The Best Umbrella Strollers of 2021
$499.98 at Amazon
|$225 List||$400 List|
$399.99 at Amazon
$203.99 at Amazon
$179.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Easy to push and turn, nice quality, lightweight||Lightweight, giant canopy, price||Compact fold great for travel, easy to use features, quality||Easy to use and push, useful features, quick fold||Nice maneuverability, compact fold, easy brakes|
|Cons||Expensive, not the best napper||Lower quality, poor off-road capabilities||Heavy for its size, not for off-road surfaces, expensive||Heavier and larger||Limited napping recline, shoulder strap safety concern|
|Bottom Line||Easy to maneuver, stylish, lightweight option that folds small with a big price||Reasonably priced and lightweight with useful features but it could be smaller||Expensive and heavy but easy to use and squarely compact||Easy to push with a fast fold but heavier weight is challenging for travel||A nice stroller to push and turn, but average in most other respects|
|Rating Categories||BabyZen Yoyo+||ZOE XL1 BEST v2||UPPAbaby Minu||Britax B-Lively||Mountain Buggy Nano|
|Weight Folded Size (35%)|
|Ease Of Use (30%)|
|Specs||BabyZen Yoyo+||ZOE XL1 BEST v2||UPPAbaby Minu||Britax B-Lively||Mountain Buggy Nano|
|Weight||13.5 lbs||11.8 lbs||14.9 lbs||18.9 lbs||13.3 lbs|
|Folded Dimensions||17.5"W x 9"H x 20.8"L||21.3"W x 9.5"H x 27.4"L||20.4"W x 13.5"H x 24"L||24"W x 9.5"H x 29"L||21.2"W x 11"H x 20.3"L|
|Capacity Limits||Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 40 lbs
|Minimum: 3 months
Maximum: 40 lbs
|Minimum: 3 months
Maximum: 55 lbs/44"
Maximum: 44 lbs
|Included Car Seat Compatibility||None||None||None||Britax All Britax Seats||Universal Adapter|
|Click-in Car Seat Adapters||Cybex
Mico AP, Mico Max 30, Mico Nxt, CabrioFix, Pebble, and Pebble Plus
Aton, Aton 2, and Aton Q
|Britax All Britax Seats||None|
|Strap-in Car Seat Adapters||None||None||None||None||Universal Adapter|
|Handlebar Height - Min/Max||39.8"||39.7"||41.2||40"||39.2"|
|Included Accessories||Rain Shield||None||Storage bag||None||Travel Bag|
Best Overall Umbrella Stroller
The BabyZen Yoyo+ is an impressive lightweight stroller with one of the best maneuverability performances in the review. The Yoyo+ is a dream to push and turn with better wheels than most of the competition; plus, it has upgraded bearings! With a stylish look and attention to detail, the Yoyo+ is everything it promises to be and arguably more. This stroller folds into thirds, making it compact and easy to carry for enjoyable on-the-go use. The Yoyo+ has many popular features parents want and enough functionality for fun on-the-town, making it an excellent selection for city folks.
The Yoyo+ is higher priced for an umbrella stroller with a price that rivals some full-size options. However, this is definitely a case of "you get what you pay for." It also has a smaller canopy that may be unable to protect from all kinds of weather. The storage bin is also small, which could result in taking fewer supplies or shorter trips. Overall, if your budget allows, we think the Yoyo+'s performance, size, ease of carrying, and looks are worth the price of admission if you need something travel-sized.
Read review: BabyZen Yoyo+
Best on a Tight Budget
The lightweight and fairly small UPPAbaby G-Lite earned an impressive score for weight and folded size. 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 large for an umbrella product with a pop-out visor.
This budget 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.
Read review: UPPAbaby G-Lite
Best for Everyday Use
Baby Jogger City Mini 2
The Baby Jogger City Mini 2 is a heftier "lightweight" stroller at 19 lbs. However, it is a great everyday stroller that is easy to use and nicer quality than some competitors. Its features and overall performance make it a potential one-and-done selection for some parents on a budget who don't plan to go off-road or jog. This City Mini 2 is heavy and larger than the traditional umbrella contender, but it has everything you'll need for most trips, including a quick, compact fold, making it feel like a small well-equipped strolling machine. The City Mini 2 is easy to push, has a large canopy, and folds into a slim package. It has a near-flat recline for restful napping, a large storage bin, and a design that comes together in a sturdy, practical choice compatible with various infant car seat carriers.
This stroller is one of the heaviest in the umbrella/lightweight lineup, making it a poor choice if you need to carry it regularly or for longer durations. Plus, it isn't the smallest, so it won't fit in tight spaces like the overhead bin. However, we think the City Mini 2 can do most things and potentially fill two needs in a single stroller, saving money, hassle, and time. We think it is good for parents who don't need the smallest or lightest stroller but still want a relatively light option that can do double the work to save some money.
Read review: Baby Jogger City Mini2
Why You Should Trust Us
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 9 years and has potentially assembled and tested more strollers than anyone on the planet; with over 435 stroller reviews under his belt across multiple categories, Bob is a strolling expert. 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.
We purchase each competitor for hands-on, side-by-side testing in our in-house lab and the real world. Each stroller is assembled on-site and put through tests for weight and folded size, maneuverability, quality, ease of use, and more. Families then use strollers in the real world to gather additional information on how well they perform daily.
Related: How We Tested Umbrella Strollers
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 performance metrics such as weight and folded size, ease of use, maneuverability, and quality to help you find the right choice for your lifestyle and budget.
The weight and folded size metric most influence this stroller style because finding a compact, travel-friendly product is the primary reason parents look for an umbrella stroller.
Related: Buying Advice for Umbrella Strollers
Many 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. When selecting a stroller based on value and budget, our price value chart reveals that the Baby Jogger City Mini 2 features a below-average price. It can act as a full-size and lightweight stroller, potentially saving you money by making fewer purchases. 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.
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 the products in our lineup are kind of heavy, which makes 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, and the Baby Jogger City Mini 2 is the heaviest (19.3 lbs). This weight could prove to be prohibitively heavy to carry, depending on your circumstances. It is undoubtedly a higher weight for an umbrella stroller, though in fairness to the Mini 2, it isn't marketed as one.
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. Depending on your specific goals, this metric could be important to your final decision.
Fold and Unfold
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 Baby Jogger City Mini 2 and the Britax B-Lively are 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).
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. 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.
The best brakes in this review are on the BabyZen Yoyo+ 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.
Most of the products offer some type of storage, 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 Baby Jogger City Mini 2 has the biggest basket in this group (though the crossbar somewhat inhibits access), while the UPPAbaby Minu has the highest weight allowance of 20 lbs. Some strollers have pockets located on the back of the canopy, like the BabyZen Yoyo+, and the pocket is good for convenience items like smartphones and keys.
While all of the products offer a sunshade, some have small shades, and many lack peek-a-boo windows. 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 Yoyo+. The UPPAbaby G-Lite offers a larger canopy for this type of product, giving it extra points compared to the competition.
All of the products in the review have 5-point harnesses. 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 (above left) and the UPPAbaby Minu have the easiest harness and buckle to use. In contrast, the Maclaren Techno XT (above right) buckle is 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 Yoyo+ has the easiest-to-use harness in our tests.
A reclining seatback and adjustable leg rest are useful features to keep passengers comfy. Napping and being comfortable can be the difference between a successful journey and a disaster of epic proportions. 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 Baby Jogger City Mini 2 and the Britax B-Livey have 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.
This stroller type offers few features for infants and fails to provide the support and protection we think babies lacking 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.
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 capability, so it isn't a strike against them. The Britax B-Lively, the Baby Jogger City Mini 2, UPPAbaby Minu, and the Mountain Buggy Nano accept infant car seats with additional adapters. The BabyZen Yoyo+ works with one infant car seat, and the Graco Breaze and the Graco Jetsetter work with the Graco brand seats.
We believe maneuverability can make or break whether or not you love your stroller. Depending on the journey and the terrain you plan to cover, the product you choose will make a big difference in getting your little one where you want to go without frustration. Some of the products were easy to push and turn, while others felt clunky and struggled over grass and gravel.
In general, all lightweight options lack superior maneuverability compared to other stroller types, but a few were better than the competition. The Baby Jogger City Mini 2, BabyZen Yoyo+, Britax B-Lively, and UPPAbaby Minu all performed well in our tests for maneuverability. Still, they are much smoother on the flat roads than the grass and gravel.
While we assumed most of the strollers would struggle in the grass and gravel, we were a little surprised that some of them had difficulties on flat surfaces too. The products that struggle in this metric were those with smaller wheels, wheels with fake tread, and the 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 Yoyo+ (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 overall look and feel of the materials, design, and performance indicate the quality level of the construction and components. Other considerations include frame flexing, wobbly wheels, exposed fasteners, errant stitching, and loose connections.
The UPPAbaby Minu earned the high score for quality, tying with the Britax Lively, Babyzen Yoyo+ (above left), and the Baby Jogger City Mini 2. These products look good and feel sturdy with little frame flex and limited, if any, manufacturing flaws. The Kolcraft Cloud Plus (above right) has the lowest quality with inferior materials compared to the competition and loose connection points that created 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 Yoyo+ has more parts and pieces than the competition, so it took more time to unpack and put together than the competitors. Alternatively, the GB Pockit is easy to set up, with an assembly time under two minutes for our seasoned stroller assembly team (individual results may vary).
This review includes great umbrella stroller options, no matter what your goals or budget. Using the details from this review, you can find the perfect lightweight stroller for your needs without the frustration of guessing or complicated comparison between manufacturer websites. Between the award winners and the high-ranking products, there is an option (or two) that can likely meet your needs. Once you identify your wants and needs, you can confidently choose the right stroller for your little travel companion.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz