Strollers are an invaluable baby item that is on every parent’s wishlist and baby registry. Having a stroller makes life with a baby just a bit easier, but that doesn’t mean you have the budget to spend on a fancy stroller. Some strollers are more than $500, but, rest assured, the best budget stroller is possible to find for every parent.
The Different Types of Strollers
Before we find the best budget stroller, we have to look at all the different types of strollers that you might want to find.
Travel System Strollers
Many parents like to pick travel systems because they come with an infant car seat, a car seat base for your car, and a stroller. It’s a budget-friendly choice because you do need both, so why not purchase them together? You know that the car seat works with the stroller, so you can move your sleeping baby from the car to the stroller without disturbing them.
|Comes with a car seat and stroller|
|Stroller works from infanthood to toddlers|
|Some lay flat and, later, fully-upright|
|Some are harder to maneuver|
Single Traditional Strollers
Many of these strollers work from birth until preschool years. These are the workhorses of the stroller world, easy to maneuver and durable through multiple children. Depending on the wheel design, traditional strollers work in many situations, but they do shine in the city or even terrain. Some work with infant car seats or recline fully, so double check the stroller specs first.
|Sturdy and durable|
|All-purpose stroller with plenty of features|
|Easy to maneuver|
|May work with a newborn, depending on the brand.|
|Heavier than an umbrella stroller|
|Not great for public transportation|
|Might not work for an infant under six months old.|
Umbrella and Lightweight Strollers
An umbrella, or lightweight, stroller is great for traveling or for quick trips wherever you need to go. Some umbrella strollers now offer car seat compatibility or sell separate adapters for certain brands. Umbrella strollers are typically easy to fold and store in your trunk, but some do lack features.
|Great for traveling|
|Fold easily and great for storage|
|Good for toddlers and older kids.|
|Smaller seats may not be comfortable for toddlers or older kids.|
|The suspension isn’t the best.|
|Not meant for babies under 6 months old.|
Frame strollers are meant just to hold the infant car seat in them. It doesn’t have an included seat, so it’s usage is rather limited. You will only be able to use it for the first six months, or however long you decide to keep your baby in an infant car seat. Even if you do use an infant car seat for the first year (which is fine so long as your baby doesn’t surpass the weight and height restrictions), your baby is capable of sitting in a traditional stroller by six months.
|Lets baby stays sleeping in the car seat while you go about your business.|
|Many have cup holders, storage baskets, and parent organizers.|
|Many only take certain brands of infant car seats.|
|Only lasts for as long as you use an infant car seat.|
If you are a dedicated jogger or runner, a jogging stroller (single or double) is a good choice because it lets you continue your passion with your baby. Jogging strollers have three wheels with a fixed, single, front wheel. Most jogging strollers have a hand brake as well as a foot-operated parking brake. Many designs now have higher and longer handlebars to stop runners from bumping into the frame, and they should have a tethered strap to stop the stroller from taking off.
|Can be used for jogging|
|Great on all terrains|
|Air-cushioned tires make a comfortable ride|
|Most jogging strollers have higher weight limits.|
|Fixed wheels can make maneuvering in everyday situations harder.|
|Might be too large for your trunk|
|You’ll need to refill the tires with air.|
Double Side-by-Side Strollers
Whether you have twins or two kids with a close age gap, a side-by-side is one of the two styles of double strollers. This style has two seats attached to the frame and they have features that are similar to single-passenger models.
Side-by-side models are easy to maneuver and often feature a great storage basket underneath the seats. Many of them have fully reclining seats, so you can use them from infants up to the maximum weight limit.
Two things to consider with this style is that it might be too wide to fit into your vehicle’s trunk comfortably and it might be too wide to fit through doorways.
|Goes around turns and corners easily|
|Some do accept at least one infant car seat.|
|Most have large storage baskets for parents.|
|Comfortable for baby|
|Good choice for twins or 2 kids with age gaps.|
|Might take more too much space in your trunk.|
|Some don’t take any infant car seats.|
|Might not fit through the doorway.|
Double Tandem Strollers
Another choice for double strollers is the tandem stroller, which is when one of the children sits behind the other one. That means that the stroller is the same width as a single stroller, but tandem strollers are longer.
One thing that parents don’t like is that, if the front seat reclines, the rear seat doesn’t have as much legroom. Some brands let you switch the seats so that they face each other, while others have a sort-of stadium design that lets the child in the rear see over the one in the front. You can even find some tandem strollers that hold triplets – wow!
|Fits through standard doorways|
|Most accept infant car seats|
|Takes up almost the same amount of space as a single stroller|
|Decent storage basket sizes|
|Great for twins or 2 kids with age gaps.|
|Going over curbs or corners can be hard.|
|Heavier than single strollers|
|Limited legroom for the rear seat|
The Best Budget Strollers
The Safety 1st Smooth Ride makes taking your baby out on the town a lot easier, and there is no reason to blow the budget. Safety 1st offers everything you can want for a price you can afford.
