Best Umbrella Stroller 2018
By Donna • September 9, 2017 • Best of reviews
Due to the popular demand of umbrella strollers, I have decided to make a quick and short round-up of the best strollers going into the new year. I want to provide you with the tools to make an informed decision. Be it to purchase a gift for friends or family. Or to buy one for yourself. Knowing what is current and available will hopefully help you with your decision.
Why umbrella strollers
There are obvious advantages when choosing an umbrella stroller over a baby jogger or baby pram. They are much lighter and fold very compact. Especially if you don’t have an SUV to carry around some of the bigger strollers on the market. Sometimes you just need something quick and easy. Folded with one hand and loaded into the trunk of your car.
They are also massively popular when traveling by airplane. Lifting the 25+ pounds onto the safety scanners can be daunting. You already have a toddler to take care of and probably have your hands full. An umbrella stroller will be much easier to handle in this scenario.
umbrella stroller for a newborn?
It is generally not advised to use an umbrella stroller for children under the age of 6 months. This is mainly due to the fact that the strollers don’t fully recline. Your baby usually doesn’t have the strength yet to support it’s own neck and needs to be laid flat when in a stroller. I strongly advise using either a regular stroller or jogging stroller that has built-in newborn features or adapters for newborn bassinets. Dedicated suspension or pneumatic air filled wheels add shock absorption. We don’t want to shake our newborns like a milkshake when strolling outside. Once they have enough neck support you can switch to an umbrella stroller.
Umbrella stroller price and quality
While there are very cheap umbrella strollers available, I would definitely recommend spending a few extra dollars to get some added quality and safety. If you will put your child in a stroller when they get heavier you want to know that the frame and fabrics will take the weight. Also having sufficient comfort and a great safety harness will put your mind at ease. You don’t want the stroller to “fold” under the pressure of heavier kids.
I have researched thoroughly and settled for the 4 best umbrella strollers going into 2018. Please find below comparison and detailed review on every model. Everyone has 4.5 to 5-star ratings in independent reviews.
Graco Breaze Click Connect
The Graco Breaze is undoubtedly the best bang for your buck. You get quality features for a very modest price. Graco produces great strollers that appeal to many parents. I picked this model as there are many good reviews about it. I wanted to test it for myself and see if what I like or don’t like about it.
- Front wheels with suspension and lockable swivels
- Large Canopy with UPF 50 + protection
- Reclining seat (fully flat possible)
- Graco ClickConnect compatible
- Five point harness
- Parking brake foot activated
what i like
For the list price of 149 $ the Graco Stroller provides a real value power pack! There is much to like. I really liked the front wheel suspension. It provided great shock absorption and gave a very smooth ride. The frame is very sturdy and definitely holds even the heavier children without any issue. The canopy is on the bigger side compared to other umbrella strollers and is rated for UPF 50+ protection. You will still need to cover the feet and hands of the baby and use sun protection cream though, as the canopy never fully covers the baby.
The ClickConnect feature allows for attaching any of the Graco infant car seats. This is a huge bonus if you already own one. Clever design! Further hitting this curb is the fact that the Graco Breaze fully reclines. Technically this allows for children under the age of 6 months. I’d still recommend as per above to go with strollers that offer dedicated newborn features.
The maneuverability was good. I did only test on asphalt or sidewalks though. So I don’t have any comparison to my other reviews that went off track a lot.
what i don't like
The stroller itself is rather on the heavy side for an umbrella stroller weighing 18 pounds (almost double the lightest stroller in this round-up). But you can’t expect high-tech fiber alloy that reduces weight from a stroller in this price range. Still easily manageable if you ask me. Way lighter than any of the normal prams or joggers that I tested.
What really got on my nerves is the fold lock. That just doesn’t work at all. The stroller always opened while I was carrying it when folded and closed. This was super annoying. Not a deal breaker but enough for me to rant here. Graco please fix it!
The cupholder that comes included seems nice at first. But the stroller when folded rests on the cupholder and puts force on it. I used the stroller for not even 2 weeks and got the cupholder really warped. Bummer, I can’t resell for good value with this and need to make a discount.
For the price, the Graco Breaze provides very good value and features. You can’t expect the most stylish pram but this one will do its job perfectly. If you’re on a tight budget, look no further.
GB pockit stroller
The worlds smallest folding stroller. Wow, that really intrigued me. I had to test this one for the round-up. There are so many situations where space is scarce and you wish you had a means of transportation for your little one. Believe me, within a few months they do grow heavy and carrying them around quickly becomes a chore. Alright, let’s see what the Pockit has to offer.
