The Chicco Liteway is one of the most popular umbrella strollers on today’s market. It has been rated the best umbrella stroller by many website because of the combination of value and features. Many parents already have heavier bulkier strollers and want to buy something lighter, more compact, and inexpensive for short trips, running errands, and traveling.
The Chicco Liteway model is designed exactly for that. It has a roomy seat with deep one-hand recline that can accommodate a child from birth and up to 40 lbs. Typically, umbrella strollers are not designed for a newborn, but Liteway is very sturdy and has great back support so you can use from birth. Of course I would add a special padding for a newborn before putting a baby into the seat.
The maneuverability on Liteway is great. It rolls on four hard rubber wheels with rear suspension system and swivel front wheels. It’s designed for flat surfaces, but can handle some terrain if you lock the front wheels. It also has an easy compact 3D fold with an automatic lock for storage. This is not your over-the-shoulder type of umbrella stroller. It weighs 17 lbs and is designed more for transporting in the car rather than carrying around. It also features adjustable 5 point harness, adjustable leg rest, carry strap, medium size basket, and mediocre canopy.
I gave it 5 out of 5 stars because I think it will be hard to find a better stroller in this price range. While I really like the sturdiness and the roomy seat with a deep recline, I wish the canopy was bigger and had a peekaboo window closure. It’s also not the lightest umbrella stroller on the market. On the bright side, I think it’s very well priced for what it has to offer. You can purchase it in one of the beautiful eight colors for around $139.99 on Amazon (free shipping/free returns and no sales tax). I comes with a cup holder and a leg cover.
Here is my 2-year old angel getting cozy in a new stroller.
-Canopy. The canopy did not impress me that much. It’s only one panel and doesn’t have a sunvisor like many other umbrella strollers. You are not going to get a lot of sun coverage from it. It does have so called ‘follow-the-sun’ option, but if you unzip it in the back, the material will just hang getting in your child’s face. I wish you could unzip the canopy panel only. There is a large peekaboo window made out of clear plastic. I wish to see a dark mesh instead especially because there is no window cover. If the sun shining directly above the window, it will be on your child’s head. To solve the canopy problem, a lot of parents buy Kiddopotamus Rayshade which is a portable canopy that goes on top of your existing one providing your child with full sun protection. The good news is that it costs only $15. The bad news is that this black shade ruins the whole look unless you have a black stroller.
-Handle bars. Like most umbrella strollers it has two handle bars covered with soft foam. The organic design makes it very convenient to navigate. When the seat is empty, I can diffidently push it with one hand. I also really like how thick they are, since I am not a big fan of skinny handles. They are located 39″ from the ground which is an average handle bar height. My husband who is 6’1 was not complaining (he usually always complains).
-Roomy seat. The seat is 12″ wide with 18″ seat back and a measurement of 24″ from the bottom of the seat to the top of the canopy. As you know, I am not a big fan of strap reclines so I was very pleased to see one-hand lever recline. The recline is very deep with 5 different recline positions including almost a flat one. The seat can accommodate a child from BIRTH and up to 40 lbs. BTW, Liteway Plus model has a seat that you can use only after 6 months (and it’s more expensive). The fact that you can use it from birth is a big plus especially if you are planing on traveling and don’t want to bring the heavy travel system with the infant car seat with you. I usually use the flat recline position when changing diapers. Very convenient! Those of you who live in colder climates will be happy to know that the seat is deep enough to fit a child in his winter gear. Some umbrella strollers are great in the summer, but once the winter comes the seat is just not deep enough for a winter coat.
-Hide-away boot. There is a cover (they call it a boot) hidden underneath the leg rest that you can use for enclosing infant if the weather gets bad. It’s a very thin cover that doesn’t really provide any warmth.
-Adjustable leg rest. It’s always nice to see an adjustable leg rest. This one has 3 positions: up, down, and flat. On the web site it says that it has only 2 positions, but I think they are not counting the fact that you can bring it all the way into a vertical position. I can see myself using up position for a younger baby to create more enclosed environment. To adjust the leg rest all you need to do is press buttons on both sides and move the leg rest.
-5 point harness. It has adjustable padded 5 point harness with hard to unlock double buckle. The buckle is covered with a belly pad which is a double plus because it not only protects the belly, but it also hides the buckle from curious always bored toddler.
