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Double buggy dilemmas - regular bus user in London

(42 Posts)
HandMini Tue 20-Nov-12 20:20:51

Hi clever ladies of Mumsnet - help me out here! I live in central London, use buses a lot for getting around and from Jan will have a newborn and an 18 month old. So...

I really like the look of the BJ City Select, but it seems to have the biggest width at about 65cm...anybody tried this buggy on buses?

I like the iCandy Peach Blossom as well but the seat configuration is less good than the City Select. Also, is there a big difference between the Peach Blossom and the Peach Blossom 2 (I'll be trying to buy on eBay if poss so likely to be older models I guess)?

All the other mums-of-two in London seem to have a Phil & Teds. I'm not keen on these looks-wise and I do think the child on the bottom looks pretty low down / vision restricted. BUT I have heard its the nippiest for getting on buses etc.

Anything else I've missed?

Thanks in advance

fraktion Tue 20-Nov-12 20:32:16

Single and sling?!

HandMini Tue 20-Nov-12 20:35:55

Yup, I had thought of that too! Especially as I love my Maclaren for whizzing round London. Had anyone done single plus sling long term with their DCs...I think it would work for quick trips out to a friend or something, but with nappy bags and shopping and toddler gubbins? Realistic? <<weak emoticon>>

tricot39 Tue 20-Nov-12 20:46:56

I had a sienta duo but it is difficult to steer. Big plus is the price and lots going cheap on ebay. Also very light for a double, umbrella fold and very narrow for fitting into tight spaces/on buses. I used it with a phil and teds cocoon which can be slotted into the back through the flap which was great for a snug baby ride when tiny. After about 7 months I reverted to the maclaren and buggy board - but it will depend on your eldest dc. Mine were 2 years apart so by 2.5 he was mostly up for the board, but is still pretty lazy now at 3.5 TBH. I just get him to hitch a lift standing on the back bars of the maclaren if he gets tired nowadays. I looked at the City Select and drooled over it for a bit but in the end it would not fit into our childminders hallway, or our car boot with any degree of ease. Nor did it tip up for kerbs very well. I avoided a P&T because my son didn't like the seats, but I think those do very well (the compact/sporty ones anyway) in London. Friends who had them still use them occasionally and you can steer single handed when the toddler starts walking. So for longevity P&T would get my vote, but weight/price I thought the Sienta was OK. Doing it again I would defo buy one second hand as double buggies get a lot less use than singles as EVERYONE ends up hating them and gets back to their single asap. Also you can do a test drive before buying on ebay - whereas lots of the rarer doubles are difficult to find to do a trial

Oh - another option was a bugaboo bee with a lascal buggy board - a friend used that combo very well as her toddler could sit on the end of the baby seat with her feet on the board when she got tired. She did sling and single for as long as she could tho.

Good luck. there is no perfect fit!

Ihateparties Tue 20-Nov-12 20:57:42

Haha, I'm with you, I too am too mentally weak for this full time, esp with a fairly small age gap as you will have. grin

It depends on what is really important to you, the city select will be long in carrycot mode as well as pretty wide, if the seat positions are your main priority then great. Reportedly becomes very hard to handle once the children get heavier.

Peach easy to push, very compact but as you say less seating options. Also realistically I would say the improvements on the peach 2 are totally worth it, the lower seat is slightly larger than the older one and more importantly it sits upright and the space between the seats may be slightly larger(?). You do pay through the nose for it though :-/

Phil and Teds are very readily available, I can't help feeling like this is a decent part of their appeal, many people don't do much research, I can easily see and P and T being the best double mothercare have to offer so people just buying them. Never had one, know people who love them and people who won't go near them. The lower seat being low thing doesn't bother me but I am a tandem person as oppose to a side by side double so it had better not bother me. Also how much higher up would the lower child be if they were walking?? My elder one goes in the lower seat and she's about 10cm lower in there than on foot, it's really not very much!

