Updated - September 2017
This review has been updated to include information related to product updates, including important information regarding car seat adapter changes for the Britax B-Agile 3.
Best Overall Umbrella Stroller
Easy to push and turn
Not great for napping
The BabyZen Yoyo+
received the highest overall score in this review, with one of the best maneuverability scores and decent scores all other metrics. The Yoyo+ is a pleasure to push and turn thanks to its nice wheels and bearings. With a stylish design and attention to detail, the Yoyo+ brings to the table all that it promises, folding small into thirds, being easy to carry, and enjoyable to use. It includes all the features you'll want and all the functionality you need for a day on the town, making it a great option for the urban dweller. While the price is on the high side for a lightweight stroller, this is a case where "you get what you pay for" really holds true. If you can afford it, we think the performance and looks of this stroller will be worth it.
Read review: BabyZen Yoyo+
Best for Travel
Easy and fun to push and turn
Great for travel
The Quinny Yezz
came in second place out of 19 strollers in this review, shining with a top score for maneuverability and quality, and a good score for weight and folded size. This stroller is super easy and fun to use with an amazing turning radius and one finger pushing. The Yezz is fun to use and moves so well you won't want to stop strolling. While it doesn't offer much in the way of features, you are unlikely to miss them with the innovative design and just enough options to keep you going. The Yezz has skate style wheels with closed bearings and a comfortable seat with a small canopy and back of the seat storage pocket. It folds small, can be carried hands-free, and stows almost anywhere. We think this little powerhouse is a true traveler's dream, and parents and passengers will love using it as often as they can.
Read review: Quinny Yezz
Best on a Tight Budget
Small and lightweight
Easy to carry
Hard to push and turn
The Inglesina Net
earned a high score for weight and folded size with a nice score for quality. This stroller is a bare bones option with a breathable seat back, slight recline, easy traditional fold with self-stand, and one of the smallest and lightest combined measurements in the group. This budget friendly stroller is one of the cheaper options in the review, and while it doesn't come with the bells and whistles, it does have what you need to make it through a mid-day stroll. The under seat bin is big enough for a few supplies, and the canopy covers enough to prevent discomfort. This simple stroller will get the job done without breaking the bank or leaving you frustrated. While it can't double as a main stroller, or make it for longer trips, it is a good option for travel and is easy to carry and stow.
Read review: Inglesina Net
Best Bang for the Buck
Easy to use
The Recaro EasyLife
earned a Best Value award for offering a high performing product at a reasonable price. This stroller earned top marks for ease of use and quality, with features that function well and provide what you need. The EasyLife has a cool tri-fold design that creates a package small enough for most spaces and a strap that makes it easy to carry. It features a nice size canopy with peek-a-boo window, a cool water bottle sleeve, a decent storage bin, and a recline good enough for napping. We think parents will love the look and feel of this inexpensive option so much that they will be able to overlook any difficulty they may have moving over uneven terrain, the only place where the EasyLife struggles.
Read review: Recaro EasyLife
Top Pick for Everyday Use
Britax B-Agile 3
Easy to use
Car seat compatible
Easy to push
Heavier and larger
Harder to travel with
The Britax B-Agile 3
earned top marks for ease of use and quality with an impressive score for maneuverability. This standard stroller is lighter than some of the lightweight strollers and has a quick and easy fold that makes it easy to manage on the go. The B-Agile 3 earned a Top Pick award for everyday use because it can handle all-day adventures with a large storage bin and canopy, a near flat recline, and tight space turning. This stroller works from infancy (though until 2018 the brands are limited) to older toddler, and could be the only stroller you ever need, saving you time and money with a one and done stroller solution over two.
Britax is currently redesigning the majority of their infant car seat adapters for most brands. The launch date is sometime in 2018 for Chicco, Peg Perego, and Graco adapters. Currently, the B-Agile is only compatible with Britax (adapters included with the purchase of the stroller) and the Nuna, Cybex, and Maxi-Cosi (with the purchase of an adapter).
Read review: Britax B-Agile 3
Top Pick for Everyday Use
Baby Jogger City Mini
Easy to use
Car seat compatible
The Baby Jogger City Mini
earned a Top Pick for best everyday use with high scores for ease of use, maneuverability, and quality. This stroller may be one of the heavier and larger options, but it has everything you'll need for almost any kind of trip, making it feel like a small well-equipped outing machine. This stroller is easy to push and turn, has a giant canopy, and folds with one quick step. It has a near flat recline for napping, a large storage bin, and materials that come together in a sturdy, practical stroller that works with several infant car seats. The City Mini can do it all and potentially fill two niches with one product saving you money and the energy needed to decide on two products. Combine this option with a compatible infant car seat, and it may be the only stroller you need to buy.
