Umbrella strollers are collapsible and compact which makes them the perfect solution for the parent who is always on the move.
If you frequent public transport, airports, or any other crowded space then the easy maneuvaribility of an umbrella stroller will make your life so much easier!
This is a very basic kind of stroller – and in the past often associated with cheapness (think $20 big box store Chinese import). However, the big stroller brands have stepped up and modernized the humble umbrella stroller.
And there are some very impressive models that we are going to share with you below. There are literally hundreds of these things on the market, so take advantage of the many hours of research we have put into finding you the best umbrella strollers on the market today.
In This Post:
Umbrella Stroller Essentials
Before we jump in we first wanted to cover the absolute essentials for a stroller to make our list.
- Stroller Frame < 15lbs – An umbrella stroller must be lightweight (all but one are 8-11lbs).
- Width < 21″ – Narrow and compact to ensure easy manoeuvrability.
- Weight Capacity > 40lbs – To ensure use well into the toddler years.
We will cover the other criteria that helped determine rankings later in the post. For now, you can be confident that everything covered at least meets the above parameters.
If you don’t want to read the full reviews you can see our top three recommendations below and a high-level comparison.
We have also reviewed the following umbrella strollers. They are a notch below these in terms of both quality and price, but they are reliable options if you are on a budget or just want something for casual use.
Best Umbrella Strollers For Toddlers of 2023
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 when compared to some of the very basic strollers lower on our list that are still pushing 10lbs.
The highlight of the ZOE was the huge sun canopy that offers almost full coverage. For an umbrella style that usually has a token visor on top, this made it a huge standout!
It is also removable and easy to set aside if you want to lighten the loan further.
Also breaking the mold of an umbrella stroller is the ability to achieve a 165 degree seat recline! This is in line with what many of the highest quality full-size strollers can do.
You also get a stack of accessories that you wouldn’t expect (while still under 11lbs). This includes a child tray, cup holder, removable parents cup holder, adjustable footrest, and ample storage space.
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.
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. But the cost is still way below most alternative stroller designs.
The frame is also the widest on our list at 20.5″. The second (18.2″) and third (19.75″) strollers may be an option if you need something below that 20″ mark.
The last point we will make about the ZOE is that it is infant car seat compatible – a feature usually only found in a full-size stroller.
- Huge sun canopy
- Deep recline on seat
- Lots of accessories
- Extra-large storage basket
- One-handed fold
- Adjustable leg rest
- Wider than other strollers
- Slightly lower capacity (50 lbs)
The ultra breathable fabric of the G-Lite make this umbrella stroller 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. So you will need a hat as well!
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 kickstand like-support that allows the folded stroller to stand up on its own. This has limited use and value in our opinion, but a clever and unique part of the design all the same.
- Higher weight capacity (55lbs)
- Large storage space under seat
- Vented mesh material at back of seat
- Hand operated folding mechanism
- Stroller stands on its own
- Limited sun canopy
- Mesh may wear out faster
Joovy claims to have made a lightweight umbrella stroller, but at 14 lbs this is 3lbs heavier than the ZOE and the UPPAbaby.
Despite this, it is still performs better than most umbrella strollers and makes our top three recommendations.
It is the best umbrella stroller for tall parents with the handle height reaching 42.5″ – the highest on our list.
You also get much more coverage from the canopy than the UPPAbaby and the material more heavy-duty. It folds down so you get 360 degrees of coverage rather than just a token sun blocker at midday.
When collapsed you also have the kickstand to allow the product to stand up on its own.
The Joovy is also feature heavy with two mesh pockets in the seat area, cup holders, a roomy storage basket, plus the addition of a carrying strap that you can throw over your shoulder when not in use. Plus there is a near fully reclining seat to boot.
We just can’t get past that higher total weight, so it slips down the rankings a few spots.
If the extra pounds don’t bother you and you are looking to save a few bucks vs the ZOE this is still a great umbrella stroller.
- Near flat recline
- Shoulder strap
- Two cup holders, pockets and storage space included
- Large canopy with peek-a-boo window
- Heavy frame (14 lbs)
- Tricky to open and close
Now we get to the first of our strollers under the $100 mark. The Summer Infant (and the Kolcraft which is up next) offer a comparable experience for 30%-50% less cost.
The 42.5″ handlebar height is equal tallest and the same as the Joovy. The sun canopy and storage basket size are also very similar.
That extra height comes with some weight with the 13 lb aluminum frame being the second heaviest on our list (just ahead of the Joovy at 14 lbs). The extra weight doesn’t translate to equal capacity with the seat maxing out at 50lbs.
So it loses ground on these two points.
