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Our pushchair experimentation continues as we await the safe replacement of our old, sadly damaged Stokke XPlory, this time with the MacLaren Volo.
The Maclaren Volo Stroller was designed for travel and for use in urban areas. It's extremely lightweight at only 8 pounds in weight, rides smoothly, folds easily and includes a carrying strap that lets you throw it over your shoulder, although you still end up with marks on your trousers from the dirt on the wheels. It also has an easy to clean, removable mesh seat that babies seem to find pretty comfortable and that also makes it a great option for the beach if you're off on your holidays, as most sand will simply fall through and your baby is less likely to sweat in the hot weather.
With the way that airlines throw around your bags (like my beloved XPlory), you really need a durable stroller like the Maclaren Volo that can withstand the potential abuse. The Volo has a really nice locking system so is virtually immune to air travel damage and as mentioned is very light. Also nice is that it takes one unclick and a bit of a shake to open it up and one gentle tap with a toe and a click to fold it up again - excellent for when you're wrangling a toddler at a bus stop or in the airport.
Mine came in a nice unisex red with light grey trim and included a sunshade and raincover (it seems that not all bundles come with these bits, but MacLaren do sell an accessory pack with the bits in). The raincover is very easy to put on and lives happily in the shopping basket underneath when it isn't in use. The basket isn't the biggest, but it's easily big enough for a toy, changing bag, sippy cup and related baby paraphernalia.
It's lightweight and comfortable to push and very manoeuvrable, perfect for busy city streets - but the tiny wheels make it hard going over cobblestones and in the snow (we had to carry Wee Beastie in her chariot over a few drifts a few times this winter and we're not even halfway through yet!). The other downside is that it doesn't recline, so if your baby is a fussy sleeper it might be better to invest the extra in one that has the reclining option. It isn't height-adjustable, but I (5'2) and my husband (5'11) are both able to push it without any trouble, presumably because it's so lightweight.
It's suitable for babies from six months up to 55lbs or 15kg, so can easily be the only one you need, but only if you have a good sleeper. Wee Beastie tends to find a way to sleep so her head isn't lolling around, but if your baby's not like that then reclining might be a better idea, like I said.
The best offer currently is £72 at kiddicare.com which I think is money well spent for city types, frequent public transport users or frequent travellers. We highly recommend it.
I have used this pram for two years now and I am very impressed with how it has lasted in comparison to previous prams I have had. The pram is used on a near on daily basis and apart from the fabric now looking a bit grubby the pram is in excellent condition. The pram is very lightweight and can easily be pushed one handed, even with my big 3 year old in the pram it is very easy to push. The pram folds up to a very small size which is great for taking on public transport and good for cars with small boots. It also has a carry stap on the back which can come in handy. The pram has a decent sized shopping basket and can carry a couple of shopping bags on the handles without the risk of tipping. Overall this a very lightweight/compact pram and is very hardwearing. The only thing I dislike about this pram is the breaks, although in a good position at foot height is not very strong and often comes undone so this needs to be watched but as I dont use the break very often this is not a major problem.
I adore this buggy and owned 2 as its fab for public transport and bus been taken on train and bus.
At first veiw seems bit basic as suitable from 6months as no recline and small wheels compared with other maclaren models.
Its very light to carry and push and comes with handy shoulder strap, hood easily removes and raincover ok.
Despite recline my daughter still slept in it and is a dream with heavy toddler.
The basket is an ok size and few bags on handles ok and not prone to tipping unless overloaded.
The brakes are at feet which is good and handles a decent height not too low or too high.
Its a fanatastic buggy for summer due to mesh seat keeping child cool and would be fab for holidays and car.
We initailly got zapp for car but husband now prefers volo which surprised me.
My daugher likes it as seat fairly low so she can get in and out easily.
Maclaren release new colours each year however in my opinion the black better than white as does not show the dirt as bad.
its reasonably priced under £100 and so much better than cheaper brands as lasts.
definate must have purchase for bus,no regrets here.
