History suggests that the evolution of the baby stroller is a very clear example of how necessity breeds invention. In its earliest incarnations, the device that is built to carry man’s most precious cargo-his offspring- is crude at best. These devices rely mostly on what nature has in abundance like wood, barks of trees, roots, animal fur or skin, vines, leaves, and other such materials that provide support and comfort to a newborn baby or a toddler that has to survive the elements in a very harsh environment.
Despite the baby-carrying device’s long documented existence in history, it was not until the 1700s, when William Kent introduced a goat or dog-drawn carriage that really started the stroller into its way of becoming what is now known today. Although this kind of miniature carriage would receive numerous enhancements, they all share the same basic downside. These earlier forms of baby strollers were mostly very heavy and bulky.
The lightweight and umbrella strollers finally made its official entrance in this world courtesy of an Aeronautical Engineer named Owen McLaren. His idea of using aluminum as a sturdy, yet very light frame that can be folded for better fit during travel revolutionized the world of baby strollers. To this day, all baby strollers, regardless of type, weigh so much lighter than its early predecessors and can be normally folded for easier fit inside a vehicle or the trunk. Amazingly, the McLaren name is still very much alive today as a leading figure in the production of lightweight and collapsible baby strollers.
What are lightweight and umbrella strollers?
Studies show that 93% of people who own standard-sized baby strollers or jogging strollers also own lightweight stroller or umbrella strollers. As amazing and as important these prior strollers are, they are not the best options when it comes to getting in and out of vehicles, moving in tight areas, riding public transport systems, and going to vacations. Because of their significant size, standard-sized strollers or jogging strollers are not as easily fitted inside a vehicle or as effortlessly maneuvered in a mall or the grocery store.
Lightweight and umbrella stores have created a niche for themselves by providing light and compact baby-carrying options to parents. They are called umbrella strollers because of the J-shaped or curved handles that are quite similar to an umbrella; thus the favored name. These baby strollers are the perfect choices for parents who travel. While strolling in the neighborhood is very much the common practice, it is also not rare for parents to take their kids to the zoos, nature parks, games, shopping, and other activities that would be more convenient with a lighter baby stroller.
Most people, including experts, consider lightweight and umbrella strollers as the ideal complement to the standard-sized versions as it offers most of the latter’s best features, albeit to a lesser degree, without the additional weight or bulkiness. Parents who have had to contend with a bulky stroller in addition to many of the things carried by the stroller feel like heaven in their sleep-deprived state when using the lighter and compact baby strollers.
Top 5 Best Lightweight Strollers and Umbrella Strollers
Now that a clearer picture is formed about lightweight and umbrella strollers, it is also about time to look into the best models that have found their way into the hearts of both parents and babies alike.
- BOB Revolution SE Duallie Stroller
- Product Weight 34 pounds
- Maximum Dimensions (W x H x D in) 58.5 x 40 x 30.5
- Capacity 100 Pounds
- Graco DuoGlider Classic Connect Stroller
- Product Weight 29.5 pounds
- Maximum Dimensions (W x H x D in) 36 x 41 x 20.5
- Capacity 40 x 2 Pounds
- Schwinn Turismo Swivel Double Jogger
- Product Weight 25 pounds
- Maximum Dimensions (W x H x D in) 40 x 49 x 32.7
- Capacity 100 Pounds
- Contours Options Elite Tandem Stroller
- Product Weight 38 pounds
- Maximum Dimensions (W x H x D in) 49.5 x 39.75 x 26
- Capacity 40 x 2 Pounds
- Baby Trend Sit N Stand Double Stroller
- Product Weight 32.5 pounds
- Maximum Dimensions (W x H x D in) 49 x 43 x 21.5
- Capacity 40 x 2 Pounds
Mountain Buggy Nano
From the company that is known for its all-terrain baby strollers comes the Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller, Ruby. It is a lightweight stroller that has all the hallmarks of Mountain Buggy products as it is very easy to use, extremely maneuverable, and offers safety precautions that easily meet industry standards. Additionally, it has a very nice combination of sporty and sophisticated look that should make it at home in a variety of areas. It should look fantastic in the mall, the zoo, city parks, museums, and other areas.
