Test-drive 2: Return of the Mac

I've had the Techno XLR about a month now and it's fair to say that I love it! I have not used my iCandy Cherry once, which to be honest I am rather heart-broken about as I do adore it. However, the Maclaren is so much easier to use when getting in and out of the car, and because it is an umbrella-folding pushchair, it also provides so much more space for other essentials, like the shopping. Just look at how much room I now have in the boot of my Scenic for other items:

This is excellent news for us. We're going away for the weekend soon and will have to take the travel-cot with us for The Boy. I would normally be panicking by this point in the run-up, but not now. Usually, there hasn't been space in the boot as the frame of my old pushchair took up three-quarters of the floor space and once the seat part was laid on top, half the height of the boot had disappeared as well. The travel-cot usually had to go on the floor in the back, which meant that I had no space to put my legs (I sit next to him on long car journeys, while hubby drives). Now we can get the travel-cot in the boot too, meaning I'm more comfortable and it's a safer car journey with less loose objects to do damage in the event of an accident.

I've used the Techno XLR a fair amount around town, but also in off-tarmac locations. We went to a local country park in the squelchy mud and it more than handled the ruts and pot-holes. It was also a freezing afternoon and The Boy was able to tuck his arms under the apron of the foot-muff and was toastie-warm. The top of the apron is designed to fold back, and he's quite happy to rest his arms out, but the minute he thinks it's a bit chilly: "armies in!"

We popped to the beach last weekend and took the pushchair onto the sand with us. Down the slope, walk onto the sand and we had the usual anticipation of the pushchair getting stuck in. Not this time. It must be the way the wheels have been designed; they're far smaller than the iCandy and are what I'll call 'double-wheels' for want of a better phrase. They move better on 'unstable' surfaces and so we were able to push the Maclaren across the sand rather than have to drag it. And it did look rather attractive on the beach waiting for us to finish paddling.

The Boy love his new pushchair and finds it incredibly comfortable. Following a Monkey Music session a fortnight ago, I had to pop to a couple of the shops in the town centre. I knew I was pushing it for his nap-time, but I really had to get a few things and he ws quite happy chomping on his snack and observing the world. I nipped into the library and having picked up the information I wanted, I asked The Boy if he was ready to go home for his sleep. No reply. I glanced down and he'd fallen asleep! He was so snug and warm that the silence of the library had pushed him over the edge. The Techno XLR is so easy to adjust as it has four positions for the back, so I reached down and pulled the lever on the back which lowered him down to almost flat. He could have gone lower, but the change bag was hanging off the back so I didn't want to knock his head.

Finally this brings me to the last point that I wanted to make about the Maclaren Techno XLR. I had had a minor gripe about the size of the shopping basket underneath, in comparison to what I was used to. However, I also couldn't stand my change-bag anymore because it was an inconvenient shape; big but the wrong dimensions. So I bought a new one in the style of a messenger bag which fits in the shopping basket with room to spare for smaller items of shopping, but is far more convenient slung over the handlebars. I can get to my purse and his drink more easily, and it frees up a lot of space in the shopping basket for its intended purpose. Loads of space for grocery shopping in the town centre!

The Maclaren Techno XLR is suitable from birth to toddler as a 3-in-1 travel solution. It has :

  • a 4-position seat with single-hand recline,
  • extendable hood with sun visor and viewing window,
  • height-adjustable handles (I'm 5'9 and have them on the lowest setting, hubby is 6' and uses the heighest),
  • all-round suspension and linked brakes,
  • extendable calf-rest,
  • footmuff, and
  • raincover (which is really easy to put on & can store in one of the pockets at the back of the pushchair).

A soft carry-cot is available as an additional extra for use from birth, and it also take the Recaro Young Profi Plus car-seat, with adaptors. Excellent news for us as we already own that.

This pushchair was provided for the purpose of this review.

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