Maclaren has long been recognized as the pioneer in lightweight and travel-friendly umbrella strollers. Then there’s UPPAbaby, a relative newcomer in the stroller market that has been quickly garnering fans for its stylish, intuitive designs.
Can a mom-and-pop stroller company edge out an industry leader? Let’s see how well these two manufacturers’ offerings fare when we place them head-to-head.
But first, let’s do a little backgrounder on these two competitors.
Table of Contents
- 1 Maclaren: Iconic. Lightweight. Pioneering.
- 2 UPPAbaby: Innovative. Modern. Stylish.
- 3 2019 Maclaren Quest Arc vs. 2018/19 UPPAbaby G-Luxe
- 4 2018 UPPAbaby G-Lite vs. 2018 Maclaren Mark II Recline
- 5 2018 UPPAbaby G-Link vs. Maclaren Twin Triumph
- 6 The Final Word
Maclaren: Iconic. Lightweight. Pioneering.
Maclaren is one of the biggest players in the baby products industry, having a long illustrious history spanning more than 50 years.
After seeing his daughter struggle with her bulky baby pushchair onboard an aircraft, British aeronautical engineer Owen Maclaren used his expertise in aircraft design and lightweight structures in creating the six-pound B-01, the first collapsible baby buggy made of aluminum. The B-01 went on sale in 1967, completely revolutionizing travel for jet-setting parents with babies.
Today, Owen Maclaren’s legacy lives on in each Maclaren stroller, with all models it has since put out still bearing the iconic B-01 signature design. These include the Volo, Triumph, Techno XT, Techno XLR, Globetrotter, Mark II, and Quest.
UPPAbaby: Innovative. Modern. Stylish.
Founded in 2006, UPPAbaby is the brainchild of Rockland, Massachusetts, husband-and-wife tandem Lauren and Bob Monahan. UPPAbaby’s strollers are built around the ethos of providing “greater comfort and safety for baby, with convenience and style for Mom and Dad.”
While it may be a new name in the baby gear industry, UPPAbaby has already built a cult following among young, trendy parents looking for equally hip and trendy strollers. Even celebrity parents like Adam Levine, Eva Longoria, Haylie Duff, and Rose Byrne have been spotted tagging along their little ones in UPPAbaby strollers.
UPPAbaby currently offers two full-size stroller models, the Vista and Cruz, while it offers four variants under lightweight strollers (the Minu, G-Lite, G-Luxe), as well as a lightweight side-by-side stroller, the G-Link.
Maclaren offers sovereign lifetime warranty on all its strollers (provided you’re the original owner and you register your stroller within 60 days of purchase). As for UPPAbaby, you get an extended 3-year warranty if you register your stroller within 90 days of purchase.
Now that we’ve given you the manufacturer details, let’s do a comparison of each of these companies’ most popular models.
2019 Maclaren Quest Arc vs. 2018/19 UPPAbaby G-Luxe
Maclaren’s “full-featured lightweight sporty option” receives an update with the latest Quest Arc. Offering an incredibly light push weight, one-handed open and close, all-wheel suspension, and full recline capability, the Maclaren Quest Arc promises to deliver convenience, comfort, and safety in one nifty package.
- Lightweight and Compact. The Quest arc's basic weight is 13.7lb; ideal for newborns and children up to 55lb. You can do it all with one-hand- open, close, push and adjust the seat, footrest...
- Comfy and Perfect for Travel. The Quest arc's padded seat reclines into 4 positions and converts into a Newborn Safety System. Coupled with ultralight flat-free EVA tires and all wheel...
- Smart Product for Active Parents. The Quest arc includes a wind-resistant Raincover and is compatible with the Maclaren Carrycot. All Maclaren strollers have waterproof/ UPF 50+ hoods to...
UPPAbaby’s G-Luxe, a favorite among parents looking for a feature-packed lightweight stroller, also receives an upgrade in 2019. The features we love are still there—namely the one-hand recline, stand-alone fold, adjustable footrest, extendable sunshades, and an included cup holder—but with an updated, sleeker design, the G-Luxe now sports a more premium, luxurious feel.
- NEW! 2018 model G-LUXE Stroller
- One-handed actuated recline and adjustable footrest
- Large stretch knit canopy with extendable UPF 50+ sunshade for great sun and wind protection
With almost similar features and price points, the Quest Arc and G-Luxe are both frontrunners for best lightweight stroller. Let’s see how each of their features fare in this head-to-head.
