Umbrella strollers are lightweight, affordable, and compact in size. This makes them suitable for those who need a secondary stroller for casual use, frequent public transport, or also have limited storage space at home for when it is not in use.
You can hold this up and store it away in the corner of a cupboard, or just leave it in the trunk of your car. You will barely notice that it is there.
This is a very basic kind of stroller, but there are models that come with a few of the bells and whistles you would expect from a bulkier stroller; storage space, cup holders, and extendable canopies.
Generally these models are a bit heavier and at a higher price point. So you will notice two distinct styles of stroller in this article on either side of the 10lbs mark.
Weight Category Comparisons
Comparison - Models > 10 lbs
Comparison - Models < 10 lbs
Why is it Called an Umbrella Stroller?
There are three defining characteristics that warrant the name:
Features and Description
This kind of stroller is best suited to casual use due to its simple design and high level of portability.
It is quick, easy to use and relatively cheap compared to more feature heavy stroller designs. This makes it a viable option to have as a backup stroller when the occasion warrants it.
Great for maneuvering around airports, shopping malls and public transport. Easy to throw into the car also for that quick day trip.
Features to look at when making your buying decision are below:
The strollers that we reviewed have a range between 40-55 lbs. We found that there was a correlation between price and the recommended weight capacity. This tells us a lot about the quality of the frame and how sturdy the build of the product is.
It was primarily for this reason that we have split the assessed products into two sections; the best strollers you will find, and the lightweight (and cheaper!) variations.
When looking at the weight capacity it is important to remember that this is the total weight the stroller is to carry, not just your child.
If you are in the habit of loading up with diaper bags, your handbag, and any other necessaries when you leave the house. Then you may need to consider the higher weight limit products.
An umbrella stroller will not recline to a level suitable for a newborn or infant. Until your baby develops suitable strength in the neck you should use a bassinet style stroller instead.
There are some designs that do include a recline feature, but this is rarely enough it to safely accomodate a newborn. Only the Joovy New Groove would get close.
Most designs will include a latch that will hold the stroller in position, and prevent it from collapsing down. This is a small, but essential, component of the design to ensure that there are no accidents in transit.
We have also included the width of the stroller. This indicates the spread of the wheel base, which will influence the stability of the chair when stationary.
You will also usually get a cover that will keep the sun in part of your baby. The size and effectiveness of this will vary depending on each model, but a standard feature nonetheless.
Again the spread between models is significant enough for us to split our review into two groups. We have drawn the line at 10 lbs as the point to categorise those that are truly light weight.
This is of course a subjective number, and with the Joovy being the heaviest at 14 lbs you are unlikely to be limited by weight with any of the discussed options.
Best Umbrella Strollers for Toddlers
First we will look at the heavy duty models - and we use this term with a grain of salt - all models are still very light compared to their full service stroller counterparts.
This group of strollers are well built, sturdy, versatile and include storage space. Yet they still collapse into a small space, and are easy to move around.
You will even get a recline feature in some of these, with varying levels of use.
Best suited to those who:
"Very versatile - they have thought of everything"
The ZOE was a clear winner in this category due to the number of accessories included in the design, and the quality of the build. All while keeping to 11 lbs for the total weight - an amazing feat that lands this product right in the middle of the weight range of all that we reviewed.
Accessories included are a child tray, cup holder, removable parents cup holder, and adjustable foot rest. Plus you can recline the seat - a feature that is also scarce in this category.
The removable canopy and a peekaboo window is what really makes the ZOE stand out as a top pick. This feature has been either removed or limited in every other design that we looked at.
You can achieve almost full coverage from the outside world to ensure nap time is possible, and sustainable, and the design is slick.
The size and placement of the wheels also were a point of difference in this model. The larger rear wheels made maneuvering easy, and not as clunky as I have found with some of the square base strollers that I have previously used.
For a slim and lightweight style of stroller you lose nothing in functionality.
Of course with this quality comes the price tag to match. So if you are looking for that spare secondary stroller this may not be it.
"Great circulation and perfect for warm summer days"
The ultra breathable fabric makes this perfect for warmer climates, and those hot summer days. You can see the mesh backing that will be comfortable for your baby for longer periods of time, and circulate good air all around them.
You get an extendable visor on the sun shade canopy that provides a reasonable level of coverage, but falls a long way short of the ZOE. However, it will still be adequate through the hotter parts of the day when the sun is high in the sky.
Storage space is excellent with a big basket at the base of the frame. I initially thought the mesh would make the basket prone to wear and tear, but it is tested to hold 15 lbs worth of stuff. Plenty of room to load up on whatever you can fit in there.
A handy feature of the G-LITE is the small built in kick stand like support that will allow you to stand the stroller up on its own when folded. No need to lean it up against anything - only to have it fall over because you didn't lock the wheels.
We have all been there!
"The heaviest amongst lightweights"
Joovy have made an excellent stroller here, but in amongst this company the claims of being ultralight do not hold up. Perhaps the manufacturer is speaking in relative terms to their other stroller models, rather than the comparable umbrella variety.
Regardless, it is still a well built stroller with a wider base for excellent stability.
The canopy is more heavy duty than we saw with the G-Lite and gives strong coverage from every angle, and really extends outward. This will provide great protection, while retaining excellent visibility for your child.
When collapsed you also have the kick stand to allow the product to stand up on its own.
This is also feature heavy with two mesh pockets in the seat area, cup holders, storage, plus the addition of a carry strap that you can throw over your shoulder when not in use.
We just cant get past that higher weight, so it slips down the rankings a few spots.
However, if you want something with the additional features and don't mind the extra pounds then you may find this to be excellent value for money compared to the other two we have noted in the +10 lbs category.
Best Lightweight Umbrella Strollers
These are your one dimensional, minimum viable stroller that fit into the lower end of the price spectrum.
Thats not to say you cannot get a quality stroller at this price, but you will find that the will have a lower maximum weight capacity, will be less versatile in the design, and of course be much lighter.
Best suited to those who:
"Best value for money"
Again we have a no brainer stand out in the lighter category in the Kolcraft Cloud. At first glance it will not look much different to those in the > 10 lb category, and when you are looking at the features it comes pretty close.
The major difference of course being the price tag!
You get the mesh seat material, cup holders, extendable canopy and storage space. Very similar to the UPPAbaby. While all of these features have some limitations in capacity (storage) or size (canopy) it is an excellent compromise for those who have a lower budget.
At 9.5 lbs it only just sneaks into the < 10 lbs category, so it is smaller in size. So if you are on the taller side it may be uncomfortable to push, and the wheel positioning can be a bit awkward when you walk.
Your baby may also out grow it sooner. But with the lower investment this may not matter all that much.
"Light and fun, but basic"
A fun and affordable option with a big Mickey Mouse picture on the front. If your baby is as mesmerized by Mickey Mouse as much as mine is then it is sure to be a hit!
This model is very light, but also quite small and narrow. So we would not recommend this for any kind of extended use as pushing it could lure you into an uncomfortable posture. But for a quick trip down to the shops its fine.
The build is basic and will not be as durable as the other products discussed. Note the 40 lb weight limit for the stroller as well.
It is quick easy to fold and unfold, and due to the lack of features it is simple to use right out of the box.
"Light as a feather"
A similar design to the Disney stroller, and in the same price range. The reason for including the Cosco is that it is the lightest option that we could find - coming in nearly a full pound lighter than the Disney model.
If you are a smaller person and need the lightest, simplest stroller you can find then this is it.
While it does come with a canopy it does not offer much protection, and will not extend out.
The front wheels can also be a bit stubborn at times. This can be frustrating if you need to repeatedly kick them into place when turning around.
Similar to the Disney you can pull this out of the box, clip the wheel in an you are away.
So again for shorter use this can be a useful back up stroller. But for a primary option you could aim a bit higher than this if you want something more user friendly.
The range of options in this category of stroller is broad in both performance and price. How far up the value chain you go with your purchase will depend mostly on whether this will be your main stroller or not.
If so, then an investment in quality will give you a better long term experience. Where as for the back up stroller cost may be more important than the accessories and longevity of any given model.
Regardless, it is always handy to have an umbrella stroller at your fingertips because they are can save you a lot of hassle without taking up too much space in the car or house.