A few key facts to know about the Smooth Ride include:
- The car seat rear faces from 4-35lbs, and it features side impact protection.
- There are 4 harness heights to accommodate your growing baby.
- Safety standards meet and exceed Federal and ASTM standards, as well as the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
The infant car seat offers extra newborn support, and it’s one of the few car seats that is certified for babies as small as 4lbs. Safety 1st included the base for your vehicle. Unlike other infant car seats, this one is lightweight and easy to carry.
We like that the wheels make this stroller quite maneuverable, and it handles corners well. The brake is flip-flop friendly, perfect for summertime and vacations.
The Smooth Ride has plenty of storage, including an extra-large basket, a child tray, and a parent console with two cup holders. You need those cup holders! Safety 1st added peek-a-boo windows that you let keep an eye on your baby through the console. The canopy has a flip-out visor that gives more protection over your baby.
When you’re done for the day, all you have to do is lift up on the stroller and it folds down. That’s it! It’s so easy.
|Large storage basket|
|Easy to fold and unfold|
|Easy to clean fabric|
|The car seat is a narrower than other models.|
|Latches to place into travel system sometimes don’t fully latch. Double check!|
|The seat doesn’t recline fully.|
If you just need a stroller without a car seat, the Graco Verb is a loved choice. The great thing about the Verb is it accepts all Graco Click Connect infant car seats with a secure attachment. So, you can create your own travel system if you want.
One noticeable difference with the Graco Verb and other car seats is that Graco added some great suspension. The ride is smooth and enjoyable, for both the baby and parent. It handles different terrains. The front wheels swivel for maneuverability, but they can lock for more control and stability when you’re on uneven terrain.
A few other things to know about the Graco Verb include:
- The stroller weighs 20 lbs.
- The maximum weight limit is 50 lbs.
- One folded, the Verb is self-standing and comes with a carrying strap for easy portability.
Graco added convenience features that parents like, such as a parent’s tray and a snack tray for the child. Each tray has a cup holder. There is a large storage basket under the seat.
Don’t forget that you can fold the stroller with one hand, a feature everyone likes. It’s self-standing once folded and has a carrying strap. Considering the stroller weighs less than 20 lbs, it’s not hard to lift the stroller into the trunk of your car.
|Easy to push and maneuver|
|Offers cup holders and trays for child and parent.|
|Easy to put together|
|Folding the stroller is easy|
|Handles uneven terrain decently|
|Not the biggest basket.|
|The canopy doesn’t come down far enough.|
|The seat doesn’t recline fully|
Are you headed on vacation or want a stroller for your toddler? The Summer Infant 3D is a best-selling choice, and parents love it! It’s a durable stroller with a lightweight, aluminum frame, which is why it’s one of the lightest umbrella strollers on the market.
A few things to know about the Summer Infant 3D include:
- The all-aluminum frame makes it lightweight, weighing only 13lbs.
- Folding the stroller is easy, taking only 3 steps. You have to lift the rear handle, push a lever with your foot, and fold down. Pretty easy!
- It comes with an auto-lock once folded and a carrying strap for easy storage.
- The maximum weight of the child is 50 lbs and height is 43 inches.
Parents and children alike love the open design, and it’s one of the only umbrella strollers that has an almost flat recline. It’s perfect for napping or on-the-go diaper changes – we’ve all been there before! For safety, Summer Infant added a 5-point safety harness that has three height adjustments as your baby grows.
When compared to other umbrella strollers, the Summer Infant has an extra-large storage basket that’s perfect for your diaper bag or shopping bags. It also has a rear storage pocket for parents to hold keys and cell phones. Plus, they added a cup holder, did we just fall in love with this lightweight stroller?
Don’t forget the large, adjustable canopy covers most of your baby. It also has a pop-out sun visor for additional protection on sunny days.
While Summer Infant did add anti-shock front wheels and lockable rear wheels, this stroller is best for even terrain. It won’t handle gravel or mud very well!
|Full recline is great for naps.|
|Easy to carry and store|
|A nice footrest|
|Easy to push and maneuver|
|No covers on wheels so toddlers can touch them with their feet|
|Cup holders aren’t useful – too skinny for most things.|
|No peek-a-boo window in canopy|
A frame stroller is a great choice for the first few months, but you don’t want to spend a bundle on a stroller you won’t use for too long. The Snap N Go accepts one infant car seat at a time, letting you transfer your sleeping baby from the car to the stroller without disturbing them.
