Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Stroller Dilemma. Take Three.

Ok, this is it. Down to the wire and a new option pops up out of nowhere: The Maclaren Techno XLR Buggy Stroller. It's classic, it's light, and unlike any other Maclarens, it's carseat compatible so can accommodate baby from birth through toddlerhood and serve as a very lightweight travel system. The Maclaren also has a bigger basket.

The Maclaren XLR costs about $100 MORE than the Baby Jogger City Mini, but includes a raincover, extendable handlebars (which we were going to buy separately) and the carseat adapter, making the total prices of both strollers about equal.

Someone recently told me that the City Mini does not quite have enough support for baby to sit upright and look out at the world. Does anyone know if this is the case for the Maclaren Techno XLR?

Also, are there any child trays that are compatible with the XLR?

And lastly, does anyone know how the Maclaren rides on bumpy/hilly Jerusalem terrain?

If you were buying a stroller right now, which one would YOU buy -- the Maclaren Techno XLR or the Baby Jogger City Mini? And why? Please comment! I need help!

17 comments:

  1. veryyy old school.. with the four wheels and the two handles? what's up with that?

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  2. it's called "classic", shira. 3 or 4 wheels I really don't care about...though i do have to say I'm not a fan of the 2 handles so much. Apparently you can still steer it with just one hand. Will you find someone who says one and check it out for me?

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  3. 2 handles means that you can hook bags on it easier that wouldn't have fit on the larger handlebar. like grocery bags :)
    i'd say go with the maclaren.

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  4. our neighbours used this maclaren from birth and are still using it now for their two year old. It's kind of ugly and can't face backwards, but definately the most practical choice. It will be a bit ricketty for a newborn, but you might find yourself using a sling or baby bjorn in those first few months anyway, and you can always cosy it up with liners and cosy toes etc. I think both choices are good, practical, lightweight strollers.

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  5. bethami, can you push a 2 handled stroller with one hand? like if you're talking on the phone at the same time?

    cosy toes...sounds like something worth writing about...

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  6. I just spoke with my friend's daughter who has the double city mini, and she's on her 3rd child, having gone thru several double strollers that she wasn't pleased with. She is in love with the city mini, the weight, the ease, everything about it. And her baby will be in the snap 'n go for the first few months anyway, so the soft seat won't be an issue.
    And re: the hanging bags on the Maclaren handles, you are more likely to overload that way, and cause a tipover backwards. I'm still going to try it out for you, tho.

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  7. Feel free to ignore this completely, but...
    If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't buy any of these strollers (or the Graco). Get a stroller that reclines completely flat for when the baby is young - a Peg Perego or the like. Buy it used if you have to.
    Graco (which we have) doesn't go completely flat. And yes, the car seat thing is very convenient and in many ways less expensive (again, we have a travel system), but the baby will sleep much, much better in a completely flat stroller. You don't have a car - without it, the car seat gets used very little. Not that you can do without it, you will get a lot more use out of the stroller without it when the baby is little.
    Also, when you add a car seat to any of these strollers, they get HEAVY. Yet another reason you will likely do without when you can.
    A completely flat stroller can also be used for tummy time/a place to put the baby when you're at home. The small cozy space makes it really nice for a newborn to sleep in when you're in a room without a bassinet, crib, etc.
    Okay. I'm off my soapbox now. :)

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  8. Two more points and then I really will shut up:
    1. One handle or two handles doesn't really affect whether or not you can steer it with one hand. The better the stroller, the better the steering. Our one handle Graco is a beast to steer with one hand. A friend has a Maclaren with two handles that steers beautifully.
    2. As for the soft seat/sitting up. You won't actually be putting the baby upright to sit until he/she is able to hold themself upright anyway. Support is important before they sit up, but their own muscles do all of the work by the time you move the seat up, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. In the in between time, where they want to see but can't hold themselves up, a BabyBjorn or Snuggli will get it done without killing your back.

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  9. first of all, "soapboxes" are always welcome! :)

    That's a good point about a full recline. These 2 strollers that I'm looking at are both "nearly full recline" and I see what you're saying that that is not as comfy as fully back. But i don't think i hace the energy to start from scratch!!

    In terms of lightweight, I think these are both good, especially the city mini, and I think that while the baby still fits, I prob WILL use the car seat IN the stroller just in case we end up taking a cab while we're out. Though I guess for a walk around the block you're right that it's unnecessary.

    And lastly, I imagine that if there's a belly bar or a tray, the baby/kid will have an easier time holding him/herself upright, especially if the seat doesn't go completely upright with good support, and the maclaren doesn't seem to have a compatible child tray. The city mini does.......and so, for today, I'm leaning toward that one....

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  10. sarah--

    We just bought the XLR from hesdei shmuel. It's selling for less than in the states (i don't remember the NIS price), but it's $350 in states at most stores/websites. You can get much nicer colors--blue/blue; brown/blue; brown/pink. And if you can hold out for the 2009 ones (even nicer colors). Also it DOES go completely flat...we went to the store and checked it out.

    After we corresponded, I looked up citi mini in baby bargains----got great reviews..and also had great reviews online...but some ppl said their baby couldn't sit upright in one of them...was always slouching.

    I probably shouldn't be touting the maclaren so much esp. since we haven't even used it yet (or picked it up from store)...but I feel a kindred spirit in all the darn research we have done.

    -

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  11. it's true about the slouching... i'm wondering if maybe there's an insert to make the seat more supportive. I think they have the XLR at motzitzim (in talpiot) and they have the city mini. I think i'm ready for one last look...

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  12. Motzitzim was a gazillion times more expensive. I mean waaay more expensive. Baby michelle though---also in talpiot was selling it at same price as in U.S. The guy at hesdei shmuel (best price by a long shot) will try to talk you into the PEG (and you might be tempted)....but don't let him. :)

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  13. we did a package deal thing at motzitzim that we found to be pretty reasonable -- i hope we didn't get ripped off...

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  14. I"m sure you did fine. We found that the package deals at Baby M and hesdei shmuel came out to around the same price...each place offering the discounts in different areas. (so some items on a one-to-one comparison basis were priced differently at each store...altogether it was the same price) We didn't look into motz. deals..but i'm sure you would have realized if it wasn't in the ballpark

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  15. I have a city mini and I LOVE it! I was also deciding between the maclaren and the city mini and I am so happy with my decision. It pushes so well and the fold is incredible. You can totally push the stroller with one hand and the sun shade is fabulous.The only problem is the basket is small and stupid- you can't get to it easily at all. The maclaren basket is pretty bad too.

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  16. No getting around Sarah, you are probably going to end up with a few different strollers, especially as the baby gets older. You are definitely not going to want to shlep around with an oversize stroller all the time.

    Whatever you decide - make sure its well fitted for lots of pedestrian use (make sure the tires are sturdy), has a great basket, and that the handles can be raised to make it comfortable for both tall and short.

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  17. Not like other strollers, the seat cannot be reclined into a sitting position. We had to use a pillow to support her back.

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