Umbrella strollers are sleeker, lighter, and less expensive than full-sized strollers, making them popular with parents who value convenience and portability in their baby gear. With the wide variety of umbrella strollers available on the market, it’s no wonder that parents feel inundated with too much information when trying to make a choice. To help you sort through all the data, advice, and product specifications so you can make an informed decision, here is our list of the top 5 umbrella strollers:
Top 5 Umbrella Strollers
Keep reading for detailed reviews to see which is the best umbrella stroller for function, affordability, maneuverability and find why each one made the cut.
Graco is a trusted name in baby and child care products. They have a reputation for quality and innovation. After all, they were the ones who pioneered the infant swing, the Pack ‘N Play, and the use of Travel Systems. The Graco Breaze Click Connect Stroller is yet another popular item among their baby gear offerings.
This full-featured lightweight stroller includes:
- A lightweight yet sturdy frame for absolute portability
- Convertible 3- or 5-point harness with padded shoulder straps
- Easy one-handed folding with auto-lock, as well as convenient carrying strap
- 3-position reclining functionality so the seat can lie flat to accommodate newborns
- Padded, sling-style seat and adjustable leg rest, which can be angled downwards or horizontally for more sleeping space
- Designed for years of use, from birth up to 50 pounds
- Large UV 50 canopy with pop-out visor for maximum protection from the sun
- Compatible with all Graco Click Connect infant car seats thanks to their secure, one-step attachment
- Lockable front-swivel wheels with all-wheel suspension for a smooth, comfortable ride
- Large and easily accessible storage basket and detachable parent cup holder
Though the Graco Breaze Click Connect Stroller is a little heavier than some of its competition at 19 lbs, parents still love it. It has maneuverability, smooth turning, sturdy structure, quality materials, and the ability of the seat to recline to a flat position. The flat position is especially functional and can be used as a changing station on the go. Another great bonus is the Graco infant seat compatibility, which transforms this compact umbrella stroller into a travel system.
The Summer Infant company, born in 1985, was responsible for creating the original bouncy seat. They continue today to make a wide range of economically-priced baby products including this lightweight stroller. The Summer Infant 3Dlite Convenience Stroller is a budget-friendly option that’s also quite rich in features.
- An innovative, light-as-air yet durable aluminum frame which, at 12 pounds, is one of the lightest strollers on the market
- 5-point safety harness which can adjust to 3 different height positions to accommodate your growing child up to 50 pounds
- One-handed, 4-position recline which includes an almost-flat position for napping or diaper changes
- Easy, one-handed, 3-step folding with auto-lock and a carrying strap
- Large, removable canopy with a pop-out sun visor that offers protection from 99.9% of UVA and UVB rays
- Anti-shock front wheels for a smoother ride and lockable rear wheels
- Large, easily-accessible storage basket and Velcro-closing storage pocket on the back of the canopy, ideal for keys and cell phones
- Cup holder
The Summer Infant 3Dlite Convenience Stroller is well-loved for its light frame. This makes pushing and carrying it a breeze and easily fold and open the stroller with one hand while holding your baby. Also, with its taller handle height, it’s a good fit for tall parents. Though some parents had issues with wobbly wheels and flexing handles affecting maneuverability, this compact stroller is still our favorite economy pick, giving you good bang for your buck.
The UPPAbaby company has been in the baby gear industry for over a decade. They use innovative designs to create safe and easy-to-use products. The UPPAbaby G-LITE Stroller is their popular, full-sized umbrella stroller that features their agile engineering.
Its features consist of:
- Lightweight aluminum frame, contributing to an overall stroller weight of just 11 pounds making it extremely light
- 5-point harness with adjustable straps and simple-to-use buckle; designed for babies from 6 months old, up to a 55 pound child
- Mesh, sling-style seat, providing comfort and breathability without added weight
- Easy-open, extendable SPF 50+ canopy with pop-out visor for extra coverage. The canopy itself can be adjusted for height or removed altogether.
- All-wheel suspension and comfortable, foam-covered handles
- Easy to fold with only your fingers (no foot action needed, as with some other strollers). Free-standing folded position, great for compact storage.
- Removable and machine-washable seat fabric
- Convenient carrying strap and snap-in cup holder
The UPPAbaby G-LITE Stroller is beautifully designed. Its sling seat and suspension gives a smooth ride. Our only critique is the minimal padding and lack of adjustable leg rest. This may affect some children’s comfort during longer outings. Nonetheless, we give high marks for its overall lightweight design, compact folded size, high quality construction, and wide canopy. Parents appreciate the large and very accessible storage basket and the washable and removable fabric. Also, the easy assembly out of the box consists of simply clicking in 2 of the wheels making it a breeze to use quickly.
Joovy, a family-owned company located in Texas and California, has been producing baby products since 2005. The JOOVY New Groove Ultralight Umbrella Stroller, redesigned for 2017, boasts the contemporary design and quality construction that the company is known for. This stroller offers:
- Lightweight aluminum frame with a stroller weight of 14 pounds
- Deep recline and a bassinet mode to accomodate newborns and children up to 55 pounds
- Large, UPF 50 canopy with a peek-a-boo window so you can keep tabs on baby
- Compact standing fold with auto-lock and carrying strap
- 4-wheel suspension, adjustable footrest, and larger wheels for improved maneuverability
- Soft, water-resistant fabric
- Safety reflectors for added visibility in the evening
- 2 cup holders and plenty of storage, including a zippered pocket for keys and phone, and 2 in-seat mesh pockets for sippy cups, snacks, or toys
- Suitable for tall parents, both in handle height and stride length
While a little heavier than some of its counterparts, the JOOVY New Groove Ultralight Umbrella Stroller is very sturdy and well-built. Its ability to easily recline to a flat position means it can be used from birth. Its cushioned handle bars and improved steering mechanism translate to smooth maneuverability, even when steering with one hand. Parents also rave about its easy, one-handed folding, adjustable footrest, 14-inch-wide seat, oversized canopy, and the convenient parent organizer.
