You see these lightweight strollers everywhere you go. They range in features and prices. And, everyone says you need one.
You think you want one. First, however, you need the answer to one question. What is an umbrella stroller?
Umbrella Stroller: Quick Overview
Umbrella strollers are notable because of the traditional u-shaped stroller handle that resembles an umbrella handle. These types of strollers also fold down into a collapsed umbrella shape. They are popular because they are very lightweight and inexpensive, especially in comparison to traditional strollers.
Umbrella Strollers: In Depth
Traditional strollers weigh a ton. That really isn’t a joke. They require the strength of an Olympic heavy lifter to navigate in and out of your trunk.
That’s one of the reasons why parents can’t wait to use umbrella strollers. Umbrella strollers are sometimes light enough to hook on or over your arm. At the very least, you won’t get a hernia trying to get it out of the car.
Here are a few common features to look forward to when using umbrella strollers.
Light and Portable
You can find many umbrella strollers under 15 pounds. They have gotten a bit heavier over the years as more features are added for selling points. But, you can still find very lightweight versions of this stroller.
In addition, umbrella strollers fold up in a compact fashion. Traditional models fold slim and long like a fat umbrella. But, as umbrella strollers have gotten larger, they sometimes only fold in half.
However, they are still light and compact, especially when you compare them to other traditional strollers. Many parents like them for travel since airplanes have gotten strict about how big and heavy carry-on strollers can be.
Next, umbrella strollers are inexpensive. You can still find deals for umbrella strollers. And, in comparison to traditional strollers they are still the cheapest type to buy. But, they are not as cheap as they used to be.
Easy to Navigate
Lastly, unless you have a tandem-style umbrella stroller, these guys are very slim. They are usually wide enough to accommodate your young child’s body without all the extra bells and whistles. So, this makes it desirable if you plan to walk around in crowded areas.
Buying an Umbrella Stroller: What to Look For
So, are you ready to break out your wallet for one of these yet? If you are, here are a few considerations to watch for. These features vary depending on the manufacturer. So, prioritize which ones you want the most.
Are all handles created equal? Umbrella strollers used to have a generic U-shaped handle to steer. But, manufacturers have redesigned some of their umbrella strollers to be more ergo-friendly.
Consequently, handles may be angled so that the U-shape is not at a right angle to the stroller. This may make steering the stroller one-handed a bit easier.
In addition, instead of a U-shaped handle there may be a bar going across the top instead. Some parents find this type easier to navigate, but it really is a matter of personal choice.
The next feature you will get to choose from is on-board storage. To keep the umbrella stroller light and compact, storage options are usually not that great. Like other strollers, you may have a fabric basket underneath the seat of the stroller.
But, most traditional strollers won’t have any type of storage at all. That’s okay, though; you can simply hang bags off the handles if you need to carry something, or, purchase a separate storage unit that can fit over the handle bars.
Is your child a jumper? Do they like to self-eject out of their stroller seat? If so, this feature will be especially important to you.
Some expensive model umbrella strollers have a 5-point seatbelt system to keep your little one from escaping. But, more often you will find a flimsy webbed 3-point seat belt system.
While this may work for most parents, if your child likes to jailbreak out of their stroller you may need to take extra care when they are strapped into a 3-point system.
Additionally, if you plan on using this outside, you will want a sun dome. Aside from protecting your child’s delicate skin from unforgiving sun rays, it also keeps your child cool. And, if you are in a crowded environment the last thing you want is for your little one to lose their cool.
Finally, most traditional umbrella strollers only semi-recline, if at all. Newer hybrid umbrella stroller designs may allow you to recline the seat a little bit. But, ones that fully recline are rare.
Now that you can answer the question, “what is an umbrella stroller?” it’s time to shop, right? Just remember that the point behind umbrella strollers is that they are light and portable. Don’t get sucked into the trap of extra features if you don’t need them.