The 2011 Maclaren Volo

Maclaren makes some of the very finest strollers in the world. There is a Maclaren to suite every situation and these are strollers that are built to last not just through 1 child, but for generations. The Volo is no exception. If you need a lightweight stroller that will go anywhere with you and still hold a 4 or even 5 year old on occasion, this is the one for you. At just under 9 pounds, this stroller will still hold a 55 pound child, yet is small enough to leave in the trunk, store in the  closet, carry on the bus or subway, throw over your shoulder when needed during a day at the zoo or to easily take on vacation. Suitable from 6 months and up, the Volo offers a full canopy, vey compact, one-handed fold (yes you can easily fold it while holding your child), secure and easily adjustable 5-point harness, aluminum frame, foot brake, nice sized basket and an very handy include raincover. Offered in 4 colors, the Volo retails for $129.00 and can be outfitted with the many handy Maclaren accessories for even more customization.

No need to take my word for how great this little stroller is. Below is a review from a mom who field tested the Volo on vacation.

Mom’s Search for the Perfect Stroller – our guest reviewer, Stephanie Hill, reviews the 2011 Maclaren Volo:

In the less than four years I’ve had two kids and four strollers, does something sound wrong about that ratio to you?! After years of searching for the right stroller we have finally found one that suits us – the Maclaren Volo! But let me back track … when our daughter was born we bought a large travel system. The matching stroller with a car seat, that matched the diaper bag and the pack n play, because of course this is what matters right? Practicality is overrated when you’re a new parent. My husband calls this stroller the “Cadillac,” because it’s large, hard to maneuver and doesn’t fit in tight spaces.

When our daughter was ten months old we found out we were expecting again, so it was time to trade in the “Cadillac” for the “limousine.” We purchased to a Tandem Sit & Stand stroller. Although this stroller served its purpose in that we could bring both kids places and keep them confined to one space, we faced the issue of leaving a wake of destruction in our path. We would bump into people as we tried politely to move around them, we’d pull the clothes off the racks in stores, I can’t even tell you how many times I ran over my own foot trying to back that thing up! Plus neither stroller seemed to ever have enough storage room underneath and squeezing into tight places proved impossible.

I was actually relieved when my daughter outgrew the stroller! Chasing her through the store had to be easier than dealing with either of these strollers. So, when she officially boycotted the stroller for good, we went out and bought an umbrella stroller. We decided that since we already owned two strollers, we could get by with an inexpensive umbrella stroller. Well, that was a joke. I mean, sure it was easier to move, but guess what? Small strollers have NO good features. The hood worked approximately once, the basket down below holds, well, practically nothing, not to mention there was no tray, no cup holder, nothing to brag about. Do I even need to mention that small strollers become very top heavy, so if you put bags and purses on the handles and take your child out, of course it’s all going to topple over! It took me, oh, I don’t know, 100 times to figure this out!

Late last year we decided we were going to take our kids on a real family vacation to Disney World in February. As excited as we were, we also faced the challenge of which stroller would be best to bring, the Cadillac, the limo, or the useless one? As you can imagine we weren’t excited about ANY of these options. Luckily, we were approached by Maclaren offering us a 2011 Maclaren Volo stroller to test out on our vacation! Of course THAT was an offer we couldn’t resist!

I know a lot of people who own Maclarens, and all of them are so pleased with their strollers. For some reason we had never tried one, but we learned very quickly that was a mistake! When we are traveling with two toddlers, two carseats, four suitcases and two carry-ons, having a stroller that we could use for both the kids and transporting some of our baggage was FANTASTIC!! The Volo has a nice size seat which makes it comfortable for either my 2 or 3 year old. The hood is very large, so in sunny Florida, we didn’t have to worry about too much sun exposure, and on those days when it rained, it offered nice protection for our little ones. The basket underneath was the perfect size for the bag we brought to the parks every day, and since it’s sturdy, when we put a few things on the handles, it didn’t go straight to the ground.

Although it’s a very basic stroller, I really enjoyed the many features of the Maclaren Volo. There is no recline with this model, but each of my children were able to fall asleep and stay asleep comfortably. When the kids weren’t using the stroller, we were able to put small suitcases or bags in the seat so we had less to drag around with us. It is easy to maneuver and fits nicely through tight spaces, and someone even remarked to me that it is really quiet, which I hadn’t considered, but they were right. The Maclaren Volo has a one hand fold so it opens and shuts quickly and easily, and is really light which is great when you are running to hop on the tram or the monorail. It also has a shoulder strap which makes it easy to carry, and leaves mom’s hands free for the kids. The other thing that I LOVED was that when the stroller is shut and locked it takes up very little trunk space. I certainly can’t say THAT for either of our first 2 strollers. The only thing I wish it had is a tray for snacks/drinks for the munchkins, but it has so many positive features, this is something I can overlook. Maclaren gave us one of the new 2011 colors – called Deep Water. It’s the perfect shade for either a boy or a girl!

But if you don’t believe me, maybe the testimonial of a little Maclaren Volo user herself will convince you.  I asked my daughter what she thought of it, and she answered simply, with a huge smile and a nod “I love it.”

Please visit the Maclaren site for more information and to see the full line of Maclaren strollers

Disclosure: Maclaren provided Stephanie with a Volo for the review, which she was allowed to keep.

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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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