This summer will be my first time taking a long haul flight with the kids. M will be almost 3 years old and Z almost 18 months. Our main stroller, a Maclaren XT, is a little bulky and heavy so I’m looking for a lighter weight stroller to use. This has proven to be more difficult than I thought as there seem to be issues with all of the ones that I’m considering! My requirements are 1) Lightweight (under 6kg), 2) Umbrella fold (so will fit easily in car boot. Bonus if there is a carry strap) 3) Recline (this is preferred but not absolutely essential as I have the carrier which both kids are comfortable sleeping in) and 4) Good price as this will be used as a second stroller to the XT (hoping to get for under $200; second hand is fine). Here’s my list:
- Maclaren Volo
- Maclaren Mark II
- Maclaren Triumph
- Maclaren Globetrotter
- Uppababy G-Luxe
- Peg Perego Pliko Mini
As you can see, the list is dominated by Maclarens. I love the XT and find it really sturdy and comfortable for the kids to sleep in. I would be happy with another Maclaren but it would need to fit a sufficiently different role to the XT for me to justify buying (or be so great that I sell the XT). So let me go through the list.
As I started to do my research, I found out the the Volo is not readily available at the moment. The online store lists its availability as “coming soon” and it has been removed from many retailer’s sites. It seems to be being replaced by the Mark II but not yet listed as discontinued. Therefore it might be difficult for me to find a new Volo. The “basic weight” is 4kg; ideal for travelling and trips out on my own. The folded dimensions are very small – 33.5inches x 11.8inches x 30.11inches (taken from pishposhbaby). So far so good. Then the big issue – no recline. Now if M falls asleep in the stroller, that won’t be a problem. We used to have a Maclaren Daytripper and she slept well upright in that. However if she falls asleep in someones arms (which is likely…) then I’m sure she will wake up once we try to put her down.
Very similar specs to the Volo but even lighter at 3.3kg! This comes with a bigger price tag of course and it looks like it will be $300+ here in Singapore. Because it is so new, there are no second hand ones available. I would love this stroller but unfortunately can not justify spending so much extra over the Volo.
Finally a Maclaren with recline! This one weighs 6.2kg so quite a bit heavier than the first two strollers but lighter than the XT. The recline seems decent enough but not flat (so not suitable for younger babies). From reading reviews, the main complaint about this stroller seems to be that the upright position is not so upright, but instead tilted back a bit. This may or may not be a problem, depending on how your child likes to ride. Mine usually don’t spend too long in the stroller and my main reason for bringing a stroller is for them to sleep in so maybe I could get away with this…
Very similar to the Triumph but lighter at 4.8kg. Same complaints about the seat being tilted back. I remember trying this stroller out at a baby fair maybe a year back and not being impressed. But that was comparing it to the XT which is not really a fair comparison.
This stroller doesn’t seem to be readily available in Singapore but I do sometimes come across it on Craigslist/Gumtree etc. According to the Uppababy website it is “the lightest reclining umbrella stroller in its class”. Sounds perfect! There are so many features that I love in this stroller. One handed recline (this is the thing which I dislike most about the XT. Having to use two hands and crouch down. Not easy whilst carrying the other child), easy fold without using your foot (I find the Maclaren foot fold pretty easy actually. It’s only when I’m wearing flip flops that it becomes difficult). The stroller stands by itself when folded, so easy to store. And it has a strap for carrying around. True weight is 13.4lbs (6.08kg) so it’s lighter than the XT and Triumph. Triumph now crossed off the list. But again, one thing noted in reviews is that the upright position is not truly upright. Sigh. Still a strong contender though.
The Peg Perego Pliko Mini isn’t an umbrella stroller but it does fold very small (94cm x 33cm x 30.5cm) so I’m including it on my list. The fold looks great with no need to bend over and it’s self standing when folded. Weight is good at 5.7kg. The recline isn’t one handed but it does look easy to operate. This stroller was a bit harder to find reviews on. The bad point about it seems to be that it’s not great on bumpy ground. The price is also much higher than the other strollers I’ve been looking at (~$400). If I was looking for a stroller for all occasions, and I didn’t have the XT, I’d pick this one. But as things stand it’s too expensive, and difficult to find second hand at a good price.
Lightest: Maclaren Mark II
Easiest recline: Uppababy G-Luxe
Best fold: Peg Perego Pliko Mini
Cheapest: Maclaren Globetrotter or Volo (both second hand) can be purchased for under $150. I’ve seen the Volo go for as little as $50.
No stroller perfectly fits my requirements but the one I’m most interested to try is the Uppababy G-Luxe. Lighter than the XT but still has a good recline. I’ve managed to find a second hand one at a good price so am going to give it a try. Once I get back from my trip I can always exchange for the Volo or Mark II as a recline won’t be as essential then. I’ll let you know how I get on!
* One thing to note is that when I started my search I was dismissing some strollers due to their weight limit of 15kg (M will be coming up to this weight soon). I’ve just read on Maclaren’s website that 15kg is stated because European testing only tests up to this weight. US testing is to a higher limit so the Maclaren’s capacity is stated as 15kg (EU testing) or 55lb (US? testing). So this would actually be able to carry a pretty heavy child.