Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience Stroller Review
• Lightweight—just 12 pounds
• Easy to fold and unfold
• Smooth recline
• Large storage basket
• Canopy storage pocket can get in the way
• Tips backward with a heavy bag on the handles without baby to balance the weight
Lightweight, easy to maneuver and a cinch to fold, the Summer Infant 3D Lite is an ideal traveling companion.
Rating: 4 stars
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When you’re on the go with baby (and loaded down with snacks, diapers, toys and more), the last thing you want to struggle with is a heavy, cumbersome stroller. Luckily, convenience is the name of the game when it comes to the Summer Infant 3D Lite, and that’s exactly why we bought it. I already have a jogger I use for all my daily activities in our neighborhood, but because it’s bulky, I dread having to fold it and cram it into my not-so-huge car trunk. I was constantly annoyed at having to navigate stores (or, worse, share a fitting room) with it, so when my husband and I had to fly to visit family with our then-9-month-old baby for the first time, I knew bringing the jogger was going to be more trouble than it was worth. Since I splurged on the jogger, I didn’t want to break the bank on a second stroller; at the same time, I also didn’t want to get the cheapest model, which (to me) looked flimsy. The Summer Infant 3D Lite met all the criteria.
It’s super light and easy to fold, barely took up space in my trunk, and had a large storage basket for all our little knickknacks. I was also swayed by the seat that reclines completely for napping, and I’m happy to report that this little feature has saved many outings from taking a turn for the worse. When the nap or diaper change is done, you can adjust the seat back up again—with just one hand!
This stroller lives in the back of our trunk so no matter where I go, I have my baby wheels with me. It’s so compact, half the time I don’t even notice it when I load up the groceries. Plus, it’s less than 12 pounds (compared with most other lightweight strollers that weigh in at 16 to 20+ pounds—the equivalent of lugging around an extra gallon of milk) and it’s easy to fold, so I can pull it in and out of the car really quickly. The 3D Lite also comes with a carrying strap, in case you decide to tote the folded stroller over your shoulder. I don’t care much for it, mainly because it’s not padded, but it’s fine for short periods of time.
The stroller also features a deep storage basket that’s big enough to fit a diaper bag. I don’t know about other moms, but I usually end up bringing so much stuff (like balls and other playground toys) that it makes more sense to hang the diaper bag on the stroller handles. If this sounds like your situation, know this: Once your kid is out of the stroller, the weight of the bag will likely make the stroller tip backward. Of course there’s an easy fix for that—I just put the bag on the seat until my son is back in the stroller.
Since I have a jogger, I’m used to a smooth ride—and the 3D Lite didn’t disappoint. The anti-shock wheels are pretty good at maneuvering bumpy sidewalks; I often go to the historic part of town with cobblestone sidewalks and we get around just fine.
The stroller is a cinch to open and close. To unfold, you simply push on a lever and it pops open. To fold it, you pull up on the small handle in the back (once you release the safety latch) and it goes down like a fan. The whole process takes seconds. This is especially handy at the airport, particularly when you check it at the gate. Note to travelers: Be mindful when you check the stroller. I lost the cup holder on a flight after it popped off while being stowed with the luggage.
The 3D Lite is certainly ideal for the warmer months, but you can still use it for chilly weather. There’s enough room to tuck a blanket around my son and even slip on one of those bunting bags to keep his legs warm.
The canopy with the removable UV visor is very handy, especially because I can adjust the angle based on the sun’s position. The only annoying part is the canopy storage pocket that drapes down the back gets in the way when you move the canopy too far forward, especially when the pocket is weighed down by toddler staples like sunscreen tubes and toy trucks. I wind up having to flip it over the top of the canopy, or else it’ll basically fall on my son. Unfortunately, there’s no way to neatly roll it up and tuck it away. It would also be helpful if there was a mesh window my husband and I could look through without having to pull the canopy back to make sure our son isn’t up to something sneaky.
I do, however, appreciate the design of the five-point seat belt, which has a flap that goes over the release button. When my son falls asleep, I actually release the top suspender-like straps to give him ample freedom to wiggle around in his dreams, and the waist strap is secure enough to keep him from falling out. (Ed Note: This isn’t a design feature touted by the manufacturer. Once you release the shoulder straps, it becomes a three-point harness instead of a five-point. A feature that is highlighted: The safety harness and padding come with three different height positions so you can accommodate a child up to 50 pounds.)
Another design win: Unlike other, very basic stroller models, this one is built at a good height, so you don’t have to hunch down to push the stroller. Thanks to the curved finger grooves on the handles, my wrists never get cramped and pushing the stroller always feels natural.
The Summer Infant 3D Lite fits all the criteria for a perfect on-the-go stroller. Not only is it one of the lightest strollers around, it folds up in seconds and fits neatly in my trunk. The best part? My son always seems comfortable and content when cruising in the 3D lite.