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Mountain Buggy Duet 2014 Review

Review Overview

Mountain Buggy Duet 2014 Review
Expert Reviewer
143 Reviews
Reviewed On: 24 Nov 2014
Helen Taylor
Expert Reviewer
Helen's Verdict:

Mountain Buggy are known as the designers of functional, sporty, and innovative products. They have 20 years experience and have an engineering and design team that stay true to the Mountain Buggy DNA; creating all-terrain stylish pushchairs, which support parents to ‘live a life without limits'.

Review Summary

Summary

If you are in the market for a double buggy with flexibility, and one that can go anywhere, the Mountain Buggy duet could be just the pushchair for you. It's good looking, functional and has so many ride options you are spoilt for choice and if you have a third child you can even attach a ‘freerider' which is Mountain Buggy's super cool toddler board.

What’s good
  • A slim
  • All-terrain double
  • Adaptable for family life
What’s not so good
  • Strap recline
  • Bumper bar is only usable in side-by-side mode

Review Content

Mountain Buggy Duet 2014 Review
MB-duet_Pushchair-Trader_500-x-100px-top_banner

Already a firm family favourite, the new duet was released in October 2014 and has already started tongues wagging. This clever side-by-side double is no wider than many single pushchairs. That's not it's only party piece though as it is super versatile. Having the option to add a carrycot, or use as a single unit with extra storage, you can even buy adapters to use the duet as a travel system. We put it through its paces, come and see how it got on in our Mountain Buggy duet review…

Chassis

Our package arrived in three boxes. Box one contained the Mountain Buggy duet, box two the carrycot and box three the Joey with tote bags.

The duet arrives pretty much ready to go, so, it only takes a couple of minutes to put together. To start you first need to unfold the pushchair. Adjust the handle bar first to make this easier using the two buttons on the inside of the handlebar, simply push them inwards and move into place. Next undo the black safety catch on the right hand side of the pushchair; it simply pushes open easily with your thumb. Now lift the handle upwards pushing the front axle forwards until it clicks into place.

It's easiest to put the rear wheels on first. The pin pushes through the centre of each wheel. Now apply the brake before putting the front wheels on to stop it moving around too much. Once these are in place you are ready to roll.

Mountain_Buggy_duet_chassis

Stylish and sporty is the best way to describe the Mountain Buggy duet. Made from a lightweight high grade 6063 T5 aluminium, the frame feels strong and sturdy but looks sleek and trendy. At only 63cm wide the duet is slimmer than some single pushchair models.

Starting from the top, the handle feels robust and feels like it will easily stand up to daily life. It has an odd texture, I think this could be a real ‘marmite' feature. Adjustable from 78 - 106cm the handle has eleven positions to suit most heights or strides. To alter the position, just push the buttons on the inside of the handle bar in and move it to the required location - it will click once it is in place. There is a wrist strap attached to the handle bar too which gives you extra piece of mind that the pushchair can't run away from you. You also get a handy insulated bottle holder as standard, which is attached to the right hand side of the duet. Perfect for action packed days out.

Mountain_Buggy_duet_wheels

Down to the wheels; there are four 10" air-filled tyres, which are great for absorbing bumps in your journey. The all round suspension provides a nice smooth ride and you can lock the front two wheels to give you extra stability on uneven terrain; you just twist the black knob above each wheel. If you need more manoeuvrability leave the front wheels to swivel. This gives you an amazing turning circle, which is perfect for changing position in a small space such as a hallway or shopping aisle.

When you need to stop you use the foot brake. This kind of brake can be a pain for flip-flop worshippers, but the duet has two flaps on each side of the bar, so you simply push down on one with the bottom of your shoe. When you want to move again, simply push the bar back up again.

If you are a bit of a shopaholic, don't worry as the shopping basket is a great size (40cm x 45cm x 16cm) and can accommodate up to 5kg.

Seat

True versatility is the best way to describe the seating arrangements with the Mountain Buggy duet.

We'll cover the seating arrangements we were able to test as part of our package.

Firstly, and possibly the most common is using the duet as a side-by-side double.

When the duet arrives it is already in side-by-side mode. All you need to do is attach the individual sun canopies. These clip into the adapters on the side of the chassis and then popper onto the back of each seat.

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The shades are UPF50+, and you can move them across three different positions. Each has a flip out sun visor to protect your babies from the elements as you stroll. There is also a peek-a-boo flap in each hood, which allows you to keep an eye on them when you are out and about.  

Whilst the duet is pretty slim,  the size of each individual seat is not compromised. Each seat is 27cm wide x 49cm high x 19cm deep so the seats would suit a child until around 4 years old without a problem.

The seats feel lovely and the liners are well padded and feel comfortable. There are pads on the shoulder straps, which feel nice and thick and can be moved to ensure your little one is comfortable. All of the duet fabrics wipe clean, the plush seat liners are 450D  (a high quality ripstop fabric) and are reversible. All the other fabrics are made from 600D polyester, which is both water repellent and durable.

