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. Don’t expect a huge storage basket or a fancy parent tray… you get the picture. 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?).
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 always requires two hands to push and steer, but folds more compactly. When people ask me why the Zoe XL1 isn’t on here, I tell them it’s because it’s not an umbrella stroller – capiche?
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 ~
Best Umbrella Strollers: Bare Bones
Summer Infant 3D Mini ~ $44, 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 lightweight, easy to fold, and actually has many features parents want; like a parent console with dual cupholders, 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
2018/2019 UPPAbaby G-Lite ~ $179-$199, 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, 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. Sadly, the latest model does not stand on its own when folded 🙁
The G-Lite includes a mesh sling seat for better breathability and removable fabric for easy cleaning. However, some people find the mesh seat to be too unsupportive, which causes their child to slide down and slouch.
The latest model has a zipper recline, which makes naptime easier. It also comes with a high quality cup holder (it’s the little things that count, yes?).
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 — especially if keeping the sun off is a high priority — look no further.
Maclaren Mark II ~ $139, 8 lbs (stripped down) – Editor’s Choice (featherweight)
Note: The 2019 Maclaren Mark II’s are in production and will be available soon. Until then, they are completely out of stock of previous models. The below review is for last year’s model. It will be updated once 2019 info is provided.
Maclaren – the original inventor of the umbrella stroller concept. The Maclaren Mark II – the lightest, full-size, reclining stroller ever. 8 lbs ??? Yeaah. You heard me (and we thought 11 lbs was light)!
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/$69 on sale, 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 a bit heavier than others on this list 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 (though the recline is NOT very deep), and is the lighter, hipper (hipper?) of the 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. Note this stroller is taller than most and won’t work well for shorter people (under 5’5″ or so).
At the end of the day, this stroller is a happy medium for many when comparing price vs. features.
Joovy Groove Ultralight ~ MSRP $159/On Sale $115+, 15 lbs
Weighing in at 15 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 ~ $240, 11 lbs (stripped down)
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 lbs (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.
2018/2019 UPPAbaby G-Luxe ~ $199, 16.3 lbs
Weighing in at 16 lbs, the G-Luxe is perhaps the most popular full-featured umbrella stroller.
This stroller stands up on its own when folded, reclines almost flat (use from 3 months+), 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 when folded. 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 Inglesina Net.
Well there you have it — thats everything we know about umbrella strollers. Hope you found something you like! Leave a comment below if we missed something – Cheers!