One of the biggest changes to the Maclaren Quest Arc from previous models is the handle—instead of two, you get one solid handlebar (hence the name Arc). This translates to greater maneuverability and easier one-handed steering (a bonus for multitasking parents—you get to hold your drink while pushing your stroller!).
Good news if you’re on the tall side: the handlebars on the Quest Arc are adjustable, with buttons on either side of the handlebar that you push, extending the handlebar to a height of 44 inches max.
On the other side, the UPPAbaby G-Luxe has a height clearance of 43″, which makes it a good choice for tall parents. The fixed-height double handlebars, unlike the previous version, now come in hard plastic instead of foam wrapping—not as cushy, but easier to clean.
Folding down the Quest Arc is easily done in three steps. First, with canopy folded down, you lift up the red lever at the bottom of the T-bar. Next, push down with your foot on the lever to the side of the stroller. Then squeeze the center of the handle till it folds all the way down and meets the front wheels.
As for the G-Luxe, foldup is easy and requires no foot action with its hand-level folding triggers. Another edge that the G-Luxe has over the Quest Arc is that it stands on its own, allowing for quick and easy storage.
Both the Quest Arc and G-Luxe come with a carry strap so you can sling your stroller on your back when you’re not using it.
The G-Luxe’s storage basket is now made more accessible with the carry strap out of the way, giving you plenty of space to store your essentials.
As for the Quest Arc, aside from the carry strap, the cross bar supporting the stroller frame makes it tricky to stuff and get your items from the back.
Both models have an additional storage pocket on the back of the seat, which is useful for keeping your phone and keys close by.
True weight on the G-Luxe is 16.3 lbs. while the Quest Arc has a basic weight of 13.71 lbs. (frame and seat only).
With a width of 13″ and a tall seat back height of 20″, the G-Luxe is sure to grow with your baby. The recline, while deep, isn’t fully flat though, which is why UPPAbaby recommends it for use with babies 3 months and up to 55 lbs.
The seats on the G-Luxe are made of thick, stain- and liquid-resistant padding, so you don’t need to worry about spills. UPPAbaby’s done away with the removable liner in the older version too, but the seat is still machine-washable.
Width and seat back height on the Quest Arc are 13″ and 18″, respectively. The seats recline fully flat, making it suitable for use with newborns up to 55 lbs. As an added safety measure, you can put the leg rest up and attach the mesh foot barrier on either side of the frame to create a safe cocoon for your newborn. Just like the G-Luxe, the seat fabric on the Quest Arc is removable and machine washable.
The new G-Luxe comes with 5.5″ single rubber wheels in front (double at the back), which makes for smoother riding across most terrain. The Quest Arc comes with forever-air 6″ EVA wheels (one in front, two in the back) and promises a smooth, comfy ride with all-wheel suspension.
Another thoughtful improvement on the latest G-Luxe is the separate brake and release pedals. In the previous model, you had to step on one pedal to stop and release by flipping the same pedal up with your foot (a bit inconvenient if you’re wearing open-toe sandals or don’t want to nick your leather shoes). This time, color-coded pedals on either side that you step on (red means stop, green means go) save your toenails from accidentally getting stubbed.
As for the Quest Arc, you still get the same cable-linked parking foot brake as in the older Quest, which is convenient but isn’t very flip-flop friendly.
The Quest Arc provides plenty of coverage with an extendable UPF 50+ canopy; simply zip down the sides to give baby extra sun protection. The inner canopy comes with breathable mesh sides for added comfort, and there’s also peekaboo window that you keep closed with noiseless magnetic closures.
As for the UPPAbaby G-Luxe, the sun bearing down on your little one will be the least of your concerns with its huge UPF 50+ canopy that now comes in three panels, aside from the extendable shades. Sporting a new dome design, the G-Luxe’s canopy offers greater height clearance—perfect for tall toddlers. Unlike the Quest Arc though, the G-Luxe doesn’t come with a peekaboo window.
The Quest Arc comes with a free raincover and tether strap. The G-Luxe has an included cup holder on the side.
Both these strollers sit on the premium end of the lightweight stroller category; the 2019 Quest Arc retails at $345 (just $25 more than the double-handled Quest) while the 2018 G-Luxe is cheaper at $279 (grey frame) and $299 (black frame). A bit steep, but well worth what you pay for with their premium material and superior features.
