Every year my wife and I take the kids go to Cancer Survivor’s Day in Monterey. We initially started going as volunteers because my wife treats cancer patients for a living. However, just about two years ago volunteering took on a new meaning for me. My mother was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Today she is doing well and that is why volunteering at Cancer Survivor’s Day means so much to me.
Traveling to a venue like this where you know you’ll be doing a lot of walking, spending time under the sun, and traversing both paved trail and grass requires some baby gear planning. At 3 years old O likes to walk pretty much everywhere and only likes to sit in a stroller on occasion. Jake, who is turning two next week, spends a fair amount of time in a stroller and especially when he’s sleeping.
I thought it would be a perfect time to test out my new Racing Red Maclaren Volo. I literally brought it to the Fairgrounds unopened. Once out of the box I only had to attach the canopy (two clips) and connect the under seat bag (4 straps). Outside of that it was completely assembled and unfolded in a quick flip of the wrists as we’ve come to expect from Maclaren.
I kind of like louder colors (I have a red pair of Crocs) so the Racing Red stroller wasn’t too much for me at all and in fact matched my shoes. Actually, it was nice in the sense that it was very visible when in a cross walk and crossing the street. For that, even if muted colors are more your style it was a nice safety feature (albeit colors aren’t features).
The Volo is the lightest in the line weighing in at just over 8lbs. With the connected strap it’s so easy to swing over your shoulder when it’s not in use. The grips are really comfortable and padding is just thick enough. There is no pocket behind the seat like you’d find on higher end models, like the Quest Sport but that is why you have options in the Maclaren line up. Even though you don’t get a pocket behind the seat you do get respectable storage underneath. Keep in mind this is a relatively small stroller so you won’t be getting a diaper bag underneath but you can fit all the essentials nonetheless. The sun canopy is pretty wide on this one and although I would have appreciated more extension it worked well and folded back nicely when not in use. The one feature I’ve come to appreciate in strollers is the ability to recline. When kids take naps it’s so much easier to get them down and they’re so much more comfortable when reclining. Unfortunately, the Volo doesn’t have a reclining feature. I don’t think this is a strike against the stroller when you consider weight and price but just something to note.
The 5-point harness belt adjusts quickly and easily and once you get the technique down you can actually unbuckle the little one with one hand. There were quite a few times I stopped the stroller and with a quick press of my foot I had the parking brake engaged. The brake was enough to hold the stroller in place as long as you weren’t leaning on it.
The stroller rode really well and handled the smaller bumps of the pavement to the bigger dips and crevices walking through the grass. The handles did seem to flex a bit depending on where you were and how much pressure you were putting on it. This is a really light stroller though so you’re gonna have to expect some flexibility in the frame. Overall, the stroller was comfortable to push through different terrain and both O and Jake seemed to enjoy the ride.
In my experience Maclaren builds quality strollers with a solid feature set. True there were some features or design changes I would have liked but I also know I’d have to pay for them. If you’re looking for a lightweight, quality stroller that’s easy on the wallet I would highly recommend the Volo. You can check it out and purchase your own via the new Maclaren Online Store.
Disclosure: I was provided the Maclaren Volo stroller for purposes of this review.