Stroller brand review: Mockingbird
First published: December 2, 2019. Last updated: . Stroller brand review: Mockingbird.
Quick summary: Mockingbird’s $450 flagship stroller is an impressive value, but when it comes to overall quality and handling, it falls short compared to its main competitor, UPPAbaby’s Vista/Cruz.
Here’s an overview of this review:
- How we tested this stroller; who we are
- Mockingbird stroller: specs, out of the box, back story
- What We Liked; What Needs Work
- Stroller smackdown: how the Mockingbird stacks up to its main competition
How We Tested The Mockingbird Stroller
We ordered a Mockingbird stroller in November 2019 and paid for it with our own money. The stroller was $350 and we also ordered an infant insert for $30. The total was $380—there was no sales tax and shipping was free. (New York state residents have to pay sales tax). (Updated 2022: the price is now $450).
FYI: We don’t take money from brands we review: no free samples, no ads, etc. We make our living from selling our book, Baby Bargains
$25.00 , and affiliate commissions from sales of products we recommend on sites like Amazon.com, Walmart and other retailers. We’ve been writing about strollers and baby gear since 1994—our reviews are independent and unbiased.
This review does not have links to Mockingbird’s web site and we don’t have an affiliate relationship with Mockingbird. However, Mockingbird strollers are now being sold at Target and we do have an affiliate relationship with Target—if you buy something through this link, we may get a commission.
Mockingbird stroller: specs, out of the box, back story
The Mockingbird stroller is pitched as a premium “multi-function” stroller at an affordable price—that’s because Mockingbird is one of the first “direct to consumer” (DTC) brands in this category. DTC brands, like Dollar ShaveClub and Casper mattresses, only sell direct to consumers . . . no stores or e-commerce middlemen like Amazon. (The exception: Target is now selling the stroller). And that means lower prices.
Mockingbird hopes to do for strollers what Warby Parker did for eyeglasses (although Warby Parker now has a handful of stores in addition to their web site).
Despite being billed as a multi-function stroller, the Mockingbird is just a single stroller—it does not have the ability to add a second seat like the UPPABaby Vista, Baby Jogger City Select or Nuna’s Demi Grow.
Hence, the most direct comparison for the Mockingbird stroller is the UPPABaby Cruz, which is $200+ more than the Mockingbird as of this writing.
We suppose by multi-function, Mockingbird means the the seat on the stroller can reverse, facing out or toward the parent. And, like most strollers, the Mockingbird has car seat adapters available that work with the Britax B-Safe 35, Chicco Keyfit 30, Chicco Fit2, Evenflo Embrace, Evenflo Nurture, Graco SnugRide (30,35,40), and Nuna PIPA (but not the Pipa Lite or Pipa Lite LX) car seat models.
You can choose any color for the Mockingbird stroller—as long as its black. You can change the canopy cover (two different shades of blue) and the handle comes in either black or brown leather; here are the current options in terms of fashion:
Here’s what it looks like in real life after we assembled it:
Mockingbird Specs: Weight, Size
We weighed the Mockingbird at 27.1 lbs.—and that includes the frame, canopy, wheels, seat and storage basket. (The company claims the weight is “about 26 lbs.”).
The stroller is 26″ wide, 49″ tall and 40″ deep. Here’s how it compares width-wise to the UPPAbaby Vista, on right:
As you can see, the Mockingbird is a close match to the UPPABaby Vista—about the same width, although the Mockingbird seat sits a bit lower.
One other major difference: wheel size, both front and rear. The Mockingbird rear wheel (below on right) is the smaller one (8″ vs 11.5″ for UPPAbaby):
The Mockingbird stroller can be used from birth to 50 lbs.—same as UPPAbaby.
What We Liked; What Needs Work
After testing the Mockingbird stroller for a couple of weeks, here is a quick summary of the the pros and cons—with more details below.
What We Liked
- One-hand, standing fold.
- Overall style. From the leather accents to the seat fabric, the Mockingbird impresses.
- Good value. Included travel bag.
- Impressive sunshade that covers the entire seat.
- Height adjustable handlebar—with a caveat.
- Easy assembly including online videos.
- Customize with accessories: footmuff, hand muff, rain cover, mosquito net.
What Needs Work
- $450 and no cup holder?
- No second seat option.
- Bulky when folded. At 27 lbs., it’s not fun to put in a trunk.
- Weak storage—parent organizer is an extra $20.
- Can’t see it in person (except at some Target stores).
- Handling/maneuverability not as smooth as the competition.
In-depth: What We Liked
One-hand, standing fold.
Folding the Mockingbird is rather simple, with a button on the handlebar that initiates the fold. When folded, the stroller can stand on its own—which is nice, since this keeps it from getting dirty. (The alternative are strollers that fold down to the ground, which in a grimy parking lot is sure to sully your stroller).
Here’s what the fold looks like:
The Mockingbird stroller strikes an impressive pose—the leather accents on the handlebar and bumper, the premium seat fabric and so on make it look much more expensive than it is.
Here’s how our testing parent summed it up:
“Aesthetically, the Mockingbird compares pretty favorably to the Uppababy. I’ve had several parents give compliments on the stroller simply on the looks. The best was another mother who shouted out to my son “Hey, sweet ride man!” And the woman who oversees the nursery we take our baby to immediately recognized that it was designed to look like an UPPAbaby,” our tester dad said.
The Mockingbird also has little touches that are well thought out—the peak-a-boo window has a quiet magnetic closure, for example.
At $450, the Mockingbird stroller is a decent value. We liked the included travel bag, which contains the entire stroller when you first pull it out of the box:
Impressive sunshade that covers the entire seat.
We liked the detachable sunshade that covers the entire seat for shade and/or privacy:
Of course, the only challenge to the detachable sunshade is that it can be lost.
While the UPPAbaby Vista/Cruz has a nice sunshade that extends from the canopy, the Mockingbird does this one better by covering the entire seat.
We also liked the ventilated canopy:
Height adjustable handlebar
The Mockingbird’s handle adjusts with a joint and that’s a nice feature for taller parents—unfortunately, as our tester found, when put in the position for taller parents, he ended up kicked the back of the stroller:
“The Mockingbird has a crossbar that connects the two back wheels that is placed exactly where my feet would land when walking. I kick the crossbar tons of times when going for a mile or so walk. The UPPAbaby has designed this crossbar to be farther inset and arcs away from the person using the stroller, where it is impossible to kick.”
Our tester dad is six feet tall; this problem (kicking the back of the stroller) is less of an issue for shorter parents, as the handle adjusts better for smaller parents.
As a side note: Our test parents have an older version, so their UPPAbaby doesn’t have the “leather” look to the handle bar, and the Mockingbird handle is much more comfortable to grip.
We were able to assemble the Mockingbird in about 15 minutes—you attach the wheels to the frame, the canopy to the seat and then, finally, the seat to the frame. The instructions were clear and there was also a card in the box that pointed parents to online videos—or you can get the instructions by text. Nice touch!
One of the drawbacks of less expensive stroller is often the lack of accessories—rain covers, for example. Mockingbird has a nice selection of accessories, including: footmuff, hand muff, rain cover, mosquito net and more.
Of course, more expensive stroller include some of these extras (UPPAbaby’s Vista throws in a rain cover, mosquito net AND a bassinet). But you pay for the privilege: The Vista runs.
If you take a Mockingbird stroller and add a bassinet ($100), rain cover ($20), mosquito net ($10), your total ($480) is still 45% less expensive than the UPPAbaby Vista.
New in the past year is a second seat option for $145—this was missing when the Mockingbird debuted. So far, we hear positive feedback from our readers who’ve used the Mockingbird with a 2nd seat.
Indepth: What Needs Work
$450 and no cup holder?
Come ‘on, Mockingbird. If Evenflo can throw in a cup holder on a stroller with a reversible seat for, you can too at $350. Charging an extra $20 for a cup holder or parent organizer doesn’t cut it.
Bulky when folded. At 27 lbs., it’s not fun to put in a trunk.
As you can see from the photo above, the Mockingbird is 20″ long and 25.5″ wide when folded—that’s about 3″ longer than the Vista. We realize full-size strollers with reversible seats aren’t supposed to fold in a compact manner . . . but this stroller will take up a sizeable amount of room in any trunk.
At 27 lbs., Mockingbird is almost SIX POUNDS heavier than the UPPABaby Cruz, which costsand weighs in at 21.5 lbs. Whether its worth the extra $200 to shave off that weight is up for debate, but we can see some parents who aren’t professional weightlifters opting for the Cruz.
Weak storage—parent organizer is an extra $20
While we liked Mockingbird’s roomy storage basket, the company missed the opportunity to add additional store to the back of the seat. And charging an extra $20 for a “parent organizer” is an insult to injury.
Can’t see it in person.
As a direct-to-consumer brand, Mockingbird has no stores or dealers where you can see the stroller. That’s a major negative, in our opinion. (Update: Target is now selling the stroller online and it is in stock at some Target stores).
Yes, Mockingbird has a 30 day risk-free trial—and they will pay for shipping if you decide to return it. But then you have to re-box the stroller, which won’t be fun or easy. Hint: take a video of the unboxing so you can see where the pieces go in the box.
Handling/maneuverability not as smooth as the competition.
This is perhaps the biggest drawback to the Mockingbird—it simply doesn’t have the same smooth handling as UPPABaby’s Vista/Cruz, its main competitor.
Here’s our tester dad’s report after using the Mockingbird for several days, comparing to an UPPABaby Vista:
“The UPPAbaby Vista is also MUCH easier to control. I actually appreciate it much more now than I did in the past. With the Vista, I can easily control the stroller with one hand over almost any terrain. The first time I used the Mockingbird, I was holding coffee on the walk to school, and found myself in a world of trouble trying to control the stroller over bumps and turns and trying to not spill my coffee. Our walk down the street is relatively uneven (sidewalks are a mix of concrete and flagstone), but I’d imagine that even on flat surfaces the difference in control of the strollers would be pretty noticeable.”
The take home message: UPPAbaby pushes like buttahh . . . Mockingbird like margarine.
It’s hard to say exactly where the Mockingbird goes wrong here—how smooth a stroller pushes or maneuvers is a function of both the wheel size, wheel material, suspension and overall frame design.
After comparing Mockingbird to other lower price competitors, we’d says the overall handling is on par with the Evenflo Pivot Xpand . . . which is not a kind comparison for the more pricey Mockingbird.
Our tester also knocked the Mockingbird’s seat padding compared to UPPABaby’s Vista/Cruz:
“A couple other details that were much more minor, but I did take notice of, there is a padding on the seat belt of the Mockingbird that the Uppababy lacks. Specifically a cover over the strap that goes between the child’s legs.
I thought that this would be an advantage for the Mockingbird when first looking at it, but the cover comes off almost every time I take our baby out of the stroller and requires me to slide it back down in order to strap him in the for next use. Maybe the baby would disagree, but this ended up being more of a pain than a benefit.
Lastly, the hood of the stroller on the UPPAbaby covers more of the child as a default. It’s not been especially hot or sunny, so I haven’t used it much lately, but for someone who is very conscious of protecting their child from the sun, this might also be an advantage in the UPPAbaby.”
Conclusion: Close but no cigar
Mockingbird’s $450 flagship stroller is an impressive value, but when it comes to overall quality and handling, it is a notch or two behind competitors
Here’s how our tester dad put it after several outings with the Mockingbird:
“Overall, the Mockingbird is a quality stroller. It is designed to look and have a lot of the benefits of the UPPAbaby, and succeeds in many ways. But it fails to function as well as its luxury counterpart. Given the choice between the two, I’d pay for the UPPAbaby every time. If I was forced to pick between the Mockingbird and maybe another stroller in the same price range, I’d personally sacrifice some of the aesthetics of the Mockingbird for a stroller that is easier to control and walk with.”
“In other words I’d rather get a better functioning and easier to control stroller than one that looks nice, which is where Mockingbird falls.”
(We will update this review in the near future with more long-term testing of Mockingbird’s quality and reliability).
UPDATE MAY 2020: We no longer recommend any strollers or car seats by UPPAbaby, after the controversial handling of a safety recall of a convertible car seat. So while the Mockingbird doesn’t quite measure up to UPPAbaby’s strollers in terms of quality, we’d recommend Mockingbird over UPPAbaby based on brand reputation.
What do you think of the Mockingbird? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!