Lightweight Strollers

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Stroller for 3.5-year-old to take on bus and BART

Nov 2005

I ride public transportation frequently with my 3.5 year old and I need a stroller to help expedite our trips to/from the stations but that I could fold up so it is small and unobtrusive on the train or bus. I have looked online and found the MacLaren Triumph which is definitely light but it's just not clear to me how small it folds up. Any recommendations for both small and light stroller? (Or, any tangential ideas on how to expedite what is a 10 minute walk for an adult but a 20-30 minute walk with a 3.5 year old to/from the BART station or bus stop?!) sharon

I highly recommend the siver cross micro -- helped me survive when I went back to school with no car and lots of very crowded bus and train rides. Try the link to see some reviews: A little expensive, much better built than the mclaren volo for about the same price. I fugured that without a car, I could really splurge on the stroller. I purchased mine online, didn't pay shipping or tax, and the stroller arrived in just 3 days..

The Maclaren Volo is even more compact and lightweight than the Triumph, especially if you don't get the ''accessory pack'' (seat cushion and sunshade). It's an umbrella stroller that folds to be quite narrow (a few inches wide) though still quite long (maybe 4 feet?). It also has a built in carrying strap. I still use it occasionally for my 3.5 year old -- it's sturdy enough to hold a child his size. I'm not aware of any other strollers that are more compact but that would still hold a 3.5 year old. Diane Fisher

Try the Mclaren Volo. It made out of mesh, so really light. Folds up rather small, and even has a strap for carrying it around. I highly recommend it. The only thing much lighter are the umbrella strollers, but they don't have storage and I have to hunch over to push them. anon

I highly recommend the MacLaren Volo Stroller. It is their lightest weight model (9 lbs.) and folds up easily even with the accessories (sold separately). Good for ages 6 mos to 3-4 years old (40 lb. weight limit). We've had ours for three years and it has weathered well . We've used it on BART, Muni, New York subway, and various airports. Worth every dollar. The accessory pack includes a sunshade, seat pad, and rain cover. I would recommend getting that too. Martha

I've been commuting by bus with my young children for 4 years now. Nothing folds up smaller than the Kolkraft stroller. Very light, very inexpensive. Stick it under the bus seat when not in use. anon

Combi strollers fold up really small and are v. lightweight, my model (Combi Savvy Soho Sport Stroller) is only 16lb and even has an integrated shoulder strap so that it is really easy to carry with a child in your arms. Other models come with a carrying case, and are even lighter at 12lb. It's easy to fold and unfold, a blessing when you're in a hurry to jump on the bus. I got mine at Albany Target for $69.99. I took it to Japan and was happy to see lots of Combi strollers there - Combi is the Graco of Japan - and it was very handy for use on public transport there. Japanese design is all about keeping everything as light and small as possible so these strollers might not suit you if you like lots of storage. Mine does not have a cup holder, snack tray or a large basket. It does have a safety bar at the front and a five-point harness. My 2 year old daughter loves it because the seat is low to the ground and she can safely climb in and out herself. Combis are sturdier than your average umbrella stroller, mine still looks great after a year of heavy use, and they're made of ''outdoorsy'' fabric that is lightweight, water and stain resistant. Plus, the seat is washable. Happy Combi Stroller User

I am a ''heavy lightweight stroller user'' as I travel a bit. I bought a Combi Savvy Soho almost 2 years ago, and it does fold very compactly to 14'' x 9'' x 38'' and weighs only 11 lbs. -- while still providing a sun canopy, small basket below, and a very useful carrying strap (great when carrying suitcases, etc., or tromping up and down stairs in subway/Metro stations). It has a ''near-full'' recline, and I've also appreciated that I can still get into the basket with my daughter lying down, which I couldn't do with many other models. The only downsides I've found with it are that it isn't the easiest stroller to steer over uneven surfaces and it can feel a little ''rickety'' at times, which some people might not notice but the carpal tunnel crowd should avoid. Since then, Combi's come out with the City Savvy model, which folds to the same dimensions, but offers a full recline and works with Combi's Connection infant car seat (it also comes with an infant boot). I wish I'd had that at the beginning. I recently reviewed these and a number of other travel strollers for my website, and I included the weights and folded dimensions of each stroller. If you want to take a look, they're at Good luck in your search! Shelly

Reclining Umbrella Stroller

Feb 2003

I'm looking for recommendations on a stroller that will fold up like an umbrella stroller but is more comfortable for a sleeping baby (will recline). I have a 14 month-old; will be 16 months when we travel. Any opinion on the Daytripper? Thanks.

