chicco-echo-umbrella-baby-stroller-review

Chicco Echo Umbrella Baby Stroller Reviews

Chicco Echo Umbrella Baby Stroller Reviews

 Chicco Echo Umbrella Baby Stroller Reviews
Chicco Echo Umbrella Baby Stroller Reviews

The first time I saw Chicco Echo umbrella stroller I was at the park with my daughter Sophia and one of the moms had her son in it. My first impression was what a cool modern looking stroller! I absolutely loved the bright fresh color (it was turquoise) of the seat and the frame. I think that the combination of the black and color frame together with the black handle bars give it a very sleek and stylish look. Have you noticed that more and more companies have been doing color frames lately? I think it’s a new hot thing. Of course I had to come over, meet the mom and take a look at the stroller up close.

The Chicco Echo is a lightweight umbrella stroller that is very basic, but is very affordable. It retails for only $99 which makes it perfect for traveling. Let’s say you are going to visit your relatives in another state and you want something lightweight and compact that you can take with you on the plane and later on to the restaurant, shopping or park, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money, Chicco Echo would be a good choice. Also, if it gets damaged at the airport (which happens a lot when you check it in), you are not going to be too upset because you only spend $99.

Aside from a great price, it has a nice roomy seat with plenty of headroom, adjustable leg rest, tall handle bars, and medium size basket. I gave it only 3.5 out of 5 stars because although it has a very sleek and modern look, the canopy is small without a peekaboo window, there is very light padding on the back of the seat, it does not have a flat recline, and it weighs 17 lbs which is a little heavy for such a basic stroller. But the most disappointing feature were the small plastic wheels that you can use only on a flat surface. I found it hard to push with a 2.5 year old in the seat and a small diaper bag in the basket even on a flat surface. So, maneuverability is pretty bad in my opinion. What good is the price of only $99! To save you a lot of headache and frustration, I would recommend adding $40 and getting Chicco Liteway Umbrella stroller for $139. It has much better wheels, more features, and weighs also 17 lbs. Liteway should last you much longer than Echo.

Features

-Small canopy. The canopy is on the smaller side and there is no peekaboo window. You can unzips the back of the canopy to provide your child with better air circulation on a hot summer day. It does not have the “follow-the-sun” option either. Overall, the canopy is a disappointment. I wish it had a pop-out sunvisor.

-Tall handlebars. The handlebars are located 42″ from the ground which is very tall. Great for tall parents! They are organically positioned and are covered with black foam for comfortable grip.

-Roomy seat. The seat is pretty roomy with plenty of headroom for an older child. It is 12.5″ wide with 18″ seat back and a measurement of 26″ from the bottom of the seat to the top of the canopy. Unfortunately the back of the seat is very lightly padded so your child might not be very comfortable seating in it for a long time. You can even feel the support bar through the material. I was a little disappointed about that. BTW, the bottom of the seat has enough padding for comfort. The seat has one-hand lever recline with four positions. It’s a deep recline, but it does NOT go all the way to a flat position so you can’t put your newborn in it. It is suitable for kids from 6 months and up to 40 lbs. Because many umbrella stroller don’t have a recline at all, I was happy to see a deep recline. It’s deep enough for a nap or a diaper change. I like that there is a piece of fabric at the top of the seat back that will prevent a younger child from falling out of the stroller (which is a very unlikely anyways, but stuff$&% happens). For those parents who want a very upright seat, this one is at a slight angle even in the most upright position.

-5 point harness. There is an adjustable padded 5 point harness with a tricky buckle so your child will not be able to escape.

-Adjustable leg rest. There is an adjustable leg rest that goes up or down. There is also a leg rest attached to the frame for an older child.

-Double wheels. It rolls on four small plastic double wheels that are only 6″ in diameter. These wheels are designed for flat surfaces ONLY! They are not going to tackle terrain at all. I also found it hard to push with an older child in the seat. It is easy to maneuver only if you have a younger child in the stroller and you are on a completely flat surface. This would be a good stroller to take with you on the plane, quick trip to the mall or a cafe, or to a doctors office. It’s hard to tell how long these wheels will last, but I don’t think it’s many years and multiple kids kind of a stroller. Front wheels are swivel, but could be locked straight.

-Front-wheel suspension. It’s looks like Chicco tried to make the ride a little smoother by adding the suspension.

-Parking brakes. The rear wheels have individual brakes that you can step on to lock in place the wheel. They are NOT flip-flop friendly.

