Mountain Buggy Duet – Hole in the Hood!!
When the Mountain Buggy Duet started to arrived in the hands of customers, one of the first questions on forums and Facebook was: “What is the hole in the hood for?”
My answer was that: on the prototype at the Harrogate Nursery Fair, the hole in the hood is in the position where we saw the one handed fold button situated. The block with the one handed fold button in can be just seen on our photos on this website, but it can be clearly seen as a black block with a white button on it, on the prototype of the Duet at Harrogate in the YouTube video here (approx 12-17 seconds in). The one handed fold has not gone into production (to date) and the usual Mountain Buggy fold was put onto the Duet.
But the one handed fold, and its position in the top of the right hand side hood (from behind) over the top bar, is clearly shown in Mountain Buggy’s own instruction booklet on Page 24:
Mountain Buggy Duet / Duo Instruction Booklet
However, when Mountain Buggy were asked on Facebook (August 18th) about the hole in the hood and what would be done about it, they had a different answer:
“…it’s there for (a) the tether strap, (b) to locate the toggle strap for the free rider, and (c) for accessories like the p&t mini diddie..”
However (a) there is no mention or picture of a “tether strap” in the Duet instructions. There are two straps – one for the user to put their hand through to tether the pushchair to themselves which is situated on the handlebar and can not be removed. Or there is the strap with a clip on which is used to keep the pushchair together when closed. I am assuming the latter is the one that Mountain Buggy refer to because it is attached to the bar near the hood hole, but this particular strap comes under the hood and down. There is no need for the strap to come over the hood and through the hole.
(b) The toggle strap for the Freerider is a small piece of cord like material that loops over the chassis to hold the Freerider out of the way when not being used. This can be located anywhere on the pushchair chassis depending on personal preference, and it is only a few millimetres thick and does not require a huge hole. In fact the tether strap and toggle strap together would fit into a tiny space. The Freerider is also an optional add on stroller board accessory for toddlers, and not everyone will need one or buy one.
(c) I do not understand why anyone would want to put a Phil&Teds bag onto a Mountain Buggy? Mountain Buggy are owned by Phil&Teds and thus the two brands are linked, and the Duet labels do bear the ‘Phil&Teds Most Excellent Buggy Company Ltd’ name. However each brand ie Phil&Teds and Mountain Buggy has its own identity which appear in all other respects to be kept separate ie their own accessories, colour schemes, straplines etc. To recommend mixing the two brands in such a way, is brand dilution and blurs the edges of each brand. I am not aware of any Mountain Buggy specific bags that would fit in the hole.
I have tried a Pacapod bag, and even have attached the Duet Storm Cover in the hole, and yes the hole is great place to hang things, but the bag straps go around the bar, which still leaves several centimetres of hole exposed behind it! Moreover on Page 31 of the Mountain Buggy instructions with regards to American safety it states “Do not hang items such as shopping bags from the frame.” It doesn’t seem right therefore for Mountain Buggy to be encouraging people to hang bags onto the frame.
The hood of a pushchair, in my humble opinion, is designed to shelter a child, whether it be from sun, wind or even possibly from light rain. Mountain Buggy on page 6/7 of their instruction booklet labels the hood a “sunhood”. A sunhood should therefore at least keep the sun from a child’s head and face. As you can see from my photos, the “sunhood” allows the sun to shine directly through the hole and onto a seated child’s head, or worse, directly into the eyes of a reclined child.
Mountain Buggy did say that they would make a “non gap cover” available as a spare part to buy. However we feel that a sunhood should meet the purpose that it is made for ie to keep the sun off a child’s head, and that all current Duet owners should be offered a free replacement hood should they wish one.
Meanwhile, we have decided to turn the hole into a positive.
We don’t own a Phil&Teds Diddie Bag, nor a Freerider, but we found lots of possible things we could use the hole in the hood for.
We have to say it was lovely to be able to have a furry friend on board too
Other Mountain Buggy Duet Reviews: