Quick Summary: The duet will be a big winner for parents who require an all-round pushchair to travel with them through urban and rural settings due to the fact it is the narrowest side by side on the market at the moment.
- Narrow width
- Large individual sun canopies
- Flexible seating arrangements
- Good quality
Whats not so good?
- Large fold
Table of contents
Mountain Buggy are well known for their tough and hardy all-terrain pushchairs and have been on a keen mission since their formation in 1992 to allow parents to explore the great outdoors with their children. All without it becoming a stress inducing, hair-pulling-out mission! So let's take a look at their double side by side duet.
The Mountain Buggy duet is available in Chilli, Black and Flint.
The Chassis of this fabulously flexible pushchair arrives in a large box and is reasonably simple to assemble, taking just 15 minutes or so. The seats are already in situ and it's just the wheels that need popping on to the chassis and this is all easily portrayed in the visual instruction manual. The rear wheels click on and the two front wheels require you to unscrew an axle bolt to attach the wheels to the front wheel forks. The sun canopies also need clipping onto the frame.
The chassis of the duet boasts skinny dimensions that some other double pushchairs can only dream of! At 63cm there is no need to worry yourself over fitting through doors and openings as the duet will easily fit through a standard interior doorway. Phew, I hear you say! The wheelbase of the duet is no wider than some single pushchairs that are currently on the market.
What is really noticeable about the pushchair frame is that it is obviously built to withstand the daily grind of an everyday outdoor lifestyle. It's made of a very high tech but lightweight high grade 6063 T5 aluminium that is designed to be light but sturdy. That said - the duet does feel quite heavy to lift when carrying here and there.
The single ‘comfort grip' handle bar is covered in rubber with easy to grip ridges moulded into it. Although it may be superbly grippy for parents to have a firm hold on uneven ground, the rubber isn't very soft and felt very different to hold - something that will take getting used to for some. The handle does however offer a variety of height settings ranging from 78cm to 106cm, perfect for pushchair drivers of all heights.
The 10 inch air filled tyres set out to achieve what Mountain Buggy do best and take you and your children over any terrain so that you can truly live a ‘life without limit.' If you are worried about being caught short on a rocky path with a flat tyre, there is the option of purchasing an additional set of aerotech tyres, no air = no punctures!
The front wheels can be fixed into a static position if needed with a simple twist of a lever or they can swivel for some serious slalom action in and out of shop aisles.
The brake system on the duet is simple, just flick the brake on and off with the metal pedals on either side of the brake bar. We can see what mountain buggy have tried to do here, the metal brake pedals are long so they are easy to find with your feet, however in their length you get a bit of bounce and you will need some firm shoes on to operate the brake.
For a skinny side by side pushchair, there is nothing skinny about the size of the shopping basket. It is easily big enough to fit essential goods for two children in it, and more.
If you require the use of just one seat but have lots of luggage to carry, you can purchase the joey clip-on tote bag. It clips on and off the frame in seconds and gives you a whopping extra 18kg of storage space!
Mountain Buggy duet Review 2016: Seat
Flexible - that just about sums up the capabilities of the seats on the Mountain Buggy duet. The duet comes as standard with two seats attached to the chassis. They are produced from quality fabric and are comfortably lined with a reversible liner in either Chilli, Flint or Black. Remembering that the duet is only 63cm wide in total and is the narrowest side-by-side double on the market - each seat is 26.5cm wide with a backrest height of 51cm. Although these width measurements may be pretty snug, an average 4 year old can still fit in the seats very neatly. The seats are however a little shallow with a depth of just 19cm.
The harness on the seat is a 5 point harness made from thick quality webbing which can be clipped and secured in 2 halves. To undo the harness, you unclip one half at a time by pressing the red buttons on the front of the harness clip in whilst pressing in on the black side clasp at the same time. This sounds a little complicated but is very simple once executed a few times and is a great deterrent to stop your side by side passengers from unclipping each other's harnesses!
The quality webbing appears again on the back of each seat in the form of a strap recline system. By squeezing the clamp on the back of each seat, you can pop it into any position that is required. The seats also lay flat which means each seat can be used from birth and are great for snoozing babies too.
Each seat is graced with its own individual sun canopy. These canopies can be clipped on and off when needs be and are a great size. The peek-a-boo window on the top of each canopy is a nice size and covered in mesh to shield it from the sun. The built-in visor at the front of each canopy also gives that little bit of extra shade when the sun is really shining.
When in use in side-by-side mode, the double bumper that is supplied in the box clips on to the frame of the pushchair. It swivels and pivots easily so getting children in and out isn't a fiddle.
There are several more seating options with the duet. It has the ability to be used as a twin pushchair with carrycots, seats and car seats as well as a pushchair for multiple ages. Just clip and unclip your required combinations to the frame.
The duet also gives parents the option to use the chassis as a travel system by accepting compatible car seats with the use of the car seat adapters.
Mountain Buggy duet Review 2016: Carrycot Plus
We tested the duet in a mode fit for a newborn and a toddler and attached a Mountain Buggy carrycot plus to the duet frame.
The first task was to build the carrycot plus from several different components supplied in the box. It was a bit of a puzzle but we got there in the end, though we didn't fancy our chances at getting it back in the box in a hurry! The seat fabrics from the duet frame also need to be unzipped and unpopped to allow the carrycot plus to be fitted.
The carrycot plus is an innovative new addition to the duet. In its simplest form, it is a comfortable, well padded carrycot for a newborn baby measuring 80 x 30 x 22cm with a maximum load of 9kg. The mattress comes complete in the box and provides a natural comfortable base for baby to sleep on.
Mountain Buggy have recognised that parenting isn't always plain sailing and many babies sleep more comfortably when at a slight incline. The hinges on the carrycot adapters allow you to incline the carrycot - perfect for babies suffering from reflux.
Even when your child has outgrown their carrycot and is sitting up admiring the great outdoors around them, the carrycot plus offers extreme flexibility and in fact value for money as it converts to a parent facing seating option by simply popping the included seat fabric over the carrycot frame. There are very few side by side pushchairs on the market offering this parent facing seating option.
Mountain Buggy duet Review 2016: Fold
The latest fold mechanism on the Mountain Buggy duet is designed to make folding a pushchair easier and simpler in the presence of two (or more!) young children. The fold lever is clever hidden just above the footplate and requires two fingers to fold but may need two hands until you have got the hang of it. Push in one button and pull up the little lever simultaneously and the duet will begin to fall down on itself easily. The frame clips into place automatically with a tough black clip on the side of the chassis. To unfold simply release this frame lock clip and pull up on the handlebar until the duet locks back into place. The handle on the duet can be folded in to make a neater package.
One really nice feature of the duet fold is that no matter how muddy your walk had been, your seat units will stay clean as the wheels stay grounded and do not fold into the seat fabrics - all the more reason to drive through a few extra muddy puddles!
The fold isn't small, the duet doesn't reduce in width, just in height - if you plan to use the duet in your car, it is well worth measuring up your car boot beforehand. The folds gives an end package of 39cm x 63cm x 106cm. To make the fold a little smaller to save space on longer car journeys you can always pop the wheels off which will leave an end fold package of 32cm x 63cm x 96cm).
Mountain Buggy duet Review 2016: Conclusion
The duet will be a big winner for parents who require an all-round pushchair to travel with them through urban and rural settings due to the fact it is the narrowest side by side on the market at the moment.
With quality looks and more importantly a quality feel, the duet feels sturdy but light on its wheels in whatever configuration you choose to use it in.
The option to use the duet in parent facing mode, with the carrycot plus, sets it aside from the other side by side all terrain pushchairs on the market. Parents with compact car boots may find it difficult to travel with the duet, but if car boot space and storage space is not an issue then the duet could happily see a family grow and change and adapt to their needs with ease.