Updated April 2018
Is baby getting too heavy to carry around in his car seat? Probably. This guide will help you find the best umbrella stroller in each price category so you can simplify your life.
After many months of using a heavy, full-featured stroller, many moms are ready to ditch it for a lightweight umbrella stroller that can easily be thrown over the shoulder and tossed in the trunk.
Yes, being able to easily carry a stroller is key in places like Europe and other big cities where elevators aren’t always an option. They’re also essential for airline travel. See also: Travel Gear Guide
An umbrella stroller is called so because it folds up into a lightweight, stick-like thing that resembles a large golf umbrella (see below).
Umbrella strollers are generally cheaper than full-featured strollers — just remember you are trading features for size and weight. And please don’t plan on taking it jogging or to the beach (in fact, I laugh when I read reviews that say, “This stroller isn’t very good on hiking trails.” No sh!t?). Don’t expect a huge storage basket or a fancy parent tray… you get the picture.
Remember, people, when comparing umbrella strollers — every pound/kilo counts!! There’s a huge difference between an 8 lb and a 15 lb umbrella stroller. Anything above 15 lbs is a disgrace — Chicco (Liteway, my ass) and Graco, I’m looking at you.
Note that there are many other lightweight travel strollers out there that have a larger “square” fold (vs. the long, stick-like umbrella fold) that may suit your needs as well. The tradeoff is that the continuous handlebar of a non-umbrella stroller (example, below) allows you to steer it with one hand (in theory), but the fold is larger because the handlebar doesn’t collapse.
Whereas an umbrella stroller (below) always requires two hands to push and steer, but folds more compactly. See also: travel strollers. When people ask me why the Zoe X2 isn’t on here, I tell them it’s because it’s not an umbrella stroller – caphiche? Europeans will readily pay $350 for the Maclaren Techno, for example, because at the end of the day, they want a full-featured stroller but need that small, umbrella fold to fit into their tiny spaces.
Best Umbrella Strollers – Summary
Keep reading below (or click on a link) for more details ~
- Summer Infant 3D mini ~ $35+, 11 lbs – A cheap but very decent lightweight umbrella; tremendous value
Best Lightweight, Non-Reclining
- UPPAbaby G-Lite ~ $159+, 11 lbs – Lightweight, sturdy stroller, good features, but seat not very supportive
- Maclaren Mark II ~ $200, 7.3 lbs – Uber lightweight, but dinky wheels and canopy
- Summer Infant 3D Lite ~ $89, 13 lbs – Economy pick
- Inglesina Net ~ $149, 11 lbs – Best overall value
- Joovy Groove Ultralight ~ $199, 15.7 lbs – Good features for the price, but heavy
- Maclaren Triumph ~ $225, 11.9 lbs – A solid lightweight option
- UPPAbaby G-Luxe ~ $259+, 15 lbs – Heavy but very sturdy, great options, superior canopy
Best Umbrella Strollers: Bare Bones
Summer Infant 3D mini ~ MSRP $44/on sale $35, 11 lbs
Say you don’t necessarily need another stroller in your life, but you understand the importance of having an umbrella stroller for travel or for keeping in your car. Ahhhnd…. you really don’t want to spend upwards of $100 for a stroller you’ll only use a few times a year.
Introducing the new Summer Infant 3D Mini — it’s super lightweight, easy to fold, and actually has many features parents want, like a cupholder, a basket and a canopy. This stroller is the best deal around for those just looking for a cheap backup stroller.
Watch our quickie preview video below ~
Runner Up: Cosco Umbrella Stroller
Best Umbrella Strollers: Lightweight, Non-Reclining
UPPAbaby G-Lite ~ $159-$179, 11 lbs
At 11 lbs (its TRUE weight, ahem), the G-Lite is a very popular lightweight, full-size umbrella stroller.
It’s the MacBook Air of umbrella strollers: beautifully designed, stands when folded, easy to collapse, and has a superb sunshade (an inner shade that pulls down in addition to the regular shade). Yes, the UV-rated sunshades on all UPPAbaby strollers are the cat’s pajamas. It also comes with a high quality cup holder (it’s the little things that count, yes?). Note that the 2015/16 version of this stroller does not recline (otherwise it would weigh more, ya know?).
The G-Lite includes a mesh sling seat for better breathability and removable fabric for easy cleaning. Some people find the mesh seat to be too unsupportive, which causes their child to slide down and slouch.
Yes, UPPAbaby umbrella strollers are pricier than most others, but the build quality is excellent. If you’re looking for a lightweight, heavy-use umbrella for a non-napping child — especially if keeping the sun off is a high priority — look no further.
Note the new 2018 model JUST came out (below!) — and this one reclines a bit! Yes, the new zipper recline makes naptime easier. The new canopy is even larger and multi-paneled. Good news: the price really didn’t go up, and that makes up happy. See more.
Maclaren Mark II ~ $200, 7.3 lbs – Editor’s Choice (featherweight)
Maclaren – the original inventor of the umbrella stroller concept. The Maclaren Mark II – the lightest, full-size, reclining stroller ever.
7.28 lbs ??? Yeaah. You heard me (and we thought 11 lbs was light)!
At 7.28 lbs, it’s truly a featherweight dream. And it’s not even stripped down! Nay, the lightest umbrella on the market still has some awesome features, including ergonomic, anti-microbial handles, a large UPF 50+ sunshade with built-in sun visor, a linked braking system, a large-ish basket, a rain cover — and it reclines!… a little bit, not a lot.
You get the easy, one-handed fold that Maclaren is known for and (wait for it…) four-wheel suspension. Yes, the wheels and canopy are dinky in comparison to the G-Lite, but for this weight…. it’s still very impressive.
Bottom line: This is the stroller I would choose if weight is your top priority. Again, that one-handed Maclaren fold is superior to UPPAbaby (I’m making this so hard for you, no? I hate it when I do that).
Best Umbrella Strollers: Lightweight, Reclining
Summer Infant 3D Lite ~ MSRP $89/On Sale $79, 13 lbs
We discussed the 3D Mini (bare bones stroller), but we really love the Summer Infant 3D Lite. It has all the major “wants” for a great price and with decent build quality.
The anti-shock front wheels are more robust than on similar strollers and work well on light terrain like cobblestone and dirt (don’t use on gravel or rough terrain). It has a MUCH larger storage basket than most (for an umbrella, at least) and a nice cup holder (w00t!) because going without coffee is not an option, people.
If storage is of the utmost importance, check out the sister product, the Summer Infant 3DTote (17 lbs). The “Tote” is unique in the world of umbrellas because of its giant storage basket (shown below).
For your napping kiddo, the seat has four recline positions, a canopy and a pop-out visor; though like many umbrellas, the canopy/visor doesn’t provide the greatest coverage. One of the best features of this stroller is the one-handed fold — perfect for when your hands are full of… child.
Bottom line: the 3D Lite is a solid economy umbrella stroller that’s easy to fold and carry, has 4 recline positions, a cupholder, a storage pocket, and a larger-than-most storage basket. Build-wise, it feels a bit cheap, especially compared to more expensive models on this list, it’s one of the heavier ones of the bunch (the true weight) and the sun canopy leaves something to be desired, but when you compare features vs. price, the Summer Infant 3D Lite is a solid value and our top choice in the economy category.
Inglesina Net ~ $149, 11 lbs
Speaking of strollers that excite me, let’s discuss the Inglesina Net (it replaced the Inglesina Swift).
In the same class as the G-Luxe and Joovy Groove Ultralight, the Inglesina Net delivers similar features and — is a bargain compared to the G-Luxe ($130 less, day-umm). And who doesn’t love the Italian design?
The Net delivers a smooth ride, has two recline positions, and is the lighter, hipper (hipper?) of the two Inglesina strollers at 11 lbs. It has a removable/washable seat pad and comes with a shoulder strap, cupholder and storage pocket. The canopy is nice, but not as large as UPPAbaby’s. Everyone agrees this stroller is stable, sturdy and well-made.
This stroller is a happy medium for many when comparing price vs. features.
Runner Up: For about $199, also check out the Inglesina Trip. At 15.4 lbs, it includes a cup holder, a rain cover and a peekaboo window. The Trip also has a lower recline position, so it can be used for newborns. Overall, a VERY highly-rated umbrella stroller.
Joovy Groove Ultralight ~ MSRP $199/On Sale $116+, 15.7 lbs
Weighing in at 15.7 lbs (meh), the Groove Ultralight offers a very comparable stroller for roughly $100 less than the G-Luxe. It lies flat, so it can be used from birth. It’s great for tall parents, both in handle height and for stride length, as reported by someone who is 6’4″. Like the Ingelsina and UPPAbaby, this stroller is very sturdy and well built.