Read review: Baby Jogger City Mini
Analysis and Test Results
We put 19 of the top and highly-regarded lightweight strollers through a rigorous testing process. Each product was carefully observed in use, and rated on four key performance metrics: weight and folded size, ease of use, maneuverability, and quality. Weight and folded size had the most influence on the final score because finding a compact, easy-to-carry stroller, is the primary reason parents add an umbrella option to their must have gear list. Our ratings are a combination of in-house lab testing and real world experience using the products in everyday life for several months, in side-by-side comparison tests.
We tested 19 of the most popular umbrella and lightweight strollers available.
The table above shows how each of the products we tested ranked regarding overall performance in all tests. In the sections below, we'll detail the major performance rating metrics and summarize how the products performed compared to each other.
If small folded size is a priority, you may want to consider the GB Pockit. It is remarkably small when folded and very lightweight. It earned the highest score in our Weight and Folded Size tests, due to its unique combination of the smallest folded size and the 2nd lightest weight. However, this stroller is difficult to use and requires a trade off for the size.
Weight and Folded Size
How much a product weighs, and how compact it can fold, is what makes a great lightweight stroller stand out from the pack. Arguably, the most important aspect is an option you can fold and transport with ease. You'll want one that makes travel easier and can quickly go from carrying the baby to being carried or stowed. Some of the products we reviewed were pretty heavy making them harder to carry or lift. Some of them were light but folded into packages that were longer than average and hard to fit in a compact trunk. If you are looking for a traditional umbrella stroller, this could be the make or break metric on which product to purchase.
The highest scoring product for Weight and Folded Size is the GB Pockit
with the smallest folded volume, and the second lightest weight. If you need a small folded product that fits in tight places and can be easily picked up and carried or moved on public transportation, then the GB Pockit
really wins top honors. However, the Pockit did not win an award, because it is difficult to maneuver and hard to use, and it scored below average for overall
performance. The Maclaren Mark II
is the lightest with a weight of only 8.6 lbs, but it scored poorly in other tests leaving it well below average in overall rank. Unless you absolutely can't lift anything over 9 lbs, then we don't think the tradeoff of poor user experience is worth the lower weight.
The Quinny Yezz
(above left) offers the second smallest fold with a reasonable weight of only 12.6 lbs, and
it is a stroller we love to push and have fun using, which makes it a more compelling all-around choice for travel. The largest folded option is the Baby Jogger City Mini
(above right), which may be a poor choice if space is at a premium, and the Graco Breaze
is the heaviest (over 18 lbs), which may be prohibitive carrying long distances.
With the easiest fold/unfold functionality, and a storage bin that offers unusually easy access from the back, the Recaro EasyLife lived up to its name and earned the highest score in our tests for ease of use.
Ease of Use
Ease of use encompasses your daily experience and the features that make the product easier to use or adds versatility. A product that ranks high for ease of use may be more versatile, and users found it more enjoyable and user-friendly. Parents might find that higher ranking strollers are suitable for a larger variety of adventure types. Having a generous sunshade or storage bin means a stroller might be able to go shopping for longer or be better for outdoor trips to a farmers market. Having an easy, quick fold, can make a stroller better for urban commuting where speed and space are valued over additional features.
Fold and Unfold
Lightweight strollers should be easy to fold and quick to operate for use on public transportation. While a small fold is important, folding easily and fast can be just as important. We prefer strollers that fold with one hand and fewer steps. Strollers earned, even more, points if they lock automatically or stand on their own.
The Recaro folds in thirds making a more compact package than the more traditional umbrella fold that creates a narrower but longer folded package.
The Recaro EasyLife
is the easiest to fold, requiring only one hand and folding into thirds making a small package that fits almost anywhere. Better still, it unfolds almost by itself and pops open so quick you're ready to go in no time. The hardest strollers to fold are the UPPAbaby
products that require two hands with multiple steps and can be harder to do if you're rushed or flustered (think crying baby and impatient commuters). The Britax B-Agile 3
and the Baby Jogger City Mini
are also easy to fold with a quick one-handed pull.
The BabyZen Yoyo+ has one of the easiest brake pedals to use with a step on / step off single action functionality that is easy to see and access.
Many of the umbrella products have double action brakes that require two pedals to be set for full brake engagement. We worry that parents will forget or intentionally not set both pedals and this could lead to preventable accidents or injuries. For this reason, we prefer single action brakes that use only one pedal to set. The best brakes are easy to set and release and are sandal foot friendly. The brakes should engage without sticking or feeling locked when they aren't. The best brakes in this review are on the BabyZen Yoyo+
with one pedal that has plenty of foot room and is a press to set and release. The Baby Jogger Vue Lite
has the worst brakes with are super stiff pedal, and it felt set during testing when sometimes it wasn't and releasing the brakes hurt sandaled feet.
The B-Agile has the largest storage bin in the group, with easy access from the back. This bin can carry supplies for all day adventures or a few shopping bags when running errands.
