Trends for Kids Twinner Twist Duo Review – First Outing & First Impressions!
The Twinner Twist Duo is one eye catching double pushchair! It was the Twinner Twist Duo’s trendy looks which caught our eye at the Harrogate Nursery Fair back in March. Now a few months later, the Twinner Twist Duo certainly turned a few heads on our maiden outing to the park.
The Twinner Twist Duo has a ‘Kipling’ feel to it – a rugged, outdoors style which is trendy and cool. This styling will be a huge draw for parents who are looking for a modern double pushchair, and to be honest the Twinner Twist Duo will stand out next to its twin pushchair rivals as being fresh and funky, but yet packed full of features.
I love the aluminium chassis of the Twinner Twist Duo – the rounded slim line, barely there, frame combined with the chunkiness of the thicker cuboid bars which run down each side. The slim, barely there chassis does one important thing for the Twinner Twist Duo; it gives a perception of a small neat pushchair. However in reality the statistics for the Twinner Twist Duo are very similar to those of the Easywalker Sky Duo or the Baby Jogger City Elite. It will easily fit through a standard door with cms to spare.
The features that you really notice first, and that stand out as being unusual on a pushchair, are the two flip up foot rests. The Twinner Twist Duo’s individual footrests are different and really help define this pushchair. They have three height settings for different aged children, and can be also raised up to lie level to allow a totally flat area for a sleeping baby or toddler. These footrests are one of my favourite features and really add to the comfort level for a child. It was lovely to see my tall 2.5 year old with her legs out at full stretch whilst her feet are still supported on a footrest.
However the comfort level for the children, goes well beyond the footrests. The seats are extremely well padded – the best I have seen on a side by side pushchair and are soft to sit on. The ‘Airgo’ breathable seat has tiny holes in it which I am guessing will keep a child cool in summer and warm in winter. The harness pads are huge and thick. The harnesses themselves are huge – plenty of room for growth! There are two harness height settings, and the straps are relatively easy to adjust – the straps only need adjusting on the shoulders (not the waist as well). The buckles are unusual and chunky. They are very easy for an adult to do up, and undo; but equally they are hard for a child to undo.
The children both looked very comfortable in their respective seats. The baby was in the right hand side seat because it is this side that you remove (poppers & velcro straps) to put on the carrycot or the car seat when in baby and toddler mode. The Twinner Twist Duo will also accommodate twins with two car seats (staggered) or two carrycots. The hood with its flick out visor allowed plenty of shade for the children, and even at one point, in full sun when I had just parked up for a minute (as you can see in the photo,) the baby still had its eyes shaded by the visor. My daughter does not particularly like seats which do not sit bolt upright, but she was happy in the Twinner Twist seats. When she had had enough playing by the pool, she chose to hop aboard and enjoy the goings on from the vantage point of her seat.
As a mum, I loved the storage on the Twinner Twist Duo. I have to say I revel in pockets and pouches, and the Twinner Twist Duo has plenty! There were zip up pockets on the back of each seat large enough for two bottles of water, plus a large basket that took our two Pacapod bags, a rug, bottles of water, a football and a smaller ball, clothes, muslins, towel and more. My favourite feature are the two tiny pouches on either side of the frame. They are absolutely perfect to put your keys in, your phone, purse, camera, sunhats, sun cream and even stray socks – those things that always get lost inside a bigger bag, but you need close to hand. These are removable so that if you need to park the Twinner Twist Duo up somewhere, you can simply unvelcro the pouch and take it with you. A great feature!
The Twinner Twist Duo seats lie completely flat. This is achieved using a two zip system. The first pair of zips allows a partial recline, and the second set drops the seat down to flat. I have to say I find it difficult, especially with the two central zips, to reach in and wiggle the zips right to the bottom to make the seats lie completely flat. However, Trends for Kids have considered this, and when the time comes to do the zips back up, they have thoughtfully provided loops attached to the zippers, which make it simple to put your fingers into the loops and then pull them closed. No faffing around trying to find and then hang onto a small zipper whilst at arms length. You do need to support a sleeping child as the fabric drops down. One feature I was impressed with, is the way the excess fabric for the recline velcro’s itself together when in the upright positions. However the down side of this is that it is a little noisy when the velcro gets pulled apart during the recline!
I talked about whether the lie flat seat was suitable for a newborn with the distributor. In Germany where Trends for Kids is based, their safety standards require the use of the carrycot because straps are seen as unsafe on small babies. But here in the UK many pushchairs are sold as from birth because they lie flat. I can not recommend the use of the seat from birth, because I do not know enough about the safety testing, but compared to many ‘from birth’ UK strollers, I personally would have no issues putting my newborn into the beautifully padded completely flat seat. However the Twinner Twist Duo carrycot is roomy and comfortable. I have put my ten month old in the carrycot, and although of course he is too old for a carrycot, he did have room to spare and to wriggle. I particularly love the pull up foam covered handle which forms part of the hood on the carrycot. It is a lovely feature instead of carrying straps. The carrycot comes with a mattress and apron.
The Twinner Twist Duo has a very comfortable handle. I was only discussing earlier this week that truly comfortable pushchair handles are rare to find, but this is the second pushchair lately that I have found fits my hand perfectly. The handle bar has several height positions from very low to high. However the handle bar does not go as high as I would have expected it to. It is tall enough for me at 5ft 6 ins but other double pushchairs do have much taller handles. The Twinner Twist was easy to push up & down grassy hills, fully loaded, with one hand. The suspension is bouncy – this really is an off road, all terrain pushchair.
