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 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 that has a better score for maneuverability or is at least slightly easier to push and lighter.
Summer Infant 3D lite Review
Pros: Inexpensive, hands only fold
Cons: Poor sun protection, wobbly wheels
Manufacturer: Summer Infant
Compare to Similar Products
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 is fairly average 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, or 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 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 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.
The sunshade on the 3D is removable and might be the smallest one in the review, though it does have some stiff competition for the 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 competition and is really only useful 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 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 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.
The 3D lite is a struggle to maneuver. 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 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 a baby will be comfortable on longer adventures.
The 3D's quality is on par for what it costs. However, what is possibly more impressive is that it has a higher or equal quality score than some of the more expensive competition. 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.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team