Hands-on Gear Review

Maclaren Twin Techno Review

This umbrella type stroller (Maclaren Twin Techno) has enough features to act as a primary stroller that isn't used often
Price:   $495.00 List | $495.00 at Amazon
Pros:  Quality, leg rest, recline
Cons:  Cup holders, sm storage, heavy, price
Bottom line:  Quality ride, but not as good as some others
Editors' Rating:   
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Capacity Limits:  110 Total Weight
Weight (Lbs):  32 lbs 5 oz
Folded Dimensions (Inches):  20.5 x 16 x 43.5
Manufacturer:   Maclaren

The Skinny

The Twin Techno came in 3rd place out of 6 models tested. It offered several attributes for comfort and style, including nice seat padding, a deep recline, adjustable leg rest, and a nice size canopy. It felt like a good quality product that is put together well and looked good stacked up against the competition in a side-by-side comparison. However, the high price tag for this stroller, and the fact that it costs more than the two award winners and higher ranking products, make this a stroller we have trouble recommending, but we still sort of liked. If the ride had been lighter or the price lower, it might have earned more points and managed a higher spot in our review.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Double Umbrella Strollers of 2018

Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

Last Updated:
Sunday
November 2, 2014

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The Maclaren Twin Techno is a double stroller made by Maclaren. It weighs 30.4lb, has a 5-point harness for each seat, 4-wheel suspension, under seat storage, included rain cover, and two independent hoods. This stroller can be used from birth up to 110lb, it can fit through standard doorways and works well for transporting children with different sleep styles, ages, or heights. It comes in two different colors, has a standard umbrella fold, and auto-locks.

Performance Comparison


Maclaren Twin Techno
Maclaren Twin Techno

Ease of Use


The Techno did well in this category scoring the second highest score in umbrella twin strollers for ease of use.

Storage
Under seat storage is inaccessible with seats reclined
Under seat storage is inaccessible with seats reclined
The MacLaren has medium under seat storage that is divided down the middle prohibiting a a large diaper bag from fitting underneath. Smaller bags might fit, but a bag big enough to carry essentials for two kids, or twins is going to have a difficult time getting in the bin and will likely have to be carried instead of stowed. The storage bins are only accessible from the rear and cannot be accessed when the seats are full reclined. Users felt that due to lack of storage options this stroller might make an okay travel stroller, but it would be hard to use for long day trips where more supplies are needed.

The back of the twin canopies have storage pockets that close with hook and loop flaps. They are useful for wallets, keys, phones and similar items you will want to access easily. They cannot carry excessive weight and can be difficult to use when the seats are reclined because you might disturb sleeping children accessing them.

Sun Shade
The photos above show the double canopies on the Techno. Each side can be independently adjusted allowing for more versatility.

Large vinyl peek-a-boo windows are not well placed  are difficult to see thru with the seats in the upright position  and allow sun to filter in from the back
Large vinyl peek-a-boo windows are not well placed, are difficult to see thru with the seats in the upright position, and allow sun to filter in from the back
Each canopy on this twin stroller is identical. They are both average sized canopies that open with an tension bar you have to push to activate. They have a kick out visor for increased sun coverage and ventilation on the back on hot summer days. The shades have a peek-a-boo window on the back that is large and made of vinyl. While the window is larger than most of the others in our review, it is almost useless because the back panel position of the window makes viewing the passenger difficult if not impossible. The passenger can only be seen when the seat is fully reclined. Users reported that the shade kept falling off during testing, which could be annoying to say the least.

Convenience
Double bottle holders seem nice  but most of the bottles we tried fell out over any tiny bump
Double bottle holders seem nice, but most of the bottles we tried fell out over any tiny bump
In addition to the outside canopy pockets, the Techno has two snap in cup holders that ride the center post between the seats up the back. The holders accommodate standard size water bottles one on top of the other. However, the bottles may snap in, but they also fall out easily when the stroller goes over small bumps in the road. This means they can potentially fall onto the passenger. Given this possibility we felt uncomfortable using them. It is a neat idea, but could be executed better.
Here is a photo of the Twin Techno with extended leg adjustments
Maclaren Twin Techno
The photos show the adjustable leg rest in the up and down position.

