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Mountain Buggy Duet – The First Month – by Cat

I’m writing this review as I’ve had the MB duet a month now, and have used it daily, so I think I can give a good heads up on the pros and cons of it.

Let’s get this over with – the hole in the hood (see other reviews about this and photos).  I am very angry about MB’s response to the hole.  I class it as a manufacturing fault and the excuses MB gave for the hole does not wash with customers.  I have spoken to Trading Standards and made them aware of the situation, and I would recommend all UK customers to do the same.  The photograph of a baby with the sun directly on his face because of the hole is shocking, an absolute disgrace.

Right, I like the width of the duet.  It does get through some ridiculously tight spaces, including my front door that is standard double-glazed but opens onto an internal wall.  It’s only about 3cm wider than my friend’s single M&Ps pram. This I’m afraid is the only thing that sells it for me. But saying that, I am thinking of selling it on because of the dislikes I have against it.  Doing this review won’t be in my favor when I want to sell it on, but I want to be honest about it.  I personally would prefer it if MB took the duet back and refunded my money.

I find it heavy to lift.  My initial review says that it’s ok and manageable, but after using it a month, it’s not.  I tend to leave it in my hallway, which is not ideal as it blocks all the doors, but it’s better than lifting it in and out of the car daily.  It has quite a long fold which makes it difficult to handle in that your arms are quite outstretched when lifting it.  All MBs fold this way and I’m surprised it hasn’t become an issue before now.  I thought it was a problem because I’m only 5’2” but my OH is 6’3” and he struggles too.  It fills my Honda CRV boot up and because of it’s size, you can’t have the split boot rack in place over it, so all my shopping goes on top of the duet, which is a right pain.

My handlebar has 2 rips, which still hasn’t been sorted 1 month on.  The handlebar itself adjusts nicely up and down, but the feel of the rubber is quite cheap and rubs on your thumbs.

There is a good amount of excess fabric around the baby’s head when you put the seats back up from the recline position.  I find it a pain to tuck the excess fabric behind the seat, which you can do, but not easily with the baby/child in the seat. I also find that the fabric when pushed behind the seat restricts the recline function, so you’re on your hands and knees fighting with the fabric. I tend to tidy the fabric into a U shape around the top of the seat/baby’s head rather than tuck it back.  The recline straps are fiddly to use, especially when both seats are in recline and you want to sit the children upright.  You’ve got to tighten the outer straps first and leave the seats squiffy and then do the middle ones.  A one handed recline strap would have been better, especially on a double.

I find the seats quite hard and use a padded liner all the time.  The MB liners do not fit the duet. The area for the head is quite rounded and just sits there against your baby’s head when the seat is up. I think they need to make liners/footmuffs just for the duet.  But they won’t as they’ll say the seats are an universal size, which they’re not.  1-2 cms makes a big difference.

Although the width of the duet is great, I can see my 13 month old twin boys outgrowing it within a year as they are wide rather than tall. I have to turn them sideways slightly when removing them now. Height wise, it won’t be a problem as there’s plenty of growth space.

I don’t like how it folds.  I find that I trap my fingers quite easily and then bam, down it goes onto the ground.  Not nice on tarmac as it’ll get damaged, so I use a boot liner on the floor to protect it.  Again, standard on all MBs but why does it fold with the dirty wheels rubbing onto the back of the seats?  Bad design.

The brakes rattle.  It makes the duet sound like a cheap and nasty little stroller.  I have been meaning to put blue tack or some cardboard between the red caps and the black metal.  I shouldn’t have to do this.  The red brakes are too close to the wheels and makes flicking them up and down a right pain.  They are noisy as well, clunking on and off.  I miss the quiet hand brake on my tandem.

I used it on a woodland track the other day and didn’t find it any better than a tandem double I use that isn’t an off-roader.  I had expected better suspension.  It was a very bumpy ride for the twins, but they enjoyed themselves, bit of a fairground ride for them!!!
My duet has random creaks.  Can’t explain why, but this is a worry.  I will be keeping a close eye on that.

I liked the storm cover (past tense).  It looks good and covers well.  It could be tighter, i.e. less of a gap at the top corners and there is no need for a gap in the centre by the hoods join, but overall it’s ok.  The zips could come higher up the duet as it’s very difficult to remove children like this.  I tend to remove it from the feet and flick it over the top.  You also have to have the hoods down to have it sitting tidily.  My main issue is that mine ripped after using it about 5 times.  Not good at all, it should last more than this.  I only saw the hole when one twin was having a lovely time poking his finger through the gap.  After seeing my friend’s rain cover from M&Papas and seeing how good quality that was, I’ve gone off mine.  Today when using it, the rain pooled at the top and then ran down into the buggy through the gap between the hoods.  I thankfully reached the house before my twins got wet.

I’m sorry for having such a downer of a review but the only thing that sells the duet is the narrow width.  MB could have cornered the market with such a narrow side by side, but they failed.  It’s as if they concentrated so much on the width that everything else went by the wayside.  It’s such a shame, as I had such good faith in the MB brand, but not now.   I know that there isn’t the perfect double buggy out there, and that my perfect one would not be the same for another person, but I can say that the duet certainly doesn’t come close to it.


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