I just purchased a Quest stroller for the purpose you talk about and it has only been a week but I am very happy with it. It is much more maneuverable than my other stroller and really very lightweight and easy to use. We have an 11 month old and I would not hesitate to travel with this stroller and I think my son could sleep easily in it but haven't tested this out yet. Very pleased with my Maclaren

I love the day tripper. McClaren makes such an excellent stroller for travelling. It turns on a dime, folds up neatly, and does recline plenty for a toddler to sleep. the recline feature is a little ackward, but not really a problem. daytripper mom

Just wanted to give some feedback on the MacLaren Daytripper stroller...I had a terrible experience with it and with MacLaren. After using it for a year it broke while I was on a long walk with my daughter. The metal tube connecting the tire to the stroller broke in half! This was after normal use, in fact the rest of it still looked brand new. As you can imagine, it was difficult to return home carrying a broken stroller and a two year old! MacLaren's customer service was HORRIBLE! No one called back after I left two messages and when I finally did reach someone, he implied that I was responsible for the damage and that if I mailed it to them they would ''look at it.'' I was so disgusted that I never bothered. Looking back, I am sure that the stroller was defective from the outset, since it tended to veer toward the right. I was surprised by the poor quality of the stroller and the awfull customer (dis)service, especially since MacLaren has such a good reputation and is a bit pricey. My $12 umbrella stroller, which I have had for 8 years, is better! It is still around and kicking. In any case, I would NOT recommend anything by MacLaren. Disgusted with MacLaren

I bought an in between stoller at Toys r Us for 39.00 when my daughter was 9 months old because her car seat stoller didn't allow her to sit up. It had a tray which she loved, a huge basket below which I loved, and it was very light weight. It fell apart by the time she was two. If I was to have another child, I might not buy this in between stoller, even though I can't complain about the price. FYI, the day tripper does not completely recline. But that never effected my daughter's ability to sleep. Deborah

I bought my Graco Metro Lite because it was part of the travel system that went with a carseat my friends were going to loan me. I thought it was a little cheap, but was on sale at Lullaby Lane, so I went for it. It is the best stroller. My daughter is almost a year now, and it's the only one I use. I bought a Combi stroller at a warehouse sale because it folded up smaller, and I never use it. The metro lite is light and maneuverable and has an adjustable handle for short or tall people. It fully reclines. I think it's just as good as many of the more expensive strollers. LK

Lightweight stroller with an ample storage

May 2003

I'm looking to buy a lightweight stroller with an ample storage basket (enough to carry a small bag of groceries). I had a Combi Ultra Savvy stroller, but the mesh basket was way too small. I really like the Maclaren ''Vogue'' or ''Quest'' models because they are only 13 pounds, but I'm worried that the basket is not big enough. The Peg Perego models offer a bigger basket, but they weigh more. Does anyone have any suggestions? To those who have Maclaren or Peg Perego strollers, are you happy with your purchase? Janice

I LOVE LOVE LOVE our Graco CitiLite stroller. Only 10 pounds and has a large enough storage basket for my packed large diaper backpack. Very easy to fold and unfold with one hand. Cost about $75. Debbie

I sold my Peg Perego Pliko to buy a Maclaren Quest so Ive got experience with both.

The Pliko was great for groceries. I could accomdate a weeks worth of produce from the farmer's market using the basket and hanging a couple bags from the handles. (The hood also worked well for a baguette)

The Quest basket holds about as much as the Pliko's did, but the handles and hood are not as handy.

As far as other features, Im very happy with the Quest. I can do everything one handed--push, steer, open and collapse and its extremely light weight. It is a very parent friendly stroller.

The Pliko definitely required two hands for everything. But it had a much better range of recline options and I miss being able to completely close the hood. (And though I haven't heard a complaint, I think my 8 monther was more comfortable in the Pliko.) Good luck

PS I didnt look at the Maclaren Triumph but wish I had. I got all attached to the idea of 4 recline options with the Quest, But it turned out to be such a small range that 2 would have probably been fine. Susannah

I have a Peg Perego (Pliko) stroller and while I love how it rides and the fact that it is very lightweight, the storage basket underneath has already broken twice (and I have only had the stroller 7 months!). The basket is simply too flimsy to store more than a lightweight diaper bag. anon

It looks like you are more interested in imported higher end strollers, but we love our Graco Metrolite. It has a big basket (I often carry a bag of groceries and then some in it), it has a height adjustable handle and folds down very easily. It's also around a hundred bucks. We've had ours for 2 years and have had no problems. Jennifer

I didn't see your original post--so I am not sure what price range you are looking for but we bought the Babytrend Lite Rider and love it. It has a removable tray, reclines with one hand which is great when baby is sleeping and has a nice canaopy. It folds easliy and is much smaller to store than most lightweight strollers. The storage basket holds a minimum of a full grocerybag--we use it when we need to go to to the store for light shopping, we've been able to put two bags in there. The best part is the price--$39. They carry it at TOYS r Us. anon