The Mountain Buggy Nano is versatility at its finest as it has a very nice and ready-made car seat adapter so parents no longer have to buy separate parts to fit in the car seat. This baby stroller’s adaptability includes a seat that can be reclined to let an infant sleep comfortably and safely. That being said, babies that are six months or older would be perfect as they already have good enough support in their necks.
For ease of use, the Mountain Buggy Nano can be folded with little effort and has a very secure lock once it is folded or splayed out. When completely folded, it has a dimension of 22” X 12” X 20” which is about the same size as a suitcase. The Nano also includes sun visor and canopy, a shoulder strap for convenience in carrying the stroller when travelling, and a breathable seat that is particularly essential when the baby is lying down.
This stroller is very light at only 13 pounds and can be maneuvered with ease with one hand seven if it is loaded with a baby and other things. Tall parents, especially fathers, would have no problem pushing this stroller around as they do not have to shorten their steps to avoid bumping the lower end of the stroller.
Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller
The Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller promises to bring the best of both standard-sized baby strollers and lightweight strollers. It is extremely light and nimble at only 11.8 pounds. Despite its very light weight, it has a maximum capacity of a 50 pound cargo. It means that irrespective of age, a 50 pound baby without counting additional baggage would be perfect in this baby stroller.
Speaking of additional things, the Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller has more than sufficient storage places to handle these things. Since comfort is of primary concern, this baby stroller features a seat that can be reclined in various positions as opposed to the limited two-position recline of other strollers. As such, it allows a fantastic platform for taking a nap and makes changing diapers or clothes a breeze. Enhancing the comfortable feel is an adjustable sun canopy. It can be extended from its normal position for better UV protection.
The Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller’s lack of weight does not mean safety is compromised. There are parents who actually believe that extremely light baby strollers are not as sturdy or as durable as the standard-sized ones. This baby stroller uses screws in securing the components together, features a 5 point harness in securing the baby in his seat, and brakes in the rear wheel. For added measure, it even has enhanced shock absorption in the front wheel for support and comfort in all kinds of terrain.
Travelling parents have this baby stroller as one of their indispensable companions since it can be folded compactly and can be fitted inside trunks with ease. Parents who have had the experience of using this baby stroller marvel at the ease in pushing this one around. Additionally, it has excellent leg room for parents who are taller than most.
Summer Infant 2015 3D Lite Convenience Stroller
Versatility in an extremely lightweight package is the main idea behind the popularity of the Summer Infant 2015 3D Lite Convenience Stroller. The versatility starts with a multi-recline seat that makes it excellent when looking for the most comfortable position when sleeping. It is enhanced with a canopy that can be removed or adjusted depending on the specific need of the day. During hot days, there is also a handy sun visor that is claimed to protect almost a 100% of harmful UV rays.
The lightweight and durable construction of this baby stroller is a tribute to the aluminum frame as it weighs at only 12 pounds. This lightweight and sturdy aluminum material frames a very large seating area and makes it much taller than the average umbrella model. For security measures, the Summer Infant 2015 3D Lite Convenience Stroller uses one of the best 5 point safety harnesses in the business. Adding better security feature is a rear wheel lock and a front wheel suspension that is very useful on a variety of terrain, particularly grass and trail.
This baby stroller also has a feature that is envied even by standard-sized versions. It has a plenty of storage areas including a very large basket that is perfect for diapers and other big objects. At the back end of the stroller is another area that is convenient for mobile phones or even small purses. As always, a cup holder is ideal for cold drinks and other liquid containers.
The carry strap addition is an excellent clincher to an effortless three-step folding technique. By lifting the back holder and thrusting the lever in, the stroller is automatically ready for a locked folding. Once folded and secured, it would be a cinch to bring the stroller anywhere or to place inside the trunk.
