User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:Incredibly lightweight, one hand fold, aluminum construction
Cons:Stiff buckles, small wheel base
The Bottom Line: If Brad Pitt isn't available to fold and unfold your stroller for you, consider the Maclaren Volo.
I'm a new mother who lives in an "urban-suburban" suburb of Chicago. So how could I not register for a Maclaren stroller? I suppose it was because I knew my family was giving us the Graco Quattro Tour Deluxe System and stupidly assumed that I wouldn't need any other kind of stroller. When I recieved the Maclaren Volo Umbrella Stroller unexpectedly at my baby shower as well as a free jogging stroller through a work relationship, a good friend successfully deterred me from returning them or giving them away. This umbrella stroller has been a life saver and it's my stroller of choice for the numerous quick trips for which I have little time to prepare.
Recommend this product?
At just 8.4 pounds and a 41 inch length when folded, the Maclaren is the easiest stroller to keep stowed away in my hatchback for trips around town or when shopping in small shops without taking up too much room. I can run to the grocery store (feeding a family of 5) or to Costco and pile the merchandise on top of the aluminum stroller without issue. I've had chats about the convenience of the Maclaren Volo with moms using it to cart their little ones on the train all while marveling at their one hand fold technique.
I received this as a gift, though I see that it's available for around $70 online. I have the straight umbrella stroller that is all gray with black accents, but there are several colors available. The design is still overall utilitarian no matter what color you choose, but at least the color choices vary from the typical pinks and blues. The stroller can't be used before your child is six months of age because it does not recline. It's a simple sit-and-ride without any of the bells or whistles, so you'll have to hold your Starbucks carefully. The black mesh storage basket, cloth umbrella and padded grips are about as fancy as things get with the Volo.
Still, I'm quite fond of the padded grips which make it easy to maneuver over the copious potholes that litter our streets and sidewalks. We use this mostly on concrete. I'm more of a small shop shopper and the closest mall we have is actually outdoors, so I prepared for this little stroller to take a beating. It still looks brand new though and we've been using it regularly for several months. The handles do turn inward which was strange at first but I'm used to it. I'm a petite woman and my back doesn't hurt after long strolls (unlike long shopping trips with my baby in grocery carts - ouch!). My significant other is around six feet tall and he also likes the convenience and ride of the Volo.
The cloth is somewhat canvas-y and very easy to spot clean, though they say you can remove the entire cover for machine wash. The wheel base is quite small, but the ride is still quite smooth. There are back wheel brakes, but I never use them. I should start though because the stroller is so lightweight that it is sometimes carried away by the wind when I'm transferring my daughter from the stroller to the car.
The mesh storage basket doesn't have any supports, so I never overload it. I've used it for spare blankets, jackets or the occasional shopping bag and that's it.
The stroller comes with a one year warranty which I haven't had the occasion to use or even read because I'm very happy with the Maclaren Volo. The only issue I ever had was upon first use, when the buckles were so ridiculously stiff I worried that even if I was able to get my daughter in it, I wouldn't be able to get her out. My resident Brad worked his magic on the stiff plastic buckles though and from then on, I felt that the Volo was safe. The buckles go around your child's arms and a middle buckle comes up between the legs for a secure ride.
Apparently, Angelina Jolie uses this brand of stroller. I don't doubt that because it's so convenient for travel and I see SAHM's in my neighborhood that are just as trendy as she towing their little ones around in their Maclarens.
Overall, we're very happy with the Maclaren Volo. Aside from the frightening buckle fiasco at the outset of our use and somewhat high cost for such a simple design, I'd recommend this model wholeheartedly to any new mom. You'll find that the umbrella stroller gets far more use than you imagined.
Four out of five stars.
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Amount Paid (US$): gift
Age Range of Child: 0 to 12 Months