Thule Shine Stroller Review & Video
A city stroller with beauty and brains, this Thule stroller Shines bright.
Mommyhood101 independently tests and curates baby gear to help you make informed decisions. If you buy products through links on our site, we may earn a commission.
Thule has a strong reputation for making high-quality baby gear with a unique Swedish style and sophistication.
The new Thule Shine is no exception, combining their unique styling with a highly functional city stroller with serious features and quality.
Thule Shine Review: Our Verdict
Nobody wants to read this entire article to get to the point. You've got way more important things to do!
Here are our findings, right up front. Spoiler alert, we loved the Thule Shine and think it's an awesome city stroller with only some minor room for improvement.
Here is a summary of what we loved, and some things that could be improved.
✔️ Simple 5-minute assembly.
✔️ Easy folding & unfolding.
✔️ Excellent adjustability.
✔️ Soft & comfortable fabrics.
✔️ Supportive seat.
✔️ High quality parts.
✔️ Easily maneuverable.
✔️ Low rolling resistance.
✔️ Reversible seat.
✔️ Enormous canopy.
✔️ Huge storage bin.
✔️ Supports up to 49 lbs.
✔️ Compact fold.
✔️ Free-standing fold.
✔️ Compact yet stable.
✔️ Bassinet compatibility.
✔️ Car seat compatibility.
❌ Moderately heavy & expensive.
❌ Finicky folding mechanism.
That is a very impressive list, making it one of the best strollers we've ever tested!
Regarding weight, this is not intended to be a lightweight travel stroller, so the 21-pound weight might not be surprising.
The price is typically about $600 plus accessories such as the bassinet ($199) and car seat adapter ($50). Not as much as some competitors, but still upper quartile for price.
We did have some minor issues with the folding mechanism. The buttons on the handlebar are a bit finicky, and the frame is sometimes difficult to open back up after folding.
We don't think these are deal breakers by any means, but we also want to be honest about our experiences.
Overall, we think the benefits strongly outweigh the small cons and we think you'll love the Shine!
Unboxing & Assembly
To be 100% transparent, Thule sent us a sample Shine stroller for testing (thank you!).
That doesn't necessarily bias us; in fact, nearly half of what manufacturers send us does not make it onto our site due to quality concerns.
A label on the box indicates that Thule is based in Sweden, but the Shine stroller is made in a different EU country: Poland.
The Shine stroller is very nicely packed in the box.
There is substantial padding to protect it, and it's easy to remove and begin assembling.
Inside the box, you will find the frame, rear wheels, and the canopy.
It also includes an optional rain cover:
Assembly was relatively simple.
You pop the two wheels on, unfold the stroller, and then attach the canopy.
The canopy attaches using clips and a series of snaps.
Overall, assembly takes only about 5 minutes and is very intuitive.
First Impression: Very high quality and sturdy parts. Like most Thule products, it feels very well made, assembles intuitively, and looks great.
Features & Adjustments
We've been reviewing strollers for nearly two decades, so we know what features to look for in a stroller at this price point.
Suffice it to say, the Thule Shine has some serious features and adjustability that compete with some of the best strollers on the market.
Let's start with the amazing canopy that packs some serious coverage from the elements.
Even without using the canopy extension panel, it is absolutely huge:
Just when you think it's big enough, unzip the extension panel to reveal the biggest canopy we've ever tested!
Your little one will be enveloped in a cozy cocoon, keeping them dry and out of direct sunlight.
On top of the canopy is an adorable peek-a-boo window:
From that same perspective, you will be able to adjust the handlebars to suit your height.
Whether petite or tall, the handlebars will accommodate you by extending an impressive 7" across 4 positions.
For your little one, the Thule Shine has some serious recline.
It adjusts between three recline positions, with the lowest one nearly laying flat, which is great for long naps.
If you're looking for a stroller with a lay-flat seat, this is about as close as you'll get without using a bassinet attachment.
Another amazing feature is the storage bin. It is truly cavernous and can hold nearly anything you want to throw in there.
From diaper bags to shopping bags, the storage bin is ready!
Did you run out of room in the storage basket, or is it too far away?
Throw it into the convenient seatback storage pouch:
You won't be surprised to learn that the Shine has a rear wheel lock.
But did you know you can also lock the front wheels?
We wouldn't consider this a jogging stroller, but the locking front wheels get you one step closer in that direction.
And while you're at it, cruise in safety with the awesome reflective tape on all four wheels:
And now for one of the most important features on the Thule Shine: the reversing toddler seat!
All the photos we've shown you thus far are with a forward-facing seat. But what if you want your little one to face you?
Easy peasy. Slide down the little grey button and pop the seat off of the frame. Spin it around and pop it back in. From forward- to rear-facing in about 20 seconds.