Chicco C6 Stroller
Few other baby strollers on the market today offer the same kind of functionality and durability in a very reasonably-priced package as the Chicco C6 Stroller. Made of super light aluminum frame, this stroller barely weighs 11 pounds on the scale and can be easily folded for ease of transport. Once folded, it can be carried using a shoulder strap or it can be placed in a very stylish bag for carrying.
When folding this stroller, one simply has to pull the red button out, push the lower back frame up, and then pushing the stroller forward to make it a neat and compact bundle. The click of the snap indicates that it has been securely locked and is now ready for transport. With this kind of effortless folding in a very lightweight stroller, it makes nursery travel something to look forward to for both parents and babies.
While the canopy of the Chicco C6 Stroller is not the all-encompassing kind that is featured in other umbrella strollers, it is round and spacious enough to provide some level of protection from the heat or the elements. More importantly, it can be adjusted or even remove it for customized use. In storage areas, there is a moderate-sized netting of the sort that can fit diapers, bottles, and other baby things. Although the storage area is not extremely large, it is very secure though, as it is found underneath the seat and protected by the crossing frames at the back of the stroller.
When it comes to safety features, the Chicco C6 has the traditional 5 point harness, a suspension on all four wheels, and swivel locks at the front wheel. The reclining position is somewhat limited to two positions only and would be ideal for babies between 6 to 36 months. Babies within this age range should be able to support their necks enough since the recline does not go flat all the way.
Parents who are looking for a no-fuss kind of baby stroller in a truly lightweight and cheap package should look no further than the Chicco C6 Stroller.
Chicco Capri Lightweight Stroller
The next and last entry in this section is another amazing option in Chicco’s wide array of lightweight strollers that very much resembles the original C6 model. The Chicco Capri Lightweight Stroller is another extremely light model at barely 11 pounds and is a no-frills kind of baby stroller that is designed for hopping in and out of vehicles or for quick trips to the malls, parks, or to the nearest store.
Probably the most notable improvement in this model is better padding in almost all areas including the recline and the harness straps. It retains practically all the hallmarks of Chicco lightweight and umbrella baby strollers.
The Chicco Capri is built for babies 6 months to 3 years old and can carry a maximum weight of 37 pounds. It has a full hood that is adjustable and a 5 point harness for safety. Swivel locks on the front wheel are for adaptability on various terrains and stability while braking is done by pressing on a plastic foot lever on the rear wheel. When it comes to storage, there is a medium-sized basket below the seat to accommodate objects such as water bottles and diapers.
Many of those who bought this baby stroller like the way how this one collapses. It folds easily and can be carried around courtesy of a shoulder strap. While Chicco markets this one as a stroller that needs both hands when folding, parents who have gotten quite used to its setup have often done the folding with a single hand. The handling of this stroller is also very easy. It has a soft and “gripped” handlebars and plastic wheel that is very solid on a multitude of surfaces.
Why Buy an Umbrella Stroller?
The reason why parents should buy umbrella strollers can be taken from the way this kind of stroller evolved through the years and in their surging popularity in the homes of thousands of people. First of all, families are bound to travel. Travelling does not have to be cross-country for parents to see the need of buying umbrella strollers. A quick trip to the mall, market, parks, and other areas of amusement needs a stroller that is easy to pack and convenient to bring. Most umbrella strollers offer the features of standard-sized ones without being too bulky.
It is also worthy to note that even the cheapest and lightest umbrella stroller go through a rigorous quality inspection so parents should get reasonable compensation for any amount spent.
Benefits of Lightweight Strollers and Umbrella Strollers
Here are some of the benefits of lightweight strollers and umbrella strollers:
- Maneuverable. Without yet getting into the business of travelling to and from different places, the mere fact of owning a baby stroller that is easy to handle when doing errands or when shopping for groceries is already heaven-sent. A light and maneuverable baby stroller is excellent for tight spaces and sharp turns.
