Age suitability: Six months until 15kg (approx. 3 years), or from birth with Birth Kit accessory (additional £150)
Type of buggy: Compact pushchair
Weight (including canopy, wheels and basket): 6.7kg
Fold: One-handed, compact fold
Travel system compatible: Yes, with addition of adaptors for selected Maxi-Cosi, BeSafe and Cybex infant car seats
Key features: One-handed stand-up fold, huge hood with pop-out sunshield, push-on and off brake, real leather handlebar
Total cost: £450 (plus £150 for the From Birth Kit)
Launched in the 2007, the American UPPAbaby brand is constantly looking to make its strollers lighter, easier to use and fun. It combines this mission with sleek designs and seems to focus on doing fewer products the right way, rather than bombarding the market with endless releases.
UPPAbaby has found a devoted fanbase with its Vista and Cruz buggies, which offer well-designed prams that are practical and functional. I remember the days of my first born, five years ago, when I jealously eyed my friends’ Vista and Cruz, with their handy stand-up folds, comfortable bassinets and massive shopping baskets.
This year, UPPAbaby released a new lightweight city stroller, the Minu. The new model seems to have replaced the discontinued umbrella stroller G Luxe as the brand’s offering to the lucrative ‘travel’ category. It has launched in a well contested market, currently spearheaded by the Babyzen Yoyo, which was the first lightweight buggy that promised a fold that complied with cabin baggage dimensions.
The Minu also sells itself on a compact footprint and fold, ideal for city living and travel. Cleverly, it can be adapted for newborns with the addition of the From Birth Kit and can be used with carseats, which is smart, as users often want all those options these days.
At £450 (without the carrycot), the Minu is nearly £100 pricier than the Yoyo (£369) – neither are cheap.
There are much cheaper alternatives in the compact stroller market, such as the Recaro Easylife (RRP of £189), the Mountain Buggy Nano (£249) or the Joie Pact (£150). However, not all have the adaptability of the Minu. In addition, it’s always worth testing the feel of a buggy, as lightweight can mean flimsy and rickety, or a compromise on handling – which many find frustrating in the long run.
What were your first impressions of the UPPAbaby Minu?
Having tested a few lightweight buggies such as the Babyzen Yoyo and the Babyjogger City Tour, I was pleasantly surprised by my first glimpse of the Minu. It had a refreshing blue colour (the Ryan option), breezy fabric, and a sleek, matt silver chassis. I must admit, I didn’t appreciate immediately that the handlebar is real REACH certified leather, but overall the Minu felt different – in a good way.
How does the UPPAbaby Minu compare to other compact buggies you’ve used?
Having tested quite a few fantastic new buggies over the recent year, I am very accustomed to sleek designs and a good pushing experience. Compactness doesn’t necessarily mean a compromise on ease of pushing these days, so expectations are high. Even though the Minu has a clever compact fold, the seat size feels very generous for the child. Interestingly, the fabric and seat reminded me a bit of a high-end umbrella stroller, with the added benefits of better wheels and a plush single handlebar – not sure if this is a plus in some people’s eyes, but it felt like an interesting design amalgam.
What age is the UPPAbaby Minu suitable for, can it be used from newborn?
The UPPAbaby comes with the option of a carrycot that needs to be bought separately, which is great for those who want to buy one buggy to see them through from birth to toddler-hood. The buggy is tested to 15kg, which is the equivalent of approximately 3 years of age. The seat is quite roomy, which does feel like it will accommodate larger kids for longer.
How does the UPPAbaby Minu fold? Is it really one-handed?
The UPPAbaby is designed to make an on-the-go city lifestyle easier, and the one-handed fold is part of this promise. A one-handed, smooth fold can make all the difference when arriving at a crowded café or hopping onto a busy bus. If you can truly fold it with one hand, while holding your baby or toddler with the other, then it’s a winner – and the Minu delivered.
The folding mechanism is in the middle of the handlebar, so no bending down. You slide one lever, and then press a wide button to release the fold. You gently push the handlebar forward and down until it all folds in on itself and the safety latch clicks into place, leaving the buggy freestanding – very handy. You can then easily pick it up at the built-in handle or shoulder strap. On my first attempt, I tried to force it too much, as I wasn’t sure how the mechanism worked. But if you relax, and just let it almost fold itself, it’s much easier and very smooth. The latch always clicks in place too, which is often not the case with other buggies. To unfold, you release the catch (have to bend down slightly here) and pull the handlebar upwards again.
The grip on the axle and the carry strap attached to the chassis are fantastic, as the ability to sling it over the shoulder to free up your second hand is such a plus.
