Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Watch those fingers! Maclaren Stroller Recall and Alternatives to their Strollers

By now you have probably seen the recall alert on all Maclaren Strollers made since 1999. It turns out the hinges are quite sharp and have amputated the fingers of 12 wee ones (yes, total shock an horror is an appropriate reaction!). Maclaren is offering a repair kit for all owners to fix the hinge problem. We have a Triumph that we love for its quality, durability and ease of use and will continue to use it once we receive the kit. For those of you yet to buy a light weight stroller or want to replace your Maclaren there are some great options out there. Just walk into any Babies R' Us and the selection will astound you, but here are a few of my current favorites.

First on that list are the offerings from Cybex, recently arrived from Germany. I had the chance to check these strollers out at Big City Mom's Biggest Baby Shower. I was impressed with their quality and design, and they are comparable to the Maclaren line in price and weight . Actually they are nearly a model to model match with their Ruby, Onyx, Topaz and Callisto strollers lining up with the Maclaren Volo, Triumph, Quest, and Techno strollers. They have some features that many might find superior to Maclaren strollers such as a one-hand adjustable harness, an insanely full recline, a groovy two position foot rest and car seat compatibility (with Cybex's Atom car seat) on all except the Ruby stroller. Cybex also has great color schemes that will set you apart from the typical light weight stroller, and I dig the white chassis (rather than the typical chrome finish). I'm sure it won't be long before these babies flood NYC sidewalks, especially after Sarah Jessica Parker was spotted with one a few weeks ago.

For Uppa Baby lovers there is the G-Light and G-Luxe lightweight umbrella strollers. Both strollers stand up when folded, and require only hands to fold (no foot action needed). The G-Lite is similar to the no-frills Maclaren Volo in that it is super light-weight at 8.3 lbs but offers no recline option. Their new G-Luxe, which Uppa claims is the lightest full-size reclining umbrella stroller on the market, weighs in at 11 lbs, offers a full recline and even comes with a cupholder. It is a Babble Best for 2009. I also appreciate that Uppa Baby is committed to being eco-friendly by recycling strollers, donating strollers to charity, and making efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. A sign of this commitment is the organic lining that comes standard on their full size Vista Stroller model. Yeah for organic as a standard rather than a costly add on!

Quinny offers the Zapp, by far the coolest looking light weight stroller out there. With an incredibly compact fold (Quinny claims its the smallest in the world), a weight of 13 lbs, and car seat compatible (with Maxi Cosi car seats) the Zapp is the perfect travel system for quick getaways at a fraction of the cost of many luxury travel systems. It has the added bonus of including the travel bag as standard. If I lived outside the city I might consider this for my full time stroller. The only drawback is that there is no recline feature for napping babies!

So while I hate to throw Maclaren under the bus, this is an alarming recall and it's good to know there are other choices for high quality light weight strollers. I like Pooka's delicious little fingers right where they are! We plan to get the repair kit for our Triumph and keep rolling but I can't say some of these other strollers aren't very tempting!

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