It makes some up by having a four-position recline on the seat. This puts it well ahead of most umbrella strollers. The anti-shock wheels are also a nice feature that smoothens the ride compared to most. alternatives.
If you are on a budget we would recommend the Summer Infant over a cheap umbrella stroller.
You get 90% of the performance for just over half the price of the premium models we have reviewed so far, which is excellent value for money.
- Excellent budget option
- Tallest handlebars
- Carry strap
- Lower seat capacity
- Heavier frame (13 lbs)
Now we get to the super lightweight umbrella strollers under 10lbs with the Kolcraft Cloud a standout in this segment.
At first glance, it looks quite similar to the Joovy and the UPPAbaby. The major difference being the price tag! The Kolcraft is a fraction of the price and very similar in features and performance.
You get the mesh seat material, cup holders, extendable canopy and storage space – just like 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.
There are some sacrifices though. The handles are 2″-4″ lower than the top three on our list. So this is less suitable for taller parents, but also helps it achieve the ultra-lightweight 9.5lb frame.
Your baby may also outgrow it sooner with the seat height slightly smaller. But with the lower investment, this may not matter all that much.
- Only 9.5lbs
- Vented material at back of seat
- User friendly buckle
- Includes parent cup holder
- Lower handlebar height
- Lower weight limit (40lbs)
We now get to a no-frills, lightweight stroller, that is basic in function with almost no features. The big Mickey Mouse picture on the front of the seat being the main attraction!
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 at just 8.5lbs, but also quite small and narrow.
The handlebars are lower and with the required hunching (depending on your height) we would not recommend this for extended use. But for a quick trip down to the shops, it’s 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 and easy to fold and unfold, and due to the lack of features, it is simple to use right out of the box.
- Engaging Mickey Mouse image
- Lightweight (8.5lbs)
- The canopy is not adjustable
- Will not stand up to heavy duty use
- 40lbs limit
The only reason for including the Cosco is that it is one of the lightest umbrella strollers we could find that still offered a good experience.
The stroller weighs just 7.7lbs, nearly a full pound lighter than the Disney model and almost half the 14lbs of the Joovy!
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 and you are away.
So again for shorter use, this can be a useful backup stroller. But for a primary option you could aim a bit higher than this if you want something more user-friendly.
- Feather light
- Compact stroller
- No storage space
- Very narrow seat
Why Is It Called An Umbrella Stroller?
There are three defining characteristics that warrant the name:
- Hooked Handles: You will notice on each design the handle curve upwards. This resembles the shape of an umbrella handle.
- Collapsible: When you collapse and fold up your stroller it will also resemble an umbrella when in a similar collapsed state.
- Water Resistant Material: Also similar to an umbrella is the material with which the body is constructed. You will notice similarities in the feel of the fabric, and how it responds to water and stains.
Stroller Assessment Criteria
In this section, we wanted to expand on the essentials listed earlier to also show some other factors that determined the order of our recommendations.
It is quick, easy to use, and relatively cheap compared to more feature-heavy stroller designs. This makes it a good stroller to have as a backup that you can use for quick trips.
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.
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 a diaper bag, your handbag, and any other necessaries when you leave the house. Then you will need to consider one of the strollers with the higher weight limit like the G-Lite and Joovy, which both can handle a full 55lb load.
There were three reclining umbrella strollers on our list from the seven reviews. Those that do also have limitations that make it unsuitable for use with an infant.
Your baby develops suitable strength in the neck you should use a bassinet-style stroller instead.
However, the ZOE and the Joovy get pretty close to flat (~165 degrees) but this is still not far enough for an infant.
The Summer Infant is the only other model that does recline from our list.
Just to be clear, not every stroller on our list is a reclining stroller so if this is a critical feature for you then choose from the three options mentioned.
Lightweight and Compact
As you can see the typically lightweight design of the umbrella stroller makes them suitable for use as a travel stroller.
Depending on the airline’s policies, many of these will fold up and fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane without much trouble. Whereas most full-size stroller models will not make it past check-in!
Even the feature-heavy ZOE comes in at just 11lbs, but you can go all the way down to the 7.7lb Cosco model if you just want the lightest possible umbrella stroller for travel.
Any of the top five umbrella strollers reviewed could operate as your primary stroller considering the features included and quality of the products when compared to a traditional stroller.
They are often used as travel strollers too considering the compact design and how small they are when folded up.
The versatility of the ZOE XL1 made it a clear standout in this category and you can even use ait s a travel system, which not many umbrella strollers can do.
If you are after value and do not need something super lightweight then the Summer Infant is your best option for under a hundred bucks. You get the under-seat storage, a sturdy frame, and a compact fold. It is just a little heavier than the ZOE.
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