Mountain Buggy Duet review by Lisa
The Mountain Buggy Duet has arrived!
The excitement over this buggy has been unbelievable. For months I have waited (like many others) in anticipation, for this side-by-side buggy that is the same width as a single pushchair! I had told everyone that would listen about it and awaited its arrival like a child counting down to Christmas.
When it arrived I couldn’t get it out the box quick enough. I had already viewed the instructions and watched the video online (sad, I know!) and it was so quick to put together – wheels on, hoods on and I was ready to go…
It looks HUGE, but it is all perception, it IS the size of many singles. I had it next to the Phil and Teds Explorer and the Baby Jogger City Mini to prove to my husband it wasn’t as big as it looked!
I haven’t owned a side-by-side before but I did try all the ones out there and dismissed them because of their width as they weren’t suitable for my lifestyle.
Babies on board and away we go!…
I have a petite 2 year old (who wants to run everywhere) and a large 12 week old (who doesn’t like to lay flat all the time).
The seats are quite spacious and both my children look comfortable in them and have plenty of room to grow. I would like to point out however that the depth of the seats seem quite short and would suggest to those with larger children to perhaps try them out beforehand if possible.
The straps have 3 different positions and are easy to move by twisting to the strap to the left or right and moving up or down as required. This means it can be quickly changed if switching sides between an older child and younger baby.
I think it is great for me that my children can sit side by side and have the same view.
The seats lie completely flat and many positions in-between up to a pretty upright position. This is done by using a two handed strap system on the back. It is very easy to lower but I would say it is slightly more difficult to do if you want to put the seat up (especially with a child in the seat at the time) but this may be down to my lack of practise as yet.
When the seats are put into a more upright position there is extra fabric that gathers around the head but this is easily sorted if you push the seat as far forward as you can and pull the fabric behind.
There are individual hoods which is fantastic. They are quite generous with a great additional sun visor bit that can be hidden or pulled out to extend the coverage of the hood. I do think they could be improved by making them bigger though (I have been spoiled with the Baby Jogger hoods) perhaps with additional zip extenders like the Mountain Buggy +One?
There is a peek-a-boo window in each of them which is great BUT… I do not understand why pushchair manufacturers insist on using Velcro in this instance!!! Do they not realise that when peeking into see your baby that having the noise of the Velcro opening the flap that it disturbs a sleeping baby?! Why? Why? Why??? Magnets would be a much better option! Sorry, one of my pet peeves!
Anyway, onto a more frustrating point. On the back of the right hood there is a gap, a big rectangular space where the fold button was intended to go. However, it didn’t go into production and as a result we are left with a ridiculous looking hole! The annoying thing about it is not that is spoiling the look of the buggy but that it allows light to shine directly into the eyes of a sleeping baby! My little one was not impressed and neither was I having to cover the gap with a muslin. I am going to have to come up with a longer term solution and I would suggest to Mountain Buggy that even if the fold button was there it would still be a problem with light, wind and rain getting in!
The shopping basket takes up to 5KGS. It is a reasonable size and is quite easy to access from the back and sides. There are 2 straps attaching the seat to the chassis that may hinder putting a larger changing bag in from the bag but hasn’t been a problem for me as of yet.
The brake is easy enough to put on and off but mine does seem to be making a rattling noise which I will have to investigate further.
The Duet is sturdy and doesn’t feel heavy to push at all, it glides through doors with ease, maneuvers well, is great on all types of surfaces (although I haven’t tried sand yet) and I can even push one handed!
The size and shape of the handle is great. It is easy to adjust and has lots of height positions so caters for small/tall people. The only thing I don’t like is the rubber it’s covered in. It gives good grip, and is better than foam I suppose, but after a while of pushing it gets quite uncomfortable and my palms were sweaty. I think I will get a cover for it. That will hopefully make it more comfortable and protect it at the same time.
The fold is easy enough to do and has a manual lock. It is quite awkward to lift/carry (as all side-by-sides are) and is quite heavy but not the heaviest I have tried. It fits into my boot with ease but I have a large boot. I would definitely suggest trying it out to see if it fits into your car before purchasing if possible. It can be placed on its side, upright and the wheels can be removed easily if required which may help some people. I have been told it fits into a mini’s boot, upright, with the parcel shelf removed!
The rain cover is ok. It sits over the entire buggy and has 2 zips which allows you to get your children in/out without having to remove it entirely. I advise you not to use the raincover with the bumper bar though as it is tricky getting baby/toddler in/out with the belly bar in place.
I didn’t buy the carrycot and was put off buying the car seat adaptors as I thought the hassle of having to remove the seat fabric (however quick it was to do) was too much of a hassle for me, so I cannot comment on them but I think it is great they are available to purchase if you wish.
My baby is a sicky baby so I like to line his side of the pushchair to protect the seat. I already had the mountain buggy sheepskin liner but when I put it in I wasn’t happy with the fit. It is hard to describe exactly why so I will take a photo to let others see what it is like and decide for themselves. I know many people like to accessorise their buggies and will happily splash out for a liner and footmuff that perfectly fits their buggy so I feel Mountain Buggy has missed a trick here not designing Duet specific accessories. I have had to resort to making my own liner from a sheepskin rug for the meantime.
I have just re-read what I have written above and feel I have been a bit harsh, nit picking almost. Don’t get me wrong, this is the best buggy out there for ME right now. I highly recommend it. As everybody who has endlessly trawled the internet and spent hours in pram centres in the search for the ‘perfect’ double buggy knows, unfortunately ‘perfect’ doesn’t exist. I just wish companies listened to what us parents were after and realised that small things make the biggest difference. I really think that with additions such as bigger hoods, (no holes), magnets on the peek-a-boo windows instead of Velcro, pockets on the seat back, a way of attaching the car seat adaptors without taking off the seat fabric and a one handed fold would definitely make the Duet a near perfect buggy for many, many people…
It is a great double buggy! Fantastic for my situation of baby and toddler. It’s light (if a double buggy can be described as light!), feels very sturdy, pushes well and copes over different surfaces, and most importantly is narrow!!!
Hope this helps,
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