A few additional features we haven't mentioned yet:
- The footrest is adjustable between two positions: upright (for babies, toddlers, and napping) and down (for bigger kids).
- The bumper bar is easily removable and swivels out of the way. This makes it easier to get your baby in and out of the stroller.
- The five-point harness has ample padding for comfort, and is moderately easy to use (it could be less complex).
- A wrist strap is on the handlebar to avoid roll-aways when heading downhill.
- Adjustable 3-position recline with up to 2" of rise.
However, there were some missing features:
- There is no cup holder, but it can be purchased separately (about $30).
- Want to attach a car seat? You can purchase a car seat adapter separately (about $60). One of the adapters fits Chicco KeyFit car seats, the other one fits Maxi-Cosi, B-Safe, Cybex, and Nuna.
- Want to use the stroller with a newborn? You can purchase an infant insert separately (about $70), or you can purchase the bassinet attachment (about $200). We recommend the latter.
- Want your bigger kid to hitch a ride while standing on the back? You can purchase the rider board separately (about $130).
If you want the Thule Shine with all the features, including the ability to attach a bassinet or car seat, and a cup holder for convenience, it will run you a total of about $900.
That puts you in the range of the UppaBaby Vista, which might be an overall better option.
Check out our video that summarizes some key features:
Comfort & Ride Quality
We'd say the Shine has overall moderate comfort.
The padding is somewhat minimal, like most Thule products, but it's definitely in the right places.
If you have a newborn, we recommend using the bassinet; if that's a bit too expensive, the infant insert will increase comfort and support.
The Thule Shine is equipped with a four-wheel suspension. We would call this mild dampening. It's good for minor sidewalk imperfections, but not for bumpy trails.
Check out our list of the best all-terrain strollers if you want to hit the trails.
The Shine is exceptionally nimble and easy to maneuver. Its relatively narrow profile (20.5" wide) helps it fit through narrow doorways, and its turning radius is excellent.
Sidewalk cracks are absorbed with ease, curbs are hopped with grace, and your little one will be comfortable the entire way.
Folding & Unfolding
The Shine uses a collapsing fold design that results in folded dimensions of about 27" x 20" x 14".
That's very similar to other strollers in this category, such as the UppaBaby Cruz and Mockingbird.
Folding the stroller down is relatively easy, here are the steps:
- Push the handlebar all the way down to its lowest position, using the large button on the top of the handlebar.
- Fold the seat completely down using the large lever on the back of the seat.
- Push one of the small buttons on the handle and hold it down, then press the large button.
- Continuing to hold the two buttons down, fold the handle downward and the entire stroller will collapse into a compact package.
- Lock the folded stroller with the small clip next to the left rear wheel.
Here is a video showing exactly how to do this:
Overall, we thought folding the stroller was relatively easy.
The only hiccup we encountered was that the handlebar tends to extend outward while you fold it down (since you've pushed the button that releases it), which is a little frustrating.
The stroller does stand on its own when folded, which is a nice touch. However, the top of the handlebar does rest on the ground and thus can get wet and dirty.
Unfolding the Thule Shine is similarly easy.
Unclip the lock by the left rear wheel, and pull up on the handlebar. Then fold the seat open.
In our testing, we folded and unfolded the stroller about a dozen times. On one occasion, the stroller refused to unfold/open.
No matter how hard we tried, and how many times we repeated all the motions, it simply wouldn't budge. We tried removing the seat entirely and that allowed the stroller frame to open.
Very odd, and it only happened once. If you encounter this issue, we suggest removing the seat and trying again.
Dimensions & Specifications
Here are the basic dimensions and specifications of the Thule Shine stroller:
When folded, the Shine measures exactly 27" x 20.5" x 13.8".
When open/unfolded, the Shine measures 27" tall. With the handlebar extended, it is 42" tall. It is 20" wide and about 30" long.
The front and rear wheels are both 7" in diameter.
The lower seat width is 11", and its depth is 8" (or 15" when the leg rest is extended).
The upper seat width is also 11", and its height is 22".
The shoulder harness height is adjustable between 10.5" and 22".
The stride area is 14" with the handlebar fully extended, or 9" with the handlebar collapsed.
In conclusion, the Thule Shine is a stellar choice for urban parents seeking a top-tier stroller.
With its Swedish-inspired style and impeccable craftsmanship, Thule maintains its reputation for delivering high-quality baby gear. The Thule Shine is a great example.
The Shine impresses with its outstanding features, from the expansive canopy and reversible seat to the cavernous storage bin.
While acknowledging minor drawbacks like the finicky folding mechanism, our overall verdict is overwhelmingly positive.
The Thule Shine stands out as one of the best strollers we've tested, offering a winning combination of functionality, comfort, and durability that makes it a standout choice for city life.