Best Overall Umbrella Stroller
13.5 lbs | Folded size:
3,276 cubic inches
Easy to push and turn
Not great for napping
The BabyZen Yoyo+ earned an impressive overall score with the help of one of the best scores for maneuverability and decent performance in the other metrics. The Yoyo+ is a pleasure to push and turn with nicer wheels and upgraded bearings. With a stylish look and obvious attention to detail, the Yoyo+ is all that it promises to be, folding compactly into thirds, being easy to carry, and enjoyable to use. The Yoyo+ includes most of the features you'll want and the functionality you need for fun on the town, which makes it a great choice for city living.
The price of the Yoyo+ is high for an umbrella stroller, but it is a case where "you get what you pay for". It also has a smaller canopy and storage bin that may not be able to cover your needs for protection from the elements and holding all your supplies depending on the type and duration of your trips. However, if your budget allows, we think the overall performance and looks of this stroller are worth the price of admission given the smaller size and ease of carrying.
Read review: BabyZen Yoyo+
Best on a Tight Budget
11.9 lbs | Folded size:
4,763 cubic inches
Small and lightweight
Easy to carry
Hard to push and turn
The Inglesina Net is very light and relatively small earning the top score for the weight and folded size metric. It also features impressive quality for a stroller of this type and price range. This stroller is a minimal option with a breathable seat back, shallow recline, and traditional fold with self-stand. The storage bin is big enough for a few supplies, and the canopy covers enough to prevent discomfort.
This budget-friendly umbrella stroller is one of the cheaper products in the review, and while it doesn't come with many bells and whistles, it does have everything you'll need to make it through a mid-day stroll. While it can't double as a main stroller, or make it for longer trips, thanks to a lack of storage and comfort features for passengers, it is a good option for travel and is easy to carry and stow. This simple stroller will get the job done without breaking the bank or leaving you frustrated.
Read review: Inglesina Net
Best Bang for the Buck
ZOE XL1 BEST v2
11.8 lbs | Folded size:
5,544 cubic inches
Easy to use
Harder to push and turn
The ZOE XL1 BEST v2 is a lightweight stroller loaded with features which are rare for this kind of stroller. The BEST has an easy access storage bin, canopy pocket, parent cup holder, and dual snack holders for passengers. ZOE made improvements to this version with larger single style front wheels and a reduction in folded size. We love the giant canopy on this stroller and the peek-a-boo window that create a private cocoon for sleeping little ones but still lets parents check in without disturbing nap time.
Unfortunately, the ZOE isn't the easiest to push and turn, even with the new better wheels and we think the quality and durability of materials can be improved. However, the BEST impresses bringing a lot to the table with easy to use features for a reasonable price.
Read review: ZOE XL1 BEST v2
Top Pick for Everyday Use
Baby Jogger City Mini
17.5 lbs | Folded size:
8,300 cubic inches
Easy to use
Car seat compatible
The Baby Jogger City Mini is a Top Pick for best everyday use that is easy to use, maneuverable, and nicer quality. While this stroller may be one of the heavier and larger options in this lineup, it has everything you'll need for almost any kind of trip, making it feel like a small well-equipped adventure machine. The City Mini is easy to push and turn, has a large canopy, and folds with one quick step on-the-fly. It has a near flat recline for comfortable napping, a large storage bin, and materials that come together in a sturdy, practical product that works with a variety of infant car seats.
This stroller is the heaviest one in the umbrella lineup making it a poor choice if you need to carry it often or for long periods of time. And it isn't the smallest so it will be harder to find a place to stow it on public transportation. But, we think the City Mini can do it all and can potentially fill two niches at once saving you money and the time. Combine this choice with a compatible infant car seat, and it may be the only stroller you need to buy.
Read review: Baby Jogger City Mini
Compare Top Products
Displaying 19 Products
Analysis and Test Results
We put 19 highly-regarded lightweight strollers through a strenuous testing process to determine which products stood out above the crowd. Each option was observed in use, and rated in detail on four performance metrics: weight and folded size, ease of use, maneuverability, and quality to help you find the best option for your needs.
