In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Maclaren Mark II Review

Hard to push and turn stroller with poor nap-ability and difficult to use harness and fold
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Price:   $200 List | $200 at Amazon
Pros:  Easy to carry, light weight
Cons:  Poor maneuverability, long harness straps, hard to use buckle
Manufacturer:   Maclaren
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team  ⋅  Dec 8, 2016
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52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 19
  • Weight/Folded Size - 35% 8
  • Ease Of Use - 30% 4
  • Maneuverability - 25% 3
  • Quality - 10% 4

The Skinny

The Maclaren Mark II scored higher than the more expensive Maclaren Techno XT. This minimal stroller earned a top score for weight and folded size with the lowest weight in the group of 8.6 lbs. Unfortunately, it failed to impress in any of our other tests with low scores for ease of use and quality, and next to the lowest score for maneuverability. The Mark is difficult to push and turn with almost no recline and a difficult harness and fold; it can't match the other products in its price range that offer more features and better functionality. The Zoe XL1 Best v2 earned more points overall, has the same list price, and a better score for ease of use. By comparison, the Mark II a stroller we have trouble recommending.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Maclaren Mark II
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Value Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $200.00 List
$200.00 at Amazon
$280.00 List
$259.99 at Amazon - 7% off
$200.00 List
$129.99 at Amazon - 35% off
$230.00 List
$229.99 at Amazon
$260.00 List
$259.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Easy to carry, light weightGreat maneuverability, compact, light, good for travelLightweight, giant canopy, priceEasy to use, car seat compatible, easy to push, nice qualityEasy to use, cozy napping, Car seat compatible
Cons Poor maneuverability, long harness straps, hard to use buckleMinimalist design, few featuresLower quality, poor off-road capabilitiesHeavier, harder to stow and travel withHeavier, hard to carry
Bottom Line Hard to push and turn stroller with poor nap-ability and difficult to use harness and foldEasy to navigate and great for travel and small spaces, but it has limited features for comfort and convenienceReasonably priced and lightweight with useful features but it could be smallerGood maneuverability with features that are useful and easy to useSmooth maneuvering option that is easy to use and good for napping, but heavy for a lightweight stroller
Ratings Categories Maclaren Mark II Quinny Yezz ZOE XL1 BEST v2 Britax B-Agile 3 City Mini
Weight Folded Size (35%)
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
4
10
0
3
Ease Of Use (30%)
10
0
4
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Maneuverability (25%)
10
0
3
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
8
Quality (10%)
10
0
4
10
0
9
10
0
4
10
0
8
10
0
8
Specs Maclaren Mark II Quinny Yezz ZOE XL1 BEST v2 Britax B-Agile 3 City Mini
Weight 8.6 lbs 12.6 lbs 11.8 lbs 17.4 lbs 17.5 lbs
Folded Dimensions 11.7"W x 10.4"H x 45.5"L 10.9"W x 9.5"H x 31.5"L 21.3"W x 9.5"H x 27.4"L 24"W x 9.5"H x 29.2"L 24.1"W x 10.5"H x 32.8"L
Capacity Limits Minimum: 6 months
Maximum: 55 lbs/43"
Minimum: Children who can sit up unassisted
Maximum: 40 lbs
Minimum: 3 months
Maximum: 40 lbs
Minimum: Birth
Maximum: 55 lbs/44"
Minimum: Birth
Maximum: 50 lbs/44"

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Maclaren Mark II is the lightest stroller in the review at 8.6 lbs; however  this lighter weight wasn't enough to earn it a higher rank due to poor performance in some key metrics.
The Maclaren Mark II is the lightest stroller in the review at 8.6 lbs; however, this lighter weight wasn't enough to earn it a higher rank due to poor performance in some key metrics.
Owen Finlay Maclaren started Maclaren in England in 1965. As test pilot and aviation engineer Owen wanted to create a lightweight stroller with an easy fold that was small when folded for travel. Mclaren took inspiration from airplane landing gear to develop the first folding stroller. The Maclaren collapsed in on itself much like an umbrella, creating the first umbrella stroller. Maclaren's patented design remains essentially unchanged and he was honored as a Member of the British Empire for his invention by the Queen herself.

Performance Comparison


The chart below shows how the Maclaren Mark II (shown in blue) ranked when compared to the competition.


The details related to performance during testing are provided in the sections below divided by metrics.

The Mark II has a nice shoulder carry strap that leaves you hands free  but it isn't as comfortable as the one on the Quinny Yezz.
The Mark II has a nice shoulder carry strap that leaves you hands free, but it isn't as comfortable as the one on the Quinny Yezz.

