The Contours Lite is a nice economical stroller with a lot to offer. It has the largest storage bin in our review, with child and parent accessory trays. It offers a larger than average sun shade and a nice reclining back. There really isn't much to dislike about this cheaper than average stroller that could. No other stroller came close to meeting its scores or features for such a budget friendly price. We recommend this stroller and think parents will be pleased with this product.
Contours Lite Review
Pros: Storage, child tray, cup holder
Cons: Strange fold, bulky
Our Analysis and Test Results
Contours Lite is an economical lightweight stroller made by Kolcraft Enterprises. It has a large under seat storage bin, a child accessory tray with cup holder, and a parent cup holder on the side. The average sized canopy is somewhat adjustable, and can detach from the seat back for added ventilation. It boasts one hand easy maneuverability. The back has adjustable recline, and it folds into a fairly compact package that self-stands and fits easily in many in cars and on public transport. This stroller is good for children up to 40 pounds and comes in a one color variation.
Ease of Use
Mountain Buggy Mini earned 8 of 10 in this metric, but its bin is smaller and is fairly shallow on one end.
The seatback adjusts from 64 degrees to 28. It isn't the flattest and certainly not the best for napping, but it can give added comfort to most passengers and sleeping is possible. At the very least children won't have the weird head hang or awkward neck angles found in strollers that don't recline. The recline feature works via a cinch strap located on the back of the seat. The strap can get lost in the back cover of the canopy, but it isn't difficult to operate. However, it might require two hands to move the extra fabric around.
Chicco Liteway, possible because of the single bar. It is okay for handling on the side hill, but it won't roll over a 2 inch ledge and it gets caught in the storm drain on our course. None of this is a huge deal breaker. Most umbrella or lightweight products are not meant for off-roading and spend most of their time on flat hard surfaces. This one does well enough to get you over the occasional bumpy road or greenbelt, but will probably cause frustration if this is the majority of terrain types you plan on traveling over. None of the strollers did that well over rough terrain though, so it isn't outside of the normal range for this kind of product.
Going up and down stairs is also a little difficult as well given the shorter handle bar. This makes everything a bit harder because you will invariably have to stoop over further than with other strollers. You also will need to walk with your feet on either side of the stroller instead of directly behind it so you don't step on the storage bin. This might be the only down side to such a large storage compartment. The up side is the brakes don't seem to catch when going up backwards so at least the stroller will keep on moving instead of getting stuck and immobile due to accidental brake engagement.
Safety is an important consideration, so we tested each product for safety including the harness, brakes, and the tendency to tip. The Contours only scored a 5 in this metric, which put it below average but equal to the Jeep Wrangler All-Weather. The Quinny Yezz did the best in this category thanks primarily to innovative design features.Brakes
This stroller is fairly average for tipping points being neither a standout nor a disappointment. It has a side angle tipping point of about 25 degrees which is average for this category of products. It take about 34 pounds hanging off the back of the stroller before it tipped backward. This is average for the products we tested, but given the large under seat storage you may not have any reason to hang weight off the back making this consideration less significant than those strollers that have no storage and even lower weight requirements.
The frame is a little less tight than some but it didn't flex as much as others, like the Peg Perego Pliko Mini. The fold is different than any other we tested, and is not like an umbrella style at all. The connection are not the most solid and overall it did feel cheaper than many we looked at.
The wheels are two different sizes and are bigger than many of competition. They seem to vibrate less than others, but aren't as nice as some of the more expensive models like the Quinny Yezz or the Mountain Buggy Mini. However, they were not as rickety or flimsy as many others.
The comfort factor on this stroller is below average, only 6 other products came in with a lower score for comfort. It has soft front shock, no rear shocks, very soft shoulder strap padding, a sling type seat, harder than average back with minimal padding throughout and the waist strap sewn onto back could cause chafing on bare skin.
Weight and Folded Size
This stroller has an average weight of just over 14 pounds. This means it is neither heavy nor super light, but manageable to heft when necessary. Depending on your strength level you may not want to lug it a far distance, but out of the products we looked at it certainly was on the lighter side. The unique thing about this product is how it folds. While it is a lightweight stroller, it does not fold like a standard umbrella product. Instead is sort of folds in half. This means it measures fairly short compared to others at, 19.5x34.5x12.5. However, it takes up more room than most of the products at 8,409 cubic inches; this is about 2,000 cubic feet over the average size. Our reviewers called it short and bulky. It seems to fit better in smaller trunks, and can just squeeze behind the front seat of many cars as an additional storage option.Ease of Folding
Unfolding is significantly easier requiring only 1 hand and 2 steps. All you need to do is unlatch the lock and pull up till it clicks. The motion isn't necessarily intuitive at first, but once you get the feel for it, it is quite easy.Commuting
Ease of Setup
This product scored average for ease of set up. It took over 8 minutes to set up with lots of parts and things to assemble, unlike many other strollers that came almost completely assembled. The stroller is well packaged, and all of the items were individually wrapped to avoid damage during shipping. The instructions are just black and white illustrations which could have been easier to understand; photos would have been easier to follow in a step by step assembly. There were minimal instructions that lacked in depth and detail. In addition, the wheels assemble with washers and pins, unlike what seems to be the more common "snap" on wheels found in the other products.
This is a good budget strollers for parents who have limited funds for a second or even primary stroller. It has many cool features and conveniences that put it close to being a primary stroller, so it might even be possible to consider it a cross over stroller, using it as an only stroller. Otherwise, given the cheap price tag, it makes a great secondary stroller for travel or Grandparents. It has a large storage bin, recline for napping, sun shade, cup holder, and child accessory tray. It is hard to be disappointed with this stroller. To find one with similar features, it will cost significantly more.
This stroller is a strong competitor to our Best Value award winner, the Chicco Liteway. It offers a lot for a small price tag. It comes in at $80 on average making it one of the cheapest products in our review, and certainly the cheapest with this many additional features outside the standard umbrella stroller. The Chicco Liteway costs almost $60 more for similar features, but it is worth noting that the Liteway offers significantly better overall performance. The Contours is a contender for those looking for an economical choice that still offers good overall quality for the price. If you are considering a similarly priced model, like the First Years Ignite or Chicco Capri C6 Lightweight, or even a cheaper one, like First Years Jet, we urge you to take a good long look at the Contours because it really does offer more bang for the buck in just about every category.
The Contours Lite is definitely a product worth considering. It has the largest storage bin of those we tested, a nicely placed cup holder, child accessory tray, an adjustable reclining back pad, and a good sized canopy for protection from the sun. It did fairly well maneuvering over hard flat surfaces, and it is lightweight, and short once folded. It is one of the cheapest products in this review, and it managed to beat not only all the other cheaper products, but it scored higher than 4 of the more expensive models as well. It has many extra features not commonly found on a basic umbrella stroller, and these features are done well for the price. The only real issues with the Lite is that it can be a bit bulky for on the fly transport when commuting, and the overall quality does not match some of the more high end, high dollar product in this review. However, for the price, there is no other product that offers as much, or does it as well, as the Contours Lite. That is why we feel that parents on a budget will like what they get it they make this purchase.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz