Time flies so fast these days, and before I know it, a whole year just flew by! And you know what that means… Our annual round-up of the best umbrella strollers 2018 is finally here!
It’s been a while since I wrote a new post. And honestly, it didn’t help that 2018 came in dull for the baby stroller market. Hence, it was hard for me to decide which best umbrella strollers for the year to feature. Unlike in 2017, there were lots of new umbrella strollers that made the competition stiff. But this year, it’s the exact opposite!
There weren’t lots of new strollers that could make a splash this year worthy of your attention. So, it’s best to just stick with the old and tested models we already know so well. Or that’s what I thought until the old and tested models turned to better and newer versions of themselves!
*Spoiler alert*, I’m talking about the highly-anticipated and well-loved UPPAbaby umbrella strollers.
Okay, before we scream into excitement, there’s another gem that I think you’ll find pleasant. It’s great that we’re not just looking into improved versions of the stroller but actually find a new model of a stroller to get excited about. And I’m starting the with it for my list of best umbrella strollers 2018.
Overview on the Best Umbrella Strollers 2018
Graco Travelite Stroller
Graco has been around for over 60 years in making baby products. Staying that long in the business means having the expertise in providing solutions to parent’s needs. And true enough, they’re now one of the most reputable brands among baby products.
If you’re going to ask me, I could say I’m also a fan of their products. More so recently when they introduced their Graco Breaze Click Connect strollers! It was such a hit back in 2015 up to present, due to its well-thought-out design and functionality. Not only do you get a reliable umbrella stroller, but also allows you to use it as a travel system.
So, it’s no surprise to see another Graco stroller to make it as a contender for the best umbrella strollers 2018 list. And this time, you can enjoy the same quality standards from a reputable brand for a much affordable price with Graco Travelite.
Graco Travelite costs way cheaper than the Breaze and markets itself for the budget conscious parents. Hence, some capabilities of the Breaze are no longer present with Travelite. So no, you can’t use it to connect to a car seat anymore. It just works not far different from your average umbrella strollers, but still offers a bit more for a good price.
While its name suggests it to be lite, it’s not exactly the best lightweight umbrella stroller around. But I suppose, in exchange for the extra weight, you get a sturdier frame that won’t easily topple over. Furthermore, its weight is the last thing you need to worry as it is still very manageable at 15 pounds. After all, it has convenient designs that can let you stay on the go.
For one, it has a carry strap that makes it easy for you to bring it anywhere with you. Secondly, it folds quickly and compactly. You won’t even need to drop everything you’re holding just to operate this thing since you can fold it with just one hand. It also has a storage latch that will keep it nicely folded.
Although Travelite offers quite a bargain, you won’t feel they’ve cheaped out on features. Safety and comfort of your kid are never compromised. You get a standard safety harness that can grow with your child. Not literally, of course, but it is convertible. You can use its 5 point harness first. But as your baby grows, you can adjust it to a 3 point buckle. Moreover, its calf support is also adjustable to accommodate your baby’s growth. You can then flip the leg rest up too, so your tot’s feet won’t dangle down.
As a practical mom, I just love these “grow with your baby” features in strollers. It shows how Travelite tries to commit to staying with me and my kid for a long time. Then again, it breaks my heart that it can only hold a child up to 40 pounds. It would’ve been better if it’s up to 50 though, so I don’t really recommend this for big kids.
To ease our hearts, Graco throws in a removable arm bar for an additional boost on safety and comfort. It’s well-padded that lets your little tots hold on to something, especially during that bumpy ride.
In terms of comfort, the seat also has a decent amount of padding that won’t let your baby’s little bum sore after long hours of sitting. On top of that, the stroller can recline to multiple positions to find the right comfort for your child’s mood. Surprisingly, the size of the canopy is sufficient to actually provide shade.
As for parent’s convenience, the stroller offers a removable cup holder to keep you hydrated while on the go. And a large basket for your bags and other essentials, which you can easily access at the bottom. It also has a 1-step foot brake to easily put this on full stop!
Overall, Graco Travelite makes traveling with your baby with ease. While it’s not the lightest around in a sense, it packs just right for your travel needs! Not to mention, it has lockable-front swivel wheels with proper suspension for smooth and stable maneuverability. With no more than $60, you might as well consider this as one of the best cheap umbrella strollers as well. It is lite on the pocket but big for your travels with your baby.
UPPAbaby Umbrella Strollers
After the appetizer, we’re now on to the main course – the UPPAbaby G-lite and G-luxe strollers! Yey! Having these 2 part of our best umbrella strollers 2018 list is no big surprise. After all, they’ve been fan favorites and my personal top picks for the best umbrella strollers throughout the years.
