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When I discovered I was expecting my third child, I decided to invest in a new pushchair for the new arrival but wanted something that would, ideally, see him through right from his newborn days until toddlerhood. Having owned and used numerous pushchairs in the past, I was aware that this was a difficult demand as the needs of a newborn and a toddler can be somewhat contradictory. Lots of travel systems claim to be suitable from birth to three, for example, but I know from experience that they are far too bulky and cumbersome to be used for an older baby on an everyday basis. Likewise, some lightweight buggies claim to be suitable from birth but are far too flimsy and upright for me to feel happy about using them for a newborn.
After weighing up the available options, we settled on the Maclaren Techno XT. This costs around £195 (Mothercare, October 2010) so is not a cheap buggy but certainly much less expensive than the premium end of the market. (It almost goes without saying that I waited until this was on promotion and, in conjunction with a discount code, got the price down to £148 back in February.) I own the original black and silver XT which I think looks quite stylish and is suitably gender neutral. (There is now a stylish 'scarlet' version available too, as pictured above, if you prefer something a little more flamboyant.)
As I bought this several months before my little one arrived, I actually used it as the main pushchair for my middle son for a while (he was around two and a half at the time) and am now using it for my newborn so I have tested this at both ends of the age range! Just as I hoped, the pushchair is a very lightweight, compact model that is easy to handle, even with an older toddler on board.
After using this for a much older child, my husband was dubious whether it would really be suitable for a newborn baby. Fortunately, it is. This pushchair reclines totally flat and comes complete with a detachable head hugger, adjustable five point safety harness and removable pads for the straps. The pushchair isn't particularly well padded though and I would only recommend using this for a newborn when used with the matching footmuff. This needs to be purchased separately, however, so remember to factor in the additional £45 that this costs. When the footmuff is attached, the pushchair immediately transforms into a lovely soft, snuggly cocoon for a little one and I am confident that it is comfortable and supportive enough for my little baby.
The only potential drawback of this design for a newborn is that the baby is facing away from you. Personally, I don't find this too much of an issue as my son is always fast asleep within minutes and my older children have always enjoyed looking out on to the world, although they always tended to fall asleep too when out and about. The Techno XT does include a transparent section at the back, so that you can maintain visual contact with your little one, so that provides some reassurance for parents but I suspect many mums may still prefer a forward facing seat for the early months.
One of the reasons why this pushchair is so adaptable, making it suitable for such a wide age range, is the recline system. The pushchair sits fairly upright at its highest, making it a suitable position for my older son to look out comfortably without slumping or lolling in the seat. As he tended to nap in his pushchair, the seat can be adjusted really easily as the recline mechanism is a really smooth lever system which just slides up and down using two levers at the back. It is so smooth that the seat can be reclined even when a child is fast asleep and doesn't disturb them at all. To reposition, the back of the pushchair is simply pushed back up to the desired position. As the seat gradually slides into a recline, right down to a totally flat position for newborns, it offers a lot more flexibility than other pushchairs that may offer just two or three specific seat heights.
In use, the pushchair appears to have been designed with parents' comfort in mind as well as the child's. The handles are height adjustable meaning that even my husband (at over 6 foot tall) can push this comfortably without being hunched over or kicking the back of the pushchair. I'm 5 foot 6 and find this a pleasure to push, even with a buggy board and toddler attached to the back.
As the handles are separate (as opposed to a solid bar to hold on to) and turn in slightly, I can even push, and steer, this with one hand - which comes in handy at the supermarket when trying to manage a shopping basket too! Having four, rather than three wheels, makes this feel sturdy and it is less inclined to tip whenever I hang anything from the handles. The brake is foot operated and is easy to operate and positioned well out of the way so it can't be set off accidentally, unlike other buggies I've used.
I find this pushchair relatively easy to open and unfold between uses. There is a knack to folding, involving pushing the relevant bars upwards with your foot and then pushing the handles inwards and repeating. Unfortunately, it isn't a technique that can be carried out single handed. Once folded, the pushchair is relatively compact and it is fairly easy to carry as it clips into a secure position, complete with a handy carrying handle. This fits into the boot of my Toyota Yaris without any difficulty and is convenient for storage in smaller homes. The only minor criticism of the folding mechanism is that the pushchair has to be pushed back into its most upright position before it can be folded. I kept forgetting to do this and wondering why it was refusing to fold!
I like the appearance of the reflective silver strip across the hood which is a useful safety feature during these dark evenings, as well as looking good. I had thought that black would be a practical colour that would disguise any dirt but I've actually found that the fabric, particularly on the hood, gets grubby quite quickly and doesn't actually wipe clean particularly well which is a shame. I do like the design of the hood in general, particularly how it unzips to make the hood stretch out over the pushchair. This is really effective as a shade and means that there is no need to attach a separate parasol, even at the height of Summer, which is good as I've always found parasols to be pretty ineffectual anyway.
At the other side of the weather spectrum, this is a good design for those inevitable rain showers. The elongated hood offers some emergency protection from the rain but the pushchair also comes supplied with its own rain cover. This cover attaches on to the edge of the hood rather than covering it which means that it is considerably smaller than other covers I've used. It is also surprisingly thin, although seems strong enough for the job in hand, which makes it slightly easier to fold it into the small size needed to fit it into the tiny shopping basket. A small shopping basket is the inevitable compromise of this style of lightweight umbrella fold pushchair though.
All in all, I think this is a really versatile and well designed pushchair which manages to meet the needs of a really wide age range as well as satisfying the demands of parents too. I'd recommend the Maclaren Techno XT to any parent intending to use just the one buggy from birth to toddlerhood, as well as parents looking to move to a more lightweight option from a travel system, for example. It is relatively inexpensive, comfortable for all ages as well as being easy to use and store. I'm certainly pleased with my purchase and my little ones seem happy and contented too.
