Is your stroller too heavy to carry around? Is it keeping you and your baby stuck at home? Or are you a new parent still exploring through the experience? Then you are in the right place! Becoming a parent is like entering a new chapter in our life. It is one of the happiest and unforgettable moments in our life but can also be one of the scariest at times. When me and my husband became parents for the first time, we know nothing and had to explore and read a lot! One of the things that helped me go through the difficulties on taking the role of being a new mom is by getting well informed and getting the proper gears to help me be prepared when put in any situations and faced with lots of decisions to make. That is why I want to pay it forward by making the information I gathered easily accessible to all parents.
Being a parent, our children rely to us. We always want to make time for them and be on their side. And given that our lifestyle would require us to always be on the go, we tend to bring our kids along with us. That is why, getting yourself a reliable stroller is a must! There are actually different types of strollers to choose from and as a parent, you only want the best for your children and one that fits your needs.
Types of Strollers
To give you a quick overview, we list down the kind of strollers most commonly used by parents. It is ideal to get accustomed to them to help you better understand and figure out which kind of stroller best fits your needs. But if you want to know further details about each of them, you can read them all here at the different types of strollers.
These types are usually sold in a combination of convenience stroller and infant car seat.
These strollers are usually the biggest, heaviest and bulkiest among the bunch. So it’s not the most ideal to use when going out for a walk or quick trips outside. But they have the most functions and features you will need for a stroller.
Just by its name, you would know that these types are designed for active parents in mind. These are three-wheeled strollers that allow you to bring your baby along while you exercise.
When you have a twins, you don’t have to buy two strollers. Go with the double strollers. Not only with twins, but when you start having more children, you don’t have to buy one for each as well.
These types of strollers are extremely lightweight and can be easily folded in compact form. That is why umbrella strollers are ideal for short trips and traveling. It fits well in compact vehicles, overhead compartments of airplanes or can be taken on any public transit without much hassle. In my experience, I own two of these kinds of strollers, the standard bulky stroller and the umbrella type. But since umbrella stroller is as sturdy as the standard strollers, very lightweight and I can handle it with just one hand, I frequently use it for my daily errands. That is why among all of them, I highly recommend that you include at least one umbrella stroller on your checklist since eventually this will be the stroller you would primarily use. It is an essential item every parent must have as it offers you great help and convenience.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Umbrella Stroller
Since I do most of the shopping for my kids, as much as I enjoy shopping, it was pretty time consuming trying to figure out which product provides the most. I experienced buying the wrong baby stroller and it was a DISASTER! Because of that experience, I learned to pay more attention to all important factors such as brand, framing, style and qualities. I spent a lot of time searching the internet, asking advice from other moms, comparing styles and brands to select the most suitable umbrella stroller for my angel. My husband even teases me that I might become a baby stroller expert that time. He may be my first fan, but one thing I can guarantee you, with all those time and information I gathered helped me put these altogether to help other moms or parents just like you to also find the perfect one for your little ones.
So before you go shopping and make that purchasing decision, it would help to first figure out what you will need. There are basic models which serve its purpose, designed to simply be like a foldable push chair. While there are some complex models that have more features to offer, perfect for the needs of a modern parent. Nevertheless, there are several factors you should consider first to help you find the right umbrella stroller.
The purpose of getting an umbrella stroller is so you can use it for daily errands so you would want a push chair that you can carry and is lightweight to maximize portability especially when you bring this while using public transportation. But don’t go for something that has the lowest weight as they can be more prone to breakage and tipping over backwards. You won’t be able to hang your bags or other carrying items while you push the stroller. I find this important since I don’t like to carry other heavy items and mind other things while I use the push chair. This way, I can focus to my kid and find everything I need in just one place.
Knowing the dimension is important to identify whether the stroller will fit in your car’s trunk or storage at home.