Related: How We Tested Umbrella Strollers
We tested several of the most popular umbrella and lightweight strollers available, most are shown here.
Weight and folded size have the most influence on the final score here because finding a compact, travel-friendly stroller is the main reason why parents look for an umbrella option to add to their must-have gear list. Our ratings are a combination of in-house, side-by-side testing and real-world experience in comparison tests.
Related: Buying Advice for Umbrella Strollers
Most of the top-ranked products in this review are relatively budget-friendly. However, for a gear category that is likely a backup or secondary stroller, their prices can still feel high depending on your budget. When choosing a product based on price you can consider our price value chart which reveals that the Baby Jogger City Mini has a below averae price and can do double duty as your full-size and lightweight strollers, so you could save money by purchasing fewer products. Also, the ZOE XL1 BEST v2 has a reasonable price and enough features to potentially be used regularly in place of a full-size stroller. The Inglesina Net is also a good choice with a list price below two hundred dollars.
If small folded size is a priority, you may want to consider the GB Pockit. It is remarkably small when folded and very lightweight. It earned the highest score in our Weight and Folded Size tests, due to its unique combination of the smallest folded size and the 2nd lightest weight. However, this stroller is difficult to use and requires a trade off for the size.
Weight and Folded Size
How much a product weighs, and how small it can fold, is what makes a great lightweight stroller stand out. Arguably, the most important aspects are folding and transporting with ease. You'll want a product that simplifies travel and can quickly be carried or stowed when you reach your destination or ride public transportation. Some of the options in this review are fairly heavy making them harder to carry. Some are light but fold into packages that are too long for compact trunks. If you want a traditional umbrella stroller, this could be the make or break metric when deciding what option to spend your money on.
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 can be easily carried, then the GB Pockit is the master. However, the Pockit is challenging to push and hard to use, scoring below average for overall performance. The Maclaren Mark II is the lightest weighing only 8.6 lbs, but it scores poorly in most metrics resulting in a below average rank. Unless you absolutely can't lift more than 9 lbs, we don't think the lower weight is worth the tradeoff of frustrating user experience.
The G-Luxe doesn't fold very small and the longer profile can make it hard to store on public transportation or in smaller trunks.
The ZOE XL1 BEST v2 is only 11.6 lbs which makes it easy to pick up and carry, with a folded size of only 5,544 cubic inches it is also one of the smallest in the group. The largest folded option is the UPPAbaby G-Luxe, making it a poor choice if space is limited, and the Britax B-Lively is the heaviest (18.9 lbs), which could prove to be prohibitively heavy to carry over longer distances for some parents. It is certainly a high weight for an umbrella stroller, though in fairness it isn't marketed as one.
The BEST is very easy to use with top performance compared to the competition and enough convenience features to be used as an everyday stroller.
Ease of Use
Ease of use encompasses your daily experience and the features that make the product easier to use or versatile. A stroller that performs well for ease of use usually has useful and thoughtfully designed features and added conveniences. Parents may find that options with better scores in this metric are good for a wider variety of activities. Having an ample sunshade or increased storage means could translate to shopping or outdoor trips to a farmers market. Alternatively, having a quick fold can make a stroller better for commuting when speed and space are often valued over optional features. Depending on your needs, this could be a make or break metric for your family.
Fold and Unfold
Lightweight strollers should be quick to fold and straightforward to operate. While a compact fold is essential for umbrella options, executing the fold quickly and without complications is often just as important. We favor products that fold with one hand and fewer steps. Strollers that lock automatically or stand on their own also pull extra points.
The BEST is a lightweight option with the 4th lowest weight in the group which makes it easier to lift.
The Baby Jogger City Mini and the Britax B-Lively are some of the easiest to fold, requiring only one hand and a quick pull. Better still, they unfold almost by themselves and pops open so quick you're ready to go in no time. There is a reason the City Mini is the stroller of choice to rent in Walt Disney Parks. The UPPAbaby Minu is also easy to fold and creates a compact package of thirds. The hardest strollers to fold are the UPPAbaby G-Luxe and G-Lite that require two hands with multiple steps and can be harder to do if you're rushed or flustered (think crying baby and impatient commuters).
