Maxi Cosi Foray Stroller: Hits its stride

03/27/2008 at 10:19 AM ET

maxicosi1 (2).jpg First of all, I have to say, Maxi Cosi where were you when I had my last three kiddos? Oh I know, you were off romancing the Europeans, keeping them happy. Leaving me lonely and longing for a brand like you. I admired you from a distance, through the global windowpane that is my computer screen. Well Maxi, I am so gosh-darned glad that you are here for me this time around that I just want to give you a big hug and heartily welcome you to our humble shores! I love your style, I love your infant carseats and now with the discovery of your new Mico carseat compatible Foray stroller I am finding myself in baby "system" heaven.

The Maxi Cosi Foray Stroller is a full sized, lightweight, multi terrain stroller that is suited for city and light trail use. With bouncy air tires, an exceptionally smooth ride, and a lightweight aluminum frame, it’s ready to take on any number of strolling challenges. The seating options are versatile and well suited/comfortable for newborns on up through tall three year olds. The quality of the materials and finish is impeccable, and as you tour the stroller, you will find that many thoughtful touches have been incorporated into the design, from the ground on up.

Click continue reading for more detailed information about this stroller, action pics and where to buy.

foray2.jpg The Seat
First of all this clean lined seat is generously sized. It’s not a stroller your child is likely to outgrow — it’s with you from start to finish. My tall 3.5 yr old son will vouch for the comfort and roominess. I expect a stroller to last from birth to at least three years of age. But not many strollers pass my son’s height test (he is a size 5 at the gap for reference) and since having such a tall child, I have looked at strollers in a brand new light. The seat is amply padded and supportive. It offers three recline positions (upright, semi and fully reclined) in both the forward and backward facing modes.

Switching between modes/detaching and attaching the seat is extremely easy and is demonstrated in this video. There are three height adjustments for the safety harness straps and the straps themselves, as well as the strap pad bindings, boast reflective safety tape. The five point harness is easy to latch and does not have a lot of pinch potential (for you or baby) because the latch posts slide in top to bottom, rather than side to side, and are backed by a padded shield. A foam covered bumper bar at the front of the seat unlatches quickly from either side, making it very easy for older toddlers to get in and out on their own, and provides a place to attach toys or accessories (such as my favorite Carry You Sienna Snack Tray).

I love bumper bars but they can be a pain with older kids when they don’t swing away. It’s nice that this one can swing from either side. The bar is hinged at the end points so it really does swing completely out of the way. And if you decide not to use the bumper bar at all, it can be removed. maxi3.jpg

My two favorite features of the seating on the is stroller are the higher placement of the seat and the fully featured and sturdy hood. The seat is nicely placed at table height. So when you are out at your neighborhood bistro or sipping your latte at Starbucks, your child can be pushed right up to the table. It means that your child is closer to you to chat with out on walks and that they are not at the same height as every car exhaust pipe that rolls past. And it also means there is no chance of your child reaching down and futzing with the stroller wheels as you stroll along, which is very reassuring!

As for the hood, it is really a beaut. There are UV protected side "peekaboo" panels on either side and an oversized parent view window up top. The hood is already generously sized but for those days when you need a little extra coverage, there is a way to extend the hood by undoing a zip at the back. It operates very quietly and even comes with a rain cover that is very quick and easy to zip onto the front of the hood.

At the time of this writing, the Foray Stroller is only available in one color combination. It’s not a bad combination, it’s actually quite handsome in grey and tan tech. But I’d love to see this stroller in some other color combos, especially considering the beautiful array of colors available on the Mico Carseats.

The Frame
The oval shaped aluminum that makes up the Foray frame is lightweight yet very sturdy. It is exceptionally well balanced and does not feel tippy at all, nor does it feel shaky like some aluminum strollers can. This may be because of the wide placement of the rear air tires. They are wide enough to lend stability and a solid sidewalk gripping stance, but not so wide that they will impede your progress through doorways and store aisles. A telescoping handle allows you to height adjust the stroller to the person pushing. Those who are lost without a beverage will be happy to hear that a swiveling cup holder comes standard with the Foray.