Lightweight stroller for 4-month-old

May 2003

I've read the archived posts but every year there are design changes and I'd like some up to date advice on strollers. I have a STRONG 4 month old daughter and want to buy her a forward facing stroller (right now all we have is a carseat snap-in type where she faces mom...boring!). We want something light weight which folds up pretty small, but she is still small herself so it needs to be somewhat supportive. Also want something that handles well and with a lot of underseat storage (we walk to a nanny share so usually have 2 big bags). Mostly when we hike we carry her but would like something capable of some offroading. I have been doing some reading and think what I want is something like a Peg Perego Pliko, Combi Savvy, Graco Lite Rider, etc. Does anyone have any recent experiences with a stroller that fits my criteria that they can share? Also, any advice where I can actually try out more than just a couple of models at one time (I live in Rockridge)? Patty

We love our Zooper stroller, which is fairly light, folds nicely, is pretty rugged, is luxuriously comfortable for the child, and comes with all sorts of cool extras, like sunscreens and rain shields. The one downside is that the basket is tiny (like Maclarens); but you can hang mesh bags and other things from the handles pretty well. I'd also strongly recommend shopping at Rockridge Kids, where though they might not have as much on the floor as, say, Lullaby Lane, they only sell stuff that really works. Christopher

Hi Patty, I have been trying to sell my daughter's Graco stroller because we're moving and she's growing out of strollers (almost 3-y-o). It's either an earlier version of a LiteRider, or just very similar (bought in 2000). We haven't used it much because I needed something even more lightweight and easy since I use public transit almost daily, so it's still in great condition. It has a nice under seat basket and back pouch, as well as cupholders and trays for both child and adult. If you wanted something brand new, disregard, otherwise, get in touch with me! Jennifer

I have a 3 year old son, and we've been through several strollers. I would not recommend a Combi stroller. We went through two of their strollers, and both broke down easily and experienced problems. I've heard that they now make them with aluminum frames (ours were both plastic), and supposedly the aluminum frames would remedy the difficulties we experienced. We now own a MacClaren stroller, and we're much happier with it. It's very sturdy, and I wish we'd purchased one from the start. Kristin

Lightweight stroller that reclines fully

July 2002

I'm looking for recommendations for a good stroller that ideally will have the following features: fully (flat) recline, has 3 or more seat positions, light-weight (15 Lbs or less), has a large accessible basket and its pad can be machine washable. It also has to be less than $100.... Am I dreaming? :-) Thank you.

You are probably dreaming to get a *good* stroller for under $100. We have the Combi brand (the Ultra Z or something like that), which is a GREAT stroller: it has 3 recline positions, weighs about 8 pounds and could easily accommodate an infant car seat until our baby was old enough to sit in it. They retail for about $300 BUT you can find last year's model on the web for $160-70. It is worth the price. All of our friends who had babies before us and bought the hugo heavy travel systems are envious. Irene

I have two strollers, a peg perego plikomatic and a cheap Kolcraft stroller which opens with one hand. I virtually NEVER use the PP. It's too big, heavy and annoying to open and fold. The Kolcraft truly opens and closes with one hand, folds completely flat and works just fine for what I use it for, which is not long walks for the most part, but short ones, and moving the child from one place to another. It seems comfortable enough for my daughter (who will soon be two). For a new baby you probably want something that reclines, or one of the travel systems. I think you should think of the stroller like a car seat... Different kinds of stroller for different ages. A reclining stroller or one of the ones where you snap the carseat in for an infant, and a smaller lighter one for older. Myriam

I have a mid-range Kidco stroller, which is a MacLaren knock- off. The design is good with the features you describe, but the components are a little cheaper than the MacLaren, so it isn't ideal. (For example, the seat is hard to recline.) I think mine cost about $150. I've seen them on sale on the web for less. Dana

I got a Graco Citilite stroller a few months ago and really like it! I got tired of my Graco travelsystem not fitting down the aisles of most stores and taking up too much room in the back of my Jeep. The Citilite weighs about 10 lbs, folds and unfolds easily, reclines (although not flat) and I can fit a pretty good size diaper bag on the bottom. When my daughter was younger, her infant carrier/car seat fit pretty snugly in the stroller. And my very large 3 year old fits in the stroller if necessary. I got it at babies r us for around $80.

You ought to be able to get a good umbrella stroller (preferably one that tilts back for napping, and with a sunshade) for under $100. They are very portable and all you really need--you can sling a plastic bag from the handles to carry stuff. Our fancy one stayed in the garage because it was heavier and more of a hassle. mary ann

Well, under a 1oo dollars I don't know, but I have a stroller that meets all your criteria otherwise: the Elan II from Kidco. It's a well-made European stroller (or so I was told) and the only places I have seen them is at Peek-a-Boutique (Castro and 24th) and CityKids (Clement) in San Francisco, but I am not really familiar with East Bay baby stores. At any rate, it is fairly light, it folds up easily like an umbrella stroller and it has several positions. It is very well built. However, it cost $169 last year when I bought mine, but I have been very happy with it. I researched strollers extensively, and this one was the only one I liked for all the reasons above. Good luck finding what you want/neeed. Anna