Lightweight strollers have a special place in my heart. There are times when I have no patience for bulky, cumbersome strollers and find ease of portability and compact fold very enticing. Of course, the more features a lightweight stroller packs, the happier that makes me and my little stroller passengers.
With that in mind, I decided to do a side by side comparison of the GB Qbit stroller (which I recently reviewed) and Aprica Magical Air Plus, which I've been using for close to 2 years.
To begin with, let me say that comparing these two is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. If you're looking for a stroller to bring on an airplane as a carry-on, the Aprica Magical Air Plus is not a contender, since it doesn't fold compact enough to meet airline requirements. However, if you're just looking for a very lightweight, easy to use stroller for quick errands in the city, or to keep in your car as a backup, these strollers' comfort and convenience features can be compared side by side.
Qbit - 14.8 lbs (6.3 kg) | Magical Air+ - 7 lbs (3.3 kg)
At half the weight of Qbit, the Aprica wins in this category. The name Magical Air+ is really appropriate for this little stroller.
Magical Air+ - 18w x 12.5 x 34.8h" | Qbit - 19.3w x 21 x 13h"
The Qbit has a manual fold lock. The Magical Air + locks automatically when folded.
Qbit - seat width - 13", seat depth - 11", backrest height - 17" (25" to canopy)
Magical Air+ - seat width - 12", seat depth - 10" - backrest height - 18" (23" to canopy)
Measurements aside, I think the seat on the Magical Air Plus offers more and is generally more comfortable than on the Qbit. The MA+ has some very unique features that are usually found on full size strollers and are rarely seen on lightweight strollers.
The Magical Air+ comes with a fabric covered, swing away bumper bar, while there is no bar included with the Qbit.
The backrest on the Magical Air+ features a unique ventilation system which helps keep your child cool in hot weather. This feature blows my mind, because it goes to show that despite being feather-light, the MA+ is a very cleverly engineered stroller. The seat fabric is made of 3D Air Mesh, to further promote air circulation.
While the seat fabric is not removable on the Qbit, the MA+ fabric can be removed and washed.
The flap in the back of the canopy on MA+ can be rolled up for even more air flow. The Qbit does not offer this option.
Finally, the harness on the MA+ can be used as a 3 or 5 point harness, while the harness on the Qbit can only be used as a 5 point. On the other hand, the Qbit comes with nice, soft harness strap covers, which the MA+ is missing.
The seat on the Qbit is a bit higher from the ground than on the MA+.
Both strollers lack a leg rest.
Magical Air Plus seat & harness
Qbit seat & harness
Ventilation System built into the backrest on Magical Air Plus
The Qbit takes the round in the canopy department. Although neither stroller has a very large canopy, the Qbit's canopy provides more coverage. I also like that it's made of solid fabric that adequately shades from the sun. The canopy on the MA+ is partially made of black mesh, which still allows plenty of sun through. I purchased a universal, adjustable canopy extender that compensates for the lack of adequate coverage on the Magical Air+.
Qbit - 41" | Magical Air + - 37.5"The handlebar on the Qbit is significantly higher than on the MA+. Since I'm petite, I actually prefer the shorter handlebar on the MA+, but I can see how it may be too low for taller parents.
Both handlebars have a button in the center which triggers the folding mechanism. This button takes up a lot more of the handlebar space on the Qbit, than on the Magical Air +.
The Qbit has a parent cup holder attached to the handlebar, whereas there's not cup holder on MA+.
BasketWhen it comes to storage, the Qbit is a clear winner. The basket on the Qbit is both roomy and easy to access. The basket on the MA+ is merely decorative and hard to access. Sure, it can hold a pack of wipes and a baby blanket, but you will not fit anything remotely resembling a diaper bag in there.
Wheel size: Qbit - 5.5" | Magical Air Plus - 4.75"
Both strollers have double wheels with a pedal break on both rear wheels. The wheels on the Qbit are larger and thicker, giving the stroller a bit of an advantage on uneven pavement.
Magical Air + has suspension on all 4 wheels, while the Qbit is only equipped with rear suspension.
The front wheels are lockable on both strollers.
Please keep in mind, that the wheels on the Aprica look rubbed off because the stroller has been used extensively for almost 2 years, whereas the Qbit is brand new.
Both strollers maneuver really well with one hand. When making a sudden turn, the Qbit is a wee bit more responsive due to it's larger wheels.
Car Seat Compatibility
Qbit is compatible with GB Asana35, Cybex Aton, Maxi Cosi Mico and Nuna Pipa car seats.
The Magical Air Plus does not take a car seat.
I noticed that none of the strollers in the Aprica lineup are travel system compatible. Since these strollers are made for the Japanese market, I'm assuming that in the Japanese culture, sleeping in a car seat outside of the car is considered unhealthy and discouraged.
Where To Buy
GB Qbit stroller is available in graphite with a choice of 5 frame colors. It can be ordered from Baby's Den or on Amazon.
The Aprica Magical Air Plus is currently available in 2, 2015 colors. The stroller also has an even smaller and lighter version, Magical Air (drop the +), which is available in 4 colors. Aprica strollers can be ordered directly on Global Rakuten or on Japanese Amazon, via Tenso ( a shipping intermediary). I've ordered from both in the past and always had a smooth transaction. Shipping from Japan to United States took about one week.
As always, the better stroller is the one that provides optimum comfort for your child and fits your lifestyle best. It's important to remember that some compromises need to be made with lightweight stroller.
Since I don't do much traveling and my kids are passed the infant car seat stage, I feel that the super lightweight Magical Air Plus with it's ventilated seat, bumper bar, all wheel suspension and yes, the shorter handle, meets my lightweight stroller needs well. This is a stroller that I can pop into the car trunk with one hand, which is saying a lot for someone like me.
If you're pregnant or post surgery, a feather-light stroller that can still recline can be a life-saver.
On the other hand, if you travel often with kids, and need a stroller with a carry-on fold, or like the convenience of travel system compatibility, the Qbit is a reasonably economical option.