Overall, this is a feature-packed stroller which will give you years of easy and reliable use.
The Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller comes from a family-owned and operated company that has been manufacturing baby products for 70 years. This stroller, at 12 pounds, offers all the essential features of a full-size stroller, but in a more compact design. It also includes:
- Multi-position reclining seat that has an adjustable 5-point safety harness and can accommodate a child up to 50 pounds
- 3-tier, extended canopy for maximum sun protection and peek-a-boo window to keep an eye on baby. The canopy can also be tucked away when not needed.
- Easy, one-handed folding, and self-standing in folded position
- Front suspension and all-terrain wheels for a comfortable ride
- Parent tray and removable child tray, both of which have 2 cup holders
- Large, accessible storage basket
We give the Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller points for its super-lightweight design, easy-fold mechanism, deep recline, and low list price. Parents approve of its easy assembly, large storage capacity, higher push handle, slim design, and that the one-handed fold is convenient when holding a baby. Though some reviewers have noted wobbly wheels and too much flex in the frame, we still find this stroller a travel-friendly, economical choice, ideal for travelling and day trips.
Choosing the Best Umbrella Stroller
What is an umbrella stroller?
The umbrella stroller got its name because it has two curved handles like that of an umbrella, and it folds up length-wise (rather than in half, horizontally) making it very portable and compact.
Compared to lightweight and full-featured strollers, umbrella strollers are the lightest of the three, usually weighing less than 15 pounds. They also have less features, which is the trade-off for their smaller size, lighter weight, and lower price. Umbrella strollers are probably best for day trips, jaunts to the park, or taking with you on vacation, so don’t expect them to handle hiking trails or gravelly terrain very well.
Advantages of using an umbrella stroller
Why would anyone want to trade their large, full-featured stroller with its fancy components and ample storage, for a smaller, pared-down version? If you’ve ever had to lug your baby around in an infant car seat, or haul one of those armchair-like prams into the trunk of your car, then you probably understand why. After months of pushing around a heavy and bulky stroller, most parents are grateful for the light and nimble design of an umbrella stroller that can easily be folded, carried, and lifted in and out of the car. Umbrella strollers are practically a godsend in big, crowded cities, on public transit, or in places where stairs are the only option, not to mention when you have to take it with you on an airplane.
There are also advantages to using high-quality umbrella strollers, like the ones we reviewed here, as opposed to the much cheaper, generic versions. A good umbrella stroller has a sturdy frame, durable seat fabric, adequate storage, decent maneuverability (due to larger wheels and comfortable handles), a good-sized sun canopy, and the ability to easily fold and unfold, preferably with one hand and automatic locking.
Umbrella strollers are best suited for short errands, walks around the neighborhood, or travelling. Because of its compact design and effortless functionality, we think that it is a necessary item for all parents on the go.
Umbrella Stroller Features to Look For
When shopping for the right umbrella stroller to fit your needs and your budget, there are some standout features that you may want to consider:
Weight: Since umbrella strollers are designed with mobility and portability in mind, it should be lightweight and easy to carry. However, try to find one that has just enough weight so that you know it’s durable and able to support your hanging bags without tipping backwards.
- Easy folding: How easy it is to fold and unfold the stroller will determine how often you actually want to use it. Look for an easy-fold mechanism that can be operated with one hand, leaving your other hand free to hold baby.
- Folded size: Make sure that the stroller’s folded dimensions are compatible with the size of your car trunk or storage space at home.
- Maneuverability: Larger wheels, comfortable handles, and a good steering mechanism, preferably capable of one-handed steering, enhance maneuverability, making the stroller more agile and easier to control.
- Quality: A stroller made from quality materials, like aluminum or metal for the frame and durable fabric for the seat, ensures that you won’t have to buy a replacement anytime soon. Strollers made from plastic components tend to be rickety, unstable, and break easily. Quality construction also impacts the person pushing the stroller. Cheap umbrella strollers often have too-short, uncomfortable handles that force you to hunch over and shorten your stride. On good quality strollers, handles are ergonomic and are about 41 inches from the ground; some can even be adjusted to fit your height.
- Safety: Certain features optimize your child’s safety, such as a five-point harness, a child-proof buckle, padded shoulder straps, and rear brakes. Also, the stroller should be properly balanced to avoid tipping backward when bags are hanging from the handles.
- Comfort: The more comfortable your baby is in the stroller, the longer he or she will be happy to stay in it. Though umbrella strollers aren’t known for plush cushioning, there should be some padding to soften the ride. Fabrics should be soft and breathable, especially if being used in regions with warmer climate. Front suspension and rubber wheels are also important for smoother travelling.
- Recline: Babies younger than six months of age need to be able to recline, since their neck muscles aren’t strong enough yet to hold their heads up. So if you are planning to use an umbrella stroller for your infant, be sure to use one with a seat that can recline flat. Some models can recline enough to carry a three-month-old, provided they have proper head support built in. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you are choosing the proper stroller for your child’s age.
Canopy: A canopy is essential to protect your child from the sun’s harmful rays and to shield him or her from excessive brightness during naps. Some canopies come with a pop-out extension and a peek-a-boo window to watch over baby, and can even be adjusted or removed, depending on your needs.
Though umbrella strollers may seem minimal compared to their fully-outfitted, larger counterparts, they do serve an important purpose, specifically when convenience and portability are top priorities. There are a huge variety of brands and models available on the market. Make sure you do your research (and read our reviews) so you can find the umbrella stroller that best suits your needs and your lifestyle.