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Heading out with children can be challenging in itself, but when traveling with your regular (heavy) stroller or no stroller at all, things become even more troublesome. After experiencing difficult day trips with our bulky stroller, I stumbled upon the extremely lightweight and very affordable Kolcraft Cloud umbrella stroller.
Having seen, tried, and reviewed quite a lot of strollers in my time, I wanted to see for myself whether this stroller is really all it promises. After tons of research, if you’ve been looking for Kolcraft Cloud umbrella stroller reviews, you’re in the right place.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Umbrella Stroller
An umbrella stroller is a stroller generally used for babies four to six months or older and toddlers. If it can fully recline, it can then be used for newborns as well.
Generally, the handlebar isn’t one bar across, but rather two separate handles that curve upwards, like an umbrella. Some may have a storage basket under the seat, while others have minimal features and comforts to keep them as light and easy to carry and maneuver as possible.
This type of stroller is a must-have for any parent who goes on vacation regularly with their child, needs to carry their stroller up and down stairs, or just needs something to toss in the trunk for errands.
The benefits of having a lightweight stroller when out and about include:
- Have your hands free.
- Not having to constantly carry, watch, or hold on to your children, afraid of losing them in the crowd.
- If your child is not able to keep up with long walking distances, they can rest.
- You have a place for your little one to take a nap.
- It is easily collapsible, and you can carry it when needed.
Traveling with a regular stroller isn’t advisable. Regular strollers are much larger and heavier and are often less easy to handle and fold.
When Not to Buy an Umbrella Stroller
If you’re not traveling frequently, don’t need to lift a stroller in and out of a car on a regular basis, you don’t live on the umpteenth floor of a building without an elevator, and generally need a lot of storage space, you may want to consider a regular stroller. Or some parents like to have the option of both.
Umbrella strollers have their clear benefits, but also their limitations. Some or most of the usual comfort and convenience needs to be sacrificed in order to be lightweight and compact. Think of downgraded, smaller versions, or lack of:
- Seat padding and reclination
- Harness padding
- Fixed or no footrest
- Parent consoles
- Parking brakes
- Quality wheels, shock absorption, and smooth riding
If you value these comforts and consider bump-free maneuverability a must, an umbrella stroller will likely not rock your boat. You may be better off buying a regular stroller or travel system with car seat for younger kids or a jogging stroller when you like to work out with your child in a safe and comfortable way.
But when you take trips frequently or need something easy for the school run, you may very well need one. As they are less luxurious, they are also considerably cheaper.
What Is the Kolcraft Cloud Umbrella Stroller?
The Kolcraft Cloud umbrella stroller is affordably priced and extremely lightweight, at only 9.5 pounds. It weighs 3.5 pounds less than the market leader, the Summer 3D Lite Convenience.
It has a one-step, easy folding mechanism vs. a three-step mechanism for the market leader. The dimensions when folded are 10 by 9.5 by 42.5 inches, only slightly larger than the Summer 3D Lite, and when assembled it measures 18 by 28.5 by 38.5 inches. The advised maximum weight is 40 pounds.
The Kolcraft Cloud has an extendable sun canopy and a storage basket for both yours and baby’s necessities, among other features. It comes with a convenient cup or bottle holder for parents.
The Cloud is meant for people who need a lightweight stroller for travel or regular day trips. The stroller should not be used for running and jogging, as it lacks the weight and features necessary for doing that safely.
Overall, this stroller is a quality product for a very affordable price, where sacrificing the most important features has been kept to a minimum.
Designed With Travel in Mind
Kolcraft managed to design a stroller that has the most valued features incorporated in a super lightweight frame. The stroller is compact, both folded and assembled, and has a convenient one-step fold mechanism. This is practically a must for any travel stroller, as having to fiddle about isn’t desirable, especially when traveling as a single parent.
The stroller doesn’t come with a travel bag, but one can be purchased separately for a very affordable price.
A downside of the stroller being compact is that it’s rather short and narrow. Taller parents will have issues pushing it comfortably and you may question until what age your child will fit into it, as it’s really, well… compact.
Massive Canopy Providing Plenty of Shade
A huge plus is the massive canopy and rear hood, which provides considerably more shade than the average umbrella stroller. It almost covers the entire seat—perfect for when it’s hot or baby needs to rest, and a feature many other umbrella strollers sacrifice on.
One thing to remember is to push back the canopy before folding it, as folding while open may cause it to get damaged.
Cool-Climate Mesh Back Seat
A nice feature the Kolcraft Cloud has incorporated in its design is the fact that the backrest has a foldable padding, which can be rolled up to be a headrest. It then consists of a mesh backrest, allowing for extra ventilation on hot summer days.
The seat doesn’t recline back, which is common for umbrella strollers, though some do partially and a few even fully. Do keep this in mind when selecting, as sitting up for younger infants may not be possible yet.
The Kolcraft Cloud umbrella stroller features a three-point safety harness which is easy to adjust, lock, and unlock. It lacks padding, but usually padding is only used on the shoulder straps to prevent rubbing the neck area. This harness lacks these shoulder straps, which are useful when you have a wriggler.
