Umbrella Stroller 101 – A Buyer’s Guide


Buying baby gear is hard, but it’s especially hard when there are seemingly millions of options, most of which at face value look like they’d do the job just fine. How do you find the best umbrella stroller for you and your family?

Do you go for the cheapest one? The one from the brand that your friend has? The one your fave celeb has? Do you need more than one? You could pick up a baby product catalogue, read the feature lists of every single item, then put it straight back down again no closer to the answers you are looking for.

Umbrella strollers are a great alternative to full-size strollers. They’re better for storage and they’re easier to maneuver, which is perfect for city dwellers. However, umbrella strollers can be quite expensive! So make sure you choose wisely – there are many questions to consider before purchasing an umbrella stroller. This article will answer all of those questions, as well as provide information about the different types of umbrella strollers available and recommendations for the best ones on the market today!

What is an umbrella stroller?

An umbrella stroller is a lightweight, compact stroller that folds into an easy-to-carry size. They’re great for travel, fit into small spaces, and are often used as a secondary stroller.

Why should I buy an umbrella stroller?

  • You plan on travelling with baby. Umbrella strollers are ideal for travelling — their small size means they can be boarded on planes without incurring extra charges. Some parents also leave an umbrella stroller at a grandparents’ house.
  • You live in the city, or don’t often drive your own car. City living sometimes means you are often carrying your baby up stairs or onto public transport, or you may only have limited storage at home.
  • You want a small and lightweight stroller in addition to, or instead of a larger and heavier stroller. Umbrella strollers are a pared-down version of a traditional stroller and often weigh under 10 pounds. They are easy to carry – a number of them have shoulder straps to make it even easier. Moreover, they fold down to about the size of an umbrella – hence the name!

When can you start using an umbrella stroller?

You can use an umbrella stroller as soon as your baby is able to sit upright on their own, which is around six months old. Some parents wait until their baby is a little bit older and weighs a little more, reducing the risk of the stroller tipping if it became unbalanced.

Some light baby strollers are suitable for infants, but make sure they’re sturdy and that the seat reclines completely, or there’s an option to purchase a separate infant bassinet.

Can I bring an umbrella stroller on a plane?

An umbrella stroller is small enough to store in the overhead compartment on a plane, making it perfect to bring with you when traveling. You may also find some models are able to fit under the seat in front of you.

Can umbrella strollers recline?

Some of the more expensive models have the ability to recline, but most umbrella strollers sacrifice recline capability in order to be able to fold up in a more compact fashion, or due to manufacturing materials to make the stroller cheaper.

The best umbrella stroller for you might take a little while to find – there are lots of options.

Important things to consider when buying an umbrella stroller

Size

You have to consider certain features that enhance the performance of your umbrella stroller, and one feature would be size. Can it fit what you need it to? Will it fit through doors or in your car? What space is available in your home to store it?

The umbrella stroller was initially created as a response to strollers that were too big. Parents kept complaining that a stroller should be small, compact and simple to fold, as well as easy to store, carry, and lift.

The size of umbrella stroller you end up choosing will determine the overall experience of both the parent and the child.

Keep in mind that if your umbrella stroller is too large, you run the risk of losing the benefit of portability. On the other hand, if the stroller is too small, it might not last as long as you’d hope as baby grows.

Safety

Other than the size of the umbrella stroller, the next thing you should also consider is the safety features that the baby gear has to offer.

Major things to look out for include wheel locking brakes, tether straps, and the safety harness/buckle mechanisms. Particularly when baby is younger, try and go for a five point harness.

Brakes

Another design feature that ties in with the safety aspect of the umbrella stroller is the brakes. You want to ensure that the brakes that come with your stroller are easy to operate and are pressure sensitive.

The wheels on your umbrella stroller should lock immediately after you place a foot on the break.

A majority of parents tend to prefer the brake mechanism that locks both brakes at once. This is because the single action brakes are simpler to use than the double action ones.

Sunshade

The umbrella stroller should have a sunshade that not only blocks the sunlight, but also protects your child from bad weather.

The best umbrella strollers will have an extendable canopy or a large enough window to shield them while still providing visibility for you as well. They may also come with a rain cover accessory, or have separate ones available to purchase.

Onboard Storage

If you are planning on taking the stroller shopping or travelling, your umbrella stroller should have onboard storage for important items like a diaper bag or other essentials.

The best umbrella strollers are compact in size but still provide enough space to store everything you need on the go.

Take care not to hang bags or other items off of the handlebars like you might with a full-size stroller; the additional weight on the back may cause the stroller to tip while child is inside, especially if you let go of the handles.

Where You Live

Knowing what type of terrain you’ll be predominately using your stroller on will help inform what kind of tires you require. If you live somewhere where the road is uneven, you may want to consider buying a stroller that comes with heavy-duty tires – look for ones that are solid or filled with sand.

For those living in an urban environment, you’ll want to think about whether or not you expect to take your baby out for long walks. If that’s the case, then you should purchase a stroller that’s effortless to maneuver over a curb, through a store, as well as through public transportation – so think about size and stability.

If you live in a suburban environment that’s largely car-oriented, you’ll need a stroller that’s simple to fold and fit in your vehicle – size and ease of collapsing are factors at play here.

Price

Strollers can vary in price range, so it’s good to set yourself a budget before you go to make a purchase; it’s easy to get swept up in the moment. You can avoid a good portion of temptation and sales pressure by shopping online.

Setting a budget for yourself is a simple way to narrow down the hundreds of options available. A deluxe stroller will cost you something around the 300 dollar range, while more popular yet affordable styles will cost anywhere in between 100 to 200 dollars.

Choosing the best umbrella stroller for you and your family will make getting around much easier.

Our Best Umbrella Stroller Recommendations

Best Umbrella Stroller Under $100: Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller

Features

  • Frame Weight: 13 pounds
  • Comes with 5-point Safety Harness
  • Multi-Position Recline
  • Adjustable Canopy
  • Compact 3D Folding Mechanism
  • Anti-Shock Front Wheels
  • Maximum Child Weight: 50 pounds
  • Comes in Six Colors: Tangerine, Hibiscus Pink, Black, Citrus, & Carribean Blue

CHECK THE PRICE on Amazon

What We Love

Travel-Friendly

Umbrella strollers are well-known to be ideal for frequent travelers, (especially for when you want to take a stroller on a plane) so it’s no surprise that one of the best umbrella strollers out there has earned the title of the best travel stroller as well.

The Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller comes with a frame that features an all-aluminum build. Making the frame out of aluminum allows the stroller to be extremely lightweight yet durable.

Even those who don’t frequent the gym often will be able to carry this stroller since it weighs less than 13 pounds. You can take the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller with you to the airport and have it not hassle you at any point.

In fact, parents love taking the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller with them while they travel with their baby since it is light and also features a simple three step folding system.

All you have to do is lift the rear handle and push the lever down with your foot. Once you complete these two actions, you can quickly fold down your Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller and continue with your journey.

It doesn’t stop there because this stroller also comes with a carry strap that’s accessible once you fold it. The strap makes carrying the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller with you on public transportation or the airport an effortless matter.

Comfortable for Your Child

The Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller goes above and beyond when it comes to the comfort of your child since it doesn’t adhere to the standard X frame common amongst traditional strollers.

This umbrella stroller features an open design that comes with a seat that lays nearly flat. Allowing your child to rest on a nearly flat surface makes the stroller perfect for taking naps and performing impromptu diaper changes.

Thanks to the additional padding located on the sides of this stroller, your baby will not make a fuss when put inside its stroller. In fact, it’ll be happy to get a change of scenery while resting on the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller.

Not many umbrella strollers come with a five-point safety harness, but the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller does. This means you can adjust this stroller to three various height positions. So as your child grows in height and weight, your Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller will adjust accordingly.

For under $100, what more could you ask from your umbrella stroller?

Best Twin Umbrella Stroller: J is for Jeep Brand Scout Double Stroller

Features

  • Frame Weight: 18.3 pounds
  • Minimum Child Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Maximum Child Weight: 35 pounds (Per Seat)
  • Seating Capacity: 2
  • 5 Point Safety Harness with Shoulder Pads
  • 360-degree shock-absorbent front wheels
  • Will Fit through a 30-inch Door
  • JPMA Certified, meets or exceeds and ASTM and applicable CPSC standards

CHECK THE PRICE on Amazon

What We Love

A Proper Dual-Child Stroller

One of the most popular things buyers love about the J is for Jeep Brand Scout Double Stroller is the fact it well and truly caters for two, without being double the size and weight of a single stroller. It handles well through those tricky doorway maneuvering moments, and the kids can see each other while traveling; keeping them entertained for longer!

Parents will appreciate the 4 different storage options available to them, and the moderate recline for times when the little ones are fatigued.

This twin umbrella stroller also comes with a large European style canopy that serves to provide ample protection against the weather. Whether its sun, rain, or wind, your child can rest easy when they’re in the J is for Jeep Brand Scout Double Stroller. Each canopy can be operated separately; both kids are individuals, after all!

When you go on walks, you may want to enter a cafe or coffee shop for a quick pick me up. With the J is for Jeep Brand Scout Double Stroller, you can effortlessly enter shops that have the standard 30-inch doors. Bonus, because leaving your stroller outside is a risk, and considering how much you’re likely to have stored in this bad boy frankly it would be a pain in the butt!

Compact Build

Even though it can accommodate two kids, it doesn’t in any way negatively impact its foldability. In fact, with the press of a button, you can easily fold and store this stroller anywhere you want.

One reviewer even folded the stroller and stowed it in their closet on a cruise with room to spare!

For less than $60, you could comfortably take your two children out for a stroll with the J is for Jeep Brand Scout Double Stroller.

Best Travel Stroller: Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller

Features

  • Weighs Less than 12 pounds
  • One-Hand Folding System
  • Comes with Both Parent & Child Tray
  • Maximum Child Weight: 50 pounds
  • Expandable Canopy
  • Large Storage Space
  • Comes in Fire Red Color

CHECK THE PRICE on Amazon

What We Love

Ideal for Those With a Lot to Carry

If you’re a parent who tends to bring a lot of extra baby gear with them when they leave the house, you require a travel stroller that can accommodate some extra gear. Thankfully, the Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller comes with an incredibly large storage area.

This means you can bring all the baby gear you need from extra diaper to bottles to blankets, and they won’t be in your way while you’re pushing around this stroller. Head to the park and bring as many toys as you need for your little one, or stow your jacket or your older child’s items.

The storage basket is located underneath the baby’s feet, which makes it readily accessible.

On top of the immense storage space, the Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller comes with a removable child tray as well as a parent tray. The parent tray can hold up to two drinks and provides additional storage space, and activities on your little one’s tray will make sure they ask you “are we there yet?” a few less times!

Easy To Fold

The Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller requires you to simply use one hand to fold it, which makes it ideal for traveling. Parents tend to take this stroller with them on vacations, which makes sense since it can fold easily and it doesn’t weigh much for its size and versatility.

For under $70, you can equip yourself with a top-tier travel stroller that won’t fail you at a time of need.

Conclusion

There are plenty of options out there. When you’re looking to purchase an umbrella stroller, try to keep in mind the features we discussed and which ones are most important to you. Once you have a clear idea of what your needs are, it will be easier to find one that suits your baby and fits within your budget.

Have you bought an umbrella stroller? Have any tips to offer other parents? Feel free to comment below!

Carly

Mother of two young boys (6 and 3!) and an avid "Googler", Carly is the kind to research something to the nth degree. Be it about products, hacks, or techniques, she shares what she finds out at her website - Fairy Good Mommy.

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