Many parents say a cheap umbrella stroller is a necessity -- particularly for short trips or for times when you wouldn't want to leave your expensive stroller behind (like the stroller parking sections at amusement parks or the airplane gate check).
The First Years Ignite (*Est. $60) offers many of the same features of high-end umbrella strollers -- 50-pound weight rating, reclining seat, adjustable footrest and an adjustable canopy -- at a much lower price point. It is on the heavier side at 14.25 pounds, but is a great choice if you want stability and good performance on mixed terrain. The Ignite has larger 6-inch wheels with grooves for traction, and multiple parents say that their toddler can climb in and out of the stroller without tipping it. The Ignite is equipped with a five-point safety harness, locking rear wheels and front swivel wheels that lock in the forward-facing position. Taller parents say the handles are comfortable and they don't kick the back of the stroller. Unlike most umbrellas even in the high-end category, the Ignite comes with a parent console that holds a drink, keys and other small items.
Slightly lower in price than the Ignite but equally well reviewed, is the First Years Jet (*Est. $55). Weighing in at 11.5 pounds but still weight rated up to 50 pounds, the Jet has slightly smaller wheels and the front swivel wheels don't lock in the forward-facing position. While the Jet's seat reclines, it does not have an adjustable footrest. Some parents say that the five-point harness may be too easy for toddlers to open, but all reviews say that the Jet performs well even on mixed terrain, and they like the tall, cushioned handles. Like the Ignite, the Jet comes with the parent console included.
Another inexpensive umbrella stroller that draws praise for its features and capacity is the Delta LX (*Est. $80). Weighing in at 18 pounds, the Delta LX pushes the lightweight definition of an umbrella stroller, but folds down compactly. It has a good recline, but it's not full, so it's best for babies with full head control, about 3 to 6 months. It can be used for children up to 50 pounds and has a padded five-point harness, a padded seat and an adjustable footrest. The Delta LX also sports a decent canopy; comes with a cup holder; and is equipped with large, 7.5-inch rear wheels and 6.5-inch front wheels for better performance on mixed terrain.
The Chicco Ct0.6/Capri (*Est. $80) is a well-reviewed umbrella stroller, weighing in at just 11 pounds, minus the canopy. Parents say it's easy to steer, but many complain that the shorter handles cause them to hunch when pushing and they kick the back of the stroller. The Ct0.6/Capri seat partially reclines for babies from 6 months old and up, but it is only weight rated for up to 37 pounds, which will reduce its usable life.