Strollers are a key ingredient in any parents recipe for success while out and about. When babies are really little and light they’re often being toted around in a car seat and or some baby carrier. You have a lot more options in these younger years. When they start getting a little bigger…Oh, say a 37 pound, 40″ 3 year old? Yeah, you wanna push ‘em not drag ‘em! I’ve been fortunate enough to have used some really high end strollers. Our first stroller we purchased literally was the result of selling my Miata and that was only the down payment! Enter the Bugaboo Chameleon! Now that is a full-fledged stroller that has really caused me to set the bar high when looking at other strollers. Truth be told I always had some negative preconceived notion about those smaller umbrella style strollers.
When our plans were finalized to visit Israel recently we knew we had to take a stroller with us but didn’t know that we want to schlep the Bugaboo. Besides the fact that it’s so expensive to replace it’s a larger stroller and doesn’t fold down into one piece. Maclaren saw my dilemma and thought I’d be a prime candidate to put the Quest Sport through the trenches. When the stroller arrived it was in a tall thin box and I could tell right away it’d be the perfect size for travel. I don’t mind putting things together, in fact, it’s kind of fun sometimes but the fact that the stroller was fully assembled, ready to go out of the box was a bonus. My first observation was that in the folded position the stroller had both a carrying handle and a shoulder strap. I quickly envisioned us walking through the airport or down some Jerusalem cobblestone street with this thing over my shoulder. Having your hands free, when possible, as a parent is an important thing. The Quest Sport is just over 12 lbs. which for me is the equivalent of less than half a Jake!
So the true test would come when we embarked on a two week trip that would take us from California to Baltimore to Israel and then back again. Traveling with child or children as in our case involves mucho planning. Whenever you can prepare and plan accordingly you’re always better off. The last time we had a stroller on a cross country trip it was much more of a hassle. That stroller was much heavier and we couldn’t just carry it if need be. In addition, it broke down into two pieces so we had to worry about more damage and possible loss during the trip. Having the Quest in the airports was great! When one of the kids was sitting in it we were able to still keep other things in either the back seat pocket or in the bag underneath. When it was time to gate check the stroller a quick tap with my foot (even could do it with flip flops on) and a squeeze and push in and it was folded very compactly. The fact that it does have the shoulder strap made it real easy for either my wife or me to carry, leaving our hands free. It truly was the perfect stroller for airports and you can imagine we were in quite a few!
Israel was such. A great place to test out the stroller. We walked everywhere and never left without the stroller. The stroller held both kids comfortably even with the 10lbs. and 8″ height difference. It was great not having to adjust the stroller every time O or Jake got in. The only minor adjustments we ever made were to the straps and that was very easy. Locking and unlocking the seatbelt mechanism did take some getting used to. Even though conceptually pinching the lock mechanism to unlatch the belts was easy we found ourselves struggling to do so on more than one occasion. The seat seamed really comfortable for both kids and one feature that got a lot of use was the reclining seat. More than once did we have a sleeping child and knowing we could recline them back to be more comfortable was great. Doing so did eat in to the under-seat storage but not by too much. Plus, there was a pocket behind the seat to keep things as well. The hood did a good job of covering the top of the stroller but it would have been nice if I could have pulled it forward more. There were times when the angle of the sun was just perfect to enter the stroller and shoot one of the kids in the face. I will say it wasn’t often and sunglasses or a quick turn in another direction ended the blinding light. Again, that was more of an exception as opposed to the rule but would be a cool request for a future update.
Maneuvering the stroller was just as great! Because the stroller is so light, we had no problems pushing or turning the stroller. Going up and down curbs was a breeze too due to the weight. The handles were really padded and felt great holding for long periods of time. Although they were not adjustable (something I wouldn’t have expected anyway) it fit both my wife and my grip despite our 6″ height difference. Walking through the cobblestone streets of Jerusalem was easy too. The wheels turned freely and when the kids weren’t in it I could easily maneuver it up and down the steps that Jesus once walked on with a quick lift. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one enjoying the MacLaren as every single parent had one! Everywhere I turned someone was pushing a little one in a MacLaren. For a country where many people choose to walk rather than drive I thought that was very telling.
Overall, I was and still am highly impressed with the MacLaren Quest Sport. I would highly recommend this stroller to anyone going on a family trip or even a stroll around the mall. Given that the stroller is light weight, very durable, and feature rich you really can’t go wrong. I’m definitely going to be taking my Quest on our next family get away.
I did receive a MacLaren Quest Sport stroller for this review and was not compensated in any way. The opinions expressed in this review are my opinions unless they happen to be your opinions too in which case I’m willing to share.