Best forParents looking for a portable, daily-use stroller with generous storage space
Top BenefitsTons of storage, diaper bag hooks, easy fold, budget-friendly
ConsiderationsDoes not recline fully flat, seat fabric is not removable for cleaning, no leg rest
Bottom lineThe Summer Infant 3Dtote is a durable and comfortable stroller with loads of storage at a budget-friendly price
For parents who pack for every possible scenario, finding a lightweight and compact umbrella stroller that can handle all their cargo can be a challenge. The Summer Infant 3Dtote is up to the task with its spacious storage basket and numerous extra-storage features, which include diaper bag hooks that can hold up to five pounds—yes, you can hang shopping bags off the back of this stroller without feeling like a bad parent. Easy to fold and carry, the Summer Infant 3Dtote is a good choice for parents looking for a budget-friendly stroller that will get them from A to B without having to leave anything behind.
When shopping for an umbrella stroller, an important feature to keep in mind is how easily it folds. In just three simple steps, the Summer Infant 3Dtote folds and unfolds smoothly and intuitively. Just push down the safety lock lever on the back of the stroller, pull up on the stroller’s folding handle, then push the handlebars down until the folding lock is securely in place. To unfold, lift the folding lock and pull up on the handlebars while stepping on the lock pedal to snap the stroller into place. Most of our parent testers found that folding the stroller was a breeze, and most also told us they were able to fold it using only one hand.
Something else to keep in mind when considering an umbrella stroller is how easily you can stow it in your vehicle’s trunk or in an entryway. While the Summer Infant 3Dtote folds to a narrow profile widthwise (11 inches), it remains quite long (42 inches). One tester commented that when folded, the stroller took up the entire trunk of her car. However, our other testers all found the folded stroller small enough for their vehicle. The folded stroller can stand on its own, which makes storing it that much easier.
The Summer Infant 3Dtote weighs around 17.5 lb., which falls in the mid to high range of all the strollers we tested. It comes with an attached carry strap, so it's easy to sling the stroller over one shoulder (and keep your hands free). Most of our parent testers found the 3Dtote lightweight, and none reported any difficulty carrying it. Half of our testers found the stroller to be somewhat easy to carry while also carrying their child. The stroller worked well on public transit for those testers who tried it.
During our tests, we found the Summer Infant 3Dtote stroller very easy to maneuver with one or both hands on a variety of surfaces including sidewalks, hardwood flooring and paved roads. It handled curbs smoothly and effortlessly. Our parent testers were also happy with the way the 3Dtote handled those surfaces, as well as how easy it was to maneuver through narrow spaces and around tight corners. Some reported difficulty rolling the stroller over more uneven surfaces like grass, mud or gravel (although most umbrellas strollers struggle with these kinds of terrain). The front wheels of the stroller (which normally swivel) can be locked so they only roll in one direction, making navigating bumpy conditions a little easier. The six-inch wheels featuring "easy-glide bearings" and front-wheel suspension equal a smoother ride for baby. All but one parent tester felt the wheels of the Summer Infant 3Dtote were high-quality.
We found the 3Dtote's brakes secure and simple to apply. Almost all of our parent testers felt the same. To apply the brakes, step down on both levers located above each back wheel; lift the levers to unlock and get rolling again. One tester mentioned the placement of the brakes on the wheels makes it difficult to maneuver the stroller up and down stairs, so take care if a ramp is not available.
The Summer Infant 3Dtote has three recline positions: nearly flat, upright and a “relaxed” position between the two. All of our parent testers somewhat to strongly agreed their child was comfortable in all three positions. The stroller does not recline to a fully flat position, so it's not recommended for babies under six months. Even without a full horizontal recline, only two of our testers found their child had a difficult time napping on the go (and let’s be honest, some kids have a hard time napping just about anywhere). Moving between the various recline positions is simple and can be done with a one-handed squeeze. While this stroller does not have an adjustable leg rest, it does have a footrest for your child's feet.
In rain or sunshine, it’s helpful to have a canopy that will protect your child from the elements. All of our testers agreed the canopy (and its pop-out sun shade) provided good protection from the sun. Some testers were less enthusiastic about the stroller’s rain protection—though you will probably want to invest in a rain cover no matter what umbrella stroller you own. Extending and retracting the canopy can result in some audible clicks, so you may want to do your adjusting before your baby settles in for a little slumber if she's a light sleeper. The stroller’s peek-a-boo window makes it easy to check on your little one. On hot days, you can unzip the panel in the back of the stroller for extra air flow.
Kids get just about anything they touch messy, which is why it’s important to be able to easily clean your stroller, especially if you’re using it every day. The padding on the Summer Infant 3Dtote cannot be removed, so you will have to spot-clean spills with cold water and mild soap. Our parent testers told us the fabric was easy to spot-clean.
When it comes to storage, the Summer Infant 3Dtote lives up to its name. Unlike most umbrella strollers, the 3Dtote was designed to allow a diaper bag to hang from its handles without tipping the stroller over. The 3Dtote’s under-seat storage basket was the most spacious of all the strollers we tested, and it comes with a mesh extension panel that snaps easily into place and allows you to pack even more into the basket. The majority of our testers found the stroller’s storage features useful and easy to use. Toy hooks and snack/drink pockets are actually built into the inside of the stroller seat to make sure the important things are accessible (and lowering the chances of losing your baby's favourite toy). There are also extra storage pockets on the back of the stroller, as well as a cupholder for mom or dad.
The Summer Infant 3Dtote’s five-point safety harness is simple and straightforward to use. Only one parent tester reported any difficulty using and adjusting the harness. With one click and one hand, the entire system opens in a snap, and every one of our parent testers agreed the harness felt secure. The padded shoulder straps and buckle also help to make the harness more comfortable for your little one. Some rethreading is required when adjusting the height of the shoulder straps, but the process is intuitive and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
All of our parent testers rated the quality and ease of use of the Summer Infant 3Dtote as good to very good, and most felt the same about the stroller’s value. After using the stroller for a few weeks, no tester was left unsatisfied, with around two-thirds agreeing the 3Dtote was much better than other umbrella strollers they had used in the past. While one tester said they would not purchase this stroller (her child prefers a rear-facing seat), all of our testers agreed they would have no problem recommending this stroller to other parents. With its ample storage and numerous features, we think the Summer Infant 3Dtote manages to provide parents with a durable yet lightweight stroller that you can pack full—and pack up—in a snap.
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