Mountain Buggy vs Maclaren: Robust, Lightweight Strollers

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If you’re about to begin the search for a lightweight, regular stroller but you want something a little more substantial and feature-rich than a basic, budget umbrella model, you have a challenge on your hands!

Why Trust Us?

Because my full-time job is being mom to 2 precious daughters, and I know a thing or two about strollers. Besides personal experience, I get feedback from other moms who use these strollers every day and put all that research into our unbiased stroller buying guides

- Kyli

The range of strollers on the market these days is little short of mind-boggling. That’s why we’ve put together this comparison guide, featuring the Mountain Buggy Nano and the Maclaren Quest. These two strollers have been favorites with moms since their launch thanks to their superb array of features, robust build, and stylish looks.

Before we get into detail, let’s introduce you to the two manufacturers!

Table of Contents

Mountain Buggy: Off-road capability. Urban style.

Mountain Buggy is the first company to launch an all-terrain stroller.

Since the revolutionary off-road stroller’s appearance on the market in 1992, the company has expanded its outdoorsy range to include regular, umbrella, and super-lightweight compact strollers that are just as at home in the city as they are in the mountains.

Mountain Buggy Nano

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller, Black
  • Infant car seat ready ; no need to purchase additional adapters and now has a soft shell cocoon carrycot available (sold separately) for newborns
  • New, narrower compact size at just Dimension - 12 x 22 x 20 inches (Folded) with 44 lb. weight capacity and suitable for children up to 4 years
  • Easy two-step, compact fold meets regulations for airline carryon luggage. Travel bag and shoulder strap included

The Mountain Buggy Nano was created with the convenience of parents who like to travel light and on public transport in mind.

The Nano is ultra-compact, lightweight, and easy to fold. Once folded, the Nano is so compact you can take it onto many airlines as carry-on hand baggage, and it will fit into most airplane overhead lockers too. So, no more waiting in line at the airport baggage carousel with a fractious toddler in tow!

To see the Mountain Buggy Nano put through its paces, check out this video.

What we like

The Mountain Buggy Nano has plenty of appealing features, including:

  • Compatibility with most car seat brands and adapters are included in seat design
  • Large, extendable sun canopy
  • Huge, underseat storage basket
  • Simple, two-step folding mechanism
  • Easy to recline seat with extra mesh ventilation panel
  • Locking front pivot wheels

Room for improvement

  • The only real downside to the Nano is that the folded canopy covers your hands and catches your knuckles when you’re pushing the stroller.
  • Not suitable for newborns

Maclaren: Chic, lightweight, and durable

Maclaren strollers have been around since 1965 when the aeronautical engineer, Owen Maclaren created an ultra-light umbrella stroller to challenge the cumbersome, old-style prams that were a mom’s only choice at that time.

Maclaren’s first stroller weighed just six pounds and folded up like a golfing umbrella! Revolutionary! Since then, Maclaren has grown its range to include jogging strollers, lightweight travel strollers, and umbrella strollers too.

The Maclaren Quest

The Maclaren Quest is a top-selling, lightweight umbrella-style stroller.

Unlike most umbrella strollers, including the Nano, you can use the Quest for a newborn, thanks to its recline-flat seat. Another feature that moms love about this stroller is the enormous sun canopy that extends to give your child complete protection from the sun on hot days. That’s a significant plus point if you live in or travel to regions with a warm climate.

And if you have a large child, the Quest’s seat will cope with a weighty toddler up to 55 pounds, and the canopy is high enough to accommodate a tall child.

Here’s a video of the Maclaren Quest in action:


Things we like

There are several features that we especially like about the Maclaren Quest, including:

  • A ginormous canopy!
  • A breeze to push and maneuver, even over rough terrain
  • Big seat to accommodate a large, tall toddler
  • Can be used from newborn
  • Gives a smooth ride over uneven terrain

Room for improvement

  • Our main gripe with the Quest is that you don’t get a cup holder included, which seems a little stingy, given the price of this stroller.

