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on March 6, 2013
Note: Updated July 2013 after the arrival of 2nd child, as I can update fully on using the Liteway Plus in stroller frame mode. Updated again in April 2014 after over one year of use with both children.

As of the most recent update to this review, we have a 3.5 year old and a 9 month old. With our first baby, we did what the book Baby Bargains recommended new parents NOT do: buy a travel system consisting of a stroller with an infant car seat. The statement made in the book was that travel system strollers are simply too big/unwieldy and don't necessarily meet the needs of an individual family. Instead, the authors suggested getting an infant car seat and stroller frame such as the Baby Trend Snap N Go EX Universal Infant Car Seat Carrier, then shopping for a stroller with specific desired features after the baby had arrived.

Like I said, we ignored their advice and opted for the Chicco Cortina KeyFit Travel System with the Keyfit car seat (22 pound weight limit) and Cortina stroller. We had the Keyfit recommended as an infant car seat by several friends and relatives and figured that we liked the stroller well enough - as it turned out, the Keyfit was indeed an excellent infant car seat but the Cortina was too bulky. My daily driver is a crossover SUV and the folded Cortina occupied 90% of my cargo area! We can recall using it less than a half-dozen times before giving up and resorting to babywearing or lugging the Keyfit on its own. When our daughter was 8 months old we bought a Baby Jogger City Mini which was a big improvement over the Cortina in virtually every respect, but still bulkier than a stroller with an umbrella-style fold. As we continued wearing our daughter in wraps and carriers until she was around 2 years old, our need for a stroller was not as great as many families.

Then I got pregnant. Our older daughter was nearly 3 when our second daughter arrived, and was already past both babywearing and frequent stroller riding. We have long since sold our Cortina to the local children's consignment shop, but we decided to upgrade our Keyfit from the seat with the 22 pound limit Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat and assumed we'd either get the Chicco adapter for the City Mini or buy a secondhand stroller frame. Then in January 2013 I saw a video about the Liteway Plus stroller on the Chicco website and we decided to check the stroller out in person.

When we went to the store to try the Liteway Plus, it was set up for use as a stroller. Our older daughter immediately hopped in and went for a ride, liking it so much that she initially refused to get out! After we convinced her to climb off, it was a simple matter to convert it to the stroller frame. We grabbed a Keyfit from the car seat section and it snapped in and out easily, just like docking into the car seat base.

What sealed the deal is the fact that the Liteway Plus is both a stroller frame and a toddler stroller. It simply offers better long term value than buying a stroller frame AND a compact stroller. Do the math: a Keyfit Caddy plus a Chicco Liteway stroller have a combined MSRP of $240, while a single Liteway Plus handily accomplishes both functions for an MSRP of $180. As a mechanical engineer myself I looked at the Liteway Plus and thought, "Why did no one think of this sooner?"

We used the Liteway Plus in toddler mode for our older daughter from 2.5 until the baby arrived, and then in stroller frame mode for the baby from birth to 9 months when we transitioned her from the Keyfit to a convertible car seat and switched the Liteway Plus back to toddler mode. Overall we have been thrilled with the purchase and recommend the combination of Keyfit 30 and Liteway Plus to every expecting family we know. We plan to have a third child in a few years, so we'll definitely get our money's worth out of the Liteway Plus before our family is complete.

A summary of our impressions after using the stroller for over 1 year for both a toddler and an infant, and in both modes of use -

Assembly: Easy - all you have to do after unboxing is snap the front wheels on and attach the canopy and cup holder.

Maneuverability: Good, although not quite as effortless as our City Mini. The front wheels can be fixed or allowed to swivel depending on terrain and preference. Like any compact/umbrella stroller, this is not a stroller you're going to use for serious offroading but would be perfectly fine at the soccer field or park.

Parent features: A cupholder and small baseket is the extent of it, but we travel light with the kids anyways. The basket can hold a smallish diaper bag or jackets/light coats. Our Patemm Pad fits easily, as will our Diaper Dude Diaper Bag, but my big Vera Bradley baby bag does not. While it has an umbrella style fold, the Liteway Plus is bulkier when folded than most less-expensive umbrella strollers including other options from Chicco. It still fits nicely in the backseat footwell of both vehicles, and very easily in the cargo area of my Equinox and the trunk of my husband's Camry.

