Thule Sleek Review
Pros: Versatile seating, useful features, easy to push and turn
Cons: Price, harder to lift and stow size
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
Erik Thulin founded Thule (Too-La) in Sweden in 1942. The company began making products for fishermen. Over time, they started creating gear for outdoor enthusiasts. The goal was always to contribute to adventures by increasing the ease of transporting outdoor supplies. With over 70 years of experience, the company continues to create new products for those who love the outdoors with a variety of gear ranging from backpacks and roof racks to trailers and strollers.
Ease of Use
The Thule Sleek is easy to use with features and design choices that make life easier.
Fold and Unfold
This Thule has a fold in half folding mechanism that requires two hands and two steps. The product has an automatic lock and it self-stands for easy storing. It is equally easy to unfold, again with two hands and two steps, but it might take some practice to master the method of getting the frame lock to release.
The single-action brakes on the Sleek are super easy to set and release with a rocker-style pedal that is fancy shoe friendly because you never need to use the top of your foot to release the brake.
The storage bin on this stroller is very large and fits our extra-large diaper bag inside. While it misses the impressive weight capacity of some competition by nearly 20 lbs, it is still well within the average with a capacity of 11 lbs. The bin can be accessed from all sides including the front. The basket can expand in the back and has a zippered protective cover over the main (unexpanded) portion; a rare feature in this group.
The canopy on the Sleek is large, ample enough to cover past the knees when fully open and it has a UPF rating of 50+. This sunshade has two peek-a-boo windows including a large vinyl window with magnetic closure and a mesh window that appears when the canopy is completely open using the zipper component. This mesh also provides added ventilation in warmer weather and can be covered to keep out the wind. The height of the canopy is adjustable for taller passengers.
The 5-point harness on the Sleek is somewhat difficult to get on, but easier to take off. It has adjustable shoulder heights in three positions and an adjustable crotch strap for a better fit. This harness style separates the shoulder straps from the waist belt and all four straps then clip into the main buckle with the shoulder straps holding the waist buckle portion in the slot. It's involved and could be challenging with a squirming child.
The Sleek seat is reversible and fully reclines with a small pull lever on the back. The seat can also be removed and replaced with an infant car seat or bassinet (sold separately). This stroller does not come with a bassinet, so you'll need to look elsewhere if that is on your must-have list as a standard configuration. The padded leg rest is adjustable and the footrest is narrow and shallow.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Sleek is compatible with a variety of infant car seats with the purchase of the appropriate adapter. These seats include many options from Cybex, Maxi Cosi, Nuna, and Chicco including many award-winning options from our Best Infant Car Seat Review.
Ease of Setup
The Sleek took us just over 6 minutes to pull from the box to ready to roll. Assembly includes the wheels, canopy, belly bar, and seat that all snap in place with no tools required.
The manual is multi-language divided into sections with illustrations in the back. The illustrations are pretty clear with no written instructions which are adequate in this case given the limited things you need to do.
The Sleek maneuvers well for a stroller with foam-filled plastic tires earning. This score isn't as good as the jogging products, but it is better or equal to similar strollers. Surprisingly this stroller pushes and turns with ease on and off the pavement with a slight edge on flat surfaces over uneven terrain. It feels very similar to other UPPAbaby options and made tighter turns than the similarly styled strollers. The longer handlebar makes it easier to go over bumps or curbs than options with shorter or flexing bars.
Weight and Folded Size
The Sleek is heavy and large which hurt its score for weight and folded size. This stroller is 27.9 lbs and measures 16,493 cubic inches when folded. This is more on par with a jogging stroller than a traditional full-size option. However, it isn't the heaviest option. You can remove the seat and back wheels for a smaller and lighter package, but then you'll have four items to carry and keep track of, so this is likely only a reasonable solution when storing in a smaller car. Keep in mind you'll need to somewhat rebuild your stroller when you reach your destination.
The Sleek is a quality product with attention to detail and durable materials. The Sleek uses a single fabric that is a heavy yet soft canvas that didn't snag during testing. The fabric wraps around the seat and stroller frame with no problems and the frames are sturdy, pleasing to the eye, and had no flex. The tires are foam filled plastic that would have been nicer if they were rubber, but they are dense and nicer than those found on less expensive models. It comes with all-wheel suspension, an adjustable telescoping handlebar with wipe-clean cover, and a belly bar. Everything comes together well for an overall clean and elegant fit and finish.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD, Wendy Schmitz, BabyGearLab Review Team