In-depth reviews guided by a Pediatrician

Maclaren Quest Sport Review

The Maclaren Quest Sport
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Price:   $270 List
Pros:  Adjustable recline, parent pocket
Cons:  Maneuverability, hard to use
Manufacturer:   Maclaren
By Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz  ⋅  Aug 24, 2014
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54
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Weight/Folded Size - 25% 7
  • Ease Of Use - 20% 4
  • Maneuverability - 20% 4
  • Safety - 15% 6
  • Quality - 15% 5
  • Ease Of Set Up - 5% 7

The Skinny

The Maclaren Quest Sport was discontinued in 2015.

Unfortunately wanting to like something doesn't always translate to actually liking it. This stroller had many of the things we liked in a product of its type, like a nice canopy, storage bin, and adjustable cozy seat, but it all isn't enough to make the stroller one we can recommend. Given its higher price tag, the third highest in our review, it should have done a better job at doing what it does. While we don't think you will hate this stroller, and should you be given it as a gift we think it will meet many needs and desire, however, there are strollers out there that do the job better for a more reasonable price. Even those that were more expensive had some interesting features and quality additions that make them better options than the Quest.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The Quest Sport is a lightweight travel stroller that is suitable for children from newborn up to 55 pounds. It has a 5-point harness, under seat storage, and adjustable leg rest. The seat back reclines, the canopy is water proof and attaches to the seat back, and it sports ergonomic handles. It comes with a weather shield, carry handle, and washable seat covers. This stroller is made by Maclaren and comes with a warranty.

Performance Comparison


The 16 top lightweight umbrella strollers included in our review
The 16 top lightweight umbrella strollers included in our review

Ease of Use


This product did poorly in the ease of use category, with only 3 strollers scoring lower. It scored only 4 of 10, which is a disappointment for a stroller made by a manufacturer with such a good reputation. The other Maclaren stroller we reviewed, Maclaren Triumph, scored better in this metric earning a 6.

Storage
Seat back accessory pocket  and under seat storage bin on the Quest Sport. The storage bin is hard to access due to a stabilizing cross bar
Seat back accessory pocket, and under seat storage bin on the Quest Sport. The storage bin is hard to access due to a stabilizing cross bar
The Quest has a medium sized storage bin under the seat bottom. It has a maximum capacity of about 4 pounds which means it might be able to fit a standard diaper bag, but there better not be much in it. The ease of access for this product wasn't great due to a strangely placed cross bar that prevented the back from being totally available. The bin can be accessed from all sides, but it all becomes more difficult when the seat back is reclined. There is a secondary storage pocket on the back of the canopy. This pocket can hold just over 1 pound.

Sun Shade
McLaren Quest Sport with canopy closed
McLaren Quest Sport with canopy fully open
The photos above show the canopy transition.

The sun shade on the Quest is an average size canopy that is rated at 50 SPF.The back of the canopy covers the back of the seat when reclined, but it does not officially attach by any method. It can be opened for increased ventilation or to access the rider from behind. The canopy has lock out arms that keep it taut, and there is a peek-a-boo window on the back of the canopy, but you can't see much of the baby with the window unless the seat is reclined.

Convenience
Seat back accessory pocket  and under seat storage bin on the Quest Sport. The storage bin is hard to access due to a stabilizing cross bar
Seat back accessory pocket, and under seat storage bin on the Quest Sport. The storage bin is hard to access due to a stabilizing cross bar
This product has a pocket attached to the back of the canopy with a hook and loop closure. Unlike other parent storage pockets, like the Joovy Groove, it cannot store cups or bottles, and is really better suited to small personal items like keys or a phone. While it may not do everything, it does do some things, and many strollers didn't offer a parent accessory option at all.

The leg rest on this stroller is adjustable and has two settings, straight out and curved down. The latches hold it up and have to be manually engaged otherwise it defaults to the down position. This helps little ones catch a better nap than they would in a stroller that doesn't have an adjustable leg rest. The stroller also comes with a cover that attaches to the seat sides with 4 snaps to function as a bassinet for littler ones. The reclining feature has four settings and is adjustable with just one hand to move it up or down.

