- Durable, stylish frame (12 pounds) with large seat area, multi-position recline, and 5 point safety harness
- Anti-shock front wheels and lockable rear wheels
- Adjustable and removable canopy with flip out sun visor
- Extra-large storage basket and rear storage pocket
- Easy compact 3-d fold with carry strap
Summer Infant 2014 3D Lite Convenience Stroller, Tropical Green (Discontinued by Manufacturer) Reviews
Whenever I buy something, I read all the reviews and research A LOT. And even then I’m not sure I’m making the right decision. There aren’t that many reviews for the Summer 3d Lite as it seems fairly new to the market, so I thought I’d try and do a comparative review in the hopes of helping.
I wanted a durable, lightweight travel stroller, a decent recline, good wheels/maneuverability, comfort, storage space, 5-point harness, and for it to be easy to fold/unfold. i wanted all this for the minimum price possible as I already have an UPPAbaby Vista and a Chicco Liteway (I previously used the Chicco for travel but I had to leave it behind for an international move as I opted to take the Vista – we do lots of walking, and it’s much cheaper to replace an umbrella stroller!)
Initially I was considering the First Years Jet Stroller, which weighs just 11 pounds. It has a 4* average rating from over 1100 ratings, AND costs under 45 dollars – seemed pretty good. But I went to try it in store and it was awful – no recline, wheels didn’t work properly (i couldn’t maneuver it on the floor – my son is 18 months and weighs about 25 pounds, about half the recommended max weight) my son wanted out! It felt cheap and flimsy so i looked at the reviews more closely – theme was that it was good for the price, and that the wheels are awful but people overlook that as it was so cheap. So whilst the Jet may be good/better than expected (for the price), I wanted something that was genuinely good, even if it meant spending a bit extra.
I came across the Summer 3D Lite and ordered it. I was a little concerned as I could not find it in my local baby store, so I was buying blind. It seemed to fit my requirements, and weighs 12 pounds, just one pound more than the Jet.
Like the Jet, it says it accommodates children up to 50 pounds.
When it arrived it took just a few minutes to pop the wheels and the canopy on, and presto, it’s done. It reclines ALMOST flat, which is fantastic, although the recline mechanism requires two-handed operation, which is a little awkward. My Chicco Liteway also reclines almost flat, but it has a more convenient one-handed recline. The seat padding isn’t as generous and the material isn’t as nice as the Liteway either, however the Liteway weighs in at a heftier 17 pounds – 5 pounds heavier than the Summer 3d Lite, and is considerably more expensive. The 3d Lite’s recline is also better than the First Years Ignite Stroller (the model up after the Jet, Cheaper than the Summer 3D Lite, but at 14 pounds, it is also heavier).
The folding mechanism is easy but it takes a couple of practices, I had to read the instructions to find the second lever. I managed to do it using one hand and my foot, so I could do it in an airport holding my toddler. It locks automatically, which is great and doesn’t need an extra hand – unlike the Jet/Ignite, which require the user to manually lock the frame (this may not seem like a big deal, but in an airport it really is!). Unfolding does need 2 hands, simply because the lock needs to be disengaged whilst holding the stroller upright. Overall, the fold/ unfold is fairly similar to other umbrella strollers, including the Chicco Liteway.
Sunshade is OK, slightly larger than some (much better than the Jet’s shade), although it can’t be rotated like the shade can on the Liteway. I don’t think the shade is a particularly big deal though.
The 3D Lite features lockable front wheels for rougher terrain, which the Jet does not, although in order to lock them they have to be perfectly aligned and forward facing. I’m not sure about other umbrella strollers, but on the Chicco Liteway (and the Vista, but that’s a different kind of stroller, so maybe moot) you can lock the wheels whilst they are in any position, and as soon as the stroller is moved and they align with the frame, they lock into place. I hope that makes sense. It just makes it a little fiddly to lock the 3D Lite’s wheels, but I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker. The brakes on the back wheels are more easily accessible than on the Jet.
Other thoughtful features on the 3D Lite include a carry strap (could be padded but not a big deal), a pocket for cell phone, wallet/purse, keys…, a cupholder that can be moved so it can be used by the parent or the child (remove the cupholder before folding if you put it at child’s height as it fits where the stroller-lock clips to the frame). Actually I would remove the cup holder before travelling as it looks like it can easily come off.
I’m not sure I’m too keen on the fabric that covers the harness buckle, but this is a minor detail.
