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Reporting Back on Tandem Choice: Sienta Duo

(2 Posts)
Fiolondon Wed 24-Aug-11 09:42:29

I got some help on this forum last year when researching doubles, so I thought I would feedback on this one as it was difficult to get information on and we have been happy with our choice.

My 2 children were to be 2 years apart and born in the winter, so I wanted a double/tandem buggy which was cosy, would fit into our car boot, fold up easily, be lightweight and fit into our childminder’s very narrow hallway. I also wanted something that looked reasonably nice. Given that we thought we would get a maximum of 12 months use out of it before our toddler wanted to walk more, or use a buggy board, we didn’t want to spend a fortune. We chose the Sienta Duo buggy by Mychild.

We have had it 6 months now - it is still going strong and we have had lots of people comment on how compact it is. I had checked out all the dimensions and specification online, but I couldn’t find it anywhere to try before buying. So we got it from Boots.com as they offer a 28 day free return. They also had a discount offer on, which combined with a seasonal discount code I found on the web meant that we spent about £170 (RRP £200), with an additional £20 advantage card points credit reducing the spend further. We thought that compared very well to the £500 or so that a Phil & Ted might have cost us, which didn’t seem worth it for the amount of time we would be using the thing.
The Sienta Duo consists of one seat in front of the other, with the rear seat being slightly higher so that the baby in the back can see out when they get a bit older. The rear seat fully reclines. The front seat has no recline – but this was not a problem for us as our toddler has never napped in the buggy. The buggy is umbrella fold (2 hand mechanism) but goes up and down very easily. No ‘bits’ need to be removed before folding – just put the seats upright and empty the shopping basket. On that note, the shopping basket is medium to large with a fairly solid base so there is plenty room for shopping and the sides unclip for easy access as well as maximising the basket capacity. I’ve easily had 3 packs of 40 nappies and a 4-pack of baby wipes in there.

Unfolded (and with the rear seat down) the dimensions are: 510mm wide, 1100mm long and 1150mm tall. Folded dimensions: 500mm high, 350mm wide and 114mm long. It fits snugly across the boot of our estate car and still leaves plenty room for suitcases/other luggage shopping.This is by far one of the most compact tandems we looked at – and I think I looked at all the ones that exist on the internet!

The seats are quite small/compact so there is no height for a head rest on the front seat, but my son tends to put his head back into the (removable hood) if he wants to slightly lean back. There is a mesh panel in the back of the front hood so that the children can communicate, but hair pulling opportunities are minimised!

The rear seat is spacious but quite ‘bare’ for a newborn. However I actually used the buggy with the Phil & Ted Cocoon which fits into the rear seat perfectly. It loads in through the back hood flap and in black is made of the same material so appears to be part of the Sienta system! This was great as I could get the baby in and out without waking her and use the cocoon around the house as a mini carry cot. Using the cocoon made all the difference as otherwise it would be fiddly loading a young baby into the pushchair and the harness. In winter it also made it much more snug. There is a roll up panel in the back seat for ventilation/observation. The disadvantages with the hood is that it is quite long so it is difficult to see the baby and when you start to use the seat in a more upright position (the recline is adjusted using a toggle and strap which allows maximum flexibility on the pitch) there aren’t enough Velcro pads to hold the rear panel together so it flops about a bit – which might not be great if that stage coincided with winter. However the one-piece raincover is good and covers both passengers well – although sometimes not the feet of the child in front if they are a bit of a wriggler.

The buggy weighs 12kg (a bit lighter than normal doubles which weigh in at about 14kg) but every bit helps. Once you are loaded with 2 children and some shopping, there is no denying that doubles are much more difficult to push, whichever model you go for. In that respect, like all tandems, the steering on the sienta duo is heavy. It is difficult to make quick changes in direction without a lot of effort, and sometimes the front wheel pivots get a bit stuck (my engineer Dad says that the distance between the wheel and the pivot is a bit too short) but it didn’t seem too different to the other tandems we tried in the shops. Having said that there is a foot rest for getting it up kerbs which worked well once I got used to it. The baby is a bit young to go in the front (from 6 months; the rear seat from birth) but maybe the steering will be better when I can persuade my older child to sit in the rear seat….

The only colourway is black, with a black and white patterned hood lining. I’m not sure who thought that was a good idea given that black and white is very stimulating to babies and now mine is getting older I have noticed she doesn’t settle quite as easily as she looks at the pattern! However most babies get a bit more tricky to settle from this age anyway….

The split handles does mean that it is tricky to push one handed – as with all other buggies of that type – so it is tricky when my toddler wants to walk. But I have solved that by using reins and asking him to hold on to the carry handle on the side of the buggy so he trots along beside us and is still safe even though I can’t hold his hand. The foam on the handles did split very slightly, but I emailed Mychild and they sent replacements immediately, which was impressive.

Overall we have found this a great buggy for the price.
Hope that helps!

Tiggywunkle Wed 24-Aug-11 12:56:57

I need to write a review up of this at some point. I really liked the Sienta Duo. I actually found it easy to push compared to other tandems although there was some side to side movement in the handles. I thought the quality was great, I loved the large basket. However I had problems because like most tandems of this type eg the Jane Powertwin, Graco Quattro Tour Duo etc by 8-12 months old my baby still needed to nap so needed a good recline (not just an inch or so) and the deep reclines are always on the back seat, but yet my two year old was too tall for the front seat. She could paddle the Sienta Duo along with her feet because it was so low or on the others could put her feet next to or on the wheels. Therefore she needs to be in the higher rear seat which meant baby had a floppy head whenever he fell asleep. It's not criticism of the Sienta Duo though but of this type of pushchair in general. The only other thing to watch with umbrella fold tandems is the length - they won't fit in my car - i think one of your measurements above is wrong for folded because it's around 112cm long off the top of my head. Should it be 114cms not mm? But it's a sturdy pushchair, folds easily, looks good, s easy to push and has a good basket and harnesses. It's good to know that Kooltrade who sell MyChild offer fantastic service on MyChild as well as Baby Jogger.

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