2018 UPPAbaby G-Lite vs. 2018 Maclaren Mark II Recline
From the premium lightweight category, let’s switch to UPPAbaby’s and Maclaren’s contenders for budget lightweight strollers—or shall we say super lightweight strollers.
Enter the UPPAbaby G-Lite and the Maclaren Mark II. Both weigh as light as a gallon of milk, fold up easily and compact, and are perfect for quick trips and errands, even for taking aboard on flights. Check out more of their features below.
- NEW! 2018 model G-LITE Stroller
- Mesh sling seat for breathability and comfort without adding weight
- Zipper recline
- Basic weight of 7.3lb; Ideal for children 6 months and up to 55lb.
- A two-position recline seat with breathable mesh center panel inserts
- Includes: coordinating liner, buggy ID tag and premium wind-resistant raincover
Weight and Dimensions
The Mark II currently holds the world record for the lightest full-size reclining stroller with a basic weight of 7.94 lbs (8.6 if you add in the weight of the hood, storage basket, and carry strap). In contrast, perhaps owing to its oversized canopy, the G-Lite is heavier at 11.2 lbs.
The G-Lite collapses to a length of 15.7″ and a width of 10.6″ when folded. The Mark II, on the other hand, is 8″ wide and 7″ deep when folded.
While it’s light and portable, the G-Lite has a handlebar height of 42.3″, making it ideal for taller moms and dads. Ergonomic foam handles ensure a comfortable grip.
The Mark II is not as tall as the G-Lite, the handles reaching only up to 40.5″. One thing to like about the Mark II is that it comes with super soft closed cell antimicrobial handles.
Both the Mark II and G-Lite come with a two-position zip recline and are recommended for babies ages 6 months and up to 55 lbs. The seats on these two are made of breathable mesh, making them perfect for summer afternoon strolls. Additionally, they’re removable and machine-washable (including the seat liner that comes with the Mark II).
Here’s the Mark II:
and the G-Lite:
On the downside, with the limited recline as well as the absence of leg rests, the Mark II and G-Lite may not be the most conducive for naps. Still, they’re good for when you’re taking your baby on short walks or quick errands.
Just like on the G-Luxe, the latest G-Lite sports a redesigned extendable UPF 50+ canopy.
The Mark II has a waterproof UPF 50+ canopy with a kickout visor and a square peekaboo window.
Folding up the G-Lite is done via the hand triggers on either handle. (While you won’t need to use your foot, you will need both your hands for folding.) Also, learning how to fold the G-Lite requires a bit of a learning curve, as you will have to simultaneously push the buttons on either handle and pull the ring trigger on the left. Other than that, the stroller stands on its own and comes with a carry strap so you can just sling it around your back when you’re not using it.
As for the Mark II, just lift up the T-bar at the back, push the handles down, lift it up by the straps and you’re good to go. Unlike the G-Lite, however, it doesn’t self-stand.
The updated G-Lite comes with a larger basket that holds up to 10 lbs of stuff. Unlike on the G-Luxe though, the G-Lite doesn’t come with a small pocket on the back of the seat (although you do have the option of buying a separate parent organizer).
The Mark II comes with a generous-sized mesh basket underneath that holds up to 4.4 lbs. However, we found that getting larger items in and out of the basket a bit difficult with the hexagonal tubing at the back getting in the way. And like the G-Lite, there are no zip pockets in the Mark II too.
Just like on the Quest Arc, the Mark II has cable-linked brakes and a single lever that you step on and pull up with your foot to engage and release, respectively.
The G-Lite, on the other hand, comes with double-action brakes that take a bit of effort to engage and release, but are nonetheless compatible for use with open-toe sandals.
The Mark II comes with small smooth EVA dual wheels (eight in all) that offer 4-wheel suspension.
The G-Lite features 4.7″ hard plastic wheels with all-round suspension. There are 4 wheels each on the front and in the back, which surprisingly doesn’t affect maneuverability as much.
UPPAbaby thoughtfully makes strollers with cup holders already included. (Pro tip: You can lower the cupholders to child level so they can use it with their drinks too.)
As for the Mark II, each stroller purchase comes with a cupholder, a seat liner, a stroller ID tag (useful if you’re gate-checking your stroller), a wind-resistant raincover, as well as a tether strap.
Small stroller wheels are often notorious for getting stuck on gratings. Thankfully with Maclaren, they offer replaceable wheels that you can install yourself, sparing you the hassle of having to send in your stroller for servicing.
The G-Lite retails for between $180 and $200—cheaper than the G-Luxe, but understandably not as feature-rich. The Mark II is priced similarly at $200.
2018 UPPAbaby G-Link vs. Maclaren Twin Triumph
Lastly, let’s look at UPPAbaby’s and Maclaren’s twin strollers, the G-Link and the Twin Triumph. Compact and lightweight (for a double-seated stroller), the G-Link and Twin Triumph make a good everyday stroller if you have twins.
- lightweight aluminum frame with side by side seats
- Independent one-handed recline with 4 seat positions
- Infant support system with Seats that fully recline and include plush head inserts and snap-on mesh foot barriers transforming the G-LINK into a safe and comfortable environment for your...
- Basic weight of 21.2lb; Ideal for children 6 months and up to 110lb.
- A multi-position recline seat with leg support cushion
- Includes: premium wind-resistant raincover
On a side note, Maclaren has one other side-by-side stroller, the Twin Techno, but for now we’ll focus on the Twin Triumph, which is closest in price to the G-Link.
(On yet another side note, UPPAbaby has released the newest version of the G-Link, which you can check out in their preview here.)
Weight and Dimensions
The G-Link has a true weight of 24.5 lbs. (canopy, wheels, and basket included), while the Twin Triumph weights in at a whopping 30.42 lbs.—one of the heavier double strollers in the lot.
A usual gripe parents have with side-by-side strollers is the challenge navigating it through doorways and narrow aisles poses. With a width of 30″ and 28.7″, respectively, the G-Link and Twin Triumph have no problem fitting through most standard doorways.
As to height, the G-Link and Twin Triumph share almost the same height at 41″ and 41.3″ tall, respectively.
The G-Link offers a footless one-action fold and is self-standing to boot. There’s a lock on each side too to make sure your stroller stays safely folded.
On the other side, the Twin Triumph folds easily in a few steps: fold down the canopies, release the two locks on each side, push down on the T-bar, then fold the handles till they meet the front wheels.
Instead of a carry strap, you get a carry handle on the side of the frame on both strollers.
There are four sets of dual wheels on the G-Link while on the Twin Triumph you have six. Interestingly, despite this difference, most parents prefer the overall handling on the Twin Triumph than on the G-Link. However, as with most twin strollers that come with six sets of dual wheels, accidentally kicking the center wheels is a usual occurrence, and it’s not much different with the Twin Triumph.
The G-Link is suitable for use from birth up to 55 lbs. for each seat. It comes with an included Infant Support System, comprising head inserts and mesh foot barriers for securely transporting your newborn cargo. There’s an adjustable leg rest too for your little ones’ added comfort.
The Twin Triumph, while equipped with multiple seat positions, doesn’t recline fully flat, so it’s recommended for use with babies 6 months old up to 110 lbs. for both seats. Additionally, it doesn’t have an extendable leg rest; what you get is basically just a couple of inches of the stroller fabric hanging down from the seats.
Seats on these two recline independently to cater to each child’s preference and are removable and washable.
UPPAbaby is known for making canopies that give superior coverage, and the ones on the G-Link are no exception. You get a set of extra large canopies with pop-out visors that provide UPF 50+ sun protection.
The Twin Triumph is not to be beat too, with this latest version bearing a pair of oversized hoods and kickout sun visors.
What’s better than having a large under-seat basket and storage pockets? Having two of them—which is what you get in both the G-Link and Twin Triumph.
Here’s the G-Link:
It’s worth mentioning though that getting items in and out of the Twin Triumph’s oversized basket can be tricky with the seats reclined as it comes with a high back (a safety feature they added to keep newborn infants from accidentally sliding out).
Both the G-Link and the Twin Triumph come with a linked foot brake: on the Twin Triumph, the red lever is at the center of the wheel base, while on the G-Link you find it on the right side.
The Twin Triumph retails for $400, while prices for the G-Link start at $400 to $430, depending on the whether you pick the grey frame or the more expensive black frame.
Bonus and Extras
With the G-Link, you get a cup holder with your purchase. Not the case for the Twin Triumph (you can purchase one separately at $15), but you do get a premium raincover.
The Final Word
When it comes to strollers, both the UPPAbaby and Maclaren do not disappoint with what they have to offer. Both brands have their strengths too: UPPAbaby has carved a niche for itself making trend-setting but feature-packed strollers, while Maclaren relies on its reputation for putting out tried-and-tested and durable buggies (as the British call them). So whichever stroller you choose, you’re sure to get your money’s worth.