How to tell the Difference between the Bugaboo Cameleon Models 1,2 & 3 – The Easy Way!


Here I’ve tried my best to put together a fairly Easy, but very detailed view of how to tell the difference between your Bugaboo Cameleon 1,2 & 3 models.

Over the years Bugaboo have made quite a few changes (Check out my Post: Bugaboo Cameleon Models through the years – 1994 – Present to see what exactly changed and when).

The changes that Bugaboo have made have undoubtedly been for the better, but there have been very minimal and if your not in the know then its quite tricky to tell.

Im very fortunate to of had EVERY single Bugaboo known by man! haha. Its been a long and strange (Hubby says strange, i don’t quite agree with him!) addiction since my first son was born in 2004. Over the last 13 years I’ve continuously  watched and talked about Bugaboo’s mainly to my friends in the Facebook groups 🙂 So I’m totally clued up and know my Bugaboo’s especially those tricky Cameleons.

If you have or will be purchasing a Pre-loved/2nd Hand Bugaboo Cameleon, you may find that there are bit mis-match, i.e Cameleon 1 seat unit on a Cameleon 2 Chassis… Or Cameleon1 rear Wheels on a Cameleon 2 chassis… or even Cameleon 3 Fabrics on a Cameleon 1 chassis and Cameleon 2 seat Unit… All of the above are interchangeable!!! (everything from a Cameleon 1 and 2 are Compatible, only the Fabrics from a Cameleon 3 will fit on the 1 & 2, nothing else) and asking prices for these models, can vary greatly. So its highly recommended in order to get a Good 2nd Hand deal on a Bugaboo cameleon, its important to know and spot these differences.

Lets determine those Bugaboo Cameleons:


Bugaboo Cameleon Handlebar Differences…

The Cameleon handlebars are all the same! The standard on the 1,2 & 3 have been Black Foam, apart from October 2016 when Bugaboo have now made all there standard handlebars Feature Black Faux Leather. The special editions of the Cameleons feature Leather (hence the more expensive price tag)… But you can actually buy Custom Made Leather handle covers, like I’ve applied on the Cameleon 2.

The Brake handle has always been in the same position and is applied and released exactly the same way, by pressing in the button.

1 Big Change is how the Handlebars Adjust. Cameleon 1 features a white Wing Nut that you turn Anti clockwise to undo, lift the handlebar up and then turn the Wing Nuts clockwise to tighten. Also another Big change is that on the Cameleon 1 to fold the chassis there is exterior buttons and latches, which in my opinion is pretty awkward to do.

Cameleon 2 & 3 are pretty much the same, but with vert slight variants. The Handlebars now both adjust by flicking open the white flaps on both sides, lift handle up and close the flaps. The Cameleon 3 handle when going up clicks on both sides, so that you know you have the handle at the correct level on both sides, where the Cameleon 2 doesn’t, hence why you often will find that the handlebar can look wonky as you might not have both sides level.

Cameleon 1 and 2 have long adjustable wrist safety straps, Cameleon 3 has a small non adjustable wrist safety strap.


Bugaboo Cameleon Harness Differences…

The Harness throughout the Bugaboo Cameleons has always been 5 separate points, a strap over each shoulder, a strap over each side and 1 for the bottom to clip into.

The Cameleon 1 and 2 has never changed at all, the shoulder straps and bottom/crotch strap is attached to the actual seat fabric. Where as the side straps are attached to the Cameleon Frame that is used for the Carrycot and seat, these straps when used in the carrycot mode, slip into a little pocket on the side of the carrycot fabrics.

The Cameleon 3 however has had a big re-design. The shoulder and side straps are now interlocked with each other and then clip into the bottom/crotch strap giving a look of a 3 point harness. The most annoying thing about this, is adding seat liners or footmuffs to the cameleon 3 that has 5 separate harness points. You need to make sure there have the Velcro slit at the back to be compatible unless you unthread the straps, overtime you want to wash or change your Seat liner/footmuff.

A good point to note with the Cameleon 3 harness is that its now fully attached to the seat unit, so no more dangling straps when in carrycot mode like the Cameleon 1 and 2. The shoulder straps now adjusts up and down the back of the seat fabric, making the harness more comfortable for smaller children with also added harness pads.


Bugaboo Cameleon Seat Frame/Chassis differences…

The Chassis on the side of the Cameleon 1 and 2 are more or less the same. The Cameleon 3 was given a lot more structured changes and Bugaboo made the Central point more robust, including extending the plastic on the 3 side arms.

The Seat units are all the same size length and height, the way there attach and de-tach from the Chassis makes them different.

Cameleon 1 on its square release buttons, has what looks like 2 prongs each side on the left hand button, with a sliding button on the front of it. Cameleon 2 and 3 don’t. Bugaboo were pretty quick to scrap this design and opted for just press in on both sides square buttons. (So much easier!)


Bugaboo Cameleon Front & Rear Wheels Differences…

All the Wheels look the same in principle… Again there is vary slight variants in these.

Cameleon 1 and 2 Front wheels are exactly the same, Identical infact. There have the white adjustable springs for suspension and also have sticking out prongs above where there click into the chassis. The tyres are hard foam.

