Once you’re in the market for an umbrella stroller, you’ll probably start noticing a lot of children being pushed around in an UPPAbaby G-Luxe. It’s a popular choice for good reason: with a deep and easy-to-use seat-back recline, machine-washable fabrics and a shoulder strap for easy carrying, it combines a lot of great features into a well-made stroller that will likely outlast your kiddo’s need to use it.
FOLDING AND CARRYING
An important feature of an umbrella stroller is how easily it folds, and this is really the only area where the UPPAbaby G-Luxe struggles a bit. It uses the same folding technique as all UPPAbaby strollers, and it’s a bit tricky, at least until you get the hang of it. You have push a button with your index finder while also pulling up on a lever on both handles with your middle fingers; it’s not something you can do one-handed. Our parent testers were overall lukewarm on the ease of folding, with most only somewhat agreeing that the G-Luxe is easy to fold.
You also want an umbrella stroller to be compact enough that it fits in your vehicle’s trunk or tucks away in an entryway, and the G-Luxe folds up into a narrow profile width-wise (12.5 inches), although the wheels do stick out a bit from the side. To keep the stroller in the folded position, the G-Luxe has a locking clip on the right side, and the whole thing can stand on its own—a big plus if you’re tucking it in a corner in your front hall.
The UPPAbaby G-Luxe weighs 15 pounds, which is in the middle of the pack of all the umbrella strollers we tested. It has a nylon carry strap on the back that makes it easy to hook over one shoulder when you’re on the go. Nearly all of our testers agreed the G-Luxe is lightweight, and the majority also felt it was easy to carry. In fact, all but two testers told us they could hold the stroller with one hand and their child with the other.
Once you get used to the brake mechanism and learn how to collapse the stroller, it’s actually pretty slim, light and easy to use.” —Golnar, mom of two
WHEELS, BRAKES AND MANOEUVRABILITY
In our tests, we found the UPPAbaby G-Luxe very easy to push with one hand or two on a variety of surfaces, including concrete sidewalks, hardwood flooring, grass and gravel, which is especially impressive since it has two handles (in our experience, strollers with one long crossbar handle are usually easier to manoeuvre). Our parent testers were all happy with how the G-Luxe performed on sidewalks, wood flooring and grass, though they were less satisfied with its ability to roll over gravel. The majority of our testers told us the G-Luxe rolls easily over curbs. The wheels, made of a durable “double-hard” hard rubber, are great on most surfaces, but might not be the best choice in snow (though that’s true of most umbrella strollers). While the front wheels swivel, they can be locked into place so they only roll in one direction, making navigating bumpy conditions a little easier.
In our tests, we found the G-Luxe’s brakes felt secure and weren’t too challenging or complicated to apply, and almost all of our parent testers felt similarly. To lock the stroller, you step down on a small pedal on the right tire, and lift it up when you’re ready to get rolling again. Lifting the brake in open-toed shoes takes a bit of skill, but it doesn’t require a lot of force, so it’s not a deal-breaker.
The manoeuvrability of this stroller was great! It was a dream to drive. It was a smooth ride over the bumpiest of surfaces.” —Dawn, mom of one
RECLINE AND LEG REST
The UPPAbaby G-Luxe has three recline positions: upright, fully reclined and a “relaxed” position between those two. All of our testers agreed that moving between the recline positions is very simple, and can be done one-handed with a squeeze. The leg rest also adjusts with a squeeze on both of its sides, and it can be folded straight down or made level with the seat. The full recline combined with a fully upright leg rest makes for a great napping surface. The large majority of our parent testers told us their child napped comfortably in the G-Luxe (and let’s face it, some kids just won’t nap anywhere!).
On sunny or even rainy days, it’s nice to have a fold-out canopy that will shield most of your child’s body. The G-Luxes’s canopy incorporates an extendable sunshade with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of 50+ that can be tucked away when you don’t need it. More than three-quarters of our testers agreed the canopy provided good protection from the sun, but fewer felt it offered good rain protection—though you’ll probably want to invest in a rain cover no matter what stroller you own. The canopy is reasonably quiet to open and close, so you don’t have to worry about it waking a sleeping child. But there’s no peek-a-boo window in the canopy, so you’ll have to fold it back or walk around to the side or front of the stroller to check on your child.
If you’re using your stroller every day, it can get dirty to a degree that would shock you if you weren’t already a parent. One of the best features of the G-Luxe is its removable seat pad. Not only can you easily lift the whole seat pad off the stroller in under a minute and throw it directly in a washing machine, but the stroller is still useable (if slightly less cushy) without it. Even with UPPAbaby’s stain- and water-resistant fabrics, sometimes spot-cleaning just doesn’t cut the mustard (or ground-in blueberries, as the case may be).
The washable seat and the ability to fully recline are excellent features.” —Greg, dad of two
Kids famously need a lot of stuff, and most strollers tend to double as shopping carts, so good storage capacity is a big plus in a stroller. The UPPAbaby G-Luxe’s under-seat basket is a fair size and easily accessible, with a maximum weight allowance of 10 pounds. We were able to slide a full diaper bag into the basket without too much shoving. Our parent testers were a bit underwhelmed by the size of the basket and how easy it was to access it, but storage doesn’t tend to be as generous with umbrella strollers as it is in urban or full-size single strollers. The G-Luxe also has a removable cup holder that is easy to attach and feels secure, which makes fuelling those extra-long stroller-nap excursions a little easier.
The G-Luxe’s five-point safety harness is dead-simple to close—only two clicks and it’s done—but still feels quite secure. Every single one of our testers agreed, and said it was simple to adjust the harness so it sat comfortably against their child’s body (even without any padding on the shoulder straps). All but one tester agreed the harness was easy to undo. As your child grows, you may need to rethread the harness into an upper slot, but that isn’t more than five minutes’ work.
For the most part, our parent testers rated the UPPAbaby G-Luxe’s quality and ease of use as good or very good, and more than half said it was better than any other stroller they had tried. They were less enthusiastic about the value, but when you consider how long this stroller can be used with your child, and that it will almost certainly still be in good shape and usable with another child, it can be a solid investment. While two testers were put off by the fold and applying brakes in open-toed shoes, our other testers said they would purchase this stroller and would recommend it to other parents. Overall, the UPPAbaby G-Luxe has a lot of great features, and is lightweight and safe while still being very durable.
I would recommend it especially for families who travel. We have found it so useful for travelling because it’s light, compact and comfortable for the baby.” —Elita, mom of two