From my research, I only found a few options that were lighter, none of which recline, and some were more expensive. The lighter options include the Jet (cheaper, not significantly lighter, no recline), The Chicco Capri (same price, weighs 11 pounds, lower max child weight limit, limited recline), the Macalaren Volo (lightest on market, expensive, no recline), UPPABaby G-Lite (no recline, expensive), or the really cheap, no-frill 20 dollar options ( which look awful for parent and child IMO). I also considered the First Years Ignite, which is cheaper, but I ruled this one out due to its additional weight and limited recline.
Overall, I think is is a great stroller. It has lots of features for both the weight and the price. This was the best I could find, and was better than many more expensive options. I also purchased an open box deal from Amazon Warehouse Deals, stroller was perfect and brand new, saved myself 13-15% off the retail price which makes it almost comparable in price to the First Years Ignite.
I hope that helps!
UPDATE: I just got back from my overseas trip and used the stroller for three weeks. i liked it but didn’t love it because it isn’t as easy/ comfortable as it could be to steer. Unlike most strollers, the handles are straight inline with the frame rather than ergonomically curved inwards. This makes it hard to steer with one hand. I still think it was the best value umbrella stroller with all the features I was looking for at the lightest weight, recline was good, easy to fold up and down, and held up well through airport handling. I would give it 3.5 stars if possible.
We have five young kids, and have been through our share of strollers. We’ve had both Graco and Chicco travel systems, a quad stroller, a Combi, and a few cheapo umbrella strollers to boot.
I’ve developed an opinion of what I like and don’t and I LOVE this stroller.
Here’s the good:
1. Much like a Combi, this stroller folds to a very compact size, which means it will fit into the trunk of a sedan and still have plenty of room for groceries, gym bags, etc.. This is vital, since it means you don’t necessarily need to buy an SUV or minivan because you’re worried about trunk space (which was somewhat of a concern with our quad stroller and travel system strollers).
2. The cup holder is SUCH a good move. It may not sound like much of a selling point, but the Combi didn’t have one and it drove us nuts! The bad news here is that the cup holder is a little small, such that even a medium McDonalds cup fits tightly enough that it doesn’t touch the bottom.
3. The storage space under the stroller is ample and smartly designed to stick out far behind the seat of the stroller. We have a gigantic Dad Gear backpack as our diaper bag, and it easily fits in the under-stroller storage. No other stroller we’ve used has been able to do that! On a few strollers, we regularly hung the diaper backpack from the back of the stroller, which caused it to tip sometimes if there wasn’t enough weight in front.
4. The grips are nice and high (so taller folks don’t need to hurt their back bending over), and the foam grips are very comfortable!
5. The frame is metal! I thought this was awesome because I may or may not have broken the frame of our Combi after driving it up the side of an embankment, pretending it was a skate park ramp.
The Summer 3D Lite feels like it will be much more durable and even more maneuverable due to its rigidity.
6. The five point harness stays in place pretty well and has a fabric flap to dissuade kids from fiddling with a fastened buckle.
The main drawbacks are the cup holder size, and that the folding/unfolding motions take a little getting used to. It’s also not quite as convenient as a travel system if you have a small baby in a removable rear-facing car seat.
Overall, it’s probably our favorite stroller we’ve tried! Definitely a top pick for toddlers and bigger!
Love this stroller (By subyfly)
Love this stroller. My husband and I were so tired of lugging our huge stroller everywhere it just took up way too much room in the trunk and was hard to navigate in the stores. We did a lot of research before making the purchase because we knew that it would be the last stroller we would buy for our kids. We found out we were expecting baby #3 and knew we needed something that would be comfortable with our 2 older kids but also our new baby would be able to use as well. This stroller was super easy to put together and took no time at all. we first used this stroller on our trip to Disneyland. We have a 5 year old and a 6 year old and I knew that we would need a stroller for at least the 5 year old at some point during the trip. I didn’t want to rent a stroller at the park because I felt more comfortable using our own. This stroller reclines almost all the way flat which I love, both of our kids fit comfortably in the seat and have no problem laying back and taking a rest when they are tired. It is easy to steer and navigate between large crowds and small spaces. My only complaint is that the basket is a little small and it is hard to get a bag in or out of the basket when the seat is reclined but I was expecting this because it is a lightweight stroller and typically the baskets are always small. So far we have only used it for our older kids so I can’t give a review of how it is for an infant. The only problem I imagine there being is that the harness and buckle are difficult to adjust, so it may be difficult to easily have the kids take turns riding in the stroller while we are out and about.