The UPPAbaby umbrella strollers have been around for quite a few years now and they’ve been warmly received. After a successful long run, it’s just about time that they shake things up to keep us on board.
Because let’s face it, we like to see new things! Just like how we always anticipate the new iPhone model to come out every year, despite their little upgrades. Luckily for us, we don’t have to worry about getting left behind the trends, since strollers don’t have to come out with new models yearly.
As for both UPPAbaby umbrella strollers, the most noticeable change is their fabulous facelift! Both strollers look sleeker and more premium. But they don’t just look good, they’re even sturdier than ever. Its aluminum frame feels thicker and more robust while keeping the stroller as light as possible.
Both of their canopies now have multi-panel knit, giving it a new shape and curvier look. I’m actually liking this new canopy design, and I feel like it’s working its purpose much better than before. The curve shape design looks bigger and provides better coverage. In fact, it looks like its old canopy with the sunshade already extended. And since the new canopy design still has an extendable UPF 50+ sunshade, using it will further enhance its sun coverage up to your baby’s body. Pretty neat!
Lastly, UPPAbaby has new wheels that are slightly bigger and now has better tracking. The bigger diameter, plus 4 wheel suspension, help absorb shocks and bumps from uneven terrains. While the G-lite still has 4 double wheels, the G-luxe has been replaced with single front wheels. In which, I might have some reservations about this alteration. Since changing double wheels into single wheel may have both pros and cons. So whether liking it or not will be up to you and how you’ll use the stroller often.
The good thing about double wheels is when one wheel falls into a crevice or crack, the other wheel can help it get out from being stuck. On the other hand, single wheel allows better handling of the stroller, even off-road surfaces. But I guess this works out fine since only the front wheels are replaced with single wheels. Whereas the back wheels still retain double wheels. In addition, the G-lite has 4.5-inch diameter wheels, while the G-luxe has 5.5-inch diameters.
UPPAbaby G-LITE Stroller
That pretty much sums up the major changes done to these 2 UPPAbaby strollers. It’s now time to get into the nitty-gritty features of the G-lite!
As you can already tell, the UPPAbaby G-lite is the lite version of G-luxe. And it’s partially similar to Graco Travelite, but for a heftier price tag. So with such similarity, why should you choose G-lite over Travelite? Well, if you’re really limited to budget then Travelite is the best for you. But if money is not an issue, then there are more reasons why G-lite could win you over.
Just by comparing the looks of the two, you can tell that the G-lite has better structure and material. It has a thicker aluminum steel frame that could last for years. In fact, it can carry a heavier weight of up to 55 pounds. That already says a lot despite being a lite version. The company didn’t just skimp out on quality materials.
Its canopy is totally unbeatable even without needing to extend its UPF sun shade. Staying true to its name, the G-lite is really lightweight for just 11.2 pounds. It helps that its seat does not have full padding so it doesn’t add more weight. Some parents may prefer a full-padded seat for the comfort of their child. But don’t worry, the bottom seat does having padding on them. While the mesh back provides breathability instead, which makes it really comfortable during extra hot days.
Although, I would like to see if they can incorporate a roll-up pad for the back similar to Kolcraft Cloud Umbrella Stroller. This way, we can cover up the mesh back during the cold season. On the other hand, in the event of accidental spills, the G-lite won’t easily get messy. That’s due to its fabric being stain and water resistant.
While the old G-lite doesn’t recline, the new version can now recline. But honestly, don’t expect too highly of the reclining capability as it only relies on a zipper recline. Still, I appreciate the gesture on their part.
Folding this thing is just as easy. There’s no need for extra feet action, just reach for a hand level trigger then fold it. It folds compactly and could fit inside car’s trunk no problem.
Lastly, you get the same benefits like the Travelite. From parent cup holder, carry strap, 5-point safety harness, ergonomic handles and an easy-access basket make up for its complete package. Keep in mind that its basket has a 10-pound weight limit.
So what makes the UPPAbaby G-Lite part of the best umbrella strollers 2018 list is due to its quality build. When you don’t want a bulky and expensive stroller, then light umbrella strollers are the next best thing. However, some of them tend to be too flimsy and unsafe for your kids, especially the inexpensive ones. But with UPPAbaby G-lite, you know you and your baby are in good hands. While it’s far from being cheap, it’s an investment well worth it. It has a robust built while staying very lightweight with features you can trust.
UPPAbaby G-LUXE Stroller
Now if you want the deluxe version of the G-Lite, then you gotta have the G-Luxe! It has all features of the G-Lite with few more to offer. However, having more features mean gaining more weight. As a result, it’s understandably heavier at 16.3 pounds.