I purchased my Maclaren Techno XT buggy on the advice of some family members who run a baby equipment store. They told me that it was one of their best sellers and they had never had any complaints about it.
This pushchair has served me really well, I purchased it when my daughter was about 10months old and I wanted to be able to travel easily on public transport. I was sick of lugging my travel system everywhere! I don't have the use of a car and this pushchair has been on buses, trains and even a boat! I have always found it easy to transport even when my daughter was smaller and I was having to fold and unfold with one hand while carrying her in the other arm!
--------------The Technical Bit!--------------
· Able to fit children from newborn age to four years of age
· Weight capacity is up to 15 kg or 33 lbs and 110 cm or 43 inches tall
· Seat measures 35 cm (13.8 in) wide, 38 cm (15 in) deep, 47 cm (18.5 in) high
· UV treated hood with see-through plastic window
· Hard rubber wheels with plenty of added safety features
· Flip-down sun visor for excellent child UV protection
It weighs 6.8kg (or 15lb for those of us who work in old money!) and the umbrella fold works smootly to ensure easy one handed operation.
The handles adjust in height to make it easy and comfortable to push and it moves smoothly. The seat removes for washing which can be a god send as those of you with little ones will no doubt know!
The seat has four different reclining positions which makes it easy to make sure your little one is comfortable when they nod off while you are out and about.
The pushair is available in quite a few different colour combinations, I had the blue and grey which still looks like new after over 2 years of use.
I can heartily recommend this pushchair it is comfortable for your little one and comfortable for you to push.
Oh where do I start after going down mamas and papas route decided I need to give maclaren a chance as wanted something lighter than p3 or ziko but still comfortable.
Please dont lets its plain unassuming looks deceive you as it may look boring next to xlr and very practical but this baby sure does deliver!
The handles were just right height for me as xlr was too high.
It reclines flat really easily with levers at back near basket.
Has veiwing window on hood which is essential feature for me on foward facing buggy as allows you to check on them without stopping.
Its pushes like a dream nice and light even with heavy toddler in.
Basket is decent size and storage pocket on hood is big enough to keep eseential in and really handle.
the harness a lot more secure and adjustable than m&p.
Has leg adjuster too so my daughter was super comfortable as I purchased maclaren techno classic which is basically same as xt but came with accesories liner,footmuff and head hugger so was excellent value for money and really does last birth to toddler.
Its quite compact and light when folded so ideal for public transport and not too long so ideal for most boots.
You can fold with one hand for bus.
Also trick I used if too long is put length ways on floor of back seat used to work.
The raincover was ok too easy enough to fix as had little holes to attach to rods on side of chassis.
Full range of acesories now availiable liners, head rests, harness pads and maclaren footmuffs too.
Colours get updated every january so new colours out now!.
I had storm grey but new one comes in all black very smart however prices have shot up and its now £200rrp which is quite pricey but as its black it goes with anything!
Maclaren bringing out silly amount of liners for it too to pimp your ride!
Well been through all positives,I do love it by way as had 2 as its perfect for my needs!
Guess only negetives I can think of is the expense compared to smaller strollers, its not travel compatible like xlr and is not rear facing but as a stroller its one of the best in my experience!
Infact why did I sell again?
Right my big dissapointmnet with maclaren although they are improving is all the lovley special edition and funkier colours are always on xlr, ryder or quest.
So if you listening maclren give the xt the respect it deserves as in my opinion its better than xlr! The all blacks good start but you could do so much more!
If you re released techno clasic again I would buy tommorow!Also in past usa got better colours than us very unfair!
It strikes the right balance between lightweight stroller and feeling sturdy and substantial enough for younger baby which is hard to do for most pram manufacturers.
After having had a few different pushchairs with my two boys i found this one to be the best one as it is lightweight, folds up easily in an umbrella fold, it has very good reflective strips which are excellent for safety especially when it starts getting darker early. the seat lay back in 5 different positions including completely flat and the foot rest also pulled out to extend the seat so that when asleep the childs legs were no dangling down.
The rainover that comes with the pushchair is very easy to attach.
The pushchair is also nice to look at & has adjustable height handles too which was good.
I sometimes found the brakes could b a little awkward having to apply or remove each back wheel individually, but i would still reccomend this to any of my friends or family as an excellent pushchair.The covers are also completely removable & washable too.
I purchased my mcclaren xt stroller from Mothercare 2 years ago, I put a lot of thought into which pushchair I would buy as I didnt want to make a costly mistake,my pushchair had to be suitable from birth as i didnt want to buy a travel system I knew i wouldnt use,this one lies totally flat,with about 4 other lay-back levels available, it had to be easy enough to fold up with a new born baby in one arm ,this is just that and it locks together with one hand into the classic umbrella shape I needed this as I dont drive so it needed to fold easily for bus journeys.It has the option of static or swivel wheels at the touch of a lever, the seat cover is washable a necessary thing especially now my son is a toddler, the 5 point harness is very easy to use but too difficult for small fingers.I really like the visor in the hood to easily check on your child.there are several colour combinations mine is red and grey with silver high visibility stripes, the rain cover is quickly fitted in the event of a sudden shower and just as easily stored in the shopping basket underneath the seat when not needed,there is also a footmuff and parasol available to buy seperately.All in all I wouldnt change my pushchair for anything.My pushchair cost £150 including the raincover but no parasol or footmuff
5-Point Harness / Reclining Back (4 Positions) / Adjustable Handle Height