- Worlds smallest folding stroller
- Very very lightweight with 9.5 lbs
- Yet very sturdy with max weight capacity 55 lbs
- Padded five-point harness
- Parking brake foot activated
what i like
Well, what is not to like with this stroller? There are so many great features. Let’s start with the glorious fold. Wow, I have never seen such a compact fold. The claim in the intro definitely holds up. This is a big deal for many people. Not everybody has an SUV being able to load tons of cargo in the trunk. Going for grocery shopping with your toddler? Think twice if your gonna have enough trunk space. Not with the Pockit stroller. It will allow you to pack your trunk with your purchases and store the stroller folded on the back seat.
Another advertised feature is the carry-on possibility for airplane travel. I am a bit skeptical in this regard. During my 2 week test, I did not go a plane travel. Therefore I can’t comment on this. My common sense would say that I would check this ahead of the gate if they allow it as a carry-on. I do see the benefit though. Travelling with a toddler is messy and demanding. Imagining being able to pull the stroller from the overhead bin and assemble to walk out the plane with the kid inside? Priceless! Not having to worry about damages or losses caused by the airline is also great. But again, probably best to check with your carrier first as I have read not all allow for in-cabin transport.
The fold really is not that hard once you tried it for a few times. No, it’s not that intuitive as with other prams but as with all in life. Practice a bit and you will get the hang of it. I found the folding to be quite easy after a few days and really liked the ease of it.
And the Pockit definitely is a lightweight. Weighing in at only 9.5 lbs this is the lightest stroller in this round-up and the lightest I ever had in my hands. It won’t get any easier to handle than this. If your not that tall and strong this can be really important.
what i don't like
Every medal has its flip side. So does the Pockit Stroller. Even though advertised as sturdy I felt it be a bit finicky when opened. The ride was smooth, yes but even the slightest bump or crack in the pavement and the stroller shook a lot. This is to be expected tho as no dedicated shock absorbers are installed. Also being this lightweight the frame can’t be as sturdy as the Graco Breaze for example.
The fact that the handlebars are not adjustable also is not very convenient. With them being at 40″ height my husband who is 6′ 4″ had to hunch over to steer the stroller. He did not like it and felt very uncomfortable after a while. Consider this before buying.
Having a very small fold also doesn’t allow for the storage basket to be very big. However, this is a characteristic of most umbrella strollers. Just don’t plan on storing all your stuff there and you’ll be fine. The cargo will hold the occasional diaper bag and other random items.
Also, the sunshade did not really convince me. It just isn’t big enough to really give sun protection. But in any case, you should always also protect your kid by covering with fabrics and sunscreen. The skin of the children is still very thin and damage this early will haunt them later and can cause serious problems. Be responsible and give your kid the gift of a healthy skin.
Considering all of the above the Pockit provides unique features that are not found elsewhere. If you are reliant on an ultra lightweight and small fold stroller look no further. It does have it’s tradeoffs though.
uppababy g-luxe stroller
The G-Luxe is one of the most reviewed and coveted umbrella strollers currently on the market. It made its way into my best of umbrella strollers, not by surprise. The feature-rich and quality of the stroller does give very much value. Wich in turn, of course, is reflected in a higher buying price. The design is clean and modern – not bulky at all.
- Easy fold and unfold
- Extendable sun canopy
- Detachable seat fabric washable
- Five-point harness
- One step parking brake
- Extendable UPF 50+ sun canopy
what i like
The G-Luxe is a quality umbrella stroller. I get this “quality” feel when closely inspecting this stroller. No visible defects of any sort. I really like the design. Clean and slim. The low center of gravity paired with the smooth running wheels provide for great maneuverability. Of course, you can’t compare it to regular strollers with regards to smoothness but that’s not the point of an umbrella stroller. The G-Luxe even sports 4 wheel suspension that does its job remarkably well for their size. You still have to pay attention where your strolling. Bumpy sidewalks still shake the stroller quite a bit but your kid will feel considerably more comfortable than without any shock absorption.
Pretty good seat recline. It doesn’t go all the way down but it reclines a fair bit. Your child will be able to take a nap in the stroller and be quite comfortable. My boy had no problem staying in the stroller for two to three hours if he was tired enough. The good padding and the padded harness also seemed very comfortable. At least my kid never complained about it and he probably would have if it’s not. Together with the recline, you can also adjust the foot and calf rest which gives even more comfort.
Included cup holder – well not really important. But it’s free well take it!