Maneuverability


Front wheels on the Quest tended to catch on the smallest thing prohibiting forward motion
Front wheels on the Quest tended to catch on the smallest thing prohibiting forward motion
This Maclaren stroller had a better score for maneuverability than its little brother, Maclaren Triumph, it still isn't enough to make it stand out in this category. For pushing and turning on pavement and hard surfaces it was more difficult than most of the products we tested. This is where a product of this type should really feel at home, so it isn't a good thing to have trouble here. It was also difficult to turn with one hand, and the wheels tended to catch and inhibit forward motion.

Full swivel front wheels on the Maclaren Quest Sport can be locked out for more control
Full swivel front wheels on the Maclaren Quest Sport can be locked out for more control
For non-pavement movement it didn't get any better. It is hard to turn in the grass, wouldn't roll over even a 1 inch curb, but the back wheels were close enough together that at least it didn't get stuck in a storm drain. It was also hard to push through gravel.

This rig also had some trouble with the curb and stair tests, but not as much as some of the other strollers. While the brakes did catch somewhat when the stroller was tipped back and edged up over the curb, they didn't fully engage or lock up so it was still possible to move the stroller without having to support its full weight. It did click and need brake adjustment when it reached the next level, but at least it moved.

Safety


Safety is something we are always concerned about. We tested and reviewed different features for safety concerns; including harnesses, brakes, and tipping tests. The Quest scored below average for this metric, but it is still on par with many of the products we tested. The product that scored the highest in this metric was the Quinny Yezz.

Brakes
The brake engagement mechanism on the Maclaren Quest is a rocker foot pad
The brake engagement mechanism on the Maclaren Quest is a rocker foot pad
The brakes on this product are fairly average compared to the others we tested for applying and disengaging them.
Close up of brake engagement mechanism on the Maclaren Quest Sport
Close up of brake engagement mechanism on the Maclaren Quest Sport
They are a single brake control that is easy on the feet, even when wearing sandals. The brakes snap in place easily, but we noticed it is best to check them to ensure they both engage. It takes almost 7 pounds of pressure to get this stroller to slide backwards with the brakes locked, and just about 5 ½ pounds to elicit a forward slide. These measurements were similar to many of the strollers with only a few being real standouts. The top scorer for this test was the Quinny Yezz which needed over 1 pounds before it moved back and 15 before it slid forward.

Harness
This 5-point harness on the Quest Sport is not padded
This 5-point harness on the Quest Sport is not padded
This 5-point harness system is a pain to adjust.
The release buckle on the Maclaren Quest Sport is stiffer than most and can require two hands to operate for some users
The release buckle on the Maclaren Quest Sport is stiffer than most and can require two hands to operate for some users
The adjustment buckles for the shoulder straps sit right near baby's ears, which means fitting it to a squirmy child is going to be harder than our stationary stunt baby. Once adjusted it did fit the baby fairly well. The release button is stiffer than most on this stroller, and is certainly not one a child can open on their own. In fact, it can take two hands for some folks to release this buckle. Only a few other harnesses were this difficult to adjust and fit. This harness is not padded at any point.

Tipping

This product had a side tipping point of 27 degrees. This is on par with many of the other strollers we looked at, and was better than average which was just under 26 degrees. It required 31 pounds of pressure hanging off the back before it tipped over backwards. This is below average, but nowhere near the bottom of the group which was the UPPAbaby G-Lite, which needed only 18 pounds.

Quality


The overall quality of this Maclaren Quest stroller was less than we expected
The overall quality of this Maclaren Quest stroller was less than we expected
The quality of this item was also below average and similar to the other Maclaren stroller we tested. The seat fabric is soft, but it did snag when we tried to elicit a snag, and it looks like it will absorb spills easily. The seat fabric is only hand washable and is not water resistant. The fabric did not seem to fit tightly on the frame and sort of sagged a little where it really shouldn't have.

The frame itself is almost identical to the Triumph, with the exception of the structure for the reclining feature. The frame is sturdy, doesn't flex much, and the connections are simple and tight. The wheels are better quality than many of the products we reviewed, but their smaller size, and lack of shocks, made the stroller a little bit unsteady.

The quest handles have a foam sleeve for added comfort
The quest handles have a foam sleeve for added comfort
The handles for this product are a good height and are covered in a foam sleeve. The foam enhances the overall hand-friendliness of the handles, we felt it would help make them more comfortable pushing the stroller longer distances or when weighted down with a heavier child. The wheels are set more forward than many of the strollers we reviewed, but the fold release hangs low between the back wheels which some users did end up kicking when taking longer strides or moving quickly.