Other options - Babystyle Oyster Max... just google it :-O, Jane Twone (seats are v close but it's very light, compact and easy to push) erm... brain has shut down. There are more...

ceeveebee Tue 20-Nov-12 21:06:09

BJ city select is very long. I have an icandy peach 1 and its fine for getting on buses but is not great for the baby in the back - now my DTs are 12 mo I've more or less stopped using it as its just impossible to access lower seat properly (and my smaller twin is diddy, the size of an 8 mo)
Have you considered side by side - mountain buggy is only 63cm wide?

DewDr0p Tue 20-Nov-12 21:16:57

Don't worry about the lower seat on the P&T honestly - my guys used to fight over who got to go in there. It is the most manoevrable double pram I have ever personally steered.

Also I think (?) both the City Select and Peach are significantly heavier than the P&T - which trust me makes a difference when you are pushing two dcs around grin

If you can borrow a second child and try each one out fully laden. Longer prams are a nightmare to get up and down kerbs and can be hard to steer with the heavier child a long way forward from you. Haven't seen the Peach in the flesh but the back seat looks a bit cramped in photos? Maybe not too different from the P&T though?


Ihateparties Tue 20-Nov-12 21:24:21

The peach is heavy to lift all in one piece but not at all heavy to push laden with children, even big ones. The back seat on the peach 1 is cramped, the peach 2 isn't but there are so few out and about yet you probably wouldn't have seen one.

The 63cm Mountain Buggy - not sure how to picture this on a london bus, it's much longer than I expected. I got one thinking it would be my perfect thing and I just plain didn't like it although again loads of people do.

Find somewhere to go look at and feel stuff, you will get an idea of your preferences better. Then ebay is your friend really grin

One more thing - easy x rider buggyboard, sit down one with enclosed ish seat and lapbelt. Used one of these for the 1st 3 months with DC2 and 3 so 3 could have a carrycot pram, worked really well but if you do a lot of walking the small hard wheels may drive you slightly insane. The coloured flashy lights inside them do go some way to off setting this annoyance!

HandMini Tue 20-Nov-12 22:34:02

Thanks so much all. All these posts are def making me think there's no point in spending a fortune when I'm just going to be itching to get rid of it in a new months....I kind of already feel that way, would love not to have to get a double but I think my older one is too little to buggy-board it the whole time.

Tiggywunkle, are you out there??

Tiggywunkle Wed 21-Nov-12 01:25:38

Believe me, the P&Ts arent light! The Peach Blossom, Twone, Oyster Max and more are all much lighter to push! I would look at all three of these, plus the B-Dual. In particular the Oyster Max which is surpassing all my expectations. Its been on a bus too, although admittedly not in London (I wish!)
Look too at the Micralite Twofold. It may look odd, but in theory, and from my knowledge of Micralites it does seem to work.

I liked my Sienta Duo but the problem with that and also the P&Ts is that you find at various age points, the pushchair has an identity crisis. This is different with every age gap though. So for example with an 18 month old, I would imagine they still nap? How will an 18 month old nap comfortably when the doubles kit is on the front of a P&Ts? Equally with an umbrella fold, what do you do if your then 2 and a half year old can paddle the pushchair along the floor and yet your 12 month old still needs a nap - but the front seat has such a small recline on it?

I certainly would NOT be buggy boarding an 18 month old! However do not be surprised if you choose on pushchair for the first 6-12 months and then swap. Treat a double like a rental and dont get sentimental over it if you decide later that something would work better.

Bear in mind as well that if the BJCS is 65cms that for just 7cms more you could have a 72cms Nipper.....or for just 8.5cms more a Bumbleride Indie Twin.....etc

cheapandchic Wed 21-Nov-12 13:07:02

I have the same age gap. I am in London on the buses every single day.

I have the mountain buggy duet and absolutely love it.

Both children can sleep comfortably and sit comfortably at any angle, which is important with a small gap. They love being next to each other. Its super easy to push. Yes there are sometimes when I have to wait for an empty bus, when the other buggy on board is very large. I also go through the back doors, but the driver always lets me and its not a problem. The majority of the time its not a problem. It looks large but I swear there is not a single doorway in London that I have not fit through.

I tried sling+buggy but only lasted two months. Baby just got heavy and I was glad I had the double. Only started buggy board when older is close to 3 years old....but still love/use the duet.

Firawla Wed 21-Nov-12 13:13:14

I have p&t its pretty good for public transport but even on some buses u have to get in the back door with p&t, depending on placement of the poll as some bus routes have slightly different design and that tiny difference makes the dif between fitting on and not. Wouldnt really recommend anything wider than p&t.
Downside of p&t, not sure if others with similar wheels have the same problem, but flat tires. I have had so many and it is a massive pain to push when the wheels are not staying fully inflated, also makes it harder to bump down stairs

My sister has twins and has the mountain buggy duet, or maybe duo? Whichever one is narrower. It is fantastic! It fits through every doorway she has attempted and is a breeze to steer around shops. She uses a bus everyday and it fits alongside a single buggy unless it's a huge one.

My nearly 3 yr old fits in it fine.

It really is a dream to push, but doesn't fold down very well and doesn't fit in my mums boot.

I had a 22 month gap between dc3 and 4 and there is no way I could have managed without a double. I just used a cheap mamas and papas and it was a year of great difficulty, but I couldn't justify the price of any others.

TinyPenguin Wed 21-Nov-12 14:24:47

My friend and I went all over London recently, using the buses, she had a single witha buggy board & I had a MB Duet - we both fit onto the bus together - I just got on the back doors then went to the front to tap my oyster card. I haven't yet found a doorway i can't fit through with the Duet - It has been my best buy so far & easy to push. Am still pushing uphill (very steep gradient) with my 3 year old & 1 year old on board (and they're both large for their ages) - a great workout too!
I also have a P&T (use it for nursery runs as i can fit it in the stoarge shed at nursery) and much prefer the Duet - both are comfortable in their own seats, can sleep lying flat if wanting to, without disturbing the other. The hoods are great too. The only thing that annoys me a bit about it is the raincover, it feels like they're in a bit of a cave when it's on ehich my 3 year old isn't keen on, but then she's never been keen on raincovers, the 1 year old isn't bothered!

HandMini Wed 21-Nov-12 14:54:06

Thanks for views on slings and buggy boards as well as many people seem to blithely tell me to stick to a single and do board/sling, but I reckon that's going to be a nice-to-have if we're popping five minutes up the road and I just can't see it working as an every day option. Really interested to hear about the Mountain a bus user, I had discounted side by sides, but clearly wrong.

Tiggy - I think my older girl will still want to nap, so had discounted anything that was just a single with a rumble seat (like Uppababy Vista).

I do totally accept that a buggy-wielding bus user has to often wait until the space is free / not get on a really busy bus, but I just don't want to feel like my choice of buggy is massive restriction to getting around, as I have loved enjoying all London has to offer with my first baby.

I LOVE the Babystyle Oyster Max, but where can I get one? Did someone on here say they already had one? I've done a bit of a web trawl and they seem to say February 2013 arrival? This is a bit late for me, but maybe it'll be worth waiting for....

fraktion Wed 21-Nov-12 15:22:55

I used to nanny and used single plus sling (and in a temp job double plus sling). You need a good sling and a single that you can clip the bag too with a large shopping basket or a backpack (but that only works for as long as you front carry).

It is doable.

Tiggywunkle Thu 22-Nov-12 00:11:56

I have an Oyster Max which is how I know its fabulous! But yes, it is supposedly a Feb 2013 arrival. But well worth waiting for smile

ceeveebee Thu 22-Nov-12 08:47:55

Tiggy, do you happen to know the RRP for the Oyster Max? Still haven't decided whether to upgrade my peach to version 2 (the non matching seats is putting me off) so this could be a nice option for my 12 mo twins?
(Sorry to hijack!)

HandMini Thu 22-Nov-12 11:01:01

Tiggy, if you don't mind me asking, how did you get it? Do you work for Babystyle or are you overseas or something?

Hmm, holding out till Feb maybe possible - due date end of Jan...get through first two weeks or so with a sling and a single...pray the Oyster Max doesn't suddenly have a two month delay???

Tiggywunkle Fri 23-Nov-12 01:19:57

The last I heard the RRP is £399 for the chassis and main seat; £129 for the lower / second seat and £115 for the carrycot.

I was fortunate enough to be allowed to test the Oyster Max - there's a number on test at present. I have had over 25 tandems and the Oyster Max is very very very good....I have to say I am impressed....and I am not easily impressed!!!!

designerbaby Fri 23-Nov-12 01:50:11

If you're a regular London bus user, can I plead with you NOT to get a side by side double? There's a woman with a f*****g massive mountain buggy thing on the route I use, so regularly I have to wait ages for another bus because if she's on, there's no room for anyone else, even me with my titchy volo. I must confess I hate her a little bit... A lot, actually, when it's late, dark and raining. Like tonight.angry

It's a bit if a selfish choice, in the circumstances you describe.IMHO.

I had P&T. It has it's drawbacks, but on balance it was the sensible, most compact choice for travel on buses in London. Worked completely fine at various stages/ages.

Think of other bus users!?



BlameItOnTheBogey Fri 23-Nov-12 01:56:27

My solution to this with the same age gap was to get a single buggy that could either be newborn lie flat or toddler (without the need to switch out seats). I then added a sling and a buggy board. This meant that I could put the baby in the sling and toddler in the push chair. When I got tired/ either got grumpy, I put the toddler on the buggyboard and baby into the push chair. This worked a treat and we used it successfully on tubes and buses all over London. I used the bugaboo bee because there's no major change needed between lie flat and sit up. I can really recommend this as the best way around London with two under two.

I've just bought the BDuel, it was between that and the twone. Baby can go in either seat and it comes with clip extensions so the carrycot isn't too close to the toddler if you have the baby on top.

ceeveebee Fri 23-Nov-12 09:47:57

designerbaby mountain buggy is same width as most singles. You try lifting a heavy tandem with 50lb of baby in it and see what you think then.

What pisses me off even more are those parents with an umbrella fold buggy who refuse to take their Pfb out and fold it regardless of whoever else needs the space.

designer baby the phil and teds is 62 cms wide and the mountain buggy duet is 63 cms! My maclaren is 53 cm wide-so I think a side by side double at only 63cm is fantastic!

ceeveebee absolutely!

HandMini Fri 23-Nov-12 14:18:07

DB, I absolutely AM thinking of other bus users! I too have experienced the "mammoth pram taking up all available space, ho-hum another 10 minutes in the rain for me and my Maclaren" moment! My question was not "What's the biggest buggy I can humanly cram on the bus?" and I hope it doesn't come across that way. Being able to use buses is however probably my most important factor in choosing a double as I don't want to be unable to visit friends and family who are a half hour bus ride away = too far to walk.

Blameit - I agree that getting hold of a single that suits both newborn and toddler would be sensible...that way if I can do some of my trips with a sling I'll be able to swap them about. Bee sounds like a good idea if I can get a cheapy on ebay - do you have a Bee or Bee Plus. I have heard that the Bee Plus had lots of improvements, but guessing that means its more expensive. Unfortunately my current (Techno) won't be OK for a newborn.

OK, my mind is made up, so thank you all so much. None of the other tandems are quite hitting the mark for me, so I'm going to hold out for the Oyster Max and do the first couple of months with sling and a single. Will let you know how I go!

designerbaby Fri 23-Nov-12 15:04:20

but Happy, there's a difference between the width of the sitting bit, and the wheel width. It's not a mathematical thing. Mathematically they may be the same, but you can overlap wheels in a confined space, you can't with the sitting bits. IYSWIM.

So, I know for a fact that you can fit a P&T and a maclaren, for example in the wheelchair space on a standard London Bus. I also know you can't with a Mountain Buggy side-by-side double. And I think lifting any buggy with 2 infants /toddlers in is bloody heavy. That said I'm a titchy 5ft 1", and I managed to heft the P&T on and off buses etc pretty easily, and I had mahoosive baby and very big for her age toddler in it.

Look, I agree that, for example, the mountain buggy is lovely to push, and lovely for them both to sit in (although my friend has one, and her two fight, constantly when in it - a situation avoided when they can't get at each other in a P&T!). But on a busy bus, in London, side-by-sides are a bloody nightmare.

I also tried the single and sling and buggyboard option, but I found my massive babies and small frame made it too difficult day-to-day. DD1 wasn't really good on the buggy board, properly until she was nearer 3.

HandMini - no, I know that's what you were getting at. It was just a heartfelt plea from someone who had just had to spend an additional 20 minutes in driving rain and wind with two tired children because of someone taking up the entire space on a bus with a MB double. Driver "You can't get on, there's a double on already...". Me [fume].

IMHO P&T works really well for what you want to do. It's not perfect, but they're easy to pick up on Ebay for not much ££, or even, as I did, borrow from a friend to test-drive for a few weeks first. I gave mine (bought on ebay) to a friend, otherwise I'd have loaned it to you... :-(


designerbaby Fri 23-Nov-12 18:38:00

Mini, doesn't the techno lie flat? I'm sure mine is got newborn onwards and you can get a cocoon for them for when they're tiny (which you can bundle up underneath when toddler needs the buggy...)

Maybe I'm thinking if the wrong techno though...

Tiggywunkle Fri 23-Nov-12 23:08:09

The Duet is the newer side by side Mountain Buggy. The older Mountain Buggy Duo is 10cms wider which is probably the one designer baby sees..but even so, is still one of the smaller side by sides TBH. But the Mountain Buggies are quite long too.

BlameItOnTheBogey Sat 24-Nov-12 15:47:12

Hand just come back to this. I had the original bee and it worked great. I agree that getting a second hand one from ebay should make it more affordable and you don't need the plus...

designerbaby Sat 24-Nov-12 16:51:35

Oh and ceeveebee, the reason I don't fold my umbrella fold buggy, and end up having to wait for another is that my DD in it is DD2 (so not PFB if that was a side swipe as I am assuming) so I would have to wrestle DDone (usually with at least 2 school bags and a scooter) dd2 her folded buggy and nursery bag, plus a laptop bag, large work bag and usually a bag of shopping or two. On a bus which is usually standing room only. No thanks...

So if the dear soul would just get a buggy more suited to her day to day lifestyle (which is clearly city job + nursery run rather than gambolling across fields or, indeed up mountains) I for one would really appreciate it.

'Cause at the moment it's a bit like having the land rover with cream leather interior when you live in Chelsea...

I don't know why so many people are so anti P&Ts. They're hugely practical, easy and cheap to pick up second hand and seem to go on for years and have the added bonus of being able to fit through doors, down narrow aisles in mothercare and, oh yes, on a bus alongside a second buggy...


ceeveebee Sat 24-Nov-12 17:44:11

Wasn't a side swipe at you - I know you have two or why would you have recommended a p&t- , it's just what I experience most days, people with foldable buggies usually with a walking age child in taking all the space up. Or even worse a mahoosive single travel system wider than my side by side!

I don't have a mountain buggy, I have an icandy peach blossom (60cm wide) and an Obaby umbrella fold side by side (73cm). Have been on many buses with both of them and always able to fit alongside a single if they just budge up a bit or stand sideways on. In fact I have been on buses with my icandy and my friend and her mountain buggy so I know they fit together.
I prefer side by side as much easier getting babies in and out (particularly at groups where you have to leave prams outside - I can pick them up together), can feed them, they can see each other etc. and it's much lighter and easier to get onto buses, trains, up stairs etc.

Blobby11 Sun 02-Dec-12 21:38:53

Just been reading this with great interest as DC2 due next year and will have small age gap and live in central london.

Just had a question I hoped someone could answer. There are four large steps up to my front door. I currently bump my bugaboo chameleon up them very happily but could I still do this with a double and would a tandem be easier or more difficult than a side by side to achieve this?

Also need something that folds well for when I have to take two children to nursery. Can anyone tell me which would be better for this out of a Phil and Ted's and a Mountain Buggy?


jumblequeen Sun 02-Dec-12 22:39:48

Jumping on the bandwagon here as in a similar situation (in London, can't begin to imagine getting a side by side on and off the bus). Tried out a P&Ts Navigator today but my son (2.5) only just fit in the toddler seat... does anyone happen to know if there is an inline double buggy with a bit more life in it?

fishym2b Sun 02-Dec-12 23:42:30

How about a mountain buggy +1 jumblequeen

I have a 2.5 year gap and find it really works. Ds1 is tall for his age and is still comfy in either the back or front.

I have taken it on buses, trains, tube with no problem. It does feel long and sometimes hard to jiggle into place with both boys in.

I also have a bee with a board which I also use for short trips which works well for us too.

jumblequeen Mon 03-Dec-12 08:54:59

Ooh thanks fishy - I'll look into it.

Tiggywunkle Mon 03-Dec-12 14:14:59

The +One is fab - I own one - but you need to be very sure of where and when each child will be. There is a patch between about 6-12 months where the baby will not be able to recline much in the front seat and this is a compromise you need to consider. If you can get through this then its fab, but I have to be honest and say I think two smaller children are better in proper seats. The +One is fab once they are older.
Have a look at the Babystyle Oyster Max, iCandy Peach Blossom 2 and the new Micralite Twofold. The latter isn't out as yet, and I haven't seen it, but if you watch the videos there may be options that are better say for public transport or ways you can convert to get on a bus. Its definitely a pushchair that truly seems to "grow" with your family.

Blobby I struggled to bump a P&T's simply because so much of a P&Ts is at the back. If you look at something like a B-Dual, there is more of the pushchair at the front than the back. I have a Babystyle Oyster Max and I happily bumped it down a lot of steps a few weeks ago. I needed a hand to lift it up but I knew I had a lot of weight in the pushchair. Can your eldest get out and walk up the steps? I have to say I think I would be looking at something like a Nipper or a TFK Twinner Twist Duo or a Bumbleride Indie for bumping up steps. But you really need to try them out first to check that things like brakes dont catch and the handles dont "give".

cloutiedumpling Mon 03-Dec-12 17:31:13

I've a p&t sport and have got on really well with it. I'd be wary about spending loads of money on a double unless you are thinking about selling it on in a year or so. I just don't think many people get the full use out of a double unless they have twins. The good thing that I've found about the p&t is that it has gone from a double to a single which I have used over a five year period with different DCs. The sport has chunky wheels so works OK off road and also has a huge seat that my four year old was quite happy sitting in last year (I used it when it was raining so he didn't get soaked). The sport is not perfect, but I don't think it is a bad compromise.

forevergreek Sat 08-Dec-12 09:47:59

Just to let people know. The new mountain buggy duo easily fits on a London bus next to a bugaboo cameleon ( so you can estimate size). I have the cameleon and often get the bus with a neighbour with the duo.
It actually is small enough to go on first and be turned so that the buggy is in space facing the front of he bus ( if that makes sense). The bugaboo slots in nicely next to it

Ps we had a Phil and teds which I couldn't use on a bus as was a nightmare. It's still to long to fit in properly without blocking the aisles, and no way would it fit in where the mb does. It's also super heavy

Tiggywunkle Sat 08-Dec-12 12:19:31

Can I please again point out the Mountain Buggy Duo and the Duet are not the same pushchair. The Duo is about 10cms wider than the Duet, and things like the bigger wheels Duo make a difference if they are pointing forwards rather than tucked in, and also to the manoeuverability.
But you will be glad to know that no more Duo's will be made in future grin

forevergreek Sat 08-Dec-12 14:41:42

oops i ment duet!

ghmummy Wed 13-Nov-13 02:26:35

We have had the peach blossom but with two babies and a changing bag its just too heavy. Ended up getting a maclaren twin techno off eBay for 49 quid and a single maclaren for 45 off ebay. We use the single and sling for short trips and the double for all day trips, it fits on the back of the bus lovely. Now selling our peach blossom and mamas papas sola. We have two girls a year apart

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