- Easy to Fold and Easy to Use. The ease with which these lightweight strollers and umbrella strollers can be folded is genius in its simplicity. There are models that can even be folded with only one hand. In their folded state, they can easily fit in trunks and other storage areas or can be carried with ease and convenience.
- Added Features. Even the most functional and basic lightweight stroller and umbrella stroller have added features like a collapsible canopy, storage areas, suspensions, swivel locks, among other things. They are more like a toned down version of the best standard-sized baby strollers.
How to Determine the Best Umbrella Stroller and Lightweight Stroller
The best umbrella stroller and lightweight stroller largely depend on the needs of the parents and the babies themselves. That being said, there are a few things are common when choosing these kinds of strollers.
Maneuverability. Regardless of size, no one wants to buy a stroller that takes maximum effort to push and move around. Since umbrella strollers and lightweight strollers are really very light, they should also be more maneuverable than any kind of stroller. The best kind would allow the parents to push the stroller with one hand even when it is fully loaded.
Lightweight. By its name alone and usage, umbrella strollers and lightweight strollers should ideally be no more than 20 pounds. Otherwise, parents might as well consider going for a standard-size baby stroller. Because these strollers are very light, they are easy to carry, transport, and maneuver. Their lightness, though, should also mean that they are built to last.
Storage. The best umbrella strollers and lightweight strollers should have at least medium-sized storage areas. Without storage areas, parents find it a bit of a hassle to carry things around. Also, putting things around the handle bars might cause these lightweight strollers to topple over once the baby is taken out.
Safety Measures. One of the priorities of the best umbrella strollers and lightweight strollers is the security features. There should be, at the very least, a functional 5 point harness, solid brakes, functional locks, and a very sturdy frame. Parents should steer away from these kinds of strollers that have suspect safety measures.
More Factors to Consider in Choosing the Best Umbrella Stroller
Keep Child’s Age in Mind
An umbrella stroller is definitely not the best place yet for newborn babies until about 5 months. Most umbrella strollers are suitable for babies aged 6-36 months as they have developed enough strength to support their own necks. A child’s age should be kept in mind as well as it is a sign of a growing weight. The best umbrella strollers have weight limitations that have to be strictly observed.
Size of the Stroller
There is no uniform size for the best umbrella stroller. In effect, the best umbrella stroller depends so much on the kind of comfort, maneuverability, and ease of use that a specific stroller brings.
Purpose of the Stroller
Obviously, the best umbrella stroller should be light and maneuverable so it can be used as designed. It should allow parents the effortless task of handling heavy traffic, convenience to do errands and in packing for travels.
Umbrella Stroller Safety
Comfort and safety should go hand in hand every time a parent chooses to buy an umbrella stroller. Here are some of the safety considerations that a parent has to make:
Seat – Practically all umbrella strollers have highly-functional, adjustable, and even comfortable 5 point harnesses. The harness will keep the baby from falling off, especially when the stroller is moving.
Canopy – The canopy should be roomy enough and have the option of being extended for better protection from the elements. In most cases, even the most basic umbrella stroller has adjustable and a good enough canopy for adequate protection.
Storage – Manufacturers commonly place storage areas below the seat so it will prevent the stroller from toppling over if the baby is not riding it. Also, storage areas should be secure enough to hold objects such as diapers, water bottles, or food.
Wheels – The wheels of most umbrella strollers are made of sturdy plastic and should be good enough for some light grass and trail. Different strollers offer different wheel safety features that often include swivel locks on the front, suspension on all wheels, and brakes at the back.
Weight Capacity – Regardless of age, weight capacity should be carefully followed by parents. The weight limit is set in place so the baby can be at his most comfortable without sacrificing his safety. There are numerous risks when an umbrella stroller is overburdened.
It seems like there is no stopping lightweight strollers and umbrella strollers from invading the rest of the population who do not have one yet. No other kind of baby stroller has the unbeatable combination of reasonable, if not cheap prices, light weight, ease of use, maneuverability, and simplicity. Because of all these features, it is guaranteed that umbrella strollers and lightweight strollers are here to stay forever.