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Weighing just 4kg and with an incredibly easy folding system the Maclaren Volo makes an ideal occasional-use lightweight buggy.
The Volo is marketed by Maclaren as the “lightest and simplest buggy for life on the go”, and for anyone regularly using public transport, going on holiday or just looking for something easy and light to pull out for those occasions when an older child is too tired to walk, the Volo is an ideal choice. Without hood, shopping basket or raincover, the Volo is a mere 4kg.
The Maclaren Volo looks smart, too. We really liked the lime green and black colourway of the model we tested (official called Kiwi Lime on Black Frame) and there’s a host of other bright, funky colours to choose from.
This buggy can be used from 6 months, but is robust enough to cope with a much older child, and as it doesn’t recline is probably better suited to older pre-schoolers.
Its accessory pack, which includes a sun umbrella and rain guard, means it can be both used for that summer holiday or to get an older child to school in the rain.
At £80 there are cheaper occasional-use buggies, but the few extra pounds buy you a sturdier, better looking model.
What we love
The Maclaren Volo really can be folded up and down with one hand. As a mum of three this has been a crucial feature. To put up, you simply ‘shake it out’ and because the Volo is so light, this is as easy as opening an umbrella. Folding up the Volo takes slightly more co-ordination – you have to push down a lever with your foot and then the crossbar up. Once you’ve got the hang of it, it is possible to do while holding a squirming 2-year-old.
When folded, the Maclaren Volo is light enough to pop over your shoulder or throw into the back of the car with one hand.
Weight is the key feature of this buggy. I have used a number of similar cut-down buggies, but none has come close to the Volo, and yet it is also a lot more robust than many others in its class.
While you can’t load it up with shopping bags without it falling over as soon as your child gets out, the Volo otherwise copes well with the rigours of urban environments. I’m rarely without a coffee, mobile phone or one of my older children’s hands, so being able to manoeuvre a buggy one-handed is essential, and I just about managed this.
The easy grip handles, swivel wheels, and perhaps most importantly its 4kg weight, meant I even successfully managed to steer the Volo through a busy street while at the same time holding onto my daughter’s hand and calling her dad.
What to watch out for
The buckle on the 5-point harness is tricky. It takes a lot of practise to get your wriggling child strapped in. We used this buggy when our third child, Alfie, reached the age that he preferred to walk, but would quickly tire. For a couple of months he spent his time jumping in and out, and the buckle system became very tiresome. For any parent struggling to get a reluctant toddler strapped in, it’d become frustrating. Maclaren does point out that the buckle is child-proof, though in my family it proved grandparent-proof and at times parent-proof, too.
I also found the brakes were not always that reliable. This is a complaint I’ve heard raised by other parents, too.
The Volo isn’t for those with a child who regularly sleeps in the buggy as it doesn’t recline.
Who is the Maclaren Volo lightweight buggy best for?
Public transport users or parents and grandparents after a compact but solid option for weekend trips.
As a second, occasional use buggy, the Maclaren Volo really does perform well, and the £80 price tag and its robustness compared to other lightweights do make it a decent value buy. However, its lack of a recline feature means it’s better suited to an older child who has outgrown their naps.