A light stroller that flips around seems promising, but is it really convenient?
The Summer Infant 3D Flip Convenience Stroller is a good cross between a durable stroller and a convenience stroller, offering a lightweight design with lots of features. The baby seat can face backward or forward to put your baby right where you want them. But are the extra features worth paying extra money over other convenience strollers? Maybe not.
A Perfect Match Between Light and Durable
We did the stroller switching dance with my oldest kid. We’d have one really nice, durable stroller for going on runs or taking out for a long trip. Then, we had a hand-me-down umbrella stroller that we kept in our second car for those quick or surprise outings.
Both seemed to disappoint: one was too big and bulky and heavy, while the other felt like it was going to collapse or rip apart at any moment.
Lightweight design. This stroller is supposed to satisfy both sides of the spectrum: it’s built with a light aluminum frame for weightlessness, but the metal is also very durable and won’t bend or break easily. At 14 pounds, it feels sturdy without being too heavy to lug around.
The carrying strap makes taking it from trunk to streets pretty easy, although it’s not the most comfortable strap. The fabric seems pretty nice and thick, too. This stroller gave me the impression that it would be around for more than a year, which is comforting, given the price.
Compact but confusing. Unlike those bulky strollers, the Summer Infant 3D Flip Stroller folds up nice and tight. That means a compact fit for a compact trunk. Folding and unfolding the stroller is easy in theory, but not so much in practice.
The manufacturer brags that it can be folded or unfolded in three easy steps. I think you’d have to be a super-buff genius to do this without a struggle. It doesn’t glide open or closed, and you really have to fight it when opening or shutting it. Disappointing folding for sure. At least when it’s folded, it does lock into place.
The Flipping Seat is the Best
Beyond the lightweight styling is the most appealing feature for parents: the flipping seat. This unique design allows your baby to face you or face the world. This works great for transitioning between young babies and older babies.
Convenient switching? This buggy goes from rear facing to forward facing surprisingly easily. When I first saw the pictures, I couldn’t figure out how it switched. Turns out, the back of the rear-facing seat is also the back of the forward facing seat. You can literally switch from one to the other with one hand. The only downside is, the canopy can get in the way during flipping the seat. Otherwise, it’s a really convenient switch.
Just a side note: if you like this stroller, but don’t think you’ll use the whole flipping thing because your kid is too big, check out other folding stroller options for big kids.
Not the best seat in the house. While it’s easy to flip, the seat itself doesn’t seem that great. The fabric, while nice, isn’t stretched tightly across the seats and seems like it would sag after a few uses. This is especially true for older and more active babies who are harder on things. Plus, after switching, the fabric would wear down particularly fast and the bars that hold the seat in position seem like they might begin to bend.
Bothersome buckles. Another concern is the buckles on the 5 point safety harness. They aren’t very big or roomy, particularly the seat that faces mom. Adjusting them is difficult, which is great from a safety standpoint and not-so-great from a busy parent standpoint. Skinny babies will be fine, but hefty babies might find that the straps are tight and quickly outgrown.
Creative Canopy for Parent Spying
A good stroller is nothing without a good canopy. All of the umbrella strollers that I’ve owned have flimsy, thin, and tiny canopies that don’t do any good. The 3D Flip stroller’s canopy does not disappoint. It’s detachable, and has other cool features to keep baby covered. Here are my favorite features:
- It has a big canopy. This thing has front to back coverage and is really wide.
- Great sun protection, especially if baby is rear facing. Plus, the fabric blocks out 99.9% of both UVA and UVB rays, so you’ll know that baby is safe in their shady spot.
- It’s adjustable. You can move it up or down to make room for tall or short kids. This is actually really easy to do by holding down a part and sliding it up or down.
- The canopy reverses from forward to backward really easily. Just pull it through itself and it goes where you need it too!
- The coolest part: the sneaky parent spy window. No more wondering what in the world baby is doing when they face the world. You can just undo some velcro and peer through a small plastic window to spy on baby.
Support and Comfort for All Babies
Some strollers really seem to be meant for older kids. I know my kid wasn’t comfortable in his stroller until he was a few months old and could support his own body a little. This stroller seems to keep that in mind and was designed for babies of all sizes.
Infant support. For the rear-facing seat of the 3D Flip, there is ample support for a newborn. It has extra head and shoulder padding that is removable. This means no head rolling and wobbling during some of baby’s first walks. You can even buy additional padding from Summer Infant if you want to make a really cozy space.
Another plus of being small baby friendly? Feeding or changing a diaper on the go is surprisingly easy when the baby is facing you and reclined all the way back. Yay for multitasking!
Reclining and relaxing. The 3D flip has 6 different reclining positions, or 3 each for the front and rear facing options. The reclining is easy to do: just lift a lever at the top of the seat and put the seat in the position you want.
No fussing with straps or buckles. You just move it with one hand. This works great for all those times your kiddo falls asleep during an outing and you want to relax them back a bit.
Long seats. As a parent of a very big and tall child, I am going ga-ga over the size of the seats on the Summer Infant 3D Flip Convenience Stroller. My son barely made it to toddlerhood before he outgrew nearly every stroller we own. His poor feet would begin to drag the ground or get caught in the wheels because he was just so tall.
This stroller helps in that aspect because the seats are nice and long and they extend out a ways. This is true for both the rear and front facing seat bottoms.
They couldn’t call this a convenience stroller if it didn’t have some convenient perks for the parents. It seems in this category that the manufacturer made a feeble attempt to appeal to parents on the go, but they didn’t quite hit the mark.
Cup holder. There is a detachable cup holder that goes on one of the sides of the stroller. From what I can tell, it will hold a plastic water bottle with ease, but that’s about it. Any fountain drink or coffee cup seems like it would just make a huge mess. The cup holder is pretty flimsy and not very stable. Maybe it would be best used to hold you kid’s bottle or juice box.
Storage basket. I like all things storage, but I don’t really like this storage basket. For starters, it’s very small. That’s to be expected with this type of stroller, but I mean this thing is tiny. My purse or diaper bag certainly won’t fit. Maybe a blanky, a snack, and a toy or two could fit, but that’s it.
Plus, if the baby is rear facing, they are sitting right on top of the basket access spot. You can lift up the seat to get in the basket, but the baby ends up with his or her feet in her face. Not a good design.
Iffy wheels. The back wheels lock, which is always a great feature to have. You don’t want baby rolling away on their own adventure! As for the front wheels, though, they don’t want to cooperate. Sometimes they get stuck and don’t want to go. Just like every other stroller or grocery cart I’ve used.
- 3.8 stars, 11 reviews- BuyBuyBaby
- 4.4 stars, 8 reviews- Walmart
- 4.6 stars, 5 reviews- Burlington Coat Factory
- 4 stars, 3 reviews- Target
- Lightweight and compact
- Seat switches from rear facing to front facing
- Amazing canopy
- Seats recline and are long
- Good infant support
- Wheel locks
- Folding and unfolding can be a pain
- Seats seem to wear down quickly
- Buckles don’t cooperate
- Flimsy cup holder
- Storage basket small and awkward
- Front wheels get stuck
The Summer Infant 3D Flip Convenience stroller is definitely a good baby buggy. It has some amazing features that you just won’t find in an umbrella stroller. Plus, it’s much lighter and easier to haul around than a regular or jogging stroller. I love the switchable seat and canopy, but the extras, like the cup holder and storage basket, are disappointing. If you want the perfect cross between an umbrella and regular stroller though, I’d say this one is one of the best in that area. Find one on a good sale and you will have made a wise purchase.