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Mountain Buggy MB Mini Review

Review Overview

Mountain Buggy MB Mini Review
Expert Reviewer
143 Reviews
Reviewed On: 12 Jul 2013
Helen Taylor
Expert Reviewer
Helen's Verdict:

The Mountain Buggy MB Mini is one of the latest releases from Mountain Buggy, and we were lucky enough to be one of the first to get our hot little hands on it, see what we thought in our Mountain Buggy MB Mini Review...

Review Summary

Summary

The Mountain Buggy MB Mini is perfect if you want to grab it, flick it open, grab the kids and dash on with your daily life without any fuss and nonsense from your pushchair. All in all; a great, slimmed down, honed and toned Mountain Buggy that does what it says on the tin exceptionally well and with that great Mountain Buggy style we have come to know and love.

What’s good
  • Lightweight, nippy
  • Easy stand fold
  • Tall seat
What’s not so good
  • Lacking common features
  • Awkward clunky brake
  • Pricy

Review Content

Mountain Buggy MB Mini Review
Chassis

With the new Mountain Buggy MB Mini, Mountain Buggy hopes to expand the diversity of their range whilst maintaining their signature styling and core values. The Mountain Buggy Mini features all your favourite bits from your traditional all terrain Mountain Buggies, but in a new slicker and leaner street smart ultra lightweight hybrid model. Think they've bitten off more than they can chew by trying to achieve the best of both worlds? We take a look at how they get on in our Mountain Buggy MB Mini Review.

So here we have it, the Mountain Buggy MB Mini, and first impressions are that the name suits. It's slim and light, it feels like a lightweight stroller but with a lot more ‘oomph'. It feels nippy and manoeuvrable, and almost feminine in its daintiness; with clean smooth lines and a minimalist feel. It's like a soft and gentle baby sister to its bigger beefier brothers the Terrain, the Urban and the Swift.

Mountain_Buggy_Mini_Review_Chassis

The frame looks sturdy and strong, and although the pushchair weighs little more than your average umbrella fold stroller, you get a far more robust feel from it. The wheels are the usual Mountain Buggy style, low profile and light. Unlike other pushchairs we find some advanced technology – these wheels are created from a hybrid of EVA and rubber, meaning they are smooth running yet puncture free. The front swivel wheel is not lockable, and although it is clear that Mountain Buggy are aiming the MB Mini at the urban end of the market, this is often a well used feature on a three wheeler in a variety of situations such as going over cobbles or uneven pavements when you need to push with one hand and hold onto an elder sibling with the other. There is also no suspension here, so this is clearly a pushchair for smoother terrain.

The rubber covered handle on the MB Mini is not adjustable but the curve of the handle allows for a range of different holds to be achieved and it feels a comfortable height and angle. This no frills approach also allows you to get a good feel for the pushchair when using it up and down steps or kerbs, without feeling any flex in the frame – even with a heavy toddler on board. The ‘kerb pop' (how easy it is to lift the ‘nose' of the pushchair up to get up a step or kerb) has been designed by Mountain Buggy to ensure this activity is as easy as possible to complete with the Mountain Buggy MB Mini.

The shopping basket is adequate enough for most of your everyday needs, although a little shallow. Access is excellent, and even with the seat fully reclined you can still gain some access – far superior to most umbrella fold strollers.

The brake is your standard linked rear foot pedal; a push down, flip off type affair. The nice large pedal is unfortunately set quite close to the rear strut of the frame, requiring a bit of a toe hook manoeuvre to flick it downwards. Nice and reassuring it's a chunky clunk into place, plenty loud enough to let you know it has correctly engaged.

Although the Mountain Buggy MB Mini feels slim and compact, the rear wheels protrude from the chassis rather than tuck underneath, and whilst this gives you a more confident feel in its stability (its 58cm wide), it does mean you are occasionally snagging a wheel as you take tight turns or squeeze through narrow gaps.

Seat

The forward facing seat on the Mountain Buggy MB Mini is plenty spacious enough for an older child to sit comfortably in. It is well padded and despite being set within the narrow frame of the Mountain Buggy MB Mini, the backrest goes all the way up to the hood and widens out near the top to accommodate broader shoulders of larger toddlers.

The seat is suitable from newborn when used in a fully reclined position, and although laying flat and having a nice enclosed feel to it, you would want some additional padding and head support in there for a really tiny tot. With the seat fully reclined the maximum weight allowed to rest upon the seat back is 9kg (20lbs) when your child weighs in excess of this the seat should only be used in a more upright position. The seat in the upright position can take children up to a weight of 20kg (44lbs), giving you a wide weight range and potentially lasting well into toddlerhood and beyond.

The Mountain Buggy MB Mini has a fixed calf rest and a wipe clean plastic foot plate. The fabrics used on the Mountain Buggy MB Mini are sponge clean only, and are smooth yet robust feeling that should last well if cared for correctly.