How it folds
Folding mechanisms brings great difference in convenience, so try to find one that offers easy fold mechanism, preferably one that can be operated with just one hand. This allows you to easily fold and unfold the stroller while holding your baby on your other hand. Imagine yourself holding the baby while attempting to fold the stroller with two hands. I’ve tried that and I promise you, it’s really quite a hassle!
It is ideal to own a sturdy stroller made out of aluminum or metal parts. But there are also a handful of them made from plastics. It might cost lesser but you might end up replacing them in a short period. Also, wheels made of rubber is also preferred so it won’t wobble easily and keep it stable.
There are additional features that are nice to have to provide your baby the utmost care, comfort and safety. Five-point harness with a secure buckle and rear brakes secure your kid better compared to average umbrella strollers and prevent the especially energetic kids from falling off. Canopy helps cover your kids from too much direct sunlight. There are adjustable and removable canopy so you can have the option of going even lighter on your travel and can even be available with UV-protected fabric which are great bonus. Often times, smaller children fall asleep in intervals when we go on strolls, so reclining features allows them to rest more comfortably. Lastly, parent tray and children tray are also nice to give you some space to put your things and place your child’s snacks, drinks or toys. All of these features are not always available but are definitely great to have. But remember, the more feature a stroller has, the heavier it gets in terms of handling and price.
Finding the Best Umbrella Strollers
Now that you already have an idea on what you want, you are now set to get your ideal umbrella stroller home. But with so many brands and models available in the market, it is only natural if you feel a bit overwhelmed. Making the wrong purchase could cost you time, money, and could even put your babies’ safety at risk. So before you spend the money, make sure that you are getting the perfect umbrella stroller for your needs.
When I was looking for an umbrella stroller, I researched a lot and encountered a variety of models from various brands, which now helped me put up the list of best umbrella strollers that may fit to your needs. I bring you my top three choice but you might still find better ones in our complete list of umbrella strollers comparison chart since our needs, lifestyle and preferences may differ.
The Comparison chart is an interactive table that provides a summary of the stroller’s basic details and lets you easily compare each models and sort them base on your preferences. This will help you better measure and decide the right kind of umbrella stroller for you to invest in. The best umbrella strollers included in the chart are selected based on their purpose, features, style, how consumers were rating them on Amazon and how much it costs.
Overview of the Top 3 Umbrella Strollers
First Years Ignite Stroller
With all the factors I mentioned before, the First Years Ignite managed to meet my expectations. It is lightweight, compact and portable. You might as well leave this stored in your vehicle’s trunk so you can easily access it on the go and ready for action since you will definitely be using this most of the time. It does not feel heavy at all whenever and wherever I carry this around. Although it is lightweight, it is pretty sturdy at the same time. A 2 year old kid can even climb it up without tipping over.
This is equipped with a 5 point harness which is one of the additional features I am really looking forward to secure my active boy from trying to play with the wheels and prevent him from doing face-plant when I hit a large bump. The wheels come with a tight turning radius, rear brakes and can swivel 360 degrees allowing for smooth maneuverability. And true enough, I can effortlessly push and turn it with ease. The wheels are also a little wider compared to average umbrella strollers, enabling it to be more stable and can take on different surface or flooring such as cobble-stoned, bricked and even terrain.
The First Years Ignite can also recline far back and just right to allow your kid in a comfortable position to sleep or rest well after a long day. The seat is made with durable cushioned material so it’s really comfortable unlike others that only have thin fabrics. Plus, a great bonus most of you will be happy to know is that the handles are tall which is really great. My husband is around 6 feet tall and he can use it without me hearing a single complaint like having his knees or feet kicking the stroller. We both don’t get backaches since there’s no need to bend over just to push the thing. It also has a canopy but it is not too big that can cover almost the whole thing. But for me, it’s quite enough and it does the job just fine. It has a parent console and lower storage basket for extra space. The parent console adds more convenience as it provides extra storage that can hold some extra toys, snacks, small diaper bag and ergo carrier easily. But because of the criss-cross design, it can be slightly tricky to access the bottom basket.