Weight and Folded Size


The Mark II earned an 8 of 10 for weight and folded size, with a weight of 8.6 lbs. While it is the lightest option, it is not the smallest, measuring 5,536.44 cubic inches when folded. Alternatively, the similar Inglesina Net, weighs 11.9 lbs and measures 4,762.80 cubic inches. Depending on your needs, smaller might be more important than the 3 lb difference. This stroller has a nice shoulder carry strap.

Ease of Use


The Mark earned a 4 of 10 for ease of use, while the Zoe XL1 Best v2 earned the high of 8 and offered a deeper recline, better storage, and the easiest fold, with the same price.

The Maclaren Mark II is the lightest  but not the smallest folded product.
The Maclaren Mark II is the lightest, but not the smallest folded product.

Fold and Unfold


The Mark II has Maclaren's one-handed collapsable umbrella fold. The fold is initiated using feet and locks closed automatically, but it does not self-stand.

Brakes


The Mark has double action brakes that require two pedals to set. These brakes are easy to set, release, and use wearing sandals.

The Mark II has odd access to storage with a high back and side cross bar.
The Mark II has odd access to storage with a high back and side cross bar.

Storage


The bin on the Mark II holds up to 4.4 lbs maximum and fit our small diaper bag. Accessing the bin is a bit of a joke with a weird shape that has a high back with side access obscured with bars. There is no additional storage on this stroller.

The Mark II sun shade has a kick out visor and is UPF 50+.
The Mark II peek-a-boo window does not have a cover  but it is relatively small and tinted with cross hatching to help protect baby from direct sunlight.

Sunshade


The Mark II canopy is medium in size and has UPF 50+. It features a kick out visor (above left) and a square peek-a-boo window that is cross-hatched vinyl (above right). The window has no cover and is hard to see through, but at least it doesn't leave baby exposed to direct sunlight.

While the Mark II harness is easier to use than the Maclaren Techno  it still is stiff and the shoulder straps are too long to secure smaller children in the seat.
While the Mark II harness is easier to use than the Maclaren Techno, it still is stiff and the shoulder straps are too long to secure smaller children in the seat.

Harness


The Mark II harness is difficult to operate. This harness has easy rethreaded height adjustment, but changing the length of the straps is difficult because you need to feed the strap through each piece twice. The buckle is a nesting buckle that requires partial assembly before inserting the straps.

The Mark II seat back reclines by unzipping the sides. The recline is minimal and will not allow baby to nap comfortably.
The Mark II seat back reclines by unzipping the sides. The recline is minimal and will not allow baby to nap comfortably.

Seat


The seat on the Mark is similar to the Inglesina Net and just as disappointing. The seat back is made of mesh and reclines about 2-3 inches by unzipping the sides. Baby is unlikely to even notice the new angle and it certainly isn't napping worthy. The Mark II doesn't offer a leg rest and the small footrest is unreachable by smaller children

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Ease of Setup


The Mark II is easy to assemble taking us about 3:00 minutes. It doesn't require any tools, and there are no canopy instructions, but it isn't difficult to figure out.



Maneuverability


The Mark II earned a 3 of 10 for maneuverability, making it one of the more difficult strollers to push. Alternatively, the Zoe XL1 Best v2 earned a 5 and is easier to navigate. This stroller has small plastic wheels with the dual wheel design. Pushing the Mark is uncomfortable with solid plastic handles. Navigation is difficult and the stroller flexes when you try to make tight turns leaving it feeling unresponsive and sloppy. Moving to uneven surfaces makes the job even harder with the wheels getting stuck and refusing to move in the direction you choose, as they are pulled off course by any small bump or groove. It is not a good option for terrains you might encounter at a play park.

The small dual front wheels on the Mark II cause it to veer off course while pushing on uneven surfaces like grass or gravel.
The small dual front wheels on the Mark II cause it to veer off course while pushing on uneven surfaces like grass or gravel.

The Mark has lackluster all-wheel suspension and no padding on the seat. It is unlikely that this stroller is comfortable, as the mesh seat has no padding, no leg rest, and does not recline enough for napping.

Quality


The Mark II earned a 4 of 10 for quality, compared to the Inglesina Net score of 6. The overall look and feel of the Mark II are disappointing with exposed rivets and connection points. This stroller has plastic wheels and flimsy feeling fabric with no seat padding or useable storage. The handles are uncovered plastic with rough edges that rub on skin and while it gets the job done, for the price it feels like it should do it with nicer fabric or a more streamlined frame.

Manufacturer Video




Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team