Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller Review
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During the 60s, 70’s and the 80’s, America was full of interesting, stately looking vehicles. They were long (a bit too long perhaps), wide, had big motors and most importantly, a generous smattering of chrome. However, over time, Americans realized that these cars, even though majestic and characterful, were impractical. They guzzled fuel like there was no tomorrow, had a lot of body roll and were difficult to maneuver.
Slowly but surely, people began to acknowledge how incredulously expensive these vehicles were to buy and run and hence, began the era of the Japanese automobile. Suddenly, the roads were full of Civics and Corollas. They didn’t have the road presence of a Dodge Daytona or a Plymouth Charger. But man, they were unbeatable in terms of efficiency, economy and convenience.
The Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller too, gives conventional full-size strollers a serious run for their money. Once a person gets a taste of its compact size and ridiculously light weight, there’s simply no going back to a heavy, bulky, unwieldy stroller. But unlike other umbrella strollers, the Cloud Plus is a lightweight stroller with a difference.
As you may already know, parents often avoid strollers that are low in weight for a variety of reasons. First of all, the build quality is horrible. Nobody can predict when the stroller decides to go belly up. Secondly, the ride quality is disgraceful – it’s not uncommon for an umbrella stroller to shudder and rattle violently while going over bumps. Last but not the least, lightweight strollers have next to no features; basically, it’s just an uncomfortable seat mounted on rickety wheels. Understandably, parents are not really keen on placing their kids in such unreliable and primitive contraptions!
The Cloud Plus is in a whole different league altogether. At just 11.8 pounds, it is almost ludicrously light, even by umbrella stroller standards. (Now we all know why it’s called the ‘Cloud’!) However, what’s really unexpected and pleasantly surprising is the fact that the stroller is endowed with premium features such as a reclining seat, suspension and a quick folding mechanism. Moreover, the frame is extremely sturdy – this is actually one of the best selling strollers in the USA and yes, it’s JPMA certified.
Parents LOVE the Kolcraft Cloud Plus for several reasons. Unlike most umbrella strollers which are flimsy, this one is very durable and stable. The high quality fabrics are easy to clean. It has loads of convenient features to make life easy for both the parent and the rider.
What really set’s this stroller apart though, is how travel friendly it is! Be it air/car travel or commutes via public transport, the Cloud’s compact dimensions make it easy to transport. Parents don’t need to huff and puff while carrying it around – even a person with a small frame can easily lift it and that too, with just one hand. After all, it weighs only as much as a medium sized bag of groceries.
It’s amazing how Kolcraft has managed to put together such an outstanding stroller at a highly affordable price. The Cloud Plus definitely bridges the gap between umbrella and full-fledged strollers. It embodies the best qualities of both. Initally, we were extremely skeptical about reviewing an 11.8 pound model but as we said, it really pushes the envelope in terms of what an urban stroller can be and do!
Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller Features:
Adjustable Seating: The Seat of the Cloud plus is Disney size approved. It’s just a hint over 12 inches wide, which is more thank enough to accommodate a toddler comfortably. The floor to seat height is almost 15 inches; this ensures that the occupant is not sitting too low to the ground and can enjoy a pleasant view of his/her surroundings.
The seat is suitable for a kid weighing up to 40 pounds and with a maximum height of 40 inches. Actually, the stroller has a carrying capacity of 50 pounds but the remaining ten pounds are for luggage and other supplies.
The seat back can recline to multiple positions. It doesn’t fall fully flat but it’s good enough for the kid to rest after a long day of fun-filled activities. The seat fabric is of a premium quality – we have noticed that many strollers have fabrics that cause excessive perspiration (especially in the Californian Sun) and kids get itchy and irate after riding in the stroller for about 40-50 minutes. However, our little one was happy in the Cloud Plus for a good part of a day and even took a power nap in the afternoon. We were never worried about him even as we went up and down slopes as he was safely secured via the 5 point safety harness.
The stroller has a fully adjustable canopy with visor for UV protection. The hood is pretty large and lets the kid have a bit of seclusion in noisy and crowded areas. There’s a peek-a-boo window at the back to allow parents to make sure all’s well without disturbing the child.
All-Terrain Wheels: Now, you’d expect a lightweight stroller to have really puny wheels and in most cases, you’d be absolutely right...but not this time! The front wheels have a diameter of 5.75 inches and the rear ones, 6.75 inches. Actually, there are 4 wheels at the front instead of the usual two. Both front axles have dual wheels. The extra wheels keep the stroller very stable even on irregular surfaces such as cobblestone streets. They also provide better traction and make the stroller easy to push.
The wheels are made out of rubber and Kolcraft claims that they are ‘all-terrain’. Well, we tried the stroller over a small gravel patch and took it to the local park which has short grass. It did well on both occasions but was much more composed on grass compared to gravel. While we feel that it can handle almost anything that cities can throw at it, we wouldn’t try to take it out in thick snow and over rocky terrain.
(If you’re on the lookout for a stroller that’ll do very well on dirt tracks and forest trails, we’d suggest checking out the Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight Jogging stroller. It has large bicycle wheels and pneumatic tires with genuine off-roading ability)
Front Wheel Suspension: The Cloud Plus needs to have a smooth ride – otherwise the nomenclature simply doesn’t make any sense! Kolcraft has equipped it with front suspension and hence, the stroller has a remarkably smooth ride quality – it’s leap years ahead of the generic umbrella strollers on the market. This Cloud glides over mundane obstacles such as speed bumps.
One-Hand Fold: The stroller can be folded quickly and easily with just one hand. It stores easily in the boot of most urban cars. You don’t need to have a pickup truck or minivan to transport this one. Airport attendants are happy to check it in at the gate while flying.
The Cloud can stand independently when folded. This is extremely useful in cafes, restaurants, hospitals and shopping centers. Other strollers either need something/someone to lean on or they simply fall flat to the ground and the fabrics get dirty.
Storage Options: The stroller has two trays – one for the kid and another one for the parent. Both have dual cup holders. The parent tray has a storage compartment for things like a cellphone, change, keys etc.
The storage basket located underneath the seat has nice high edges to prevent sagging.
Swivel Wheels: The stroller is very nimble thanks to front swivel wheels. We were able to have a bit of fun and do mini slaloms with it on the sidewalk – going around benches, trees, poles and so on. The stroller stays in one place once the rear brakes are engaged.
- Very Light. Only 11.8 pounds
- Front wheel spring suspension
- One-hand fold. Stands independently upon folding
- 6 wheels for better grip and stability. Limited multi-terrain ability
- JPMA certified. Reliable, tested, decent build quality
- Does not accept infant car seats: The Cloud Plus does so well on so many counts, we almost wished it was compatible with car seats. But since it’s not, it cannot be used from birth. It’s not suitable for infants – it’s only recommended for kids who can hold their heads up independently and can sit up unassisted. If this model did accept car seats, it would have been near perfect as an urban stroller.
- The handlebar is not height adjustable: The handlebar height is 34 inches. This is okay for people who’re of or below average height. Taller people will have to lean forward to push the stroller and this may cause back pain.
- Not recommended for jogging. (If you’re in the market for a jogging stroller, check out the Baby Trend Expedition Travel System)
Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight Stroller Review & Final Verdict:
The Kolcraft Cloud Plus Lightweight stroller exceeds expectations and even though it’s not perfect, it’s stupid good for the price!
Jogging enthusiasts and families with infants should avoid this model but if you’re someone who just wants a reliable, comfortable and convenient lightweight stroller, few others come close to the Cloud Plus. (Also, see the kolcraft cloud sport lightweight stroller).
SNUGBABY SCORE: 86/100