The stroller steers easily with one hand, and even one finger. Shock absorbers keep the ride smooth for your baby and I was amused to note that my latte did not splatter in the cupholder. That’s smooth! Other nice features about the frame are the push to lock brake — no shoe scuffing — and the enclosed basket at the bottom. It’s adequately sized for one bag of groceries, or an average sized diaper bag and sweater but don’t expect to hit the farmer’s market and stash all your produce for the week down there! Access to the basket is easy no matter what position the seat is in — due to the fact that the seat sits well above the basket and there is good clearance.

One last nice feature about the frame is the foot plate at the front. It is treaded and provides a perfect step up for an independent toddler who wants to climb into the stroller by themselves. It certainly makes the entry and exit from the stroller smoother and easier for mom and child. maxi5.jpg If you wish to use the Foray frame with a Maxi Cosi Mico Infant Carseat, you will have a seamless system and no need to purchase another stroller option to use with your infant’s carseat. The Mico clicks down to attach on and off the frame with the same ease as the dedicated seat, no adapters needed, making the Foray plus the Mico a first rate stroller "system" that will carry you through the first year of life and then beyond.

The Fold
You should know that in order to fold the Maxi Cosi Foray, you will have to first remove the seat (or the carseat if you are using it as a stroller system with a Mico car seat). Some parents do have a problem with this 2 piece breakdown, which is common amongst high end Euro Strollers. For my own daily use, it does not bother me in the least. I like having the versatility of using the frame with my infant carseat. I also find that a stroller may be less bulky and easier to store (and fit into a car trunk) when broken down into two pieces. The frame stands freely on it’s own when folded.

Removing the seat prior to the frame fold is simple and takes mere seconds. I am currently (at press time) in my last two weeks of pregnancy, and weak as a kitten from weeks of bedrest. Heavy lifting and stroller wrestling are not on my agenda at the moment, however I had absolutely no troubles taking this stroller to the mall this week. I was able to quickly and easily get it in and out of the car, assembled and disassembled. However if you are folding and reassembling this stroller at a theme park every time you hop on and off the tram, or frequently needing to fold for the subway I suppose it could get tedious. Then again, you probably should be shopping for a different type of stroller (such as an umbrella style stroller) if I have just described your stroller needs. In this case — check out the Quinny Zapp.

When I first read that there were four steps to the frame fold, I was a little worried. But steps one and two are done at the same time and then three and four are done at the same time as well. So it’s really more like two steps to accomplish the fold. Perhaps that sounds complicated. But it’s really not. To get a better idea of how the Maxi Cosi Foray folds, check out this excellent demonstrative video. It’s really simple and fast, and once you get it, it should not cause you any stress at all.

Final Thoughts
I am just blown away by how thoughtful, functional and well made this stroller is for the price. Its quality rivals much pricier brands and styles of strollers and yet, in many cases, I feel the Foray outperforms their competition. This stroller is an excellent choice for bus
y suburbanites who don’t want to buy multiple strollers and systems. It has the portability of a lightweight with the performance of a full size stroller and even performs as part of a system with an infant carrier. To be sure there are less expensive stroller systems out there, but none that touch the quality and sturdiness of this stroller. These wheels are not going to quit on you after a mere year of mall strolling, and your child is not going to outgrow this stroller. I think it is an excellent investment in a stroller that you will love to use from day one on. All the thoughtful touches will make you smile.

Pros
Versatility of seating options
Price — $299
Extremely comfortable to use

Cons:
Lack of color choice
2 piece fold may bother some people
Not entirely compact

Buy Yours
The Maxi Cosi Foray is sold exclusively at Babies R Us.

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MissT on

Any idea if it is compatible with other car seats. So far this is a frontrunner, but we don’t want to have to buy all new stuff to accommodate it.

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