There’s been plenty of praise heaped on the Maclaren Techno XLR travel system – and it’s easy to see why.
Before 13-week-old Cormac and I got the Maclaren Techno XLR travel system to put through its paces I read about it on the internet. I could hardly believe that any product deserved quite such enthusiastic praise.
I had high hopes, but would the buggy/carrycot/car seat combo that is the Maclaren Techno XLR travel system live up to the hype?
Maclaren – famously founded by a test pilot who invented a lightweight folding buggy for his grandchild – claims the Techno XLR will do you from the birth of your firstborn until your baby has babies. Now most of us are trying to get their heads around motherhood and don’t even want to consider being a grandmother, but it is a pretty bold claim.
All Maclaren products come with a lifetime guarantee and the brand has a wide army of loyal followers.
The Maclaren Techno XLR travel system (11.9kg) is the top of their range and promises a cosy carrycot for a newborn moving on to a lightweight pushchair (weighing just 7.5kg) to take you through as long as you need it.
So the travel system arrived and Cormac didn’t have to wait too long for me to set it up and seemed quite excited by the understated good looks. Fastening carrycot or car seat to buggy base wasn’t in the least bit traumatic, but we needed to take it outside to see if it was really as good as all that.
What we love
In spite of not having the flashy, fashionable appearance of some travel systems, the Techno XLR really does do what it says on the tin.
Cormac loved comfortable ride, well positioned safety straps and variety of seat back angles.
Being a nosey boy living in Scotland, he particularly liked the rain hood that fitted so well he could still see out.
The carrycot let him snooze comfortably and the cosy design would make any newborn feel secure.
I enjoyed the design that allowed me to stride out without kicking the wheels. It’s also possible to hang a changing bag from the handles without the whole thing tipping over when you take the baby out.
Adjustable handles make it a comfy ‘push’ for taller parents while the suede-style fabric makes for a hardwearing and attractive finish.
The carrycot is soft and cosy too, providing a proper birth-to-nursery system that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve bought something you won’t get good value from.
ISOFIX-compatible, the car seat is from Recaro. It’s the Young Profi Plus model, as is comfy and easy to use. It has a head-hugger and a nifty pocket to keep the instructions in.
What to watch out for
Cormac looked very cosy in the carrycot during a recent trip to Granny’s but – at 12 weeks – he only just fitted in at full stretch. The spec says it’s good for babies up to 9kg, but I don’t think a tot as heavy as that would begin to fit.
Otherwise, any niggles with the Maclaren Techno XLR travel system are really small enough to be classed as nitpicks. For example, our buggy wheels squeak when going at a decent speed – Cormac didn’t care, but a more sensitive soul might. Also the brakes often take a couple of ‘stamps’ to be sure they’re on. And, while it’s probably technically possible to do a five-second one-hand fold down, I certainly couldn’t manage it with my big ol’ boy under one arm.
The handle adjustments are great for statuesque parents, but don’t allow much leeway for shorter mums.
And grannies – or mums with stiff hand joints – might find the harness clip requires an uncomfortable degree of finger pressure.
Who is the Maclaren Techno XLR travel system best for?
Mums after a good quality, hard working piece of equipment that will do the job for years.
The Maclaren Techno XLR travel system is and outstandingly popular travel system and it’s easy to see why. It looks good and quietly gets on with the job. The only criticism is that a bigger baby might not be able to use the carrycot for long, but the seatback does recline flat so makes up for this to a degree.