The Graco LiteRider is a lightweight, full-featured stroller that comes in several different models. Some have five-point harnesses; some have only three-point harnesses. It's sold as both a single stroller and a travel system with the Graco SnugRide infant car seat and stay-in-car base. Features vary with the price point, but not by much. In general, the single strollers (sold without the car seat) all have the same attributes.
Only a three-point harness if it isn't a travel system. The LiteRider single stroller has only a three-point harness; according to the Graco website, it seems a five-point harness comes only on the travel system version of the stroller. We contacted the manufacturer, but couldn't get a definitive answer on exactly which models have the five-point harness. Several owners complain that they saw the LiteRider in stores with a five-point harness, but when they ordered it their model had only a three-point harness, which we don't recommend. The rear brakes lock individually.
Folding (as well as everything else) is a breeze. Owners say this stroller is very easy to assemble, use and fold. However, if you use the one-handed folding method, the baby tray smashes to the ground and can be damaged over time. BabyGizmo.com founder Hollie Schultz demonstrates this in a video, as well as a way to fold the stroller to prevent that from happening.
The LiteRider snaps in the car seat easily and is a cinch to clean. Experts and owners say it pushes best on smooth surfaces.
Better for a suburban lifestyle. A number of reviewers call this a great stroller for the parent who uses the car a lot and has a baby in a car seat. Smaller moms, especially, like its light weight for hefting into car trunks. It's not the smallest fold, but not the biggest, either. It has a standing fold and automatic lock.
Parents who walk quite a bit say this is a better stroller for lighter use -- such as leaving at Grandma's for visits -- because it doesn't seem durable and doesn't push particularly well.
Although the LiteRider is rated for children up to 40 pounds, its two-position recline, which doesn't include a full recline, isn't well suited for newborns. A number of parents complain about this, so it's probably better for babies 6 months and older unless you use a car seat. A spokesperson for Graco says the stroller is suitable from birth, but the American Academy of Pediatrics says a newborn should be able to recline fully until about 3 to 6 months old.
Unlike many strollers today, the LiteRider includes parent and baby trays, complete with cup holders, which parents really appreciate. However, reviewers consistently point out that the parent tray is held on by only two screws and flips up easily. The baby tray is removable to make getting baby in and out of the stroller easier, but several owners say it's a hassle to remove. Because you have to set it aside and then put it back on, it's easier to just wiggle the baby out from under the tray. The canopy is small and users say it barely covers the child's face, but with the car seat installed the two canopies provide complete coverage.
Standard warranty, approachable company. The Graco LiteRider comes with a standard one-year limited warranty, but customer service is responsive and helpful.
The Graco LiteRider is a basic stroller without bells and whistles -- perfect for those who don't want to shell out a lot of money. It won't win any beauty contests, but has good features for the price: cup holders, trays and an easy fold. The drawback is the three-point harness issue: It's important for parents to have the safety and security of a shoulder harness for squirmy toddlers.
1. Baby Bargains
Excellent "Baby Bargains" is a popular and well-organized guide to baby-related products. Authors Denise and Alan Fields conduct hands-on testing as well as parent, manufacturer and retailer interviews. Their section on strollers is detailed and offers a wealth of useful information about both the Graco brand in general and their lightweight strollers in particular.
Review: Strollers, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition
Excellent Schultz tests the LiteRider with a three-point harness. She says it's a good basic stroller, but you get what you pay for. It has a short seat back and only a partial recline, but does come with parent and child trays and cup holders.
Review: Graco LiteRider Stroller Review, Hollie Schultz, Feb. 7, 2011
Very good In more than 100 reviews, the Graco LiteRider earns 4.4 stars out of 5 -- a higher rating than a lot of fancier strollers. However, the low price seems to be its most well-liked feature. The stroller also earns praise for its light weight and easy fold, but even happy customers say the canopy is too small and the snack tray smacks the ground if you fold the stroller with one hand. The general consensus is that this is a great stroller to leave at Grandma's or to run errands in the car with.
Review: Graco LiteRider Stroller, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Aug. 2012
Very good Here the Graco LiteRider earns a perfect score of 5 stars out of 5 in 20 reviews. Owners like the value for the price, and the built-in cup holders and trays. They also praise the stroller's compatibility with Graco car seats. Several users say the tray hits the ground when the stroller is folded, a common complaint.
Review: Graco LiteRider Stroller, Contributors to Target.com, As of Aug. 2012
Good The Graco LiteRider makes this recent roundup of the top six strollers under $100, most of which are umbrella models. The review isn't comparative, but more a listing of features with no mention of how selections were made.
Review: Top Strollers Under $100, Christina Holt, Aug. 6, 2012