If you’ve been walking up and down multiple steps with a bulky baby stroller, a heavy baby, and a bagful of baby supplies, you know it’s challenging. You definitely need a lightweight, easy-to-fold stroller that’ll go up stairs without breaking your back and limbs. In this write-up, you’ll find a list of decent walk-up apartment strollers. Most of them are lightweight and compact umbrella models that bring lots of convenience to hectic urban living and travel.
Related: How to Fix Stroller Frame Scratches
This guide covers how to choose a good walk-up friendly stroller. It also lists down 5 decent options so you won’t have to start from nothing.
Best 5 Strollers for Walk-up Apartments
Each of my picks was selected for review because it was light and compact, easy to fold, and easy to steer. Also, every option has swiveling front wheels, most of which have suspension to smooth out bumps and cracks on pavement/sidewalks.
Most importantly, every pick is easy to carry up stairs along with the baby and even a grocery bag. Some have shoulder straps to make trips up steps comfortable and hands-free. But others need you to get a little creative and add a carry strap yourself.
Let’s now dive in and see what each recommendation offers moms and dads who live in walk-up apartments.
This popular stroller features a slim design, has a low center of gravity, and feels quite sturdy. Its maximum weight limit stands at 40 pounds. That’s significantly lower than most comparable options, but still an improvement from the older version whose limit was just 33 pounds.
Push the handle in before getting the baby out, and it’s easily a one-handed fold. It may be a travel system, but it folds to pretty much nothing. But folding takes some practice before it becomes effortless.
At 13lbs, it’s light enough. Most parents can bring it up stairs without challenges. The included shoulder strap makes carrying this stroller, baby, and grocery bag up steps easy enough.
The Babyzen Yoyo easily navigates tight spaces such as space-starved store aisles. It’s the right choice for Parisian Metro Turnstiles and overhead compartment on planes, buses, and trains.
It’s pricey, though, but its design packs a bunch of bells and whistles. First off, the frame and wheel axles are all aluminum, and all four wheels have suspension. Then there’s a roomy basket, storage behind the backrest, a storage bag, a canopy, and a rain cover. As for its multi-position backrest, it reclines a whooping 140˚. Plus, there’s a shoulder strap.
There’s tons of accessories you can buy separately to customize your stroller. For example, the seat cover and canopy come in a separate package, and you can buy them in several colors.
The canopy is firm and provides adequate shade. And you shouldn’t face challenges climbing curbs or transitioning between surfaces. Also, it rolls well over cobblestones, packed gravel, and beach sand.
But rides get somewhat uncomfortable on extremely rough terrain gets. And when pushing through loose surfaces, I need to push that much harder. Compared to the Bugamboo Chameleon, Pockit All-City, or the Upperbaby Cruz, the Babyzen Yoyo isn’t quite the star suspension-wise.
You can’t adjust this stroller’s handle height. However, parents over 6′ tall and shorter ones will find the handle height comfortable enough.
As for the brake, it’s reliable. But when I give it a harder push, it does move. On smooth city streets, it handles and turns like a dream.
Finally, with a car seat adapter (sold separately), the Babyzen Yoyo +6 is compatible with most major car seat brands including Nuna, Maxi Cosi, and others
- All-wheel suspension
- Washable seat cover
- Compatible with major car seat brands
- Offers extra storage behind backrest
- Seat cover and canopy available in multiple colors
- Has a shoulder strap
- Easy to push and steer
- Near-flat recline angle
- Folds up really small
- Storage bag included
- Slim design that fits through tight spaces
- Struggles when rolling over bumpy terrain
2. UPPAbaby Minu 2018
At 14.8pounds, the UPPAbaby Minu 2018 is heavier than the other options on this list. But anything below 15 pounds should be light enough for most moms and dads. It’s designed for 3-month-olds and older children up to 50 pounds.
The backrest reclines to an appreciable degree, but it could be sturdier. And like all UPPAbaby strollers, the UPPAbaby 2018 provides an extendable UV sun canopy. Also, there’s a peekaboo window so that you can keep an eye on your snoozing little one.
The handle offers no adjustability, but unless you’re too short or extremely tall, the height should be OK. It has a comfortable, grippy, leather handle vs foam handles for most strollers so you can enjoy pushing more.
If you invest in a birth bassinet kit (sold separately), this stroller works well for newborns as well. The bassinet lies nice and flat so that your baby can nap all they want all while facing you. And you can fold the UPPAbaby with the bassinet still on.
