Big kids get tired too, but are there strollers that will support their weight?
I will be totally honest- I have pushed my preschooler around in a smaller stroller that was on the verge of completely breaking. There are always those times when your bigger kid just needs a break from walking. And most of the traditional strollers, both lightweight and jogger alike, aren’t up to the task. After all, there’s a big difference between a 25 pound toddler and a 55 pound kindergartner.
So if you want to make a smart purchase, get yourself a stroller with a high weight limit. You’ll get more years of use out of it, and it will save your aching muscles, not to mention your parental sanity. Here are my 3 favorite picks for the best strollers for 3 year olds, 4 year olds, and 5 year olds. Please note, my picks are based on size limits, so feel free to mix and match any of the strollers with any of the ages!
Best Stroller for 3 Year Olds
Baby Trend Range Jogging Stroller Top Pick
This jogging stroller is the cheapest on the list, which says a lot, since it’s got such a large weight limit and a lot of great qualities. Plus, it’s from a reliable baby gear manufacturer.
3 year olds range in weight from 25 lbs at the 5th percentile to 39 lbs at the 95th percentile, with the 50th being around 32 lbs. There are many strollers that accommodate that weight range. The 50th percentile for 2 year olds is around 28 lbs. I point this out because you can get by with the same stroller from a weight perspective for 2, 3 and 4 year olds.
Before I give you all the details of my top pick for 3 years olds here are some additional recommendations:
The best lightweight or umbrella stroller for 3 year olds is the Summer Infant 3D Lite Convenience stroller. It weighs only 15 lbs and accommodates kids up to 50 lbs. It is extremely well rated and is very inexpensive compared to other options.
Another excellent travel and lightweight stroller for 2 and 3 year olds is the Zoe XL1. The amazing thing about this stroller is that it is less than 10 lbs! That is an amazing benefit when you are pushing it around every day. The price is higher than the 3D Lite, but the quality and weight may well make up for it.
The Range Jogging Stroller is designed to tackle any terrain. It has lightweight and high-impact composite wheels. The front wheel is lockable for stability if you want to jog, or unlocked for better maneuvering. The lightweight steel frame holds the padded and reclinable seat with 5 point safety harness. The seat has a child tray that not only holds snacks and two drinks, but gives the option of using the stroller as part of a travel system with a compatible car seat. The seat is covered by a small sun canopy.
Two big safety features include the footrest reflectors for low light low visibility and the tether strap for jogging. This stroller folds up considerably flat, although it still requires a lot of trunk space and a lot of muscle (it weighs 27 pounds alone!). It has a trigger fold that makes folding the seat quick and effortless.
For the parents, it has a parent tray that includes two cup holders and a little covered compartment. It also has an extra wide and ergonomically shaped handle for pushing, and a very large storage basket underneath. Overall, the price tag is incredibly small for a great, but heavy and bulkier stroller.
Why It’s Good for Age 3
This seat has some qualities that I like for a 3 Year Old. However, after that age, this stroller starts getting a bit tricky due to it’s smaller weight limit and lack of leg rest.
- Great wheels. When my son was 3, he wanted to go EVERYWHERE with me- on runs, to the store, to the festivals, around the block. Having wheels that are up to the task are a must. These wheels last a long time and you don’t have to worry about putting air in them. The suspension is great and makes gravel paths unnoticeable to the passenger. I don’t like how the front wheel pulls to one side when locked, so I would lock it for running only.
- Child tray. 3 year olds are constantly needing a snack or a drink. And then they need somewhere to put it when they only eat half. This tray is good sized and has 2 drink holders. It can be used for toys, food, and anything else your child wants near them.
- Storage basket. A fully-stocked diaper bag is still required for most outings at age 3. This stroller can handle all the gear because it has a really good sized storage basket. You can easily fit a small diaper bag, a water bottle, some snacks, and a toy or two. And trust me, your 3 year old will insist on bringing all of those things with you when you leave the house.
Best Stroller for 4 Year Olds
This stroller is the top of the line from a very prestigious stroller company. It’s the best they offer. The price tag is very large, but all aspects of this stroller are totally wonderful!
4 year olds range from 28 to 44 lbs with an average of 36 lbs. So you can use any of the many strollers rated up to 50 lbs.
If you are looking for a lightweight travel or umbrella stroller for 4 year olds, the same recommendations I made for 3 year olds apply:
The best low-cost, lightweight stroller is the 3D Lite Convenience stroller. A higher cost but even lower weight stroller (at only 10 lbs) is the Zoe XL1. Both of these have excellent quality ratings and customer reviews.
The Maclaren Techno XLR has a lot of features, so I’ll give a basic break down of them, and then dive deeper into my favorite ones later. To begin with, this is an umbrella stroller, but it’s so big! It has a very large, wide seat with extendable leg rest. The big seat can be reclined to 4 different positions, including all the way flat, with only one hand.
It has a 5 point safety harness with a two finger release system for safety. The seat is machine washable, too! There is a Newborn Safety System for the younger years, with a cap on top and a mesh net on the bottom to keep baby safely in place when reclined flat.