What we love about this stroller:
- the oversized UV sun canopy (like UPPA)
- a cup holder AND a parent organizer on the back (UPPA has just a cup holder)
- inside mesh pockets
- near-flat recline and newborn “boot”
- easy, one-handed Maclaren-like fold + carry strap
- peekaboo window (very unique!)
Bottom line: This is a great stroller if features are more important than weight, especially if you’re using it with a young infant, and extra especially if you or your partner is tall.
Maclaren Triumph ~ $225, 11.9 lbs
The Triumph is a tried and true friend. This is a tough category because there are so many great contenders, but don’t overlook the Triumph in your search.
Weighing in at 11.9 lbs (it’s true weight, not the weight of it stripped down with no canopy or basket) the Triumph has many of the same features as its competition: a continual recline (almost flat), a decent storage basket (though remember it’s an umbrella, so they’re all quite small), and a nice buckle and seat. It has a carry strap and comes standard with a rain cover, which is great for your stormy summers and wet winters.
Bottom line: The folding mechanism and build quality are superb. There’s nothing in particular that stands out about it, but it’s a solid choice nonetheless.
UPPAbaby G-Luxe ~ $259 – $279, 15 lbs
Weighing in at 15 lbs, the G-Luxe is perhaps the most popular full-featured umbrella stroller.
This stroller stands up on its own, reclines almost flat, has a cup holder, and has the superior sunshade that UPPA is known for. Yeah, I mean, it’s a great stroller! Nobody’s saying it isn’t. In fact, I used my G-Luxe for years and it still holds up.
Complaints include a fussy, 2-handed fold (you must push a button and pull up two rings at the same time – eek) and the seat — in it’s most upright position – is too reclined for many kids to feel comfortable.
Bottom line: At the end of the day, the G-Luxe is a wonderful umbrella stroller for everyday/heavy use. If sun coverage is your main concern, this is the stroller for you. It looks great and steers very well for an umbrella and stands on its own. It’s also a good pick for tall parents. However, I don’t love the price. Thus, if you’re looking for something for more infrequent use, you might be better off with the Joovy Groove or the Ingelsina Net.
Best Umbrella Strollers: Full-Featured
Cosatto Supa ~ $329, 19.8 lbs
With beauty and brains, the new (to the States, at least…) Cosatto line is turning heads. The Supa is really a fashion statement. Yes, a very, very heavy fashion statement (19.8 lbs). Seriously, the weight is outrageous, but anything for fashion, non???!!! (laughing). And entertainment!! This guy has an MP3 attachment and speakers on the hood so you can jam all the way to the park. But really? my favorite feature is the adorable matching “kangaroo pouch” and the reversible zip-off fleece liner. It also includes chest pads, a head hugger, and a rain cover. Yes, this one’s good for your colder/wetter climates.
The seat has a one-handed adjustable seat with 4 recline positions. Check out our quick review of these strollers here.
This is the stroller for you if you don’t mind the weight and want something that’s super adorable and unique.
Maclaren Techno XT ~ MSRP $370/On Sale $290, 16 lbs
The Maclaren Techno XT is truly in a class of its own. At 16 lbs, you get the convenience of an umbrella stroller with the features of a luxury stroller (well, kinda). This is for the parent who needs a solid, everyday stroller with lots of features, but doesn’t have much space to store it — either in their car or at home (or both).
The Techno has shock-absorbing suspension, which makes it glide like butter (you know, for an umbrella stroller and all…). For tall people, it has height-adjustable handles — it’s the only one in this group that does. With an extendable canopy (with a flip-out UV visor), a rain cover, a peekaboo panel in the rear, and storage pockets… all your bases are covered.
The Techno also reclines nearly flat, so it can truly be used from birth. And it’s compatible with the universal carrycot (sold separately).
If you’re looking for a small, compact, easy to lift-and-carry stroller with luxury features, this is your dogg. Also great for your worldly travels, especially when navigating tight spaces and tiny trunks (“boots”!) in Europe.
For a smaller version of this stroller with slightly fewer features, check out the almost-as-luxurious Maclaren Quest for $299 on Amazon.
You’re probably also looking for a convertible car seat too, right? Come hither, my pretty –>>Best Convertible Car Seats
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