Mountain Buggy are well known for their all-terrain pushchairs that have been built to help you explore the toughest of terrains with your little ones. The duet V3 is a side by side double (and single!) pushchair with a few nifty upgrades from the 2016 V2.5 edition.
We've reviewed the Mountain Buggy duet before, but we were still excited to get our hands on the brand new V3 to test out the upgrades that make this side by side double even better.
What's in the box?
Box 1 - Pushchair
• Chassis with 2 seats
• 4 x air filled wheels
• 2 x sun canopy
• Bumper bar
• Drinks bottle holder
Box 2 - carrycot plus
• Carrycot - requires assembling
• Parent facing seat fabric
• Sun canopy.
• Carrycot adapters
The RRP of the Mountain Buggy duet v3 ranges from £559 - £848 depending upon which configuration you choose.
• Weight: 14.7kg
• Folded size: 89cm (H) x 63cm (W) x 32cm (D)
• Suitability: Birth - 4 years (18kg in each seat)
• duet carrycot plus £139
• Joey tote bag £49
• MB Cocoon £49
• Single storm cover £29
• Double storm cover £39
• Single sun shade £35
• Double sun shade £49
• Car seat adapters £39
• Travel bag £79
• Maintenance kit £19
• Aerotech wheel bundle £119
The Mountain Buggy duet is available in Grid, Marine, Black and Silver.
Pulling the latest model of the duet out of the box, there were several things that struck us. Firstly, we breathed a short sigh of relief when we realised that the amount of assembly required had kindly been kept to a minimum. We just had to pop the wheels on, clip the sun canopies on and away we went. Secondly was the size of the new duet. The box was notably smaller than the box of the previous model that we had tested and the new duet V3 was slinkier and definitely smaller when folded (a sight welcomed by parents with limited boot space!). The super slim rear wheel base of the duet is a real selling point for this side by side double pushchair. At just 63cm in width, it measures the same as many single pushchairs on the market and easily fits through interior doorways. This will be music to the ears of those of you who are worried about not fitting into your local village shop with your two children in a double pushchair.
The sleek high grade aluminium tube frame is extremely lightweight but at the same time it is very sturdy. Although you can feel the weightiness of the duet when lifting it from car to house etc, to push it is feather light.
The single continuous handlebar is covered in Mountain Buggy's ‘comfort grip' rubber. The ribbed rubber handle isn't the softest on your palms but it sure is practical and the handlebar never once slipped through our hands in wet or sticky weather. There is also the safety strap that can be popped around your wrist to ensure the pushchair does not roll away from you on uneven ground. The handlebar is also height adjustable by pushing in the two circular buttons on the handlebar hinge.
A new addition to the V3 duet is the hand operated brake. Just like a bicycle brake, there is a cable operated system for you to vary the speed of the pushchair with your hand, great if you are on rough ground of if you feel like your pushchair laden with two is running away with you downhill. Whilst it was a super addition to have control right at our fingertips, we did feel that the brake had been set onto the handlebar in the wrong position. It rested next to our left hand but was positioned as if you were going to operate it with your right hand. Once we had used the duet for a few weeks, we soon got to grips with this new setup!
As well as the new handbrake option there is also a foot pedal brake. The metal brake bar runs the length of the rear wheel base and has a large red rubber lever on either side so you can flick the brake on and off with either foot. The brake felt sturdy and secure and never missed a beat.
The wheels on the duet are robust in nature but small in size. Each wheel is made up of a 10 inch air filled tyre which gives the smoothest and lightest of strolls across all terrains. 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 too, no air = no punctures!
The front wheels can be locked into 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.
Storage is in abundance on the chassis of the new duet for two reasons. The first being that the shopping basket is very roomy. It isn't the deepest but it has a great floor area and has handy zip close pockets to keep smaller essentials within handy reach.
Secondly (and perhaps most excitingly!) there is the option of purchasing the additional Joey basket. This basket is a large and spacious removable shopping basket with handles that can be placed on one side of the pushchair frame to create oodles of storage space when you use the pushchair in single mode. We found the Joey absolutely perfect for carrying everything from a full weekly shop to spare coats and picnics! (up to a weight of 18kg!). The option to convert the duet to a single pushchair with a shopping basket on the side makes the duet ultra versatile and great for parents who require the use of just one seat but have lots of luggage to carry.
It's known best as a slim line side-by-side double pushchair but in actual fact the seating on the duet V3 is extremely versatile and flexible. Straight from the box, the duet V3 comes with two forward facing seats attached to the chassis. These seats are covered in thickly woven and soft fabrics, almost linen like in style. We are testing the new Grid fabric pattern and we love how it adds a classy and interesting twist to your pushchair whilst remaining perfectly gender neutral.
