Searching for the best umbrella stroller available today? We considered over 50 popular competitors and purchased 15 top strollers for intense side-by-side testing for this review. Finding a great umbrella stroller for travel or commuting can be more challenging than it looks. We can help! We tested each option to determine the easiest to use, push, lift, carry, and stow. We considered weight and folded size, quality, maneuverability, and ease of use to help you find the right lightweight stroller for your family and wallet. Read on for more details about each stroller.
If you need a stroller for twins or multiples, be sure to take a look at our double umbrella stroller review to find the best. And, if the lightest possible weight and folded size are not as important to you as ease of strolling, then take a look at some of the lighter weight top-ranked full-size strollers we've tested, as they could be just what you want. If you are researching strollers in general, be sure to check out our picks of top strollers of all types, which offers general browsing. If you're going to travel with older babies, you might need a travel-friendly top-ranking convertible car seat.
Editor's Note: This lightweight stroller review was updated on April 25, 2023. Updates include the removal of discontinued products and new links for updated strollers.
The BabyZen Yoyo2 is an amazing, lightweight stroller with one of the best maneuverability performances in the review. The Yoyo2 is a dream to push and turn with better wheels than most competition. With a stylish look and attention to detail, the Yoyo2 is everything it promises. This stroller folds into thirds, making it compact and easy to carry for enjoyable on-the-go use. The Yoyo2 has many popular features parents want and enough functionality for fun on the town, making it an excellent selection for city folks.
The Yoyo2 is expensive for an umbrella stroller with a price that rivals some full-size strollers. However, we think this is a case of "you get what you pay for," with features and quality that arguably merit the price. The storage bin is also small, resulting in fewer onboard supplies or taking shorter trips. This lack of storage makes us feel like it isn't a useful replacement for a full-size stroller for most families. However, if your budget allows, we think the Yoyo2's performance, size, ease of carrying, and looks are worth the price if you need something travel-sized.
The Zoe Traveler is a lightweight umbrella stroller that folds in thirds. This stroller has loads of features parents want and passengers need for cozy napping. We like the recline and adjustable leg rest on this stroller, and the canopy is one of the biggest in the business. An even better advantage is this option is budget-friendly for most.
This stroller isn't the best quality in the competition, but it is better than most in its price range or lower. It is also hard to push off flat surfaces and isn't one you'll want to take over grass and gravel very often. Overall, we think this wallet-loving choice is an excellent choice for those who want a good stroller with passenger comfort in mind for a reasonable price.
The lightweight and relatively small UPPAbaby G-Lite earned an impressive weight and folded size score. It is of better quality than many similar-sized contenders in its price range, and traditionally UPPAbaby strollers last far longer than many other brands. The Lite excels at minimalism with a basic seat, limited recline, and a somewhat convoluted fold that stands by itself. This smaller stroller has a sturdy net storage bin that is large enough for more supplies than the competition, and the canopy is significant for an umbrella product with a pop-out visor.
This budget-friendly lightweight option has one of the lowest price tags in this review. While it lacks some bells and whistles in the higher-priced options, it still has everything you'll want for a mid-day stroll or most tourist attractions. The Lite is less suitable as a primary or all-day stroller, as it lacks most features for comfort, which could leave grumpy toddlers with no place to nap. That aside, it is a great option for travel and is easy to carry and tuck away, getting the job done without emptying your wallet or causing excessive frustration.
We've purchased and tested more than 190 strollers since 2014, including more than 55 lightweight umbrella strollers. And, as always, we accept no freebies or advertising from manufacturers and purchase each stroller ourselves to assure complete independence. Our testing protocol for strollers is extensive and involves real-world, day-to-day use testing and a set of 50 individual lab tests to inform our ratings.
Our testing of umbrella strollers is divided across four rating metrics:
We handle each stroller from unboxing to in-house lab testing and hours of use to determine which offers the best combination of lightweight and compact folded size, which are the easiest to use, and how they handle in terms of maneuverability, and quality. The weight and folded size metric most influence this stroller style because finding a compact, travel-friendly product for baby is the primary reason parents look for an umbrella stroller.
This umbrella stroller review is led by Dr. Juliet Spurrier, our founder and mother of two. Dr. Spurrier is a board-certified pediatrician who uses her experience and medical background to help choose products with safety and functionality in mind. The team also includes our Senior Review Analyst, Bob Wofford, father of seven. Bob has been on the BabyGearLab team for nine years and has potentially assembled and tested more strollers than anyone on the planet. Bob is a strolling expert with over 435 stroller reviews under his belt across the best strollers. Senior Review Editors, Wendy Schmitz (mother of 2), and Abriah Wofford complete the team. Wendy has been part of the stroller testing team since 2014, and Abriah since 2016.
Analysis and Test Results
We put top-ranked, lightweight, and umbrella strollers through exhaustive testing to determine which competitors are better than the rest. Each is observed, used, and rated on weight and folded size, ease of use, maneuverability, and quality to help you find the right stroller for your plans and budget.
Some of the high-ranking products in our review are fairly budget-friendly. However, for a stroller group that is most likely a backup or secondary stroller for most families, the prices can feel high if your budget is tight or you have limited plans to use it. The UPPAbaby G-Lite is also a somewhat economical choice if you only need it as an occasional secondary stroller for travel when fancy features might be less important. This basic stroller is high in quality and easy to fold with a self-stand feature. But it lacks features for napping, making it less suitable for all-day adventures. The Zoe Traveler is also lower-priced and scored well overall with features for passenger comfort.
Weight and Folded Size
How much a stroller weighs and how small it can fold are the factors that make or break a lightweight stroller. It needs to be easy to fold and transport. This product should simplify travel by folding quickly, being easy to carry, and stowing easily at your destination or public transportation. A few of our lineup's products are heavy, making them more of a burden to carry. Others are lightweight but are too long for compact trunks when folded. If you're looking for a traditional umbrella option, this metric is the one to watch when deciding which stroller to buy.
The highest-scoring product for Weight and Folded Size is the GB Pockit with the smallest folded volume and the second lightest weight. If you need a small fold that fits almost anywhere and is easy to carry, then the GB Pockit is the king. However, the Pockit was challenging to push and hard to use in our tests, scoring below average for overall performance.
The largest folded option is the UPPAbaby G-Luxe, making it a poor choice if your space is limited.
Ease of Use
Ease of use encompasses daily experience and the features that make a product easier to use or potentially versatile. A stroller that performs well for ease of use typically has useful and thoughtfully designed features and conveniences.
Parents usually find that products with better results in this metric are good for a wider variety of activities or make life easier. An ample sunshade or larger storage bin could translate to grocery shopping or an unexpected trip to a farmer's market. Alternatively, a quick fold can make a stroller better for commuting when speed and space are typically prized over bells and whistles. This metric could be important to your final decision, depending on your specific goals.
The Devil is in the Details
Within our ease of use rating, we perform multiple tests that combine to make up the overall score. We weigh sub-metrics according to their value in creating a highly functional lightweight stroller. To better evaluate the unique features of each stroller, we show how each stroller stacks up when compared to the competition.
Fold and Unfold
We fold, pick up, put down, unfold and stroll with all the products. We take time to note which ones can be folded one-handed (with a diaper bag in your other arm or a baby on the hip) and which ones have convenient features like a self-stand or automatic lock.
Lightweight strollers should be quick to fold and straightforward to operate. While a compact fold is essential, executing the fold quickly and without complications is just as important. We favor products that fold with one hand and have fewer steps. Strollers that lock automatically or stand on their own earn extra points.
The Britax B-Lively is the easiest to fold, requiring only one hand and a quick pull. Better still, they unfold almost by themselves and pop open so quickly you're ready to go in no time. The UPPAbaby Minu is also easy to fold and creates a compact package of thirds. The hardest strollers to fold in this review are the UPPAbaby G-Luxe and G-Lite, which require two hands with multiple steps and can be harder to do if you're rushed or flustered (think crying baby and impatient commuters).
All the brakes work. We did not experience any faulty brakes or accidental releases in our testing. However, some of the brakes are much easier to operate than others. Good brakes should be easy to set and release and pain-free for sandal-wearing feet. Color coding is also a plus. The brakes should engage without sticking or feeling locked if they aren't.