I did however really like the suspension on all wheels. They are not big and are not pneumatic or heavy duty springs. But they do absorb incoming shocks to a certain degree. This is big for an umbrella stroller. They usually suffer from missing suspension and very small wheels. But that’s the trade-off for having a lighter frame and a more compact fold. So having at least some degree of suspension really is a good feature in my opinion.
what i don't like
No security bar to keep your kid inside. Yes, of course, you strap your kid in with the harness and technically it is enough. But having the added security bar really is an additional safety measure and jumpy kids can be restrained to a certain degree. Also, I usually clip on toys and his sippy cup with a special clip I made. I would prefer having a belly bar.
The storage option is literally nonexistent for me. Although there is an under-seat pouch you can barely access it. The size of the pouch would be okay. But due to the inaccessible nature, the obvious diaper bag and other belongings that you will have with you can’t really be stored there. Hanging the diaper bag from the handles is also not an option because it will skew the center of gravity and the stroller will tip over.
Although the fold is easy and the stroller stands alone when folded – it is not very compact. Even having a bigger car the G-Luxe takes away lots of space. The very reason to buy an umbrella stroller is to have a compact fold and lightweight frame in my opinion.
Now as I said earlier the suspension is really noticeable versus other umbrella strollers. But they are not able to really provide great suspension. Just don’t plan on using this on anything other than pavement or smooth sidewalks. Your kid will be in for a bumpy ride! Do not even think about using it on cobblestone.
The bottom line is that the Uppababy G-Luxe is a great stroller with its own drawbacks. It is up to you to decide if the features convince you. If you live in a rather urban area and need it for quick and easy transport it is a good stroller of great quality.
babyzen 2016 yoyo+
We arrive at the final review in for the best umbrella strollers. You are in for a treat. Even though the Babyzen YoYo+ is the most expensive umbrella stroller I really convinced by the features it provides. Babyzen was founded in France with the urban environment in mind, which is clearly apparent looking at the features.
I don’t want to take too much away so let’s dive right into the review. This is the 2016 model with the latest revision (larger canopy, larger storage, and frame rework).
- Super simple and compact fold
- Four wheel suspension
- Two dedicated storage options (pouch and basket)
- Raincover included
- Five-point harness
- Foot activated parking brake
- Extendable UPF 50+ sun canopy
what i like
First and foremost – the fold. It’s absolutely amazing how small this frame can fold. Does it fold as small as the Pockit? No, but very close. It is in fact as small as it can fit into overhead bins in airplanes. As with the Pockit, I still advise contacting your carrier pre-flight to verify if they will allow an in-cabin transport. Every Airline has its own rules (hello United). The big advantage is driving the kid to the seat, and having your kid already back in the stroller the moment you leave the plane. And whoever traveled with a stroller before knows that they usually get stored in the cargo compartment of the plain, and not uncommon have gotten lost. Especially if traveling on connecting flights.
The 4 wheels are surprisingly all suspended and actually contribute to a rather smooth ride. I said this before with the Uppababy G-Luxe this is not the norm with umbrella strollers. The suspensions are not pneumatic or huge but they do really provide some added shock absorption which is always appreciated. However, as with all umbrella strollers, don’t go off-track or even dare to go on cobblestone. It will be very unpleasant for your little passenger and they will let you know for sure.
This 2016 model received some upgrades to the previous revisions such as lager canopy that is adjustable to 2 positions fully extended. And a larger storage in total counting the backseat pouch and under seat basket. They can together hold approximately 11 lbs which I consider actually a lot for its size.
The seat reclines through a clip and a strap to various positions. This is always good to give your kid a napping possibility when out and about. Sometimes you will need it and being able to count on your stroller to provide this is very good. Also, the revision on the 2016 model provided additional padding to the seat which further increases the comfort.
In case you want to use the stroller there is also a newborn bassinet that can be mounted to the frame. This needs to be purchased separately but fits onto the same frame.
What I don't like
As with the G-Luxe, I am missing some features that are apparent on regular strollers such as a belly bar. I just feel that there is an added layer of protection. Once my kid figures out how to open the harness he could jump out – I know he will. If nothing holds him back he will run like Forrest Gump.
The push felt a bit awkward in the beginning. I guess it’s due to the fact that the front wheels are a bit more extended then the rear wheels. But I got used to it very quickly.
As with all tested Strollers, I feel the canopy just to be insufficient. They do their job but just aren’t big enough. I always see that my boy’s legs are covered with long pants even when it’s hot (light fabrics) and sunscreen for all exposed body parts such as arms and hands. The skin is still very thin and fragile so long exposure to the sun can really damage the skin of the kids. This needs to be avoided at all costs.