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 is one of the hardest to maneuver out of all the strollers we have tested 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, this stroller 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 with a better maneuverability score or one that is slightly easier to push and lighter.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on December 16th, 2021, with notes on product comparisons and specific recommendations on what to buy.
Summer Infant 3D lite Review
Pros: Inexpensive, hands only fold
Cons: Poor sun protection, wobbly wheels
Manufacturer: Summer Infant
Compare to Similar Products
Summer Infant 3D lite
$96.59 at Amazon
|$179 List||$180 List|
$159.99 at Amazon
$69.99 at Amazon
$109.00 at Amazon
|Pros||Inexpensive, hands only fold||Reasonable price, good quality, comfy napping, smaller fold||Easy to carry, lightweight, stands on its own||Inexpensive, easy to use||Very nappable|
|Cons||Poor sun protection, wobbly wheels||Brake hurts the top of uncovered feet, harder to push and turn off-road||Hard to push and turn, not for napping, convoluted fold||Poor quality, harder to maneuver||Heavy and large, harder to transport|
|Bottom Line||Difficult to navigate stroller that is lightweight and budget friendly, but lower quality||A high-scoring, reasonably priced option with nice features suitable for comfortable napping but harder to turn off-road||Upright seat with no adjust-ability that can be harder to push on uneven terrain||The cheapest option with disappointing functionality||Average stroller that is harder to carry, stow, and push on rough surfaces|
|Rating Categories||Summer Infant 3D lite||Zoe Traveler||UPPAbaby G-Lite||Kolcraft Cloud Plus||Chicco Liteway|
|Weight/Folded Size (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Specs||Summer Infant 3D lite||Zoe Traveler||UPPAbaby G-Lite||Kolcraft Cloud Plus||Chicco Liteway|
|Weight||13.1 lbs||12 lbs||11.8 lbs||12.6 lbs||17.2 lbs|
|Folded Dimensions||13.9"W x 10"H x 42.6"L||17.5"W x 23"H x 13"L||13.3"W x 10.8"H x 42.5"L||18.6"W x 11.7"H x 34.7"L||14.9"W x 10.5"H x 46"L|
|Folded Volume||5,921 cu in||5,233 cu in||6,105 cu in||7,551 cu in||7,197 cu in|
|Capacity Limits||Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 50 lbs
|Minimum: 3 months
Maximum: 45 lbs
|Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 55 lbs/45"
|Minimum: Not Listed
Maximum: 50 lbs/44"
Maximum: 40 lbs/43"
|Included Car Seat Compatibility||None||None||None||None||None|
|Click-in Car Seat Adapters||None||None||None||None||None|
|Strap-in Car Seat Adapters||None||None||None||None||None|
|Handlebar Height - Min/Max||43"||40.5"||42.3"||38.9"||41"|
|Setup Time||5-10 Min||2-5 Min||2-5 Min||5-10 Min||5-10 Min|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Summer Infant was created in 1985 by William Lockett III. 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.
Weight and Folded Size
In terms of weight and folded size, the 3D lite is relatively average. 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.
Ease of Use
The 3D lite falls in the middle of the pack for ease of use with no real standout functionality.
Fold and Unfold
The 3D lite has a traditional umbrella fold that collapses on itself as it folds in half. The fold can be initiated and accomplished with your foot, which is standard, but you can also do it with your hand, which is relatively unique. It is a one-handed fold that automatically locks but doesn't stand on its own.
The 3D has dual-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 bin (above left) holds a medium-size bag with a max limit of 10 lbs. This bin is easy to access as long as the seatback 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 includes a cup holder on the frame. Overall, the storage functionality is comparable to the UPPAbaby G-Lite.
The sunshade on the 3D is removable and might be the smallest one in the review, though it does have some stiff competition. This canopy is of 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 competition and is only helpful for sun protection during mid-day overhead sun.
The 3D harness is a 5-point with shoulder straps that slide up and down for height adjustment, and you need to detach the belt 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 3D seat has a unique recline adjustment with a release on both sides of the seat's base that requires two hands to operate and quickly and abruptly drops the baby. This stroller does not offer an adjustable leg rest, and several users indicated that the footrest breaks with regular use over a relatively short time.
Ease of Setup
This stroller is slightly more manageable than the average option to set up. It took us 4:38 minutes to unpack and assemble with no tools and only average directions.
The 3D lite is a struggle to maneuver. Like the Kolcraft Cloud Plus and other double-wheel options, 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 instead of ahead. This issue makes it a poor choice for strolls that include grass or gravel terrain.
The 3D has minimal padding on a stiff seat with front-wheel shocks but no adjustable leg rest. Despite the almost flat recline, it is unlikely that a baby will be comfortable on longer adventures.
The 3D's quality is on par with what it costs. However, what is possibly more impressive is that it has a higher or equal quality score than some more expensive competition. The overall feel of this stroller will get the job done but probably won't last long doing it. With cheaper materials and components that feel loose or flexible when strolling, the 3D shows that you sometimes get what you pay for.
Should You Buy the Summer Infant 3D Lite?
The Summer Infant is a stroller that fits the image that comes to mind when you think of a traditional umbrella stroller. These days there are so many better-performing options, that this basic and minimal design feels outdated. Although it is one of the most affordable, we would not even say it is a good value relative to other tested products. At the end of the day, we do not think that the 3D Lite is a good choice for most families, as there are easily comparable products available that will last longer and be more comfortable for babies and parents.
What Other Umbrella Strollers Should You Consider?
If you are working with the strictest of budgets, the Kolcraft Cloud Plus performs better all around and is a bit cheaper. If you are drawn to the Summer 3D because it has a safe, familiar design and operation, the UPPAbaby G-Lite may be right up your alley. It has a similar frame style but is a much better quality product and scored better in almost every metric, and is a top performer in this category.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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