The Hunt for the Best Umbrella Stroller

We tested 19 of the most popular umbrella and lightweight strollers available.
What is the best lightweight umbrella stroller? We took 19 of the top rated, and most innovative products on the market, and we put them through a variety of tests and a head to head competition to weed out the hard to use, ordinary, or the less than awesome. We rated the products on their weight and folded size, ease of use, maneuverability, and quality to determine which were the best, the most economical, or simply the coolest strollers out there. Read on to see which products impressed us and which disappointed.

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Test Results and Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 19 << Previous | View All | Next >>

Analysis and Award Winners


Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD, Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team

Last Updated:
Thursday
December 8, 2016

Best Overall Umbrella Stroller


BabyZen Yoyo+


Editors' Choice Award

Price:   $495 List
$495 from Amazon


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The BabyZen Yoyo+ earned the highest score in this review with a top score for maneuverability and nice ease of use and quality scores. This stroller has nice wheels with bearings that make it a pleasure to push and turn. With a smooth canopy and stylish design the Yoyo brings all that it promises to the table by being a great urban dweller that folds small into thirds, is easy to carry, and has the features you need for a day on the town. While the price is on the high side for a lightweight stroller, this one is truly a "you get what you pay for" option, and if you can afford it, we think you'll be more than pleased with its performance and looks.

Best for Travel


Quinny Yezz


Editors' Choice Award

Price:   $280 List
$280 from Amazon


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The Quinny Yezz came in second place out of 19 strollers in this review shining with a top score for maneuverability and quality, with a good score for weight and folded size. This stroller is super easy and fun to use with an amazing turning radius and one finger pushing. The Yezz is fun to use and moves so well you won't want to stop strolling. While it doesn't offer much in the way of features, you are unlikely to miss them with the innovative design and just enough options to keep you going. The Yezz has skate style wheels with closed bearings and a comfortable seat with a small canopy and a back of the seat storage pocket. It folds small, can be carried hands free, and stows almost anywhere. We think this little powerhouse is a true traveler's dream and parents and passengers will love using it as often as they can.


Best on a Tight Budget


Inglesina Net


Best Value Award

Price:   $150 List
$149 from Amazon


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The Inglesina Net earned a high score for weight and folded size with a nice score for quality. This stroller is a bare bones option with a breathable seat back, slight recline, easy traditional fold with self-stand, and one of the smallest and lightest combined measurements in the group. This budget friendly stroller is one of the cheaper options in the review, and while it doesn't come with the bells and whistles, it does have what you need to make it through a mid-day stroll. The under seat bin is big enough for a few supplies, and the canopy covers enough to prevent discomfort. This simple stroller will get the job done without breaking the bank, or leaving you frustrated. While it can't double as a primary stroller or make it for longer trips, it is a good option for travel and is easy to carry and stow.

Best Bang for the Buck


Recaro Easylife


Best Value Award

Price:   $200 List
$200 from Amazon


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The Recaro EasyLife earned a Best Value award for offering a high performing product at a reasonable price. This stroller earned top marks for ease of use and quality with features that function well and provide what you need. The EasyLife has a cool tri-fold design that creates a package small enough for most spaces and a strap that makes it easy to carry. It features a nice size canopy with peek-a-boo window, a cool water bottle sleeve, a decent storage bin and a recline good enough for napping. We think parents will love the look and feel of this inexpensive option so much that they will be able to overlook any difficulty they may have moving over uneven terrain, the only place the EasyLife struggles.

Top Pick for Everyday Use


Britax B-Agile 3


Top Pick Award

Price:   $270 List
$216 from Amazon
Sale - 20% Off


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The Britax B-Agile 3 earned top marks for ease of use and quality with an impressive score for maneuverability. This standard stroller is lighter than some of the lightweight strollers and has a quick and easy fold that makes it easy to manage on the go. This stroller earned a Top Pick award for everyday use because it can handle all day adventures with a large storage bin and canopy, a near flat recline and tight space turning. The B-Agile 3 is compatible with a variety of infant car seats, works from infant to older toddler, and could be the only stroller you ever need, saving you time and money with a one stroller solution over two.