The Cameleon 3 has a much more sleeker look, the wheel is now made from a rubber substance and slots into the chassis that does NOT stick out of the top of the chassis and are removed by pressing the white button at the front just above the wheel. The Basket underneath, Is MUCH bigger than previous Models.

Cameleon 2 and 3 have the exact same Tyre tread which look like little half circles along the edge… There are both foam filled, so no punctures. Cameleon 3 has a more flatted front to the spokes whereas the Cameleon 2 has groves to its spokes.

Cameleon 1 has a completely different tread and is air filled!, the spokes however are exactly the same as whats on the Cameleon 2.

I hope this was of some help to you? let me know what you think 🙂

So to summerise, Cameleon 1 seat unit, as a prong either side the release white square button, the Cameleon 2 Has white flaps to adjust the Handlebar height and the Cameleon 3 chassis doesnt have sticky out bits on top of the front wheels 🙂

Leanne x

16 thoughts on “How to tell the Difference between the Bugaboo Cameleon Models 1,2 & 3 – The Easy Way!

  1. Karen

    Hi Leanne,

    I’m wondering where you purchased the leather handle covers for your Cameleon? And thank-you for all the info on the stroller!

    1. Leanne Post author

      Hi… I actually made them myself lol. I bought a sew on steering wheel leather cover off eBay for a couple of pounds and laced it up. But there is a lot of Facebook and eBay sellers who actually make and sell them now… 🙂

  2. Pia


    There are also Cam2 strollers with harness attached to the fabric and not to the frame. Ive had one of those. It was a cam2 and the harness was attached to the seatfabric but it did not have the clips as in your cam3 picture but had the clips as in your cam2 picture.

    1. Leanne Post author

      Hi.. Yes I’ve seen these and i believe those are American/Australian versions, so didn’t include those as most of my readers are from the UK… But if I’m wrong ill happily add that in 🙂

  3. Rebecca

    I recently was gifted an cam 1 (very excited always wanted one but hubby’s wouldn’t let me get one )
    Is it possible to put a cam 3 seat on the cam 1 ?
    Same with wheels , basket an acessories such as bugaboo acessories bag.

    1. Leanne Post author

      Hi… Oh congrats! Bugaboos are just the BEST. Unfortunately Cameleon3 aren’t interchangeable. But the Cameleon 1 and 2’s are… So you can pimp up your 1 with parts from the 2. You can use accessories like, footmuff, rain cover, handlebar bag, cup holder, snack tray, parasol etc etc on your 1 though 🙂

  4. Felisha

    Wondering if the I can use a second generation seat with the newest chassis? I have a second generation bugaboo which I love, unfortunately my husband broke the brake when closing the trunk. Now looking to purchase just the new chassis is possible.
    Kindest regards

    1. Leanne Post author

      Hi, Unfortunately Not… Cameleon 3 Model is only compatible with the Cameleon3 parts… However you can purchase any Cameleon1 or 2 Parts and there work together… Just not with the 3 sorry x

  5. Sébastien

    Hi Leanne,
    I have just bought a second hand Cameleon and after contacting the customer service they told me that mine a Cameleon +. I have looked on internet but no way to find any information on this model. It looks like so much as a Cameleon 2 but I can’t figure out what’s the difference. Also I would like to buy some accessories but I would like to make sure it compatible with the Cameleon + version.

    1. Leanne Post author

      Hi… Bugaboo Refer to this Model as the Cameleon +. But most people on eBay, amazon and Facebook bugaboo help groups refer to it as the Cameleon 2… So Basically the + and the 2 are the exact model. Hope this helps x

  6. Amanda Lindley

    Hi, I loved reading this! I have a Cam 2 and I’ve just ‘pimped’ it with Cam 3 fabrics and I’ve bought the Cam 3 seat (mainly for the new straps). Would you recommend I just cut the side straps off the frame?

    1. Leanne Post author

      Hi… Oh I’m glad to hear you like my Post 🙂 If your super certain that you won’t be using your old Cameleon fabrics ever again, then yeah just go ahead and cut those off the frame 🙂

  7. Marcelino

    Hi leane

    Will the bumper guard for a Bugaboo frog as well as the under basket fit on a cameleon 2

    Thank you in advance

  8. Natalie Gentry

    Hi Leanne
    I have a Cam 3 but I would like to buy a second chassis and wheel set as I walk in the woods a lot and the wheels and chassis keep getting covered in mud, leaves and grass. Which is then quite embarrassing when walking around the supermarket depositing mud everywhere!
    I’d like to buy a second chassis and wheel set so I have a clean one and a muddy one.
    There are lots on eBay, but would my Cam 3 carrycot and seat (baby is 2 months so still in the carrycot at the mo) be compatible if I bought an older chassis and wheel set (Cam 1 or 2)?

    1. Leanne Post author

      Hi… I know exactly what you mean, having 2 lots of chassis and wheels is ideal!… Unfortunately the Cameleon 3 chassis and wheels are only compatible with the Cam3 seat unit. There clip together ever so slightly different to previous Models. So if you decide to get a extra set, deffo go for the Cam3. But you may find it cheaper to buy a full Cameleon 1 or 2 for those muddy woodland walks… and keep your lovely cam3 for cleaner outings :)… Hope this helps x


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