It folds down to a relatively small size. And the shoulder strap makes carrying easy it up steps easy. However, unfolding it isn’t a one-hand affair.
With a car seat adapter, the UPPAbaby enjoys compatibility with the following car seats: Cybex car seats, Nuna Pipa series, Mesa, and Maxi Cosi infant car seats.
Also, this option works with most stroller accessories including stroller fan, a bug net for comfortable summer strolls, and a cup holder.
Its braking system consists of two levers, and that makes it flip flops-friendly. There’s a red lever that turns of the brake and a green lever that turns it off.
All the wheels have suspension, and the front ones swivel to aid steering. But they struggle a bit over bumpy terrain. Finally, the storage basket — it’s spacious (20lbs), but accessibility is limited. The non-adjustable footrest limits front access, and while you can fit a diaper bag from the rear, you’ll have to squish it through.
- Peekaboo window
- All wheels have suspension
- One can mount a compatible car seat
- with bassinet, it allows use for newborns with bassinet
- Backrest could be firmer
- Heavier than most
Weighing just 12.3lbs, the GP Pockit All-Terrain is a lightweight and compact stroller. Assembled, its dimensions are 28″ x 19.1″ x 39.8.” When folded up, these dimensions shrink to just 13.4″ x 8″ x 16.5.”
It’s designed for 6-month-old babies and older children up to a weight limit of 55lbs. But the seat’s design allows zero recline. That makes this option unsuitable for newborns with weak necks.
A simple mechanism on the back lets you set up a 32-degree recline for comfortable strolls. The stroller comes with a UP50+ sun canopy, but it could be more rigid. In the recline position, this canopy has openings on the sides. It’s not a big deal, but it’s still not complete protection against the elements.
The handles telescope, too. When pulled out fully, they should be comfortable for most people. There’s a medium-sized shopping basket. And hauling your baby up stairs to your 4th floor walk-up apartment shouldn’t be difficult for most people.
This stroller features double wheels (8 wheels). Pressing a button locks each front wheel-set into swivel position for hitch-free transitioning from smooth surfaces to rougher terrain. Its braking system sits on the right rear wheel set, and it utilizes a cable to lock both wheel sets.
It features an aluminum upper frame, but the lower frame is all plastic. That’s partly why the frame feels a tad flimsy. Being highly foldable could be the other reason it the GP Pockit Air All-Terrain doesn’t feel super sturdy. For a minimalist stroller that reduces to an origami fold, not being super sturdy is hardly surprising.
Folding the Pockit+ All-Terrain to its smallest size isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of practice to learn. It’s a great choice when traveling by plane.
But you can’t carry the GP Pockit All-Terrain as a backpack — it lacks carrying straps. Luckily, you can always attach a pair of backpack straps with carabiners and free your hands for your baby.
Lest I forget, you can mount an infant car seat with this option.
- Lightweight and extremely compact
- Front wheels swivel
- Great for when traveling light
- Seat reclines adequately
- Comes with an infant car seat mount
- Folding to the smallest size can be tricky
- Canopy doesn’t close fully at the back in recline position
- No suspension
At 13.2lbs and measuring 28.7″ x 20.3″x 40.9″, the Pockit+ All-City is the heaviest option in the Pockit series. But it’s not too heavy that you can’t lug it up steps. But it’s sturdier and easier to fold compared to the All-Terrain.
It’s made for 6-month-old babies and bigger ones but not heavier than 55 pounds. Its weight capacity is exactly the same as that of its smaller, more compact sibling, the All-Terrain.
But why does the Pockit All-City cost more than the All-Terrain?
It’s because its frame is all aluminum versus aluminum/plastic frame of the All-Terrain. It’s also because the All-City’s frame is sturdier, which means it doesn’t fold up as small. Even though the All-City is a pound heavier, both are lightweight options that shouldn’t be challenging to carry up steps.
The All-City folds really easy, but the final fold isn’t as compact as the All-Terrain. Also, this stroller stands without falling over once folded up vs the All-Terrain which tends to tip over.
What’s more, the All-City offers a more spacious shopping basket. And this underneath storage is accessible from the front as well as from the back. Another feature that accounts for the price difference is that this option offers great suspension. The rides are that much smoother.
This stroller comes with 4 wheels, and the front ones swivel to help steering. The brake switch isn’t on the wheels though. The manufacturer decided to put this safety mechanism on a central location on the frame above the rear wheels.
Another extra that the All-City offers is an adjustable footrest so your baby can enjoy more comfort during strolls.
Also, the All-City Compact features telescopic handles. But the difference in sturdiness between these pushchairs is noticeable.
