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Hands-on Gear Review
Maclaren Twin Triumph ReviewPrice: $350.00 List | $249.99 at Amazon - 29% off
Pros: Nice quality, easier to use
Cons: Higher Price, large, heavy, frustrating harness and buckle
Bottom line: Larger option with hard to use buckle and harness strap adjustment
The Maclaren Twin Triumph is an average stroller with a rank of 4 out of 9 double umbrella options. This stroller earned its highest score for quality, but its performance in general was sort of lackluster, and while it earned second place in metrics like Maneuverability and Ease of Use, its overall size and heft prevented it from scoring higher. In a gear category where weighing less and folding small is king, the Twin Triumph was the second largest and one of the heaviest. This stroller does offer nice seating, good canopies, and extra storage pockets that makes us feel like we can possibly overlook its shortcomings, but one attempt to adjust the harness or release the buckle leaves us unable to recommend this stroller. With a cheaper price than the Twin, the ZOE XL2 Deluxe scored higher in every metric but quality, and offers better storage, larger canopies, and is the lightest in the group.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Test pilot and aviation engineer Owen Maclaren started Maclaren in 1965 with a lightweight stroller that was easy to fold and travel with. He created his design by adapting his own design for aircraft landing gear, and the first umbrella stroller was born. His patented design was honored by the Queen and has remained essentially unchanged to this day.
Weight and Folded Size
The Triumph earned a 4 of 10 for weight and folded size. This stroller weighs 23 lbs and measures 12,519 cubic inches when folded. This makes it the second largest stroller in the group and not a good choice for parents with limited space. The ZOE XL2 Deluxe is almost 2000 cubic inches smaller and is about 6 lbs lighter. The Triumph does have a carry handle, but a shoulder strap would be nicer for a stroller this size.
Ease of Use
The Triumph Twin earned a 6 of 10 for ease of use, which is the second highest score in this metric. The Twin lost points in this metric thanks to a ridiculously difficult to use harness and stiff buckle. Alternatively, the ZOE XL2 Deluxe once again scores higher with an 8.
Fold and Unfold
The Twin has a two-handed fold that is initiated with the foot (above left), making it not great for sandaled feet. It does not self-stand, but it does have an automatic lock that works well. While it folds easily, you will need to bend all the way over to push it together and lock (above right).
The Twin brakes are some of the easiest to use and make a reassuring click sound when the pedal is engaged. They are sandal foot friendly, and smooth to set and release.
The Twin has 2 under seat storage bins that hold up to 4.4 lbs each (above left). The bins are medium in size and held our small diaper bag. The access isn't great, but the real problem is the opening is too small for most bags. This stroller also has a pocket on the back of each canopy that are easy to use and hold easy access items (above right).
The shades on the Twin are large, have a pop out visor and are SPF 50+. These canopies don't have peek-a-boo windows, but a panel zippers open for ventilation and visibility under the shade. The shades look nice and function well, but the ZOE XL2 Deluxe shades are larger than the Twin's and offer more coverage.
Maclaren makes the most difficult to use harnesses and buckles. The straps have a convoluted back and forth threading system that will leave you frustrated and tempted to go with "good enough", and the buckle is so stiff two hands doesn't feel like enough pressure to open it.
The Twin looks like it has a leg rest, but it is really just a flap of padded fabric. The seat backs do not recline flat, but it is far enough to fall asleep. The seats recline with a button push and slide, and sit upright the same way.
Ease of Setup
The Twin took us just over 6 minutes to set up and requires no tools. The real problem is a poorly designed manual that has 19 languages all mashed together instead of in divided sections. This takes extra time to sort through and follow, which leads to frustration and losing your place or accidentally skipping steps.
The Twin earned a 4 of 10 for maneuverability, which is the second highest for the maneuverability metric. The Twin has the dual front wheel design common on this kind of stroller, with 6 wheels in front that can veer off course easily with bumps in the road. This stroller steers and turns well, with occasional one-handed pushing possible on straight flat surfaces. Taller users might end up kicking the back of the stroller when strolling, but it did go over curbs without a hiccup. It does have problems with significant transition edges and struggles over small bumps and larger cracks.
The Twin earned an 8 of 10 for quality, making this the metric where the Twin really shines. Maclaren seems to take great care in choosing materials and components that work well together and connect securely to form a sturdy final product. While it still has commonalities with the competition, like plastic wheels and exposed fasteners, this one just looks nicer and feels better than most with little flex and high thread count fabric. Overall, one of the nicest in the group.
This Maclaren video gives an overview of the Twin Triumph.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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