Maxi Cosi is a very popular European-based company that made its US debut in 2007. Bringing their lightweight and stylish car seats across the pond, Maxi Cosi immediately started making an impact with moms across the country. Following the success of the car seats, Maxi Cosi then introduced two new strollers, the Perle and the Foray in 2008. Maxi Cosi didn’t stop there! Now, in 2009, The Loola is the newest addition (to the US – it has already been available in Europe) to the Maxi Cosi line of strollers.
By the looks of the fold, you would think it was a lightweight plus stroller but actually it is a full-size, heavy stroller with a compact fold. This is a solid stroller weighing in at a surprising 26 lbs!
The Loola has a very wide frame that spans 24 inches across the back which is a good 3 inches wider than other strollers like it. This wide frame creates a very stable stroller that is virtually untippable. With the heavy weight of the stroller and the wide base, you can hang all sorts of things on the handles without the stroller tipping over. Even with an empty seat, we loaded up the handles with shopping bags, a large diaper bag and a purse, and the stroller still didn’t tip backwards.
Unfortunately, with such a wide frame, the seat isn’t as roomy as you might think. The seat is padded, comfortable and complete with an adjustable, padded five-point harness, but, unfortunately, the canopy is very low which makes a cramped fit for even our toddlers! The Loola can accommodate up to 50 lbs but know that you will probably have to remove the canopy for a child 2 ½ years and older. There is an easy, one handed recline complete with 4 recline positions including almost, but not quite flat. Also included is a padded baby bar that is removable on both sides to make getting baby in and out easier.
A great feature, and one you will normally only find on the luxury strollers, is that the Loola has a reversible seat. The reversible seat option is great and allows your child to face you or out at the world.
The canopy is very large and sufficiently will shade your child and is complete with a very large mesh window on the back to keep an eye on your passenger. Even though the canopy is full-coverage we found that it’s either 1) set too far down on the frame and/or 2) isn’t rounded enough to give sufficient room for your taller riders. Our two year old tester’s head was crammed against the top of the canopy when sitting in the seat. And with the seat reclined? Forget about it! Our tester’s head popped out the back under the canopy.
The Loola’s two handles are adjustable but not telescoping. The handles have three positions. Even though the handles don’t telescope out, we didn’t have a problem with a long stride because the back of the stroller (where you would normally kick it) was up higher so we had plenty of room to walk. If you would like to try to maneuver the Loola one-handed, we would recommend turning the handles inward. This will give you the most leverage to turn the stroller with a heavier child aboard.
There is a rather large shopping basket underneath that will fit a medium size diaper bag or quite a few baby essentials. The basket is the only storage on the stroller. There are no other pockets or parent/baby trays to hold anything else. The Loola is also missing our beloved cup holder for mom!
Maneuverability is okay with the Loola. It does have heavy-duty shock absorbers and swivel wheels for a smooth ride for baby but it is definitely not a one-handed stroller! It is virtually impossible to turn this stroller with one hand with a toddler aboard. We figure this is due to the separated handles combined with the heavy weight of the stroller. Again, if you turn the handles inward, you will have the best chance to turn the stroller one-handed. The Loola sports four 7 inch wheels and there is a lock just below the handles to allow you to switch easily between fixed or swivel front wheels. There is a one-touch brake that locks both rear wheels with the press of the large red button next to the right rear wheel. You can release the brake easily by stepping on the blue button as well.
Now, the compact fold would clearly be our favorite feature on the Loola! It’s an easy two handed fold system. Press the two grey buttons on the handles and then press the handles down to unlock the frame. Then you pull up on the large handle on the back of the stroller in front of the basket, and the stroller folds upward into a very compact package. It even has a standing fold. Also, we think a carry handle on the side of the stroller would make traveling with this stroller easier.
There is a great rain cover included and the Loola is compatible with the Maxi-Cosi Mico Infant Car Seat to create a full travel system. The Loola retails for a pricey $429.99 and comes in three colors: Choco Mint, Oxygen Red and Oxygen Black. While we love the reversible seat and the compact fold, the Loola could use some improvements on the canopy, the lack of cup holders and parent/baby trays, and the fact that this stroller is nearly impossible to maneuver one-handed.
The Maxi Cosi Loola will be available in the US in June 2009!
To watch our full video review of the Maxi Cosi Loola Stroller, click the video below: