When a new baby is welcomed into a home, she comes with all sorts of extras: a new bed, toys of all sizes, clothes and even transportation!
Infant seats and strollers are must-have items for most parents, whether you live in the city or out in the boonies.
As busy moms and dads, you're going to want a stroller that doesn't slow you down. You'll want something that adapts perfectly to your on-the-go lifestyle, whether that means getting around the city or spending a day in the countryside. You want something that works, from the pavement to the trail. You're looking for the best lightweight all-terrain stroller.
Although strollers are designed to make life easier for the busy family, it can be a chore to find the make and model that works best for you. It’s our guess that if you’re a tired and overwhelmed parent, you aren’t exactly excited about setting out to comparison shop.If this is your first time shopping for a stroller, you may be surprised by the variety of designs and how they’re classified. It seems like there’s a shape and style of stroller for just about everyone and every need.
One thing you’ll notice right away is that some manufacturers use these terms interchangeably. That said, there are important distinctions.
In terms of the overall look and feel of the stroller, the all-terrain style is heavier and bulkier than the jogging style. Probably the next most obvious difference has to do with the wheels. While some all-terrain strollers have four-wheels like a traditional “walking” stroller, jogging strollers always have 3-wheel configurations. If an all-terrain model has 3 wheels and looks like a jogging stroller, you can bet that its wheels will be able to handle all types of ground cover, from city pavement, to indoor flooring to dusty country roads.
All-terrain tires are usually air-filled and larger than those on a jogging stroller. In this way they can easily absorb impact from jumping curbs and can navigate even the snowiest streets. The front wheels on both types of strollers can swivel, but the jogging stroller’s front wheel also locks in place so it can track a straight line for dedicated running.
If you plan to take your stroller on daily runs, there’s no reason to consider anything but a jogging stroller. However, if you plan to take your little one of all kinds of adventures – on city streets and off-road – an all-terrain stroller is probably your best bet.In terms of additional features, both types of strollers come equipped with extras like storage baskets, cup holders, and parent trays. When it comes to cost, you can find options for both that are budget, mid-range and top-of-the-line prices.
Here’s the thing: there are no stroller police. No one is going to come after you if start jogging behind your all terrain stroller! There’s a reason why jogging and all terrain strollers are built differently and have distinct features. Namely, they are manufactured with very different activities in mind. In some ways it’d be like using hockey skates for a figure skating routine.
What we’ve heard from customers is that it’s best to stick with hiking and trail blazing when using an all terrain model and grab a jogging stroller if you need a burst of speed. The main reason has to do with the construction of the front wheel. As previously mentioned, the swivel wheel is essential when navigating unpredictable terrain, while the fixed wheel on a jogger keeps the stroller on the straight and narrow.
A heavy-duty stroller may seem like the smartest and most durable ride, but the best lightweight all-terrain strollers are designed to be sturdy and safe. Not only are the tires made to grip all types of surfaces, but also the frames are equipped with high-tech suspension to absorb bumps and wobbles from the road.
If you’re still tempted to pick a hefty model, know that if it’s heavy it will be tough to manage. If that’s the case, you’ll probably be reluctant to lug it out because it’s just too much to handle. (No matter how deluxe of a stroller, it won’t do you any good f it just sits in the closet!)
So before you commit to a particular stroller, give it a whirl. What we mean is, push it around the store to see how it runs. Can you lift it on your own? Will you be able to hop a curb even if you have an extra few pounds in the storage basket? Would you be able to control the stroller on a hill or a curvy path?
The truth is, all terrain strollers come in various weights, usually between 20 – 30 lbs. (although we highlight 2 models under 20 lbs. here in this article). A lighter one allows you to transport extra items because even with the additional weight, you’ll be able to safely maneuver it.
So whether you’re picking up a slew of library books, getting groceries, or hopping in the car to visit grandma, you don’t want to worry about handling your load. Overall, the stroller should never stop you from accomplishing whatever it is you need to get done. Instead, regardless of the scenario, it should be a major asset to your family and you!
In a nutshell, this is why a lightweight stroller is a good investment. It is:
Besides weight and size, there are several features to look for when shopping for an all terrain stroller. Consider the following:
Canopy: A canopy is incredibly handy in all types of weather: sunshine, rain, wind or snow. The canopy should be large enough to fully cover your passenger and easy to retract when you don’t want to use it. A viewing window is especially handy.
Wheels & Tires: The size and configuration of the wheels and tires directly impact the stroller’s performance. The best all terrain strollers have large air-filled tires (at least 12”) with deep treads that can glide over even the roughest roads. The front wheel should swivel so it can navigate tight spaces and turns without much trouble.
Seat: The comfort and safety of your little passenger is extremely important! The seat should have multiple reclining positions (for those spontaneous naps!) and be padded to absorb any jolts or knocks. A 5-point harness that holds the shoulders and hips in place is the best to keep the kiddo secure, even during the off-road adventures.
Handlebars: Adjustable handlebars are appreciated by parents who are over or under standard height.
Brakes: The brakes can be activated by either the hands or feet and they should be easy to use and reliable. A one-step brake is your best bet.
Storage: Many strollers have an under-the-seat basket and a compartment behind the handlebars to stash personal items like phones, sunglasses, and wallets. A storage area is a safer option than hanging bags off of the handlebars, which may cause the stroller to tip over.
Folding Mechanism: The easier to fold the better! Look for a one-handed folding mechanism that also locks the stroller into a compact package. Customers appreciated the designs that stood up when they were folded.
Travel System: A travel system means that the stroller has a compatible car seat. This is a bonus for parents who plan to take family trips and want an easy transition from the car to the outdoors. It’s important to know that some strollers accept just their own brand of car seat while others can work with ones from other companies.
Extras: Keep an eye out for extra features like: parent tray, cup holders, mounted speakers, glider board, bumper bar, eco-friendly fabrics, reflective and water-resistant features. If you really want to “trick out” your ride, check out stroller accessories available at most baby stores.
There are dozens of models, each offering something different, each with its own pros and cons. But if you're looking for something that's light and ensures a smooth ride no matter where you go, the following 7 strollers should be on your radar.
Some of the strollers on our list are more budget-friendly than anything else, some offer exciting features like state-of-the-art shock absorbers, sustainable materials, and lengthy warranties. But overall we believe this is a great selection and that there's something for everyone.
For a quick overview of our top picks and their best features, check out the table below.
Features we love
Buy it now
Kolcraft Cloud Plus
- 1-hand fold, very compact
- Large canopy
2015 Graco Fastaction
- Jogging stroller at
- Reclines to fully flat
Baby Jogger 2016
- Patented one-hand
Jané Trider Extreme
- Considered "the Porsche
For a closer, more in-depth look at each stroller, keep reading for all the details.
This model by Kolcraft is a great budget stroller that can take on all kinds of terrain and weighs in at just 12 lb.
Aside from being light, easy to maneuver, and featuring a nimble design, this stroller has lots of great features.
First of all, it folds up with one hand, and is super compact and self-standing when folded. For folks who live in a small apartment, this is definitely a bonus.
It's got an extra-large canopy that will protect your child from the elements, but it also has a peek-a-boo window so you can keep an eye on your little one.
The seat reclines to multiple positions (including a deep recline—perfect for napping), and the 5-point safety harness will keep your child seated safely, even over rough ground.
It's also got a roomy basket for carrying all of your belongings, and a parent tray with 2 cup holders and extra storage for smaller items, like cell phones and sunglasses.
For the price, you don't get a ton of bells and whistles, but if you're looking for something simple, inexpensive, reliable and easy to get around with, the Kolcraft Cloud is your stroller.
This is another great low-cost model, if you're looking for something with all the necessary features but which won't break the bank.
This stroller has all-terrain lockable and swivel front wheels, and weighs just 17 lb., thanks to the durable aluminum frame. Not a bad combination!
What else does it have to offer? Well, lots!
It folds down very easily with a simple trigger system, it's got a spacious storage basket underneath, and it has a parent cup holder and an ergonomic handle grip.
Your child will be riding in style in his seat, which has a 5-point harness, adjustable leg support, and a very large canopy. It also reclines to 4 different positions, including almost completely flat.
Previous buyers describe this as somewhere between an umbrella stroller and a full size stroller.
All in all this is a great, inexpensive lightweight all-terrain stroller.
Here's a fabulous 3-wheeled option from Graco. This is an all-terrain jogger that weighs just 30 lb. and has lots of great qualities.
If you're already a Graco fan, you're going to truly appreciate this model, which is a mix between a traditional Graco stroller and a jogger. What does that mean? It means enhanced maneuverability and performance.
Whether you're jogging or just strolling, this model will take you effortlessly over all kinds of terrain, thanks to the large air-filled rubber tires.
This is a wonderful, portable stroller that's also sturdy. It's also compatible with an infant car seat, and a simple click assures you that the seat is properly mounted.
Your child can recline to multiple positions and will be comfy is her padded seat. She'll also be well protected from sun and wind, thanks to the very large canopy, and safely strapped in, thanks to the 3- and 5-point harnesses.
Add a large storage basket and a deluxe parent's tray with a smartphone cradle (so you can see your phone while on the go) and you've got one of the best lightweight all-terrain strollers on the market.
Graco is a trusted name and this is a great all-terrain jogger, you get a car seat, and all for a great price.
Who wouldn't love the idea of having a luxury stroller? This model, from RECARO, comes with puncture-proof rubber all-terrain wheels, with a locking feature, and weighs 24 lb.
And just like that, two of your requirements are checked off the list.
This stroller also has an extra large storage basket, parent cup holders, and an adjustable handle bar, which can be used in 3 different positions. The brake pedal has also been meticulously designed and positioned, for maximum comfort.
As for your kiddo, the RECARO reclines to multiple positions, including fully flat, and it even comes with a soft boot enclosure, which makes the seat feel like a bassinet. The UV SPF 50+ canopy is also water resistant.
We love the one-hand fold, which is super convenient, and this stroller folds down to a very manageable size. It also has an auto lock feature for more security.
If you want something that's stylish, heavy-duty, spacious and well-designed, and something that is within your budget, this is a great option.
Ok folks, we're getting into serious lightweight all-terrain stroller territory. This baby has 85-inch all-terrain non-flat tires, and you're guaranteed a smooth ride thanks to the front wheel suspension. It also weighs just 22.5 lb.
You'll be surprised that you get a whole slew of other great features. We love the easy fold system: all you do is lift a strap and the stroller folds itself. It's compact once folded down and it has an auto-lock for maximum convenience.
It comes with an adjustable UV 50+ sun canopy with a peek-a-boo window, an adjustable handlebar—perfect for people of all heights—and it has a higher weight capacity than most, accommodating a child weighing up to 65 lb.
Other perks include the parking brake, which is flip-flop friendly and hand-operated, and the padded seat, which is taller and features additional padding. Customers love the fact that you can use this stroller with a City GO infant car seat or any other car seat, as long as you use the appropriate adaptors.
As is typical of Baby Jogger strollers, you can customize your model with all kinds of cool things, like a glider board (so an older child can ride along), a child tray, a parent console, or a weather shield.
If you want a rugged, well-made stroller that glides effortlessly over all kinds of terrain, and comes with lots of excellent features to ensure maximum comfort and convenience, then the Baby Jogger is the best lightweight all-terrain stroller for you.
When this model from Jané says all-terrain, they're not joking. This stroller comes with unique wheels which last 40% longer than its competitors. It also has a state-of-the-art shock absorber with a red coil spring and an aluminum piston, which means that you will have the smoothest ride of your life. The frame, which is made of anodized aluminum, means it's a good weight: 24.8 lb. to be exact.
What else does the Jané have to offer? Plenty!
It's ridiculously compact when folded down; in fact, it's 30% smaller than when it's fully upright. AND it can be folded down with the seat facing either outwards or inwards.
It's compatible with Chicco, Maxi-Cosi, Graco, Nuna and Cybex infant car seats, and comes with a car seat adapter. It also comes with a rain cover, a diaper bag and a cup holder.
The breathable sunshade, which is SPF 50+, is also windproof and waterproof and will fully protect your kiddo, who will be riding comfortably inside.
The three wheels, which are large in diameter, make getting around as easy as pie. The backrest can be adjusted to 4 positions, and the design is cool and dynamic. Throw in a 3-year warranty, and we think we have a winner.
This is one of the lightest strollers of its kind on the market, at just 22 lb., and it has 12-inch all-terrain wheels, which are perfect for both urban and off-road settings.
The air-filled tires are full 360-degree swivel and can be locked for jogging. It also comes with an air pump, a wrist strap and a foldable bumper bar.
The large UPS/SPF 45+ canopy is large enough to block out the sun, no matter what angle it's coming from, and it has a removable back panel and a pop-out extension.
We also love how the Bumbleride uses all sustainable materials. The innovative dye process used to color the fabrics conserves water, and the polyester used is recycled. Everything is PVC and phthalate free.
It folds up with a super easy one-step mechanism and is self-standing, and the backrest, footrest and handlebar are all adjustable—so you can customize the experience, for both you and your child.
This stroller is suitable for an infant, as the adjustable footrest can be used to convert the seat into infant mode. It's also car seat compatible.
Throw in reflective logos, a 5-point harness, a secure foot break and a 3-year warranty with outstanding customer service, and you just might have the best lightweight all-terrain stroller.
If you want something that's solid, functional and also stylish, something that previous buyers are calling "the Porsche of all strollers", a model that delivers everything you're looking for and then some, you'll want to go with the Bumbleride.
Well folks, we believe you are fully prepared to make a decision and pick the best lightweight all-terrain stroller for your family. If, however, you want to check out more models, don't miss this great article on the best umbrella stroller for travel.
Do you use, and love, a stroller that we haven't included? Share it in the comments!
Featured image: Vasile Cotovanu
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