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We purchased our maclaren quest when we were flying abroad thus needed a buggy instead of taking bigger pram out. We purchased ours from mothercare which did not have a great colour option, but we liked lime and the black anyway, which is amazing for a little boy (most buggies appear to be blue for boys) and is on tendency at the moment.
So as usual with infant gear, when it's your first time, you feel just like a beginner so we had no clue where to start and which buggy to get, but all the friends I talked to loved their maclaren buggies so it seemed wise to look at them. Initially, the price looks a trouble as maclarens are significantly higher priced than other brands, but after I asked the sales assistant his view, he told me in all his time at mothercare he had never had a yield or fault on a maclaren, so I was happy with that!
I've pushed a few other buggies that can say I am most comfortable using the maclaren, and belong to friends of other brands. I have also had tons of compliments around the buggy when friends have pushed the maclaren.
So features: hood, lockable swivel wheels, adjustable five point safety harness, three position backrest, shopping basket, shoulder strap for taking the buggy when folded, brake, along with the buggy may be folded down with one hand while having a baby or toddler in the other (I have done this on a couple of occasions too and it really is possible and quite simple after a handful of efforts.)
The folding of the buggy when watching demos of other buggies, and is quite easy, seems a lot simpler than other brands. The shoulder strap I have found really useful too so when it's folded you are able to carry it. The buggy is very light overly really easy to lift and take. When pushing the buggy, it feels really lightweight, even with a heavy toddler in it! And I have tried pushing on the buggy on all terrains. It even copes well with pebbles which looks like the worst terrain. Hood and the three position backrest are priceless when infant needs a sleep, and the backrest could be altered with one hand very readily. It also feels really strong and secure where some buggies don't seem to give excellent support. The very best thing for me personally is the safety harness buckle is truly toddle proof.
We bought our maclaren quest when we were flying abroad with our 7 month little boy, so wanted a buggy rather than taking out larger pram. We bought ours from mothercare which didn't have a great colour choice, but we liked the black and lime anyway, which is great for a little boy (most buggies seem to be blue for boys) and is on trend at the moment.
So as usual with baby equipment, when it is your first time, you feel like a novice so we had no idea where to start and which buggy to get, but all the friends I spoke to loved their maclaren buggies so it seemed sensible to look at them. At first, the price seems a problem as maclarens are significantly more expensive than other brands, but when I asked the sales assistant his opinion, he told me in all his time at mothercare he had never had a return or fault on a maclaren, so I was happy with that!
We bought the maclaren while it was on offer so it saved us a bit of money, but I can say it was worth spending the extra. I have pushed a few other buggies that belong to friends of other brands, and can say I am most comfortable with the maclaren. I have also had lots of compliments on the buggy when friends have pushed the maclaren for me.
So features: hood, lockable swivel wheels, adjustable five point safety harness, three position backrest, shopping basket, shoulder strap for carrying the buggy when folded, brake, and the buggy can be folded down with one hand while having a baby or toddler in the other (I have done this on a few occasions too and it is possible and quite easy after a couple of attempts.)
The folding of the buggy is very easy, and when watching demos of other buggies, seems a lot easier than other brands. The shoulder strap I have found really useful too so when it is folded you can carry it like a golf bag. The buggy is quite light too so easy to lift and carry. When pushing the buggy, it feels really lightweight, even with a heavy toddler in it! And I have tried pushing the buggy on all terrains. It isn't made for very uneven off-road terrain but it does manage with a bit of effort. It even copes well with pebbles which seems to be the worst terrain. The three position backrest and hood are invaluable when baby needs a sleep, and the backrest can be altered with one hand very easily. It also feels very sturdy and secure where some buggies don't seem to give great support. The best thing for me is that the safety harness buckle is truly toddler proof. We haven't had an escape yet!
This pushchair certainly seems like a comfortable one for a little one to sit in but it isn't the most comfortable for someone to push.
When we bought this we got it from a lady selling it second hand so it cost us £80, the retail price is about £180. Such a lot of money to pay for a pushchair but then again it is important to get one which is a good one because you do use it a lot, we do anyway!
This is an umbrella fold chair so it folds to be quite slim which makes it easy to fit in the boot and easy to store without it taking up a lot of space unlike the bulky travel systems you can get. I haven't struggled to get it to fold down or flip back up. I do need to use two hands to do so but that is fine. I have seen some people flip these open with one hand but I have no idea how they manage it!
What is brilliant about this is that it is light weight. It is so much lighter than the previous pushchairs we have had and used. This makes it easier to push and obviously easier to lift in and out of the boot of the car which is something that I struggled with.
It reclines and is suitable from birth apparently. It reclines in four positions but we tend to just have it in the upright position but if baby does fall asleep then we recline it a little. This is very easy to do again and isn't at all noisy so won't disturb a sleeping baby!
It has a leg rest which you can make bigger so when baby grows you can move it down. This is a good feature. You can also adjust the hood too to use as a shade and protection for your baby if it's sunny.
The handles are padded but I find them quite uncomfortable, I would prefer a bar that goes all the way across so you have a choice of where you put your hands rather than have just two handles to hold onto I find it is quite uncomfortable to push because of this. My daughter doesn't agree so it probably is individual preference so if you are buying one at full price it is advised to have a trial with it around the shop to see if you find it comfortable for you.
There is a good shopping basket underneath which is really useful although if the seat is in recline position it is hard to get to it!
The seat is nicely padded, it feels very comfortable and there is plenty of space. I have seen some pushchairs that only have a small seat and it looks a bit tight and hard for babies but this is a comfortable, well padded pushchair so your baby will be comfortable.
The wheels are only small and rotate so it's easy to push. It isn't great on bobbly surfaces but on tarmac it is perfectly fine.
I'm pleased we have this now as it is a good pushchair which is lightweight and easy to use. It just isn't too comfortable to push due to the handles being in a locked position. Aside from that we like it.
After having our third child, our old pushchair finally gave up the ghost and was more of a danger to the baby than a nice safe haven so we went out and bought a Maclaren Quest for £144 and so far it has been amongst the best buys we've ever made.
Maclaren pushchairs and strollers are as describe them as a decent brand where you pay for the quality but don't feel that the price is way too high so their products are always superb but also just about affordable for parents feeling the pinch as a one off item. So we bought the blue Maclaren quest for our now four month old baby girl, yes I know blue but it's more a blue outline rather than a blue all over and once you've put the inner padding seat which is patterned than the blue is almost invisible.
The key factors for any pushchair are ease of access and removal and how easy to steer? Well the answer for the Maclaren is very easy on both fronts, the baby is inserted into the pushchair and held by padded arms which click into a front button, to release you press the button at the front and behind. In terms of handling well the pushchair feels so light it's ridiculous, it also has wheels which turn independently and allows for pushing in any direction without having the turning circle of an oil tanker. After our previous pushchair, the ease of getting the pushchair down our back step and around the shops was an eye-opener and makes taking the baby out so much more fun when you can easily steer the pushchair around rather than wresting the handles all the time.
The pushchair comes with the usual rain cover, but there is a pouch behind the baby where the rain cover can be stored when it's not raining in this country rather than stuffing under the pushchair. The biggest factor for me is the lightness of the pushchair and the ease of handling; both are down to good design and use of lightweight materials. The pushchair is also easy to unfold and has a clip which clips the frame together and makes carrying the pushchair around a possibility if out and about. I don't think I could say that about any other pushchair we've ever owned.
This Maclaren cost £144, though that was with a bit of a discount on the day, normally they retail for between £180 and £220. My tip would be buy it from Mothercare as they were substantially cheaper than any other outlet and don't even consider buying through a catalogue as the price quoted was almost £300.
When my oldest daughter was about 7 months old I decided to 'downsize' from the bulky travel system we had and move onto something alot more lightweight and more managable. We lived in a second floor flat at the time and it was becoming a nightmare to drag the pram we had up the two flights of stairs so the weight of the new pram was a big deciding factor. When I actually went pram shopping though I was more concerned with looks and fell in love with my Maclaren instantly. There was a whole range on display but we opted for a beautiful chocolate brown and cream Quest with matching footmuff and paid about £180 for it. This was around 6 and a half years ago though and I know when I bought my second daughter a similar one without the footmuff we only paid £130 for it so the price seems to have come down slightly. You can get lots of different types of Maclaren prams which vary in price and functions but the Quest seems to be the middle of the road model being good quality without being overpriced.
After the nightmare I had with my first pram pushing the Maclaren Quest was like a dream come true it was so lightweight and easy to push. Even when my daughter was a toddler and I had shopping bags hanging from the handles it was extremely easy to push, steer round corners and lift onto curbs. It is also good for using on buses and trains as it isn't too wide and can be folded up quickly and easily if needed. I cannot really fault the Quest because I have never pushed another pram that feels of the same quality as this one. It feels sturdy and well made and it definatly lasts along time and can cope with pretty much anything. Ive had two tired two year olds sitting in mine and a 5 year old stood on the back and its still in one piece. My most recent Quest has been in use for over 3 years now and still looks allomost as good as the day I bought it and I only got rid of my first one because I thought I wouldn't be needing it again!
If your looking for a good quality stroller then the Maclaren Quest is a definate must have I would never buy another model of stroller for my children. Personally I wouldn't use it from birth, although the age range states that you can, because it doesn't seem supportive enough for a newborn and I like the option of having baby facing you which it doesn't have. Once your child is able to sit up though and is taking an interest in their surroundings then I would reccomend getting one of these strollers as they are lightweeight, comfortable, stylish and very hardwearing. The Quest will last as long as your child needs it and will be outgrown rather than worn out so is a brilliant investment to make.
My little 8 month old daughter is fast outgrowing her Quinny Zapp buggy, and although I already have another buggy for her to move into, I was looking for a small, lightweight buggy that we could keep in the boot of the car which folded easily and would be ideal for holiday. I was keen on the Maclaren buggies, but I wasn't so keen on the price, especially given I was only looking for this as a spare, but I hit it lucky and ended up picking up a second hand one for a tiny £10. Although this Maclaren Quest buggy had been well used, it was in great condition, and I immediately starting using it, and my daughter absolutely loves it.
There are some great features of this buggy, that make it ideal for both travel and as a buggy for all year round, and in fact, I can see myself using it well beyond our summer holiday. The fabric of the buggy, which in my case was grey/light blue is removable and washable. I haven't tried to do this yet as when I got it I simply gave it a wash down with a damp cloth and left it in the sun to dry out and it was perfect, but it is a good feature to have.
Getting this buggy up and down is a doddle. Since we bought ours second hand, we obviously didn't have any instructions with it, but we didn't need any as it was so easy to work. In fact, I think it is promoted as a one handed umbrella folding buggy and I could see how you could (with a few practice attempts) fold it with one hand. THis does make it a great choice for being out and about especially with a baby etc anything that will make life easier is to be commended!
THe handles of this buggy are foam insulated making it a very comfortable buggy to wheel about without your hands getting sore. They are also at a good height making the buggy easy to steer and mobilise. Underneath the main seat of the buggy, there is a mesh shopping bag, which most buggies have and is a great addition, although like a lot of buggies it isn't always the easiest to get things into without a bit of pushing, but once you can get at it, the bag is a decent size, so you should be able to fit in a good amount of shopping bags!
When I first had my daughter in this buggy and went for a walk, I noticed the front wheels swivel and I wondered if there was something wrong with the buggy, however, after reading up about the buggy, I realised it was a feature of the front wheels to aid movement around shops etc. There is also a locking system to park the buggy and stop it moving.
Obviously I cannot judge myself how comfortable it is to sit in the seat, but my daughter actually looks a lot more comfortable in this buggy than in the Quinny Zapp, and has plenty of room to move around even when she is fully strapped in, and for a wriggly baby that hates being restricted this is quite vital. In fact, I think she most be extremely comfortable as on the last two occasions we went out for a walk using this buggy, she has fallen asleep when it hasn't even been her time to nap, which is unusual for my daughter. There are four recline positions on this buggy, which means you can make baby as comfortable as possible if they do fall asleep. Reclining is also easy after they fall asleep and shouldn't disturb them. There is also the nice added feature for younger babies that underneath the overhanging part of the cover, you can pull out a little extension which allows baby to stretch out feet when they are too small to put their feet on the bottom part of the buggy.
