsive when steering.  But it is also an all-terrain buggy and can traverse bumpy rides easily.  By switching the parent handle over, you can flip the larger foam-filled 12” wheels to the front of the buggy for an ‘off road’ mode.

Unlike the Bee, it also has a two-wheel mode (a bit like a wheelbarrow) for more extreme terrain, such as sand or snow. Perfect if you’re a jet-setting parent who likes to take your buggy on the beach or slopes. 

*See the full Bugaboo Bee specs

Which pushchair is most expensive?

Bee £539 Cameleon3 £845

If you are looking to buy a brand new Bugaboo pram, chances are, cost is not your major concern.  Neither the Bee, which retails at £539 for the chassis, seat and cocoon or the Cameleon3, priced at £845 for chassis, seat unit and carrycot, can be considered inexpensive.  The Bee is cheaper than the Cameleon3 simply because it is smaller in size, weight and doesn’t come with a carrycot.

But at these prices, the Dutch-made pushchairs are two of the most expensive on the market, which might also explain the allure for celebrities such as Simon Cowell, Coleen Rooney and Ben Affleck, who have all sported the brand.  

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Any accessories?

As far as additional extras go, the Bee and the Cameleon3 offer an array of pricey accessories, including footmuffs, blankets, seat liners, bags, sun canopies, cup holders and more. 

And for parents with two children, there is the all important attachable buggy board, for toddlers who want to ride on the back, which will, of course, cost you extra, £60 to be exact.

What about looks?

There are few pushchair designs more iconic than a Bugaboo, so if you’re looking for a statement buggy that will turns heads when walking down the street, you’ve found it in both.  The ‘Bugaboo look’ has since been imitated but no other brand has managed to surpass the appearance of original.

This is particularly true for the Bee that can be easily identified by its curved frontal chassis legs.  Both buggies chassis’ come in a black matte or silver aluminum finish, plus 7 great-looking colour options.

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Which is easier to fold?

Folding the Bee is simplicity in action; it is a one-piece fold that can be put down quickly and smoothly with the seat unit in place and in either direction, thanks to its circular join system.

Folding the Cameleon3 involves much more effort because it has to be taken apart into two piece, meaning the carrycot or car seat must be taken off first and then the chassis folded down after. And although the chassis fold claims to be one-handed (an improvement on earlier models) having to dismantle the buggy pre-folding needs two hands.

Which has the most compact fold?

Bee 32 x 45 x 85  Cameleon3 30.5 x 60 x 90 (HxWxD)

The Bee is undoubtedly smaller than the Cameleon3 when collapsed, but the buggy is not as compact as you might expect.  In fact, it is 2 centimeters taller than the Cameleon3 due to its iconic long, curvy frontal bars that stick out when folded. 

The main complaint from Cameleon3 users is that you can’t hook the two folded pushchair components together, so it’s not easy to carry around. 

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Which has a better shopping basket?

Size of the under seat basket is where both buggies score low marks.  

Sadly for all you shoppers out there, the Bee has an even smaller capacity, holding only 16 liters, so you may find that you are lacking extra space when pushing either pram.  

We found the Cameleon3 basket, which can hold 24 liters, awkward to get shopping in and out, and almost impossible to reach when the carrycot is in place.   

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What is the age range of the buggies?

We know there is no set rule to how our children grow, so when considering age ranges of products it’s worth remembering that the measures and weights will differ with each child.

Most buggies on the market are suitable for children up to 15kg (approx 3 years), but both the Bee and the Cameleon3 have a higher than normal use limit of 17kg (approx 4 years), meaning they should last a year longer than others.

Which is more suitable from birth?

While the Bee stroller does offer a lie-flat option, it doesn’t come with a carrycot and many users, including our MFM reviewer complain about their little one being exposed. 

To make the buggy cozier you can buy the Bee Cocoon (pictured above) at the additional price of £74.95.  The Cocoon resembles a deeply padded sleeping bag and offers a bit more protection but does not have the structured support or hard shell and bumper bar that the Cameleon3 has. 

The clear winner in this category is the Cameleon3.  It comes with a carrycot for newborns and infant babies that have to lie flat until six months or until they can sit up unaided.    

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Are they travel system compatible?

Yes, both buggies are travel system compatible, allowing you to add a Group 0+ car seat for your baby.

Both the Bee and the Cameleon3 are compatible with a Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Cabriofix and Citi, a Britax Baby-Safe Plus II and SHR II, a Be Safe iZi Go, a Cybex Aton and a Bebe Confort Pebble and a Britax-Römer Baby Safe Plus SHR II.

You will have to buy adaptors for both buggies at the price of £34.95. 

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Which is better – the Bee or Cameleon3?

If you’re a city-dwelling parents after a lightweight, easy-to-steer iconic-looking buggy, ideal for toddlers, then the Bee is the one for you.

If you want a versatile, robust, infant-friendly, statement pushchair then you can’t go wrong with the Cameleon3.

However, if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, take a look at these buggies that offer the same frills for a fraction of the price:

Babystyle Oyster2

Mamas & Papas Sola

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Mountain Buggy Nano

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