“ Manufacturer: Maclaren / Type: Umbrella / Number of Seats: Double / Twin Seats „
Just before my second child was born we had quite a dilemma about pushchairs. The age gap between my two was going to be 22 months and even though my little girl had started to walk and was quite confident there were still times when we thought we might need or want to put her in a pushchair, i.e. if we went out for a long walk or she got tired and wanted a nap. In my opinion our single pushchair, the Bugaboo Chameleon is the Rolls Royce of pushchairs and I really did not want to give it up. We had looked at the Bugaboo Donkey which is a double pushchair but at over £1,000 we really couldn't justify it for just the few months that we thought we would probably use it.
In the end after talking our dilemma over with several friends one of my friends lent us her MacLaren double pushchair as he two girls are a bit older than my kids and she doesn't need it at the moment, although she wants it back when she has her next child she told me!!
This pushchair is a side by side pushchair and is suitable from birth which is great as I had a newborn to put into each. I have things I like about this pushchair and I have things I dislike and I think on reflections its not something I would actually buy and be happy with in the long run but as it was a lend I am quite happy with it as it has been very useful.
The width of the pushchair is quite large as each seat is big enough to hold a toddler as well as a small child but so far I have found that it fits most places I need it to go. For example we do fit through a single shop door but you do need to make sure that you go through the door straight on otherwise you will hit the side of the door. The seats go into a number of position from straight up to reclined down so that baby is almost flat in the seat. I think this is a really good feature, especially for when you have a baby and a toddler as both can sit in the pushchair. The seats are easy to put up and down. There are two levers on the underside of each chair that you push and then pull downwards to make the seat go back. They are day to do but you do need to press them at the same time to make sure the seat goes down. In order to move the seat upwards you just press on the back of it and push it up and it then goes up. Once in position it is a very secure fit and the seat does not move at all. I have my baby boy in the almost reclined position and he finds this quite comfortable and can snuggle down and fits quite well. Each seat has a harness that allows you to fasten your child in. There are two straps that go over each arm and then a part from the bottom that goes through the legs and you click in the arm straps into the centre. To release you press the button in the centre. You do need to give it quite a firm press but it comes apart daily easily.
The pushchair folds down quite easily but this is a heavy pushchair so does take a bit of strength. The the back of each seat there is a bar you kick up to release and then you also pull up another lever and then just use the own weight of the pushchair to fold it down. There are hooks on each side of the pushchair that holds it into place when it is all folded down so it will not come apart once it is folded up. There is also a handy handle on the side that allows you to lift it easily once it is folded down if you need to put it in your car etc. We have a 2011 Seat Ibiza and this fits nicely in our boot but I think with a smaller car you would have trouble fitting it in. To put the pushchair up you release the hooks, sort of shake the pushchair out and then there are two little leavers on the back that you can stand on in order to lock the pushchair into place.
There are two handles on each side of this pushchair with which to push it. I like this about it as it makes it easy to hang a changing bag or your handbag over the hook and it easier than having one big handle that goes the length of the pushchair like the Bugaboo does. The handles have a thick foam on them and they are quite comfortable to grab and nice to hold onto when you push this around.
The pushchair comes with a rain cover which fits over both seats at one time. It also has foot muffs that snap onto each seat and we have been using these a lot recently as it has been so cold. There is a mesh basket underneath each seat. They are fairly thin and do not hold much and its hard to get into them if one of the seats is reclined all the way down but there are handy. There is also a covered pocket on the back of each seat which you can put papers in. Both seats have a separate shade that goes over the top of them so perfect for keeping the sun out of baby's eyes or a nice cover of there is just a light rain. The front bit has a plastic section on it too so they can still see out if they wish. The shade folds in the middle to put it up if you want to but you can also secure it by putting down the levers on each side.
So all in all quite a handy pushchair, I would just say my one reservation with it is that it is just so so heavy. Its quite heavy to push and you really do need to give it a lot of your strength to push it along the street, especially if you are going up a hill. I found it especially bad over Christmas. I took it to London one day on the tube and train and with all our coats, blankets, extra food etc it was just so heavy to manoeuvre. The wheels do not turn that easily either so if you need to change direction you really need to push it yourself rather than relying on the wheels to turn on their own axis. Compared to the Bugaboo which I was used to practically turning on a dime and gliding over the terrain this pushchair is heavy going and nowhere near as good as the Bugaboo but in terms of convenience and being really handy I do quite like it. If I were to buy one the price tag is not bad either as these retail in the £200-£300 mark.
5-Point Harness / Reclining Back / Adjustable Handle Height