The brakes on the Twinner Twist Duo are really something special. The Twinner Twist Duo has an ‘M Brake’ which are disc brakes on each of the rear tyres. This is operated by a squeeze lever (like a bike brake) from the handlebar. It means that you can use the brake in the same was as you would a bicycle brake to slow yourself, and the pushchair down, as you travel down a hill! No more hanging onto a pushchair at arms length in a desperate attempt to stop your double buggy running away with you! This feature is probably very useful to the sporty parent. The Trends for Kids brand was designed by an athlete to be pushed whilst jogging. Whilst officially the Twinner Twist Duo is not a jogging pushchair (its sister single pushchair the Joggster III has interchangeable wheels for serious runners and off roading), the front wheels can be locked very simply with a turn of the dial. There is even the possibility of attaching a Mamaboard to the Twinner Twist Duo. A what? A Mamaboard looks like a buggy board, but it is a skateboard attachment for the parent to use behind the pushchair for fun or exercise! Having watched the videos on YouTube, it looks like a huge amount of fun both for the parent, and also the child who is being pushed along much faster than they normally would!
However the Twinner Twist Duo brakes are a bit of a niggle with me. First of all I like to push a pushchair one handed, and I am right handed which means that I naturally go to hold the right hand side of the handlebar. But the M brake lever is on the left hand side. So that means that I have to push on the left hand side instead. The second niggle is the parking brake: to apply the brake to park you need to squeeze the brake lever in, and then apply a small orange catch. This makes the brake a two handed operation which is not ideal. Mr BB was concerned that it would be easy to knock the catch off particularly if you don’t quite do it correctly. Mr BB also is not a fan of the tie wraps which run the brake wire underneath the handlebar because you can feel the wire your palm as you push along. He would have preferred the brake wire to have run along the hood line which would then have allowed the brake to be sited on / swapped to either side of the central bar for left and right handed parents. The positive of a handbrake is that my little two year old helper is unable to reach and undo the brake because it is out of reach!
I need to point out that the wheels on the pushchair in the photo are different to the ones which will be sold in the UK. The UK wheels will be black (polycarbonate) in the centre, but will still be air tyres. During initial ‘opening the box’ construction of the Twinner Twist Duo, fixing the disc brakes seemed to be the most complex thing to do. Putting the brakes on wasn’t really hard, but Ian who came and set the Twinner Twist Duo up for us could hear exactly when the discs were catching on the tyres or not, and adjusted these. I am not sure I would have spotted that there was an issue to be honest. Whilst the disc brake is a brilliant feature, it also comes with a drawback – it is not simple to remove the large tyres, which has made putting the Twinner Twist Duo in my car tricky.
The front wheels in contrast, are extremely easy to remove. Simply press the red button located on the top of the front wheels, and the wheel drops out. The hub that the red button is located on also locks the wheels into position. What is very neat is that instead of having to line the wheels up to lock, they simply clicked into fixed position when you start to move the pushchair. One niggle of these hubs is that when the Twinner Twist Duo is folded, if the handlebar is then tucked in neatly then it will rub on the top of the hubs. We had only had the Twinner Twist Duo for less than 24 hours when I noticed the two indentations on the handlebar.
The Twinner Twist Duo is not the most straightforward fold! There are several steps which involve you running around the pushchair a couple of times. First of all you need to fold the foot rests up. Secondly undo the flaps, one at either side. Then press in the handle adjusters and start to fold the pushchair away from you whilst folding the handle at the same time. But in the middle you have to release the secondary lock on one side which clicks in part way through the fold (but it is good to know that the pushchair will not fold in on your little ones!) Then there are two clasps on each side of the basket which you need to ‘break’ to allow the final fold down to the ground. Although this sounds a lot to do, I have been having timed races with Mr BB to fold the Twinner Twist Duo, and we have got our times down to under 30 seconds. This makes it much quicker than some tandem pushchairs with various adaptors and you end up with one package instead of lots of bits and pieces.
The fold is a chunky trifold, rather than in half which gives quite a neat package. One huge positive is that because the handlebar gets folded in, it will not hit the ground, unlike most other double & tandem pushchairs. There is a storage strap but it really needs a rethink! It is simply an eyelet which you hook over a hook, and it does not stay on and falls off the second you try to move the pushchair, which is a little annoying when the pushchair starts to unfold as you carry it. However the compact fold does mean that this pushchair will fit into the back of a Mini, and the door can be shut behind it! The Twinner Twist Duo is fairly simple to open up. It unfolds pretty much on its own (although I need to work on wiggling the wheels apart before unfolding the back of the seats). You just have to click the two side wings into place and press down the basket clasps.
The Twinner Twist Duo is an excellent side by side pushchair. It feels great in your hands and manoeuvres easily even across country. It offers fantastic, adaptable levels of comfort for different aged children from birth to probably 4 or even older. The Twinner Twist Duo has carrycot and car seat options to provide flexibility for twins or siblings from birth. There is plenty of storage space for outings, day trips or shopping. It really is a thoroughly practical and useful twin pushchair. Above all the Twinner Twist Duo has the rugged, but stylish, sporty looks and appeal that will make it stand out amongst other twin pushchairs. This is a great twin pushchair for those parents looking for something just a little bit different.
PLEASE NOTE: The UK Twinner Twist Duo’s will have black wheels like the photographs at the top of the statistics page, not the metal ones on this pushchair.
Our thanks go to Rob & Ian at Mojo Distribution for making this Twinner Twist Duo review possible.
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