The Snap N Go accepts:
- Most Baby Trend infant car seats
- Chicco KeyFit 30
- Combi Shuttle 33
- Evenflo Embrace
- Graco Snugride 22 & 35
- Graco Safe Seat 32
- Maxi-Cosi Mico
- Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 30
- Safety 1st on Board 35
It comes with 2 cup holders for convenience, along with a decent sized storage basket that drops down under the infant car seat. Baby Trend made the frame stroller quite lightweight, at 14lbs, so you can fold it compactly and fit it into your vehicle’s trunk.
Some of the safety features you’ll find include brakes for stability and adjustment straps for the carriage frame that goes under the car seat. The straps help to cradle the car seat, and a strap goes over the car seat, connecting them together. Baby Trend has a 45lbs weight limit.
|Handles different terrains well.|
|Folds up easily|
|Compact fold for small trunks|
|Large storage basket|
|The buckle can be difficult at times.|
|It can be hard to access the basket with a car seat attached.|
Jogging strollers can cost an arm and a leg, but the Baby Trend Expedition makes a jogging stroller attainable for everyone. You can use the stroller from birth up to 50lbs, which is awesome! The stroller does take a Baby Trend car seat from 5-30lbs, but the car seat is sold separately.
The Expedition features things that every parent and jogger wants to have. A few things to notice is:
- It has a parent tray with 2 cup holders.
- The front wheel can swivel for easy maneuvering and lock when you go jogging.
- The seat reclines and features plush padding for comfort.
Parents like the large canopy and storage basket. It does have a sun visor, but the canopy isn’t nearly large enough to cover your entire child. However, it does move downwards, so you can move the canopy where you need it.
The basket is large and able to fit everything you need. You can easily access the basket, even when your baby is laying back.
Your baby will also have a snack tray with a cup holder that swings open. Baby Trend added a tether for your wrist when you’re jogging. That prevents the stroller from escaping you! Overall, the Expedition has all of the necessary features, plus a few extras, that make it a bargain jogging stroller. You can get your exercise on without leaving your baby.
|Easy to push and maneuver|
|Decent sized storage basket|
|Large parent tray and child tray with cup holders|
|Easy to put together|
|It doesn’t fold one-handed|
|Two-foot locks instead of one that does both.|
|Straps don’t have covers.|
Kolcraft Cloud Plus is a great double stroller for busy families. It has all of the features that parents want to have in a double side-by-side stroller at a fraction of the price.
A few things you should know about the Kolcraft Cloud Plus include:
- Lightweight design that weighs only 23lbs.
- JPMA certified
- Comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.
- 40lb recommended weight limit per seat
Kolcraft added child and parent trays with cup holders. The parent tray has two cup holders and space to put your cell phone and car keys. The child trays are removable with dual cup and juice box holder. You can remove them to clean them.
There are two storage baskets, one under each seat, that gives you plenty of space to hold your diaper bag and other essentials. Moms love the extended canopy with three tiers that cover most of your baby. The canopies also have peek-a-boo windows so that you can see your baby.
You’ll love the dynamic front wheel suspension that creates a smooth ride for baby and for you as well. Pushing the stroller is very easy! Once folded, it stands on its own, and it folds compactly for a double stroller.
|Easy to maneuver|
|Trays are removable|
|Storage baskets are nicely sized|
|Easy to fold and open|
|Cup holders are great additions|
|Wide – may not fit through doorways|
|Might be too big for your trunk.|
The last stroller on our list in the Graco DuoGlider which is a tandem stroller ideal for twins or two kids of different ages. The DuoGlider accepts two Graco SnugRide Click Connect infant car seats, so you can use with two infants at the same time!
A few other things to note about the Graco DuoGlider include:
- The maximum weight limit is 40lbs per seat.
- It features a one hand, standing fold so you don’t have to bend over.
- Both seats recline independently.
- Each seat has a canopy and foot rests.
- Features stadium-style seating, so the child in the rear is slightly raised up for a better view.
Graco added all of the necessary and desired features to the DuoGlider. The front wheels swivel for maneuverability, which is important. Tandem strollers are notoriously difficult to navigate around curbs and corers, so the swivel comes in handy. Then, if you’re on uneven terrain, you can lock the wheels for sturdiness.
Under the seats, you’ll find a drop-down storage basket that lets you reach in without disturbing your child. Each child has a reclining seat, a child’s tray that swings up and down, a footrest, and a rotating canopy.
Make sure you note that the stroller does weigh around 30 lbs and its longer than your average stroller. Make sure you can lift it up and that it’ll fit into your trunk.
|Accepts Graco Click Connect infant car seats|
|Deep reclines for both sides|
|Each child has a tray and an individual tray.|
|Might be too long for your trunk.|
|Basket can be blocked if the seat is fully reclined.|
Picking the Best Budget Stroller
Strollers can be super expensive, but that doesn’t mean you have to go broke buying a stroller. Strollers come i all budget ranges, and these 7 picks for the best budget stroller will give you all the features you can want and more.
Do you have a favorite budget stroller? Let us know in the comments!