It will require you a bit of assembly but it is really easy and will not even take too much of your time. Once all the parts are fitted together, you are now ready to bring your kid to take on the world by storm! I find this as one of my top choice of best umbrella strollers since it can offer a lot of convenience and functions for the price and still provide the comfort for my child. It is recommended to use for kids equal or more than six months of age and up to maximum of 50 pounds in weight. It is packed with features for a reasonable price of around $80. But you can sometimes get discounts from Amazon, which is why I like to make purchases from Amazon because they offer the lowest price and they even deliver this straight to your door, mostly for free. The Ignite is also one of best-selling umbrella strollers, receiving a high user rating score of 4.5 out of 5 customer satisfaction with over thousands of positive reviews! Should you buy the First Years Ignite Stroller, you will definitely not regret your decision. It is money well spent!
The First Years Ignite used to wear the red and black design but the manufacturer had now stopped with its production and came out with a different design sporting the black and white stripes or wears full black.
If you happen to like this but prefers to have lighter in weight and also in price, you might want to check the The First Years Jet. Another amazing offering from The First Years, pretty similar in features such as 5 pt. harness, canopy, tall handles, parent console and lower storage basket but lighter weighing only 11 pounds and at a cost of around $50. Read our review about the First Years Jet Stroller, included as one of my Best Cheap Umbrella Strollers.
UPPA Baby G-Luxe Stroller
I first encountered the UPPA Baby brand on 2013 and it sure was a darling to me and to the parents who used it. Their UPPA Baby G-Lite, (click here for the Denny Red design), and G-Luxe models were sure hits for those looking for lightweight strollers yet heavily packed on features. They were a roaring success that even up to this point, they are still among my list of top picks!
UPPA Baby has now produced and release their new sets of umbrella strollers with upgrades from their 2013 models. Both the G-Lite and G-Luxe series are really great, but if you have more extra cash with you, I would recommend you to invest on G-Luxe as these are the ones that have better reclining capability, providing more comfort to our babies. However, if you’re a bit lower on budget and prefers lighter stroller, then the G-Lite will fit you best. However for this purpose, I will put the spotlight on its G-Luxe series.
UPPA Baby G-Luxe is considered to be one of the best umbrella stroller because its features are close to those standard strollers but have lighter weight. It only weighs about 13.4 pounds, has a thin profile and a convenient shoulder strap feature that lets you to fling it on your back when not in use while having to carry other baby essentials. Even if you’re in public transports, going up the train steps will not be a problem, you can just sling this on to your back while you carry heavy items on one hand and hold your baby with the other hand. It is made of aluminum frame so it would not be heavy yet offers durability.
On my checklist, I said I wanted an umbrella stroller that I can easily operate with just one hand. And awesomely enough, the UPPA Baby G-Luxe puts a check mark on it. You will not have any trouble operating this with just one hand since it has a quick fold mechanism that lets you easily unfold it by just pressing a safety button on the handle bar, lift two finger triggers and the stroller folds easily and locks into place with an auto lock, no foot action required! And it has a one-handed actuated recline so you can easily adjust this thing according to your child’s need. It has 3 recline positions and adjustable footrest, now you don’t have to hurry back home because your little angel will be comfortable in any positions he or she wants.
The stroller also has a free-standing fold so it will not require you to lean it against a wall to keep it upright. There is no frills and unnecessary design features unlike average ones that have lots of annoying levers and clips. Handling feels like a breeze, I can steer it with one hand graciously and even manage to bring this in public transits. In fact, it can fit perfectly well with room to spare in those narrow train aisles! Handles are also tall enough, measuring for almost 42.5 inches from ground to top, even for those at 5’10” height will not feel like they had to hunch over just to push this thing.
