I have tried countless strollers over the course of nine years and four children. I understand how difficult finding a stroller that works well can be.
Now it’s your turn. Your baby has grown. He’s 12 months old now. He’s outgrown his infant car seat and you no longer need that giant stroller that you’ve been hauling around. You’re looking for something lighter, easier to push and turn, and something that you can fit easily into your trunk. But you don’t want an umbrella stroller that you’ll be kicking with every step, so you are looking into the Chicco Liteway.
But how does the Chicco Liteway Stroller stack up to its reviews? Here’s the in-depth breakdown of this stroller.
Important Benefits of the Chicco Liteway Stroller
The Chicco Liteway Stroller is very simple to assemble right out of the box. The front two wheels merely pop into the sockets. You click the cupholder where it goes, and the canopy easily snaps into place. It’s quick, effortless, and ready to roll in no time flat!
This best lightweight stroller is quite light comparably due to its aluminum frame. Some people do argue that it is heavier than they expect, being a bit heavier than the traditional umbrella stroller, but the Chicco Liteway Stroller is so much more than the ordinary umbrella stroller, as it includes a much sturdier basket and larger wheels. Therefore, the extra five pounds is easily understood and worth it to me. Whether it’s worth it to you or not, you can be the judge.
Easily Folded, Toted, and Stored
This stroller folds up for compact storage with the push of a lever. Some people do have a little difficult pushing the lever up with their foot if they are wearing sandals rather than closed-toe shoes. The pedal is created to need a little force behind it before the stroller folds up so that there is no danger of it collapsing accidentally while you are pushing it. Therefore, it can hurt the top of an unprotected foot. In this case, use your hand to pull up on the lever to collapse the stroller rather than using your foot.
The Chicco Liteway has a storage latch that fastens automatically. It also has a convenient carry handle, making this lightweight stroller even easier to tote. Cheaper umbrella strollers have plastic latches that stretch and release themselves (if you can get them to line up and latch) and typically do not have a carry handle. This can make cheaper models cumbersome and awkward to carry.
This stroller is known to be tricky to get opened and closed at first. However, once it is broken in, the lever and latch work wonderfully and are very simple to operate. Some of this may be due to the newness of the product, and some of it may be due to the parent learning how to use a new product. But you may not have any difficulty at all!
The size of the Chicco Liteway Stroller’s wheels make it easy to push and turn regardless of where you want to “drive.” The terrain doesn’t matter much. Grass, gravel, cement, or brick, the choice is up to you! Though grass does make the going a little rough, it’s completely doable.
Adjustable to Four Positions
The Chicco Liteway also adjusts from reclining for tired infants to fulling sitting up for engaged toddlers. Though the stroller does not lay completely flat, it does recline far enough for your toddler or baby to be plenty comfortable to take a long nap during your stroll. To make things better, the backrest is so easily adjusted to any one of these four positions that it can be done with one hand!
Whereas many parents end up using the partially collapsed canopy to hold their water bottle when pushing many of the cheaper umbrella strollers it is not necessary with this stroller. The Chicco Liteway is complete with a convenient cupholder large enough and deep enough to safely hold water bottles and many travel cups.
The Liteway stroller was designed to last several years, and it most certainly does. This stroller has left a long trail of happy parents that gladly recommend this stroller to others. Some have even purchased a second one after their first one was through!
The thing that usually does this stroller in is the wheels. It seems that the front wheels get to a place where they either start refusing to turn or start turning in the wrong direction and need to be manually redirected. Strollers that do this could be defective, or it could be a flaw in the design.
One-Foot Brake System
Like many other strollers, this one also has a brake system. It has a brake on both wheels. Each brake locks easily with one foot.
Small Storage Basket
Many parents love the fact that the Chicco Liteway Stroller has a sturdy basket, but the size could certainly do with a slight upgrade. This, however, is open to debate depending on your needs.
On the plus side, the basket does keep things handy. One the other hand, you may not be able to get everything that you want in the basket. You may not be able to fit both a large diaper bag and a purse. But do you really need to pack the kitchen sink for a walk through the park or a stroll around the mall? I’ll leave the answer to this debate in your capable hands.
Concerns About the Chicco Liteway Stroller
Though having a five-point harness in a stroller is a marvelous idea, this harness is very difficult to strap a baby or toddler into if he is squirmy or doesn’t want in the stroller. This problem is caused by the fact that the shoulder straps are not connected to the harness at the waist. Instead of having to battle your toddler while you snap two buckles, you have to get four buckles into place.
