The Scottish founder of Maclaren, an aeronautical engineer named Owen Maclaren, invented the very first umbrella stroller in 1965 after his daughter complained about the weight and size of her baby buggy. Maclaren used his knowledge of airplane manifolds to build a light-weight, aluminum frame that could fold compactly and still possess great load-bearing capabilities.
The Triumph is one of Maclaren’s more budget-friendly umbrella strollers – if you consider $180 budget-friendly, that is. It doesn’t have as many features as the XT and XLR models, such as newborn suitability, but it doesn’t come with the hefty price tag either. The Triumph falls right in between the Volo and Quest models.
We found the seat to be very roomy measuring 13″ wide. The seatback isn’t the tallest with an 18″ measurement but with 28″ from seatback to canopy, our taller children fit with no problem. And with a high weight capacity of 55 lbs, this seat is definitely going to grow with your child.
The seat sports a 5-point, adjustable, contrast two-color harness with a fabulous buckle that is easy for mom but very hard for the child to do. Plus, we love that (like with other Maclaren strollers) this is not a wimpy harness – it is thick and strong to keep your baby in place.
The Triumph has a unique recline. It’s a strap recline with a big buckle clip. It is better than other Maclaren models which have two levers in the basket that you have to lift simultaneously to recline the seat. The strap recline can be done one-handed and since it doesn’t recline flat, the Triumph is only suitable for babies 3+ months.
The seat is 9 inches long where your child’s bum sits. While it lacks an adjustable leg rest (the more expensive Quest model has this!) it does have removable, washable seat fabric. There is no baby or parent tray on the Triumph but you can purchase the Maclaren Universal Organizer that will hold all your baby and parent essentials and two bottles.
We love that the two ergonomic, foam covered handles are taller than most umbrella strollers at 41″ from the ground giving both taller and shorter moms and dads a comfortable push without fear of kicking the rear wheels and eliminating the dreaded stroller hunch. Be careful about hanging anything on the handles because since the stroller is so lightweight it is tippy when you take your child out of the seat.
The Triumph canopy is large (and even larger than the 2010 model!) but not full-coverage. Since it doesn’t fold forward in front of the child, a canopy extension may be needed in super sunny climates. The canopy sports an argyle pattern in back (new for 2011!) but lacks a peek-a-boo window or any storage pockets.
There is a small basket underneath the stroller that will hold a small diaper bag, purse or baby essentials. It’s not the biggest basket on the market but is the typical size for an umbrella stroller. Also, the basket can be tricky to access if the seat is fully reclined. We can access it from the side for small items though.
The Triumph has an easy one-hand, one-foot fold. We are talking easy enough to fold it while holding your child! It folds easily and locks closed with an automatic lock. Love the automatic lock!! (Note: Like on many strollers, the basket has to be empty to fold.) There is even a removable, adjustable, shoulder strap that makes transporting and traveling with this stroller a breeze. And at a featherweight 12 lbs, it’s a perfect stroller for on-the-go, stairs and public transportation.
For a stroller that you will be pushing day in and day out with the extra weight of a rider aboard, everyone wants to know how it pushes! Absolutely fabulous! We found this stroller to glide along the pavement and smooth surfaces, easily turning on a dime with one hand. Have a 55 pounder jump in and you might need two hands but one hand is good for most babies! The wheels are 5” and allow us to hop curbs with ease and navigate bumpy streets, but like any umbrella stroller without suspension, it could be a bumpy ride and you can’t go jogging or off-roading with it. We do want to add that with the high performance aluminum frame it is solidly built so when you do raise the front wheels to hop a curb, the stroller doesn’t feel like it’s about to fall apart.
If you are curious, the main differences between the Maclaren Quest and the Triumph are: the Quest features a peeking window on the canopy and an adjustable footrest.
The Triumph comes in four fun colors for 2011: Charcoal (grey), Scarlet (red), Majesty (purple) and Crown Blue (royal blue). Overall, the Maclaren Triumph 2011 is a great on-the-go, umbrella stroller with a large seat, tall handles and a fabulously lightweight but sturdy frame.
To watch our full video review of the Maclaren Triumph 2011, click the video below: