The Scottish founder of the Maclaren company, 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. In the last 50 years, almost every company on the planet has borrowed from Maclaren’s design, but the company still produces the best umbrella strollers ever made.
The seat sports a 5 point, adjustable harness with a great buckle that is easy for mom but hard for the child. You have to squeeze the button on the front AND the back of the buckle to open. Our mischievous 3 year old couldn’t undo the buckle so had no choice but to stay seated. We love that! These are not wimpy harnesses either – they are thick and strong to keep your baby in place. In order to have this side by side stroller fit through doorways, the seats are a bit narrower than others at 11 inches wide. The seatback is also rather short with an 18 inch measurement but with 25 inches from seatback to canopy, our taller children fit with no problem. These seats are definitely going to grow (at least up) with your child. Have an extra tall child? The canopies slide up the frame to give even more headroom! If you slide the canopies up, you will have up to 30 inches from seatback to canopy! That would accommodate a freakishly tall child! Each seat has a weight capacity of 55 lbs with a total capacity of 110 lbs. That is approximately two 4th graders! Bottom line, the stroller will fit taller children comfortably but larger children may be a little squished on the sides.
The seats have 5 recline positions and recline to about 172 degrees. They do not recline completely flat but with a head hugger they can be used from birth. Note: The Twin Techno does not accommodate an infant car seat. Other thoughtful seat features are individual and adjustable leg rests that have two positions (up and down) and removable, washable seat fabric. While there is no baby tray or parent tray, the Twin Techno does come with two bottle holders in the back.
The Twin Techno has individual canopies that slide up the frame to adjust to accommodate the angle of the sun or give your little rider more headroom. You can also unsnap the back of the canopy and roll it up to open up the seat and allow air to circulate through to keep your child extra cool. The canopies aren’t the largest but they do have an extra sun visor that flips down and gives 10 extra inches of sun coverage. Each seat also has a very large viewing window (also known as a peek a boo window) on the back of the seats instead of on top of the canopy in an effort to keep the sun out of the baby’s eyes. The sun canopies are water resistant and a rain cover is included.
The Twin Techo sports tall, ergonomic, foam insulated handles. The handles are not adjustable but are 42″ from the ground. Even though the handles are taller, we did find taller parents may kick the rear center wheels with a long stride. If you are really tall, you definitely want to try the stroller out before committing to it because kicking the rear wheels all the time may be annoying for you.
There are two small baskets underneath the stroller. The baskets will hold a purse or baby essentials but not a large diaper bag. We’d like bigger baskets but we understand that they need to be small to keep the compact fold. Also, the baskets can be tricky to access if the seats are fully reclined.
The Twin Techno sports six – 6 inch wheels for maximum maneuverability and front and rear suspension for a smooth ride. The three front wheels lock straight but don’t expect to use the Twin Techno easily on rougher terrain. It performs well on flat surfaces but can be a little tricky over grass, rocks or playground mulch. There are individual brakes on the two outside rear wheels to lock the stroller into place. All the wheels sport reflective hubcaps new for 2010.
The way the stroller was designed gives the stroller great stability as well as making it easy to push. We were able to hop curbs with ease, navigate city streets, but like any umbrella stroller, you can’t go jogging or off-roading with it. But more than some other umbrella strollers we tested, the Twin Techno is solidly built so when you do raise the front wheels, the stroller doesn’t feel like it’s about to fall apart.
Many double strollers move well with two 10 pound babies aboard, but when you plop a 40-pound five-year-old and a 33-pound three-year-old in it, as we did, the truth comes out. And in the case of the Maclaren Twin Techno, we could still steer the stroller easily on flat ground but definitely with two hands. This isn’t a stroller that you will zip along with one handed fully loaded. Even with an 8 month old and a 3 year old aboard, we still could not turn this stroller with one hand. Maybe if there was a handle in the middle of the stroller to turn, it would be easier? But the two outer handles definitely makes this a two handed stroller.
Now, all that stability and durability comes at a small price. A heavier stroller! The stroller weighs in at 30 lbs which is heavier than other double umbrella strollers. But with the compact, umbrella fold, we still found it much easier to transport. Plus, there is a carry handle on the side to make traveling with it even easier.
The Twin Techno has a double umbrella fold. Folding the stroller is not too bad. It is definitely stiffer and harder to do when the stroller is new. Pull up the locks in back of both the seats with the top of your foot. Then step on the foot pedal on the right side to unlock the frame and push the handles forward to fold the stroller down. This is definitely not a flip-flop friendly stroller fold so you will need sturdy shoes to complete the fold. There are automatic locks that will engage if the stroller if folded down all the way. You may have to push down the frame a bit to get the locks to catch. Unfolding takes a little getting used to but still isn’t too hard to do. Release both side locks and pull up on the handlebars. Then, using your foot, you have to step down hard on both footplates to lock. It definitely takes some practice to get the stroller open because you have to pull the seats open as you step on those rear footplates.
You can purchase additional accessories for your Twin Techno including a double mosquito net, a carry bag, a twin universal organizer, and twin foot muffs.
With the Twin Techno there are no worn out wheels, broken handlebars, or ripped fabric making it a lifetime purchase.
To watch my video review of the Maclaren Twin Techno, click the video graphic below: