Best forParents who only want to buy one stroller to meet all of their strolling needs
Top BenefitsFull-coverage canopy, infinite recline positions, easy fold
ConsiderationsSeat fabric is not machine-washable, non-adjustable handlebar
Bottom lineThe Valco Baby Snap 4 is a well-made, lightweight stroller that combines great features with maximum comfort
Light, nimble and easy to carry when folded (thanks to a handy shoulder strap), the Valco Baby Snap 4 stroller offers infinite recline positions, plenty of mesh for air flow, and a canopy that provides complete sun protection for most babies. With a sizeable, easy-to-access basket and a narrow profile, the Snap 4 makes running errands with your little one that much more manageable. The Valco Baby Snap 4 stroller is as portable as it is sturdy, weighing in at 13.7 pounds, and might be best described as a hybrid of an umbrella and an urban stroller. It can also work as a travel system—it's compatible with certain infant car seats (check the Features section for the list), and the seat can be placed in either a forward- or rear-facing position.
Easy folding is an essential function of any stroller, and the Valco Snap 4's fold requires minimal coordination. Start by folding the canopy flat, then push the round grey button on the left side of the stroller and squeeze the grey trigger on the handlebar while sweeping the stroller forward so it folds in half. The frame lock will automatically snap into place so you can easily carry the stroller without worrying it will pop open. In our experience, you’ll definitely need two free hands to fold the Snap 4. Our parent testers were divided on the ease of folding; half felt it was somewhat easy to fold, while the other half felt it was somewhat difficult.
Once folded into a sturdy little square (20 inches by 30 inches), the Valco Baby Snap 4 easily stands on its own. All of our parent testers agreed the Valco Baby Snap 4 stroller folds up small and easily fits in the back of their vehicle.
Our testers also agreed the Valco Baby Snap 4 stroller is lightweight (13.7 pounds) and easy to carry when folded. Depending on how you want to carry it, you can use either the nylon shoulder strap (with a rubber shoulder pad for grip and comfort) or the nylon and rubber handle. The rear wheels of the stroller are its widest point when folded, and they can bump into your leg depending on how you carry it. Half of our parent testers strongly agreed they could easily carry their child and the folded stroller at the same time.
In our field tests, we found the Valco Baby Snap 4 stroller very easy to push on a variety of surfaces with one hand or two. We tested all strollers on concrete, hardwood, grass, gravel, curbs and hills. Parent testers were equally happy with how the Snap 4 maneuvered on those surfaces; one tester even noted the stroller rolled smoothly over mud. The front wheels can swivel or lock in place—locking the wheels so they only roll in one direction can make it easier to navigate difficult terrain like gravel or slush. When it comes to wheel quality, all but one tester felt the wheels were high-quality. The wheels that come with the stroller are tubeless and puncture-proof. However, if you’re looking for a little more cushion, you can purchase the "Snap Sports Pack" from Valco, which includes four air-filled tires that are compatible with the Snap 4.
In our lab tests, we found the brakes on the Snap 4 to be secure and easy to apply, and all of our parent testers felt the same. To engage the "Tilt-Loc" brake, all you have to do is step down on the right side of the red toggle located between the rear wheels (it has an illustration of a locked padlock on it). When you’re ready to unlock, simply push down on the left side of the "Tilt-Loc" toggle. Not having to flip the brake up with the top of your foot comes in awfully handy during flip-flop season.
Thanks to its tether-style seat recline, the Valco Baby Snap 4 stroller has an infinite number of recline positions and can be as upright or as reclined as your baby needs it to be. All of our parent testers agreed this stroller reclines easily, and it can be done with one hand. To adjust the leg rest, you have to simultaneously compress two buttons on either side of the leg rest while moving it up or down—some coordination and hand strength are required, but the payoff is six different leg rest positions. When the seat is fully reclined and the leg rest is level, it makes for a great napping space. All of our parent testers reported that their kids napped comfortably in the Snap 4.
Rain or shine, the canopy on your stroller gets a lot of use. You want one that keeps your little one dry and shaded from the sun. Depending on your needs, the canopy on the Valco Baby Snap 4 stroller can be shortened or lengthened using the zip-out extension. All of our parent testers agreed the canopy provides good protection from the sun and rain. If you feel like you need extra protection from the elements, Valco sells a rain cover tailored to fit the Snap 4. Virtually silent to open and close, the canopy on this stroller isn't likely to wake a sleeping child. The canopy also has a built-in peek-a-boo window (with Velcro and a tie-back toggle) so you can easily check on your child.
The durable polyester seat fabric on the Valco Baby Snap 4 is easy to spot clean in the event of a small spill. When bigger messes happen or it just needs an overall wash, it detaches from the frame with Velcro and snap fasteners, and you can toss the seat fabric into the machine on a cold water cycle with a gentle detergent. Valco Baby recommends putting the seat cover back on the stroller frame to let it air dry (you can't put it in the dryer). The harness and buckles, however, should be spot-cleaned.
Rolling anywhere with your little one requires a lot of stuff. If you live in an urban area, odds are your stroller moonlights as a shopping cart. The storage basket under the Valco Baby Snap 4 is spacious and easy to access from behind the stroller (less easy from the side). The basket has a maximum weight allowance of 11 pounds. Without much effort, we were able to fit a full diaper bag in the basket. Parent testers were divided when it came to basket capacity and ease of access, with half of our testers strongly agreeing this stroller's under-seat storage basket has a large capacity. When the seat on the Snap 4 is fully reclined, you gain access to two additional pockets; parent testers were especially impressed by this.
The five-point harness on the Valco Baby Snap 4 is sturdy, easy to adjust and secure, but odds are you’ll have to refer to the product manual the first few times you try to fit the buckles together (we did!). With each buckle being comprised of two separate pieces that have to be puzzled together before being clipped into the crotch buckle, you’ll want to practice sans baby before you hit the open road. All but one tester agreed the harness was easy to release, adjust and close.
When it came to quality, ease of use and value, all of our parent testers rated the Valco Baby Snap 4 as good to very good. When asked to compare this stroller to other strollers they’d tried previously, parent testers all said the Snap 4 was somewhat to much better. All but one tester said they would purchase this stroller (the one who wouldn't is loyal to her own stroller), however none of our testers would hesitate to recommend it to other parents or parents-to-be. Overall, we really enjoyed this stroller—from its infinite recline positions that can be adjusted with one hand to its very generous, expandable canopy, it’s got the features and quality to back up the price tag.
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