Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Umbrella Stroller

I feel like with as much time as I spent researching umbrella strollers that I need to document/share with you my information...and the one we ended up buying.

So are you READY for this? 
This is valuable info people.
Here we go.

So, first I will start by telling you the things that were important to me in an umbrella stroller

Things that I wanted:
-a recline
-lightweight and compact for going on public transportation
-easy one hand fold and unfold
-affordable (this is a backup travel/public trans stroller...our primary is the BOB Revolution that I LOVE love LoooOOOve.  Did I mention I love it?)
-self locks when you fold it up...as in you just fold it down and pick it up...no fiddling with a lock to keep it together.

Okay, now here are the strollers that were in my "final five" (yeah, it was THAT kind of process)
Joovy Groove Ultralight ($190)
Maclaren Globetrotter ($165)
UppaBaby G-Luxe ($220)
Summer 3D Ultralight ($80)
The First Years Jet ($75)

Joovy Groove Ultralight:
Tons of features, about 14 lbs, great recline, great quality, a little on the pricey side, awesome canopy, adjustable footrest (good for babies), self locking fold but looks like it doesn't fold quite as compactly...like the wheels hang out.


Maclaren Globetrotter
Has a leash (I think all strollers should have one BUT we actually need one in SF with all these hills), 11 or so lbs, has a recline, self locks when folded, seems to have a more streamline look when folded, the seat back looks a little short which may make it hard for toddlers to use, one handed fold and unfold.

UppaBaby G-Luxe
Has everything you could want, the lightweight factor, seat recline, great canopy, great size...will hold a toddler no problem.  The two things going against it for me were the price and the fact that it looks difficult to fold one handed (you have to do two different things with your hands at the same time).

Summer 3D Lite
Has a super easy adjustable recline, 12ish pounds, the price is darn good, the fold is doable one handed, self locking fold, a little clunky folded up (but really there are VERY few umbrella strollers where the wheels don't stick out a bit...that are some what affordable), looks cool for a cheaper stroller (because let's be honest...it kinda matters haha).

The First Years Ignite
Great price, tried and true, reclines, light, not self locking...you have to flip a little lock thing, looks doable one handed.

So, can you guess which one we chose???

The Summer 3D Lite

And here is why...
So, in the end it was between the Maclaren one and this one.  I also happened to have a BabiesRus credit that I needed to use and they sold both of these at Babies R Us.  That wasn't the deal breaker though because the credit was like $25...just a bit to off set the price but not enough to make me buy something I didn't really want.  A big part of going for the Summer 3D was the price.  We have a very nice, expensive stroller that we regularly use at home...and this was a backup for traveling and and public transportation.  But I didn't want something super cheap...because we have special needs living here in San Francisco and utilizing public trans...which I usually do by myself. 

So, we have the stroller and have used it...and here is what we think.  :)

-Very aesthetically pleasing
-Feels well made and sturdy
-Can fold it and unfold it one handed while holding a baby.
-Self locks into the folding position
-Pretty lightweight
-A really roomy basket.  It wasn't something that was important to me but it's definitely nice.
-Jack seems very happy and comfy in it.  The upright position is very upright which he loves.  He can see the whole world so easily...especially compared to our BOB that tucks him back a bit.
-The recline is so easy to use.  I really like this feature.  And to put it back up you just push it back up with your hand.  I like that there is no cinch to mess with like most reclinable umbrella strollers.
-Handle placement is high and comfortable.

-While it is possible to fold and unfold one handed I find the unfold a little awkward...in particular the locking part that you do with your foot.  It's almost like the pedal needs to be a bit bigger to get a good grip with your foot.  That being said, it's a new stroller and there is always a learning curve with new strollers...and I've done it successfully...just awkwardly.  :)
-The canopy doesn't do a whole lot.  It's funny because the reviews said this was a GOOD thing on the stroller.  He might just be too short and so he's sorta "under the radar" on it.  The BOB canopy is amazing too...so I've been very spoiled. I just make him wear a hat.  They also make an extender thing for $7 or $8 that we might get on Amazon.
-I found that at the beginning I very occasionally kicked the bottom.  It's basically impossible to kick the bottom of our BOB so part of it is just being half way conscious of how I'm pushing it. 
-I'm not sure if this is actually a "con" because Jack seems really happy in it but I can see the benefit in having an adjustable footrest for infants.  His little legs just hang there and it seems like he MAY be more comfy if they were out and level with his body.  But, he's happy...so I am.
-You can't push it one handed on asphalt with a kid in it...you can on smooth mall type floors.  This in another "spoiled by the BOB" issue.  haha. 

Phew.  And that's it.
Overall I'm pleased with it.  I think that for the price you get a lot of great features.  I think it would be a really awesome stroller for anyone who wants a good quality, umbrella stroller...and uses it like a normal person haha  As for it being good for the needs of big city life...I'm mostly pleased.  The carrying strap isn't super comfy (we are adding an extra foam pad we have lying around) and the unfold isn't as smooth as I would like but I don't think it's worth paying an extra $100 for a different one.  Oh, and the leash.  We will be adding our own.  :)

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