This buggy is suitable for babies from three months old, however my daughter has only been in this since 7 months, but had I have had this buggy I would certainly have had her in it sooner, as it is far far superior to my Quinny Zapp Xtra, and takes up far less room, and I think my daughter is far more comfortable and has more room in this buggy.
In terms of negatives, to be quite honest, I haven't found any yet. I had only got this as a holiday buggy and to keep as a spare but I like it so much that I have put our Quinny Zapp Xtra away and am now using this all the time. EVen better when it only costs a tenner, but to be honest, now having used it, I would easily have paid more for it, even being second hand, as I think it is very well made, and very comfortable for baby, which is quite vital!
I bought a MacLaren Quest on 2008 for my first daughter.
Now she is 4 years old and she still sits on the MacLaren going everywhere. To let you imagine how we use it, just a short list:
- We use it everyday for my daughters.
- We were going to Australia (Perth), Singapore, Vietnam (Hanoi and HCM city and some coastal cities). For those who usually travel, they may know the walking conditions: on streets, to the beaches, on grass, on soil, up-down the hills, on bus, train, mrt and weather condition in those places. And we have been using the MacLaren Quest for our baby very comfortably, safely, with all her stuff hooked securely on frame or the bag behind and under the seat.
- My wife and I love walking than going by some vehicles, particularly for distances up to 4km from home. We use MacLaren Quest for all such events. Even when we go shopping, it helps carry almost everything we bought, of course, with our daughter on. It might be a bit messy with more than 5 shopping bags hangging around and even a 10kg bag of rice, bottle of washing liquid under the seat (:D). But NO PROBLEM at all.
- Our second daughter just 1 year old now continues using it with joy. Now we use the MacLaren Quest to carry stuff of two daughters.
- Now is 2012, it lasts for almost 4 years, have been washed quite often, but has just a bit tear on the handle. But the MacLaren is still very very realiable and is our love, safe buggy for my babies.
We are looking to buy another MacLaren Quest for our daughters. Highly recommended!
I bought this pram over a year ago and has survived a very harsh winter. I really loved the design of this pram and it has several excellent qualities such as the reclining features which go completely flat back allowing the child to sleep comfortably. Its five point harness is easy to use and secure when little fingers start trying to figure it out. It has a reasonable storage basket underneath however when chair reclined can be a little awkward to access. The hood can be taken off to allow room to attach a parasol. Its very lightweight in comparison to other prams i have used and the wheels seem to be completely rustproof. In my opinion its a little difficult to put up and down until you get the hang of it but it folds down tightly so makes it perfect for storing away. Last winter in Scotland was a nightmare and with all the salt I thought it would be ruined. I can honestly say it coped really well in the snow and the salt made no difference to the outer body or wheels. It comes with a lovely rubber luggage label and is perfect for taking on trains and planes. Overall i would recommend this pram as having had it for a while and still love it as does my son.
I bought this for my son when he turned 4 and a half months old as I wanted an easier way to get about on public transport. He used it every day until my daughter was born and I had to switch to a double buggy (we got Phil and Teds) for a while. My 3 year old daughter is still in now in it every day and my son just turned 5. You do hear about parents who end up with several strollers over the years but I can honestly say that buying this quality buggy has saved me from that and it's has been truly 'hammered' over the years. When my son is tired I make him sit in it and put my daughter on his lap - there seems no limit to the pressure you can exert on this buggy. Collapsing and putting it up is still an almost effortless process despite the countless number of times it's been done. The only negative is the raincover has split many times over the years - I've repaired it with duct tape as replacements are costly! Also it tips over easily if your child gets out and you have all your shopping hanging off the handles weighing it backwards.. all buggies do this though! I find the access to the basket underneath fiddly too but again it's a buggy and they all have this issue I guess.
When my wee one was nearing her first birthday, we decide that it was the right time for her to make her first visit to her grandparents in Hong Kong. We had put it off up until this point as we felt she was too young to take on a long haul journey, and we were too tired to contemplate the logistics of travelling with all the baby paraphernalia. The main item that we needed to purchase to make our air travel and stay in Hong Kong as easy and stress free as possible, was a decent buggy. With this in mind, we went in search of the 'perfect' travel buggy. It had to be lightweight and compact but also robust enough to endure the rigours of air travel. The buggy also had to be fairly simple to fold and open up so that we could travel easily with it on Hong Kong's extremely busy public transport system.
