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Newborn dilemmas, pram/pushchair... Maclaren Technos?

(18 Posts)
researchpeter Mon 14-Apr-14 13:26:12

Hi hi,

My partner and I are expecting our first (DD) in July and we've been struggling to work out our best bet for a pram/pushchair.

The main problem is that we live in a small, first floor flat and use public transport exlcusively, so space and weight are big issues. My partner also has back problems, which adds to the headache, so to speak (we tried lifting the Maxi Cosi Elea the other day, and it was just too heavy for her at 15kg). I realise we need something that can go flat(ish) but both of us are a little hesitant to pay out a lot for a travel system that costs more and is far more unwieldy (just for the sake of early 'flatness').

The Maclaren Techno range has great reviews, but the XLR isn't in stock anywhere now, so I assume has been discontinued (?). Could anyone share thoughts on the XT and how appropriate it would be for a newborn? I was thinking we could try to use slings etc for the first month or so; are we being unrealistic? Or is there another model that anyone would recommend in this instance?


MuscatBouschet Mon 14-Apr-14 14:59:30

You are right to not bother with a travel system. In my experience newborns hate the carrycot and then it just becomes a heavy, expensive and unwieldy version of a maclaren.

Can't comment on the techno xt, though am thinking of getting one for my new baby. It is larger, longer and heavier than the quests that are suitable for 6 months up. All the reviews are great and it really holds it value for resale.

Young babies love slings more than anything. I use a stretchy wrap (kari me) and an ergo baby with an infant insert. You can try out slings at sling meets. If I were going for just one sling I would pick the ergo. The problem with wraps is that you can put them on after the baby is sleeping, which you can with an ergo. My back isn't great but I can wear it for an hour or two at a time.

NomDeClavier Mon 14-Apr-14 15:06:52

We live in a second floor flat and have a baby jogger city mini. Lies flat from birth and has a detachable carry cot or can be used with car seat so is essentially a very light travel system.
Brilliant pram.

Artandco Mon 14-Apr-14 15:11:21

Def look at the baby zen 0+. Perfectly light and folds tiny. Suitable for newborns

researchpeter Mon 14-Apr-14 15:32:08

Great, thanks for the tips MuscatBouschet, NomDeClavier, Artandco - very helpful and very much appreciated. I'll go and look these over smile

MewlingQuim Mon 14-Apr-14 15:36:34

I have a Maclaren Quest.

When DD was first born I was lent a travel system. It was massive and heavy and I hated it. I wanted a small and light pushchair instead and didn't want to spend a fortune as DD is likely to be an only child. I have chronic shoulder problems and we have a flight of 10 steps up to our house. I rarely drive so I walk a lot and also use public transport.

I asked a mum-of-two friend for her recommendation. She said she bought the full travel system for her first (costing £££) and had also found it heavy and bulky, so when she had her second she bought a Maclaren and it was much better. She recommended going straight for the Maclaren.

It was great advice, I'm really pleased with the pushchair. DD is 2y now and it has carried her several miles a day every day but nothing has worn out or broken (the raincover is just starting to tear where DD gets her feet up on it). It folds up small and is light enough for me to carry up the stairs to my houses. When folded I can fit it in my hallway and the car boot easily.

I think we looked at the XT when we were bought the Quest. DH liked it better as it had bigger wheels and extending handles or something. I wanted the quest is it was lighter. I won grin

Occasionally the small wheels are a pain as it doesn't go over rough surfaces well (gravel or snow), but that is the only negative I can think of. We just used a wrap sling when going off the beaten track.

My Quest was suitable from birth Muscat

MewlingQuim Mon 14-Apr-14 15:39:51

I actually only have one house blush

Rooble Mon 14-Apr-14 15:49:08

I think I'm just duplicating what others said, but:
We had an XLR which we ebayed - you may find one on there still? (If happy to use 2nd hand!)
It was brilliant. I don't drive so hoiked it onto buses and trains without difficulty, also up steps into the house (only 5, so not directly comparable, but I'd say it was light and manoeuvrable).
We were given a 2nd hand travel system which was heavy and unwieldy - by trying to be everything it did every job inadequately, so I think sling plus mclaren would be fine. We stopped using the travel system after about a week! If you were driving the baby around you wouldn't think twice about using a carseat, would you?
An alternative, possibly, might be sling plus Little Nipper (the baby can lie flat in that)) - it's extremely light, very easy to manoeuvre and lasts until the child is happy to walk. (My neighbours 3.9 year old still goes in his). But you'd need to buy a separate car seat.

researchpeter Mon 14-Apr-14 15:55:53

Thanks, MewlingQuim! The more I've seen from the reviews, the more I'm minded to get a Maclaren (although they don't seem very helpful when things have gone wrong, by some accounts)..

Ihateparties Mon 14-Apr-14 16:36:37

This is just opinion but I find maclarens hard to push, anything with two handles really. It might be a good idea to at least go and push, tip, fold and generally handle a range of things. To give you an idea of any preferences you might have beyond your requirements on paper.

The yoyo 0+ is a great idea too. They are pricy, personally as we're talking about one product you hope to last you the distance then I would be willing to pay a bit more but at the same time I can see how you might not want to.

A slightly different approach to the lie flat umbrella fold/Maclaren option is stuff like the city mini as mentioned above. There is also the baby jogger city lite, britax b agile and graco evo mini. I will be seeing out my pushchairs days (which incidentally have been filled with a lot of different pushchairs) with a red kite zumi. I would definitely have used it from birth, it came with maxi cosi adapters and cost just over £100. Ours has had 6 months of fairly regular use (a bare minimum of 12 miles per week, mostly more) and still looks and feels as good as new.

dailyscoop Mon 14-Apr-14 21:29:18

I used a maclaren xlr for DD1. It was great but no good for public transport if you need to fold because it's so long folded and difficult to carry because of this.

Also when we eventually got a car it wouldn't fit in the boot.

I think the xl is smaller and not as long so may be better?

Also agree that they're difficult to push, especially one handed (you'll be surprised how often you need to push one handed!).

I'd go for babu jogger city mini too. I have a babu jogger and I love it.

LightTripper Tue 15-Apr-14 08:14:00

We have similar needs and have gone for a stretchy wrap sling and a Graco Evo Mini. Baby not here so can't speak from experience yet, but we also came to the conclusion that a travel system would be just too bulky and heavy for us.

researchpeter Tue 15-Apr-14 10:57:06

Thanks Rooble, Ihateparties, dailyscoop, LightTripper! Really useful tips - at this point it sounds like the best bet is to go and see how these options feel in person...

LightTripper Tue 15-Apr-14 15:26:48

That's what we did. Go with a short list, as there's so much choice it's a bit perplexing! Just pushing them around the shop to see how easily they do narrow aisles and whether you keep kicking the back bar, doing a few folds/unfolds, walking around carrying it, sticking a handbag in the basket, etc. etc. will give you a better idea of whether you will get on with it than just looking online.

There are good options out there though, I'm sure you'll find something that suits you!!

LT x

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Tue 15-Apr-14 15:31:13

We have an XT. I love it, it's light, easy to fold and I've never had a problem pushing it one handed. My dad even commented on its "superb handling". Bless his heart.

The only downside for a newborn is that you can't see them, I much prefer the ones where they face you. But I don't think you get this with any lightweight model. And if you're using a sling at first anyway then it's irrelevant!

emark Tue 15-Apr-14 16:14:06

have you considered the new silver cross reflex?
very similar to a maclaren but has a newborn parent facing mode.
i saw it in john Lewis

PansOnFire Wed 23-Apr-14 00:02:19

I bought an XT for my DS when he was a year old as a replacement for our travel system (an unnecessary purchase - carry cot was used about three times, the pushchair unit was great for 6-11 months) and I'm so disappointed that I'm selling it to get a different pushchair. It feels rickety and unstable, the handles are uncomfortable and I just can't get the handles to a height that's comfortable. I realise that I'm the only person I know who hates this pushchair with a passion (all £185 of it!) but it feels like it doesn't support DS properly and his legs are forced into an odd position. I cannot steer it with 1 hand and it's adjustable seat is irritating, my DS can pull it to sitting from the laying down position which is unhelpful, when I checked it with the shop they said there was no fault.

The armadillo from Mamas and Papas is way better and it folds easily (one handed) with a handle to carry it upstairs easily. Im not sure if the seat unit is from birth but it can hold a car seat so that might be an option. Another way my round it is to get something like a Mamas and Papas Sola and use the car seat option for the first few months, you don't need to buy the carry cot part unless the baby will be spending a long time in there.

The Bugaboo Bee is a great option though, massively expensive but a fantastic pushchair.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Wed 23-Apr-14 00:04:01

I have an XLR and adore it. It will outlast our secnd baby too. Its been brilliant to only have to buy one buggy.

If I couldnt have the XLR for whatever reasn id buy a bugaboo bee. The perfect alternative.

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