In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Kolcraft Cloud Plus Review

The cheapest option with disappointing functionality
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Price:   $70 List | $68 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, easy to use
Cons:  Poor quality, harder to maneuver
Manufacturer:   Kolcraft
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team  ⋅  Dec 8, 2016
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51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 19
  • Weight/Folded Size - 35% 6
  • Ease Of Use - 30% 6
  • Maneuverability - 25% 4
  • Quality - 10% 2

The Skinny

The Kolcraft Cloud Plus is an inexpensive classic umbrella stroller. This stroller earned a second highest score for ease of use, but disappointed in the remaining metrics being hard to maneuver and heavier and larger than much of the competition. The main perk of the Cloud Plus is the low list price of $70, and while we suspect this will be a draw for many parents, we caution that at least in this case, you get what you pay for. With the lowest quality score in the group this stroller feels flimsy with lots of flex and sub-par materials. We think parents will be much happier saving their time and frustration by choosing a stroller that costs more and offers more. The Inglesina Net is $90 more, but it also scored 9 points more overall and is higher quality and lighter weight.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Kolcraft Cloud Plus is budget friendly  but that may be the only thing it has going for it.
The Kolcraft Cloud Plus is budget friendly, but that may be the only thing it has going for it.

Kolcraft began in 1946, and is a third-generation family owned and operated manufacturer of baby products based in Chicago. Founder Leo Koltun started making crib pads and in the 1950s his son, Sandy Koltun joined the business and began making crib mattresses. In 1980, they launched the Carri-Cradle®, which was the first infant carrier/rocker with carrying handle that was made entirely of plastic. In 1987, they began making high chairs, and play yards, with new products and affiliations following when Sandy's son, Tom Koltun, joined the company. In 1993, Kolcraft formed a partnership with Sealy® Technology and are still the largest manufacturer of crib mattresses in the United States. The new century brought brand partnerships and the launch of the Contours strollers line.

Performance Comparison


This comparison chart shows how each stroller compared in the overall scoring, including the Kolcraft shown here in blue.


The sections below provide the point by point detailed information that explain how the Cloud earned its rank when tested alongside the competition.

The Cloud self-stands when folded making it easy to store to public spaces.
The Cloud self-stands when folded making it easy to store to public spaces.

Weight and Folded Size


The Cloud received a score of 6 of 10 in the weight and folded size metric. This stroller weighs 12.6 pounds, with 6 competing strollers weighing less. Folded it measures at 7,551 cubic inches, which is rather large with only 3 products taking up more space. If lightweight and easy to stow are important, this may not be the best option.

Ease of Use


The Cloud earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use. It offers features the competition didn't, like parent and child trays, which helped set it apart from the products that only offered a parent cup holder at most.

The fold mechanism on the Cloud is located in the center of the  handle making one-handed steering difficult.
The fold mechanism on the Cloud is located in the center of the handle making one-handed steering difficult.

Fold and Unfold


The Cloud has a one-handed fold and unfold with a manual lock and standing capabilities. This stroller is easy to fold, but if the wheels are going the wrong way it can be hard to complete the fold and use the lock. The fold is initiated by sliding the red lock lever and squeezing the red button to fold the stroller in half.

Brakes


The Cloud brakes are double action and require both pedals to be pressed for the brakes to be fully set. The pedals are really stiff, difficult to use, and not sandal foot friendly.

The Cloud storage bin is deep but in the narrow side.
The cup holders on the parent console and child tray of the Cloud did not fit any of our test items including a water bottle  baby bottle  and sippy cup.

Storage


The Cloud can carry up to 10 lbs in the storage basket and we were able to fit our medium size diaper bag inside. This bin is deep but narrow and has very easy access from the back (above left). The Cloud has additional storage with a child tray and parent console. All the cup holders on the Cloud are too small for pretty much any size cup, bottle, or sippy (above right), and the child's tray needs to be completely removed to fit a baby in the seat.

The window on the Cloud's canopy does not have a cover and leaves baby exposed to direct sunlight.
The window on the Cloud's canopy does not have a cover and leaves baby exposed to direct sunlight.

Sunshade


The canopy on the CLoud is medium in size and has a nice peek-a-boo window that is easy to see through, but it doesn't have a window cover, which means the sun will hit baby right on the head, almost negating the reason for a canopy in the first place.

Each side strap on the Cloud harness needs to be removed on its own  but the real bummer is the straps are too long and a potential safety concern.
Each side strap on the Cloud harness needs to be removed on its own, but the real bummer is the straps are too long and a potential safety concern.

Harness


The Cloud has a 5-point harness with an easy buckle that requires both sides to be removed separately. The rethread adjustment is simple and straightforward, but adjusting the side straps is more difficult as it requires double threading through the adjustment clip.

The one-handed seat recline on the Cloud is not as smooth as we would like and the seat back barely reclines.
The one-handed seat recline on the Cloud is not as smooth as we would like and the seat back barely reclines.

Seat


The Cloud seat does not have an adjustable leg rest, in fact, it barely offers a leg rest at all. The seat back reclines with a one-handed strap, but it doesn't go flat enough for cozy napping, and its operation is less than smooth. The seat back has a thin piece of removable corrugated plastic inside that gives it shape and stability, but it doesn't feel stable and it can buckle.

Ease of Setup





Setting up the Cloud took us 7:31 minutes with no tools and average instructions.

Despite the Kolcraft claim of all-terrain wheels  these wheels are flimsy plastic with imprinted tread that makes them wobble when strolling.
Despite the Kolcraft claim of all-terrain wheels, these wheels are flimsy plastic with imprinted tread that makes them wobble when strolling.

Maneuverability


The Cloud has plastic wheels with the dual front wheel design that makes maneuverability difficult. This stroller rolls and turns on flat surfaces without some work and it isn't that responsive or smooth. Going off road makes it even harder to push, as the front wheels veer off course or get stuck in thicker grass or gravel.

The Cloud offers front wheel suspension, but given the lack of padding on the seat and the stiff plastic back, it is likely not the most comfortable strolling experience for baby no matter what the terrain.

Quality


The Cloud earned a 2 of 10 for quality, which is the lowest score for quality in the review. The fabric on this stroller feels slick like plastic and not breathable. The padding is minimal and we think the padding combined with the fabric will quickly become misshapen. The frame is less impressive than the competition, and overall the stroller feels cheap and flimsy with gathered fabric that shouldn't be there and exposed rivets and connectors everywhere.

Several Amazon reviewers indicated that the seat back on the Cloud folds and breaks after minimal use. This indicates to us that the quality of the materials should be improved.

Manufacturer Video




Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team