The BabyZen Yoyo+ has one of the easiest brake pedals to use with a step on / step off single action functionality that is easy to see and access.
Many of the umbrella products have double action brakes that require setting two pedals for proper brake engagement. We worry that parents will forget or intentionally skip setting both pedals and this could lead to preventable accidents or injuries. For this reason, we prefer single action brakes that only require one press to set. The best brakes are easy to set and release and friendly to feet wearing sandals. Color-coding is also a plus for quick glance confirmation. The brakes should engage without sticking or feeling locked when 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, UPPAbaby Minu, and Zoe XL1 Best v2 are also easy to use. The Kolcraft Cloud Plus, and Summer Infant 3D lite have the worst brakes with double action stiff brakes.
The B-Agile has the largest storage bin in the group, with easy access from the back. This bin can carry supplies for all day adventures or a few shopping bags when running errands.
Most of the products offer storage of some kind, how much and where are the primary differences. Many have an under-seat storage bin, but these vary in size, max weight capacity, and access.
The pocket on the back of the BabyZen Yoyo+ canopy has a nice zipper that keeps items safe and contained.
The Baby Jogger City Mini has the biggest basket in our review, 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 increases convenience.
The mesh peek-a-boo window on the ZOE XL1 BEST v2 is large enough to see little ones with a cover that keeps out the sun. This canopy is the largest in the group when fully extended.
While all the products have a canopy, some have smaller shades, often without windows. The GB Pockit has the tiniest shade only offering direct overhead protection and no side protection. On the other hand, some strollers have giant shades that offer excellent coverage even for a reclining passenger. The largest canopy belongs to the ZOE XL1 BEST v2, which virtually creates a private cocoon for the passenger. This canopy includes a zip-open panel and mesh peek-a-boo window with a Velcro cover.
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, the medium canopy on the BabyZen Yoyo+
, and the giant shade of the ZOE XL1 BEST v2
All of the products in the review have 5-point harnesses. Five is the safest design because the two extra points coming from the shoulder restraint straps help keep children from slipping out, or falling out should the stroller tip over. We consider how difficult the straps were to adjust for height and correct fit, and how hard the buckle is to use. We also include whether or not the product has an adjustable crotch strap, and if the lowest shoulder height will work for smaller babies.
We feel parents are more likely to use a harness regularly if it is easy to use and adjust. The UPPAbaby G-Luxe (above left)and the UPPAbaby Minu have the easiest harness and buckle to use, while the Maclaren Techno XT (above right) buckle is so hard that even two hands don't feel adequate. Some of the harnesses are relatively easy to adjust for size, but the height level of the shoulder straps are more difficult. The BabyZen Yoyo+ has a very easy to use harness.
The B-Agile 3 has one of the coziest seats with adequate padding on a sling style design, padded leg rest, and deep recline.
A reclining seatback and adjustable leg rest are useful features that keep little passengers more comfortable on longer trips. Napping and being comfortable can be the difference between a successful outing and a disaster of tantrum proportions. Unfortunately, finding a comfortable seating area is harder than you'd think in lightweight strollers. Some of the products offer a reclining back, but no adjustable leg rest, others have both, and some have neither. Many of the recline angles are shallow (almost non-existent) and not as nap-worthy as others. Depending on the kind of trip you plan to take, a simple stroller with no comfort options might suffice, but if you are going to the zoo for the entire day, life will be much easier if your child can nap and get cozy as the day goes on.
The adjustable leg rest on the Mountain Buggy Nano
(above left) offers additional leg room for nappers, but the zipper side recline adjustment on the Inglesina Net
(above right) doesn't increase the recline angle enough for napping comfort and is only slightly better than sitting upright.
With relatively upright seating, even when fully reclined, and no legrest to speak of, the Inglesina Net does not offer the best seat for longer trips or napping.
The Baby Jogger City Mini and the Britax B-Livey have some of the most comfortable seats in the group, though the UPPAbaby G-Luxe has the deepest recline paired with an adjustable leg rest, something rare to find together. If your trips may last for hours, then a comfortable seat is a must and may mean you have to sacrifice things like a lighter weight to get one. The Inglesina Net has the lowest score for this metric with upright seating, disappointing (or non-existent) recline, and no real leg rest. However, if your outings are short and finding the smallest stroller is the most important factor for you, then these options could be winners for you.
