After spending just a few minutes with the Maclaren Quest Stroller, we were thoroughly convinced that this will be a hot favorite among minimalist millennials. Many parents opt for a full-fledged travel system as they’re loaded with features. Then, they also get an additional an umbrella stroller for short walks in the neighborhood. While that may work for people who drive a lot, it’s a bit of a waste for parents who live in crowded cities and use public transport for commuting.
In areas with a high population density, space comes at a premium. Apartments are not that big and even if they are, parents aren’t too keen on using up all the extra room for housing strollers. They are on the lookout for a single, lightweight stroller that is agile, comfortable, easy to maneuver and doesn’t skip on premium features such as suspension, multi-position seating and high quality fabrics. The Maclaren Quest is all that plus a lot more.
Umbrella strollers, even the really good ones such as the Kolcraft Cloud, Plus have several disadvantages – they are not usable from birth. Hence, the stroller seat is only suitable for kids who can sit up without any sort of support or assistance.
Newborns do not possess enough neck strength to hold their heads up independently, which is why they should always be placed in carry-cots or infant car seats. However, umbrella strollers are usually not compatible with car seats and hence, they’re basically unusable for the first few months after a baby is born. For this reason, they can never fulfil the role of a primary stroller. They’re only good enough for strolls to the local park, convenience store etc.
The Maclaren Quest is a totally different breed – we think that it has what it takes to be the one and only stroller that a family needs. For starters, it weighs only 12.2 pounds – that’s super light, even in umbrella stroller circles! Secondly, it has a Newborn Safety System that can be deployed in seconds to accommodate...you guessed it...newborns! The seat reclines backwards and other fabrics can be adjusted to create a cosy cocoon for the baby. Hence, even though the stroller doesn’t accept an infant car seat, it certainly is usable from birth.
There is another to way to work around the fact that the Quest doesn’t convert into a travel system – the newborn can remain in the infant car seat while travelling and can be placed into the Maclaren’s seat when strolling. We concede that this is not as convenient as clicking the car seat onto the frame but on the plus side, the infant is in a more comfortable position and the stroller still remains very light and maneuverable as it doesn’t have to hold the extra weight of the car seat.
The Maclaren Quest is also compatible with the Maclaren carry-cot (this is a separate purchase). It fits like a glove onto the frame (no adapters required). So yes, this umbrella stroller does accommodate infants, which is quite an achievement for something that weighs only 12.2 pounds.
If the Quest did accept infant car seats, it would’ve been unbeatable as an urban stroller. But we think that it still holds a definite appeal for people who just do NOT want a big, heavy, bulky travel system.
Maclaren Quest Features:
Multi-Position Seating: The Maclaren Quest Stroller seat can be adjusted to 4 positions. This gives both parents and kids some flexibility - If the child is feeling upbeat and enthusiastic, he/she can sit upright and enjoy the view. If the kid is tired and sleepy, the seat can be reclined to allow them to rest. The Quest can safely accommodate a child weighing up to 55 pounds (25 kg).
The seat back can be adjusted using just one hand. This is quick and convenient – it means that the parent doesn’t have to stop doing everything else and fiddle with the seat for a good two minutes before finding the right position. It can be adjusted casually while still continuing to stroll. Less stress = happier families.
The child is held in position by the 5-point harness with a cool aviator buckle. We noticed that the Maclaren Quest Stroller's harness does not have padded shoulder sleeves but we doubt it will cause too much friction as the straps are pretty wide (narrow cords causing chafing and kids hate them).
The stroller has a newborn mode wherein the seat reclines far back and the side fabrics are adjusted to form a pram. We suggest using an infant pad for extra support and softness. The stroller also accepts Maclaren’s carry-cot in a rear facing position to maximize parent-child bonding.
The high quality seat fabrics are removable and washable. This keeps the stroller looking fresh even after years of usage.
Adjustable Leg Rest: This feature is unheard of even in most full-size models, let alone umbrella strollers! The adjusting footrest is key to forming the Newborn Safety System and it also allows toddlers to be more comfortable.
As kids’ legs grow longer, they dangle over the edge of the seat. Not only is this super awkward, it actually gets painful after a while. The Quest’s adjustable leg rest solves this problem permanently. The stroller actually has memory recline – which means that even upon folding it remembers what position the leg rest was set to and retains that position upon unfolding. Cool yeah?
Sun Canopy With Visor: The multifold canopy with visor is waterproof and UPF 50+ rated. It does an excellent job of keeping the elements out. The hood really does fall far forward and is not just a formality.
Rain Cover: it’s included in the package and is an absolutely boon on rainy days. If the forecast says that showers are expected, the wind resistant rain cover can be stored in the storage basket and quickly deployed whenever required.
Maclaren deserves a pat on the back for including this as a standard accessory. We think that it may have something to do with the brand’s British roots. After all, it’s well known that the weather in Great Britain can be unpredictable. Also, it’s hard to find an after-market rain cover that fits properly, especially on such a compact frame.
Parents can also opt for a mosquito net but this is not part of the main stroller and needs to be purchased separately.
4 Wheel Suspension: The stroller glides smoothly thanks to a four wheel suspension. More often than not, umbrella strollers don’t possess such premium features. (Even many full-fledged models have only two wheel suspension). Kids will definitely enjoy the plush ride.
The stroller will continue to ride smoothly for longer if parents take an extra minute or two to periodically brush out the dust and debris that gets caught up in the wheels. This can be done once every few days depending upon usage. The wheels can also be lubricated using a silicone-only spray to improve longevity.
One-Hand Fold: The Quest folds easily and quickly with just one hand. It’s pretty compact when folded and will fit in the boots of most cars without any hiccups. It doesn’t stand independently when folded but it has a carry strap that allows the parent to hang it onto the blade of their shoulder instead of having to hold it in their hand. This way, both hands are free to do other work. The stroller’s light weight and compact dimensions make it suitable for air travel as well as public transport.
When simply parked, the stroller can be held in place using the linked one-tap brake at the rear.
Oversized Storage Basket: Unlike those impractical nets that droop like a hammock and sag when loaded, the one on the Quest has high edges. It was big enough for our son’s 12 inch elephant toy, a tote bag and another bag for food and drinks.
Aircraft Aluminum Frame: A durable lightweight chassis is what really makes this stroller tick. Aluminum is 67% lighter than steel and it’s also resistant to corrosion.
- Sovereign Lifetime Warranty: Offers peace of mind. While the warranty doesn’t cover things like normal wear and tear, Maclaren has promised that it covers malfunctioning of the core components of the stroller.
- Self Serviceable/Replaceable Parts: Fabrics, wheels, handles etc are available for purchase separately. This means that there’s no need to throw the stroller away just because the seat is worn out or one wheel is jamming. The concerned part can be availed and the stroller can be used for longer. This saves money and keeps the stroller running as good as new. (It can even be used for a second child)
- Advanced suspension – the ride quality is comparable to that of much more expensive models
- The wheels are durable and never go flat
- Folds quickly, easily to transport
- Newborn Safety System – it indeed does work and the stroller is usable from day 1.
- Easy to steer
- Maclaren is a trustworthy, 50 year old brand.
- The handles are not height adjustable. Taller people may have to lean forwards to push the stroller. This may cause back pain.
- The stroller doesn’t accept car seats. We think that if Maclaren manufactures adapters for this stroller – it will be the end of the road for many travel systems.
- Not meant for jogging
- No cup holders or parent/child trays.
Review & Final Verdict:
The Maclaren Quest is not 100 % perfect but it really is one of the best umbrella strollers out there, with features that are not standard even on full size models. It really is a laudable effort by Maclaren and demonstrates their never-ending Quest for excellence.
SNUGBABY SCORE: 82/100