Some nice safety features, but it tips. The Maclaren Techno XT offers has a five-point harness that reviewers say is impossible for a small child to undo and one-touch, linked brakes. The 2012 model also has a tether strap for additional security. It has one-touch, linked brakes. The Techno XT is also equipped with reflective accents for better nighttime visibility.
Many parents complain that placing bags on the handles of the Techno XT will cause it to tip. And, while the manual may warn against this practice, most parents do it -- and the Techno XT gets more complaints about this problem than other similar strollers. Like all Maclaren strollers named in the 2009 recall, the Techno XT now comes with protective hinge covers to prevent finger amputations.
The Maclaren Techno XT was recalled in November 2009 after reports that 12 children had their fingers amputated in Maclaren hinges. The recall was reissued in 2011 due to additional reports of amputations. Since the recall, Maclaren has been sued for damages by several of the families impacted. The company's bankruptcy filing named the families in its list of creditors, placing their claims against the company in limbo. Maclaren has been accused of filing for bankruptcy under false pretenses to avoid paying damages for injuries and amputations.
Jerky recline has been fixed. The most glowing reviews of the Maclaren Techno XT come from parents who have either transitioned from a bulky stroller or travel system to the Techno XT or from a bare bones umbrella stroller to the Techno XT. These parents are thrilled that the Techno XT reclines fully with five positions and that it folds up small. However, parents who are more critical note that it requires two hands to fold the XT and that the recline works jerkily and will wake a sleeping baby (this criticism is of the models prior to 2012). To remedy this, the 2012 model features a one-handed recline; previous models required two hands. The 2011 model with the two-handed recline is still widely available. It's easy to push and highly maneuverable.
The Techno XT gets great reviews for maneuverability, especially in small or crowded stores. Most parents also find the Techno XT easy to maneuver on bumpy or uneven terrains, thanks to its larger 6-inch wheels. The front wheels also lock for better control on more challenging surfaces.
Some good features, but they'll cost you. The Maclaren Techno XT provides a fully reclining seat for newborns and a high weight rating of 55 pounds for long-term use. But, for its $300+ price tag it would not be unreasonable for Maclaren to include a means to secure an infant car seat to the stroller (as other newborn-friendly umbrella strollers have at that price point) as well as a parent cup holder. The XT comes with a rain cover included, and the canopy adjusts to provide more sun protection than other Maclaren strollers. The basket is medium-sized, and there are two pockets on the back of the seat for additional storage. The canopy is large, zips to extend and has a flip-out sun visor.
The Techno XT gets great reviews for handling a variety of environments, from maneuvering through small or crowded stores to bumpy or uneven terrains. It's larger, 6-inch front wheels lock for even better control on more challenging surfaces.
Maclaren may be on shaky ground. A number of credible sources say Maclaren was aware of the amputation risk prior to the 2009 recall. Meaning, they could have fixed it faster and placed fewer children at risk. Further, Maclaren initially responded to the recall defensively, saying they clearly stated on instructions that children should not be around the stroller unattended, an argument that angered parents for implying, as it did, that they were to blame. Finally, the bankruptcy filing impeded families from effectively suing for damages. One very reliable product review source downgraded Maclaren from an "A" to an "F" rating after reports that the bankruptcy was a fraudulent filing to avoid paying damages to families of amputee victims. In addition, since the bankruptcy filing was a Chapter 7, there is the chance that Maclaren could be dissolved, putting long-term customer service in question.
Due to issues with credibility, we are not recommending any strollers in the Maclaren line. While the Techno XT hinge issue has been remedied, there is too much uncertainty with this manufacturer at this time for us to suggest purchasing a Maclaren stroller.
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: Additional Fingertip Amputations and Lacerations Prompt Reannouncement of November 2009 Recall of Strollers by Maclaren USA, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Feb. 22, 2012
Review Credibility: Excellent This article reports on the Maclaren bankruptcy filing of February 2012 and examines the effect it will have on the amputees' ability to collect compensation.
Review: Maclaren Bankruptcy Puts Amputated Finger Lawsuits in Limbo, Alice Hines, March 6, 2012
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 overall ratings for brands and for individual models. Their reviews take into account parent feedback and personal research and experiences. In the latest edition, they discuss Maclaren in detail and the Techno XT specifically. There is updated information, based upon more recent developments in the bankruptcy, on their website.
Review: Chapter 9: Strollers, Diaper Bags, Carriers and Other To Go Gear, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition, 2011
4. Which? magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good Which? Magazine is the U.K. equivalent of ConsumerReports.org. Testing methods are explained thoroughly, and stroller features are also listed and detailed. In addition, they update their reviews regularly, re-test when there is an issue, such as an updated model or a fix for a recall, and post the dates of their tests. A total of 172 strollers are reviewed; a very large number of these (32 strollers) are deemed best buys. The Maclaren Techno XT is included in Which? magazine reviews, and there is an update that discusses the recall and a note about the one-handed recline, which indicates that this review has been updated since its 2008 date. Maclaren strollers sold in the U.K. were not recalled by Maclaren due to different recall rules.
Review: Pushchairs: Best Buys, Editors of Which? magazine, Jan. 1, 2008
5. Choice magazine
Review Credibility: Very Good Australia's answer to ConsumerReports.org carefully tests an extensive list of strollers for durability, ease of use and safety specifications. Thirteen make Choice magazine's "what to buy" list, including the Maclaren Techno XT. The recall is not discussed, because this stroller was not recalled in Australia.
Review: Stroller and Pram Reviews, Rebecca Ciaramidaro, May 21, 2012
Review Credibility: Good The editors of ConsumerReports.org evaluate dozens of traditional and other strollers after testing for safety, ease of use and maneuverability. The Maclaren Techno XT is included in the ratings chart. The report seems very outdated, with a number of discontinued models.
Review: Traditional Stroller Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
Review Credibility: Poor The Maclaren Techno XT receives an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 based on 34 reviews with perfect ratings from 25 reviewers. However, there are no current reviews of the Techno XT -- the most recent was posted in early 2011.
Review: Maclaren Techno XT Stroller, Contributors to Amazon.com