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Best Lightweight Strollers

Updated April 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. Read more
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How We Decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 57 Models Considered
  • 18 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 239 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Shopping Guide for Best Lightweight Strollers

    Last Updated April 2018

    Have you ever tried to navigate a full-size stroller through a busy airport? There is a better way. A lightweight stroller is far less heavy than a full-size stroller, and it’s much easier to maneuver.

    If you’re shopping for a lightweight stroller, you have some choices to make. You could opt for a very basic stroller, a complex stroller with a host of fancy features, or something in between. The problem is, when you’re busy with a baby, it’s hard to find the time (and energy) to sift through the very stroller options that would make your life easier.

    And that’s where we come in. At BestReviews, we do the hard work so you don’t have to. We interview experts, test products, and pore over consumer reviews in order to find you the best items on the market. This shopping guide provides helpful information about lightweight strollers so you can easily select the right one. See the grid at the top of this page for our recommendations, and continue reading to learn more about your lightweight stroller options.

    Lightweight strollers are not designed for trails or running. The frames and wheels of these products cannot withstand the extra stress.

    Types of lightweight strollers

    Standard lightweight strollers

    Standard lightweight strollers have many of the same benefits of full-size strollers, but they come in a smaller package. The frame may be made of aluminum to cut down on weight, and you may be able to fold the stroller with one hand.

    Where you’ll notice the biggest difference between a lightweight and full-size model is in the onboard storage. Many lightweight strollers have some storage, but it may not be more than a cup holder and a snack pocket.

    Umbrella strollers

    Umbrella strollers are so named for the shape of the stroller handle, which resembles the handle of an umbrella. These compact, inexpensive strollers were the first lightweight strollers on the market.

    An umbrella stroller is a marvelous item to have on hand, but it’s not built for everyday use. Umbrella strollers lack onboard storage, aren’t meant for babies who cannot sit independently, and don’t have the durability needed to withstand rough terrain or heavy use. But they do have their place, and under the right circumstances, an umbrella stroller could be just what you need.

    • An umbrella stroller works well as a backup stroller that can easily be stored in the trunk of a car or at Grandma’s house.

    • An umbrella stroller is great for travel. For instance, if you’re boarding a plane, you can easily fold the stroller up for storage.

    • Umbrella stroller handles are notoriously short, but if you need one for short-term use only, that might not be a problem.

    EXPERT TIP

    A stroller with a tray over the seat lets your child have a favorite toy or snack within reach.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Features to consider

    Size

    Lightweight strollers are designed to be compact, but some are smaller than others. Consider how you want to use and store your new stroller. Find out what the dimensions will be when it’s folded down. Some strollers are not much smaller when folded than they are when in use.

    It’s also a good idea to measure your storage space to make sure the stroller would fit there.

    Weight

    A full-size stroller weighs 20 pounds or more. If you’re in the market for a lightweight stroller, chances are you’re intrigued by the idea of less weight. Umbrella strollers are your lightest option at five to eight pounds.

    That’s impressive, but notably, these strollers lack the strength and durability of strollers that weigh just a bit more at 10 to 13 pounds.

    Some manufacturers make infant inserts that help keep a small baby from rolling around too much while in the stroller.

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    Onboard storage

    Onboard storage makes a huge difference in the usability of a stroller. Kids require lots of gear, and if you’ve got someplace to stow it, your outings will be that much easier.

    Lightweight strollers aren’t known for their storage space, but you can find models with cup holders for both parent and child, pockets on the back and sides, and perhaps even a storage basket that’s big enough for a mid-size diaper bag.

    Recline positions

    Most babies cannot sit independently until they’re four to six months old. Without the muscle strength to hold themselves up, they’re at risk for slumping and suffering breathing problems while sitting in an upright position.

    A stroller with extra recline positions is more versatile for parents of young babies.

    Some lightweight strollers have a snack pocket where you can store a bag of kid-friendly snacks or a sippy cup.

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    Comfort

    Padded seat backs are just about the only comfort feature found on lightweight strollers.

    In some instances, the padding can be removed to reveal a mesh back that allows for extra air flow in the summer.

    Safety

    Safety is always the number-one issue when it comes to children’s products. Look for the following safety features in your new lightweight stroller.

    • Five-point harness (though a three-point harness does meet safety regulations)

    • Safety lock to prevent the stroller from collapsing while in use

    • Wheel locks to keep the stroller from rolling away

    • Fold lock to prevent the stroller from opening once folded

    Wheel locks can prevent a stroller from rolling away. They’re nice to have, but they’re not considered a mandatory safety feature. Still, we endorse products that have wheel locks, as they enhance both safety and convenience.

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    Handle length

    If you’re pushing a stroller all day long, handle length will impact your comfort. The handles should reach your waist. You shouldn’t have to slump over to reach them, nor should they be any higher than your elbows. After all, spending a day hunched over a stroller could lead to back, shoulder, and arm pain.

    Strollers with adjustable handles are ideal.

    Folding ease

    When you’re using a stroller, you’ll probably also be carrying a diaper bag, toys, and snacks. One-handed folding makes life easier, and with a lightweight stroller, you may be able to lift it in your car with one hand as well.

    The folding mechanism is usually located on the stroller handle.

    It’s easier to load your child and gear into the car without having to lay the stroller on the ground or lean it against the car. Fortunately, some lightweight strollers can stand on their own when folded.

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    BestReviews

    Canopy

    A stroller canopy helps protect your baby from sun and rain. While lightweight strollers aren’t known for efficient canopies, it is a nice feature to have, and it can help keep your baby comfortable.

    Multi-fold canopies are more adjustable and offer more protection than single-fold canopies.

    Travel systems

    Some lightweight strollers come as part of a travel system. Travel systems include a car seat base, car seat, and stroller that work together. The car seat can snap into the stroller so you don’t have to take your baby out of it when leaving the car.

    Travels systems can be pricey, but they do offer convenience and a coordinated look for your baby gear.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Travel systems allow a rear-facing infant car seat to be placed in the stroller. Many of these strollers convert to a forward-facing stroller after your child outgrows the infant car seat. Notably, not all travel system strollers are considered “lightweight.”

    Lightweight stroller prices

    • Inexpensive

    For less than $25, you can find a plain or character umbrella stroller. Most will have a canopy, and a few also have a storage basket underneath.

    • Mid-range

    In the $25 to $100 range are lightweight strollers with removable back padding, five-point harnesses, canopies, several recline positions, and decent onboard storage.

    • Expensive

    Between $100 and $200, you’ll find strollers with one-hand fold designs, more storage, multi-fold canopies, and adjustable handles.

    • Premium

    For over $200, there are lightweight strollers that come as part of a travel system. These options have onboard storage, adjustable handles, back padding, and excellent durability.

    CAUTION

    Because lightweight strollers often lack storage space, many parents like to hang items (like the diaper bag) from the handles. However, this could cause the stroller to tip over backward if too much weight is placed on the handles.

    Tips

    • Check for a stroller's storage options. If you love a particular stroller option but find it doesn’t have enough storage, check to see if the manufacturer sells extra cup holders or storage pockets that can be purchased separately. For safety reasons, only use accessories that have been designed and approved by the manufacturer.

    • Check the stitchings. Strollers take a lot of wear and tear. Make sure the seams are strong, especially on the corners of the seat.

    • Check your child's footrest reach. Some strollers have a flexible rubber footrest. Check to see how far this footrest can flex. Some may stretch far enough for your child’s feet to stop the wheels.

    • Look for a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) seal on any stroller you buy. This independent organization tests products to be sure they meet national and international safety standards.

    Lightweight strollers work well for families with children who are old enough to walk while out and about but who may need an occasional resting period.

    Faq

    Q. Do strollers come with weight limits?

    A. All strollers have a recommended weight and height limit. If your child exceeds the limit, the frame may not be strong enough to hold him. Strollers with fully reclining backs have weight limits that generally top out around 50 pounds. Depending on the child, this type of stroller can serve you well from birth through about age four or five. Umbrella strollers usually have a maximum weight limit of about 40 pounds, but be sure to check before buying.

    Q. Do five-point harnesses need chest clips?

    A. A chest clip holds the shoulders straps close together over the chest to prevent your child’s arms from coming through the middle. Most five-point harnesses don’t need a chest clip, as the straps can be adjusted. However, young or small children may need one if the stroller does not have adjustable straps.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer