Catherine Balston and her twin girls clock up the miles with the Mountain Buggy Duet
My twin daughters, Frances and Marcela, turn one this week, which means not only have I made it through the first year with my sanity intact, but their Mountain Buggy Duet has proven to be a trusted four-wheel companion.
Most mothers of twins I know have tandem buggies – the slim option for getting around town, albeit with one child always stuck in the back seat. What first sold me on the side-by-side Mountain Buggy Duet was its claim to be no wider than a single buggy (63cm). And as yet, no door or alleyway has defeated us.
The Duet is definitely a looker, with a choice of colours for the seat and sun covers. The handlebar easily accommodates different heights, and the basket is tucked neatly away underneath, though this does mean you’ll be down on your knees to access it.
The real innovation, however, is the buggy’s versatility. The two front-facing seats are the default, but you can buy accessories to create a jigsaw puzzle of seat options to suit your set-up – from a single seat and tote shopping basket, to two parent-facing bassinets for newborns. There’s even a scooter attachment for toddlers. I picked the Carrycot Plus, an interchangeable set of two bassinets and two parent-facing seats, to see us through from the girls’ first outing to their first birthday.
Praticality & drivability
The Mountain Buggy Duet can turn corners so tight, it makes a London cab look cumbersome. Its manoeuvrability is exceptional, taking on the highest of kerbs, the knottiest of tree roots, and gliding on and off buses with ease. With all-terrain credentials, it’s given us a great sense of freedom. We’ve been for walks along beaches in Brazil, down dirt tracks in Dorset and through snowy fields in Wiltshire, and we’ve yet to get stuck. There’s even a ski attachment for the wheels.
The off-road action of Mountain Buggy owners is perhaps the reason why the standard air-filled tyres reportedly don’t survive hard wear and tear. I heard from friends, and read in a number of reviews, that tyres started to puncture after a few months. The thought of juggling two crying babies and a puncture repair kit convinced me to fork out for the puncture-proof rubber tyres from the start, and they’re still going strong.
The Mountain Buggy Duet has certainly lived up to its reputation as an all-terrain stroller. It’s comfortable and reliable, and has accessories that can adapt the buggy to your growing brood – although be prepared to spend around 50% more on top of the buggy price for these. The storm cover and mesh cover, and the puncture-proof tyres, were non-negotiable for me, but the carrycot set for newborns is a nice-to-have. The standard seats recline fully, and with a lambswool liner to keep them cosy, my girls have loved cruising in the buggy right from the very start.