The Maclaren Quest is an updated version of the Quest Mod and Sport that owners and testers say offers great steering and a good fit for children from infancy to 55 pounds. However, we don't recommend this stroller because we're still hung up about Maclaren's massive 2009 recall on previous models and subsequent lawsuits.
Can Maclaren stand behind the safety of its products? The 2012 Quest has not been subject to recalls in its new form. Prior models (Mod and Sport) were recalled in November 2009 after reports that 12 children had their fingers amputated in Maclaren hinges. Since the recall, Maclaren USA has been sued for damages by several of the families impacted. When Maclaren USA filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and named the families in its list of creditors, it placed their claims against the company in limbo. As a result, However, Maclaren US shuttled business and distribution to a new entity called Maclaren North America that continues to sell strollers.
That said, according to product testers and users, the Maclaren has good, linked rear-wheel locks that are easy to operate. The five-point harness is not padded, but it is secure and the buckle is difficult for a child to open.
Lightweight stroller is easy to fold and carry. The Quest gets high marks for a one-hand fold and included shoulder strap that makes it a great choice for families who rely on bus or train travel. Users say the four-position recline is easy to use. However, the adjustable footrest can be difficult to get into a good position, according to reviewers. The Maclaren doesn't stand up on its own folded, which makes it harder to store, but it does fit easily in the back of a small car.
Built to accommodate infants and toddlers. The Quest offers a high weight rating of up to 55 pounds, with the ability to carry infants thanks to its fully reclining seat. The seat also has an infant enclosure that creates a small cradle when the seat is reclined. The Quest's water-resistant canopy has a UV-protected peep-through window that parents like. However, the sun canopy isn't large enough to offer full sun protection. Maclaren does sell an additional sun visor -- but at its already high price point, the smaller canopy is a disappointment. The Quest does come with a rain cover and a cupholder. Maclaren has a large array of stroller accessories that include organizers for parents, foot muffs, mosquito netting and carry bags -- all sold separately.
Lifetime warranty could restore Maclaren's credibility. Maclaren strollers now come with a lifetime warranty against defects when strollers are used as instructed. This comes after Maclaren the business has undergone much scrutiny in the U.S.
In 2009, the strollers were recalled because of amputation risk. When Maclaren USA filed bankruptcy in 2012, it impeded families from effectively suing for damages. However, a report by The Wall Street Journal says this may no longer be the case. The terms of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing mean there is a chance that Maclaren could be dissolved, putting long-term customer service in question, according to the company's former creative director.
1. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Review Credibility: Excellent This government website publishes official information about the Maclaren hinge recall, including which models are affected and how to get protective hinge covers if you already own a Maclaren stroller.
Review: Maclaren USA Recalls to Repair Strollers Following Fingertip Amputations, Editors of CPSC.gov, Nov.9, 2009
2. Which? magazine
Review Credibility: Excellent The U.K.'s Which? magazine (similar to ConsumerReports.org) is an excellent review publication, which at times is even more comprehensive than ConsumerReports.org. They provide in-depth coverage of the Maclaren Quest that includes product testing.
Review: Pushchairs: Best Buys, Editors of Which?, Not Dated
3. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Excellent The 2011 edition of "Baby Bargains," written by consumer advocates Denise and Alan Fields, covers a variety of stroller manufacturers. The authors provide ratings only for overall brands and not for individual models, although they do discuss current models and parent feedback. In the latest edition, they discuss Maclaren in detail and the Volo specifically.
Review: Chapter 9: Strollers, Diaper Bags, Carriers and Other To Go Gear, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good The newer 2012 Maclaren Quest has only nine reviews so far on Amazon. Of the nine, feedback is mainly positive. The stroller receives six 5-star ratings, with users saying that it has true one-handed steering. There is one report of product failure from a very dissatisfied customer.
Review: Maclaren Quest Sport Stroller, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2012