Hands-on Gear Review

Summer Infant 3D lite Review

Price:   $90.00 List | $79.99 at Amazon - 11% off
Pros:  Inexpensive, hands only fold
Cons:  Poor sun protection, wobbly wheels
Bottom line:  Difficult to navigate stroller that is lightweight and budget friendly, but lower quality
Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Weight:  13.1 lbs
Folded Dimensions:  13.9"W x 10"H x 42.6"L
Capacity Limits:  Minimum: 6 months, Maximum: 50 lbs
Manufacturer:   Summer Infant

The Skinny

The Summer 3D lite earned a lower overall score than the majority of the competition, but it is the second cheapest stroller in this review. The 3D has the second worst score for maneuverability with wobbly dual wheels and flexing handles that make it difficult to push and turn without moving off course. While the price is very budget friendly, with only the Kolcraft Cloud Plus costing less, this stroller still didn't perform well enough to merit the low price. While we understand that many parents are on a budget, we suggest saving money for a more expensive product like the UPPAbaby G-Lite that has a better score for maneuverability, or the Inglesina Net that is slightly easier to push and lighter.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Thursday
December 8, 2016

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The Summer Infant 3D lite is one of the least expensive options in the group  but it also did not score well in most metrics.
The Summer Infant 3D lite is one of the least expensive options in the group, but it also did not score well in most metrics.

The Summer Infant company was started by William Lockett III in 1985. Looking for a safe place to place his baby (Summer) while he did other things, this new father created the original bouncy seat. Since the creation of the bouncy seat, Summer Infant has continued to make a wide range of economical baby products from monitors to strollers, to cribs and bathtubs.

Performance Comparison


The chart below gives a visual representation of where the Summer Infant 3D fell overall compared to the competition.


The sections below will provide detailed information on how the 3D performed in our tests for each metric.

The 3D lite is 13.06 lbs and is 5 921.40 cubic inches when folded.
The 3D lite is 13.06 lbs and is 5,921.40 cubic inches when folded.

Weight and Folded Size


In terms of weight and folded size, the 3D lite earned a relatively average 6 of 10. This stroller weighs about 13 lbs and measures 5,921.40 cubic inches when folded. The size of the 3D lite is almost exactly the average for the group with 7 strollers weighing less.

Ease of Use


The 3D lite earned a 5 of 10 for ease of use but isn't as high as the cheaper Kolcraft Cloud Plus which earned a 6. This is another very average score compared to the rest of the group.

The 3D can be folded with your hands only unlike most of the competition.
The 3D can be folded with your hands only unlike most of the competition.

Fold and Unfold


The 3D lite has a traditional umbrella fold where it collapses on itself as it folds in half. The fold can be initiated and accomplished with your foot, which is standard, or your hand, which is relatively unique. It is a one-handed fold that automatically locks but doesn't stand on its own.

Brakes


The 3D has single action brakes that require both sides to be pressed for full brake engagement. They are stiffer than much of the competition, and as a result, can hurt your foot to release them if you are wearing sandals.

The 3D storage bin is not accessible with the seat back reclined.
The 3D has a pocket on the back of the canopy flap that velcros closed.

Storage


The 3D storage bin (above left) can hold a medium size diaper bag and up to 10 lbs. This bin is easy to access as long as the seat back isn't reclined, but it does have a pocket with Velcro closure on the back of the canopy (above right), that can hold a mobile phone, keys, and a wallet. The 3D also has a removable parent cup holder on the side of the frame.

The canopy on the 3D lite is very small and not very versatile  though it does have a pop out sun visor that slightly increases coverage.
The canopy on the 3D lite is very small and not very versatile, though it does have a pop out sun visor that slightly increases coverage.

Sunshade


The sunshade on the 3D is removable and might be the smallest one in the review, though it does have some stiff competition for smallest. This canopy is the locking brace variety and has no window, which isn't that big of a deal given that it doesn't cover enough of the baby to necessitate it. It does feature a reflective pop out visor, but even with the visor out, this canopy doesn't offer the same amount of coverage as the cheaper Kolcraft Cloud Plus and is really only useful for sun protection during mid-day directly overhead sun.

The 3D harness has strange adjustment methods  but is still easy to use.
The 3D harness has strange adjustment methods, but is still easy to use.

Harness


The 3D harness is a 5-point with shoulder straps that slide up and down for height adjustment and you need to detach the strap from the waist straps to rethread it through an alternate height strap sewn onto the back of the seat. The side strap adjustment has to go through two parts, but it is almost as easy as the sliding straps. Overall, the harness is about average in every way.

The red adjustment points seen here on the 3D lite operate the seat back recline  which is sort of an abrupt angle change that is difficult to operate smoothly.
The red adjustment points seen here on the 3D lite operate the seat back recline, which is sort of an abrupt angle change that is difficult to operate smoothly.

Seat


The 3D seat has a unique recline adjustment with a release on both sides of the base of the seat that requires two hands to operate and quickly drops baby sort of abruptly. This stroller does not offer an adjustable leg rest, and several Amazon reviewers indicated that the footrest breaks with normal use over a relatively short period of time.

Ease of Setup




This stroller is slightly easier than the average option to set up. It took us 4:38 minutes to unpack and assemble with no tools and only average directions.

Maneuverability


The 3D lite earned a 3 of 10 for maneuverability, which is the second to the lowest score for pushing and turning. Once again the Kolcraft Cloud Plus scored slightly higher with a 4. This stroller has wonky wheels that are flimsy and wobble when strolling. It is tolerable and navigates well enough on hard and flat surfaces, but when you travel on uneven terrain the dual front wheel design can cause the wheels to shift to the side if they go over a bump or encounter small rocks on the path. We experienced difficulty moving forward as the wheels would turn sideways and get stuck trying to go in the new direction as opposed to forward. This makes it a poor choice for strolls that include grass or gravel encounters.
The Summer Infant 3D lite wheels are small and made of plastic. These wheels have a flimsy feeling and wobble when it strolls  even on flat smooth surfaces
The Summer Infant 3D lite wheels are small and made of plastic. These wheels have a flimsy feeling and wobble when it strolls, even on flat smooth surfaces

The 3D has minimal padding on a stiff seat with front wheel shocks and no adjustable leg rest. Despite the almost flat recline, it is unlikely that baby will be comfortable on longer adventures.

Quality


The 3D earned a 4 of 10 for quality, which is about what you would expect for the price. However, what is possibly more impressive is that it has a higher or equal quality score than some of the more expensive competition, and it managed a 2 point edge over the Kolcraft Cloud Plus. The overall feel of this stroller is one that will get the job done but probably won't last long doing it. With cheaper materials and components that feel loose or flex when strolling, the 3D shows that sometimes you do get what you pay for.

Manufacturer Video


Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

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Most recent review: December 8, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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5 star: 0%  (0)
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2 star: 100%  (1)
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