Top Pick for Everyday Use


Baby Jogger City Mini


Top Pick Award

Price:   $260 List
$250 from Amazon


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The Baby Jogger City Mini earned a Top Pick for best everyday use with high scores for ease of use, maneuverability, and quality. This stroller may be one of the heavier and larger options, but it has everything you'll need for almost any kind of trip making it feel like a small well-equipped outing machine. This stroller is easy to push and turn, has a giant canopy, and folds with one quick step. It has a near flat recline for napping, a large storage bin, made with materials that come together in a sturdy practical stroller that works with several infant car seats. The City Mini can do it all and potentially fill two niches with one product saving you money and the energy needed to decide on two products. Combine this option with an compatible infant car seat, and it maybe the only stroller you need to buy.




Analysis and Test Results


We bought and tested all 19 lightweight strollers  even in the snow.
We bought and tested all 19 lightweight strollers, even in the snow.
Choosing the perfect umbrella stroller can be an education in decision making and priority setting. At first blush they may all seem very similar, some even look alike and many have similar features, but reality can't be farther from the truth as we discovered after lining up the top contenders and really assessing how they differed from one another.

The best way to avoid confusion, or becoming overwhelmed, is to sort out how you plan to use the product, what features you will need to obtain your goals, and how much you want to pay in order to get them. Once you know these things you can focus on which products offered the best of what you want. While some may offer the same features, not all of them do it well. The selection is varied, not just in what they offer, but in what they cost. We feel there is an option that is right for everyone, and our review process is here to help you find yours.

Types of Lightweight Umbrella Strollers


There are two kinds of lightweight strollers, the basic umbrella product with very few additional features that is easy to fold and carry, and products that are so well-equipped they can potentially do double duty as a primary stroller. There are several of each type in this review, and as you will see, some of the products were better than others.

The Yezz earned the high score for quality with a 9 of 10.
The Britax B-Agile 3 has all the features necessary for a full day adventure.
 
These photos show the Quinny Yezz (above left), a basic umbrella type with few features, and the Baby Jogger City Mini (above right) that has all the bells and whistles you might be looking for.

Both types have characteristics in common; these are the primary features that make a product a member of this group:
  • Lightweight size that is easy to fold, pick up, carry, and stow
  • Compact fold that creates a small package for convenient storage and carrying
  • Smaller footprint for easier maneuvering in tight spaces or city streets
  • Agile maneuvering that allows for tight turns and use in crowded locations
  • Fewer features than a standard stroller and less rugged than a jogging ride

Basic


The Net offers very few features for comfort or convenience.
The Net offers very few features for comfort or convenience.
The basic models are free of most added features that make longer trips easier, but they do have plenty to offer for the short haul. They are lightweight, easy to fold, compact packages that can be easily carried, stored, and transported. They usually don't have features like large storage space or accessory trays, but they are good for commuting and getting from point A to point B with a quickness. This is the kind of product most parents have in mind when they set out to find an umbrella product. This is also the kind people consider when they need a simple secondary stroller that will be used infrequently and for short durations.

All the Bells


The City Mini seat reclines almost flat for a nice napping space.
The City Mini seat reclines almost flat for a nice napping space.
The products with all the frills usually have larger under seat storage bins meant for carrying supplies for an entire day or shopping bags. They have reclining seats for better napping, large canopies, adjustable leg rests for comfort, and cup holders or additional storage options for more places to stow your goods. These products still manage to be fairly lightweight, and many of them are easy to carry and fold, but they have the added benefits of features that can make the trip easier, more comfortable, or significantly more convenient. If your plans for this kind of product include more than getting from point to point, and are centered around the journey as much as the destination, then a stroller with more bells and whistles may be the kind of thing you are looking for. Having the ability for children to take naps in comfort can be a major concern for longer trips. Being able to carry more items may be a necessity if trips to the store will happen frequently. Having more features means having more options when it comes to using this kind of stroller.