Although some of the umbrella strollers claim suitability for newborns and infants, we do NOT recommend the use of this style of product for children under six months of age.
This type of stroller provides minimal features for infants and fails to offer the level of support and protection we would like to see for babies lacking head and neck control. Unless the stroller accepts the attachment of an infant car seat, we do not think parents should use them for little ones under six months of age. 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 capability, so it isn't a strike against them, just a bonus if they do. The Britax B-Lively, the Baby Jogger City Mini, UPPAbaby Minu, and the Mountain Buggy Nano all 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 Graco brand seats.
Maneuverability can make or break whether or not a stroller rolls smoothly with minimal effort, or struggles and wobbles. Depending on the journey and the terrain you plan to cover, the product you choose will make a big difference in whether or not you can get where you want to go without frustration. Some of the products were easy to push and turn, while others felt clunky and struggled to turn on grass.
The Baby Jogger City Mini, BabyZen Yoyo+, Britax B-Lively, and UPPAbaby Minu all performed well in our tests for maneuverability, but they are much smoother on the flat roads than the grass and gravel.
The single front wheels of the Yoyo+ helped it out maneuver the competition, earning it a high score for maneuverability.
While we assumed most of the strollers would struggle in the grass and gravel, we were a little surprised that some of them struggle on flat hard 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 each side that equaled four wheels in front). Products with single front wheels (2 total, instead of 4) and the larger wheels performed better overall than most of the others. The hardest stroller to push is the Summer Infant 3D lite. This stroller struggles on the smooth hardwood and is difficult to turn with weight in the seat.
The photos above show the single front wheels on the BabyZen Yoyo+ (above left), and the dual front wheels of the Summer Infant 3D lite (above right).
For quality, we consider how well a product is put together, the materials, and how they withstand daily use or may hold up over time. Some of the materials are not as nice or durable as others.
The overall look and feel of the materials, and how they come together and perform under normal use, is a good indicator of the level of quality of the construction and components. Other considerations were frame flex, wheel wobble, exposed fasteners, poor stitching, and loose connection points.
The UPPAbaby Minu earned the high score for quality, tying with the Britax Lively, Babyzen Yoyo+ (above left), and the Baby Jogger City Mini. These strollers look nice and feel sturdy during use with little frame flex and limited if any, manufacturing flaws or defects. The Kolcraft Cloud Plus (above right) earned the lowest score for quality with inferior materials and loose connection points that created more frame flex with weight in the seat. This stroller also has the lowest price in the group, so it may very well be a "you get what you pay for" situation for the Kolcraft Cloud Plus.
Ease of Setup
Most of the products in this review came assembled or mostly assembled. The main items that require assembly are attaching the wheels, canopies, or possibly seat to the frame. None of the products need complete construction, but the BabyZen Yoyo+ has a lot of parts and pieces, taking more time than any other option to unpack and put together; in some cases six times longer than the competition. The GB Pockit is very easy to set up, taking under two minutes.
The ZOE XL1 BEST v2 is a lightweight umbrella stroller with several convenience features parents like.
It is impossible to say that there is a single best product that is perfect for all families. The requirements of parents and little ones are different depending on the frequency that you'll use the stroller, the length of your trips, and the activities where you may use this style of stroller. Some of the umbrella strollers are more useful for quick trips around town, while others may be better for longer adventures to the park or shopping. Some have so many features they can do double duty as your main stroller, while others are so minimal they really are only good for traveling when a lightweight stroller is mandatory.
Some of the award-winning umbrella strollers offer a range of great possibilities with a variety of sizes and shapes that come with different features designed for various strolling goals. We feel confident that most parents can find what they are looking for in one or more of these awesome strollers.
There are good choices for everyone no matter what your needs or budget. It is our goal to give you the details you need to make the best decision for your family. Between the award winners and the high ranking models, there is an option or two that will work for just about anyone. Once you narrow down your wants and needs, you can confidently choose the right stroller for your passenger.