Now let’s take a closer look and compare these two apparently similar strollers.

Mountain Buggy Nano vs. Maclaren Quest: Features that matter


The Nano has a wonderfully compact fold that’s easy to accomplish. Once folded, the Nano will fit comfortably into any car trunk, especially since the stroller’s wheels pop off. Also, you get a custom travel bag included with the stroller, so you can keep everything together and tidy. The folded dimensions of the Nano are 20” x 12” x 22.”

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller, Black

Although the Nano’s folding mechanism is smooth and easy, you do need two hands to achieve it, which can be a pain if you’re juggling a suitcase, the stroller, and two children. In theory, the folded Nano can be taken onto an airplane as hand luggage and stored in the overhead locker. However, it’s best to check with the airline before traveling, as specifications do vary.

In comparison, the Maclaren Quest has a typical umbrella fold that you can achieve with one hand. Unfortunately, to engage the automatic lock, you have to bend right down to the ground, which could be a problem if you’re trying to hold a squirming child with one hand! Also, the folded dimensions of the Quest are 41.3” x 9.4” x 11,” making it a little less compact than the Nano.

Maclaren Quest Stroller- Full-featured, lightweight and compact. Newborn Safety System™ and compatible with Maclaren Carrycot, extendable UPF50+/waterproof hood, accessories in the box


As well as being compact, the Nano is very lightweight at just 13 pounds.

The Quest comes in at slightly lighter than the Nano, weighing just 12.3 pounds. That makes this stroller easy to carry using a shoulder strap or carry handle.


The Nano has a full, generous seat with a capacity of 44 pounds that’s ideal for a large toddler or older child. The seat is 13″ wide and 18” high with a distance of 26” from the seat-back to the top of the canopy, which makes this stroller perfect for taller children.

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller, Black

The seat recline capability is pretty good, although it won’t lay completely flat, so it’s not suitable for a newborn. There’s also an adjustable leg rest to give your passenger more support.

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller, Black

The Quest has a seat of the same dimensions as the Nano but with a slightly more generous measurement of 27” from the seat back to the top of the canopy. Also, the Quest can accommodate a hefty child weighing up to 55 pounds. Thanks to the deep, four-position recline that includes an almost flat position, you can use the Quest for a newborn. You can remove the seat fabric and wash it in your washing machine should the need arise.

Maclaren Quest Stroller- Full-featured, lightweight and compact. Newborn Safety System™ and compatible with Maclaren Carrycot, extendable UPF50+/waterproof hood, accessories in the box

The Quest has many nice, infant safety features that you don’t get with the Nano. There’s a head barrier at the top of the seat and a hidden, adjustable mesh leg rest that attaches to the stroller’s frame. These features are perfect for keeping a small baby safely in the stroller’s seat. The five-point, adjustable harness is easy to unlock for parents but almost impossible for a toddler to manage. The harness straps are surprisingly thick and durable for an umbrella-style stroller.


The Nano has a decent-sized storage basket underneath the seat that is big enough for all your baby essentials.

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller, Black

The Quest also has a generous storage basket that will comfortably fit a small diaper bag and a few baby must-have items. Also, you get a large pocket on the reverse of the seat that will take a baby bottle, keys, your cell phone, etc. Unfortunately, the Quest doesn’t include a cup holder, which you would perhaps expect for a stroller in this price bracket.

Maclaren Quest Stroller- Full-featured, lightweight and compact. Newborn Safety System™ and compatible with Maclaren Carrycot, extendable UPF50+/waterproof hood, accessories in the box

Car seat compatibility

One big plus of the Nano is that you can attach an infant car seat without the need for any extra attachments. You can also buy a cocoon carrycot to use as a bassinet for a newborn, meaning that you can use this stroller from day one. The only potential here is that the cocoon is very compact, meaning that a long baby might quickly outgrow it.

Unfortunately, the Quest does not have a travel system option. However, you can use the stroller with a carrycot from birth, although you will need to buy this separately.

Sun canopy

The Nano boasts a decent sun canopy that you can buy in several different colors so that you can ring the changes and follow current style trends. Additional sun and rain covers are available to purchase separately. The main issue with the canopy that users have complained about is that, when it’s up, the canopy rests on the handlebar, which can be very irritating for the person pushing the stroller.

Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller, Black

The Maclaren Quest also boasts a massive canopy. Parents love the large, zipped-in panel and pop-out, UPF 50+ sun visor that provides even more sun protection for your child. The panel has mesh windows on either side that improve ventilation in hot weather. The only issue with the Quest’s canopy is that the plastic peek-a-boo window is situated on the reverse of the seat, rather than on the top of the canopy.

Maclaren Quest Stroller- Full-featured, lightweight and compact. Newborn Safety System™ and compatible with Maclaren Carrycot, extendable UPF50+/waterproof hood, accessories in the box

There’s no problem if you encounter a shower while you’re out and about because the Quest’s canopy is made from waterproof fabric. In really wet weather, you have the option to use the rain cover that you get with the stroller.

Maneuverability and handling

Like all Mountain Buggy strollers, the Nano handles beautifully on smooth surfaces. However, because it’s designed to be more for urban use, the Nano does struggle a bit on uneven terrain and sand, probably because of its small wheels. However, you can lock the front wheels into place to make pushing the stroller across rough ground much easier. There’s a rear wheel foot brake that’s easy to engage, and the Nano has rear wheel suspension to give a comfy ride.

The Quest has small, 6″ double wheels that are made from hard rubber. The front swivel wheels have a locking feature that’s useful when you’re negotiating uneven terrain. The Quest is straightforward to maneuver and handles uneven sidewalks, grass, and playground mulch with ease, including allowing you to push with just one hand! Additionally, the Quest is a more comfortable stroller to push over rough ground than the Nano, although it’s not designed or marketed as an all-terrain stroller.

The Quest has all-wheel suspension too, helping to absorb any bumps and giving your passenger a more comfortable ride. The stroller’s two link brakes lock both sets of wheels firmly into place, although the brake pedals are not flip-flop-friendly.


The Quest has ergonomically positioned, foam-covered handlebars that are placed 42″ from ground level. That’s fine for most parents, although the handlebars are not adjustable.

Maclaren Quest Stroller- Full-featured, lightweight and compact. Newborn Safety System™ and compatible with Maclaren Carrycot, extendable UPF50+/waterproof hood, accessories in the box

The Nano has a single, non-adjustable handlebar that is 38″ from the ground. The handlebar is foam-covered for comfort, and the height is adequate for most parents to push the stroller comfortably.


The Quest comes in an appealing range of colors that are updated each year. Currently, you can buy the Quest in eight color combos, including:

  • black
  • black/silver
  • cardinal/silver
  • charcoal/harbor blue
  • charcoal/primrose
  • medieval blue/jelly bean
  • medieval blue/silver
  • plum/marmalade

The Nano comes in an exciting and stylish range of colors and patterns that you can view at this link, including:

Wrapping it up

If you’re looking for a lightweight stroller that can go anywhere, the Mountain Buggy Nano has you covered, whether you travel by car, rail, or air. The ultra-compact fold means that this stroller will fit in any car trunk and even into an overhead luggage bin on an airplane. That said, there are a few compromises made in such a compact stroller. The seat is on the narrow side, and the push and ride are not that great over uneven terrain.

In comparison, the Maclaren Quest is slightly less compact, although it will still fit into most car trunks, and it is light enough to carry around comfortably. The ride and push you get with the Maclaren are superior to the Nano, and users report that it handles uneven sidewalks and rough terrain more smoothly.

So, if you’re looking for a lightweight, compact stroller that will travel with you and your family without taking up too much space or being a burden, either the Nano or the Quest would fit the bill. Both sit in a similar price bracket and offer comparable features. However, if you’re planning on using your new stroller for trips to the park or the beach, we think that the Quest would be a better option for you thanks to its superior handling and push over rough terrain.


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Alison Page