Best Double Buggy 2021
Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 review
If you have more than one child, a double buggy is essential for getting out and about. But which one is the best? After months of testing, the Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 came out on top.
Tested by: Liz, mum of two
- One of the most compact side-by-sides on the market (the same width as a single buggy)
- Brilliant handling over any terrain
- Handbrake for extra peace of mind
- Generously sized storage basket
- Foot brake is hard to engage
- Rain cover not included as standard
- Age range: Newborn to four years
- Maximum load: 18kg per seat; 9kg per seat in newborn mode (lie-flat)
- Product weight: 15kg
- Dimensions: 32 × 65 × 89cm (folded); 114 × 65 × 108.5cm (unfolded)
- Seat: 20 × 28cm
- Travel system-compatible: Yes
- Orientation: Side by side
- Warranty: One year, but can be extended to two (does not include tyres and tubes)
- Accessories: Newborn Cocoon (£59), Carrycot Plus (£169), Joey Tote Bag (£49), car seat adaptors (£49), rain cover (£39), sun cover (£49)
- RRP: £649
Love love love this pram. Still a winner even now the twins are two! Fits through every door I've ever encountered - something you won't find from many other double prams.
What is the Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 like to purchase and assemble?
The Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 is the latest update on the Duet, a side-by-side double buggy that can initially be bought as a single to later grow with your family.
It’s available to buy from the Mountain Buggy website, John Lewis, Amazon and other smaller outlets, and extras include a cocoon, carrycot, rain cover, sunshade and replacement wheels.
You’ll need a bicycle pump to inflate the tyres, but the buggy is simple to assemble. It took our tester, mum of two Liz, just a few minutes to attach the wheels to the chassis, and to clip on the individual sunshades and bumper bar.
Assembly time will be longer if you plan to attach adaptors and accessories, such as a carrycot or car seat.
What’s in the box?
The Duet comes with a frame, two seats, two sunshades, four wheels, a storage basket, a bumper bar and a bottle holder.
Unfortunately you won’t find a rain cover inside (more on that below), which is one of the main downsides to this buggy and one that may be a deal-breaker for some parents.
Although the seats are suitable for newborns when in the lie-flat position, if you want any extra support for your baby then you’ll also need to purchase the newborn carrycot or cocoon separately.
What about the instructions?
The instructions are straightforward to navigate, with step-by-step photos showing you how to set up and use your pram. Care instructions explain how to inflate and look after the tyres, and you’ll also find safety warnings and contact details for customer support.
Liz found the pram very intuitive to use so didn’t need to refer to the instructions again during testing, but they will be helpful if, at a later date, you need to attach a carrycot, cocoon or car seat.
If you need any help with assembly, there’s a digital version of the instructions and a 20-minute video showing you how to do everything from initial set-up to switching between the various configurations.
Warranty lasts for 12 months from the date of purchase (although tyres and tubes aren’t covered) and this can be extended to two years if you register your pram online within 30 days. It can then be increased to three years by purchasing the extended warranty.
How safe is the Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2?
Made to comply with EN:1888 safety standards, the metal chassis and four large wheels make the buggy very robust.
The material is durable yet cosy and wraps comfortably around the seats, offering plenty of support for young babies and enough space for growing toddlers. The seats can be independently reclined and you can choose any position – from lie-flat to fully upright – by tightening or lengthening the straps at the back of each seat. Although you do need two hands for this, Liz found the straps easy to adjust and very secure once in place.
There are no dangerous gaps or clips that little fingers can reach. While Liz felt that some of the other side-by-side buggies she tested – such as the Chicco Echo Twin Stroller and Out n About Nipper Double – didn’t offer enough support for her youngest (five months) when fully reclined, the padded seats on the Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 are exceptionally comfy for younger babies – though she did use her own newborn cocoon for added cosiness.
As with any product, it’s important to always read the instructions and ensure you set the pram up correctly, checking for no damage to the parts. Mountain Buggy advises parents to engage the brake when taking a child in or out of the seat and to use the wrist strap for extra safety.
What about the harness?
The Duet comes with a five-point harness, which can easily be adjusted to suit children of different ages.