Quick trips can be made easier with less hassle if you have an umbrella stroller.
Quick trips can be made easier with less hassle if you have an umbrella stroller.

Why Get an Umbrella Stroller?


Whether your product of choice is basic or full of frills, an umbrella can be a handy stroller to have at your disposal. Choosing to purchase one can give you more freedom while traveling or visiting relatives, and they can be nice to have for day trips to town or fun activities. They can help you manage little ones and get where you're going without the weight and size of a standard stroller. They are more compact and agile than both a standard style or jogger, which can be nice in the city, crowded space, or where walking spaces are at a minimum. We feel a second option, or even a lightweight primary stroller, might be just the ticket for parents looking to minimize their load or travel in style.

Criteria for Evaluation


While testing the products in this review we focused on 4 key areas, with weight and folded size having the most influence over the final score, because finding a compact, easy to carry stroller is the primary reason parents decide to purchase an umbrella option. Our ratings are a combination of in-house lab testing and real world experience using the products in everyday life, rated against the competition for comparison.

The Pockit is remarkably small when folded and very lightweight as well.
The Pockit is remarkably small when folded and very lightweight as well.

Weight and Folded Size


How much a product weighs, or how compact it can fold, is what makes a great lightweight stroller standout from the pack. The most important aspect is finding one that you can fold and transport with ease. You want one that folds up small, fits in tight places, and can be easily picked up, carried, or moved on public transportation. Some of the products we reviewed were pretty heavy making them harder to carry or lift. Some of them were light, but folded into packages that are longer than average and hard to fit in a compact trunk. For parents looking for a traditional product of this type, this could be the make or break metric for which one to purchase.

The Yezz folds small and self-stands with an automatic lock.
The City Min is the largest and heaviest stroller in this review.
 
The highest scoring product in the review is the GB Pockit with the smallest folded volume, and the second lightest weight. The Quinny Yezz (above left) is the second smallest fold with a reasonable weight of only 12.6 lbs, making it the best of both worlds for most parents. The Inglesina Net has a low weight of 11.9 lbs and has the 4th smallest fold. The largest folded option is the Baby Jogger City Mini (above right) and the Graco Breaze is the heaviest at over 18 lbs.

The Recaro earned the highest score for ease of use.
The Recaro earned the highest score for ease of use.

Ease of Use


Ease of use encompasses all the features that you use daily, and make using the product easier, or add versatility. The higher a product ranks in this category, the more versatile it is, so parents might be able to use it for a variety of trip adventures Having a larger sunshade or storage bin means a stroller might be able to go shopping for longer, or be better for outdoor trips to a farmers market. Having an easy, quick fold, makes it better for urban commuting where speed and space are valued.

The Recaro folds in thirds making a more compact package than the longer umbrella fold.
The Recaro folds in thirds making a more compact package than the longer umbrella fold.

Fold and Unfold


Lightweight strollers should be easy to fold and quick for using public transportation. While folding small is important, being able to fold easily and fast, is often just as important. We preferred strollers that fold with one hand and few steps. If they lock automatically or stand on their own they earned even more points. The Recaro EasyLife is the easiest option to fold, operating with one hand and folding into thirds making a small package that fits almost anywhere. Better still, it unfold almost by itself and pops open so quick you're ready to go in no time. The hardest to fold are the UPPAbaby products that require two hands and several steps and can be hard to do if you're flustered. The Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini also scored well here to with a quick one-handed pull.

The Yoyo has one of the easiest brake pedals to use with a step on step off single action functionality.
The Yoyo has one of the easiest brake pedals to use with a step on step off single action functionality.

Brakes


Many of the umbrella products have double action brakes that require two pedals to be set for full brake engagement. We worry that parents will forget or choose not to set both pedals and this could lead to unnecessary accidents or injuries. For this reason we prefer single action brakes that are fully engaged with one pedal. The best brakes are easy to set and release and are sandal foot friendly. The brakes should engage easily without sticking or feeling locked when they aren't. The best brakes in this review were on the BabyZen Yoyo+ that has one pedal with plenty of foot room and is press to set and release. The Baby Jogger Vue Lite has the worst brakes, which are super stiff and hard to set. We even thought they were set when sometimes they weren't, and releasing the brakes will definitely hurt your uncovered feet. All of the award winners earned high marks for brakes.

The B-Agile has the largest storage bin in the group  with easy access from the back.
The B-Agile has the largest storage bin in the group, with easy access from the back.

Storage


All of the products offered some kind of storage, how much and where were the primarily differences between them. Most have a under seat storage bin, but they vary in size, maximum weight capacity, and how easy they are to access. The Britax B-Agile 3 has the largest bin in our review and the Quinny Yezz doesn't have a bin at all, just a seat back pocket. In addition to under seat bins, some had parent pockets located on the back of the sun shades, like the BabyZen Yoyo+ and the Britax B-Agile 3. The pocket makes the models more user-friendly than the products without them, and increases their convenience. The Recaro EasyLife and the Britax B-Agile 3 both offer nice storage, while the Quinny Yezz doesn't have enough for more than a few supplies.

The pocket on the back of the Yoyo canopy has a nice zipper that keeps items safe and contained.
The cup holder sleeve on the Recaro has a mesh pocket on the outside of the holder.
The Yezz storage pocket may not look like much  but it fits enough supplies for a pared down day trip.
 
The photos above show some additional storage features, from left to right they are the zippered pocket on the canopy of the BabyZen Yoyo+, the water bottle sleeve on the Recaro EasyLife, and the pocket of the Quinny Yezz.

The Zoe canopy is the largest in the group with low coverage consisting of 4 panels including a pop out visor and medium size window for spying on baby.
The Zoe canopy is the largest in the group with low coverage consisting of 4 panels including a pop out visor and medium size window for spying on baby.

Sunshade


While all the products had a canopy, the more basic products had smaller varieties. The canopy on the Quinny Yezz is simple, easy to use, and attached to the fabric of the main stroller. But it is small, doesn't offer much coverage, and it isn't SPF rated. Things are worse with the GB Pockit, which has the smallest shade, covers very little, and only directly overhead with no side protection. Both of these strollers earned lower scores for ease of use. The standard strollers on the other hand, have giant canopies, are rated SPF 50, and super effective, even for a sleeping fully reclined passenger. The largest canopy belonged to the Zoe XL1 Deluxe, but that was one of the only things it did well.

The Gb Pockit only scored well in the weight and folded size metric.
The Yoyo seat doesn't recline as deep as we'd like  but baby can still nap with ease.
The Zoe has the highest ease of use score  but disappointed when it came to pushing and turning.
 
These photos show the varying sizes of canopies from left to right they are the sun cover on the GB Pockit, the medium size canopy on the BabyZen Yoyo, and the largest shade on the Zoe XL1 Deluxe.

Harness


All of the products we looked have 5-point harnesses. Five points is considered safest because the two extra points coming from the shoulder restraint straps help keep children from slipping out, or falling out should the stroller accidentally tip over. We considered how difficult the straps were to adjust for height and for a correct fit, and how hard the buckle is to use. We considered whether or not the product has an adjustable crotch straps, and if the lowest height will work for smaller babies.

While the minimum shoulder strap height on the G-Luxe is too tall for smaller riders  adjusting the straps themselves is simple and the buckle is easy to use.
The Techno buckle and strap adjustment are the hardest to use.
 
We feel that parents are more likely to use a harness regularly if it is easy to use and adjust. The UPPAbaby G-Luxe (above left) has the easiest harness and buckle to use, while the Maclaren Techno XT (above right) buckle is so hard even two hands doesn't feel like enough. Products with harnesses that are more user-friendly, or adjusted tighter for a proper fit, scored higher. Some of the harnesses are fairly easy to adjust, but the height adjustment on the shoulder straps is more difficult. The BabyZen Yoyo+ and the Recaro EasyLife have an easy to use harness.

