Maclaren Volo

How did I get it? I bought it second-hand off ebay.

When, where, and how often do I use it? I try to avoid taking it on holidays. Usually it’s easier to sling the nappy bag onto your back and the kids into a carrier (or up on your shoulders). Between two adults this isn’t too much of a burden, especially if you plan your itinerary to keep walking distances short. However, if the streets are stroller-friendly, the kids are getting a little heavier (especially if you have more than one kid), your back doesn’t take well to carrying things and/or the amount of walking will be unreasonably long and arduous for the little ones, it’s worth bringing along.

We took it to Hong Kong and… yep, that’s the only place we’ve taken it. It was great for those long, theme-park days and it was less tough on Nanny’s back.

Good points: Light weight yet durable. Will take the weight of a fairly heavy child if need be whilst maintaining its manoeuvrability (I have tested it to over 35kg, which is my 5yo with his 2yo sister sitting on his lap and a whole lot of odds and ends including two fold-up foot scooters tucked in wherever they’ll fit – though of course I try hard to avoid this). Easy to fold with one hand, and goes over the shoulder with a carry strap. Baggage handlers will have trouble breaking it. Small basket underneath will take a nappy bag (but you might also need a few things in a backpack).

Drawbacks: It’s a stroller. I think you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Also, the maclaren is fairly pricey, although they make a good second-hand buy due to the quality of make. Like all umbrella strollers, you need to resist the temptation to load up the handles too much, lest you tip it backwards. Doesn’t recline, although for a couple of extra kilos and a little extra money you can get a maclaren model that does (I notice these days they do a “globetrotter” model which is less than 1kg heavier – this choice wasn’t available to us and I would appreciate any feedback in the comments). Or you can just tilt the stroller forty-five degrees backwards onto its rear wheels when you want it to recline (easiest to do when seated in a coffee shop watching the local culture go by during your child’s nap time).

Do I recommend it? (to whom): I recommend it to those who can either pick one up cheap second-hand, or those who, like me, plan to use it frequently at home. The environmentalist in me hates the idea of a cheap, trashable stroller just for holidays and prefers, for the same price, to recommend a nicer, used version, if you decide you need one at all. As does the person in me who prefers things that just damn well work and don’t fall apart five minutes after you bought them.

More information on their website.

Disclosure: I haven’t been paid or in any other way given an incentive to write this, I am just really happy with my stroller.

Cruisin' Hong Kong in the maclaren volo.

Cruisin’ Hong Kong in the maclaren volo.