Solid on safety. The Flite is equipped with a height-adjustable, padded five-point harness and a head cushion to support newborns. The rear wheels lock by foot, but you have to lock them independently. The stroller locks closed automatically when folded to prevent the stroller from unfolding accidentally. Parents say the Flite harness is easy to secure, but there are comments that its one-touch design may be too easy for toddlers to open.
Lightweight for travel without sacrificing stability. One of the first words that comes up in expert and user reviews when describing the Flite is sturdy, quickly followed by lightweight. Weighing in at 13 pounds, one might expect that the Flite would begin to wobble when challenged at its upper weight limits. In fact, expert reviewers who tested this out said that even fully loaded, the Flite maneuvers with stability and confidence on smooth surfaces.
One standout usability feature is the Flite's basket. While users say it is small, it is one of the only front-accessible baskets, which means parents can access the contents when the seat is reclined.
Users say that the Flite's recline system works smoothly, although one owner said it was very difficult to use. She contacted Bumbleride who immediately sent her a replacement.
Supports newborns. The Bumbleride Flite is one of a small handful of umbrella-style strollers that truly is newborn-friendly, with an infant support pillow and car seat adaptability; the adapter is included. The Flite has a relatively large seat that can accommodate growing toddlers up to 50 pounds, but it also has a height-adjustable, padded harness and more back support than most umbrella strollers. The footrest is fully adjustable.
The Flite's relatively large 5.5-inch wheels have front and rear suspension to manage bumps without too much jostling. Parents say the Flite does best on smooth surfaces, but one expert reviewer says hers did well on grass, although it's definitely not suited for terrain that's too rough. The front swivel wheels lock for easier steering. Experts and owners both agree that the handle bar height of approximately 40 inches is good for tall parents. While reviewers and users love that the Flite can accept a car seat, one parent points out that the stroller cannot be folded with the car seat adapter inside -- so using the car seat adapter adds a step when loading the stroller into the car. It does get high marks for its compact fold, and it fits in almost any trunk.
The Flite includes a cup holder, but some owners say it doesn't work well. Other optional accessories include a snack pack (*Est. $40) that attaches to the stroller almost like a bumper bar. It's a soft, zippered pouch with compartments for snacks and drinks, and a parent pack (*Est. $25) that provides dual cup holders and a secure zipper pocket that are both compatible with the Flite. Prior models came with a rain cover, but on new Flite models the PVC-free rain cover must be purchased separately (*Est. $30). A travel bag (*Est. $50) is also available.
The Flite has a UV-protected canopy, but most parents find that the canopy is too small to cover riders adequately.
Bumbleride listens to customers. According to BabyGizmo.com founder, Holly Schultz, when Bumbleride went back to the drawing board to create the 2011 Flite stroller, they addressed key user complaints by fixing the handle support brace, including an SPF 45 lining on the canopy, and updating the wheel system to improve maneuverability. The Flite carries a one-year warranty from date of purchase, but the customer representative was quick to add that Bumbleride is eager to keep all its models up and running even if the warranty is expired.
The Bumbleride Flite gets its best reviews from users who live in urban and suburban areas and don't need a stroller with multi-terrain capabilities. It's at the upper end of the price point for umbrella strollers, but will last for years, both in fit to child and durability.
1. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent The 2011 edition of "Baby Bargains," written by consumer advocates Denise and Alan Fields, covers a variety of stroller manufacturers. The authors provide overall ratings for brands and for individual models. Their reviews take into account parent feedback and personal research and experiences. In the latest edition, they discuss Bumbleride in detail and the Flite specifically.
Review: Chapter 9: Strollers, Diaper Bags, Carriers and Other To Go Gear, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition, 2011
Review Credibility: Excellent Hollie Schultz, founder and owner of BabyGizmo.com, gives the Bumbleride Flite a thorough review, saying it has nice features like a roomy seat for bigger children and a removable infant headrest for babies. She does say the buckle is too easy for a toddler to undo. She also notes the canopy is hard to push back, but says that may be an advantage in windier places. She says that, while it's not all-terrain, it does better than average on grass.
Review: Baby Gizmo Bumbleride Flite 2011 Stroller Review, Hollie Schultz, Sep. 1, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good The Bumbleride Flite was Babble.com's pick in the best umbrella stroller category. Editors say that the Flite offers the "best balance between minimalist style and functional features." Out of all the other strollers they tested, they say the Flite is one of the most maneuverable, one of the most comfortable, and it offers the best longevity.
Review: Babble Best 2011 Strollers, Editors of Babble.com, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good The Bumbleride Flite receives an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars in more than 20 customer reviews. Owners say it's a sturdier version of an umbrella stroller, easy to push and maneuver. There are complaints about the small basket, small canopy and two-hand fold.
Review: Bumbleride Flite Lightweight Compact Travel Stroller, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2012