Best Cheap Umbrella Strollers
There's no substitute for a cheap umbrella stroller for short trips to the mall or park, when riding public transportation or negotiating a crowded airport, or for stashing away at grandma's house as backup. The best of the bunch are several steps ahead of yesterday's versions, mostly in terms of performance and build quality and somewhat in the way of features. These days the concept of an umbrella stroller has become a little fuzzy, with many now referred to as lightweight strollers. And while prices have taken a predictable leap skyward -- with some edging close to the level of a travel system or jogging stroller -- good cheap umbrella strollers are readily available. We identified several under $60 that are comfortable for the child and user-friendly for the adult.
Our Top Pick
The First Years Ignite Review
Several hundred four- and five-star ratings attach to The First Years Ignite reviews at Amazon. Among the many reasons reviewers rave about this low-cost umbrella stroller is its ability to comfortably accommodate older kids. One mother writes of testing it out on her 4-year-old, who weighed 39 pounds and stood 43 inches tall at the time, and found it was an easy fit. Other reasons cited include a combination of features, performance, and price. The First Years Ignite reviews mention factors such as taller-than-average handlebars that let parents stand upright while pushing and keep them from kicking the back while walking, the five-point harness that secures kids firmly in place, and the semi-reclining seat. At Walmart reviewers comment appreciatively on the lightweight design, saying it easily fits in tiny automobile trunks and folds up one-handed in seconds. It scores for maneuverability as well in The First Years Ignite reviews at Toys R Us, where users say steering is smooth and pushing unforced.
The few dings lobbed at this lightweight stroller include a small storage basket that's difficult to access, the very minimal recline, a sun canopy that doesn't adequately shield passengers, and an occasionally sticky folding-lock mechanism.
The First Years Ignite (starting at $60, Amazon) boasts features that are often associated with higher-end strollers, and posts indicate they are a strong attraction for buyers. The seat reclines at several angles (but does not lie flat); the front wheels swivel (a boon for steering); the five-point (over-the-shoulders) harness provides extra security; the sun shade is adjustable and removable; and a large pouch for parents garners dozens of thank-you's for its size and convenience. The stroller rolls on eight 6-inch wheels -- the front two sets swivel -- and stops with rear brakes; the front wheels can also be locked in position for straight-on navigation. This umbrella stroller opens and closes with one hand and holds kids up to 50 pounds; empty, it weighs 14.25 pounds. The First Years Ignite is backed by a one-year limited warranty.
For a tiny package, The First Years Ignite packs a big bang. The multiple recline, parent pouch, under-seat storage, swivel wheels, and high handlebars give it an up-market feel at a budget price. Overwhelmingly positive feedback from users is a compelling selling point.
The First Years Jet Review
The First Years Jet reviews, by the hundreds, are complimentary about the ride, the design, and the low price of this umbrella stroller. Parents like the way it handles -- one The First Years Jet review at Diapers.com says it easily navigates bumps and curbs and others report it maneuvers and steers with aplomb during vacations and visits with relatives -- so much so that some have decided to make it their stroller of choice for everyday use. The First Years Jet reviews at Amazon often note its superiority over other models owing to the one-handed open and easy folding, semi-reclining seat, higher handles, and heavier weight capacity. Moreover, The First Years Jet reviews assert that kids travel in comfort.
And yet, some The First Years Jet reviews lay out a series of complaints, many reminiscent of those lodged against its sibling Ignite. For example, users grouse about a seat that reclines just a few inches, under-seat storage that's a hassle to use, and a visor that barely protects against the sun. Some adults, even a few who consider themselves short, say their feet hit the back when pushing the stroller.
Weighing in at 11.5 pounds, The First Years Jet (starting at $39, Amazon) can accommodate children up to 50 pounds. It features a five-point harness to secure little passengers firmly in place, an adjustable and removable sun canopy, a multi-position reclining seat, a one-handed fold mechanism, and rear brakes on the four sets of 6-inch double wheels. Extras include a parent organizer pouch on the handles and a small storage basket under the seat. It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
The First Years Jet is a smaller, less pricey alternative to the Ignite that includes many of the same desirable features. Given the solid show of user support for this model, there's little reason to hesitate if this is the price that fits your budget.
Babies R Us Umbrella Stroller Review
According to Babies R Us Umbrella Strollers reviews, most people who have bought either of the two models are fans. On the Babies R Us website reviews of the slightly richer (by $10) version commend the compact and light size, ease of use, comfort, and stability. Users highlight the safety features (e.g., sturdy harness, good brakes) and the convenience for travel and daily outings. Parents like being able to throw the stroller into the trunk, say it's very easy to push around (even for kids), and report that little passengers are content. Babies R Us Umbrella Strollers reviews for the more basic model stick with similar themes. Several reviewers, however, express a desire for an under-seat storage basket (absent from both models) and one says the front wheels struggle when confronted with obstacles in their path. The height of the handles is an issue for a couple of users who must lean over a bit while pushing despite standing no taller than 5 feet, 5 inches.
The Babies R Us Umbrella strollers (starting at $20 and $30) are the lightest of those we researched: 6.5 pounds for the $30 model and 7.6 pounds for the $20 model. Both versions are very simple strollers with rear brakes and a sun canopy; at the higher price you get a small parent pouch that's attached to the handles and a larger sun canopy that retracts. Each model holds children up to 35 pounds and carries a one-year manufacturer's warranty.
No frills, for sure, but for the price you can't beat it. This is a sturdy stroller that garners favorable user reviews. The light weight makes it super easy to maneuver, fold and lift, and as a second stroller or even one for daily chores, this is a good choice. Unfortunately, Babies R Us is the only vendor.
Jeep Wrangler All Weather Stroller Review
Opinion about this budget buggy is divided, according to Jeep Wrangler All Weather Stroller reviews. On the plus side, Jeep Wrangler All Weather Stroller reviews at sites like Toys R Us and Walmart list performance attributes such as smooth rolling, responsive steering, quick set up and take down, and easy assembly. Reviewers also like its compact size and adjustable sun shade and are particularly taken with a seat pad that rolls up and away, providing what might be considered a spot of air conditioning for young passengers through the remaining mesh-like seat.
In the negative column, Jeep Wrangler All Weather Stroller reviews at these and other sites, including Amazon and Diapers.com list grievances that mostly pertain to the buggy's design: a narrow wheel base that's all too easy to kick while pushing; low handles that force adults to hunch over; a seat that doesn't recline and is too small and narrow for bigger/older kids; a small storage basket; and the absence of shoulder restraints, which enables riders to lean too far forward. Some Jeep Wrangler All Weather Stroller reviews also mention quality problems, such as stitching that unravels and renders safety straps useless, and generally limited longevity.
The Jeep Wrangler All Weather Stroller (starting at $39, Amazon) is relatively well appointed. It comes with under-seat storage, eight 6-inch all-terrain wheels (including two sets in the front that swivel), rear brakes, padded handles, and a cup holder for parents. It's equipped with a three-point safety harness, an adjustable sun canopy, a foot rest for riders, and the aforementioned roll-up seat pad. The stroller weighs 9.6 pounds and is rated for a carrying capacity of 40 pounds. It is JPMA certified and backed by a one-year warranty.
It's tempting to like this umbrella stroller with its cool, breathable seat fabric and fully adjustable sun shade, but users' critical comments are a strong deterrent. Other models we researched present far fewer annoyances.
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