The 2011 Maclaren Techno XLR

There are lots of umbrella strollers in the world, but it’s Maclaren that sets the standard. I am a firm believer that it’s always a good thing to have at least one Maclaren if you have a child- lightweight, portable, easy to carry anywhere and yet sturdy as can be. The Techno XLR is the largest of the single Maclaren umbrellas, but it’s still all of those things and more. I tested the very first XLR when my first child was just under 2. I loved it then and 4 years & 3 more children later I love the newest version even more. This is a stroller that can meet all of your needs for a single stroller for years to come.

The Techno XLR is ready to go straight out of the box. All you really need to do is remove all of the little tags, which very politely point out some of it’s finer features. And it does have some great features to point out. First of all, this stroller can hold a rather generous 65 pounds comfortably. My son, now almost 6 and around 45 pounds can still sit in the XLR with lots of room to spare. He’s fairly tall for his age, 97th percentile, and his head hits the top of most stroller canopies and he fills most seats. Not on the XLR.  He has a huge amount of head room and lots of wiggle room in the seat. Very impressive for such a lightweight, compact stroller. The XLR weighs in at just under 17 pounds, so it’s pretty light. I can easily carry it anywhere with a hefty toddler in the other hand. This stroller is suitable for newborns and up and more of its fabulous features include the fabulous, new no-pinch hinge,  6.5” wheels, linked rear foot brake, automatic lock, easy one-handed fold, easy one-handed 4 position recline, included car seat adapter, reversible seat liner, infant headhugger, rain cover, adjustable legrest and handle length, reflective accents, stylish and secure 5 point harness and a huge canopy with a peekaboo window, pop out sun visor, zip-out extension and 2 handy pockets. The XLR is offered in 2 colors for 2011, Black with Champagne accents and the very lovely Persian Red that I tested, and retails for $360.

In Use
I tested the Techno XLR with all 4 of my children, ages 5, 3, 2 and 1. All 4, despite their different sizes and weights, fit well in this stroller. As I mentioned above the large 5 year old, who almost never rides in a stroller anymore, could easliy ride in the XLR for quite awhile longer if we ever needed him to. Which means that this stroller is great for travel or city life when an older, large child is more likely to need to ride. The legrest and straps adjust easily and the recline is quite easy to operate one-handed even with a heavier child on board. The recline is very flat for your little ones to nap and with the included car seat adapter, you’re all set to pop your newborn in straight from the car if needed. The adjustable legrest is nice to keep little legs from dangling or to give a nice flat space to your tinier babies, but allows you to easily drop it down for the bigger kids.

The stroller performed exceptionally well on all sorts of terrain. I rolled it over flat and broken sidewalks, cobblestones, soggy grass and mud without any difficulties at all. The springy suspension and larger tires did amazingly well on even the roughest areas. We really were able to pop over everything fairly easily, not once jutting to a halt on a raised bit of sidewalk or sticking in the soggy grass which often happens with smaller strollers. The ride was very smooth and because it is so lightweight was was really easy to pop up over a curb when we needed to without even slowing down. And because it is so very compact, maneuverability is excellent- tight turns, crowded streets or narrow store aisles are never a problem. The handles are very comfortable and being able to adjust the height is great. The canopy is huge when unzipped and gives my daughter complete coverage plus the nice big peekaboo window is a great plus. I like that I don’t need to undo a flap to see her, yet, because it’s UV protected, I don’t have to worry about sun exposure. My daughter really seemed to prefer that the clear (also UV protected) pop-out sun visor doesn’t obstruct her view either. The one handed recline is very nice too. I can easily pop the seat up or down without having to stop. Oh, and the included accessories are a nice touch too. Not having to buy a car seat adaptor or rain cover is always welcome, but the seat liner and travel tag are really nice extras and attest to Maclaren’s exceptional attention to detail.

The fold is one of the Techno XLR’s most impressive features- easy, one handed and very compact. I can fold this stroller with one hand, carry it up our front steps and stand it up on the top step while holding my quite chunky 16 month old. There’s a side carry handle that makes it very easy to tote, so in and out of the car or on the subway, this is a perfect stroller for those who are on the go in the suburbs, travel often or who live in the city. I love that this stroller can hold a 65 pound child or a newborn, but can easily be folded down into a compact package that can be carried with one hand anywhere you need to go.

The Maclaren Techno XLR is an exceptional umbrella stroller that is more than worth the investment. Versatile enough to be your only stroller or light enough to be a great second stroller too, you cannot miss with the XLR. You will never have to worry about your child outgrowing this stroller and the option to use the car seat adapter is so convenient that you will really be able to use this from birth until well beyond your stroller needs are over. The Maclaren Tecno XLR is a very stylish and sturdy workhorse stroller that will not let you down for as many years, or children, as you need it to to roll along. Please visit the Maclaren site for more information or to see more of the other wonderful Maclaren products.

*Maclaren provided a sample for review.

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The Mutsy 4Rider Light

The Mutsy 4Rider Light offers all of the amazing features of the 4Rider in a slightly lighter package, at just 19 pounds. Besides the weight the real difference is in the wheels- they are a durable, no-flat EVA foam instead of those lovely bouncy air-tires found on the 4Rider Single Spoke and Next models. Having tested the 4Rider Single Spoke with the Duo Seat attachment, I was already well acquainted with how amazing the 4Rider is and I was really interested in seeing how the Light compared. My biggest concern was whether or not the ride would be as smooth with the foam tires and I have to say I was not disappointed. The 4 Rider Light really is just a lighter version of this wonderful stroller.

The Mutsy 4Rider Light features include an adjustable handle, reversible, depth-adjustable seat, easy-touch rear brake, lockable front wheels, 4-position, full recline, a 3-position extendable leg rest, a removable bumper bar, easy fold, quick-release wheels and a nice large canopy with a big peekaboo window and large zippered storage pocket. The standard basket is very open, but a bit small. The optional Shopping Basket offers a really big basket that is designed to be easily removed and carried at the Market. When in use it does not cover the standard basket, so you can still use both spaces which is very nice. Other optional accessories include a diaper bag, footmuff, snack tray, rain cover, ride-on board for a 2nd rider, basket bag, parasol and the very lovely babysitter, which lets you turn your stroller seat into a baby chair.

Another great feature of the 4Rider frames is its easy customization (in addition to those wonderful options just mentioned above). It is really simple to swap out the seat for a bassinet, car seat adapter or for 2 other really amazing options- the Fun Seat and the Duoseat. The Fun Seat is just that a fun seat that lets your rider drive in a sports car like seat and offers a huge basket for bringing along all kids of fun for your destination. Because the 4Rider frame has nice sealed ball-bearing wheels, you can even take it to the beach. The Duoseat turns your single 4 Rider frame into a double stroller, and it is so amazing especially if you have two little ones (see it in use here with Sarah Jessica Parker and her twins). You can push 2 children while still really feeling like you’re pushing a single. I love it. The 4Rider Light is available in 9 colors and retails for $545.00.

In Use
As I mentioned I was in no way disappointed by the performance of the foam tires. I tested out the stroller over every bad bit of terrain I could find and it just sailed right on over, through or around anything I could come up with, even with a 40 pound rider on board. The stroller is so light and rolls so smoothly it truly feels like it pushes itself. You can easily steer with 1 finger if you need to. The adaptability of the seat is also really great. This is the same seat you’d have on the other 4Rider frames, so you loose nothing here. It’s easily adjusted for a baby or a preschooler and right back again. Suitable from newborn to 55 pounds this is a great long term use stroller that can take you right through from newborn to Kindergarten if you need to and with the Duoseat or ride-on board, can keep going once you have that second child. I tested it out with my 1 year old, 2 year old and 5 year old and all 3 were very comfortably accommodated in the seat and really enjoyed the ride. The adjustable seat depth and leg rest are very nice features that really add to the seat’s adaptability as is the reversibility of the seat, which is so easy to do.

Mutsy has long been a favorite of mine and so many parents throughout the world. Celebrity Mutsy parents include Laila Ali, Halle Berry, Jennifer Garner, Rachel Griffiths, Mariska Hargitay, Heidi Klum, Tobey Maguire, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz to name a few. I knew I was going to like this stroller, but I didn’t realize how much I would love it. The fact that it offers such an amazing ride, push and customizable set of features for under 20 pounds is more than impressive. If you want a more than full featured stroller that will last & last from the birth of your first baby and well beyond, the Musty 4 Rider Light is an amazing choice. Once you give it a try, you will know why Mutsy is so popular with so many parents. Please visit the Mutsy site for more information on this stroller and all of the other amazing Musty products. In addition to their well known strollers,  Mutsy offers high chairs and booster seats too. Also visit Mutsy’s Facebook page to be kept up to date on all Mutsy news and special promotion offers.


weight: 19.0 lbs
weight without wheels: 12.8
unfolded frame: 29.2 x 24.8 x 44.9
folded frame: 39.4 x 24.8 x 13.4
folded frame without wheels: 39.4 x 20.5 x 9.5

*Mutsy provided a sample for review.

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