The Kolcraft Contours Lite has an MSRP of $120 but is often available for about $75, making it a good stroller for light use or travel. It offers a five-point harness, swiveling child tray with cup holder, multi-position reclining seat, canopy, parent cup holder and storage basket. However, it can't be used for an infant because it neither reclines fully nor accepts car seats.
Features that the price doesn't reflect. The Contours Lite comes with all the safety features we like to see, including dual locking brakes and a child tray that acts as a bumper bar, which even some high-end strollers lack. In 2010 the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI) noted a possible safety issue with the frame hinge on this stroller -- the same problem that resulted in the recall in July 2012 of thousands of Kolcraft Options strollers. The Contours Lite wasn't part of that official recall, and Kolcraft customer service confirms that the hinge problem didn't, in fact, affect the Contours Lite.
So simple, but users have a few quibbles. Owners say the Kolcraft Contours Lite is a snap to fold and unfold, easy to get a child in and out of, and a cinch to push and maneuver. There are a few complaints of the hood sticking, and some users grumble that the wheels tend to stick or balk on rougher pavement, but those same reviewers say that for the price, those little issues are bearable. The seat is easy to clean and dries quickly.
Great for errands and quick trips, not heavy use. The biggest fans of this stroller seem to be suburban parents who need something light for quick trips, and lifting in and out of car trunks. Having said that, although the Contours Lite weighs just 13.7 pounds, most owners say it doesn't fold up particularly compact. It has a standing fold and a lock when folded, so it can be stored fairly easily. It takes two hands to fold, but unfolds with one hand when the lock isn't engaged.
The biggest drawback to this Kolcraft stroller is its weight ratings. It shouldn't be used with infants because it doesn't have a full recline; the minimum is probably 6 months. Its upper weight rating of 40 pounds is likely sufficient for most families, but goes against the trend of higher ratings. It's worth noting that although the weight rating on the website and the box is 40 pounds, the stroller's instruction manual says 35 pounds -- something that several reviewers express confusion over. Kolcraft customer service says the weight ratings have been revised upward but aren't yet reflected in the manual.
Some owners add that their kids find the stroller uncomfortable because the seat doesn't come fully upright, while others say the seat doesn't appear to bother their child. Everyone seems to agree that the Contours Lite is a very attractive stroller that doesn't look like it's at the lower end of the price point.
Standard warranty; queries answered. The Contours Lite comes with a one-year warranty. Customer service dealt with our questions promptly and politely, but didn't directly answer whether the stroller can be used for a newborn. The response should have been yes or no, but instead we got vague replies about not wanting to set limits.
The Kolcraft Contours Lite is an inexpensive stroller that offers good features for the price. It may not be the most durable, but if you don't expect it to last for years of heavy use, it should last as long as you need it to. We name it a runner-up because it doesn't take a car seat and because we couldn't get a definitive answer on whether it's suitable for a newborn.
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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. Both the Kolcraft brand in general and the Contours Lite are reviewed and rated against dozens of other popular strollers.
Review: Strollers, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition
Very good The Kolcraft Contours Lite is one of the best-selling strollers on Amazon.com, and its average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5 in more than 270 customer reviews reflects that. Owners love that it's light, folds easily, and is a breeze to push and maneuver. Some complain about durability, especially with the wheels, and even parents who love it say the seat doesn't sit fully upright. The consensus is that this inexpensive stroller works like one, but for the price it's a great option for travel and light use.
Review: Kolcraft Contours Lite Stroller, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Aug. 2012
3. Good Housekeeping
Very good The Kolcraft Contours Lite earns a B- in this test of 36 strollers by the engineers at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute (GHRI). It gets positive ratings for ease of use, but editors note a possible safety issue with the hood's frame hinge -- a problem that resulted in the recall in July 2012 of thousands of Kolcraft Options strollers. The Contours Lite was not part of that official recall.
Review: Contours Lite Stroller, Editors of Good Housekeeping, Nov. 2010
Very good The editors at ConsumerReports.org rate 35 full-featured strollers for ease of use, maneuverability and safety. While the testing is commendable, editors give virtually no written details about the strollers and the report is outdated, with several models having been discontinued. Durability and the reality of long-term, everyday use aren't taken into account.
Review: Traditional Stroller Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, As of Oct. 2010
Good The Kolcraft Contours Lite amasses about 75 owner reviews here, spread out among a couple of different models. Some of the reviews are a few years old, and are more likely to complain about durability than comments written within the past year.
Review: Kolcraft Contours Lite, Contributors to Buzzillions.com, As of Aug. 2012