How compact is the UPPAbaby Minu when folded and unfolded? How easy is it to store?
When folded, the UPPAbaby Minu measures 52×29.2×58.4cm. Even though this is an impressive fold, it is unfortunately not quite compact enough to comply with most cabin luggage dimensions. You might still get away with it, but make sure to check your airline in advance. Nonetheless, it is very snug, and the fact that it stands upright means you can store it very easily – tucked in all sorts of corners and crannies.
Does it fit in the boot of your car?
Yes, the Minu fits in the boot of our BMW X3 very well – either lying flat or in a stand-alone, upright position. So there is plenty of space to fit other bits in. Admittedly, our car boot is quite large, but I can’t see any problems fitting the Minu into very snug spaces.
How light is the UPPAbaby Minu?
All in (including hood, wheels and basket), the UPPAbaby Minu weighs 6.7kg, which is lovely and light. It really isn’t a bother to sling over your should and carry it for a bit, and lifting it up with my 2-year-old in place was also a doddle.
UPPAbaby makes much of the Minu’s suitability for city living, and it’s easy to take the Minu on buses and trains. Minu makes the London transport system so much more straight-forward to navigate, as you can pick it up with little one still in, or fold it up with no fuss. The only niggle is that the handlebar is lovely and high, but can’t be retracted or folded down when your child is seated – I always appreciate buggies which allow you to do this, such as the Babyzen Yoyo, as it makes your footprint even smaller, more able to squeeze into tight spots on buses and so on.
How easy is it to push?
Considering the UPPAbaby Minu is a lightweight stroller with relatively small wheels, it is very easy to push. The wide handlebar is comfortable and easy to grip, and the stroller manoeuvres very well. It seems more sturdy compared to other lightweight buggies we have tried, which is great. Unfortunately, I found the folding release mechanism, which is located in the middle of the handlebar a bit annoying. I push my buggies one-handed quite often – either another kid or phone in the other hand. This meant I had to grip over the mechanism, which isn’t that comfy. But for two-handed pushing, the handlebar is wonderful, wide and tactile.
How does the UPPAbaby Minu ride on different surfaces?
The Minu has accompanied us on trips to the park, woodland walks, the zoo, on gravel, grass and a certain amount of mud, and it has always performed well. It really navigates bumps in the road with confidence, which can’t be said for more flimsy lightweight buggies, so it has become a firm favourite in our household.
What do you think of the wheels?
The wheels are described as ‘spring action’ with all-round suspension. The back wheels are slightly larger than the front. They seem to be sturdy and cope well with different surfaces.
Is the frame strong, durable?
I really like the frame of the Minu. It feels strong, with no give. The chassis is made out of aluminium which makes it strong yet lightweight, and it’s not quite as thin as on other compact strollers, which lends an extra sense of sturdiness.
As you have to bear down on the handle to tip buggies to navigate kerbs and steps etc, handlebars need to be secure – the Minu’s definitely felt it. Looking closely at the engineering, mechanisms, all folding and moving bits, is very reassuring. It all looks of great quality, and there is no give or bend, creaks or squeaks.
What do you think of the handlebar?
At 104.14cm (UPPAbaby is very precise about these things), the handlebar felt high enough, much appreciated in our household of tall people. However, as it’s not adjustable, you have to think whether you might prefer a lower height.
As for the real leather finish, I wasn’t sure about its necessity at first. As I mentioned before, I didn’t even realise it was real. But with repeated use, I do appreciate its comfort and I guess it might weather in a nicer way and last longer than a faux equivalent. Unfortunately there is no alternative option for vegans.
What do you think of the size of the seat unit?
The seat is 33.52cm wide, and I measured the backrest at around 44cm high, which is a good size for a compact buggy. The seat is not much deeper than other compacts, but feels more spacious due to its width.
The Babyzen Yoyo, for example, measures 32cm wide at the front and then narrows to around 18cms towards the back of the seat.
How many recline positions are there?
The Minu has a gradual recline which you release by squeezing a plastic clip at the back of the seat with one hand. You pull two straps to put it upright again, so you need both hands for that. The furthest recline is not what you would call ‘near-flat’ but makes for a comfy sleeping position for my little one.
How comfortable does it feel for your little one?
My 2-year-old felt very comfortable in the seat, and didn’t have any problem falling asleep. Even though the buggy is lightweight, the recline position and size of the seat means he was very sheltered in it. He often asked to lie down in it, which he never usually does. The super generous hood also helps with this – it creates a lovely little cocoon.
How is interacting with your little one when in the buggy?
As with all forward-facing buggies, your toddler has to turn round to speak to you or you have to stop and crouch. However, the UPPAbaby Minu does have a generous peekaboo window which allows you to check on your child, which I always welcome. It also doubles as a ventilation mesh, which was great for the recent sweltering weather.
What do you think of the hood?
In true UPPAbaby style, the hood is fantastic, as it’s adaptable, provides great coverage and features the pop-out sunshade.
Tell us about the brakes.
The brake on the Minu is a great idea, as you both lock and release the brake by stepping down on a foot pedal – the red one next to the right back wheel for engaging and the green next to the left back wheel for releasing.
This solved the age-old problem with foot-engaged brakes of having to nudge a pedal upward with the top of your toes to release the brake.
This usually leads to either sullied shoes in winter, or toe cramp/sandal problems in summer. Some might argue that it can get confusing to remember which pedal does what, but with repeated use it gets instinctive.
How easily can you access the basket and is it big enough to store everything you need?
For a compact buggy the basket works really well. It is a good size, can hold up to 5kg, and most importantly is very accessible, both from the front and back.
I was able so squash my changing rucksack in it (a task that other compact buggies including the Yoyo, the Babyjogger City Tour and various umbrella strollers, have failed on), so I was very pleased with that, as it makes being out and about that bit easier.
With other compacts, I tend to leave them at home in favour of my large Baby Jogger Versa when swimming or shopping. But the Minu has already been to the pool with us, and I find myself turning to it more often than not.
Is it car seat adaptable?
Yes, the Minu is carseat compatible with additional adaptors and can be used with selected Maxi-Cosi, BeSafe and Cybex infant carseats.
What’s in the box?
Assembled chassis, seat and hood
Any additional extras that you can to buy?
From Birth Kit including raincover (£150)
Travel bag (which includes air travel insurance, £99.99)
Adaptors for Maxi-Cosi, Cybex or BeSafe carseats (£32.99)
Is it easy to build the product?
It’s very easy to build the product and the instructions were simple to follow, if needed.
Who would the product be most useful for?
This would be a great product for a family looking for a compact buggy that can be used from birth (with additional kit) to toddlerhood. It makes traveling abroad and on public transport super straight-forward, as well as hopping in and out of cars, as it’s so easy to fold and store. It is well made, seems to be durable, and comes with the assurance of a great brand behind it.
If you’re in the market for a second buggy, just for travels and nursery runs, then this is still a great buggy, but you might want to look for something cheaper that also does the job. Having said that, its sturdiness really does make the Minu stand out from the compact crowd – it is a far superior push to many, so if you’re envisaging lots of miles of pavement pounding, then it’s worth considering.
What is the price? Is this good value for money?
The UPPAbaby Minu has an RRP of £450, with the From Birth Kit costing £150, so if you want to use it for a newborn to toddlerhood, you will need to spend £600. This is quite a price tag. But if you do want to use is from birth, it does start to make sense – compared to full-blown top-end travel systems that can set you back even more.
We really liked the UPPAbaby Minu. Its smooth and compact fold is a joy and makes taking it along and packing it away really easy. We didn’t test the From Birth Kit. However, if it’s as well finished and just as easy to use as the stroller (the Minu can be folded with carrycot attached), then this buggy will make a great option for a new family that is tight on space, or just fancies a lightweight option rather than a bulky travel system.
If you’re considering the Minu as a second buggy for travel or the nursery run, then it’s also a great option, but it’s expensive. It does feel like it will last, but only time will tell. UPPAbaby is a great and hugely trusted brand, so I can imagine once the Minu is established, it will retain its resale value. It is a great option to throw in the mix, and I will definitely recommend it to people looking for a compact, lightweight buggy.
Anna is a mother of two and tested the Minu with her two-year-old. As they are out and about most of the time, due to her active 4-year-old firstborn, her little one relies on his buggy to nap at lunchtime. They used it out and about in the city and on weekend breaks.
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Child age (approx)
Birth (with carrycot/cocoon) to 3 years – From birth, with additional Birth Kit
Up to 15kg
Dimensions & Weight
H:104cm W:52.07cm L:71.12cm
H:29.2cm W:52cm L:58.4cm
Seat facing direction
Forward facing and parent facing (with carrycot/car seat)
Multi-position – Not near-flat
One-handed standing fold
Pop-out sun visor
Raincover, storage bag
Car seat adaptors (for Cybex, Maxi-Cosi or BeSafe infant carriers)
Padded travel bag (includes cover for damage during air travel)