I did a bit of research on the internet and the reviews for the Maclaren range of buggys (or strollers as they are often called now) were quite impressive. I also have friends and relatives who highly recommended them so on this basis, I had decided that this was the brand that I was going for. Maclaren buggys have been around since 1965 and is sold in over 50 countries, which just shows how popular they are and that they have stood the test of time. They have a range of buggys, including the Volo, Triumph, Quest and Techno. We quickly eliminated the Volo from our list of possibles; this is their most basic and cheapest model and it does not recline at all so wasn't suitable for my one year old who was still taking frequent naps. The Techno, which is suitable from birth, is a sturdier model but also didn't fit our requirements as it was a bit bigger and heavier than the rest, so would be more difficult to travel with. This narrowed our choice down to two models: the Triumph and the Quest. There is very little difference between these models and they both seemed to fit the bill as they were light and compact. Both have multiple seat positions, so that your child can sit up and see what's going on around them when awake, but also can have a little nap when tired. The Quest is lightweight at only 5.8kg but still fairly sturdy looking. The triumph is slightly smaller and a little lighter at 5.2kg, but isn't quite as stylish looking as the Quest. Now as a rule I am not fussy about appearances and as long as the item is 'fit for the purpose' I am happy. But as we were visiting one of the most sophisticated, trend-setting cities in the world, we (or rather my hubby), decided that we should 'look the part'. On this basis, we opted for the trendy looking Maclaren Quest in a smart black/scarlet design. It also came ready assembled which was an added bonus. At that time, which was 3 years ago, it cost us £100 from our local Pramcentre. Compared to other buggys this is not cheap as you can buy one from about £30. However, I think that the extra cost is well worth it as quality of the Maclaren Quest is far superior to a lot of these cheaper models out there.
---MY EXPERIENCES WITH THE MACLAREN QUEST BUGGY---
So off we went to Hong Kong, where the Maclaren Quest was to be put through the ultimate test: to survive being tossed around by airline staff on the long haul journey and to endure a month in Hong Kong where it's 'compactness and usability' would be tested to the limits. As it happened, they allowed us to take the buggy on the plane as it was so 'small' which was great, as it meant we could literally wheel our sleeping child right up to the door of the plane. We have travelled by air with this buggy several times since then and we have always been allowed to take it on board with us due to it's compact size. At the other end of the journey, we were also pleasantly surprised to find that the buggy had already been unfolded by a kind member of staff. This is one of the plus points about having a mass produced buggy such as Maclarens. Air staff are always familiar with this model which means they are able to help with folding and opening the buggy for you.
Hong Kong has an extremely efficient, but incredibly busy public transport system, so we were somewhat nervous about how we were going to manage with the buggy when taking the metro or bus. I have used a number of prams and buggys through the years, including reputable brands such as Mamas and Papas and Silver Cross, and some of them have been an absolute nightmare to fold. However, we need not have worried. The Maclaren Quest is the simplest buggy to fold and open up. The company states that the buggy has a one handed fold mechanism and I would say that this is an accurate claim. It simply involves kicking up the back lever, pressing down the side lever and then pushing the handles forward to fold in a locking position. It is that easy, and it can be done with one hand while holding your baby with the other. I have tried it and it IS possible. To open it up again, you just release the catch at the side, pull up the handles and press down on the back lever. Again, this can all be managed with one hand. I would say that the simplicity of this folding mechanism is one of the best things about this buggy and it proved to be very handy in Hong Kong as we literally had to fold and open it up several times a day. It is also nice and compact when folded which came in handy when we had to squeeze into the tiniest available space on the Metro. It also had to be folded several times when we were eating out at busy restaurants as space was limited.
My Quest buggy has proved to be just as handy back in the UK. Once folded, it fits in to the smallest spaces and I have managed to even squeeze it in at the seat alongside me and my wee one when travelling by bus. It also has an adjustable carry handle which allows you to sling it over your shoulder once folded. This is handy when you need your two hands free: one to hold on to your child and the other to pay the bus fare. For those travelling by car, the buggy is only 104cm in length when folded so can easily fit into even the smallest car boot.
This buggy is a dream to steer in and out of the crowds and has been put to the test in Hong Kong's busiest shopping malls. It has lockable swivel wheels which I prefer to use unlocked. A lot of buggys seem to have a life of their own when it comes to steering, but the Maclaren Quest actually seems to want to conform and follow the direction that you are going in, which is an absolute godsend when trying to weave through hundreds of people. The handles are foam covered which makes it comfortable to hold and push the buggy. The handle height is 104cm and not adjustable. This has been perfect for me at 5' 2" but I do have taller friends who equally love their Maclaren buggy so I assume that the handly height has not been an issue for them either.
I would say that this buggy isn't really suitable if you are intending to buy a lot of heavy items. There is a very small mesh shopping basket underneath that you can use for a few small items of shopping. But it isn't advisable to hang too many heavy bags from the handles as it does tip over when your child gets out of the buggy. On saying that I have, on occasion, got carried away with myself at the supermarket and came out with two heavy shopping bags swinging from the handles, rather than the bread and milk that I initially went in for. The buggy seems to cope well with this and if my little one insists on getting out to walk at this point, then I simply take one of the shopping bags and place it on the seat to balance the whole thing and that seems to work a treat. One issue that I have with the shopping basket , is that it is near impossible to access it when the seat is reclined. The basket can only be properly reached from the back end of the buggy so I have found that I have often had to push the seat into a sitting position in order to get anything in or out of it, thereby disturbing my little one from her sleep. I have got round this problem by storing more essential items in the handy pocket that's incorporated into the back of the hood. It's just a nice size to hold a cup/bottle, wipes and keys.
The Maclaren Quest has four seat positions and is said to be suitable from 3 months to 3 years (up to 15kg). In my opinion though, it is more suitable from 6 months when babies can just about sit up unaided as it doesn't lie completely flat and is only very lightly padded. There is an extendable leg rest that easily pulls out from the seat. I found this useful as it prevented my wee one's legs from dangling mid air when she was still too small to place her feet on the foot rest.
There is a water resistant hood and a rain cover which can be attached very easily and quickly if caught in a sudden downpour. The rain cover folds flat and fits into the shopping basket. I know that I mentioned earlier that it can be tricky getting items in and out of the basket if the seat is reclined, but the raincover does slip out easily from the side as it is very compact and folds completely flat. The raincover is surprisingly durable and is still in perfect condition after 3 years of use which I think is pretty good.
In Hong Kong where the weather is extremely hot and sunny, the hood has proved to be a useful sunshade and adequately protects your child from harmful rays. In fact, even the little viewing window on the hood is UV protective.
There is a five point harness which is very secure and keeps your child safely in the seat The harness can also be adjusted as your child grows. I would say the harness buckle is VERY secure and even little Houdinis will find this an impossible one to get out of. In fact it is even tricky for adults to release the catch, although it does become a little less stiff with constant use. There are also reflective accents on the buggy for night time safety.
I do find the brakes on this buggy to be a bit of an issue. The brake should work by pressing down on a little lever with your foot, but I've found this to be quite fiddly and involves inching the wheels forward slightly until in just the right position to allow the brake to be pushed into place. This is hardly ideal and from reading previous reviews it seems that the brake mechanism is a problem with a lot of Maclaren buggys and not just mine. This is something that I think Maclaren should address as their buggys are superb in so many other aspects.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The Maclaren Quest is widely available and is sold at all large nursery stockists including www.pramcentre.com and www.kiddicare.com. It does vary considerably in price so I would shop about. I know that it can be purchased for £112 at www.mothercare.com which includes free delivery and I think that is one of the better deals at the moment.
My little one has always been very snug in her buggy and has often had long naps in it while out and about. The challenge now is to persuade her, (and myself if I am being completely honest here), to give it up. She has just reached 4 years old and is of course far too old for a buggy. However, we are still using it occasionally when we are going on longer walks or if I am in a hurry to get somewhere. She is small for her age and about the height of an average 3 year old so I haven't been met with too many disapproving stares. However, I don't drive, so the buggy has been a very essential item for both me and my child and has been very well used in the last 3 years. It is still in great condition and even reasonably clean as it has removable washable covers. It will soon be passed on to her little cousin and I'm sure it will continue to prove its roadworthiness.
I highly recommend the Maclaren Quest buggy, especially for travelling at home or abroad. It is both compact and sturdy and in the long run, is well worth the extra cost, especially if you are planning to use it for more than one child. I am taking one star off due to the brake being difficult to operate as I realise that might be a big issue to some people, although I personally haven't found it to be too big a deal as I would never rely heavily on a buggy brake anyway. I do however give the Maclaren Quest a very well earned 4 stars.
Thanks for reading and hope it is of some help if you are buggy hunting.
We bought a new Maclaren Quest buggy in early December from Bargains Direct in order to replace the old broken monstrosity that we had (and yes, dear reader, a review of that will follow). From day one we have marvelled at our new carriage. It goes straight and it doesn't need the upper-body strength of Geoff Capes to push. (I realise that the youngsters among you may need to Google Geoff Capes). Believe me, that is a significant step forward from the last pushchair we had. We were also pleased to see that the raincover we already had fitted the new model as did our existing CosyToes. The chair folds down easily and so is simple to store. Also pleasing is the fact that the brake is easy to apply - something that was difficult on the previous pushchair we owned. For the price (£89.99) we couldn't really have expected more from a buggy. Oh, ok then, one complaint (you really are a tough audience) - it would be nice if there were a little bit extra under-pram storage to help lug shopping about. Other than that the Maclaren Quest is just about perfect. Even tiny son doesn't mind sitting in it.
When our son was just a little kidney bean in my wife's tummy, we didn't have a clue about what pram would be the best for us. Let's be honest: it's pretty impossible to guess when it's your firstborn and you're not experienced in parenting. We bought a big, safe buggy that was more like a cross between a tank and a Transformer than anything else. The only drawback with this was the size of the thing, which we found hard to lug about the place.
As our son grew older, we considered options. The reason we had the previous buggy was really because of the safety and the fact of having to get a baby in and out of a car. After a couple of years, with a bit more mobility, we seriously considered our backs and energy levels by changing to this much more lightweight buggy. Now, I wouldn't say it completely substituted for the previous one, and for longer trips we still used it, especially with the car seat, at least to start with.
What this Maclaren did was make it a LOT easier if we just wanted to pop out for a walk or go down the beach, or basically anywhere where a huge buggy wouldn't be as convenient as a little one. The Maclaren so easy to access and fold up, we found ourselves using it more and more often, forgetting about the Graco and just sticking with this one probably 90% of the time.
From our son's point of view, he was just as happy in both modes of transport, if you want a comparison between the two. For longer buggy rides, this Maclaren probably isn't the most comfortable, and he'd wriggle a bit, but if he knew it was just to go for a walk, or to go round a few shops where he may find a few opportunities to get out at times, then he was more than happy with it. Comfort didn't seem to be an issue, more the fact that it's a pretty basic and standard buggy, without any drinks holders or anywhere to really store anything to play with.
The seat itself is flexible enough, and once the buggy is opened out, there's plenty of room in it. The straps have padding on them, and are very easy to clip shut, with easily adjustable straps. In fact, I would say that the main focus of this Maclaren is ease, with every single element of it just really easy to use, and a breath of fresh of air, to be honest, after the complicated and cumbersome Graco.
There is a flexible leather strap that is a perfect height for kids' feet to go on, and a small but well designed storage area at the back if you need to put a couple of bags of shopping. You can also hang things on the handles. The only thing I will say is that in terms of balance, it's quite a light buggy, so if you're planning on hanging things on these handles, make sure it's not too heavy or too much, as you'll find that even with a kid in it, it can tip over. We only experienced this once, and luckily one of us was stood by it and stopped an accident happening. Needless to say, we didn't try it too much after that!
Control of the buggy is also very easy. The handles are close together, and the manoeuvering is made easy by how light it is. The front wheels have complete rotation, and the frame, although sturdy and strong, is flexible enough to allow for easy cornering. I'd recommend this for toddlers as opposed to babies, though, as the sides aren't quite as well protected as other bigger and more substantial buggies, where the kid can sit a bit deeper in it. This one minimises on space, and this includes how deep the kid sits in it.
It's more fun having a ride in this as well. I found I could have a bit of a laugh with our son, pretending we were in a race car, as it was so light and easy to control. Going out shopping was also a whole lot easier, as you can move in and out of people easily and the thing is very narrow and doesn't take up any space at all. Yesterday, I saw a really big pram, and it reminded me of just how I felt when I saw her trying to negotiate these summer crowds.
But the best part of it is when you want to fold it down. Living by the coast, we have instant access to beaches, and there's nothing worse than having to try and force a pram across a beach, fighting against friction and really making you grumpy and wishing you were somewhere else. The beauty about the Maclaren, in comparison to the Graco, was that folding it up was not only quick and easy, but it concertinas up into something I can lug over my shoulder and carry; or I can drag it behind me on the beach and use the wheels without it feeling like a bit of a mission.
If you're looking for ultimate safety for a baby, then I would always suggest going for something a bit bigger where the baby would sit deeper, or that has everything you need to store baby stuff. However, if you're looking for a quick and easy pushchair quick navigation for a toddler who has more control over his movements, then this is ideal. We were very glad we took the plunge and went for something a lot smaller than our 'tank', and I'd happily recommend anyone else does the same. If we have another kid, then we'll certainly use our Graco to start with, but in the knowledge that if we need easy use then the Maclaren is always there. Recommended.
Maclaren quest currently selling between £125 and £140 in mothercare. The pushchair weighs 5.5 kg and is available in a range of colours. It comes complete with the hood and raincover. The handles do not adjust and it has a basket underneath.
I bought the coffee and blue one for my son just before he was a year after i got fed up with my heavy pramette. I found it so light and easy to push. It took some getting used to actually how light it was and i was very impressed how small it folded. It folds very easily.
Although the instructions dont say so I washed the seat cover in the machine on a 30degree quick wash and it was fine. It is very fiddly to take apart and get back together though.
When i purchased the pushchair it was with a 12 month guarantee where as other cheaper ones you only get 6 months normally. My son was still using the pushchair up until 4 months before his 3rd birthday. He would still be in it now but i have now another baby so she is in a pushchair.
The information states it is suitable from 3 months but personally i wouldnt put a 3 month old in it as i dont feel it supports their body enough or reclines far enough.
These are definately a more expensive buggy but durable. I have had so much shopping and stuff on the back against all advise and there is no damage to the pushchair at all! I would buy another for my little girl.
This pram seems to have had varying reviews and I guess mine is going to come in the middle of those! The reason for buying this was that I wanted something small and lightweight to keep in the boot of the car, so I could keep my Quinny in the garage all set up ready to go for walking, so in this respect it's fitted my needs perfectly - it is lightweight and it folds up nice and neatly and fits snuggly lengthways in my boot (Seat Leon), leaving lots of room for shopping bags etc. It's very easy to put up and down - on handed really. The rain cover is easy to attach and the shopping basket is a good size too. The parts that I'm not so keen on is that my baby seems to be slouching all the time, he can never really sit up straight in it, even though it's not in the recline position. I'm constantly having to prop him up a bit - he's 16 months now so quite capable of sitting up, it's just this pushchair doesn't seem to keep his back straight if you know what I mean, it's like it needs one more notch on the back rest to bring it up a bit.
MACLAREN QUEST -----
I love this buggy, i had it for my daughter when she was 3 and she i pretty tall and still she looked so comfortable in it, then again i do love most maclarens they are very strudy and durable you can always seem to trust them.
This comes in a range of funky colours to suit everyone, it is very easy t o push and handle and i found i could push it one handed when needed.
The shopping basket is average size but its pretty strong and can hold quite a bit of shopping, i bought a baby pink one which did get dirty very quickly but maclaren have made it very easy to strip all the covers off and stick them in the washing machine which is fantastic for them messy little fingers!
its also super easy to fold and very easy to store as its nice and slim and also light to carry the only problem i have had with it is the brakes sometimes release themselves so you do have to watch that when on the buses etc.
lightweight, easy to push, easy to handle, super easy to fold, very comfortable, nice height
brakes sometimes release
Overall i would recommened this to anyone, and its not a bad price either for the buggy it retails in mothercare for around £140 but im sure if you shopped around you could get it cheaper. But its well worth paying for
The Hauck Speed Sun - Hide N Seek Pooh is a Single Seat Umbrella.