-Medium size basket. It has a pretty decent basket for an umbrella stroller. You an probably fit a small diaper bag in it, but nothing more. The basket is easily accessible from the back and the sides. Because of the crossbar in the back it is hard to get into it once the seat is fully reclined. Typical for an umbrella model.

-Easy fold. It folds like most umbrella strollers into a neat compact package. It has an automatic lock.

-Cup holder. INCLUDED! The removable cup holder is included. Unfortunately it kept falling off every time I would fold the stroller. Very easy to lose it.

Cons

-Weight. I know it weighs only 17 lbs, but for the features you are getting, I think it could be a little lighter.

-Small canopy. The canopy is small, does not have a peekaboo window and does not have a “follow-the-sun” option. A simple addition of a pop-out sunvisor could be an easy fix.

-Small plastic wheels. By far the biggest minus of this stroller! They are small and plastic which makes it very hard to maneuver on uneven surface or even on flat surface if you have an older child in the seat.

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chicco-cortina-baby-stroller-review

Chicco Cortina Baby Stroller Reviews

Chicco Cortina Baby Stroller Reviews

Chicco Cortina Baby Stroller Reviews
Chicco Cortina Baby Stroller Reviews

Priced at the lower range of our stroller line-up, we were pleasantly surprised at what the Chicco Cortina had to offer. It retained many of the favorite features we found amongst pricier counterparts. It has some unique features as well, like the “Memory Recline,” which keeps the seat reclined to the same position as during the previous use; and compared to other similar strollers, it has a much firmer and more comfortable handlebar. However, if you are looking for a stroller that has great maneuverability, even if only on paved streets, you may want to look elsewhere.

More often sold as a travel system which includes both stroller and Keyfit car seat, the Chicco Cortina is also available as a stand alone unit. This review focuses on the stroller alone, and compares it to other strollers you might consider.

Overall, it’s a pretty good stroller that comes with all the convenient parts like child and parent trays and has a special seat reclining feature that makes each trip out the door more efficient.

Performance Comparison

Ease-of-Use
The Chicco Cortina scored a 6 out of 10 in Ease-of-Use. It is solidly constructed with what we found to be durable, easy-to-clean material and a sturdy aluminum frame.

We found this stroller to have a very easy fold. The fold mechanism is conveniently right beneath the parent handle. It can be done one-handed, and we found a couple different ways that worked well for us. One thing we noticed, is that the stroller will not fold with the seat in full recline and the handle down. Nonetheless, the process is really quite fluid, leaving you with a stroller that reliably self-locks, stands on its own, and is very easy to wheel along behind you, which is super for airports.

Unfolding is just as easy! Completed with a single motion, even from a fully standing position. There is an audible snap when the stroller is locked and ready-to-go.

As easy as it is to fold and unfold, however, its tall and bulky size when folded makes it awkward and cumbersome to load into and out the back of a car. However, the parent handle and the sturdy rim of the storage basket are left exposed on top, and they make for two comfortable, convenient “lift handles” which make going from ground to car bearable.

Although not capable of switching from rear-facing to forward-facing like many seats in luxury strollers, the seat has a function that we find particularly useful. Its “Memory Recline” feature means that when you fold and re-open the stroller, the seat will end up in the same position you last had it in. This is really convenient for when you’re using it with an infant car seat as the seat must be fully reclined to accept the infant seat. Memory Recline is also nice for quick loading and unloading as it provides one less step to think about.

The parent handle has a comfy foam-covered grip and adjusts to three heights with a wide range of 28″ to 43.5″. The parent tray has one fairly sturdy cup holder and a lidded storage area that is too small to fit an iPhone.

This stroller has a very large storage basket that can only be accessed from the rear. It fits a large diaper bag and then some. One downfall is that it is hard to access when the seat is reclined flat.

Though the seat envelopes baby nicely on all sides, we found the padding to be thin over a hard seat backing. It has seven positions, including a flat 3 degree recline where you can also fold the leg rest upwards to create an enclosed bassinet-like environment, often a completely separate piece with higher-end strollers like the Bugaboo Cameleon 3.The sunshade is small with a mesh-over-vinyl peek-a-boo window that is very difficult to actually see through. The back of the sunshade moves forward to help with low angle sun and to create some ventilation for baby.The belly bar both pivots for easy in and out and is removable, snapping out for cleaning. There is a recessed area for finger foods or small toys. We did find some drawbacks to this included accessory, however. Though it has two cup holders, we found that they were too small to fit a typical water bottle or sippy cup. The tray itself is also positioned a bit far from baby’s reach when harnessed.