The harness on each seat is typical of many new edition Mountain Buggy pushchairs. It is a 5 point harness made of quality webbing which can be clipped and secured into a round buckle with 4 separate clips. At first we were apprehensive about using this buckle system, especially with a 2 year old who is at times reluctant to be strapped in. However we were proved wrong time and time again as this buckle system was so much easier to use, even with a wriggly toddler squirming in the seat. The adjustment on the harness is also easy to use, with sliding clasps adjusting the harness to multiple positions according to the height of your child.
Each seat of the duet has an independent recline system, so one child can be snoozing whilst the other is playing. The strap recline system is operated by tightening and lengthening the webbing on the back of the seats. Although it definitely isn't a one-handed affair, the range of recline options is infinite and the seats do lay fully flat if needed.
Each seat also has its own individual sun canopy. The canopy is made out of the same soft fabric as the seat unit hammocks. It's thickly woven but can need some coaxing to stay in the desired position when you extend the canopy fully. There is a peek a boo window on the top of each canopy so you can sneak a quick look at your sleeping baby and there is also a built in visor at the front of each canopy that gives a little bit of extra shade when the sun is really shining. It would of been great for the canopies to give that little bit more coverage with a zip out expandable panel.
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.
But we haven't even broken the back of the seating options available on the duet V3. There is double mode (two forward facing seats), single mode (one seat and Joey basket) which we have already talked about and then on top of these you can use the duet as part of a travel system with many brands of car seat. You will need to purchase the additional car seat adapters but once fitted the car seats clip on and off the frame effortlessly. We tested the duet V3 using the Mountain Buggy Protect 0+ infant car seat and found it super handy when we were doing quick trips like the school run with a newborn and a toddler.
If you have a toddler who doesn't want to be refined to the seat unit but still needs to rest their legs at times, you can use the duet in conjunction with the Freerider ride on board which doubles up as a fabulous scooter.
There is also the option to use the duet V3 with the Mountain Buggy carrycot plus. You can use one or two carrycots on the chassis and the beauty of the carrycot plus is that they also convert into parent facing seats, meaning the duet V3 covers every seating possibility a parent and child could ever wish for!
When unboxing the carrycot plus, you will notice that it needs quite a bit of assembling. You need to refer to the instructions quite a lot but after 15 minutes or so we had constructed it successfully.
In carrycot form, the carrycot plus provides a well padded carrycot for a newborn baby measuring 80 x 30 x 22cm with a maximum load of 9kg. This might look narrow but when we popped a newborn into the carrycot, they enjoyed the snug environment. The mattress comes complete in the box and provides a natural comfortable base for baby to sleep on. You also have the option of using the hinges on the carrycot plus to adjust the incline of the carrycot slightly. Great if you have a colicky or reflux prone baby.
Folding the duet v3 couldn't be any simpler or easier. Once you know where the fold mechanism is, it takes just seconds to operate and fold and unfold the pushchair. Underneath the soft leg rests of the seats and just above the metal footplate is a twist-able lever. Push the grey button in and twist the lever, the whole pushchair will collapse down on itself. The chassis locks into place automatically. To unfold, simply reverse the process 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.
The fold of the duet has been made significantly smaller from the previous model. As the pushchair footplate is now hinged and folds under with the rest of the pushchair, this has reduced the fold size by a whopping 7cm! It really is noticeable too when you pop it in the boot of your average family hatchback. We make no bones about it though, the fold package is still large, but it is a double pushchair after all. We found it helpful to remove the rear wheels from the pushchair to give that extra bit of room in the boot of the car.
If you are in search of a double pushchair that will adapt and grow as your family does, then the latest model of the Mountain Buggy duet will be perfect for you. It ticks all the boxes of an all-round pushchair for two with its soft seat fabrics, easily adjustable harnesses and separate sun hoods. It is light to push but robust enough to withstand the trials and tribulations of daily life with children.
The addition of the new handbrake gives extra control when pushing over rough ground or when going up and down hills. We did feel that the position of the handbrake on the handlebar was a bit confusing at times but once we had used the pushchair for a few weeks, we soon got used to this.
The nifty fold of the duet is easy and quick to operate and Mountain Buggy have done their best to reduce the size of the fold as much as they can from previous models. For families with smaller car boots though, or for whom storage is a premium, the duet might still fell on the large side when folded.
We love the fact that the duet can adapt and change into a single pushchair and can offer so many versatile seating options from car seat to carrycots to parent facing seating options too, is a really attractive feature.