Best Umbrella Strollers

Updated May 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

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

25 Models Considered
1 Experts Interviewed
135 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best umbrella strollers

Last Updated May 2019

Whether by plane, train, or automobile, transporting your little one for the day is no easy task. Umbrella strollers are the perfect way to get out the door in a hurry. These lightweight models of the stroller world work well for travel or homes with limited storage space. While they may not have all the features of a full-size stroller, many still have the safety and comfort you want for the littlest member of your family.

But there are hundreds of umbrella strollers on the market today. How do you choose?

We’ve provided a shopping guide to give you an overview of the types of umbrella strollers available, along with the features that could influence your decision.

Don’t forget to take a look at the umbrella strollers that made our top picks. These are the models we think will give you the best mileage for your money.

Storage pockets, cup holders, and bag clips are common accessories on umbrella strollers. However, don’t purchase any accessories not approved by your stroller’s manufacturer because they could cause the stroller to tip over.

Types of umbrella strollers

Traditional

Curved, umbrella-shaped handles, and bare minimum design make these strollers easy to spot. However, you do have to sacrifice onboard storage and durability because many of these models aren’t meant for everyday use.

  • These are the least expensive strollers available today.

  • Small and compact, you can’t beat this model for portability.

  • These are easy to fold down and can fit in a car trunk without taking up too much space.

Lightweight

A lightweight stroller looks almost exactly like a full-size stroller. If you need a small stroller for everyday, a lightweight model is probably the best choice for you.

  • Lightweight strollers are smaller and more compact than traditional models.

  • Designed for portability, these models often have many of the same features as full-size models like a cup holder, storage pockets, and adjustable handle length.

High-quality convenience

The traditional-style Cosco stroller doesn’t have any frills, but its high-quality materials and construction make it a good choice as a travel or backup stroller. And kids love the fun, bright colors.

Umbrella stroller features to consider

Handle length

This can make the difference between a stroller you can use all day and one you only want to use in an emergency.

  • The handles should hit at about your waist or slightly higher or lower.

  • Some models have two separate handles while others have a handlebar. Which you choose is really a matter of preference, but a single handlebar gives you the option of one-handed steering.

  • If you’re unusually tall or short, you might want to consider a stroller with adjustable handles.
     

Weight limit

Umbrella strollers vary, but most have an upper limit of 40 to 50 pounds.

  • The weight limit always includes anything else you load onto the stroller such as a diaper bag, cups, or lunch box.

  • Keep in mind that an overloaded stroller is much more likely to tip over.
     

Comfort/padding

Good padding can keep your baby comfortable all day long.

  • Some bare-bones strollers have a fabric seat and back with no padding at all.

  • Other strollers have adjustable padding, such as a headrest that can be removed if your child doesn’t want to use it.
     

Safety harness

Strollers come with either a three-point or five-point harness.

  • Many traditional umbrella strollers have a three-point harness. These strollers are not intended for infants or young babies who are incapable of sitting independently.

  • Five-point harnesses are safer because they secure your child’s shoulders as well as lower body.
     

Portability

Think about where and how often you’ll be using the umbrella stroller.

  • A basic umbrella stroller weighs about 7 pounds. Lightweight models that come with a few extra features like storage basket, reclining seats, and canopy may weigh around 13 to 15 pounds.

  • Some strollers fold down to a smaller size than others. If storage space is an issue for you, models without a storage basket or extra padding often fold down smaller.

  • Models that include carrying handles or bags work well while flying or when using public transportation.
     

Folding ease

Most umbrella strollers are fairly simple to collapse.

  • Strollers with a one-handed folding feature allow you to fold the stroller while holding your baby or diaper bag.

  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure you understand how to correctly fold the stroller.
     

Stability

Remember that the stroller needs to be sturdy enough to take the heavy use and abuse of a busy toddler.

  • The wider and longer the wheelbase, the more stable the stroller tends to be.

  • An aluminum frame is stable as well as lightweight.
     

Storage

For being so small, babies sure take a lot of gear, especially when you’re heading out for the day! Umbrella strollers don’t have as much storage space as full-size strollers, but many offer some impressive options.

  • Undercarriage baskets, mesh or zipper pockets, or pockets on the back of the seat are all options you might find.

  • Keep in mind that some traditional umbrella strollers have no storage at all. These models work well as a backup stroller or while traveling but don’t have the storage space you need for an all-day outing.
     

Brakes

Don’t forget this important safety feature.

  • Some umbrella strollers have brakes on the rear wheels that you activate using your foot or hands.

  • More expensive models have hand brakes mounted on the handlebars.
     

Recline positions

Umbrella strollers often have a few recline positions to help you keep your child comfortable.

  • Some models have a zipper that can be unzipped to extend the recline position.

  • Some models have clips that move down the frame to extend the recline position.

  • Models that extend flat can be used for newborns.

DID YOU KNOW?

A few top-of-the-line strollers have adjustable foot rests that allow the stroller to fit older children. They are also priced higher than regular models.

DID YOU KNOW?

Some umbrella strollers are freestanding when folded. That makes it easier to store because you don’t need to lean it against a wall to keep it upright.

DID YOU KNOW?

Strollers with a lap bar are no safer than models without. This feature gives your baby something to hold onto and a place for you to attach toys.

Umbrella stroller prices

Prices for umbrella strollers vary widely, but you can expect to pay from under $30 to more than $300 for one, depending on brand and features.

  • Inexpensive

You can find a traditional umbrella stroller for under $30. These basic models have two separate handles, little to no padding, and a three-point harness. Some may include a canopy.

  • Mid-range

In the $30 to $150 range, you’ll find umbrella strollers with a good balance of size and construction quality. Many of these models have strong aluminum frames with five-point harnesses and good padding options. There are a variety of storage features available, from undercarriage baskets to cup holders.

  • Expensive

From $150 to $300, you’ll find single-handlebar strollers with hand brakes and five-point harnesses. These strollers often have more onboard storage and easy one-hand folding features. The canopies on these models are multi-panel and provide good shade.

  • Premium

At over $300, the strollers in this category have almost everything a full-size stroller has in a slightly smaller package. Hand brakes, several onboard storage options, adjustable padding, five-point harnesses, multi-panel canopies, and adjustable leg rests are the norm.

Incredibly compact and portable

If you need an umbrella stroller to fit into a tight space – like under an airplane seat – this is the model for you. Telescoping handles, adjustable torso length, and undercarriage storage make it a great pick for any family on the go.

Tips

  • Not all stroller canopies are the same. A canopy keeps the sun out of your child’s eyes, but not all canopies are alike. Width and depth vary by model, which affects the canopy’s effectiveness. Multi-panel canopies tend to work better. However, many models with a single-panel canopy can be moved to different positions to block the sun.

  • Newborns should not ride in an umbrella stroller unless it has a flat recline position. Newborns don’t have the neck strength necessary to hold up their head independently. The jostling of riding in a stroller can potentially cause the head to fall forward and cut off the airway.

  • Use the brakes when stopped. For safety’s sake, engage the brakes any time you stop your stroller. A wiggly baby can cause some strollers to start rolling.
Check how to adjust the safety harness before purchasing a stroller. Some models require you to remove all the padding, while others can be adjusted while your child is in the stroller.

FAQ

Q. Can an umbrella stroller fit a five-year-old?

A. While it depends on the model, most umbrella strollers will not fit the average-size five-year-old, but there are some exceptions. Strollers are designed to fit children of a certain height and weight. If your child is tall or heavy for his age, he may outgrow an umbrella stroller far sooner than a child who is smaller than average.

Q. Do umbrella strollers come as part of a travel system?

A. A travel system includes a car seat that fits into a stroller. This type of system allows you to transfer newborns to a stroller without removing them from the car seat. Umbrella strollers are not designed as part of travel systems. Manufacturers usually include a warning against placing a car seat in an umbrella stroller even if it fits.

Q. Do umbrella strollers come with a storage bag or carrying handle?

A. There are a few models that come with a storage bag with a handle on it for easy portability. Some models have a handle build into the stroller so you can carry the stroller once it’s folded.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer

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