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The history of the Bugaboo Cameleon

The fabled Bugaboo brand started back in Holland in 1996 as a graduation project by founder Max Barenbrug. 

Whether you like them or not, there’s something about the Bugaboo brand that has timeless appeal to many, like Louis Vuitton, or Mercedes-Benz. There are many other prams which have more features, more configurations and more party tricks but Bugaboo remains an aspiration for many parents and their wishlists. 

The Bugaboo Cameleon is the original Bugaboo pram and can trace its roots back to the original Bugaboo Classic, launched in 1999 and has undergone multiple evolutions since. Recently, the Cameleon has been replaced by the Bugaboo Lynx reflecting the more modern style of Bugaboos but the Cameleon is still *the* classic Bugaboo in many parents’ eyes.

While the Cameleon has remained iconically identifiable over the years (at least for parents and pram spotters) there are a number of subtle differences between the models. 

Let’s go through a rundown.

The Bugaboo Cameleon Family Tree

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Bugaboo Classic

Launched: 1999

The original granddaddy of them all.

Bugaboo Frog

Launched: 2001

When Bugaboo hit mainstream consciousness, with Miranda’s help on Sex and the City.

Bugaboo Frog

Bugaboo Cameleon 1

Launched: 2005

The very first Cameleon.

Bugaboo Cameleon 2 (Cameleon +)

Launched: 2007

Officially known as the Cameleon +, otherwise known as the Cameleon 2. Improves on the design.

Bugaboo Cameleon 3

Launched: 2012

Cameleon grows up, gets a larger basket. Many design improvements.

Bugaboo Cameleon 3+

Launched: 2018

A few design changes and a lot of new colours.

Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Plus Red

Differences between Cameleon 1 vs 2 vs 3 vs 3+

Here are all of the detailed differences between the Cameleon 1, 2, 3 and 3+:

Bugaboo Cameleon 1
Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Plus Red
Model

Cameleon

Cameleon 2

Cameleon 3

Cameleon 3+

Released

2005

2007

2012

2018

Tyres

Air-filled

Foam-filled

Foam-filled

Foam-filled

Basket

Smaller

Smaller

Larger

Larger, better access

Wheel axle

Plastic

Plastic

Sturdier, metal

Sturdier, metal

Wheel release

Original

Original

Quick release

Quick release

Fold/unfold

Two-step

Two-step

One-step

One-step

Handlebar height adjustment

Wingnut

Handlebar clips

Improved, handlebar clips with click-in position

Improved, handlebar clips with click-in position

Brake lever

Original, three-click brake

Original, three-click brake

Easier, one-click brake

Easier, one-click brake

Harness

Unpadded

Padded

Adjustable, padded

Adjustable, padded

Bumper bar

Fixed, two-hand removal 

Fixed, two-hand removal 

Rotating, one-hand removal

Rotating, one-hand removal

Footrest

Original

Original

Wider

Wider

Carrycot

Original, removable struts

Original, removable struts

Easier fold, sewn in struts

Easier fold, sewn in struts

Seat to frame connector

Original

Revised

Revised

Revised

Seat frame

Original

Original

Original

Updated, sleeker

Colours

Frame:
Aluminum frame with Black seat/bassinet fabrics

Canvas:
Grey
Brown
Sand
Red

Frame:
Aluminum frame with Black seat/bassinet fabrics

Canvas:
Grey
Brown
Sand
Red

Frame:
Aluminum frame with Black seat/bassinet fabrics
Black frame with Black seat/bassinet fabrics

Canvas:
Black
Grey Melange
Red
Orange
Soft Pink
Ice Blue
Petrol Blue
Off White

Frame:
Aluminum frame with Black seat/bassinet fabrics
Black frame with Grey Melange seat/bassinet fabrics

Canvas:
Black
Sky Blue
Ruby Red
Soft Pink
Fresh White
Neon Red
Sunrise Yellow
Grey Melange
Blue Melange
Birds (pattern)
Waves (pattern)

The complete list of Bugaboo Cameleon accessories:

Bassinet

The bassinet comes included with the Cameleon package. The fabric fits over the seat frame to become the bassinet.

Bugaboo Cameleon Bassinet

Sun Canopy

Comes included with the Cameleon. For fitting over the seat and bassinet.
Also compatible with the Fox2 and the Lynx.

Bugaboo Cameleon Sun Canopy Red

Travel bag

For transporting your Cameleon as luggage.

Bugaboo Cameleon Comfort Transport Bag

Fabric set

The fabric set is a replacement sun canopy, seat fabric and bassinet apron. You can customise your Bugaboo Cameleon look by changing this.

Bugaboo Cameleon 3 tailored fabric

Seat liner

The seat liner sits on top of the seat fabric for added comfort and protection for your baby.

Bugaboo Cameleon Seat Liner

Maxi Cosi adapter

The Maxi Cosi adapter is required to attach Maxi Cosi car seats to the Cameleon.

Compatible with:

Nuna Pipa Klik
MaxiCosi Mico Plus

Bugaboo Cameleon Maxi Cosi Adapter

Footmuff

The footmuff attaches to the Cameleon seat for your baby to tuck their legs and toesies into to provide warmth and coverage in winter conditions.

Comfort Wheeled Board

A wheeled seat attachment for your toddler to ride along outside the pram when they don’t want to walk.

Parasol

A Bugaboo umbrella that attaches to the pram.

Bugaboo Parasol Orange

Cup holder

Holds cups for the pusher. Not the rider.

Bugaboo Cameleon Cup Holder

Mosquito net

Protects your baby from insects. For bassinet only.

Rain cover

Protects your baby from the rain.

Bugaboo Cameleon car seat compatibility

Maxi Cosi

Nuna Pipa Klik

Popular comparisons

Bugaboo Cameleon 3+ vs Bee 5

How does the Cameleon stack up against the Bee 5 urban pram?

FeatureBugaboo Cameleon 3+Bugaboo Bee 5
Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Plus Red
Bugaboo Bee5 Yellow
SizeL 90 x W 59 x H 104 cmL 90 x W 53.5 x H 86.5 cm ✔️
Folded SizeL 90 x W 50 x H 31 cmL 90 x W 46.5 x H 32 cm ✔️
Weight9.6kg8.9kg ✔️
Storage4kg 🤷4kg🤷
# children11
Ease of foldTwo-handed, two-step ✔️Two-handed, multi-step
Price$1199$999 ✔️
Choose if:You want the original BugabooYou want the city Bugaboo

Bugaboo Cameleon 3+ vs Fox

How does the Cameleon compare against the Bugaboo Fox?

Bugaboo Cameleon 3+ vs Redsbaby Jive 2

How does the Cameleon line up vs the Redsbaby Jive?

FeatureBugaboo Cameleon 3+Redsbaby Jive 2
Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Plus Red
Redsbaby Jive2 blue
SizeL 90 x W 59 x H 104 cmL 73 x W 58 x H 95 cm ✔️
Folded SizeL 90 x W 50 x H 31 cmL 73 x W 58 x H 38 cm ✔️
Weight9.6kg ✔️11.9kg
Storage4kg12kg ✔️
# children1Up to 2 ✔️
Ease of foldTwo-handed, two-stepTwo-handed, one-step ✔️
Price$1199$849 ✔️
Choose if:You love the Bugaboo brandYou want a larger Australian pram

Bugaboo Cameleon 3+ vs Uppababy Cruz v2

How does the Cameleon compare with the midsize Uppababy Cruz?

FeatureBugaboo Cameleon 3+Uppababy Cruz v2
Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Plus Red
Uppababy Cruz blue f34
SizeL 90 x W 59 x H 104 cmL 95 x W 58 x H 101 cm ✔️
Folded SizeL 90 x W 50 x H 31 cm ✔️L 42 x W 58 x H 84 cm
Weight9.6kg ✔️11.6kg
Storage4kg13.6kg ✔️
# children11
Ease of foldTwo-handed, two-stepTwo-handed, one-step ✔️
Price$1199 ✔️$1399
Choose if:You like Bugaboo and want the lightweight originalYou want the latest Uppababy with massive storage

Bugaboo Lynx: a worthy successor for the Cameleon?

Bugaboo decided to discontinue the Cameleon 3 + in favour of the new Bugaboo Lynx. 

The Lynx is more like a modern Bugaboo especially with the new wheelcaps and looks like the Fox, but actually is more comparable to the Cameleon 3 +.

The main things they updated are:

  • new, one-piece fold
  • new, separate bassinet
  • larger basket from 4kg to 10kg
  • redesigned plastic seat vs fabric
  • larger wheels
  • footbrake vs handbrake

 

To be fair, while the Cameleon is a classic design, its basic design was 14 years old. Modern designs may have improved some of the practicality, but like grandma’s old sweater, you can’t engineer nostalgia.

Bugaboo Cameleon 3+ vs Bugaboo Lynx

How does the Cameleon stack up with its replacement, the Lynx?

FeatureBugaboo Cameleon 3+Bugaboo Lynx
Bugaboo Cameleon 3 Plus Red
Bugaboo Lynx
SizeL 90 x W 59 x H 104 cmL 79 x W 60 x H 99 cm ✔️
Folded SizeL 90 x W 50 x H 31 cm 🤷L 88 x W 53 x H 31 cm 🤷
Weight9.6kg9.4kg ✔️
Storage4kg10kg ✔️
# children11
Ease of foldTwo-handed, two-stepTwo-handed, two-step, self-standing ✔️
Price$1199 ✔️$1499
Choose if:You think nothing beats the originalYou want the modern replacement for the Cameleon

Comments

Do you have a Cameleon and love it? Or do you have the Lynx? What do you think about them? 

Comment below!

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