As the seats are strap reclined and can lie completely flat they can be used from birth, although I would personally use the carrycot for a newborn, as it is gives a snugger environment, which newborns seem to prefer. According to the instruction manual there are nine possible recline positions so you should find one to suit each child.

When you want to recline the seat(s) you use the straps behind each seat. Each seat can be adjusted to a different height if needed and the method is the same. Simply use the strap tensioners to release the strap and lower the seat. You will need both hands as there is one on either side of each seat. When you want to put the seat back up again simply pull on the strap tails on either side of the seat until it moves up to the required position. This unfortunately isn't the easiest method if you have an uncooperative toddler.

Strapping your children in place is easy. The duet uses a 5-point harness and buckle. To release your child from the harness you need to squeeze the centre as expected and also push the two red buttons above. This safety feature  prevents little escapees. It certainly stopped my harness magician from getting out. You can do up each side individually, which is useful if your child is wiggling around. While the safety feature is a great addition, it can make releasing the buckle a bit of a faff.

All of the straps can be adjusted easily using simple strap tensioners. You can modify the shoulder height of the straps to three different positions and this is easy as the strap unbuckles from the rest of the harness so you don't need to rethread everything. Once you've moved it to your preferred location you simply clip the buckle into place again.

One bumper bar fits across both seats so unfortunately the bumper bar can only be used in a side-by-side mode. The bumper bar has a nice cover over it, which matches the material and style of the rest of the duet. The bar is ‘gate' opening so which makes getting your babies in and out much easier.

Mountain_Buggy_duet_bumper_bar

If you want to use a carrycot or the Joey tote bag you will need to remove one or both seat fabrics. This is done easily as the fabrics are attached with poppers, a buckle on the underside of each seat and a zip between the two seats. So, changing the seating arrangement or washing the fabrics is easy.

With the seat removed we can now talk about the Carrycot plus. There is a little bit of assembly to do before it's ready for your little treasure. You need to put the carrycot frame together; the instructions are great for this. Then place the materials over the frame. The mattress and liner then lie inside and the hood and apron can be attached. 

Mountain_Buggy_duet_carrycot_plus

The mattress feels comfortable and plush so I think any newborn would be more than happy to snuggle up inside. Made from breathable oeko-tex fabric even the sides are padded and soft too for added comfort. It's a good size at 74.5cm long x 30cm wide x 20.5cm high so should last quite a while. 

Mountain_Buggy_duet_carrycot_plus_lifestyle

The carrycot simply clicks into place on the frame using the connectors located on either side of the carrycot and when you get home you can lift the carrycot from the frame and use it as a bassinet as it has feet and can be used for attended overnight sleeping. It's an improvement on the previous carrycot as it has three comfortable, clever recline positions, a true lie flat, an incline for reflux babies and parent facing seat.

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When you don't need a double pushchair you can swap one of the seats for the ‘Joey' which is a slide in and out interior tote bag with carry handles. The Joey sits snuggly inside a tough and durable external bag. Offering more capacity than the previous model, it now comes with two handy tote bags. Made from 600 denier polyester and with a maximum load of 18kg you truly can 'shop 'til you drop'. You can use it alongside a carseat, the main seat or a carrycot, so it is truly versatile. And when your family grows, the space can become a seat again very easily.

Mountain_Buggy_duet_joey_lifestyle
Fold

To fold the duet, push the sun canopies completely back and then apply the foot brake. The folding mechanism is achieved using the black clip located just under the seat material in the centre, just above the metal foot guard. Lift the flap upwards, the pushchair will now release itself. The duet will now start to fold in on itself, push the frame downwards until it is lying flat. The safety lock will now come on to prevent the pushchair flailing around when moved. You can adjust the handle position to make it all a tighter fold.

Mountain_Buggy_duet_fold_2

Due to the way the duet folds you don't have to worry about fabrics trailing on the floor or getting damaged as they are all protected within the frame.

Mountain_Buggy_duet_fold

When you are ready to take the duet on another adventure simply unclip the black safety catch on the side of the frame to release the pushchair. Now lift the top of the pushchair upwards and the front wheels outwards. Adjust the handle bar to your desired position and you are ready to go.

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a double buggy with flexibility, and one that can go anywhere, the Mountain Buggy duet could be just the pushchair for you. It's good looking, functional and has so many ride options you are spoilt for choice and if you have a third child you can even attach a ‘freerider' which is Mountain Buggy's super cool toddler board.

There are a few niggles, the bumper bar can only be used when in side-by-side mode which is a shame as some children do like to have one. The feel of the handle bar is a matter of taste so you might find you either love, or hate it.

When it comes to the strap recline, it is better than some, but the need to use both hands to do it is frustrating.

The good outweighs the bad. There are so many good things on the Mountain Buggy duet, it has lovely plush fabrics, good storage, and can cope with any terrain you throw at it. It's also super adaptable so it will last your family for years. If you need a double that offers you a ‘life without limits' you really should check out the Mountain Buggy duet. 

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