Most of the products offered storage of some kind, how much and where were the primary differences. Many have an under seat storage bin, but they vary in size, max weight capacity, and access. The Britax B-Agile 3
has the largest bin in our review and the Quinny Yezz
doesn't have a bin at all, just a seatback pocket. Some strollers have pockets located on the back of the sun shades, like the BabyZen Yoyo+
and the Britax B-Agile 3. The pocket makes them more user-friendly than the products without them and increases their convenience. The Recaro EasyLife
and the Britax B-Agile 3 both offer nice storage, while the Quinny Yezz pocket can only hold a few supplies meaning you might end up carrying a separate bag for supplies.
The photos above show some of the additional storage features for this group of strollers. From left to right they are the zippered pocket on the canopy of the BabyZen Yoyo+, the water bottle sleeve on the Recaro EasyLife, and the back pocket of the Quinny Yezz.
The ZOE canopy is the largest in the group with low coverage consisting of 4 panels including a pop out visor and medium size window for spying on baby.
While all the products have a canopy, some have smaller shade, usually without windows. The canopy on the Quinny Yezz
is simple, easy to use, and attached to the fabric of the main stroller. However, it is small, with little coverage, and it isn't SPF rated. Things are worse with the GB Pockit
, with the smallest shade that only offers direct overhead protection with no side shade. Not surprisingly, both of these strollers earned lower scores for ease of use. On the other hand, some strollers have giant canopies that offer excellent coverage even for a reclined passenger. The largest canopy belongs to the ZOE XL1 Deluxe
, which is so large that it creates a private cocoon for the passenger, but the canopy is the only thing it did well.
The photos above show the varying sizes of canopies in this review. From left to right they are the flat shade on the GB Pockit, the medium canopy on the BabyZen Yoyo+
, and the giant shade of the ZOE XL1 Deluxe
All of the products we looked have 5-point harnesses. Five is considered the safest design because the two extra points coming from the shoulder restraint straps help keep children from slipping out, or falling out should the stroller accidentally tip over. We considered how difficult the straps were to adjust for height and correct fit, and how hard the buckle is to use. We also considered whether or not the product has an adjustable crotch strap, and if the lowest shoulder height will work for smaller babies.
We feel parents are more likely to use a harness regularly if it is easy to use and adjust. The UPPAbaby G-Luxe
(above left) has the easiest harness and buckle to use, while the Maclaren Techno XT
(above right) buckle is so hard that even two hands don't feel like enough. Some of the harnesses are fairly easy to adjust for size, but the height of the shoulder straps is more difficult. The BabyZen Yoyo+
and the Recaro EasyLife
have very easy to use harnesses, and both scored well overall and won awards.
The B-Agile 3 has one of the coziest seats with adequate padding on a sling style design, padded leg rest, and deep recline.
A reclining seatback and adjustable leg rest are nice features that earned products higher scores for ease of use. For little passengers on the go, napping and being comfortable can be the difference between a successful outing and a disaster of epic tantrum proportions. Unfortunately, finding a truly comfortable seat is harder than you'd think when it comes to lightweight strollers. Some of the products offer a reclining back, but no adjustable leg rest, others have both a recline and leg option, and some have neither. Many of the recline angles are not that deep and not as nap-worthy as others. Depending on the kind of trip you plan to take, a simple stroller with no comfort options might suffice, but if you are going to the zoo for the entire day, life will be much easier if little ones can nap and get cozy as the day wears on.
The adjustable leg rest on the Mountain Buggy Nano
(above left) offers additional leg room for nappers, but the zipper side adjustment on the Inglesina Net
(above right) doesn't increase the recline angle enough for true napping comfort.
With relatively upright seating, even when fully reclined, and no legrest to speak of, the Inglesina Net does not offer the best seat for longer trips or napping.
The Baby Jogger City Mini
and the Britax B-Agile 3
have some of the most comfortable seats in the group, though the UPPAbaby G-Luxe
has the deepest recline paired with an adjustable leg rest, something hard to find in this group together. If your trips are likely to last for hours, then a comfortable seat will simply be a must have and might mean you have to sacrifice other things like lighter weights to get one. The Quinny Yezz
and the Inglesina Net
have some of the lowest scores for this metric with fairly upright seating, little to no recline, and no true leg rest. However, if your trips are short and an overall small size is important to you, then these options might be the winner for you.
Although some of the umbrella products claim to be suitable for newborns and infants, we do NOT recommend the use of umbrella or lightweight products for children under six months of age. Why? These kinds of strollers only offer the minimal effort for infants and not the level of support and protection we would like to see for babies without head and neck control. Unless the stroller accepts the attachment of an infant car seat, we do not think they should be used for children under six months old. Ever. Always keep an eye on baby and regularly check to ensure the harness is properly positioned and adjusted.
