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Mountain Buggy Duet – The First Week!

We have had the Mountain Buggy Duet for a week now and we have been putting it through its paces, so I wanted to write a bit of an update.

We took the Mountain Buggy Duet out shopping at the weekend. It was very showery and so we were glad of the storm cover. I really like the zippered opening at the front – its perfect for showery weather where the rain stops and starts. My eldest doesn’t like raincovers on, so it was a good half way house. The raincover fitted well although the strap bit under the feet seemed tricky to do in situ – but since then, I think you can lift the cover off the feet area, do the strap up and then replace the foot part – but I need to test this out! I do have a problem with the storm cover though – the top of the opening is just a little bit too low for an older child to see out. My daughter was having to bend her head down to see out and in the end she asked me to remove the storm cover. The zip could have done with being about another inch or two higher up.

The Duet handled the shops great. I could get through tiny spaces between aisles where I would normally have had to walk around. The only thing I found was that although the Duet is narrow – the widest part is half way up the seat unit whereas most pushchairs, the widest point is the wheels. So I kept catching displays and knocking things off with the chassis / edge of the hood! Normally if a pushchair has wider wheels they usually fit beneath the display stands, and the upper part of most pushchairs is slimmer, so you don’t knock things off! Plus my children are now at perfect grabbing height now!! At least with a tandem there is the chassis between them and objects of desire!!!

But I loved driving the Mountain Buggy Duet at kerbs and going up and over them to see how well the Duet would handle them – pretty good really. Except I had one failed kerb attempt which resulted in my daughter spilling her drink! She wasn’t very chuffed about it!!So although the Duet can handle bumpy things like low kerbs, awkward bumps and cobbles, I am not sure how good it would be with serious off road. But we are looking forward to trying it out.

Half way round this shopping trip, we had to remove the Duet’s bumper bar. It’s great that the bumper bar is included but it sits too high up on a child to really be useful. We tried giving our daughter some tiny books to read and she had a small magnetic doodle pad, but she wasn’t able to hold anything between her chest and the bumper bar because of it being so high. Thankfully when we removed the bumper bar, it fitted nicely in the basket. On subsequent trips out the Duet’s bumper bar has fallen off of its own accord, and so the bumper bar has now been put into storage for good. It’s a shame as I was wanting to hang toys on it for the baby.

The basket however was great! We got lots of shopping under on this first trip including some picture frames that had to be kept flat and straight. On our weekly grocery shop we managed to get a large shopping basket of things underneath. The basket is good for wedging things in. Although rear access to the basket is restricted by the two clipped on straps, the access at the sides is great.

The Duet only just…and I mean literally by millimetres fits in our relatively large car boot. The Duet is pretty long although its not that wide. Normally with our pushchairs there is space down one end to stack the shopping bags and then put the pushchair in after (even with other side by sides), but with the Duet we had to load the pushchair in and then put the bags on top. After our weekly grocery run Mr BB actually told me not to bother messing around trying to put the pushchair in the car and instead we loaded the bags into the car, and then he walked the children home in the Duet!! He got home faster than I did though!

The manoeuverability of the Duet is great which is really useful when shopping. However I do find the pushability a bit on the heavy side, especially for a side by side. Some of my tandems and side by sides are easier for pushability. But more than that, my Duet drifts to one side as I push which doesn’t make it a one handed push. At first I thought it was the camber in the road which was making the pushchair pull to one side, but I have since swapped the children around in the seats, and whilst it is not as bad, the Duet does drift the other way ie always to the side where the older child is sat. There is a 21 month age gap between my two children. I have taken the Duet out on a very flat piece of pavement and there is hardly any drift. But on a slight slope it does pull to the right! Having asked around it sounds like my Duet is the only one with this issue!

I have bought a handlebar cover this week from Ebay :)

The brakes – I have watched Baby Gizmo’s video (gosh I have had a real complex about my children not being skinny enough for the Duet today *lol* – I think my two children fit great and they are both over the 90th centile for height and certainly aren’t skinny but not overweight either!) and Baby Gizmo’s brakes simply flick on when you touch the top of the red piece on the brake. Mine certainly dont just flick on whatever I try! I still have to hop and put my toes around the back of the brake, or use my hand to pull the brake on.

But to emphasise, my children do look very comfortable in the Duet seats with room to grow. Thats one of the most important things. I wish there was a little more padding in the seats though. There is plenty of leg room and room to grow under the hood.

I can’t get away from the main issues though. It became apparent this week that the sun was certainly coming in onto my sons head, and even worse straight into his eyes when reclined. The photos are above. I really am NOT impressed at this and can’t wait for a new hood whether I have to pay for it, or someone sends out free ones. I know one lovely retailer has already offered his customers hoods at his expense if necessary but I hope they won’t have to foot the bill and that Mountain Buggy will simply issue replacement hoods.

Two other niggles I have are with the recline. No matter what I do, the fabric bunches up around my baby’s head when I pull him back up to a sitting position from a recline. When a cosy toes is on, the cosy toes bunches up too. My son has a disorder where he easily overheats and so this is likely be a major issue for us. Although you can stuff some of the fabric down the sides, in order to put all the fabric / cosy toes back on, you need to pull the seat well forwards which really means removing the child. Lets put it another way, I am not going to try getting either of my children to bend doubled up whilst I try to do sort the fabric out with them in the seat. It’s not easy to do with a wriggling baby under one arm either! But when the fabric is properly behind the seats, the seats are really upright which is great!

Linked to the recline, is my other niggle – every time I unfold the Duet at least two of the poppers which attach the hood to the back of the seat (mainly the outer two on each hood) are always undone. After a recline, sometimes both poppers are undone. Reclining seems to make the poppers come undone easily, but even just moving the pushchair pulls them undone. It’s a tad annoying to be honest to have to do them up each time I set the pushchair up.

I still have pink foam on show and I don’t know how to resolve it.

My final …I was going to say a niggle….but actually its a major GRRRRR! is the car seat adaptor. My son is 13 months old. He is well within the weight limits for his Maxi-cosi Cabriofix seat and we are trying to leave him rear facing in the Cabriofix as long as possible. However, it came to my attention that there is a 20lbs / 9kgs maximum weight for using the car seat adaptors!!!!! My son was over 20lbs at ten months old. This means that I am unable to use the car seat adaptor for him. It is something that I want to highlight because if it hadn’t been for an eagle eyed person I would never have spotted the tiny print in the top corners of the instructions and probably would have put my son onto the adaptor this week. I also realised that I had put the car seat adaptor in the wrong place when I first tried it out – look for the small pins on the centre bar!

But the highlight of the week was FINALLY being able to take a side by side pushchair through the door of my local supermarket for the first time ever! The photo is above. The door is a split door and about 65cms wide. Inside the shop, it is quite small and there are always trolleys and boxes in the way. But the Duet handled it all with ease. This…and for this reason only….is the reason I have the Duet…..for the narrow width to go through this one door and then to carry the shopping home…..for everything else we do, there are much better pushchairs!






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