Now, this isn’t typically a problem if your baby or toddler is happy to be buckled in and not a jumping bean.
A way to combat this is to have your toddler help you buckle himself in by letting him hold the buckles while you snap them. Toddlers love to feel big, and they love to help Mommy and Daddy.
Shoulder Pad Defect
Though the shoulder pads are an asset to the stroller, making it seem more comfortable for the baby or toddler, they, unfortunately, don’t stay put very well. They fall off easily. You might be better off just removing them altogether.
Though the canopy on the Chicco Liteway Stroller has a convenient peek-a-boo window for easy view of your baby or toddler, it doesn’t seem to offer much as far as shade goes. Furthermore, when the back is reclined, the canopy moves back, offering even less shade. If it were a little longer, it would offer more shade.
Some parents might find their own solution to the lack of shade when her baby was reclined. I’ve seen parents that will put a blanket over the stroller. I don’t suggest this, however, as putting a blanket over your child on a hot day can raise the temperature inside the stroller considerably, just as it does inside an infant seat.
Canopy Detaches Too Easily
The fact that the canopy comes off can be an asset if you desire to remove it. However, it seems to detach too easily. This is likely a matter for each individual stroller, but some strollers have a canopy that falls off with each folding, while other stay put all the time.
Then there’s the issue of your child helping you to detach the canopy. A curious toddler could certainly reach and remove the canopy. This, of course, may not be a problem depending on the curiosity of your child, his stage of exploration into cause and effect, and his personality.
Weight Limit Too Low?
The last con that I find with the Liteway Stroller is that it only accommodates children from 6 months old up to 40 pounds. But since this stroller is on the lower end of the price range when it comes to strollers of this type and quality, the fact that you’ll need another stroller once your child outgrows this one isn’t as much of a problem as it could be.
The Chicco Liteway Stroller vs the Summer Infant 3D Light
From the surface, the Summer Infant 3D Light and Chicco Liteway Stroller are pretty comparable. They both have bottom storage, reclining features, and umbrella-style handles. They both also have the downfall of the canopy failing to adequately block the sun. However, there are also several differences.
Weighing in at 5 pounds less than the Lightway, the 3D Light can accommodate 10 pounds more and is cheaper by $10.
It has double wheels on both the front and back, whereas the Lightway only has the double wheels on the back. While this does make it appear more clunky, it also makes for a smooth ride.
The good news is that it has a parent cup holder. The bad news? The cupholder tends to flip over, spilling the water bottles and beverages onto the ground.
While the Liteway is sturdy enough to support a purse being hung on the handles, the Summer Infant 3D Light tips over backward if anything is hung on the handle because it is so lightweight.
The Summer Infant 3D Light is not as simple to close as the Liteway. There are 2 levers to pop rather than 1. The second lever is really difficult to step on, so you must use your hand to engage it.
The 3D Light isn’t quite as simple to assemble. It’s a common mistake to put at least one wheel on backward and then complain because 1 wheel does not touch the ground. At this point, you cannot remove the wheel to readjust it, so you are then stuck with a problematic stroller.
As far as height goes, though the stroller is high enough for tall people to push without slumping, they will hit their feet on the wheels if they are not careful.
The footrest does not seem to be as sturdy as the Chicco Liteway’s. It is prone to warping quickly with heavy use.
Whereas the Liteway has a great brake system, the Summer Infant 3D Light has complaints against it. The brakes can be quite difficult to unlock. You may have to unlock them with your hands if you are not wearing shoes with tough enough toes to avoid hurting your foot.
Lastly, the 3D Light can be difficult to open. However, there is a secret to opening the stroller that will save you a lot of hassle. Rather than pushing down on the lever with your foot to open it, gently pull up on the stroller handles. This effectively spreads the wheels apart, opening the stroller, without putting weight on the wheels that are trying to move outward. Once the wheels are spread, then step on the lever to lock the stroller into place.
The Chicco Liteway Stroller vs Safety 1st Step Lite Compact Stroller
Both strollers have a parent cupholder and a storage compartment. The Safety 1st Step Lite Compact Stroller reclines just as the Chicco Liteway Stroller does, and both are simple to assemble, but this is where the similarities stop.
The Safety 1st Step Lite is cheaper by $10. It also accommodates 50 pounds rather than the 40 that the Chicco Liteway carries.
The wheels on the Safety 1st are made of rubber, offering a better grip than the plastic-made wheels on the Liteway. The wheels on the front of the Safety 1st also have suspension, which gives your child a smoother ride. Additionally, the Safety 1st’s wheels are double wheels on both the front and back.
The Safety 1st has a larger storage compartment than the Liteway. The Safety 1st’s compartment claims to be able to fit a full-size diaper bag.
In addition to the storage compartment, the Safety 1st also has a convenient pocket on the back that’s large enough to fit a cellphone and other necessities.
The Safety 1st Step Lite is 1 pound heavier than the Chicco Liteway Stroller. I know that it doesn’t seem that 1 pound would make much of a difference, but it really does when you’re carrying a stroller for any length of time.
Although the large cupholder on the Safety 1st is a plus, it does fall out every time the stroller is closed up. Though this is a minor thing, it can be frustrating.
Whereas the Liteway has the automatic storage latch, the Safety 1st has a simple clip on the side of the stroller. Though the clip does keep the stroller closed, it makes opening and closing it difficult.
The front tires seem to catch on the foot bar if your child pushes down on it with his feet. It causes the tires to have difficulty turning, making the stroller hard to push.
Lastly, the crotch strap cannot be adjusted to fit the size of your child.
FAQs for the Chicco Liteway
How do I care for my Chicco Liteway Stroller?
Some of the fabrics on the Liteway are removable. There are two ways you can clean these. You can either hand wash this material in cold water or wash it in your washing machine on the delicate cycle. Either way, use a mild detergent and do NOT use bleach. If you don’t want to remove the fabric from your stroller, you can spot-clean it using water and mild soap.
Do not put the fabric in the dryer. Instead, hang it and allow it to drip dry.
Do not leave it hanging in the sun. Hanging it for long periods in direct sunlight causes color fading in many fabrics.
Wipe the metal and plastic parts of the Liteway with a damp cloth. Dry it with a soft towel.
How old does my baby have to be to sit in a stroller?
There is no set age for graduating into an upright stroller. It depends on each individual baby.
If your baby is strong enough to sit up by himself and fully support his own head, he is ready to sit in a stroller. A baby typically develops this ability somewhere between five and seven months old.
Even at six months old, your baby should be placed in a stroller that can be reclined in several positions. In this way, he can slowly graduate into a fully seated position. This way, when his muscles tire from sitting upright, he will be able to recline somewhat and still work his muscles.
Babies younger than six months are usually not physically ready to sit up and need to lie flat. When a young baby is made to sit in a bucket-shaped seat or inclined, thus being “scrunched up,” their oxygen is compromised and their hips and spine are not allowed to properly develop.
When is my child too big for a stroller?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), strollers should not be used after a child turns 3 years old. This can lead to limited exercise and obesity.
Can my baby sleep in his car seat?
No. No, and no. A car seat or stroller is not a safe sleep space. According to the AAP, babies should always be put to sleep on a firm surface on their backs with nothing near their faces. This practice lowers the risk of SIDS.
Though your baby can be put to sleep on their back in a reclining stroller, strollers have material on the edges that may cause carbon dioxide buildup. If your baby gets his face against the material, it could cause SIDS.
Strollers are also a risk for a fall if a baby or toddler is left unattended. If your child is asleep in the stroller, you may be tempted to walk away. If your child wakes up and you are not there, your child may attempt to climb out of the stroller. This may not end well.
Can a bumpy stroller ride cause Shaken Baby Syndrome?
No. A bumpy stroller ride will not hurt your baby. It may annoy them, but it won’t do any permanent damage.
Do strollers have an expiration date?
This is a good question. After all, car seats expire, right? The reason for car seat expiration dates is because they need to stay strong to keep your baby safe in the case of an accident. Because your stroller will not be charged with protecting your baby at 70 mph, there is no need for an expiration date.
As long as the wheels are in good shape and the harness is in working order, the stroller is good to go!
While the Safety 1st Step Lite Compact Stroller gave me pause for consideration, I can’t justify choosing it over the Liteway.
There are two things that are a dealbreaker for me. One was the way that the footrest rubs the wheels with downward pressure from little feet, making pushing it difficult. The other was the inability to adjust the crotch strap, which would let younger children slip down easily. This would not be comfortable for the child.
The Liteway being so much sturdier than the Summer Infant 3D Light, yet light enough to carry in one hand, it’s a keeper. It’s simple to fold up, easy to fit in small spaces, and easy to maneuver.
The three products I listed are some of the best out there. Between the three products above, I recommend the Chicco Liteway Stroller.