The Graco LiteRider is a solid stroller for a very affordable price, which is why we gave it our Best Value Award. It will get you and baby around smooth terrain with the convenience of a parent tray, child tray and large storage basket. Very similar to the Evenflo Journey stroller, the LiteRider lists at about $20 less, and half what its cousin the Graco FastAction Fold does.
Graco LiteRider Review
Pros: Lightweight, easy fold/unfold, large basket, parent & child trays, affordable
Cons: Bulky fold, 3-point harness, 2 seat angles, small sunshade, fixed handle
Our Analysis and Test Results
This stroller received a score of 7 of 10 in Ease-of-Use. As it name implies, it is light and user-friendly. Compared to the Graco FastAction Fold, which we gave a 4 of 10 for overall ease-of-use, the LiteRider rated considerably higher which is especially impressive considering the FastAction costs about twice as much.
Easier to Fold and Unfold than the FastAction Fold
It has a single-handed, very easy folding mechanism (once you get used to it). It works best when the brakes are engaged before starting to fold, otherwise the stroller falls forward onto the child tray while folding. The handle has a built in twist lock, which must be twisted until it unlocks and then you need to bend down with the stroller until the frame self-locks. Once folded, it self-stands and is compact enough to fit in most car trunks. It unfolds quickly and easily with one hand and snaps together when locked to let you know that you are ready to roll. Once unfolded, the back of the basket lifts upwards to snap completely open.
Lightweight, this stroller is easy to lift in and out of a car trunk, although its irregular, bulky size may be a tight fit once inside. The sunshade is small and has a vinyl peek-a-boo window without ventilation.
Great storage is one of the best features of this stroller. It has a very large storage basket below the seat with a drop-down feature in the back which makes fitting something like a large diaper bag easy. There's a good parent tray with two cup holders, one shallow and one deep as well as one deep tray without a lid. Though removable, we found the child tray to be average as it doesn't fit a standard water bottle or sippy cup (Foogo Thermos), and the tray itself is pretty shallow.
The padded seat has only two positions with a min and max reclines of 33 and 68 degrees; there is not an in-between. The handlebar is fixed at 39.25" which will be high for a shorter 5' person and low for a 6'5" tall person, the latter will probably have issues with kicking the axle on this stroller as well.
The compact LiteRider received a score of 5 of 10 in maneuverability, on par with the Evenflo Journey and better than the Graco Fast Action Fold. Though compact and light, it left us feeling that it just maneuvers alright.
Although the stroller moves around quite fluidly on pavement, you do need two hands to push it. The small plastic wheels (two single wheels in the back, and two double-wheels in the front) make it difficult to use on rough terrain like tall grass, gravel and bumpy surfaces of weathered terrain. However, this stroller maneuvered better off-pavement than most strollers in its relative price range (the FastAction Fold, the Chicco Cortina, and the Evenflo Journey), and better than the Bugaboo Bee, which lists at a hefty $650.
The two front swivel wheels, who have adequate suspension, can be locked into which makes longer trips more enjoyable. And it also tips back easily for getting up and down curbs and stairs.
The LiteRider fell short in our safety testing with a 4 of 10, but in the same ballpark as the Chicco Cortina (which scored a 3), the Evenflo Journey (which scored a 4), FastActionFold (which scored a 5), and surprisingly, the Orbit Baby G2 (which scored a 4).
Because it only has a 3-point harness (opposed to the more standard and safer 5-point), older children may find it pretty simple to make a get away. The buckle is easy to use. The crotch strap is padded but doesn't adjust.
The stroller's brake engages and disengages via two foot pedals, one behind each rear wheel; both should be used. They are sandal-friendly.
It's a relatively sturdy stroller for its price, and performed about average in both our sideways and backwards tip-over tests.
The fabric on this basic Graco stroller is removable and very easy to clean, unfortunately the plastic wears easily. The parent tray is especially vulnerable to wear as it sticks out when the stroller is in a folded position. The frame has wobble to it, and in our opinion is not 'strong' enough to compete with other, more expensive models.
Accommodating children up to 40 lbs and 43", this stroller was the lightest one we tested in this stroller round-up weighing 16 lbs 7 oz. It has a very good seat height of 24". It is medium-sized when folded and self-stands with a folding lock, but has a thick shape to it, due primarily to the protruding parent tray (which you can remove, but would be a pain to do so every time you fold it).
This stroller received a score of 7 of 10 in Ease-of-Set-up, taking us 10:58 (min:sec) to complete assembly. Make sure to have a hammer & screwdriver handy for this otherwise easy-to-assemble project. Documentation is very good, and thankfully assembly of this stroller is fairly intuitive.
This is a high value, low priced stroller that is lightweight and easy to transport, and in recognition of these attributes we recommend this stroller. And because it sells at such a great price point, one might consider it as a second stroller to keep at relatives' homes, or other places that you may visit frequently.
You can't beat the price of the Graco LiteRider. At $70, it does what it needs to do. And since it has more storage space than most other strollers, shopping with it is really nice.
If you can afford to spend more on this truly necessary baby item, it's worth buying a better quality stroller that will offer more comfort for both baby and you, for example our other Best Value Award the Baby Trend Expedition, can also be used as a jogging stroller. However, if you are on a very tight budget or are looking for a second, back-up stroller for travel or to keep at a grandparent's home, then this Graco is a smart choice, as it is light, functional, and gets job done.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab staff