Baby Gear

Made for Life on the Go: The Maclaren Volvo Stroller

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The Maclaren Volvo stroller truly is designed with one thing in mind: Life on the go! This is a small, lightweight stroller without any fancy gadgets and once folded, it takes up almost no space at all. It was designed to be an umbrella stroller with one specific goal in mind: To meet the needs of parents with a busy, active lifestyle who can simply grab their stroller, the baby and go without any real hassle. This is also a great stroller to travel with!

Weight Specifications

According to Maclaren, the Volvo and Mark II strollers are the lightest full-size strollers in the world! The stroller only weighs 9.7lbs. and was manufactured from high-tech aircraft grade aluminum chassis which makes this stroller as light as a feather. Due to its carefully engineered design, moms and dads don’t have to be concerned about the stroller collapsing due to its feather-light design – the stroller is strong and sturdy.

Take note that the Maclaren Volvo strolleris only suitable for babies 6 months and older with a weight limit of 55lbs. This should provide a few years of good service.

Canopy

The Maclaren Volvo Strollerhas got a larger than average size canopy which will protect your baby from the sun. It also has a UPF (Ultraviolet protection factor) 50+ rating, meaning that the canopy is very effective in blocking out ultraviolet rays. The Maclaren Volvo is one of the few umbrella strollers in its product class that uses UPF 50+ fabric.

Considering the fabric that was used in manufacturing the stroller (see description below), this is a great stroller if you reside in a hot, sunny area. The Maclaren Volvo stroller also protects your little one against the other elements of nature, featuring a premium, wind-resistant rain cover that will ensure a comfortable ride for your baby no matter what the weather outside.

Fabric

The Maclaren Volvo stroller features a breathable, mesh fabric that won’t leave your baby feeling too hot or too cold. The stroller is easy to keep clean thanks to its removable seat cover that can be thrown into the washing machine.  These specific colors (Black and silver) tend to show dirt rather easy though but the stroller is also available in other colors such as silver and red.

Folding the stroller

The Maclaren Volvo stroller folds into a compact stroller when it is not being used. It is easy to travel with and fits in the back of smaller vehicles as well without any hassle. The stroller relies on a convenient auto-lock folding mechanism when being folding, giving you peace of mind that the stroller won’t fold open while being carried. Once folded, parents can use the carry strap in order to carry around the stroller. The Maclaren Volvo is also easy to use and maneuver in small spaces and can easily be taken to coffee shops or restaurants without worrying about occupying too much space.

Safety features

At first glance, the Maclaren Volvo stroller may appear to be a little on the flimsy side considering its weight, small frame and the fact that it is basically an umbrella stroller but don’t let this fool you into thinking that the Maclaren Volvo isn’t a strong and sturdy stroller. Maclaren uses a set of highly engineered security elements, referred to as the Maclaren Global Safety Standards that meet the highest safety standards anywhere in the world. Each and every Maclaren product has to meet these set standards.

The stroller comes with a 5-point safety harness to ensure that your little one safe and secure in the stroller. Although it is a pretty neat safety harness, moms and dads are complaining that assembling the harness is a little complicated, timeous and sometimes close to impossible with a wriggly little toddler inside.

Steering

The Maclaren Volvo stroller has two handle bars to control the steering of the stroller. Although the handle bars aren’t adjustable, the stroller is still easy to steer and maneuver. The stroller has plastic wheels which unfortunately give it a little bit of a cheap feel but the reason for this could probably be that Maclaren has made self-service parts available for the stroller, perhaps in hopes that parents will fix any small breakage and in order to give the stroller an even better shelve life.  While many parents don’t mind the plastic wheels, there are some that despised the feel and sound of the plastic wheels. Nevertheless, it does steer rather nicely on smooth and fair surfaces. Taking on rough terrain in this stroller is not recommended as it would be a rather bumpy ride.

The Extra’s

The Maclaren Volvo doesn’t really include any extra’s. The stroller has a nice basket at the bottom which can be used to carry a few smaller items along. Your diaper bag probably won’t fit in the basket, depending on the size of the bag you choose to carry with.

No snack tray/children’s’ tray or parent tray is available for the stroller. It does have a cup holder, specifically designed for the stroller, which one can purchase separately. The stroller also isn’t able to carry any type of infant car seat but considering that the stroller is for children 6 months and older and that it is meant to be only an umbrella stroller, one shouldn’t be too critical.

One feature that would have been nice to include in this stroller, is a reclining seat. At the age of 6 months, babies still tend to take frequent naps and the stroller only has one position. This can become uncomfortable and lead to a stiff neck for your baby.

Pros and Cons

To recap, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of the Maclaren Volvo stroller:

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Compact when folded
  • Easy to carry (carry strap included)
  • Removable seat cover, machine washable
  • 5-point safety harness
  • Above average size canopy – UPF 50+

Cons:

  • Plastic wheels
  • Seat not able to recline
  • No snack tray/parents tray
  • Cannot convert into travel system

The Maclaren Volvo stroller is an excellent option in its product class, the umbrella stroller. It is lightweight, easy to use, meets impeccable safety standards and provides great protection against natures elements for your baby. If I was to change anything, it would probably be to include a seat that can recline for baby so that they can take a comfortable nap while one is on an outing. In light of this, we’re recommending you also take a look at another stroller, similar to this but with a reclining seat: The Zoe XL Deluxe Xtra Lightweight Travel and Everyday Umbrella Stroller System.

Another Option to Consider

The Zoe XL Deluxe weighs only 10 lbs. which is almost the same weight than the Maclaren Volvo. The stroller is designed for babies from 6 months onwards with a weight limit of 50 lbs. (the Maclaren is 55lbs. so there’s not much difference in this area). The Zoe XL Deluxe has a one-hand folding mechanism, making it easy to travel with and once folded, fits perfectly in most airplane overhead compartments. Unfortunately, the stroller has no shoulder strap which makes carrying a little more difficult and although it should be able to stand on its own, many parents have complained that it is poorly balanced and tend to fall over. This stroller also comes with a parent cup holder and child snack tray which the Maclaren was lacking.

The Zoe XL Deluxe has a 4-panel canopy, providing ample shade for your baby much like the Maclaren but with no UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. The stroller’s storage basket is slightly larger than that of the Maclaren and one could probably fit a regular sized diaper bag in the storage basket. An improvement on the Maclaren, the Zoe XL Deluxe has rubber/sponge type wheels and not plastic, providing a smoother ride. The wheels also have a lifetime guarantee on them but several mothers have complained that steering is a little more challenging than it probably should be. Another major attribute is that the seat can recline, which is probably the biggest disadvantage listed for the Maclaren. That being said, the recline on this seat is very limited. The Zoe XL Deluxe also comes with a 5-point harness, keeping your baby or toddler safe and secure when traveling.

Some Final Thoughts: The Features of the Maclaren Volvo

The Zoe XL Deluxe definitely has a few more features and gadgets than the Maclaren Volvo but it is also a little more expensive. Keep in mind that although it has better wheels and seat recline, the stroller was also criticized for its steering ability and limited seat reclining options. One also has to consider the material from which both these strollers where manufactured from and although it lacks in a few features, I’m of the opinion that there was probably a little more engineering behind the manufacturing of the Maclaren Volvo which in return will hopefully last a little longer if you plan on having more kids. In the end, it all comes down to each parent’s personal needs for the stroller which I believe will be the deciding factor but both strollers are good quality strollers that should provide years of satisfaction.

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