The UPPAbaby G-Luxe tied for 6th of 18 stroller.
The UPPAbaby G-Luxe tied for 6th of 18 stroller.

Seat


A reclining seat back and adjustable leg rest are nice convenience features that earned products higher scores for ease of use. For little passengers on the go, napping and being comfortable can be the difference between a successful outing and a disaster of epic tantrum proportions. Some of the products offered a reclining back, but no adjustable leg rest, others had both a recline and leg option, and some had neither. Many of the recline angles are not that deep and therefore not as nap-worthy as others. Depending on the kind of trip you plan to take, a simple stroller with no comfort options might suffice, but if you are headed to the zoo and park for the entire day, life will be easier with a product that lets passengers nap, or adjusts for comfort.

The Nano has an adjustable leg rest.
The Inglesina reclines by unzipping a zipper on each side. However  the angle doesn't change much and it won't be comfortable for napping.
 
The adjustable leg rest on the Mountain Buggy Nano (above left) offers additional legroom for nappers, and the zipper side adjustment on the Inglesina Net (above right) slightly increase the recline angle.

The B-Agile 3 has one of the coziest seats with adequate padding on a sling style design  padded leg rest  and deep recline.
The B-Agile 3 has one of the coziest seats with adequate padding on a sling style design, padded leg rest, and deep recline.
The Baby Jogger City Mini and the Britax B-Agile 3 have some of the most comfortable seats in the group, though the UPPAbaby G-Luxe has the deepest recline paired with an adjustable leg rest, something hard to find in this group together. The Quinny Yezz and the Inglesina Net have some of the lowest scores for this metrics with fairly upright seating, little to no recline, and no true leg rest.

Although some of the umbrella products claim to be suitable for newborns and infants, we do NOT recommend the use of umbrella or lightweight products for children under 6 months of age. Why? These kinds of strollers only offer the minimal effort for infants and not the level of support and protection we would like to see for babies without head and neck control. Unless the stroller accepts the attachment of an infant car seat, we do not think they should be used for children under 6 months old. Ever. The Baby Jogger City Mini and the Britax B-Agile 3 would be the exceptions as they are not technically lightweight strollers, but are instead standard strollers. Always keep an eye on baby and regularly check to ensure the harness is properly positioned and adjusted.

Car Seat Compatibility


A sparse few of the lightweight options work with infant car seats. For the most part this category of stroller isn't known for this capability, so it really isn't a strike against them if they didn't offer it, more of a bonus if they did. The Britax B-Agile 3, the Baby Jogger City Mini and the Mountain Buggy Nano all accept a variety of infant car seats with additional adapters. The BabyZen Yoyo+ works with one infant car seat, the Graco Breaze works with Graco brand seats, and the Recaro EasyLife works with the Recaro Performance Coupe.

Ease of Setup


Most of the products we reviewed came assembled or mostly assembled. The main items requiring assemble were the wheels, canopies, or possibly attaching the seat to the frame. None of the products required complete assembly, but the BabyZen Yoyo+ had a lot of parts and pieces, taking more time than any other stroller to get unpacked and ready to stroll, and in some cases 6 times longer. The GB Pockit and the Quinny Yezz were both very easy to set up, with the GB Pockit taking under 2 minutes including unpacking time.

The Yezz has polyurethane skate wheels with bearings that make pushing fun and enjoyable.
The Yezz has polyurethane skate wheels with bearings that make pushing fun and enjoyable.

