Maclaren Mark II Review
Pros: Easy to carry, light weight
Cons: Poor maneuverability, long harness straps, hard to use buckle
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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.
Weight and Folded Size
The Mark II has impressive weight and folded size results, with a weight of 8.6 lbs. While it is one of the lightest options, it is not the smallest, measuring 5,536.44 cubic inches when folded. 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 II is harder to use than most of the competition.
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.
The Mark has double action brakes that require two pedals to set. These brakes are easy to set, release, and use wearing sandals.
The bin on the Mark II holds up to 4.4 lbs maximum and fits 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 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.
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 seat on the Mark is similar to the Inglesina Net and just as disappointing. The seatback 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
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.
The Mark II is one of the more difficult strollers to push. This stroller has small plastic wheels with a 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 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.
The Mark II offers disappointing quality for the price and reputation. The overall look and feel of the Mark II are lackluster 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.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team