So what do you get in exchange for the additional weight? For one, the stroller looks fuller. The seat is roomier and now has full padding. The canopy is slightly longer than G-lite, but both still have an extendable UPF 50+ sunshade.
The fabric stays water and stain resistant. But since it’s not full-proof from any dirt, you still have to occasionally clean the stroller to prevent any germs or bacteria build-up. Fortunately, it’s now easier for you to clean the G-luxe as its fabric is removable and washable. You can keep the stroller clean, thereby, keeping your baby safe.
You also get to appreciate a better folding and reclining mechanism of the G-luxe. You still just have to reach for the hand-level trigger to fold this thing. However, it can stand on its own even when folded. Hence, it stays clean and keeps you hands-free! It doesn’t have to touch the ground and get dirty while you put stuff inside your car.
Since this is a deluxe version we’re talking, you’re getting more reclining positions out of the G-luxe. It has multiple reclining positions while it’s so easy to operate. It only takes one hand to switch positions. Pair it with an adjustable footrest, and you get the most comfortable stroller for your little one to sit or take a nap on.
Other than that, you get the same benefits of a cup holder, spacious basket, convenient carry-strap, 5-point safety harness and tall, ergonomic handles. While its big and shock-absorbing wheels with a one-step brake help to maneuver and control this thing much easier. Lastly, you can start using the G-luxe for your kids as early as their 3 months of age, against the usual recommendation of 6 months.
With not more than hundred bucks difference from the G-lite, you definitely are getting more bells and whistles out of the G-Luxe. While it may require a little investment on your part, it’s definitely gonna go a long way. With the quality components of G-luxe has, it will most likely outlive the average life of a handful of umbrella strollers! So you get loads of features for your money and makes the most out of it for a long time. Considering this as just part of the best umbrella strollers 2018 is an understatement, as it sure will compete well with others year after year.
Chicco New Liteway Stroller
UPPAbaby isn’t the only brand with new facelift strollers. Chicco has also decided to bring in a new look for their Chicco Liteway lineup. Although the Chicco brand has always been a household name for baby products, the New Liteway didn’t make the cut for my best umbrella strollers 2018 list. It’s not because it’s not good, but I just find the stroller to still be closely similar to its previous models for it to make a buzz for 2018.
It just didn’t get me as excited as when I saw the new UPPAbaby umbrella strollers. There weren’t as much as new features or upgrades to expect from the New Liteway, except for the overall look. Nevertheless, the new Liteway still makes a great option for your stroller needs. It is just as good and reliable as its previous version. After all, they say, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!
The features of the Liteway are like the combination of the 3 strollers I just reviewed. It has some of the limits of a Travelite but has the strengths of the UPPAbaby’s. For one thing, it can only hold a weight of up to 40 pounds, despite having aluminum components. On the bright side, due to its aluminum frame, the Chicco Liteway is just as durable, but not as expensive as the UPPAbaby.
When it comes to your child’s comfort, Chicco’s seat also has full padding with fabrics that are removable and washable. You can then adjust its backrest to 4 various positions, as well as its leg rest for proper support.
And although the size of its canopy is not far bigger than the Travelite, its canopy is more functional. It looks more sturdy, has peek-a-boo window and is removable. The usual cup holder, padded handles, basket and carry handle are also present. While keeping the stroller in place when parked is easily done with its toe-tap rear brakes.
The only major complaint I have, which is still isn’t improved with the new model, is its actual weight. The Chicco Liteway happens to be the heaviest in the group at 17.2 pounds.
Other than that, the Chicco Liteway makes the definition of the best umbrella stroller for an affordable price. It’s slightly lacking against UPPAbaby G-Luxe but is way more superior than Graco Travelite for not more than 100 bucks.
Although there ain’t as many stroller options to choose from this year, the best umbrella strollers 2018 are enough to make your travel goals with baby into a reality! They work wonderful, just as they look fabulous.
The Graco Travelite is a dependable umbrella stroller that perfect for the budget-conscious parents. On the other hand, the UPPAbaby G-lite is travel buddy treasure. It’s lightweight, making it easy to travel with, plus it has all the necessary features of an umbrella stroller in a durable package. Lastly, the UPPAbaby G-luxe is the complete package that is sure to make the most out of your stroller investment.
Just because they make it as the best umbrella strollers 2018 doesn’t mean they’re only good for this year. I’m pretty sure, whichever stroller you decide to buy will surely make wonderful memories with you year after year. Happy strolling!