Additional features that will make you further fall in love with this are its extendable SPF 50 plus canopy, cup holder, stain and water resistant fabric and removable seat pad. It also has an extra storage net easily accessible for you to place your other items like carriers and medium-size diaper bag. Its canopy can be well-adjusted in various lengths so for a really sunny weather you can pull them all the way to protect your kids from direct sunlight. And since the fabrics are stain and water resistant, they could last longer. Plus, seat pads are removable and machine- washable so it will be easy for you to clean them for proper hygiene and keep your baby germs-free. It also has the 5-point harness with a new buckle and a 5.75″ diameter wheels with 2 lockable front wheels for safer and smooth ride.
Not far behind the First Years Ignite, it also got a high customer ratings of 4.0 out of 5 stars in Amazon. Given that this UPPA Baby 2015 G-Luxe model is newly release, it is priced a lot higher than the First Years. It has 5 color designs to choose from and is available between $200-$259 or you can opt for the 2013 G-Luxe model for roughly around $174. Both deals offers free shipping on Amazon which is really great and highly convenient for us starting parents so we don’t have to worry bringing our baby outside when we shop for the strollers. Its price might cost you a bit more compared to the Ignite, but the additional features and durability make the extra expense worthy for your child. It is suitable for babies three months of age and above or up to 55 pounds.
Chicco Liteway Stroller
The Chicco Liteway stroller has an aluminum frame made from elliptical tubing which is thick, which gives a strong and sturdy feel to it but it is still not too heavy when you want to lift it up.
Weighing at 17 pounds, it is not the lightest stroller around. And considering that majority of the strollers can well support weight of up to 50 pounds, the Chicco Liteway has a maximum weight of only 40 pounds. Although you still ended up using this above its weight limit, it will not easily break apart. But it does deteriorate its durability over long periods of use that you may run risking your child getting hurt if the stroller suddenly breaks down without you knowing when. So I would recommend to stick with the weight limit than end up getting to spend for greater damage and regretting it later. Indeed, it has some shortcomings that might discourage you but don’t run away yet. It also has perks that could attract you more.
Like the other two of the best umbrella strollers, the Chicco Liteway definitely has a solid construction of aluminum, as I have mentioned. It also has a 5-point harness with pads for a more comfortable security. Often times, you can also operate this with just one hand like maneuvering this, reclining its seat and folding it. The handles have a soft pad for comfort and firm grip letting you easily push and maneuver it without a problem. While the height of the handles are also sufficient for tall people, still good for 5’9” of height and not encounter problem of hunching over or hitting the back wheels. The self-lock is also very convenient, helps you fold the stroller with one hand.
It boasts its reclining feature having not just one, but 5 different positions. You can leave it straight up when your baby is awake and needs to eat or set it down virtually flat when he or she is ready for a nap. Have I also mentioned that it has a leg rest? If not, well I’m already telling you that it has and it’s adjustable for 2 positions! Your kid will definitely have a comfortable sleep after a tiring day of fun activities.
I think above all, what makes Chicco Liteway stands out is enabling you to use it even with newborns. It is best to use with children even from birth unlike majority of the umbrella strollers that recommend your baby to be more than 6 months of age before use. So you don’t have to wait that long and be stuck at home. You can bring your baby along just about anywhere in your house or out on a beautiful day for strolling.
What is best for one may not also be the same for another. Each of us has different preferences and purpose for an umbrella stroller. Some may look for lighter and easier to carry for travels while others may opt more for the style and accessories that are offered. So if you did not find what you are looking for from my top 3 choice, you just might find it in our comparison chart tab. Just remember, the perfect one for you is one that can meet the needs of your family and children and suits your lifestyle. Don’t let the hassle of using the bulky strollers from enjoying the bond you can make with your kids. Go and get yourself the best umbrella stroller, I know your kids will love going out with you just as much as me and my kids enjoy hanging out outside. Hope that helped you choose the right kind of umbrella stroller for you. After all, Mom knows best!
I'm glad you could drop by and stroll with me. You can hover over the tabs above to access the drop-down menus. I researched all the best umbrella strollers in the market to help you find the perfect one for you and your little ones.
I hope you have fun browsing. Your kids surely can't wait to go out with you! Enjoy!
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