This stroller has double adjustable leg rests. They move from straight out to 90 degrees down. The side adjustment levers are easy to use, but don't really lock in place easily. The leg rest can also be converted into a pseudo bassinet by connecting the foot mesh cover over the bottom so babies won't slip out during travel. The cover stores under the seat when not in use. There is also an included warm foot cover that can be attached to the leg rest to keep the passenger warmer in cooler weather.
Under seat storage is inaccessible with seats reclined
The photos above show the seat backs in their upright (left) and fully reclined positions (right).

The Maclaren has a one handed recline for each seat back. They are easy to use and somewhat unique out of the strollers we looked at. Not only does it recline with one hand, something many of the strollers we looked at can do, but it can be adjusted up with one hand as well, something most of them did not do.

Maneuverability


The double wheel design is not the best for maneuverability.
The double wheel design is not the best for maneuverability.
The maneuverability on the Techno isn't great, but it isn't bad either. Most of these big double strollers had challenges we didn't see in the single wides, but that was something we expected and accepted as par for the course with any ride that boasted side-by-side seating. The Maclaren did do somewhat better than the competition in this metric. It tied for second place in this metric with the Joovy Scooter X2, doing better than 3 other strollers in its category.

Ease of pushing on hard surfaces was hard but not impossible. The double front wheels had a tendency to get caught and pull the stroller off course unintentionally. So while this stroller was small enough to fit through even a bathroom door, if the front wheel got hung up on the door jamb it did tend to pull the entire stroller astray.

On grass and gravel the stroller got worse. It had difficulty moving through the grass and gravel becoming more entrenched as our pushing increased. While we don't expect umbrella strollers, especially doubles, to be good at off road excursions, we do think it would be nice to be able to traverse them if necessary to get on our journey. It was better than most of the others we tested, but it still wasn't great and it refused to go over a 1 in lip.

For stairs and curbs this buggy was hard to lift and heavy to move. It was doable to move backward over the steps and curbs, but it was difficult and we don't recommend it.

Safety


Safety is always an important consideration for BabyGearLab. We test each product for various safety features including the harness, brakes, and the tendency to tip. The Maclaren tied for second place with the Joovy Scooter X2 for safety with a 6 of 10 score, with only the Britax B-Agile Double scoring higher with a 7.

Brakes
Middle brake pedal links the 3 sets of wheels
Middle brake pedal links the 3 sets of wheels
The Twin Techno has a double brake system, which increases the difficulty for setting and remembering to set the brakes properly compared to a single brake. The brakes also need to be pressed firmly in place or it is possible to think you have set them when you really haven't. The brakes are sandal foot friendly. The play in the brakes once set is better than some but not as good as others. The resistance for sliding back under pressure is pretty good requiring more than 25 pounds of pressure before moving. The forward sliding is less impressive, requiring only 15 pounds of pressure. The Techno came in third place for brakes overall, putting it in the bottom half for its category.

Harness
The buckle on the 5-point harness is stiff and requires two hands for some users to operate.
The buckle on the 5-point harness is stiff and requires two hands for some users to operate.
The 5-point harness is made with relatively soft materials that are difficult to adjust. Possibly the most difficult out of all the double strollers we reviewed. The convoluted threading of the harness material is the primary problem, as it has to double back on itself in order to adjust properly. This means you will need to thread the strap through manually in each direction which is time consuming and somewhat challenging if you have any finger dexterity issues. However, this stroller was the only one we reviewed in doubles that had a harness that we could make small enough for our test baby. With any luck, adjusting the harness should be an infrequent occurrence that only troubles you on occasion when the passengers experience a significant growth spurt. The shoulder straps have variable height adjustment accomplished by unzipping the back fabric and moving one piece of plastic up or down. This was the only one of its kind with most harness adjusting by manually moving the straps from one hole to another. This made adjustments easier to do and might perhaps lead to better fitting harness than other strollers we tested

Tipping
Tipping wasn't much of an issue for any of the strollers we reviewed. Given the overall width and general girth of the products it was difficult to encourage any of them to tip to the side. The side tip angle was 36 degrees which gave this product the third best angle in our review, with only the Jeep Wrangler Twin Sport All Weather and Chicco Echo Twin requiring a steeper tilt of 39 degrees before tipping to the side.

