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My son has always been quite tall for his age so by the time he was almost two years old we found that our needs from a pushchair had changed. We had an excellent pram that he had been in since birth but as he got older we found his legs were reaching over the end of his seat and the previously very comfortable looking seat area, now looked like he was having trouble squeezing in to it. It was also bulky and took up a lot of space in the boot. By this age my son was fully mobile too so addressing our new needs we decided we needed something that wasn't restrictive for leg length and something which was more suitable for a toddler and young child, not a baby.
After doing some research-mostly online but also I spent a lot of time trying to look at other people's too! There is no better review for a pushchair brand than seeing lots of the same one's being pushed by Mum's and Dad's! I quickly realised that what we needed was a stroller and decided on a Maclaren because of their high reputation.
We chose this Quest Sport Stroller in a champagne and black colour. Cream colours had previously put me off buying prams/strollers as the parent in me thought about the amount of marks it would get but really liked the overall look of this one so I chose to forget my concerns and go ahead and purchase it. We paid £149 for ours from Kiddicare, I think there was a sale on at this point but I see it's now risen to £185 as the normal retail price.
The packaging was very good and protective. A simple long cardboard box-no frills style. But it did the job and kept the stroller safe inside. There wasn't a huge amount of assembly needed which was a plus. Especially as our sons first pram had needed full assembly. This Quest Stroller came almost fully assembled, we just had to put the wheels on really and a few minor pieces. It literally took less than five minutes and it was ready to go. I was pleased with this, as for an expensive product I think it's important that we shouldn't have to do all the work! The work that we did need to do with the wheels etc was very well instructed in the instruction manual, which was clear, concise and easy to follow.
My first impressions were very good, especially with the colour. The champagne coloured parts of it, had a sort of tone that wasn't metallic but was darker than expected so I felt confident it wouldn't be too easily marked. And over time this has shown to be true. We use this on a daily basis and we haven't got any horrible marks on ours at all and the colours still look as lovely as the first day we had it.
The stroller itself has the ability to give your child the choice of four seat positions. All are an extension of the sitting position. So unlike a pram, there isn't an option to fully lay down your child. The first position starts as the standard seat back, sitting aid. And there are then three other reclining levels that can be used to allow your child to sit further back. I find this useful because my son doesn't sleep if we go out anymore, he's too old. He may nod off and doze slightly for a short period so being able to tilt him back is helpful for me to be able to make him comfortable. I actually like that there isn't a fully flat position available because it would encourage my son to sleep during the day, which at three years old isn't something I want to encourage or he wouldn't sleep at night. So the four seat positions that the Quest Sport has, are perfect for us.
The leg support is also excellent. Usually the bottom part of the stroller just folds down to support from behind the knee and then your child's feet will rest on the attached foot support which is made of thick black rubber. However a very useful part of this stroller is that the leg support area is adjustable and extendable. This enable you to lift the bottom flap up and extend the seat in front of your child. This is good when your child is younger and it's more comfortable for them to sit with their legs rested out in front of them, as opposed to hanging down in the usual sitting position. However I still find it useful now for my son even though he's older, when we are out and about if he's having a snack, or playing with a toy because it gives him more leverage to hold things and keep things where he wants them. All you do is lift the bottom flap, and use the slide bars which are nicely concealed and click it in to place. Occasionally this is a little tricky to do as sometimes the weight of your child's legs on top counter acts the ability to use the bars, but that's such a minor, quickly solved problem that it doesn't affect my high opinion of this stroller at all.
The overall comfort level for children is very high. The bottom seat pad is padded enough to be comfortable but not overly full of padding so it would loose it's shape and thus make it the opposite. It's comfortable and practical. My son is always comfortable in ours and I don't ever worry that he's not. It's supportive for his back and legs and I am confident in it's comfort levels.
The Quest Sport also comes with an attached water resistant hood which is useful to help protect from drizzle or bright sunshine. The hood is a good size but with the regular sitting position it won't usually cover your child enough to protect them from these weather variations. As my son is taller, it can help cover his face from drizzle, but that depends which direction we are walking really. Overall it's not good at protecting from rain and it doesn't keep the sun off his face either. Obviously if it's raining I will instinctively put it up, but it doesn't do a lot. It's very easy to extend. It only need you to push it and then to lock it in place you push the extending arms down in to a straight, locked position. It takes a second. The best use we have found for the hood is when it's not used (most of the time) it acts as a deep pocket and if my son has snacks etc, then I find it easier to put them in here and hand them to him than keep reaching in to his bag! I know it wasn't it's intended use but it works for me! The back of the hood also has a clear, plastic window which allows you to see your child if they are in the furthest reclined position. This is a nice extra for keeping an eye on sleepy children. But the majority of the seat positions don't work with the window.
Luckily when the weather is bad, particularly for the winter, the Quest Sport comes with a rain cover. This hooks on to the stroller on six places and is quick and easy to put in place. My son doesn't like having the rain cover on so we don't use it too often but when we do it fully protects him for rain and snow and keeps him nice and warm inside. The down side to the rain cover is that it is quite restrictive on your child's legs and doesn't leave them a lot of space to move their legs, I think that's what my son disliked about having it on. All that said, I still think it's added value including the rain cover, especially if you are outside a lot.
Another great bonus for parents is the shopping basket underneath the seating area. It's a net style basket and is a good size, so it's perfect for shopping and baby bags etc. It's a very flexible material so it can hold even more than it shows by adapting to shapes. Permanently attached, you don't have to worry about it coming off-the way I had to with my sons first pram! It's not a huge basket but it's big enough for day to day shopping and trips out etc.
With regards to how well it steers, it's truly excellent. It's very reactive to the slightest amount of steering and the wheels easily follow where you are trying to get them to go. You don't need to put a lot of weight behind it, or work hard. It's a very easy and comfortable stroller to push. Even with an older child inside, the weight doesn't affect how little work you need to do, which is really what makes it an excellent stroller. The wheels are smooth and lightweight enough to react well to your pushing and I don't have any problems in smaller places with maneuvering it around. The soft grip areas of the handle bars mean you can easily push hard if needed without hurting your palms (up hills etc) but overall you really don't have to work hard with this stroller.
Likewise the brake system is very easy to use. There is a red lever just above foot level which you flip down with your foot to activate the brakes, and flip up to release them. Again it's a simple, second long operation. Very easy and very durable and you don't need to bend down to use it. When the brakes are in use the stroller won't move at all.
Maclaren promote the fact that their Quest range (both the Sport variation and the non-sport variation) have a one hand fold down system. I find you can do it with one hand but it is easier with two-but that's because I'm not the strongest woman in the world! When you are putting it up it's best to hold both handle bars and all you do is rest your foot on the bottom bar behind the shopping basket, push down and voila. It takes a second. Likewise when collapsing the stroller all you do is hold the handlebars, and instead of pushing the bar down you push it upwards from the underneath and push it inwards to collapse it fully. The stroller responds to a small amount of pressure so it's another part of using it that is very easy and lightweight. A very quick and speedy process, one of the other reason's we bought it actually, it had the smallest amount of time needed to put it up and collapse it compared to many others we were shown.
When fully collapsed, there is a simple latch that keeps it folded in place. When this happens it's a slim rectangle shape which will fit in even the smallest of car boots. It takes up very little space and is so lightweight to get in and out of the car. I find it very useful that it takes little space when it comes in and out of the house too as you can store it in the cupboard etc and not worry it's going to take up too much room. The only downfall of the whole structure is that when folded, the wheels rest against the inside of the hood. So if you've been somewhere in bad weather or it's muddy, the wheels mark the inside of the hood, which can then be seen the next time you go out. It's probably the only thing I don't like about this stroller. I don't have time every time I use it to clean the wheels before I put it away.
We have had our quest Sport for just over a year now and I am still thrilled with it. It's everything I needed from a stroller-it's light, quick and easy to use, it's steering is fantastic and it's comfortable and safe for my son with it's excellent five point harness. Although it costs more now, I would still pay it's current price tag as it's worth it in durability, efficiency, it looks good and it helps me carry my shopping too! Although it's not perfect, with regards to the hood not really protecting from the elements and the viewing window not being always available to use-overall I still give it 5 stars because everything else is quite simply excellent!
When our daughter was about 5 months old we booked a holiday to WaltDisney World Florida. We decided that although our mamas and papas pushchair was great for day to day use we felt it might be a bit too big and bulky for travelling. We decided to purchase a smaller lightweight one for our holiday that we would be able to use full time once our daughter was big enough.
As this was our first child we didnt really know much about pushchairs so we spent some time doing a little bit of research (on DooYoo of course!) and one brand that we found had consistently good reviews was Maclaren. Its a brand that has been around for a long time and had a good reputation. They had quite a few models but after testing them out in various stores we eventually decided that the Maclaren Quest wasthe best pushchair for us.
We did a bit of research into the price and found that most stores were competitve on prices and generally you could expect to pay around £130 for this pushchair. We were lucky and ordered ours online when Kiddicare had a sale on and therefore managed to get it at a discounted price of £110 with free delivery.
As we have the intention of having another child at some point we decided to opt for the champagne colour as this is neutral and could be used for a boy or girl in future. In hind sight the down side of this colour is that it can mark relatively easily. However the fabric that its made of is quite easy to clean so its more of an inconvenience rather than an actually downside.
Like most lightweight strollers / pushchairs the maclaren has an "umbrella" fold. This means it folds up in half and pretty small. This is a great feature if your travelling or on and off public transport as we were. Unlike some of the larger pushchairs its really simple to fold, a lever to push down on one side, lift up the break section and fold in half. Quick and simple. Unfolding is equally as easy, open the clip at the side, shake out and push the break down into place. Both take less than a minute - which is great if its piddling down with rain!
The compromise you make on a lightweight stroller is that it doesnt have any features. The maclaren has a good sized basket underneath the pushchair and the seat reclines into 4 different positions. The seat isnt particularly padded but it is for children aged 3months plus so its perfectly suitable. The straps are strong and sturdy and the release button requires quite a firm push so theres not much chance your child we manage to undo it.
The maclaren comes with a raincover thats really easy to clip on and its actually a lot better than my one from mamas and papas. The pushchair weighs about 5.5kg so its really light.
Another good feature of this pushchair is that is has lockable front swivel wheels, this is handy if your going somewhere particularly bumpy -e.g. cobbles.
The hood on the maclaren is also pretty good - i sometimes find that if the rain is gentle i dont need to put the rain cover on as the hood covers quite a bit of my daughter. It also has a window so you can see through to the child and a decent sized pocket on the hood.
Overall i wouldnt hesitate to recommend the maclaren and i would most definately buy it again. Its not the cheapest on the market but its sturdy, reliable and nice looking.
I have owned many buggys as unfortunately it seems to be a bit of an addiction of mine! I must say that you cannot beat a maclaren buggy for comfort and practicality. I bought the quest sport in pink and grey for my little girl and the colours are simply gorgeous, not too in your face, but very girly. It is very light weight and easy to put up and down. It reclines almost fully and the seat unit is nice and spacious although not as big as the techno xt (which I have also previously owned!). There is a nice big hood on it and the cosy toes that matches only cost me £30 from boots and looks lovely with it. The only real negative I find with this buggy is that the brake is awful. Having read other reviews this seems to be a common fault so you just need to be extra careful. Overall a lovely buggy that serves its purpose.
5-Point Harness / Reclining Back (4 Positions)