Infants and smaller toddlers who aren’t stable when sitting upright may have an issue here, especially combined with the inability to recline the seat.
You can bring along and store your necessities in the mesh storage basket under the seat. The storage is easily accessible from behind and can hold your most urgent items. Don’t expect it to carry groceries or extras, as it’s rather narrow and not very deep.
Umbrella strollers rarely come with any extras, but the Kolcraft Cloud features a fixed parent cup holder that suits a cup or even a water bottle. It’s not very deep, so it’s best not to put large bottles in it, as it will not be stable.
Maneuverability and Ease of Pushing
The stroller features shock-absorbing front swivel wheels and is remarkably easy to push around and maneuver. Don’t expect or attempt to run a marathon with it, but for navigating an airport or to bring around the supermarket, it’s sturdy and easy to handle. It navigates more uneven terrains rather comfortably, which is a bonus for an umbrella stroller.
The downside when pushing, again, is mainly due to how compact it is. The handlebars are on the low side, especially for taller parents. Due to the handlebars being right above the wheelbase and the wheelbase being rather narrow, parents report kicking against the wheels and stumbling as a nuisance.
Umbrella Stroller Alternatives
The Kolcraft Cloud makes a pretty good overall impression and has a good quality-price-ratio. Here are some alternatives in the same category, if you would like to check out some others.
Another Kolcraft Cloud Lightweight review, but this time the “Plus,” which is not an umbrella stroller.
The Plus is immediately visible in the extras it comes with. Weighing 11.8 pounds, it’s only marginally heavier than its brother. Although it also has slightly larger dimensions when folded (18 by 12 by 34 inches), it’s self-standing when folded, something the regular Cloud lacks.
The Cloud Plus features a canopy with a peek-a-boo window. The canopy size is OK, but the regular Kolcraft Cloud definitely wins in this department.
In contrast to the regular Kolcraft Cloud, the seat of the Cloud Plus can recline, though still not all the way down. It also features a five-point safety harness, where the regular Cloud has a three-point belt.
Ease of pushing and maneuverability are very comparable between these two. The Cloud Plus has a more roomy storage capacity. Not only do the removable child tray and parent console provide for convenient extra storage, the storage basket under the seat is spacious and easily accessible.
The Kolcraft Cloud Plus is slightly more expensive than its regular brother, but still affordable.
The Summer 3D Lite is a bit heavier than the Cloud at 13 pounds, and has a convenient three-step mechanism for folding and unfolding once you get the hang of it. Opening it is done by undoing a clasp, and it unfolds itself. It has a carry strap attached to it to carry it over one shoulder.
The seat is comfortably padded and has four reclining positions, including flat. The attached canopy is OK, but considerably smaller than the Kolcraft Cloud. The safety harness is a bit narrow, and you have to adjust each strap individually.
This umbrella stroller is quite stable, easy to push, and maneuvers with ease. The handlebar is at a convenient height for both average height and taller parents to comfortably walk with. It has a storage space under the seat, detachable cup holders that can be used in different positions, and a footrest for your little one which is convenient if they’re a bit taller.
The Summer 3D Lite is reasonably priced.
If you’re interested, here is my complete 3D Lite Convenience Stroller review.
This single stroller can be converted from a single to a double (front to back) with an expandable tandem add-on set, which is very convenient when you (expect to) have more than one child. It weighs only 11 pounds and can be considered compact at 40 by 20.5 by 31 inches.
It has a one-hand fold and unfold mechanism. It folds so small that it can even fit into a backpack, sold separately. The seat can recline almost fully and features a five-point padded safety harness. It has a padded adjustable leg rest and a footrest for taller kids.
The canopy matches the size of the Kolcraft Cloud, both of which are XL. The storage basket under the seat is reasonable and extra storage is provided by a detachable child tray and cup holder for parents.
The Zoe XL1 feels solid and maneuvers remarkably easy and smooth. The handlebar has a convenient height for pushing and the overall performance is impressive.
Should I Buy a Kolcraft Cloud Umbrella Stroller?
Overall, the Kolcraft Cloud has all the basics you need for a stroller. It’s extremely lightweight and has a very compact fold with an easy folding mechanism, which are the first things to look for when selecting an umbrella stroller.
It looks good, performs reasonably well, has one of the largest canopies available in the world of umbrella strollers and, not least important, is very affordable. If you’re on a tight budget or if weight and size are most important to you, it definitely is a good buy.
However, if you’re looking for a bit more convenience and have some extra money to spare, there are some other options. Most parents prefer a reclining seat and a five-point harness is also preferable over a three-point safety belt.
As for ease of pushing, maneuverability, and parent comfort, the Kolcraft Cloud is quite compact and short, which several parents reported to be a con for this stroller.
As always, people have different preferences. You won’t buy a cat in the sack with the Kolcraft Cloud, but you may prefer a Shirazi.