Best Umbrella Strollers of 2022

Compact and foldable, these collapsible strollers are a cinch to deploy on quick trips, errands around town, or strolls in the park

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Parent lifting a baby out of an umbrella type stroller Photo: Getty Images

Toddler parents are always on the run. So whether you’re walking to a store, driving to a playground, or flying to Disney World, a compact umbrella stroller is the quickest way to get you and baby back and forth.

At least, that’s what aviation engineer Owen Maclaren thought in 1965 when he invented the umbrella stroller (a collapsible "baby buggy") to replace his granddaughter’s heavy pram carriage before an international flight. His revolutionary umbrella stroller was lightweight aluminum with blue-and-white stripes. Since then, parents of all stripes choose to push their kids around in this convenient stroller type.

“They were christened as umbrella strollers because they fold into a long, narrow package—though not as narrow as an actual umbrella,” says Joan Muratore, the engineer who oversees stroller testing for Consumer Reports. 

Most umbrella strollers carry babies 6 months or older—those who can sit up on their own. With fabric seats and two distinct handles, they’re generally the lightest strollers, too, nimble enough to navigate tight spaces and corners. They’re also quick folding and compact for easy stowing in closets, car trunks, or airplane storage areas. A select few conveniently stand while folded.

The trade-offs? Many umbrella strollers have limited storage and small wheels that may not handle uneven terrain well. And some have a fixed (non-reclining) seatback or a limited recline.

But their lightweight construction makes them a popular choice among parents, often as a handy second stroller. You’ll find umbrella strollers in our ratings as light as 7 pounds and up to 16 pounds. All of them weigh considerably less than other strollers, which can weigh as much as 38 pounds. 

CR’s engineers test umbrella strollers in the lab and on the grounds outside our Yonkers, N.Y., headquarters to assess which ones are safe, maneuverable, and easy to use. Using weights to simulate a child, they push each model through an S-curve test course, steering them on pavement between cones, up and down curbs, and over obstructions including grass, mulch, and tree roots.

If you’re in the market for a lightweight umbrella stroller, check our stroller ratings, which includes brands such as Maclaren, Summer Infant, and UPPAbaby. Refer to our stroller buying guide as you shop. Here are three top-rated lightweight umbrella strollers, listed alphabetically, that will get you on your way.

CR’s take: This Maclaren umbrella stroller is 16 pounds but folds up extra small, taking up little space in your trunk or anywhere else. Its price is good and so is its safety rating. This pricey stroller has one-touch brakes, it stands folded, and it fully reclines for babies under 6 months old. But it offers little storage and poor basket access when the seat is reclined. Still, you’ll get around easily with this stroller, which has excellent maneuverability.

CR’s take: Just 12 pounds, this safe, compact Summer Infant umbrella stroller is a CR Best Buy. It’s a top-notch choice for traveling with a child of 6 months or older, up to 50 pounds. The seat reclines, which is great for on-the-go naps. It’s easy to fold, unfold, and carry, thanks to its convenient shoulder strap. It comes with a cup holder, an extra large undercarriage storage, and a small seatback pocket.

CR’s take: Our lab testers found the G-Luxe quite responsive for a lightweight umbrella stroller. It rates Very Good in all three key areas: maneuverability, safety, and ease of use. It’s very easy to fold, conveniently stands while folded, and comes with a shoulder strap for carrying. This compact stroller’s seat fabric/cover is removable too, which makes it easier to spot clean. There’s a seatback pocket and a small basket. Like many umbrella strollers, underneath storage is limited.

BW Headshot of Consumer Reports author Keith Flamer

Keith Flamer

As a kid in Delaware, I lived a few blocks from Bob Marley, who once said, "It is better to live on the house top than to live in a house full of confusion." At CR, I'm psyched to help readers navigate this cluttered, hyper-commercialized world we live in. I've covered luxury real estate, interior design, and culture—reporting on everything from smart home technology to racial hypocrisy at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate. Since the pandemic started, I cherish simplicity, covering accessible topics like decorating, cooking, and cleaning. Give me a smoothie blender over a mansion any day. Blenders are slightly easier to clean.