Maneuverability


Maneuverability can make or break whether or not a stroller rolls smoothly, or struggles and wobbles. Depending on the journey and the terrain you plan to traverse, which product you choose will make a big difference in whether or not you can get where you want to go without frustration. Some of the products were easy to push and turn, while others felt clunky and averse to turning on grass. The Quinny Yezz has unique skate wheels that make it so agile it feels like you can dance with it, which means you can definitely negotiate even the most crowded city streets with ease and style. The BabyZen Yoyo+ also performed well in our tests for maneuverability, but it was much smoother on the flat roads than the grass gravel.
The single front wheels of the Yoyo+ helped it perform well in our tests for maneuverability.
The single front wheels of the Yoyo+ helped it perform well in our tests for maneuverability.
While we assumed some of the strollers might struggle in the grass and gravel, we were a little surprised that some of them struggled on flat hard surfaces too. The products that struggled in this metric were those with smaller wheels, wheels with imprinted fake tread, and the dual front wheel designs (2 wheels on each side that equaled 4 wheels in front). Products with single front wheels (2 total, instead of 4) and the larger wheels performed better overall than most of the others. The hardest option to push is the Zoe XL1 Deluxe, which struggled on the smooth flat hardwood and was very difficult to turn with weight in the seat.

The Yoyo+ earned an 8 of 10 for maneuverability with dense single wheels with ball bearings that work well.
With flimsy plastic wheels and dual wheel design the Zoe scored poorly for maneuverability thanks to wheels that fail to rotate smoothly.
 
These photos show the wheels on the BabyZen Yoyo+ (above left), and the dual front wheels of the Zoe XL1 Deluxe (above right).

The Kolcraft Cloud earned the lowest score for quality.
The Kolcraft Cloud earned the lowest score for quality.

Quality


For quality we look at how well a product was put together, the materials that were used, and how the materials withstood daily use. Some of the materials are not as nice or durable as others. The overall look and feel of the materials, and how they come together and perform under normal use, is a good indicator of the level of quality of the construction and components. The comfort factor of each option was also noted. Other considerations were frame flex, wheel wobble, exposed fasteners, and loose connection points.

The Yezz earned the high score for quality with a 9 of 10.
The BabyZen earned an 8 of 10 for quality with a sleek design and high end materials that come together in a functional piece.
 
For frames, we looked at the materials used, the tightness of the connection points, and whether or not the frame flexed under use. We also looked at the wheels and handles/handlebars, and what they are made of, how well they were put together, and how their design impacted the use of the stroller. The Quinny Yezz (above left) and Recaro EasyLife earned the high scores for quality, with the Britax B-Agile 3, Babyzen Yoyo+ (above right), and the Baby Jogger City Mini close behind them. The Kolcraft Cloud Plus earned the lowest score for quality, but also has the lowest price.

The Recaro EasyLife is a nice lightweight option with a budget friendly price and enough features to get the job done with relative ease.
The Recaro EasyLife is a nice lightweight option with a budget friendly price and enough features to get the job done with relative ease.

Conclusion


In the end, it is difficult to say that there is one best product for everyone. The needs of parents and their passengers vary depending on how often the stroller will be used, and for what kind of activities. Some of the products are better for quick trips around the city, while others are better for longer trips to the park or shopping. Some have so many features, they could mange double duty as a primary stroller, while others are so minimal they make great commuting products, but not much else.
The award winning umbrella strollers  6 of 19 products.
The award winning umbrella strollers, 6 of 19 products.
Either way there are definitely good options for everyone no matter what your specific need or budget. It is our goal in this review to provide the information you need in order to make the best decision for your family. Between the award winners and the high ranking models, there really is something for everyone, and once you narrow down your needs and desires, we feel confident you can find the right stroller for your passenger. Take a look at our How to Pick the Best Umbrella Stroller for help on narrowing the field and figuring out what is important.
Juliet Spurrier, MD, Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team
Helpful Buying Tips
An umbrella stroller is lightweight and folds to a relatively small size  making it ideal for situations like travel. But  the right umbrella stroller can work well for general use too and may be the only stroller you'll ever need.
 How to Pick the Best Umbrella Stroller

by Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab Staff

Unbiased.