A Tried-and-Tested Review of the New Bugaboo Bee 6
I’m a Virgo. Now, I don’t know yet what exactly that means for me as a mom (though I have my guesses), but I can definitely tell you what it says about me as a pregnant lady: It took every ounce of strength in my body to stop myself from obsessively Googling strollers before bebé was even the size of a bean.
Fast forward to cauliflower-sized baby, and I’ve finally waded through the options enough that I can narrow down my main stroller criteria to four important must-haves: 1) I need a guarantee that is has a smooth, buttery ride that can navigate both the sidewalks and lakeside park terrain outside my doorstep; 2) Jeez, some of those popular strollers are huge, but I am hellbent on finding a full-size stroller that still feels manageable and sleek; 3) I want the option to have baby facing me because, well, I’m a controlling Virgo, remember?; and 4) It needs to have adequate UPF protection.
This all seemed like a big ask from someone who was trying to exclusively shop for strollers online. But then I thought, no way am I the only one. So for all the city parents out there dealing with a COVID-era pregnancy who aren’t really into the idea of the high touch-points in the BuyBuyBaby store, I’m doing a little gear testing from the perspective of a first-time mom. Starting with the new Bugaboo Bee 6 stroller. Because if you’re anything like me, you need to hear the important details loud and clear—without having to touch anything right now.
What’s the Bugaboo Bee 6?
You’ve likely heard of Bugaboo, or at least seen photos of Gigi Hadid pushing her daughter Khai in one down the streets of NYC. Yes, it’s luxury brand, but it hovers somewhere around Uppababy and Nuna for those who are willing and able to spend a little more on their setup. Bugaboo, however, is arguably the most established in that category, having been around for over 20 years and having pioneered purposeful stroller design and engineering in the process. They offer all kinds of models, from ultra-compact to a convertible option for twins or growing families, and the Bugaboo Bee 6 fits nicely in between. The Bee has been around since 2007 and seen several iterations, the 6 being the latest that just came out this year.
So, is it buttery?
Like a stick of Kerrygold that’s been sitting on the counter for exactly 1.5 hours. Seriously, I was shocked at how smooth the suspension was and how well it absorbed bumps and cracks. The wheels were not sticky at all, even with the extra weight of my 13-pound cat in the seat (he’s a good sport). It makes sense: The 4-wheel suspension in the Bugaboo Bee 6 has a damping mechanism that offers extra shock absorption so that you can even steer it with one hand if you need to. And the wheels are a large 7-inches, not to mention puncture-proof, so I can take it off the sidewalk my townhouse is on into grassy areas and dirt paths in the park across the street, no problem.
How’s the design, really?
Not gonna lie, I was impressed. I live in an urban area in Denver, and the sun here is just so, so strong—without a lot of shade. Having a UPF 50+ sun canopy was critical to me, and not only does the Bee 6 have that, but the size of the canopy is pretty remarkable too. It almost shields the whole seat (when upright) while offering a little peekaboo panel so I can look down into it and check on whatever is in there (currently cat, but soon to be baby). Right now on the Bugaboo website there are four canopy colors to choose from (pink, black, grey and their signature yellow), but starting March 1 they’re releasing more options including a gorgeous brilliant red, powder blue and natural taupe.
As for the seat: It can face both ways! And the fabric is top notch. It’s a new-to-this-model breathable mesh material that is actually very cushy, and the seat support has ventilation holes that make it ideal for summer. The seat does not lie completely flat, but Bugaboo offers a bassinet and a cocoon for that (both of these accessories create a completely flat surface safe for newborns, and if you want the bassinet, you can purchase it with the stroller as a set).
It was seriously so easy to put together from start to finish, despite the directions being all pictures (which somehow is harder? Still, the parts are mostly very logical). Again, I love the fact that the seat can be front- or rear-facing. The basket holds 8.8 pounds—not the most, but hear me out. I have a comfortable, backpack style diaper bag, and I’m getting an organizer to hang from the handle. And I’m not planning to use the stroller as a shopping cart. So sacrificing a few pounds of weight support in the basket is absolutely worth it to be able to have a lightweight (only 23.2 pounds!!), sleek frame that doesn’t feel like I’m pushing a bus. If you’re wondering how it compares to the Uppababy Cruz—another really popular stroller right now—it just doesn’t for me. At least, in terms of not feeling like you’re pushing lead.
Two triggers on the front of the handlebar collapse the stroller with just one hand – perfect if you’re holding a cat, I mean baby in one arm and only have access to using the other. I did have to Google a video for exactly how to do that, but once I got a visual for how it’s done, it clicked and I can confidently do it every time.
One pretty great benefit that stands out to me on that front is the kickstand. Once the stroller is collapsed, the kickstand holds it upright so that it’s compact and supported. It won’t tip over if you need to prop it somewhere without leaning it on a wall. Genius.
Lastly, it seamlessly connects to the new Turtle One by Nuna car seat without an adaptor, but it can also connect to Maxi Cosi, Chicco and Peg Perego car seats if you buy the correct adaptor accessory.
This stroller is the best of both worlds, no question. It’s full size and has a decent basket, but it collapses into a really compact form. It’s great for the city, but it’s durable enough for more rugged surfaces. It’s sun-safe and it’s beautiful. Period. Honestly, when I look at it, I think damn, that’s one lucky baby. It’s an ideal stroller for anyone who wants the comfort and convenience of a full-size stroller without the bulk, no matter where you live, and who wants to look really darn good pushing it.