Car Seat Compatibility
Only a sparse few of the lightweight options are compatible with infant car seats. For the most part, this stroller category isn't known for infant capability, so it isn't a strike against them if they didn't offer it, more of a bonus if they did. The Britax B-Agile 3
, the Baby Jogger City Mini
and the Mountain Buggy Nano
all accept infant car seats with additional adapters. The BabyZen Yoyo+
works with one infant car seat, the Graco Breaze
works with Graco brand seats, and the Recaro EasyLife
works with the Recaro Performance Coupe
The Quinny Yezz has polyurethane skate wheels with bearings that make pushing fun and enjoyable ulike more traditional stroller wheels that are made of plastic and often tend to wobble.
Maneuverability can make or break whether or not a stroller rolls smoothly, or struggles and wobbles. Depending on the journey and the terrain you plan to cover, the product you choose will make a big difference in whether or not you can get where you want to go without frustration. Some of the products were easy to push and turn, while others felt clunky and struggled to turn on grass.
The Quinny Yezz
has unique skate wheels that make it so agile it feels like you can dance with it, which means you can negotiate even the most crowded city streets with ease and style. We loved using it and think that most parents can forgive any lacking features for its maneuverability alone. The BabyZen Yoyo+
also performed well in our tests for maneuverability, but it was much smoother on the flat roads than the grass gravel.
The single front wheels of the Yoyo+ helped it out maneuver the competition, earning it a high score for maneuverability.
While we assumed most of the strollers would struggle in the grass and gravel, we were a little surprised that some of them struggled on flat hard surfaces too. The products that struggled in this metric were those with smaller wheels, wheels with fake tread, and the dual front wheel designs (2 wheels on each side that equaled four wheels in front). Products with single front wheels (2 total, instead of 4) and the larger wheels performed better overall than most of the others. The hardest stroller to push is the ZOE XL1 Deluxe
. This stroller struggled on the smooth flat hardwood and was very difficult to turn with weight in the seat.
The photos above show the single front wheels on the BabyZen Yoyo+ (above left), and the dual front wheels of the ZOE XL1 Deluxe (above right).
The Quinny Yezz tied for the top score in Quality, due to an amazing attention to detail in the product materials and workmanship that resulted in an almost flawless final product.
For quality, we consider how well a product is put together, the materials that are used, and how the materials withstand daily use. Some of the materials are not as nice or durable as others.
The overall look and feel of the materials, and how they come together and perform under normal use, is a good indicator of the level of quality of the construction and components. The comfort factor of each option was also noted. Other considerations were frame flex, wheel wobble, exposed fasteners, poor stitching, and loose connection points.
The Quinny Yezz
and Recaro EasyLife
earned the high scores for quality, with the Britax B-Agile 3
, Babyzen Yoyo+
(above left), and the Baby Jogger City Mini
close behind them. These strollers are looked nice and felt sturdy during use with little frame flex and limited if any manufacturing flaws or defects. The Kolcraft Cloud Plus
(above right) earned the lowest score for quality with lower end materials and loose connection points that created more frame flex with weight in the seat. This stroller also has the lowest price in the group, so it may very well be a "you get what you pay for" situation for the Kolcraft Cloud Plus.
Ease of Setup
Most of the products we reviewed came assembled or mostly assembled. The main items requiring assembly were attaching the wheels, canopies, or possibly seat to the frame. None of the products required complete assembly, but the BabyZen Yoyo+
had a lot of parts and pieces, taking more time than any other stroller to get unpacked and ready to stroll, and in some cases 6 times longer. The GB Pockit
and the Quinny Yezz
were both very easy to set up, with the GB Pockit taking under
2 minutes including unpacking time. Given that you only need to do assembly once, we don't think it should be a heavy influencer in your buying decision.
The Recaro EasyLife is a nice lightweight option with a budget friendly price and enough features to get the job done with relative ease.
In the end, it is difficult to say that there is only one best product for everyone. The needs of parents and their passengers vary depending on how often the stroller will be used, the duration it will be used for, and the kind of activities. Some of the strollers are better for quick trips around the city, while others are better for longer trips to the park or shopping. Some have so many features they could manage double duty as a primary stroller, while others are so minimal they make great commuting products, but possibly not much else.
The award winning umbrella strollers offer a range of great possibilities with variety of sizes and shapes that come with different features designed for various strolling goals. We feel confident that most parents can find what they are looking for in one or more of these awesome strollers.
There are several good options for everyone no matter what your specific need or budget. It is our goal to provide the information you need to make the best decision for your family. Between the award winners and the high ranking models, there is something for everyone, and once you narrow down your needs and desires, we feel confident you can find the right stroller for your passenger. Take a look at our How to Pick the Best Umbrella Stroller
for help on narrowing down your options and deciding what is most important to you.