Looking for a highly-rated economy stroller that will take your babe from birth to toddlerhood? Check out this Graco Modes stroller review.
Graco offers a tremendous value and seating versatility with the Modes stroller. Strollers with reversible (and removable!) seats are all the rage these days and frankly, they’re very hard to find at this price point. Features like the parent tray, large storage basket and ample canopy make it even more of a crowd-pleaser.
Just keep in mind that Graco is an economy brand, so the build quality is not quite on the same level as other strollers out there, especially in the field of reversible strollers. In fact, some reviewers have pointed out that the stroller feels cheap. That’s because, well, it is pretty darn inexpensive. So just remember: it’s a Kia, not a Cadillac. That said, it’s important to note that the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, so you know you’re still getting a reliable product.
When asking ourselves, “which stroller is this most similar to?”, we had a hard time coming up with an answer.
Honestly, to have a full-featured reversible stroller for well under $200 is quite remarkable (which is how it made this top 10 list to begin with!). The one competitor that comes to mind is the Summer Infant Myria DLX stroller, which costs $179 alone or $263 as a travel system (which we have not yet reviewed.) The Evenflo Urbini Omni + also falls in the category of “budget reversible strollers,” as well as the Evenflo Pivot. Lastly, the GB Lyfe is a Euro stroller that’s a little more fashion forward at this price point.
At 23 lbs, the Graco Modes is definitely heavy for a non all-terrain stroller, though surprisingly lighter than, say, the UPPAbaby Cruz V2, which now weighs 25.5 lbs. Compare that weight with another favorite stroller, the Baby Jogger City Mini 2 (19.6 lbs), and to the Myria (19.2 lbs). Though all reversible strollers are on the heavier side of the spectrum, weight is a big consideration if you know you’ll be hauling your stroller around.
If you want to stick to this price point but want something lighter, the 3-wheeled Graco Modes 3 Lite made our “Best in Show” 2015 list; and at 19 lbs, the weight is much more palatable. Seriously, 19 pounds for a fast-folding, modular stroller is really phenomenal.
The Graco Modes stroller meets Disney size requirements.
Again, the Graco Modes is a “modular” stroller, which means the seat is reversible. The seat, which can hold up to 50 lbs, comes off to face forward or backward and offers up to 10 different riding configurations. This is usually something you only see in full-size luxury strollers — so it’s a major score to get this feature at this price point. See also: Best Reversible Strollers
The seat also fully reclines, which is great for on-the-go naps, and can even morph into an infant bassinet so you can use the stroller from birth (though the seat doesn’t lie completely flat).
The seat comes with a 3-position calf support, though one reviewer says they are having a hard time adjusting the footrest and clicking it into place.
Car Seat Compatibility
Another way to use the Modes from birth: remove the seat altogether and use it as a travel system with a car seat. The easiest option is to use one of Graco’s SnugRide Click Connect infant car seats (yes we recommend it!). With the Click Connect technology, it just takes one step to secure the car seat on the stroller — easy peasy.
Travel System Options (sold with car seat)
- Modes travel system w/ SnugRide SnugLock 35 ~ MSRP $299
We’re suckers for one-step, one-hand folds, and the Graco Modes offers just that — yay!! Plus, it has an automatic storage latch and stands upright when folded (major win to stash away in your closet). Note that some reviewers on Amazon claim that they occasionally have a hard time folding the stroller, even after only a few uses.
*You cannot fold the stroller if the seat is facing in, so you will need to either take the seat off or turn it around to face forward. While inconvenient, this is not uncommon for reversible strollers; most only fold with the seat facing forward.
Some customers complain that the Modes doesn’t fold flat and remains bulky when closed. Needless to say, a compact stroller it is not.
This stroller is pretty easy to push, though many people complain about an ongoing squeak. The brand’s website does recognize that issue and recommends using light oil to remedy the problem.
Reviewers say same much the same thing about the wheels as they do the Modes stroller in general: they are made of plastic (not rubber) and therefore feel like they’re on the cheaper side (again, for less than $200… what do you expect).
One of Graco Modes’ most praised features is its basket, which is very spacious.
Parents also appreciate the tray right under the handle with two cup holders — plenty of space for your water, coffee, etc. (see below).
Like having to pay extra for Wifi at the Ritz Carlton — vs. getting it for free at the Holiday Inn — the economy strollers tend to come “standard” with some really great accessories, like these parent trays.
Note that the shoulder straps don’t actually attach to the waist straps. They slide in together, but… also easily slide out. Some parents have said they have to realign them every single day, which we imagine can get annoying.
Graco Modes vs. Summer Infant Myria
The Graco Modes and Summer Infant Myria are very comparable in price and features. Retailing for under $200, they are both very reliable yet affordable modular (reversible) strollers with a one-hand standing fold, a large storage basket, and travel-system capabilities (both only with their respective brand’s infant car seats). With the Modes, you get the compatibility with the ever-popular SnugRide, so that’s a big plus.
Though both strollers come with a child tray, only the Modes offers the parent tray (the Myria has the more traditional cup holder that attaches on the side of the frame).
Though the Myria is lighter than the Modes (a huge plus, in our opinion), it offers fewer riding configurations (6 vs. 10). It also has an extendable canopy with a peek-a-boo window, which the Modes lacks.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with either stroller. Reviewers report that both are easy to maneuver and, though you don’t get the best quality, both the Modes and the Myria check all the boxes.
The Graco Modes offers a reversible seat, something you typically only see in luxury offerings, for an economy price. The basics are all there, but again, it’s not the highest build quality. We love the spacious storage, the one-hand standing fold, and the 10 riding options. Essentially, Graco delivers good value for the money.
If you’re using it with an infant, we recommend going for Graco’s Click Connect travel system; and if you’re after a lighter option, the Modes 3 Lite is the way to go. Either way, you’re sure to get a solid stroller without breaking the bank (just keep a bottle of oil handy for those squeaky wheels). Cheers!