Like the All-Terrain, the All-City reclines, but not as much as does the All-Terrain. If you’re wondering how farther back this stroller reclines, it’s roughly 23.˚
Finally, this stroller allows you to strap an infant baby car sit onto it. The mount’s in the package.
- Entire frame made of aluminum
- Adjustable footrest
- Roomy basket
- Good front-wheel suspension
- Infant car seat mount included
- Very easy fold
- Sun canopy closes without openings on the sides
- Not cheap
- Recline angle could be greater
5 Kolcraft – Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller (Budget Option)
The Kolcraft Cloud weighs slightly less than 12lbs. Most of the frame is aluminum while the rest is plastic. No surprise there considering it’s a budget option. But it offers more features than most cheap strollers and even some pricier ones.
The frame is sturdy, but not as
You can recline the seat, and the sun shade is extendable. But there’s no peekaboo window, but I don’t most moms and dads would be bummed about it given how affordable it is.
This deal also offers two cup holders around the handlebar and a removable parent tray. There’s also an easy-to-access basket for holding baby supplies, but it could be sturdier than that. One more thing: the basket sits too close to the ground. You’ll have to detach it and carry for the most part, and that’s definitely a bummer.
While this is a lightweight stroller, it doesn’t fold down very small. Nor is it easy to fold. There’s a small lock that’s supposed to hold the fold, but you may have to kind of coax it to work right. And in some cases, the lock doesn’t stay tight and even releases.
The wheels are doubles, and the front one swivel. But they don’t seem like high-quality wheels. They’re built for smooth surfaces, not for the roughest terrains.
Unlike the other options here, this stroller comes with a 3-point harness. While 3-point child restrain devices are OK, many parents seem to have greater in 5-point harnesses.
One little thing you’ll like about the Kolcraft is that you can roll the back of the seat up and vecro it to the top. What remains is a highly breathable mesh that keeps your little one comfortable during sunny strolls.
- Really cheap
- Cup holder + removable parent tray
- Basket sits too low
- Back of seat rolls up to reveal a breathable mesh
- Features a sun canopy
- Doesn’t fold small enough
- Folding mechanism not 100% reliable
- Wheels could be better quality
- No peekaboo
How to Choose a Good Walk-Up Baby Stroller (A Buying Guide)
Strollers aren’t cheap. And no one likes ending up with one that’s expensive for nothing. Or one that doesn’t help make life easier. In this guide, you’ll learn how to choose the right walk-up friendly baby strollers. Below is a set of considerations to help keep your search focused.
A Lightweight Compact Stroller is the Best Choice
Anyone who lives on the other side of a stair set needs the lightest stroller they can afford. But lightweight suddenly becomes relative when you consider that people’s bodies aren’t built the same.
If you’re a big and muscular mom or dad, a 20 pound will feel pretty light. But the same stroller weight might feel like a ton of bricks to someone with a smaller, lighter build.
That said, most parents should be able to carry a 15-pound stroller without straining. Fortunately, none of the strollers I reviewed weighs over 15lbs.
Choose a lightweight, compact stroller made from durable materials that can handle being folded into small spaces. Carrying such options up flights of stairs is easy.
Also, storing them isn’t a headache. Just hang the thing behind the door. Or stick it in some corner. Or toss it in a bag and hide it under a bed. With a lightweight choice, you won’t need storage space on landings. And space is something you likely lack if you live in a high-rise apartment.
Maximum Weight Limit
Every stroller manufacturer indicates the maximum weight capacity of each model. Be sure to check the weight limit of the option that’s piqued your interest. If it says the highest weight limit is 55 pounds, stick to that. If you abuse the stroller by carrying a much heavier baby plus other things, there’s no safety guarantee.
Frame Material: Choose a High-Quality Lightweight Aluminum Frame
Lightweight strollers are a great option for when you need to travel light without sacrificing stroller safety or comfort.
Go for a lightweight frame because you can carry such a stroller with one hand and have your other hand free. Even better, choose one with a shoulder strap so you can have both hands free.
This makes your life a whole lot easier when carrying baby, stroller, and groceries through crowded city streets and tight spaces.
A good walk-up apartment stroller features a high-quality lightweight aluminum frame. Such an option is typically durable and won’t be too hard on your back.
Fortunately, all my picks boast reasonably sturdy metal frames and none will weigh down your arms as you get in and out of trans, cabs, buses, or as you trek across town.
Foldable: Choose an Easy-to-Fold Stroller
A baby stroller should make your life easier, but not every choice suits the needs of parents and caregivers. For example, if you live in an apartment or condo, a massive non-foldable stroller can make your life harder than it needs to be.
Let’s assume you live in a standard two-story house. You have between 14 and 16 steps to climb. But you’re often tired and you really shouldn’t have to carry a heavy baby and an equally heavy stroller up that many steps. And that’s where a good walk-up apartment stroller helps.
If you have to walk up multiple steps, definitely choose a baby stroller you can fold with one hand. Get a compact stroller design that folds down into a really small size. The most compact strollers easily fit into small backpacks, overhead compartments in buses and trains, and store aisles, and stroller storage bags.
GB Pockit has the world’s most compact once folded up. But Pockits aren’t the only highly foldable options. Always make sure to read the product’s description to learn its actual dimensions pre-folding and post-folding.
Check If It Comes With a Carry Strap
Living in a high-floor apartment is great. You get to live in the city, plus you don’t have to worry about things like home maintenance and repairs. But it comes with its own set of challenges — stairs.
If it’s too much of a hassle to carry your stroller up and down stairs every time you want to use it, you likely won’t use it much. And don’t leave the stroller outside when going out because thieves love them!
So, get a stroller with a built-in shoulder strap as this makes carrying it up and down stairs a breeze. But if you find a decent choice that lacks a strap but believe you can attach backpack straps to it, that’s perfectly OK.
Handle Height: Shouldn’t Be too Tall or Too Short
When buying a stroller, one thing to pay attention to is handle height. You want an option that’s comfortable for your little one to sit on while being easy for you to push around
You never want to buy a stroller only to realize on package arrival that the handle is too high or too low. It’s best to choose a stroller with an adjustable handlebar or one that telescopes.
But if it has a fixed handle height, make sure it’ll be comfortable enough for you and any other person who’ll push it.
The only to learn this information is to read reviews of each option you’re interested in before choosing.
Another consideration to keep in mind is handlebar quality. Most strollers come with a handlebar made of grippy foam, and that’s OK. Better ones feature luxurious leather handles that give you a nice push experience.
Look At the Wheel Quality, Design, and Suspension
When looking for a stroller, consider the type of terrain you’ll mostly use it on. Find a stroller with wheels that swivel 360 degrees as such easily make maneuvering around tight corners easier.
A stroller with swiveling front wheels that can be locked and unlocked is a good choice when trekking across a busy city. Swiveling also comes in handy when shopping in stores with tight spaces.
And when moving from smooth surfaces to rougher ones, swiveling helps a lot. On smooth surfaces, you want your front wheels to stay in swivel mode. But when you reach rough territory, lock the wheels so they keep rolling forward and straight.
With some strollers, being able to lock and unlock the wheels can make folding easier. Also, select a model with a decent suspension system that can handle bumpy roads.
Does It Have a Canopy or Even Better, a Rain Cover?
When it’s sunny or hot outside, your baby will appreciate having a UV protected sun canopy above their little head. And when it rains or drizzles, they need a proper rain cover to keep the water out. They may also need a bug net to keep those pesky skeets away so you can stroll through the park without worry.
Most strollers these days come with at least a sun visor. But a sun visor doesn’t provide as much protection like a decent canopy. Luckily, some strollers let you upgrade to a better canopy and even add a rain cover and a bug net.
Best Stroller for Walk-up Apartment Wrap-up
Choosing a lightweight stroller that also folds nice and easy to a small footprint isn’t that hard. If you know what to look for and pitfalls to avoid, it shouldn’t make for difficult shopping. If it weighs 15 pounds or less, is a one-hand fold, handles well, has a functional braking system, and rolls over cracks well, that’s the one.
Did you find an option in the reviews that you liked? Do you have a personal experience with any of the recommended walk-up apartment strollers you’d like to share with other moms and dads? Tell me about it in the comments below.
I'm Esther Moni, a proud stay-at-home mom and a psychology graduate of the United States International University (USIU) . I hate it when anyone calls me a housewife, because what does housewife even mean? Being a mother of two babies and a pup, Bailey, as well as being Ricky's wife tires me to no end, but I still manage a smile at the end of it all. And when my boys aren't done doing mischief, I juggle writing a post on parenting or baby gear performance for this blog and running my little counselling office based out in Nairobi. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/esther.moni/">Visit my Facebook profile here</a>, and this is my <a href="https://ke.linkedin.com/in/esther-moni-3841b573/">LinkedIn profile</a>, and here's my <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKcVb3NNDrURDH8C0KiAE1g/">nascent youtube channel.