Folding: OK. I admit we're very spoiled by the City Mini's fold. Unfolding the Liteway Plus is similar to any umbrella stroller and involves releasing the side latch and pushing down on a small foot pedal until the stroller locks open. Folding it involves actuating a foot release and then pushing up on the small foot pedal. There is a carry strap on the side.

Conversion between modes: Easy and quick, involving two parachute clips, two sliding pieces for attaching the seat to the frame, and a zipper. Conversion is faster without the canopy in place, and we removed the canopy entirely while using the Liteway Plus as a stroller frame. There's a nice protective boot/cover that folds out from the foot rest to cover the seat back when folded forward into stroller frame mode. We recently switched the baby from the Keyfit 30 to a convertible car seat and I realized in a store parking lot that we hadn't switched the Liteway Plus into toddler mode; I was able to convert it in around 2 minutes while holding the baby on my hip.

Use as stroller frame: Good. When out and about with our newborn running quick errands, I often clicked the Keyfit right into the Liteway Plus, which can be easily maneuvered through the store with one hand while the other hand holds a shopping basket.

Use as stroller: Good. The canopy seems small compared to the City Mini and is relatively ineffective on a windy day. It has a "peekaboo" window in it to see your child. It's simple to change seat recline and harness adjustments, but we find the harness buckle to be a bit annoying to unfasten.

Child comfort: In stroller frame mode the child's comfort is by default that of the Keyfit, so I'll focus on comfort in toddler mode. Our very verbal 2.5 year old (at the time we bought the stroller) gave it her immediate seal of approval, and the baby has also been comfortable! The seat offers 5 recline positions and adjustable leg support. The harness straps are adjustable in height at three positions, with the highest spot still offering plenty of growing room for our tall older daughter. The recommended upper weight limit in toddler mode is 40 lbs, which may not be sufficient for a very big toddler but is more than adequate for her at 29 pounds at the time we bought the stroller.

Quality: The frame is sturdy and feels solid - this is no rattly, cheap umbrella stroller. The cover is the same nice fabric that's used in the Keyfit and Nextfit car seats and can be removed for washing. It has held up well to over a year of frequent use in the New England climate.

Pros:
~ Excellent long term value due to the 2-in-1 functionality
~ Easy, quick conversion between stroller frame and toddler mode
~ Good maneuverability and child comfort
~ Far more compact than a Chicco Cortina or other comparable travel system stroller

Cons:
~ Not quite as compact when folded as a cheap umbrella stroller
~ Annoying harness buckle in toddler mode (fabric covers the buckle and has to be pushed aside to unbuckle)
~ Skimpy canopy
77 comments|188 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 30, 2013
We originally had the Keyfit Caddy for travel (this wasn't out yet when we got the Caddy). Our son is a little older now (9 mo) and still uses the Keyfit carseat, but doesn't love being in it when he doesn't have to Therefore, he didn't like the Caddy much anymore. This is a wonderful alternative! We can still use it with the carseat if he is asleep and we want to keep him in the carseat, but can fold up quickly and easily to be an umbrella stroller. He loves how open it is to see out. We also like that it has recline positions. When we were in Mexico, he slept in the stroller reclined back almost every afternoon by the pool!

It is very lightweight and folds up smaller than the Caddy does (because it folds all the way in, not just in half), but it seems more quality. The ride is nicer and smoother with better wheels.