For tipping over backwards under weighted stress this stroller required in excess of 20 pounds before giving into gravity. This was on the lower side for the products we reviewed, with the Jeep requiring over 50 pounds before falling. However, if the product has two children in it of significant weight it might be higher. In addition, we recommend not hanging weight on the back of the stroller.

Quality


The Maclaren did well in the quality metric
The Maclaren did well in the quality metric
This product tied for first place in quality with the Joovy Scooter and Britax B-Agile with a 7 of 10. This put it above 2 other products in our review. In general most Maclaren strollers are made with an effort to create quality products, and this one does not disappoint in that department.

This stroller got top marks for the quality of the fabric used and how well it was fitted to the frame. The fabric is water and stain resistant, machine washable, and it seemed durable and snag resistant. The fabric on the back and seat is nice to the touch with a heavier fabric used on the leg rest area. The heavier fabric will probably wear better over time in a high rubbing area, but it might also be rougher on soft tender skin. The fabric is tight to the frame where it should be and loose where it needs to be for comfort. Overall the stitching is even with no loose threads or uneven seams. However, users reported that the seat sort of slope forward and at least one child had difficulty getting into the seat without toppling out.

The frame on the Techno is a sturdy frame with a unique square tubing that looked pretty cool and stood out from the other more rounded frame styles. There are lots of connection points and places where the frame folds, but even with multiple points and connections the Maclaren still feels sturdy and only had a minimum of flex.

The wheels on the Maclaren were one of the best in our review. They were dense, stiffer, and seemingly more durable. The wheels are composed of foam filled plastic tires on plastic wheels. Overall there are 6 sets of 2 wheels each, 3 in the front, 3 in back. The double wheels system is not one we really like. In previous stroller reviews and tests we felt the double wheels enabled too much straying or catching of the wheels on items as we tried to stroll pass. However, the wheels appear well made and do not wobbly or cause vibration.
The two separate handle bars on the Maclaren Twin Techno are similar to umbrella type strollers
The two separate handle bars on the Maclaren Twin Techno are similar to umbrella type strollers
The handle bars on the Techno are nicely placed and high enough for even those pushers over 6 feet. We really like the way the foam feels on these bars and their alignment works well for resting hand placement. The foam has grooves that wrap around the handle and give a nice grip and feel to the bar itself. The foam does not rotate or shift, but remains firm and in place even when pushing a weighed down ride. The distance between the handle bars and back wheels is a little too close, we did find some bumping of the middle wheels when walking at a quicker pace.

The Maclaren offers a comfortable ride with 4 wheel suspension and a nicely padded seat. Not all of the strollers we reviewed had suspension on all four wheels, and some lacked sufficient padding for longer rides. The addition of the mesh foot cover and cozy foot muff attachment just means this product can adjust to varying temperatures with ease for keeping passengers riding in comfort as well as style.

Weight and Folded Size


The Maclaren Twin Techno is a more traditional umbrella type stroller with a typical umbrella fold
The Maclaren Twin Techno is a more traditional umbrella type stroller with a typical umbrella fold

Weight and Folded Size
None of the twin products or double strollers are really very light when compared to the single options, however this stroller was one of the heaviest we tested in the umbrella/lightweight category. Weighing in at over 32 pounds this made it somewhat difficult for users to lift up and into cars or public transport. There is a side carry handle, but given that it had the second largest folded size in the group, it is still a little unwieldy. This might not be a deal breaker if you use it primary around the neighborhood and rarely need to fold it for transport, but if you plan to pick your stroller up and carry it about there are lighter options out there.

Our Editors' Choice winner, the Britax B-Agile Double was 2 pounds lighter, and while that might not sound like much, it could be enough to literally tip the scales in its favor over the Techno. The lightest stroller in this category is the Jeep weighing in at 23 pounds, but given its low scores in other metrics, it is not a good enough reason alone to consider the Jeep.

Ease of Folding
This product isn't difficult to fold, but it is a little convoluted with a 4 step process. It is not a one hand fold, and you will need to bend down to the ground to get the auto-lock feature to engage. It folds much like you would anticipate an umbrella type product to fold and it has a nice carry handle on the side of the frame. This product does not self-stand, and it requires the brakes to be engaged before it will lean against the wall without sliding.

Unfolding the product is also very easy. It sort of falls open after the lock is removed and the extension bars just need to be pushed down with your foot. It is a little stiffer than other models, but it is still easy to manage.

Commuting
The Maclaren did not do well for commuting. Being the heaviest product is only further complicated by the larger size which took up most of the trunk space in a few of the cars we tested it in. The height of the seat is too low for eating at a café table, and the space it takes up makes it difficult for this product to just keep out of the way. While it is nice for going through doorways and managed even an interior bathroom opening, we did struggle with narrow spaces and getting the wheels caught on chairs and baseboards, which invariably caused the stroller to ride off course. In fairness to this product none of the products scored overly high in this metric. It was at the bottom of the pack, but even the top scorer, the Britax B-Agile Double, earned only 4.3 points of 10.

Ease of Setup


Overall this product is easy to assemble with only the canopy needing attachment. From box to strolling it took us a little over 8 minutes primarily due to poor documentation that failed to explain how to attach the canopy. The instructions are in an international format, which means there are several languages to wade through as you try to find the next step. It would have taken significantly less time to put the canopy on if there had been a quick start guide, or documentation with more pictures or steps that follow in order from beginning to end before moving on to another language.

Best Applications


This umbrella type stroller (Maclaren Twin Techno) has enough features to act as a primary stroller that isn't used often
This umbrella type stroller (Maclaren Twin Techno) has enough features to act as a primary stroller that isn't used often
This stroller is a good middle of the road stroller, and one of the best options for a true umbrella style product. It neither impresses nor disappoints with its features or design. It is probably best as a secondary stroller given the lack of good storage space, but if you don't carry a lot of extras you might be able to use it as a primary stroller as well. The almost flat recline of the seat backs and adjustable leg rests mean it is more versatile than some of the other options for longer trips where comfort is a necessity. However, if you anticipate needing space for all those extras that come with kids this stroller might frustrate you in the long run.

Value


With a price tag over $400 this stroller might feel a little lack luster and unimpressive. While all double products cost more than their single counter parts, this one is still a little on the high side for an umbrella or lightweight product. The two higher ranking products in this review are both considerably cheaper with the Best Value award winner, Joovy coming in right around $230, and the B-Agile Double, our Editors' Choice, costing around $330.

The Joovy has just about every features you want or need  at a budget friendly price
This umbrella type stroller (Maclaren Twin Techno) has enough features to act as a primary stroller that isn't used often
The photos above show the Joovy Scooter X2 (left), Maclaren Techno Twin (middle), and the Britax B-Agile Double (right).

Conclusion


The Techno came in 6th place out of the 14 products in this category. It offers a cozy ride with an almost flat seat back recline, adjustable leg rest, and 4 wheel suspension. It has nice large storage pockets on the canopies that move independently for just the right coverage over finicky passengers. However, for the price it is hard to find attributes that justify the extra expense over the cheaper higher ranking products, the Joovy and the Britax. It isn't that there is anything inherently wrong with the Maclaren, and what it does offer it does well and with a certain amount of understated style; unfortunately, it just isn't enough to match the competition or to stand out in testing.

Video


Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team

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Most recent review: November 2, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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