The comfort of this product isn't the best either. It has a sling style seat with very little padding; so even though it had the adjustable back and leg rest, it just wasn't all that cozy. Add to the experience a stiff frame with no shocks, and it just can't compete with the other strollers in this category.

Weight and Folded Size


The Maclaren quest Sport in the folded position
The Maclaren quest Sport in the folded position
Weight and Folded Size

This product is just over the average for weight and under the average for cubic inches. It weighs in at a little over 14 pounds, which may sound like a lot but is almost 5 pounds less than the heaviest product we tested. While the lightest product was closer to 8 pounds, Jeep Wrangler All-Weather, it also scored so poorly it is hardly a contender. Once folded it measures out at 10x41x12, and 4920 cubic inches. This made it one of the shortest umbrella fold style strollers in our review. Even two of the lighter products were not as short as this stroller. Only 4 out of the 16 products were smaller when folded, and two of those folded in half not in like an umbrella.

Ease of Folding

This product is a true one hand fold that offers an auto-lock feature but no self-stand capability, but it did have a handy carry strap for easier transport once folded. The stroller had a lot of play once locked and expanded as much as 6 inches when leaned against a wall. It takes 3 steps to close this product, which is on par with most of the strollers we reviewed, and it is sandal friendly for sensitive feet. It was equally as easy; after releasing the lock feature the stroller falls open and there is just one pedal to engage for a full open. This product scored better than 10 of the others we reviewed in this metric.

Commuting
The lower seat bottom on the quest Sport isn't as café friendly as some of the taller products we reviewed
The lower seat bottom on the quest Sport isn't as café friendly as some of the taller products we reviewed
This stroller earned above average marks for commuting, but the score was still nothing to write home about. It has some nice features for commuting, primarily the light weight, short length, and handy carry strap all of which make it easier to get into and out of a trunk or to carry on public transport. However, the 6 inch possible expansion when folded was a hassle and the seat bottom was so low to the ground it is not great for sitting at cafes and chatting with friends. Tots will only have a good look at the underside of the table and the potential gum stuck there. A hands free standing mechanism would have helped this stroller earn more points, or a seat bottom that sat higher than 12 inches off the ground.

Ease of Setup


This product took just over 4 ½ minutes to set up from box to ready to stroll. It comes fully assembled right out of the box, but it took over 4 minutes to find the page in the documentation that explained how to open the stroller. The documentation are an international style that seem to have too much information and not enough all t the same time. A quick start guide would have been a great help and decreased the setup time to less than a minute. Better illustrations, or actual photos would have also been useful.

Best Applications


There may not be a best application for this particular stroller. With a higher than average price tag, it really should be able to act as more than an easy to transport umbrella type product. Yes, it has a storage bin and additional pocket on the canopy, and yes it can recline with an adjustable leg rest, but it just failed to execute any of the features to the same level as many of the other items we reviewed. When you also consider that many of the other products we reviewed either scored significantly higher or were less expensive, it made this stroller hard to find an application for.

Value


While this stroller was not the most expensive stroller we reviewed, that honor goes to the Mountain Buggy Mini, it was the third most expensive. This inflated price tag meant we had higher expectations for this particular stroller, expectations that were not met. There isn't anything wrong with this rig in particular, there just isn't that much right with it for the price. There were 10 other products in our review that scored higher for a cheaper price.

Conclusion


This stroller has a nice short length and a doable weight that makes it easier than most to carry a long distance. It has many of the conveniences and extras we like to see including a nice canopy, under seat storage, parent accessory pocket, and a recline seat with adjustable leg rest, but it failed to do these things well. In the end, it did not score well in our tests, and came in just 13th out of the 16 products reviewed. All this made it a product we just can't recommend, even if we wanted to. Our Editors' Choice, the UPPAbaby G-Luxe, is cheaper than this product and had more options that were done better than the Quest. It is ridiculously fun to look at and will draw you to it in a way the Quest Sport just can't. Even our Best Value pick, the Chicco Liteway earned 10 points more, has many similar features, but is over $100 less than the Quest.

Maclaren Quest Sport
The UPPAbaby G-Luxe
The Chicco Liteway
The photos above show the Maclaren Quest Sport (left), UPPAbaby G-Luxe (middle), and Chicco Liteway (right).

Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz