Best Lightweight Double Buggy 2019
Mountain Buggy Nano Duo review
The Nano Duo ticks all the boxes for city dwellers or frequent travellers. It's a lightweight, cleverly designed double buggy that’s as easy to push as it is to pack away.
Verdict in 10 seconds
- A brilliant lightweight double buggy and the ideal solution for city-dwelling parents
- The roomy seats leave space for your child to grow and improve the buggy's longevity, although they do have a weight limit
- Lightweight and easy to use on kerbs and public transport
- Exceptionally compact fold for smaller cars and city living
- The best double buggy for travelling, whether at home or abroad
- Extra tall, individually reclining seats that fit older and younger siblings
- Car seat adaptable
- Budget-friendly price
- Large roomy seats
- The small plastic wheels aren't that good on bumpy ground
- No parent-facing mode
- Newborn cocoons (aka carrycots), rain cover, sun cover, bumper bar and footmuffs all sold separately
What are the key features?
- Ultra-lightweight twin (side-by-side) double buggy
- Two-step compact fold with handle and shoulder strap
- Can be adapted to fit one or two cocoons, or car seats (all purchased separately)
- Available in six colours
- Adjustable leg rests
- Five minute, no-tool assembly
- Built-in rear wheel suspension and lockable swivel front wheels
What are the specs?
- Suitable from: birth (with a newborn cocoon) to approximately three years (maximum load per seat: 15kg)
- W: 73cm, H: 100cm, L: 84cm (unfolded); W: 73cm, H: 51.5cm, L: 28cm (folded)
- Weight: 9kg
- RRP: £399
- Estimated resale value: £200+ at time of review
- Extras to buy: cocoon (£49), car seat (£129), car seat adaptor (£7.99), sun cover (£39), rain cover (£39), footmuff (£75), bumper bar (£39)
How easy is the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo to assemble?
The Nano Duo has been designed primarily with ease in mind, and that starts here – assembly consists of attaching two wheels and unfolding the pushchair. There are informative, clear instructions with colour photographs in the box, and a great deal of helpful information on Mountain Buggy’s website, including instruction videos, compatibility guides and customer service information.
The Nano Duo comes with a one-year warranty (two if you register with Mountain Buggy), and information about returns and repairs is easy to find. Altogether, if there’s a problem, it shouldn’t be too inconvenient to solve.
How does it look?
For a relatively inexpensive pushchair, the Nano Duo is a stylish piece of kit. The design is classic without being stuffy, and the six bright, clean colourways complement the overall look. The material feels high quality and durable – an absolute must for the inevitable bangs and knocks of travel.
What’s it like to use the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo?
As any city-dwelling family will tell you, it’s not easy manoeuvring two small children through busy streets and public transport. But whether you use buses or trains – or just need a low-maintenance buggy for the school run – the Nano Duo will make life easier in so many ways. It’s also a brilliant choice for international travel, as we’ll see.
The folding and unfolding mechanisms are both two-handed jobs, but are very easy in practice. You'll just need to collapse the handlebar and fold the double buggy over itself. There’s a moving image with a slide button (and a video) on Mountain Buggy’s website if you want to watch how it’s done.
Once folded, the Nano Duo is compact and freestanding, so can be propped in the corner of the hallway or on a luggage rack (our tester found it very compact to store in her porch) – and it has a built-in carry handle and additional shoulder strap for easy transportation. At an impressive 9 kg/20 lbs, it’s lighter than your toddler, and probably a great deal easier to move around, too.
The seats are large and extra tall, with three different slot heights for the shoulder straps, so there’s plenty of room to grow. The back of the seat is a tough mesh for ventilation on hot days, with a fabric back that can be secured on colder ones. Each seat has a robust five-point harness, an individual reclining mechanism and a generously sized sun hood.
There’s a decent storage basket underneath, too – not the largest we tested, but definitely roomy enough for shopping and a changing bag.
And what about day-to-day life?
It’s in the busyness of everyday life that the Nano Duo really shines. As a side-by-side buggy, it’s only a centimetre wider than the narrowest we tested (the Out n About Nipper Double), and it’s an astonishing 4kgs lighter than even its closest competitor.
That makes all the difference when it comes to those chores that make double buggies difficult: lifting in and out of the car boot, unfolding quickly to dash off to the school run, manoeuvring it around the supermarket, and getting it on and off kerbs and the bus.
On flat ground it’s effortless to push – our tester felt comfortable pushing it with one hand and holding the hand of her older child with the other – which takes a lot of the stress out of navigating through a crowd.
The plastic wheels have swivel and lock functions, which are great for pavements – though we should say that if your routine involves a lot of off-roading, this pushchair isn’t the most suitable for you (the Out n About Nipper Double and the Bugaboo Donkey both fare better). Its extra-compact fold makes it an ideal errand pushchair, too, as it doesn’t take up all of the car boot space.
And all of this, of course, makes it the perfect travel double buggy – lightweight for whizzing through the airport, an easy unfold for quick changes, a compact fold for easy check-in, and those mesh-backed seats for keeping cool in high temperatures.
We got our Nano when DS was 11 months old and it's great. We are often in London and it's a dream on buses and for getting through narrow doorways.
Are there any extras?
A downside is that the rain cover doesn’t come as standard, unlike, say, the Out n About Nipper Double or the Bugaboo Donkey2 (it’s £39). Despite this, our tester found it to be of excellent quality – well fitting, quick to put on, and effective in heavy or light downpours.
The Nano Duo on its own isn’t suitable for a newborn, but it can be adapted into a travel system with one or two soft-shelled newborn cocoons (an extra purchase, £49). It can also be compatible with a number of car seats when using the car seat adaptor (£7.99) – though it’s worth noting that the adaptor is a seatbelt-like strap, not a plastic click-in system, which some parents may feel is less secure.
One final note about accessories: our tester raved about Mountain Buggy’s footmuff, which is exceptionally good quality and highly effective. The inner layer is a super soft, brushed polyester that Mountain Buggy call ‘peach lining’, and the outer shell is a tough nylon – it has easy fastenings down the middle and a zip at the bottom to let out muddy feet. It’s also machine washable, and came out perfectly in our test. At £75 it’s a pricy addition to the Nano collection, but our tester felt that this, above all, was worth the expense.
Is the Mountain Buggy Nano Duo safe?
Despite the fact that the Nano Duo is a deliberately lightweight buggy, it still feels secure and fairly sturdy, though obviously not as immovable as the heavier models. A normal changing bag will sit happily on the handle without toppling the whole thing. Heavy shopping bags did tip the buggy over during the topple test, so extra care should be taken there.
The seats are a generous size for even larger children – the restriction is the weight limit – and the five-point harness is well designed. Each of the four straps can be lengthened or shortened with a plastic catch, and each clicks individually into the central point, which makes it much easier to strap in wriggly toddlers.
Each seat has an adjustable foot plate and is comfortable to sit in. The reclining mechanism is a clip-and-straps design, and feels secure in any position.
There’s no bumper bar included, although Mountain Buggy do offer one separately. Our tester rated the bumper bar very highly, but thought that, at £39, it was an expensive additional purchase.
The sun hoods extend a little in front of the child as well as overhead, so they’re good for low-sun days – however there’s no peek-a-boo window to keep an eye on things. Our tester also highly rated the full sun cover. It’s another additional purchase (£39, like the rain cover), but keeps children well sheltered from wind, insects and sun, which might be a lifesaver abroad.
The pedal brake is colour-coded for ease of use, and keeps the buggy firmly locked when pressed down. There’s a wrist safety strap, too, for extra security. Our tester noted that, as a pedal design, it’s easy to use even in flip-flops, though its position between the double-sided wheel meant that wider shoes (like the work boots of her partner) sometimes struggled to find a purchase.
How easy is it to clean?
The Nano Duo seats are of durable, high quality material – they can’t be removed and machine washed, but are designed to be wipe-clean. Our tester carried out the advised sponge cleaning, and all the stains were easily removed.
After the testing period, the wheels showed signs of wear, but were undamaged and had many more miles left in them. The chassis, handle and seats were still in visibly good condition.
As a double pushchair that won’t take up more than its fair share of space, the Nano Duo can’t be beaten. While its high quality accessories are all sold separately, the pushchair itself is outstanding – light, compact, easy to push yet surprisingly roomy and sturdy when in use.
At £399, it’s not as cheap as other lightweight double buggies on the market, but it offers so much more – an indispensable, well-designed piece of equipment that should go the distance, here or abroad.
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All prices correct at time of publication
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