Liz didn’t feel there was any chance of her four-year-old escaping when strapped in, but did find the harness fiddly to click into place. The four buckles – two shoulder straps and two waist straps – may be problematic if you’re in a rush or have a wriggly child to contend with.
It’s much quicker to unclip though – you simply press a button to release the buckles.
How stable is the Mountain Buggy Duet?
The Duet was put through a variety of topple tests with both children in and out of the seats. We also tested the pram with a bag weighing 2kg to see how it would hold up with a newborn inside. The frame held strong each time, even when the pram’s storage basket was fully loaded for a day out and had a changing bag hanging on the handlebar.
Without the Mountain Buggy carrycot, cocoon or car seat, we couldn’t test the stability of the pram in all its potential configurations, but its robustness in what is likely to be its most used form was something of a marvel.
What about the brakes?
One of the things that makes the Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 feel extra safe is that it comes with two brakes – a locking footbrake and a handbrake.
To engage the footbrake – a bar located between the back wheels – you push down one of the red levers with the bottom of your foot. We found this quite stiff to use at first.
The brake is much easier to disengage, however, and requires a light action using the top of your foot, which can be accomplished in any type of footwear.
Despite the stiffness, the footbrake feels very secure and holds the pram on both flat ground and hills with or without children in the seats – and even when loaded with bags.
The wrist strap and handbrake, which is similar to a bicycle brake, give extra peace of mind when going down steep hills, especially in the rain.
What’s the Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 like in day-to-day use?
Our tester loved how well the Duet fit into all aspects of her life. One of the pram’s selling points is how slim it is compared to other side-by-side buggies. Measuring just 65cm, it’s the same width as a single buggy and one of the most compact side-by-sides on the market.
While Liz was limited with where she could go due to COVID-19 restrictions, she used the pram to take her eldest to nursery, go to the park and on long dog walks. Even though she has a very narrow front door, Liz was able to wheel the Duet straight into her house – something she found really handy when getting the pram ready before leaving the house and when wheeling it back inside while her children were sleeping.
Thanks to its small footprint, the Duet is able to glide round shop aisles and should have no issues on buses or trains, although Liz was unable to test it out on public transport due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. It also comes with a handy insulated bottle holder, which sticks to the chassis with Velcro straps.
What about the seats?
The standard set-up of the Duet comes with two world-facing seats, but the pram offers a range of configurations to suit different needs.
Travel system-compatible, it can be adapted to attach up to two cocoons, two carrycots (which turn into handy parent-facing seats) and two car seats, making it suitable for both newborn twins and siblings of different ages. It’s worth noting though that each seat unzips and clips off, which could be a faff if you wanted to regularly change the set-up.
There’s also a Joey Tote Bag available – a shopping basket with handles that replace one of the seats – so that the pram can be used as a single buggy. If you have another older child, there’s even the option to attach the Mountain Buggy Freerider, a stroller board which turns into a kids' scooter.
The padded seats on the Duet are just 28cm wide, but Liz’s four-year-old felt very comfortable and had plenty of space despite being at the upper end of the buggy's weight limit. The seats come with a bumper bar, which is easy to unclip and swing out of the way when getting children in or out, and a leg rest that can be extended with one hand.
The Duet comes with two individual UPF 50+ hoods, with a pull-out mesh sun visor to give extra coverage. However, this was an area the buggy didn’t perform as well in compared to other prams we tested, such as the Thule Urban Glide 2 Double, as the hoods only cover the face and upper body. Liz felt she would need to buy the full sunshade (£49) for sunnier days.
The hoods are easy to pull in and out though and each has a clear peek-a-boo window to make it easier to interact with your children when on the move.
Is there a rain cover?
Unlike many of the double pushchairs we tested, the Mountain Buggy Duet doesn’t come with a rain cover so you need to buy it for an extra £39.
It’s more than worth it though as the cover goes over the whole buggy and is really easy to put on and take off, with labels to check that the orientation is correct – very handy when a sudden downpour hits.
During testing, Liz wandered for hours in the pouring rain and both children were completely covered. It kept the whole buggy dry except for the handlebar and wheels.
The rain cover comes with its own pouch that can attach to multiple places on the chassis, which means that it won't take up basket space.
How easy is the Mountain Buggy Duet to push?
The Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 comes with four 10-inch (25cm) air-filled tyres, which are designed to give a smooth ride over bumpy ground. Our tester felt the handling was outstanding on all terrain.
When out on the nursery run, Liz pushed the buggy down narrow pavements, passed parked cars on both sides of the road and manoeuvred over areas where tree roots had pushed up the concrete. She also went on muddy dog walks in marshland and over sports grounds and gravel, and the Duet performed brilliantly on both.
The front wheels swivel and lock give the pram a tight turning circle and the tyres easily bump over kerbs. Liz was also surprised with how easy the Duet was to push and turn one-handed.
The handlebar swivels up and down by pressing buttons on either side and offers a really good range for parents of different heights. Our 5ft 4 tester and her 6ft 3 partner were both able to push the pram without stooping or accidentally kicking the wheels.
How easy is it to fold and how heavy is it?
The Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 has a one-handed folding mechanism, making it quick and easy to fold and unfold for a buggy of its size.
Both seats remain attached so you simply swivel the handlebar down (though you do need two hands for this part), engage the brake, turn the wheels and pull up the bar at the bottom of the seats. When folded, the pram automatically locks and is freestanding, making it simple to store.
The quick-fold mechanism is particularly handy for nursery runs, though it’s worth bearing in mind that it takes longer if you need to switch up the buggy’s configurations, such as unzipping a seat from the chassis and attaching a car seat or carrycot.
There’s a handle to help you carry it to the car or house, which can be done one-handed. But because it’s quite bulky, with a weight of 14kg, you wouldn’t want to carry it too far or up too many stairs. In fact, the pram took up the whole of Liz’s car boot – a medium hatchback – with room for just one shopping bag.
How big is the storage basket?
The storage on the Duet was one of the best we tested. The basket sits underneath both seats and can fit up to 10kg, which is more than enough for a day out – including a changing bag, a bag of shopping and the rain cover, though this can also be attached to the frame elsewhere.
The basket is very easy to access from all angles so there’s no concern about waking a sleeping child when rummaging for a coat or bag underneath. We also loved the zip pockets at the rear of the basket where you can store small items like a phone or keys.
Is the Mountain Buggy Duet easy to clean?
After outings on a variety of terrain during testing, in which the frame and wheels got splattered with mud, the buggy cleaned up well with a cloth and non-abrasive household cleaner.
While the fabrics unfortunately can’t be machine-washed, they can be sponge-cleaned with warm water and a mild natural soap. When orange juice was spilled on the fabric, it beaded well and didn’t soak in, which meant that the liquid wiped away without leaving a stain.
To get the best out of the Duet, Mountain Buggy recommends brushing dirt off the frame and wheels regularly, and removing sand and salt after going to the beach.
What’s the Mountain Buggy Duet like to look at?
With a black and silver chassis and chunky wheels, the Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 may not stand out in a crowd but the three different designs – black, silver and grid (black and white) – look stylish and functional.
We tested the silver and, after a week covering around 10 miles, the wheels were still fully inflated and in good condition, and the rest of the pram looked as good as new.
Is the Mountain Buggy Duet V3 good value for money?
Double buggies range in price and many of the designs that can be adapted, like the Duet, do tend to be at the higher end of the market. While it’s cheaper than some of its competitors, the Duet is still a big investment, especially when you have to pay extra for a rain cover.
However, it’s up to you if or how you adapt the Duet. The fully reclining seats can be used from birth and, with the extra padding, they feel very supportive when in lie-flat mode.
Even though it’s one of the slimmest side-by-sides on the market, the Duet's seats can each take up to 18kg and are spacious enough to last up to age four. The frame and fabric feel high-quality and, with the brilliant handling of this pram on all terrain, we think you get what you pay for.
A double buggy that caters for all your family’s needs, the Mountain Buggy Duet V3.2 can easily nip around supermarket aisles and fit through doorways while still being spacious enough for your child to rest and grow comfortably.
Its versatility makes it suitable for both twins and siblings – and even a child on their own. Thanks to the robust frame and big inflatable wheels, the Duet can tackle busy town centres to muddy walks with ease. A sleek yet sturdy side-by-side, we think it’s the best all-round double buggy to buy in 2021.
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All prices correct at time of publication
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