The recline system on the Mountain Buggy MB Mini is a little bit different to most other pushchairs. More advanced and user friendly than the traditional toggle system, but not quite as effortless as a one handed system this slider system is a good compromise. On the backrest of the Mountain Buggy MB Mini you will see two slide adjusters, one on either side, through which the seat recline straps run. All you do to drop the seat down is lift and pull downwards on them to thread the straps through – very similar to how you would slacken off a backpack shoulder strap and you can drop it right down. Once down the Mountain Buggy MB Mini has a mesh panel at the rear, which allows for great ventilation and a good view of your sleeping baby, in case this is a little too airy for your liking Mountain Buggy have incorporated a solid panel into the rear of the seat that can be rolled down to cover the opening, giving a more snug, darkened environment. To sit the seat back up again you just pull outwards on the end of the straps (handy loops are provided) and the seat raises back up. Once up you might like to do some re-arranging to the fabric that is now bunched around the top of the seat to push it behind the seat backrest out of the way.

Mountain_Buggy_Mini_Review_Seat

A clever way of simultaneously adjusting the length of the shoulder and waist straps on the Mountain Buggy MB Mini mean that there are never any ‘tails' of the straps dangling in the front around your child, no matter how small you want to make the harness. Although this in principle is a great idea the actual adjustment is fiddly and difficult, carried out through buckles on the rear of the seat. Adjusting the height of the shoulder strap position from one of the three settings to another was similarly fiddly and not something you would want to do regularly. The well padded crotch strap is not adjustable in terms of length or distance from the seat back and chest pads are included. The harness clip buckle itself is well protected by the padding of the crotch strap and you need to use two hands to open really, great for stopping little ones escaping by undoing it themselves, but a little bit more tricky if you ever have to undo it whilst using your other hand for something else (like stopping an elder sibling running off!).

The hood is a nice feature on the Mountain Buggy MB Mini, with several nice extra touches. The hood itself can give good coverage to the pushchair seat and extends neatly up and over a little ones head. In addition to this, a flip out sun visor can be used to give much more extensive shade, and as it is mesh it should still allow taller nosey tots to see out enough to stop them getting annoyed with it. The Mountain Buggy MB Mini hood also has a mesh toggle operated peek-a-boo window, nice and quiet to operate.

Fold

The Mountain Buggy MB Mini is really easy to fold and unfold. All you do is reach under the fabric edge of the front of the seat where you will find a latch. Depress a small button with your thumb and then lift the latch, as you do so the pushchair begins to break in half and you can continue to lift your hand upwards bringing the two halves of the pushchair together underneath. When it is fully sandwiched shut an auto-lock will engage on the side of the frame. By squeezing the frame together you can ratchet this auto-lock even tighter to create an even flatter fold.

Although the fold of the mountain buggy Mini is quite long and a bit wide, it is no longer than an umbrella fold, and is much slimmer. The pushchair will free stand by resting on its handle bar (you will be so thank full it is a hardwearing rubber rather than a delicate foam at this point), and you can most likely find somewhere in your home to store it neatly, even if it is just to one side in your hallway. To unfold, easy peasy once again; undo the auto-lock on the side and just lift the handlebar upwards smartly, the pushchair automatically locks into the open position.

Mountain_Buggy_Mini_Review_Fold
Carrycot

The carrycot for the Mountain Buggy MB Mini is the same one that fits on the Mountain Buggy Swift. It comes with a hood, mattress, apron, raincover and adapters. Some construction is required prior to using the carrycot on the frame. The seat and hood of the Mini must be removed fully (easily done), and the carrycot itself needs to be fixed with four snap locks. Not the most simple of task, requiring some construction with an allen key (provided), but once done you're set and the carrycot can be lifted on and off the frame with ease. The carrycot itself is a decent size, a good length and about as much width as you could expect for a slim line pushchair. The mattress is softly padded giving a snug environment, and the carrycot has straps so you can easily carry it about.

Conclusion

In many ways I didn't want to like the Mountain Buggy MB Mini, and before I laid hands on it I kept thinking, "but what is the point of it? why would you not just buy the swift??". I found it hard to picture where in Mountain Buggy's range the MB Mini would sit in comparison to their existing models and of course, the smart new Mountain Buggy Cosmopolitan. Then I got my hands on it, and all the things that, on paper, had me frowning were instantly forgotten.

Who cares for adjustable handles or front wheel swivel locks - when you give the Mountain Buggy MB Mini a push and feel it glide effortlessly along you know that it just made the entire traditional umbrella fold stroller market look woefully inadequate in comparison. It's easy to push (even heavily loaded), lightweight, it effortlessly folds flat and small, it's so narrow you can get it round your local corner shop as easily as your shopping mall, the seat is large and comfortable and the fabled Mountain Buggy ‘Kerb pop' is very much a reality here.

It does lack features for a £350 pushchair/stroller though, such as an adjustable handle bar, suspension and front wheel lock plus everything is extra - even the raincover, so its by no means a bargain. It's a lifestyle product, one that will appeal to lovers of the Mountain Buggy brand and everything it stands for, hence the price tag. 
 

The Mountain Buggy MB Mini is perfect if you want to grab it, flick it open, grab the kids and dash on with your daily life without any fuss and nonsense from your pushchair. All in all; a great, slimmed down, honed and toned Mountain Buggy that does what it says on the tin exceptionally well and with that great Mountain Buggy style we have come to know and love.

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