Mountain Buggy Duet v’s Baby Jogger City Elite Double
This set of photographs shows the Mountain Buggy Duet side by side with the Baby Jogger City Elite Double.
The Elite has a RRP of just £19 more than the Duet (£580), but can easily be bought for less.
Styling: At first glance it is obvious that the Elite is a much larger pushchair. The wheels are larger, the legroom is longer, the hoods are larger and the handlebar height is larger. The Elite also is much neater and tidier to look at. We like the simple styling of the Duet though with its black and grey seats, and silver leg rest.
Size: The Elite is larger and heavier than the Duet. The Elite folds in half giving quite a chunky fold, whereas the Duet folds flat and long. The Elite is much flatter to store when the wheels are removed (they pop off and on easily). The Duet’s big selling point is that it is just 63cms wide, so will fit through any door. The Elite is much wider at 75.5cms but this is still small enough to fit through a standard 76.2cms door. The Duet is smaller heightwise but the handlebar also is shorter with a maximum height of 106cms.
Fabrics & Child Comfort: The Elite definitely has more to offer the children. Larger seats, wonderful thick padding, lots of leg room, raised kicker boards for sleeping and large hoods. However for a double pushchair, the Duet seats are still a very good size but could do with more padding. The fabric for the recline on the Duet bunches around the child’s head when not in use. It is possible to tuck it down the back of the seat, but as mentioned elsewhere on Best Buggy, it means removing the child to do so, and if you tuck this behind the seat then it is hard to recline the child when you want to. The Elite recline seat fabric folds on the outside of the pushchair which means there is no bunching up inside.
The harnesses on both are good and sturdy with thick shoulder pads. The Mountain Buggy Duet one requires two hands to undo the safety lock, however there is a further clasp on the child’s shoulders which is easy for a child to undo!!! The Mountain Buggy Duet has an easy to adjust twist & slide harness height mechanism which is great. The Baby Jogger Elite has lots of harness height settings which are easy to adjust.
Seat Recline: The seats of both pushchairs can be reclined flat so both are suitable from birth. The Elite uses a single toggle system to lower the seat, the Duet uses two toggles. The Elite is easier to use because the toggle is central on the back of the seat ie no having to feel down the sides to find a toggle. The Duet fabric needs adjusting after each recline. Reclining the seat also pulls the poppers off the hood which gets annoying!
Carrycots & Car Seats: The Duet has the advantage here as it will take both carrycots and car seats. Neither will fit onto the Elite which is a real disadvantage.
Basket: The Elite has a huge basket which is accessible from the back, sides and via the kicker board. The Duet has a large basket which is best accessed via the side.
Storage Pockets: There are loads of storage pockets on the Elite. There is a double parent console with twelve pockets and a mesh pocket on the back of both seats. The Duet has a water bottle holder but no additional pockets.
Hoods: The Elite hoods are huge with three peekaboo windows (one has mesh for ventilation) in each hood which are held by magnetic closures. The Duet hoods are good with a flick out sun visor, apart from the large hole in one hood which allows sun, wind and rain to get through onto the child beneath. The hoods annoyingly detach from the pushchair fabric whenever the child is reclined.
Handling: Neither of these pushchairs is particularly light to push but the Elite handles heavier children better. The Duet pulls to the side of the heaviest child which makes it a two handed push, whereas the Elite can be pushed one handed. The Elite handlebar has a large range of height settings which makes it more suitable for a taller parent. I am 5ft 6ins and the highest setting of the Duet handlebar is too low for me. The front wheels of the Elite do stick at times from a standing start. The manoeuverability of the Duet on the spot is excellent. The Elite has great suspension. The Duet is a hard ride.
Brake: The Baby Jogger Elite Double has one of the best brakes on the market – it is a simple handbrake at the side of the pushchair. The Duet in contrast has one of the worst brakes. It is a footbrake, but it is too close to the chassis for you to get your foot around the back to flick on and I end up having to use my hands.
Tyres: The Baby Jogger Elite has large 12″ ‘forever air’ tyres. The Duet has smaller 10″ pneumatic tyres.
Fold: The Elite has the fabulous Baby Jogger quick fold. It requires two hands but its an easy pull up on the handles and the pushchair folds. The Elite folds in half. The fold is quite chunky but removing the wheels makes it much slimmer. The Duet folds long and slim. The rear wheels can be removed easily to make it slimmer.
Which would Best Buggy choose?: The Duet has a lot going for it, ie narrow width, large hoods, neat looks. But the Duet is simply too low for me to use (at 5ft 6ins). It is not handling the weight of two toddlers easily. The Elite is a large pushchair, but it offers every comfort possible to the child from leg rests, to padded seats, to large hoods. But the Duet can take two car seats and two carrycots whereas the Elite can not take either. But the Elite offers greater longevity of use if you can get through the first six months. The storage on the Elite is fantastic as is the suspension.
We would certainly choose the Elite over the Duet for value for money, quality of build and lots of great features.
Note: Please use this quick summary in conjunction with the more detailed individual reviews.
Other Baby Jogger City Elite Double Reviews: