I was absolutely thrilled when Chicco started advertising their new Echo stroller. I was ready to retire our bulky travel system stroller for one that was lightweight and easier to store. Unfortunately, the Chicco Liteway that I had been eyeing was slightly above our price range but as soon as I saw the almost identical, less expensive Echo, I knew this was the ride we’d been waiting for!
From the box, assembling the stroller was as easy as snapping on the wheels and the canopy. The instruction manual was easy to read and the illustrations were very clear, but honestly, I probably didn’t even need it to put this baby together. Once assembled, this stroller looked just as sharp as it did in the ads. The bright color of the rear tube supports matches the color of the fabric (the Echo has 6 brilliant colors to choose from), the embroidered padded seats, and the European-style wheels make the stroller look really slick.
As I mentioned before, one of the reasons I leaned toward the Echo was that it is lightweight and takes up very little space when folded. We live in a small condo, so ‘space’ is at a premium. This stroller fits easily into a closet or the trunk of a car and only weighs 17 pounds (8 pounds less than my son!). I was also pleasantly surprised to find that when folded there is a carrying handle attached to the frame of the stroller. Folding the stroller is pretty simple. With both hands on the handles, you just step on the release pedal and squeeze the frame together. Once folded, there is a latch that holds the stroller closed. Opening the stroller is just as easy; you unclip the latch, unfold the frame and step on the rear locking mechanism.
Once we were ready to go I was pleased at how uncomplicated it was to strap my wiggly 1-year-old in. The padded seat is very comfortable it seemed like he was sitting in a miniature chair rather than a stroller. The 5-point harness was simple enough to hook up, though I wonder if at some point as he gets bigger he will get tired of the shoulder straps. The center buckle is meant to be covered with a padded cover strap which probably provides more cushioning against the buckle, but it’s hard to tell if it really makes any difference. The backrest can be easily adjusted to 4 different positions and the leg rest can be adjusted as well.
The instruction manual and the Chicco website do not specify a minimum weight for the stroller, though, I would recommend it for older infant and toddler use. The weight maximum is 40 lbs, which gives us several more years of use. My 25-pound son is easy enough to maneuver around in the Echo and I was pleased at what a smooth ride it was. The front wheels swivel, but can be locked for different terrain, and the back wheels lock when you push on levers on each of the two wheels. It is important to note that you must lock both back wheels separately for the brakes to be securely engaged.
The Echo does have a canopy with a detachable back panel. Since I live in Florida, I wish the canopy had a little more coverage from the sun. In the middle of the day, it’s hard to get the shade just right and I would hate for my little guy to get a sunburn! There is also a detachable cup holder for mom or dad that works well. I have found that it comes detached when the stroller is folded and will needed to be reattached each time you unfold the stroller. While this hasn’t been a huge problem, I do worry that I will lose the cup holder when it is not attached. Another nice feature is the storage basket underneath the stroller that is one of the most spacious and useful storage baskets I’ve seen on a stroller.
Overall, I have been extremely happy with the Chicco Echo and would certainly recommend this stroller to any parent of an older infant or toddler who is ready for a low-cost, lightweight stroller.
To buy: target.com