We did have a few issues with the side panel not staying clicked in at first, but after some use, it seems to have settled and is working okay. Also, the buttons to adjust the part that folds down behind his knees don't seem to function properly, but it isn't really a necessary function anyway. For a first version of the stroller, we are really happy!
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on August 23, 2013
I purchased this stroller after I purchased my Chicco Car Seat - Pegaso. This stroller goes great with the car seat (color wise). Also, it is so compact and easy to pull in and out of your trunk. I have a small car so it fits perfectly back there. My son is 3 months so I still insert the car seat into the stroller but when we go to the pool I like to lay the stroller seat all the way down (it adjusts to lay flat) and just lay him down in that. I can adjust the visor to lay over him and he doesn't fuss or anything. The compartment at the bottom is very small. I very rarely use it for anything. My diaper bag is too big for it but I just clip it onto the handles. The material on the handles keeps it from sliding down. The brakes work just fine. I use them when I'm pulling out his car seat to make sure it doesn't slide over. This car seat also comes with a cup holder that you can snap on. I don't like that too much. I've used it once and I was a little worried my drink was going to fall out but it never did. I tested it on somewhat bumpy concrete and it didn't fall out but I would just prefer it if it didn't move at all. Either way, I still absolutely love this stroller. It's perfect for my little boy and I know it's going to last us a few years!
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on July 8, 2013
This stroller is very easy to collapse and install the carrier. One tip from lessons learned fold the sun cover back before collapsing, the plastic hinges will bend and weaken if you don't fold before before collapsing to store.
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on August 2, 2013
I got this stroller because it is more compact than the original Chicco stroller, but can still hold my Chicco infant carrier. It's great for smooth surfaces - in stores and on smooth pavement. The ride is quite bumpy for an infant if you're on rough pavement or other rough surfaces. I hope to use it for many years to come!
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on January 6, 2014
We bought this stroller after using the Chicco Cortina travel system for a few months and deciding that we couldn't stand all the extra bulk of the giant stroller that comes in the travel system. The Liteway is amazing! Still fits the carseat for when their little but turns into an umbrella-like stroller as they get older. We still have plenty of storage space in the bottom and our son likes it because it's less bulky and allows him to see more from the seat. It folds up and down very easily and is simple to use. The canopy is a little smaller than the canopy on bigger strollers which can be an issue when it rains but so far, that hasn't been a big problem for us. We absolutely love how easily the front wheels pop on and off for storage in the car and when it's folded up, there is a handle on the side that makes carrying it a breeze!
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on September 8, 2014
Is perfect to a baby big than 1 year and you can combine with the Infant Car seat for a baby less tahn 1 year, is practical to keep in the car and my little baby who is starting to walk use like walker in the street also.
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on September 24, 2013
A stroller was the one item I was most particular about when looking for baby gear. I wanted something that was simple and comfortable to push. It folds nicely, isn't too heavy for pulling in and out of the car, steers and pushes very easily. I am 5'11" and never kick the back or feel like I am bending too far over to push comfortably. This is the only stroller we own. I am very glad I didn't buy a full size travel system. Our daughter is 6 weeks old, so we are still clipping in the carseat, but have been equally pleased when using it as a regular stroller with friends' kids.
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on October 25, 2013
My parents bought this stroller for their grandkids and we borrowed it to use with our 1-year-old for a trip because it was more compact than our Bumbleride Flyer. We have yet to return it because we love it so much. I've used it every day since. If I were to do my initial stroller buying all over again, I would get this stroller and the Chicco Keyfit carseat, since it snaps right in--amazing for travel.

It is heavier than most umbrella strollers, but the fact that it's so sturdy (we have really uneven, bumpy sidewalks) and it can take a carseat completely outweighs (ha ha) the extra weight, IMO.

It actually handles rough terrain better than my full-size stroller. Other things I love: almost full recline (babe naps like a champ in it), pretty big canopy for an umbrella stroller (even in full recline), easy to steer with one hand, folds up compactly, wheels come off easily for travel.

It's not perfect. What would make it even better:
* one-handed fold (still a lot easier to fold than my full-size though)
* lighter
* larger basket
* sturdier canopy (it unsnaps from the frame sometimes when I'm adjusting it) with pop-out SPF shade like the Uppababy strollers
* shoulder strap rather than fabric handle
* ability to buy a rain cover and full-coverage sun shade to fit, and a travel bag
* eliminating the annoying flap of fabric on the harness that has to be tucked in around the buckle (this may be the thing that bothers me the most, because it seems so easy to fix)

There is no perfect stroller for every instance though. Overall, a fantastic stroller.
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on July 27, 2013
So I LOVE this stroller. I get a lot of people stopping me and asking me about it. The only downfall is it doesn't quite fit across the back of my car. I have a Ford Flex, so it's a pretty big car and it can only go in the back if I put the third row down and lay it long ways instead of across the back. if the front wheels were removable it would be a lot more user friendly in terms of fitting in vehicles.
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