Several of the umbrella options we tested have double-action brakes that require pressing two pedals for brake engagement. We worry that parents will forget or intentionally skip engaging a pedal, which could lead to preventable accidents or injuries. We prefer single-action brakes that only require one pedal to set.
The best brakes in this review are on the BabyZen Yoyo2 with one pedal that has plenty of foot room and is a press to set and release. The Britax B-Lively and UPPAbaby Minu are also easy to use. In our opinion, the Kolcraft Cloud Plus and Summer Infant 3D lite have the most challenging brakes, with double action brakes that are very stiff compared to the competition.
The amount of useful stroller storage greatly influences its ease of use,. The main storage area is typically an under-seat bin, and we look at the size and accessibility by attempting to slide diaper bags in when they are stuffed to the max. We also take into account additional storage features such as parent pockets, cup holders, and child trays.
Most of the products offer some storage, but how much and where are the main differences? Some have a traditional under-seat storage bin, but they vary widely in size, weight capacity, and ease of access.
The UPPAbaby Minu has the highest weight allowance of 20 lbs. Some strollers have pockets on the back of the canopy, like the BabyZen Yoyo2, and the pocket is good for convenience items like smartphones and keys.
The size and functionality of the sunshade account for 20% of the overall ease of use score. While all of the products offer a sunshade, some have small shades and many lack peek-a-boo windows. We note the UPF rating, the size of the shade, and whether it has a peekaboo window. The ease of extending and folding also plays a part. But ultimately, we test to see how well a sunshade can protect a baby from the sun.
The GB Pockit has the tiniest shade that provides only direct overhead protection with no front or side benefits. Alternatively, some of the strollers have giant shades with exceptional coverage, even for a reclining passenger.
The photos above show the varying sizes of canopies in this review. From left to right, they are the flat shade on the GB Pockit and the medium canopy on the BabyZen Yoyo2. The UPPAbaby G-Lite offers a larger canopy for this type of product, giving it extra points compared to the competition.
Harness testing makes up 10% of the ease of use score. Although the products in this review have 5-point harnesses, there are different designs and methods for adjustability. We check the stiffness of each buckle and note if the straps have any padding or if there is abrasive fabric.
Five points are considered the safest design because the two extra points from the shoulder restraint straps help keep children from slipping or falling out should the stroller tip. We consider how difficult the straps are to adjust for height and correct fit and how hard the buckle is to use. We also include whether the product has an adjustable crotch strap and if the lowest shoulder height will work for smaller babies.
We believe parents are more likely to use a harness if it is easy. The UPPAbaby G-Luxe and the UPPAbaby Minu have the easiest harnesses and buckles to use. In contrast, some buckles are so hard that even two hands didn't feel adequate during testing. Some harnesses are easy to adjust for size, but the shoulder straps' height level is more challenging. The BabyZen Yoyo2 has the easiest-to-use harness in our tests.
A reclining seatback and adjustable leg rest are useful features to keep passengers comfy, and testing for these features accounts for 15% of the overall ease of use score. Napping and being comfortable can be the difference between a successful journey and a disaster of epic proportions. We measure recline angles, note the presence of adjustable leg rest, check the footrest size, and rate seat padding.
Unfortunately, finding a comfortable seat is harder than you'd think when it comes to lightweight strollers. Some of the contenders offer a reclining seatback but lack an adjustable leg rest, a few include both, and some don't have either. In our opinion, many of the recline angles are shallow (almost non-existent) and not as nap-worthy as others. Depending on the sort of trip you take, a straightforward option with no comfort features may suffice, but if you're going to the zoo for the whole day, the trip will be much easier if your little one can snooze as the day progresses.
The adjustable leg rest on the Mountain Buggy Nano (above) provides additional legroom for nappers.
The Britax B-Livey has the most comfortable seats in the review, though the UPPAbaby G-Luxe has the deepest recline and adjustable leg rest, a rare find in this type of stroller. If your trips could last for hours, then a comfortable seat is a must and may mean you need to sacrifice features like lighter weight. The UPPAbaby G-Link is less impressive with upright seating and no real leg rest, but it does have a mesh seat back for better airflow on hot or humid days outside.
Although some umbrella strollers claim newborn and infant suitability, we do NOT recommend using this type of stroller for children under six months.
