Stroller brand review: Chicco Chicco Viaro travel system

Chicco’s Viaro stroller system runs $280—a good deal since it includes our top-rated infant car seat (the KeyFit) which alone runs $200.

Web site: chiccousa.com

Chicco (pronounced KEY-ko) has a 50-year history as one of Europe’s leading juvenile products makers. Along with Peg Perego, Chicco is one of Europe’s biggest baby gear brands. One difference between the two: Chicco strollers are made in China; Peg strollers are made in Italy.

Chicco’s success with its KeyFit infant car seat has translated into more fans for its matching strollers.

The models. Chicco has 10 stroller models sold in five broad categories: lightweight, full-size, jogging, double and frame.

At the entry-price point of Chicco’s stroller line is their lightweight models: the Liteway, Echo and Capri (C6).

The Liteway ($140, 17 lbs.) features two handles, rear wheel suspension, padded five-point harness, cup holder and a full recline. We liked the boot that tucks away when not in use. Unfortunately, the Lightway isn’t car seat compatible. For that you need the Liteway Plus ($180) which works with the Chicco infant seat. After you are finished using it with the infant seat, you flip back the stroller seat and it becomes a toddler stroller that has an umbrella fold and weighs 19.2 lbs.

Similar to the basic Liteway, the Echo ($190 for twin) features a four position reclining seat and adjustable leg rest. The main difference between the Echo and Liteway: the Echo has double wheels up front, while the Liteway has single wheels. In our opinion, the double wheels make a stroller easier to steer.

Chicco Capri stroller

The Capri is both lightweight and light on your wallet at $77.

The entry-level Capri (also known as the C6; $80, 11 lbs.) features a two-position seat recline, five-point harness and basic canopy.

Coming in early 2018, Chicco will debut a new lightweight stroller: the Mini Bravo, which will replace the Liteway. This $150 stroller will feature a one-hand quick fold and larger basket plus parent tray. The Mini Bravo Plus will hold an infant car seat for $180.

Let’s talk Chicco’s full-size strollers. The flagship model here is the Urban ($400), a modular stroller with telescoping handle, aluminum frame, standing fold, large basket, quick release EVA tires, included car seat adapter for the KeyFit and a reversible seat. This 24.1 lb. stroller also includes a clever seat that converts to a carry cot. The Urban is clearly aimed at the UPPAbaby Vista and is priced aggressively ($200+ cheaper than the Vista).

New for summer 2017, Chicco is rolling out a luxury edition of the Urban, dubbed the Urban Lee ($500 at Babies R Us). Upgrades include rubber wheels (the regular Urban has EVA foam), leatherette handlebar cover and included car seat adapter for a KeyFit infant car seat.

As we move up in price, we come to Chicco’s full-size strollers, anchored by the Cortina. It is sold as part of a travel system ($330, paired with Chicco’s highly rated KeyFit infant seat). The Cortina features a more traditional design with height-adjustable handles and decent size basket. We thought it was well designed—we liked the one-hand fold and fully reclining seat.

Chicco Bravo Trio stroller

The Bravo’s stroller seat removes easily to accommodate a Key Fit car seat.

The Chicco Bravo Trio ($230 stand-alone, $290 travel system, 22.7 lbs.) features a self-standing, quick fold. With a seat that pops off, the frame then can carry the Chicco infant seat. It is similar to the Baby Jogger City Mini 4 wheel and Britax B-Agile. FYI: The Bravo will eventually replace the Cortina over the coming year. The Bravo LE has upgraded fabrics for an extra $20.

The Bravo also comes in a double version (BravoFor2, $280)—it provides a seat for a younger child up front and a place for an older toddler to sit or stand in bac. The BravoFor2 also can hold an infant car seat.

Chicco has been expanding their stroller offerings in recent years, adding a multi-function stroller (the Urban), an all-terrain model (Activ3/Tre) and stroller frame (KeyFit Caddy).

Chicco Urban 6-in1 Modular Stroller

The Urban is Chicco’s answer to the Bugaboo.

The Activ3/Tre strollers are Chicco’s take on the tri-wheel, all-terrain market dominated by the BOB Revolution. The Active3 features height adjustable handle, swivel/lockable front wheel, extendible canopy, large basket and included car seat adapter. The Active3 ($300; travel system $460) also has 12″ foam filled tires and a standing fold plus adjustable suspension. The Tre ($300) is an upgraded version of the Active3, with bigger 16″ air-filled wheels, hand brake and upgraded fabrics.

Rounding out the Chicco line is a stroller frame, dubbed the KeyFit Caddy ($100, 11 lbs.). As you might guess, it fits a Chicco KeyFit infant car seat (which pops in with a click) and has a big storage basket plus a height adjustable handle. The frame only fits Chicco infant seats, however. Coming in early 2018, Chicco plans to launch an upgrade to the Caddy—the Shuttle will feature a one-hand fold and bigger basket for $$120. Same basic function as the Caddy—it will hold an Chicco KeyFit or Fit2 infant car seat.

Chicco Viaro travel system

Chicco’s Viaro travel system with the Key Fit 30 car seat.

New for 2017: the Viaro, Chicco’s lightest travel system with a stroller that weighs in at 19.9 lbs. The travel system with the Key Fit 30 car seat runs $280, while the stroller itself retails for $200. Besides the light weight, the Viaro has a one-hand fold similar to the Baby Jogger Citi Mini, front wheel suspension, trays with cupholders for both parents and baby, toe-tap brake locks and dual access basket.

Fans of the Viaro like the smooth ride and ease of assembly but critics say the stroller is too bulky; the partial seat recline also comes in for its share of criticism from parents who say it doesn’t easily accommodate napping toddlers.

Finally, lest we forget, Chicco makes two double strollers: the Cortina Together and Echo Twin. The Cortina Together ($300, 30 lbs.) is a front/back tandem stroller that holds two car seats and features an aluminum frame, a storage basket with trap door access, three-position handle and flat fold. Chicco also makes a double version of the Echo, the Echo Twin ($190, 30.5 lbs.). This stroller is a Target exclusive.

Our view. We like Chicco’s strollers, which get good marks for quality and durability from our readers.

Our particular favorites are the Viaro and Bravo, which hit the right notes in terms of features and value. Bulk and weight are the main drawbacks with the Chicco Urban, which otherwise earns cheers for its multi-function feature that can morph into six different modes. A color pack lets you change the stroller’s look; the price at $400 is also attractive since competitors are in the $500-$700 range.

But the Urban can’t fold with the seat attached—you have to remove the seat first. Even when folded, the Urban will take up a large amount of trunk space. So a mixed bag for the Urban: good value, but competitors like UPPA, Baby Jogger City Select and Britax B-Ready outshine the Urban on usability. FYI: The Urban LE changes that equation a bit—it CAN fold with the seat attached.

As for Chicco’s lightweight strollers, those models are in transition as we speak. We look forward to the new Bravo Mini when it debuts in early 2018; Chicco’s current lightweight models are being surpassed in features and value by brands like Summer at the moment.

The only bummer in Chicco’s like is their all-terrain option, the Active3/Tre. These models are disappointing compared to the BOB Revolution and Graco Fast Action jogger models.

One caveat to Chicco’s strollers are the handles, which in most lower-price Chicco models are not height adjustable. That frustrates taller parents.

Overall, we think Chicco is a good brand and the prices are a decent value. Baby Bargains Resale Rank: Good. Rating: B+