User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:carry handle, weight, fold, height
Cons:tippy when empty
The Bottom Line: A lightweight, small folding stroller that will last you both in sturdiness and in fit for your child.
I drove a Peg Perego Pliko/P3 for 8 years. I frequently wanted something smaller so I tried a Combi stroller but it felt too rickety and the seat was small. I tried a Maclaren Quest but I didn't like the tippiness of the stroller. I always went back to the Pliko/P3. Over the years and several kids later my needs changed. I went from having 1 child in a stroller and 2 older walkers to 4 walkers and 2 in strollers. I went from leisurely trips with plenty of room to rounding up kids and no room. Now I always had someone riding so it didn't matter if the stroller was tippy when bags were on it and it was empty. Instead it mattered how small it folded and how light it was.
Recommend this product?
The Maclaren Volo is a plain jane stroller. It does not recline and the canopy can barely be classified as such. But this isn't your $15 umbrella stroller. The handles on this are tall enough for my 5'8" daughter and 5'9" husband to push. If you are much taller than that though, I anticipate you would kick the wheels. The handles are also foam covered instead of that plastic that slides off after a while. The metal of this stroller is sturdier and thicker. The wheels on this stroller don't get stuck turned, they seamlessly start from any position. They easily push and steer and they can handle the weight of a 40 lb child. This stroller can last through several kids and we've tested that ourselves. The seat of this stroller is wider and taller plus sits up higher than other umbrella strollers. My 4 year old can still lean back in this stroller. My 6 and 7 year olds cannot but they still easily fit in this stroller and it pushes, all 45 lbs of them, fine. The way the top of the seat is attached to the frame allows a child to leane back some if they fall asleep. It certainly isn't meant to be slept in but they aren't falling out the front if they do.
The stroller has only 2 "features" to speak of. A canopy and a basket. Two things that most umbrella fold strollers do not have. The canopy opens and closes. It is removable as well. And that is about all you can say about the canopy. Unless the sun is directly overhead it doesn't really work for much, except maybe holding my keys and wallet. The plastic on the canopy is sturdier than it is on a cheaper stroller but I wouldn't call it sturdy. My kids have broken more than 1 canopy by pulling on it to hard. Luckily it is only held "up" by a small indent type clip. I am not sure if that is cheap design or if it is intentional. I mention that it could be intentional because it allows the canopy to pop out of place and go forward rather than the plastic support breaking. However, we have broken the plastic canopy support as well. Since the canopy is riveted on it cannot be replaced except by a repair center or by replacing the entire canopy.
The basket, on the other hand, is actually pretty sturdy. I can shove a lot of things in it and it holds up fine. The key word being "shove". To access the basket you have to squeeze things in from the side or behind the seat. Behind the seat looks like a good opening until the seat is filled out by a child's weight, then the space is smaller.
The seat and basket are easily removed and washable. I wash mine in the front loading washing machine and then put back on the frame to dry. The canopy I remove and rinse off in my bathtub with the handheld shower then again put back on the stroller to dry.
One of the real advantages to this stroller is the mesh in the seat, it allows airflow which is great in our hot and humid summers. In the winter we have a Maclaren seat cover we put on it. Another is the fold and size. This folds similiarly to other umbrella strollers, with the bar in the back near your feet. This one, however, has a carry strap too. So I can hold a baby in one hand, release the stroller with my feet and grab the carry strap before it falls to the ground to fold. I give it a little push with my foot to lock it folded and then don't even have to bend over to pick it up since i grabbed the carry handle before it folded down. Now I can easily toss it in a car trunk or over my shoulder to carry if I am, for example, going down stairs or jumping on a bus. It is lightweight enough that it isn't a struggle to carry it.
It folds small enough that I can easily stick it under the seats in my van. Actually, I can fit a double and 2 singles (all Maclaren) under the seat of my van. For those that have never seen a 15 passenger van, the trunk is maybe 8" at the biggest. I can fit 2 Maclaren single strollers laying down, across the width of the van, on top of each other. The space is so narrow I cannot even stand them up. Therefore I sometimes have to take advantage of the 9" clearance below the seats.
When I go to the zoo or an amusement park the fold is a huge advantage. When we packed for our 3 day trip to an amusement park this summer, we ran out of space in the car. That meant I couldn't bring the Baby Jogger City Mini (see my review on that and it's small fold) I had planned to. I stuck the Maclaren Volo under the 3rd row seat and we were on our way. The next morning we arrived at the amusement park to a huge line for the tram. The tram could only take a couple strollers at a time so the wait was mostly strollers. I got the baby out, passed her to a teen, grabbed the bag and threw it over 1 shoulder then folded and threw the stroller over the other. The next time the tram came the stroller waiters were less than happy when I walked around them with the other stroller-less passengers and hopped on the tram. Because my stroller folded small enough that I just stuck it under my feet just like everyone else did with their bags.
Sounds like a dream stroller huh? If only it reclined. Well I will be writing reviews of the Maclaren Triumph and Volo after this. However, it does have it's flaws. Tippiness. Maclaren makes a bag that hangs on the handles but you can barely put anything in it. Forget hanging something on the handles. We have a Buggy Buddy and that's it. If we hang bags on the handle and the child gets out the stroller will tip over. We have learned to keep things in the basket instead or to utilize the many extra carrying hands we have. If you are not used to a very sturdy stroller this may not bug you. I was used to the Peg Perego Pliko/P3 before I got a Maclaren. I could hang a half dozen bags on that and not have it tip, even when the seat was empty. It took me a long time to learn to compensate, and get used to the tippiness factor. This isn't a Maclaren only issue though. All umbrella strollers are tippy.
All in all, if you need an umbrella, or small folding, stroller this is your best bet. You have a basket and canopy plus you won't have to hunch over to push it. You'll actually be able to push it even if your child is over 15 lbs. And you won't have to replace it every 6 months.
Amount Paid (US$): 100
Age Range of Child: 12 to 36 Months