-Storage basket. The basket used to be a detachable storage bag, but they’ve recently changed it into a regular basket with mesh sides. I don’t think anybody really got the point of the detachable backpack. The basket is medium size, so it’s not going to fit your large diaper bag, but it’s not that bad for an umbrella stroller. Small diaper bag and some baby essentials will definitely fit. Most of the time, I just hang my large diaper bag on the handlebars. I know, I know they don’t recommend doing it… but I think this stroller is sturdy enough to handle my not-so-heavy diaper bag. The basket can be accessed from the back, but once you fully recline the seat it’s really hard to get into.
-Wheels. It rolls on four hard rubber wheels with double 6″ wheels in the back and single 5″ wheels in the front. The front wheels are 360 degree swivel wheels with the ability locked straight for rougher terrain.
-Rear-wheel suspension. The rear-wheel suspension makes the ride a little smoother. Keep in mind, this is not an all-terrain stroller. It’s designed for flat surfaces, but can handle some so called mommy terrain like grass, mulch or gravel.
-Parking brakes. It has an individual parking brake on each rear wheel which locks the wheels once stepped on. It’s not flip-flop friendly.
-Easy 3D fold. It has typical umbrella fold. All you need to do is bring the canopy all the way back, push the lever on the cross bar up with your foot and step on the side pedal to fold it. You can probably fold it with one hand, but because you need to bend all the way down to the ground to fold it, you can’t really hold a child at the same time. There is an automatic lock and carry handle for easy transportation. Remember, this is a STURDY umbrella stroller which will have a larger fold than a FLIMSY umbrella stroller without any features. From my experience, the sturdier the stroller, the larger the fold.
Still, if you compare it to any full size strollers it will win. I had a plenty of room left for my groceries after putting it into the trunk of my SUV. You could also put it in the back seat if you are shopping without your child. The folded dimensions are 46.5″L x 13″W x 11″H. It takes much less room than my Vela Easy Drive. I still can’t forget how I was trying to fit Vela Easy Drive into the back seat of my SUV after I got a big toy kitchen for my daughter at BabiesRus. You should see the look on my face when I realized it’s NOT going to fit anywhere, but the trunk of my car.
Because I was with my daughter, I couldn’t fold the back row down to fit everything. Oh… I had to return the kitchen and send my husband later to pick it. Bummer… Anyways, officially Liteway weighs 17 lbs, but it felt a little heavier to me. Keep in mind, this is not an umbrella stroller to carry over your shoulder unless you have a very strong shoulder of course. LOL.
-Cup holder. INCLUDED! It has removable cup holder that will fit a regular size water bottle or a cup.
– Mediocare canopy. The canopy is not the smallest for the umbrella stroller, but I would like to see an added sunvisor. A pop-out sunvisor is a great thing because it’s very light, doesn’t cost much to add, and can be tucked away when not needed. Many buy Kiddopotamus Rayshade ($15) to get additional sun coverage. There is also no peekaboo window closure which is annoying because if the sun is right above the canopy, it ends up right on your child’s head.
-Medium size basket. I don’t expect to see a large basket on an umbrella stroller, but it would be nice. It’s also hard to access because of the crossbar in the back.
-No travel system option. Not many umbrella strollers have travel system capability, but it’s nice to have. This is a very sturdy umbrella stroller that I think could handle a car seat.
I found this not-so-great overview video that shows some of the features of the Liteway model. I think it’s an older one because now they come with a regular basket instead of a backpack.
Stroller weight: 17 lbs
Weight limit: 40 lbs
Folded dimensions: 46.5″L x 13″W x 11″H
Handle bar height: 39″
Seat to canopy height: 24″
Front wheels: 5″
Rear wheels: 6″
Overall length: 27″
Overall width: 19″
Chicco provides 1-year warranty from the original date of purchase and you have to be the original owner. Unfortunately, I was not able to find official warranty page on their site.
This stroller is available in 8 colors: greenland, ibiza, magma, coastal, orion, romantic, fuego. Don’t ask me how do they come up with these color names … Anyways, it comes with black or silver frame. BTW, the colors are much brighter and nicer than they look on the official photos from Chicco site.
Where to buy it
My favorite place to buy strollers and a lot of other baby items is Amazon. It usually has the lowest prices, free shipping, free returns and no sales tax. How great is that? You can get Chicco Liteway in one of the nine beautiful colors for around $139.99 on Amazon (free shipping/free return and no sales tax). It comes with a cup holder and a boot cover.