Cameleon 3 plus versus the Fox: comparison of Bugaboo's buggies
We round up of the similarities and differences between the latest version of Bugaboo's popular Cameleon and its brand new Fox buggy
Bugaboo Fox versus the Bugaboo Cameleon 3 - quick specs:
- Age suitability: Both birth up to 17kg (up to 9kg in the carrycot)
- Weight: Cameleon 3 Plus (above, left): 9.6kg (chassis, wheels and seat), Fox (above, right): 9.9kg (chassis, wheels and seat)
- Fold size: The Fox: 66x54x19cm (folded without wheels), 46x60x88cm (folded with wheels and seat attached) But the Cameleon isn't much bigger: 90x50x31cm, but needs to be folded in two pieces,
- Basket capacity: Cameleon: 22 litres (4kg), Fox: 38 litres (10kg)
- Travel system compatibility: Both have available adapters (£34.95) for various Britax Römer, Maxi-Cosi, Kiddy, Cybex and BeSafe car seats. Unfortunately the adapters are different for both models.
- Which pushchair is most expensive? Cameleon 3 Plus: from £759, Fox: from £979
Everything you need to know about the Bugaboo Fox versus the Bugaboo Cameleon 3:
Bugaboo revolutionised the buggy market with its hugely popular Cameleon, and it is still going strong, a popular choice for many. The brand recently updated the Cameleon 3, to release the Cameleon 3 Plus, which has slightly modified frame (although still compatible with the usual Cameleon trims and accessories), a new basket that’s more accessible and slightly different colour options.
In addition, there is the brand new buggy Fox from Bugaboo, which is very similar to the Cameleon in many ways. However, as our in-depth review explains, it also has a lot of very different design features too, so we have explored how they compare...
Which is easier to fold?
One of the most noticeable differences between the Fox and its Cameleon siblings is its folding mechanism.
With the Cameleon 3 Plus, you have to remove the seat, then release the catches on each side of the handlebar to fold it down. Finally you lift the middle of the chassis to fold the frame together. As the Cameleon is folded in two pieces, you then need to lift those separately to store/transport it.
The Fox, meanwhile, has a handy, free-standing, one-piece fold. You push in the handlebar, recline the seat, and then use release button-levers on the handlebar sides to fold the handle backwards. Then you can tuck in the front half of the chassis for the standing fold. This is really handy when you need to fold your buggy quickly in a restaurant or to get onto transport. It makes the process much quicker than doing it in two steps.
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Which has the more compact fold?
With wheels and seat detached, the Fox frame folds into a great, flat parcel of 66x54x19cm (image above) which you can easily store in a cupboard or other small spaces. And even in one piece, the Fox folds to a handy, free-standing 46x60x88cm, which is great for such a versatile buggy.
The Cameleon 3 Plus, meanwhile, needs to be folded with the seat taken off, so it’s a bit more cumbersome if you need to fold it down in a hurry - in a crowded café or on the train, for example. It’s folded dimensions are 90x50x31cm (see below).
How much do they weigh?
The Fox (at 9.9kg) s marginally heavier than the Cameleon's 9.6kg. It is designed to be even sturdier, and has bigger front wheels for example, which means a trade-off in weight. However, they are both relatively light for a full-size stroller.
Which buggy is the best to push?
According to our reviewers (above), the smaller front wheels of the Cameleon make it sometimes tricky to navigate kerbs, and it felt a bit more rickety on stony surfaces, although it did cope well overall.
The Fox, meanwhile, made light of low kerbs and coped extremely well in the city. In addition to all-wheel suspension it has a central joint suspension, so the ride is super cushioned all round. It also has air-filled tyres, compared to the Cameleon’s foam filled ones, with provide a super smooth pushing experience - although some might not like the prospect of a puncture.
Interestingly the Fox has persevered with the two-wheeled mode, which the Cameleon also offer. This makes the buggy easier to manoeuvre across tricky terrain, allowing the user to pull along the buggy like a little two-wheeled chariot, with the two larger back wheels doing the hard work.
Users of the Cameleon 3 have said it was a bit of a faff to use this mode, especially since the smaller wheels need to be removed first, and the seat needs to be detached and then attached again.
The Fox has simplified this process, as the smaller wheels don’t need to be removed and you can tuck the chassis in without removing the seat. So we can imagine that it might be quite fun to give this mode a go when you hit a beach or uneven ground. So it's well worth reassessing this feature if you're an adventurous type.
The Cameleon 3 Plus’s handle is more extendable (from 100-110cm), whereas the Fox can be extended to 107cm, so depending on your preferences, the Cameleon might win this one on providing those extra centimetres.
Are the brakes any different?
The Fox has a very smooth foot brake that you easily engage by stepping on it, and then step again to disengage. It is fantastic to save yourself from scuffing your shoes.
The Cameleon 3 Plus has the signature Bugaboo hand brake, a lever at the handlebar. It is not as easy as the footbrake, a bit fiddly and can be a pain when travelling with two children and you're likely to need to let go of your toddler's hand to engage it.
Which has a better shopping basket?
One of the main new features of the updated Cameleon 3 Plus is a more accessible basket, compared to its predecessor. It is now very similar to the Fox’s, with a mesh baskets that’s far easier to load up and access.
However, the Fox’s basket (above) has a larger capacity and can hold up to 10kg, versus the Cameleon Plus’ 4 kg (or 38 versus 22 litres. The Fox’s basket also includes extra storage pockets for smaller items.
Which is more suitable for babies?
Both the Cameleon and Fox are suitable from birth, with a separate carrycot that is included in the package. They are very easy to use, click onto the chassis etc. The Fox has an advantage that its seat is designed to sit higher off the ground at 59cm, which is 9cm higher than the Cameleon's seat. Many parents really appreciate a higher seat, as this means it can double as a high chair, and it makes interacting with your little one easier.
Are they travel system compatible?
Both the Cameleon 3 Plus (below) and the Fox are travel system compatible with a variety of adaptors for models from Maxi-Cosi, Peg-Perego, Britax, Chicco, Cybex and Nuna, so you’ve got a great choice of car seats to combine your pram with.
Which is more likely to grow with your family.
Both buggies can be used with a variety of accessories including the very user-friendly buggy board. In fact, the Fox (image, below) has integrated connection points, which you can simply attach accessories to, so no need to faff around with those. This is a great option for expanding families. Neither model offers the option of attaching a second seat, however.
Fox has integrated attachment points for accessories such as parasol, cup holder or wheeled board, but you can also use these with the Cameleon, with an extra attachment. The Fox’s is just that tiny step easier.
And what about looks?
The Fox has a huge array of customisable elements, including wheel covers and handlebar grips. Its sun canopy also comes in a great array of colours including the pop colours Bugaboo is known for, such as Sunrise Yellow or Soft Pink (14 options in total in the classic configuration - there are additional special editions). Then you can pick different seat fabrics to complement (these are a bit more understated).
The Cameleon also comes with an array of colour options, and its shape makes it very recognisable as a Bugaboo - it’s a very familiar design.
Not everyone will want or need the option to customise handlebars or wheels, but some might really love the option to do so.
The Cameleon 3 Plus and the Fox are very similar in many ways. However, the Fox has definitely made some key features that bit smoother and easier - the folding mechanism, the 2-wheeled option, the larger basket, and so on. The Cameleon was revolutionary when it first came out and is still hugely popular. It is a bit cheaper than the Fox, and is also that bit lighter and you can extend the handlebar higher. They choice between the two will depend on your preference - and what your priorities are in terms of basket size, handle height and so on.
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