Maneuverability

This stroller scored very low in maneuverability. Overall, we found it to have loose and unresponsive strolling making it very difficult to push one-handed, and transitions felt rough and less controlled than with other strollers we tested in this review. With this stroller, the all-wheel suspension and locking, double, small, 6.75″ front swivel wheels fall flat. We recommend using this stroller only for smooth, paved surfaces.

On pavement, we found it difficult to turn because there is a lot of flex in the frame and its handle flexes a lot when going up and down small staircases. During tight turns, this stroller repeatedly ran into obstacles. Even with double front wheels we did not feel this stroller was suitable for unpaved or rough terrain like gravel, gaps between pavers, and small ledges. Additionally, we found this stroller quite forward-tippy, actually tipping forward with maneuvers such as going down a 6″ curb. In fact, our testers repeatedly found that they would kick the back of the stroller when walking and negotiating down small staircases.

Safety

This stroller also scored poorly in safety in our testing, a 3 out of 10. Primarily with the brakes being a weak point.

The one-touch linked brakes have nice rounded edges and are comfortable when wearing sandals though a little sticky to lift upwards. Nonetheless, we found 2.5″ of play (rocking back and forth) in the brakes when they are set, the most we experienced in our review alongside theEvenflo Journey. Most disturbingly however, we discovered that if the brake on each rear wheel was not seated properly, that both brakes might disengage. This occurred in our testing many times. We would advise parents using this stroller to double-check tapping each side to make sure the brakes are fully applied and secure each time the brake is used.

Furthermore, in our backwards tip-over test, this stroller performed below average, tipping backwards with 19 lbs 2 oz of weight on the handlebar. This is not a stroller we’d recommend hanging a diaper bag on the handlebar, as the extra weight would make the stroller too tippy, from our point of view. It performed above average in our sideways tip over test.

The 5-point harness has a simple, one-pull mechanism for loosening and tightening it. There is not crotch strap adjustment, however. The tray seems to be in the way as well, especially when using the harness.

Quality/Durability

This stroller did average in Quality/Durability. We feel that the frame has lots of wobble, the child tray that seems flimsy, and the seat material is prone to overheating.

Weight/Folded Size

There is no getting around it, this stroller large when folded and fairly heavy at 22 lbs 5 oz.

Though Chicco specifies it to hold a child up to 50 pounds, your child is very likely to outgrow it a lot sooner than that. It has a very narrow seat without much elbow room and was more than cozy for our average-sized 3 year old tester. And, there is no way our 42 pound 5 year old tester would fit into this stroller.

Ease-of-Set-Up

It took us 16:38 (min:sec) to set up this stroller and we gave it a score of 4 out of 10 in Ease-of-Set-up. The manual is pretty clear, but assembly is tricky with pins and washers for the rear wheel assembly.

Best Applications

The Chicco Cortina does okay on its own, separate from its highlighted use as a travel system. Its a simple stroller with some handy amenities, but is simply bulky. This is a common complaint of travel systems, in general, so this stroller’s weight and shape match those of its competitors.

Its big strengths are good storage, easy fold and unfold, comfy handlebar, and a memory recline seat. We recommend using it only on smooth terrain, such as strolling through town or at the mall.

As mentioned, because it is cumbersome to load and unload, you may want to consider an infant car seat stroller frame for the first year and an umbrella stroller afterwards if you will be day in and day out driving the car to your strolling destination or on public transportation.

Value

The Cortina is a decent value with a list price of $180. However, for $50 less, we highly recommend that you look at the Baby Trend Expedition, which also functions as a jogging stroller and has a much smoother ride. Many parents are attracted to the bundle price of the travel system, in that the combination of the stroller and car seat can be obtained at an attractive price. However we feel that this stroller, while seemingly a good deal early on, is not the best solution in the first year, and other strollers significantly outperform it as baby gets older. We advocate considering the long-term use of a stroller, and urge you to make a choice that will serve you over a 3-4 year period.

Conclusion

This basic stroller compares to the Evenflo Journey and the Graco FastAction Fold as it’s usually purchased within a travel system, although it is a bit sturdier and heavier than both of the aforementioned less expensive stroller models. The adjustable, firm-grip handlebar also adds to this stroller’s sturdier feel as well, but the Evenflo Journey maneuvers better, is just under 4 lbs lighter, and is half the price. The Cortina does have a 5-point harness, however, unlike the above compared two strollers, a very important feature for baby’s safety.

Other Versions and Accessories

Available in the four distinct designs (Element, Elm, Cubes and Fuego), the Cortina is fully equipped without any additional accessories sold separately.

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