I never knew that strollers were so confusing until I had my first child. A stroller seems like a pretty basic purchase but I quickly learned that that’s not quite the case. Not in today’s market where there are so many to choose from. With so many different things to consider, it’s not nearly as simple as I thought it was. But fortunately, now that my son is almost three years old, I’ve pretty much figured out what I need, what features are important to me and what bells and whistles I can do without. This has helped me make more educated decisions about strollers and what will best suit our family’s lifestyle when we’re at home and when we’re traveling. That’s where the Maxi-Cosi Lara Ultra Compact Stroller comes in!

At this point, my son has graduated from his infant carrier to a regular stroller. But making the transition from his infant carrier to something that serves both my needs and his required some time and research. I’ve learned that not all strollers are created equal.

The first stroller I ever got was so big that it took up the entire back of my trunk, leaving little to no room for groceries or anything else (my husband was thrilled; he figured less trunk room meant less shopping.) But the frustration of opening and closing a large stroller, then heaving it into the trunk just wasn’t worth it. I needed something that would offer my son a comfortable ride but also provided me with features that would make my life easier.

Maxi-Cosi Lara Ultra Compact Stroller Review

The Maxi-Cosi Lara Ultra Compact Stroller checked a lot of my boxes; there’s a lot to love about it. First of all, I loved that it was so easy to set up. Just snap on the wheels and it’s ready to go. (I’ve had other strollers take much longer to assemble, which is a small annoyance but an annoyance nonetheless.) It’s compact and lightweight, which is extremely important, both when I’m running errands close to home and when I’m traveling.

I love that you can collapse the whole stroller with just one hand. That’s a super-convenient feature. I can hold my son’s hand with one hand and still take care of the stroller with the other. The Maxi-Cosi Lara stroller is 14lbs, which I found perfectly manageable. It’s easy to get in and out of the trunk of the car and fits into an airplane overhead bin so you don’t have to worry about checking it. (Be sure to fold in the foot rest when you’re collapsing the stroller so that it will fit.) When it’s collapsed, it folds down into a neat little square that’s easy to carry and handle and it comes with a handy carrying strap, too.

The stroller also maneuvers nicely with just one hand, which is good because I’m sure most parents will tell you that they never feel like they have enough hands to push the stroller and carry ALL THE GEAR, especially if you’ve got one more than one child. There are two baskets under the stroller for storage and while they’re not huge, they are super handy and offer enough room to carry around the essentials. The top pocket is useful for things you need to have quick access to like your phone, wipes or snacks. I always wear a cross-body bag as well for all the other stuff.

The Maxi-Cosi Lara Ultra Compact Stroller also offers two-position recline so your child can be in an upright position for exploring and engaging but can also lie down when it’s time for a nap. The first time I used this stroller with my son was on a visit to the LA Zoo and it was the perfect companion to our day trip. There’s a lot of walking at the zoo so when he needed a break, he was perfectly happy to just chill in his stroller. Plus, it was a hot and sunny day and the extendable UPF 50 sun shade offered great sun protection, which I really appreciated. That’s one of my complaints about many strollers … the canopies often aren’t large enough to offer ample shade and I hate to see my son’s little arms or legs getting too much sun when we’re out for a long time. The canopy also has a mesh peek-a-boo window on the top allowing air and light to flow through so your little one doesn’t feel too stuffy or claustrophobic and so you can see them while you’re pushing them from behind.

The only problem I encountered with the stroller was that sometimes while walking, my foot would inadvertently hit the wheel lock button and the stroller would come to a halt. Perhaps my stride was too long, but regardless, I got used to it and was easily able to avoid constantly hitting the brake.

Strollers are an essential and something you’ll use every day for years (it can be used for a child up to 50 lbs) so you want to make sure you choose wisely. The Maxi-Cosi Lara Ultra Compact Stroller is an excellent option and my favorite features are that it’s lightweight, compact and easy to collapse, making it an ideal choice for travel. And it has an ample sun canopy – that gets a big thumbs up, too. It comes in blue, black and grey. I have the stroller in Nomad Blue; it’s a dark, almost denim blue and I’m making sure I keep it in good condition for Baby #2, coming soon!

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