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Adeena Gabriel
Contributing Writer

UPPAbaby G-LITE Stroller Review

If you’re looking for a compact umbrella stroller, the G-LITE is slim, simple to fold and truly lightweight, making it a good on-the-go companion.

Pros
• Lightweight and portable
• Easy to open and close
• Compact for easy storage

Cons
• Limited sun protection
• Doesn’t recline
• Awkward placement of foot brakes

Bottom Line
This stroller is user friendly, durable and extremely lightweight. While low on frills, it’s a solid basic option, particularly if you want a luxury brand name at a price that won’t break the bank.

Rating: 4 stars

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When I first began researching baby products as a novice expectant parent, every online resource I turned to (as well as many of my more experienced mom friends) recommended purchasing both a heavy-duty stroller and a lighter, more compact umbrella stroller. I could not, for the life of me, understand why I needed both—don’t they do the same thing?! As an apartment dweller with limited storage space, I was very reluctant to follow this particular piece of advice, until a friend explained it to me this way: Think of the heavy-duty stroller as your family car, a minivan or SUV, and the umbrella stroller as a bike. Some days you’ll need storage, special features, add-ons, upgrades and extra comfort. Other days, you’ll be grateful for a slim profile, lightweight transportation and the convenience of not having to worry about finding a place to park it. Her explanation was spot on and helped me a great deal when exploring available options—and ultimately settling on this lightweight stroller.

Features

When shopping for umbrella strollers, I had several requirements in mind. It needed to be extremely lightweight, compact when folded and easy to open and close. The UPPAbaby G-LITE checked all the boxes for me.

The G-LITE is simple to set up. It requires no assembly out of the box, with the exception of snapping the cup holder onto the frame. To open the stroller, 1) lift the clip on the left side of the frame, allowing the wheels to come down, and 2) step on the foot pedal on the side of the frame until you hear a click. To fold the stroller, 3) insert the middle finger of each hand into the rings on each handle, then 4) use your right index finger to push the adjacent button. The frame will collapse and the clip will click back into place, holding everything together.

This stroller is also simple to use. It has a five-point harness that easily clicks into place, with straps that adjust smoothly and can be easily re-threaded through the back of the seat to accommodate a growing child.

It also features locks on all four wheels to increase stability when loading and unloading your child. The back wheel locks are large enough to nudge open and close with your foot while standing, but the front wheel locks are quite small and require you to crouch down and adjust them by hand—not the most convenient thing when you find yourself loaded down with what feels like hundreds of pounds of baby gear.

The G-LITE has a useful carrying strap, and at just under 11 pounds, it’s a breeze to tote around if you find yourself in a place that’s not stroller friendly. ( Ed Note: With other lightweight strollers weighing 13 to 20 pounds, the G-LITE is one of the lightest in its class. Eleven pounds is about the same weight as a standard bag of potatoes from the supermarket.) As city dwellers who use a public transportation system that’s often lacking in elevators, this was a must for us, and the G-LITE lives up to its name. It also takes up very little space when collapsed and stands on its own, allowing for easy and versatile storage options. Both the weight and the slender profile make the G-Lite ideal for car, air and train travel. There’s also a decent-size mesh basket underneath, which I found pleasantly surprising given the stroller’s slim proportions.

The stroller also features an extendable sunshade with a SPF of 50+. To extend the sunshade, simply pull it down, then secure it by pushing down on the latches on either side. My only major gripe about this stroller is the sunshade. It doesn’t extend far enough to offer any real protection. My daughter is very fair with light eyes, and I constantly worry about sunburn and glare. While our heavy-duty stroller has a sunshade that covers nearly everything but her feet, the G-LITE leaves her largely exposed, and I feel compelled to pile on the layers to protect her delicate skin—not at all ideal in the hot summer months, and I occasionally find myself taking our larger stroller to inconvenient locations just for peace of mind.

Parents should note that the seat doesn’t recline. For my family, we wanted something extremely lightweight and were willing to sacrifice some features to get it, especially since we view this as our “backup” or travel stroller as opposed to an everyday workhorse. My daughter rarely naps outside of her bed, but if she’s tired enough she can fall asleep in any position, so this stroller has worked out okay for us. If your child often naps in the stroller and needs to be lying down, this model may not meet your needs.

Performance

UPPAbaby boasts that you can pick up the G-LITE with one hand using its convenient carry strap—and it’s true that carrying this stroller is extremely easy. (Just keep in mind that you have to put down your child and all your gear to free up both hands to collapse the stroller first.)

The stroller operates perfectly well on all surfaces—it absorbs shock and handles easily. But I do notice that the ride in the G-LITE is bumpier than with our everyday stroller, which is larger and built like a tank. As an umbrella stroller, the G-LITE does great.

However, I found the placement of the rear wheel locks to be problematic. The wheels are small and close to the ground, putting the brake at the perfect height for parents to unintentionally kick it closed while walking—causing the stroller to come to an abrupt stop and the parent to go flying over the handles. This has happened to my husband and me on multiple occasions, and I often find myself needing to adjust my gait to avoid kicking the brake, which can feel awkward.

Design

The G-LITE is sleek, slim and aesthetically pleasing. It features a mesh seat back to promote air circulation—a plus during the summer months and for those living in warmer climates. The high-quality seat padding is removable and holds up well to repeated machine washing, and the basket underneath is spacious and easy to access—you can fit at least six bottles of wine in there!

However, there are a couple of instances where the design falters. While the stroller’s ergonomic handles are at a comfortable height for me, they’re not adjustable. The cup holder is a generous size that fits most standard cups, but its open design makes it unusable for small objects and may be frustrating for parents (like me!) who want to use it to hold keys, sunglasses and the like—beware, they will fall out the bottom.

Summary

The G-LITE is slim, compact, lightweight and stylish. It’s not cheap but it’s reasonably priced compared with other similar models, and you get a well-designed, durable product for the money. ( Ed Note: Many lightweight strollers cost between $100 and $270, making the G-LITE a pretty average-priced item.) It’s great for quick jaunts and travel, can be easily stored in small spaces and operates smoothly on most surfaces. The lack of a recline feature, the inadequate sunshade and the limited shock absorption may make this a better option for occasional rather than daily use for babies and young toddlers, but may not present a problem for older children.

PHOTO: UPPAbaby