The aluminum frame makes for a sturdy, but lightweight stroller. It weighs only 17.2 pounds (without any extras attached), but can support a child up to 65 pounds. It folds up nearly flat and is easy to move around. The four wheel suspension makes for smooth steering, even with a heavy load.
Parent features include a carry handle on the side of the frame, a small storage basket underneath, and a smaller, single storage pocket on the back of the fabric canopy. The handles can extend upward for taller parents. Bonuses include the rain cover, the head hugger and shoulder pads for babies, and the winter boot. Other than the lack of storage, the huge price tag is the only downside.
Why It’s Good for Age 4
So what makes it particularly good for a preschool-aged kid? Here are my favorite parts:
- Canopy. Kids at this age are very good complainers. So if you don’t want to hear whining about how the sun is on them or how they are getting rained on, you just extend this very large canopy with built-in visor. It’s waterproof and UPF 50+ and will cover them completely. Extra: you can watch them through the peek-a-boo window on top.
- Machine washable seat. Kids at this age are getting better, but they can still make a wicked mess. You can take out the entire seat and wash it, along with the straps. Everything else is plastic or metal and can be wiped down. And if the seat gets dirty or stained beyond repair, you can replace it altogether! Just buy a new seat from the company.
- Extendable leg rest. Kids have long legs at age 4. And the worst part of a regular stroller is that it allows their legs to drag on the ground. But not with this stroller. You can kick up the leg rest to keep their legs forward and out instead of down.
- Safety harness. My older kid doesn’t like to be buckled in, but sometimes it’s necessary for keeping him in one spot! I like this safety harness because he can easily put the buckles into place by himself if my hands are full. But he can’t get himself out yet. This has saved me from chasing him down quite a few times!
- Weight limit. You can fit a kid up to 65 pounds in the Techno XLR. I like that because I have kids that are big for their age. I can actually use this stroller well into their childhood because of the generous weight limit. This stroller can comfortably fit a 4 year old and still push around smoothly.
Best Stroller for 5 Year Olds
I’ll be honest: this is my favorite stroller on the list. This jogging stroller can honestly be used from birth (with the car seat adapter) until your kid can’t physically fit, which will likely be in early elementary school age. It’s not terribly expensive, and it will do everything you need it to do.
Before I get into the details of the Joovy Zoom, here are a few additional options for special situations:
The best stroller for 5-year-olds that are on the big side is the BOB Revolution Flex stroller that handles kids up to 75 lbs. It is one of the pricier strollers on the market but it has super high quality and is a workhorse that will never die. This stroller is the only one mentioned in this review that can handle even the bigger 6-year-olds.
The best lightweight, umbrella or travel stroller for 5-year-olds is the Britax B-Mobile stroller. It is physically roomier than most of the lightweight strollers, has the Britax quality and is much less expensive than many of the options. It is not a jogging stroller but is a little heavier and sturdier than other non-jogging, lightweight strollers.
The Zoom 360 Ultralight is a fantastically large, yet lightweight jogging stroller. The graphite-colored aircraft aluminum frame allows for sturdy construction without a lot of weight. The stroller features 16 inch tires on the back and a lockable 12 inch swivel tire on the front. Like all jogging strollers with a swivel wheel, it pulls to one side when locked. Don’t worry- a tire pump is included for those unexpected flats! Shock-absorbing suspension, a straight rear axle and one-step dual-sided parking brake completes the tire system.
The seat itself rides high on the stroller to allow extra leg room. It’s got 22 inches of head space from seat to top and holds a kid up to 75 pounds. Older kids can ride comfy, although their head may begin to graze the canopy at some point. The seat can begin to be used at 3 months, unless you have a car seat adapter (sold separately), in which case the stroller can become a travel system for newborns. The seat has a large sun canopy with a peek-a-boo window and some mesh inner side pockets for snacks and treasures. A 5 point safety harness keeps kids safe.
For the parents, there is a parent organizer by the handlebars. It’s can hold two drinks and your keys and phone in a small zippered pocket. There is a small storage basket underneath for carrying everything else. The unit easily folds up to about 19 inches high by 25 inches deep by 34 inches long and locks into the folded position. Weighing in at almost 26 pounds, it is a force to be reckoned with when folding and storing. The price tag is reasonable for a stroller with so many years of potential use.
Why It’s Good for Age 5
Big kids still need rides, too. But they don’t need as much storage or extras. Here’s what they do need:
- High riding seat. This is a good feature for two reasons. First, being up high means more legroom and less feet dragging, which is important as your kiddo gets taller and taller. Second, it makes them feel like they haven’t been banished to the baby stroller seat that’s dragging the ground. They can see everything and be a part of it.
- Suspension system. Those big tires mean that you can take your kiddo anywhere, on any surface, and still be able to push them. This stroller will give even the biggest of big kids a smooth ride, and parents won’t have to huff and puff to muscle along their big kid stroller. And yay for that included tire pump!
- No snack tray. Your 5-year-old is a big kid now, and they want to feel like it. I think that the lack of a snack tray is good because it allows them to hold their own items in the mesh pockets and be in charge of them themselves. They don’t want to feel like they’re sitting in a high chair, and in this stroller, they won’t.