This stroller type offers few features for infants and fails to provide the support and protection we believe babies who lack head and neck control need. Unless the stroller accepts an infant car seat, we don't think you should use them for little ones under six months. Ever. For safety, always keep an eye on your baby and regularly check to ensure the position and adjustment of the harness are correct. Check with your pediatrician and the owner's manual for more information.
Car Seat Compatibility
Only a few of the lightweight options are compatible with infant car seats. For the most part, this stroller category isn't known for infant or car seat compatibility, so it isn't a strike against them. The Britax B-Lively, UPPAbaby Minu, and the Mountain Buggy Nano accept infant car seats with additional adapters. The BabyZen Yoyo2 works with a handful of infant car seats, and the Graco Breaze and the Graco Nimblelite work with various Graco brand seats.
We believe maneuverability can make or break whether or not you love (or use) your stroller. Depending on the journey and the terrain you'll cover, the umbrella stroller you choose can make a big difference in getting your little one where you want to go frustration-free. Some of the products were easy to push and turn, while others felt clunky and struggled over grass and gravel.
Compared to other stroller types like our favorite jogging strollers, all lightweight options lack superior maneuverability, but a few were better than the competition. The BabyZen Yoyo2, Britax B-Lively, and UPPAbaby Minu all performed well in our maneuverability tests. Still, they are much smoother on flat roads than on grass and gravel.
While we assumed most of the strollers would struggle in the grass and gravel, we were surprised that some had difficulties on flat surfaces. The products that struggled in this metric were those with smaller wheels, wheels with fake tread, and dual front wheel designs (2 wheels on one leg). Products with single front wheels and larger wheels performed better than most of the others. The hardest stroller to push is the Summer Infant 3D lite. This stroller is hard to push on the smooth hardwood, and it gets harder with a child in the seat.
These photos show the single front wheels on the BabyZen Yoyo2 (above left) and the dual front wheels of the Summer Infant 3D lite (above right).
We consider a product's construction, materials, and durability during testing and how they may hold up over time for quality.
The look and feel of the materials, design, and performance indicate the quality level of the construction and components. Other considerations include frame flex, wobbly wheels, exposed fasteners, errant stitches, and loose connections.
The UPPAbaby Minu earned the high score for quality, tying with the Britax Lively, and the Babyzen Yoyo2 (above left). These products look good and feel sturdy, with little frame flex and limited manufacturing flaws. The Kolcraft Cloud Plus (above right) has the lowest quality with inferior materials compared to the competition and loose connection points that create more frame flex with a child in the seat. This stroller also has a low price, so this may be a "you get what you pay for" situation.
Ease of Setup
Most of the strollers in our lineup come virtually fully assembled. Most of the strollers only require attaching the wheels, canopies, or sometimes the seat. None of the options require full assembly, but the BabyZen Yoyo2 has more parts and pieces than the competition, so it took more time to unpack and put together than the competitors. It also didn't supply the best directions, and for parts, we had to find a video online to help us. Alternatively, the GB Pockit is easy to set up, with an assembly time of under two minutes for our seasoned stroller assembly team (individual results may vary).
Do you need a lightweight stroller?
The short answer is no; most families don't need a lightweight or travel-specific option. The long answer is more complicated. In our experience, most lightweight options create frustrating circumstances where the benefits don't outshine the issues of lack of storage, poor maneuverability, or lack of child comfort features. Most traveling families claim they'd rather have a full-size stroller over the smaller options for the convenience and ease of pushing. Given that both will be a challenge through airport security and both will need to be checked when you get to the plane, we see their point. Also, most parents will prefer a larger stroller when they reach their destination as well. So, while we get that the idea of an umbrella stroller can be appealing, we aren't sold on the idea that everyone needs one and encourage you to consider your situation carefully before shelling out the extra cash.
Finding a useful umbrella stroller for travel or commuting doesn't have to be confusing. Our comprehensive review offers impressive lightweight and umbrella strollers for consideration. Whatever your goals or budget might be, we believe our test results and details can help you narrow your options and choose the best stroller for your needs. Between our award selections and the higher-ranking strollers, we believe there is a lightweight stroller (or two) that can meet most needs. Once you Identify your requirements, you can confidently choose the right stroller for your baby and budget.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.