Buying a lightweight stroller for your infant can be a confusing experience and an expensive one too if you make the wrong decision.
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Because my full-time job is being mom to 2 precious daughters, and I know a thing or two about strollers. Besides personal experience, I get feedback from other moms who use these strollers every day and put all that research into our unbiased stroller buying guides
There are many brands of lightweight, umbrella strollers to choose from, so we’ve put together this comparison article pitting two of the most popular brands of umbrella strollers head-to-head.
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Chicco Liteway vs. Maclaren Quest
The Chicco Liteway and the Maclaren Quest are both best-selling umbrella strollers, but there are quite a few differences between them that could mean the difference between you buying the stroller of your dreams and wasting your money.
Let’s take a closer look at both brands.
Chicco: Stylish, chic, and bold
Chicco was founded in 1958 by Pietro Catelli to celebrate the birth of Enrico, his first child. The company makes valuable financial contributions to humanitarian projects such as providing medical care for kids with heart disease and funding training initiatives for local pediatrics doctors.
The Chicco Liteway stroller
- 4-Position backrest easily adjusts with 1 hand for growing children
- Adjustable, removable canopy with peek-a-boo window. Rear Wheel Diameter is 7inch
- Adjustable footrest for added comfort and support
Like all Chicco’s stroller ranges, the Liteway is bold, chic, and very stylish. The stroller is compact, maneuverable, and comes in a broad range of bright, trendy colors.
The Liteway has a seat that reclines fully, making this stroller suitable for newborns. That’s not a feature you’ll find on many umbrella strollers, although the Maclaren Quest does have this capability too.
As a useful alternative to a bulky travel system, the Liteway has a hide-away boot, allowing you to enclose your child in a cozy wrap when the seat is reclined.
And you won’t need to buy another stroller as your baby grows, thanks to the generous 40-pound weight capacity offered by the Liteway.
Things we like
- Suitable for a newborn, thanks to the fully reclining seat
- 40-pound weight capacity
- Compact for storage and travel when folded
- Comfortable seat and easy, one-hand recline feature
- Cup holder included
- Detachable, convertible storage basket that can be used as a backpack or tote
Things we don’t like
- Non-adjustable handlebars
- Waist straps on the safety harness may be too small for toddlers over 20 pounds
- Some moms have complained that the Liteway can be tricky to steer
Features that Matter
The Liteway has an aluminum frame, so it’s light but still sturdy enough to take a toddler up to 40 pounds in weight. The stroller frame is made from oval tubing, making the vehicle strong and very durable. That means it’s built to last, so you won’t need to worry about replacing your stroller any time soon.
Although the Liteway is an umbrella stroller, not an all-terrain model, it’s pretty versatile and copes well with uneven pavements and even cobblestones. That’s due to the rear-wheel locking system and precision swivel front wheels. You can also lock the front wheels when you’re pushing the stroller over rough ground.
Easy to fold
The Chicco Liteway’s 3-D folding system allows you to fold and unfold the stroller one-handed, which is a blessing if you have a fidgeting child in the other hand! Once you’ve folded the stroller, there’s an automatic storage latch and a carrying strap for total convenience.
Like the Maclaren, the Liteway has a five-point harness, which is an important safety feature. Both the Liteway and the Maclaren Quests’ harnesses are easy for you to unfasten, but present a challenge for a child seated in the stroller.
Like the Quest, the Liteway’s seat reclines totally flat so that you can use the stroller for a newborn. As your child grows, the extra-wide seat allows plenty of space, and there’s a five-position recline feature too. You can easily recline the seat with just one hand so as not to wake a sleeping child.
The Liteway has a novel hide-away boot feature that the Quest lacks. All you have to do is extend the leg rest, pull out the fabric from underneath it, and then enclose your child when the seat is reclined. You then attach the boot to the stroller frame, creating a cozy, bassinet-style enclosure that’s perfect for walks on chilly winter days.
The Liteway boasts an adjustable sun canopy with a peekaboo window, making it easy for you to keep an eye on your child while you’re out and about. Also, there’s a rear-zip weather pane on the canopy that can be unfastened when the weather’s warm to keep your child cool.
The handlebars on the stroller are quite tall, and they can’t be adjusted, which could be a problem for shorter parents.
Unlike the Quest, the Liteway has a detachable storage basket that transforms magically into a backpack or a sling tote bag. And you can even detach and convert the basket without having to empty it first.
Unlike many umbrella strollers, including the Quest, the Liteway has a cup holder included.
The material used for the Liteway’s seat is extremely high quality and very breathable, keeping your child comfy and cool, even in warm weather.
To see the Chicco Liteway in action, take a look at this video.
Maclaren: Stylish, lightweight, and hardwearing
An aeronautical engineer, Owen Maclaren, created the first Maclaren stroller in 1965 as a solution to old-style, bulky prams. Maclaren used tubular aluminum to build the prototype’s frame, which was feather-light at just six pounds!
The pioneering designer’s stroller was super-maneuverable and incredibly easy to fold, needing just one hand to collapse the vehicle, just like an umbrella. And that’s how the modern-day “umbrella stroller” came to be.
Of course, Maclaren now designs and manufactures much more than just umbrella strollers. Check out our post on their range for more information.
The Maclaren Quest is a super-lightweight umbrella stroller.
Like the Liteway, the Quest has a seat that can be completely reclined, making it suitable for a newborn.
The Quest has the advantage of ergonomically-designed, three-position, height-adjustable handles, something that the Liteway lacks and an essential consideration if you’re taller or shorter than average.
When it comes to waterproof canopies, the Maclaren wins the race! The Quest’s canopy is enormous, thanks to a UV-secure, pop-out viewing window that extends the regular canopy.
The stroller seat is a very generous size that outstrips the Liteway, being able to accommodate a toddler up to 55 pounds.
Things we like
- Enormous canopy!
- Super-lightweight and easily maneuverable with one hand!
- A good-sized seat that will fit a large toddler
- Suitable for a newborn
- Despite not being an all-terrain stroller, comfortably copes with most surfaces
Things we don’t like
- A cup holder is not included
- The Quest is typically more expensive than the Liteway
- You don’t get a travel kit with the Quest, and you have to purchase the carrycot option separately
Features that Matter
Lovely big canopy
The Quest’s canopy is much bigger than the Liteway’s. The extendable UPF 50+ medium-size canopy that’s fitted to the stroller has a big, zipped-in panel and a pop-out sun visor. These features extend the size of the canopy and provide your child with protection from the sun on hot days.
Unlike the Liteway, the Quest has a plastic peekaboo window on the back of the seat instead of on the top of the canopy. That can be a drawback if you want to be able to keep an eye on your child.
You get a free rain cover with the Quest that you don’t with the Liteway.
The Quest’s seat is very generous, measuring 13 inches wide with an 18-inch seat back and a whole 27 inches from the back of the seat to the top of the canopy. Consequently, this stroller will comfortably accommodate a newborn right through to a large toddler of 55 pounds.
The Quest seat recline system is operated by a one-hand lever instead of straps, and it only has four positions, rather than five like the Liteway model. The comfy, plush seat fabric can be removed and washed in your machine.
Newborn safety features
The Maclaren Quest has some great newborn safety features that the Liteway doesn’t offer.
A pop-up head barrier is attached to the top of the seat, and a mesh foot barrier can be attached to the stroller frame, ensuring that your baby won’t slide out of the seat.
Both the Liteway and the Quest have adjustable five-point harness systems. Furthermore, the Quest’s harness has a center release buckle that’s designed to make it virtually impossible for a toddler to unfasten.
The Quest easily outdoes the Liteway when it comes to storage. There’s a large storage pocket at the rear of the seat that’s ideal for small essential items, and it’s even big enough to take a baby’s bottle.
Most umbrella strollers are pretty skimpy on storage space. However, the Quest’s underseat basket is more generous than most. You can easily fit a few essentials in the basket, including a diaper bag, a few clothes, and even some small items of grocery shopping.
Even though the Quest is not advertised as an all-terrain stroller, it copes with uneven sidewalks, grass, and playground mulch with ease.
The Quest’s six-inch double-hard rubber wheels are hard-wearing and durable. The front wheels can swivel, and you can lock them straight if you prefer.
You might worry that solid wheels with give a bumpy ride, but thanks to the Quest’s innovative all-wheel suspension, the stroller provides a super-comfy ride for your child.
The Quest stroller has two link brakes that lock the stroller’s wheels into place. That is a handy feature that can be easily operated with your foot, but you should be aware that you can’t activate the brake when you’re wearing flip-flops.
One downside of the Quest is that it can be problematic to fold with one hand, although it’s billed as suitable for that. You might find that you struggle to engage the auto-lock because you need to bend down to the ground to do so, which is not going to happen if you have a struggling child in your hands.
Carrying and handling
The Quest umbrella stroller weighs just 12.3 pounds when folded and is very neat and compact. That means you can shoulder-carry it with no problem, and it will fit into most car trunks. There’s also a carry-handle and shoulder strap for convenience.
Like the Liteway, the Quest does not have a travel system option. But you can use it with a carrycot for a newborn. However, you’d need to buy this separately.
Maclaren offers a full, lifetime warranty that’s effective from the date of purchase.
The Maclaren Quest umbrella stroller comes in a decent range of stylish, chic color combinations, including:
- Medieval blue/jelly bean
- Medieval blue/silver
- Charcoal/harbor blue
Check out a video of the Maclaren Quest in action at this link.
Wrapping it up
Both the Chicco Liteway and the Maclaren Quest are impressive examples of lightweight umbrella strollers, and both have lots of appealing features.
If you want a lightweight, hardwearing stroller that’s easy to store and carry around when you need to, the Maclaren Quest might be a good choice. Or if your priority is a super-size canopy and a generous seat for a big toddler, the Quest could be the way to go.
On the other hand, for an easy-to-fold umbrella stroller that has a neat hideaway boot to keep your newborn cozy on winter walks, check out the Chicco Liteway.
Additionally, while both strollers are suitable for use with newborns, we think the Quest is more likely to last you longer, as it will accommodate a larger child.