i really wanted to get the maclaren volo when choosing buggies for a holiday when my son was just a few months old but did not consider the volo because it said only suitable for babies 6 months and over. initially i purchased the maclaren daytripper (see seperate review). however last year, i had the opportunity to get a really good deal with boots online and decided to finally buy the volo and it was the best decision i made! i bought the carbon (black) coloured one because i thought it looked really trendy and was suitable for either a boy or a girl. the other colours now available in the 2004 range are; silver, pale blue, oyster, tanstripe and bluestripe. i'll start with the best bit about this buggy - its just encredibly light! weighing in at a miniscule 3.8kg, this buggy is by far the lightest on the market. the frame is made from aluminium and the seat is made from a sturdy mesh type material (similar to the basket) which has an adjustable 5 point harness for added safety with clips that mean you can turn it into a 3 point harness if you choose. the seat itself is in one position and cannot be adjusted however i feel that the seat is in quite a laid back position anyway (similar to the lowest position on the daytripper) so your baby is not forced to sit up too upright. my son has no problems falling asleep in the buggy and still looks comfortable. apparantly the mesh seat is removable for easy cleaning but i have not attempted this myself. the handles are great and look so funky and chic. they are tall and angled and make pushing really easy and effortless. the handles are covered with foam for grip. i think the foam has lasted really well and shows no signs of wear or tear. my husband at 6" 1 thinks that the handles are still too short for him and has to bend over to grip them properly, he prefers to push the buggy with the tips of his fingers because its so easy to push. the wheels seem small (4 and 1/2") but are very effic
ient. The front wheels are lockable but I have never used them as I prefer swivel wheels at the front and the rear wheels are fixed. This buggy is extremely agile and manouvres like a dream. In addition to the features mentioned, there is a rubber foot rest and of course a removable mesh basket. The basket is a good size although when full can sag down quite a lot. Also if you fill the basket up too much, it pushes into your baby's back so don't put any sharp objects in there. Points to note are that the seat itself is quite narrow and short so an older toddler or child with long legs will not have as much support under their thighs. I also think that this buggy does not have great suspension and I suspect that if my son could talk he would say that it gives a very bumpy ride! Still its perfect for short trips and makes a great travelling buggy. The folding is quick and easy as we've come to expect from Maclaren. It uses the basic flick the plastic catch on the side and shake the buggy open and push your foot on the small bar at the back to lock it into position. Arguably my husband finds this quite difficult because he has big feet and I have found it difficult sometimes, especially if its raining and the push bar is slippery. The only downside I have found with this buggy (and all over Maclarens too) is the break system. Its really bad. You have to push the break from side to side on the back wheels but its really hard to do with your feet (its stiff) and doesn't really secure the buggy enough. I would certainly never rely on it and prefer to hold the buggy myself. However the buggy is really easy to fold (you can do it one handed) and clicks closed. I've discovered that if you turn it upside down onto its handles you can prop it up easily against a wall plus the wheels are off the floor. Its so compact when folded, it truly stands up t
o its name as an 'umbrella buggy'. For those of you that like the stats the handle height is 41", open width 19", folded length 41" and folded width 10". The Volo is usually sold on its own (basket included) so if you want the extra bits you have to buy the 'Accessory Pack' which includes a sun canopy, quilted seat liner, rain cover and storage bag available in grey or black and denim. As I said before the buggy is appropriate for babies aged over 6 months but I think this buggy is far more suited towards older toddlers who like to walk a bit but still need the benefit of being pushed in a buggy sometimes. Due to the removable shoulder carry strap and incredible light weight, it is really easy to just sling the buggy over your shoulder and still keep both hands free to chase after your toddler. Its great for travelling around the city on tubes and buses and for taking on holiday plus it makes a great fashion statement!
The Maclaren Volo was introduced in April 2002. Its suitable for babies from 6 months old. My wife used on like it occaisionally when our daughter was 4 1/2 months, for when a bigger pram was too inconvenient. Its best feature is its weight, or lack of it. At 3.8kg or 8.2lb, its the lightest buggy on the market. It also has a carrying strap which makes it ideal for carrying onto a bus. The only thing to be careful of when using the strap is that the buggy wheels might scrape on your clothes. A lot of buggies, are too heavy to be able to carry easily as well as a baby, and their bulk makes them difficult to store on a bus. However, the light weight also makes it easier to lift out of a car boot. When you have something that is light and easy to use, then you're more likely to take it with you in a car on the off chance that it might come in handy. With a heavy bulky buggy, its hard work just to get it in the boot, and it won't leave you much space once its in there. The basic design of the Volo has remained the same for a long time, and with good reason. Its tried and trusted with a quick and easy folding mechanism. Downsides with the fold are that you have to empty the bag at the back of the seat. Something new is the shape of the handles. They curve inwards which makes it much easier to push the buggy with one hand. The handle grips are made from a foam material, which is more comfortable to hold. Its not as durable as the plastic they used to use, but it shouldn't fall apart too quickly. We bought a similar MacLaren buggy 4 years ago. It has seen a lot of use, but was starting to get a bit wobbly, largely because its seen a lot of use, with loads that it wasn't designed to carry. That buggy is basically the same design as the Volo. The main difference is that its seat can be moved into a more reclined position if you want to let your child lie a bit flatter. The seat on the Volo is fixed. There ar
en't any repairable parts on either buggy - the wheels are fixed with rivets. The guarantee is only 6 months and that excludes wear and tear. If you can't buy a Volo cheaply, then it might be worth getting it from Mothercare as I've definitely had a better guarantee from them for another buggy. The handling of the Volo is fine. The front wheels swivel (don't ever buy an umbrella buggy where they won't), but you can make them fixed straight ahead if you want, for using on rough ground. The luggage bag behind the seat lets you store stuff that won't make the buggy tip over when you lift your child out. You can hang a little from the handles before it tips over, but not very much. The seat with the basic Volo model is made from a polypropylene mesh, which is slightly opaque. Its very durable and easy to clean, but isn't very cushioned. If you get the accessory pack, then you get a cushioned seat cover, which might be worth having. The accessory pack also includes a rain cover, but my son hates these - he would rather sit in the open with a coat on, so we've just gone for the basic model. The list prices are £50 for the buggy and £30 for the accessories. We paid £37.50 at www.wellbeing.com with a well timed discount voucher promotion. Incidentally in the USA, I saw them on sale for $100 - almost double what we paid. Even when your kids are old enough to be able to walk a lot, there are times when its nice to have them clipped into a buggy. It means there is less chance of them dashing off to find a toy shop! The Volo seat covers come in a few different plain colours: dark grey, red and a denim colour. We've got the red one which isn't too bad according to my wife (personally I couldn't care less!). We've now used it for a year. The wheels are showing signs of wear, and they squeek a bit, but the buggy itself is still fine.