Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system Review 2015
Though the new version of the Mountain Buggy MB mini has shrunk in size, it can still carry 20kg and now comes with the protect car seat to transport your little one from car to adventure.
Mountain Buggy cater for all parents, whether they need hardcore off-roading wheels or a compact pushchair to tackle the shops. Their classic three wheel chassis' are designed to get up and down the kerbs with ease, while still being able to cover rough terrain. We're taking a look at their latest upgraded pushchair, so read on to see what we thought in our Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system review.
What's in the box?
• MB mini chassis
• seat fabrics
• parcel tray
• 3 x 10" aerotech tyres
• protect car seat
• clip 25 car seat adaptor
• Weight: Chassis and seat unit: 7.6kg
• Folded Size: Chassis (cm): L72 x W58 x H25.5
• Open Size (cm): L82.5 x W58 x H98
• Suitability: Birth-20kg
• Carrycot Plus £139
• Infant car seat covers set £25
• ISOfix base or car seat base £69
• Storm Cover £29
• Sun Cover £35
• Freerider £79
• Grab Bar £20
• Food Tray £10
• Buggy Cup Holder £11
• Coloured Reversible Liner £49
• Blanket £20
• Parenting Bags £39
• Universal Travel Bag £79
The Mountain Buggy MB mini only comes in one colour, which is Berry.
Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system Review 2015: Chassis
The Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system comes in one large box, with two smaller ones inside. The first includes the pushchair and the second, the protect car seat. Setting up just requires attachment of the wheels and hood. The pictured instructions make this quick and simple. With several updates to the original MB mini, we're keen to get to grips with this new model.
Though not the tallest of people at 5'6", I do feel slightly like the BFG while pushing the MB mini. As the name suggests, it is small and compact. At only 58cm wide, it won't have any problems fitting through doorways. The black frame complements the black seat liner and the three-wheels are iconic to Mountain Buggy styling. There have been some changes to the shape at the back of the chassis, with a bar being removed from the top of the basket. This creates a much cleaner and sleeker frame.
The handlebar has been upgraded and can now be adjusted with a range of 66-98cm. The seat itself is low down, but even taller parents can push it around comfortably. To adjust, there are two buttons on the inside, which allow it to rotate. Covered in a ribbed rubber, it will be a lot more hard wearing than the usual foam and we found the ergonomically curved shape really comfortable to hold. It does take a little while to get used to the narrowness of the handlebar, as the holding position of your hands is closer together than usual.
The three spoked wheels on the MB mini look great. With puncture proof aerotech tyres, they'll keep you on the move over most terrains. It's smooth to push on concrete and pavements, while still having the ability to go over grass. The full swivel front wheel now features a lock to help you stay straight on rough ground and is a simple lever to push down. There's no suspension though, so it is definitely designed for a more urban environment and will give the best ride on a shopping trip. If you need to remove dirty wheels, or just make that bit more room in the boot, the rear wheels are quick release and can be removed by pressing the button on the inside of the frame.
With the foot brake having two red pedals, you can use the left or right to press down to put on and push up to take off. As the pedals sit relatively close to the ground, and depending on your style of shoe, it can be difficult to get your foot underneath to take the brake off. We found ourselves having to lift the pushchair up slightly to do it. It can also be a bit tricky to get the brake off at first attempt as it is quite stiff and seems to bounce back down.
The small basket on the MB mini should just about carry your changing bag or a couple of shopping bags. It has great access from the back and sides and is made from a strong mesh material.
Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system Review 2015: Seat
The material on the new MB mini seat is just as robust and strong as you would expect to see from Mountain Buggy. There is sufficient padding throughout the seat to make a small one comfortable and you can also purchase a reversible liner in one of ten beautiful colours and designs to brighten it up.
With the height of the seat a good 50cm, it matches up to much bigger pushchairs and can easily carry the older child. Though small, it can take on an impressive 20kg of weight! We would like to see the seat base a little deeper, as it is quite shallow and ever-so slightly slanted, which could cause a child to slip down.
The new 5-point harness keeps your child restrained, with each shoulder and waist strap connecting into the buckle separately. It can be take a little longer to fasten, but each strap can be adjusted with a sliding buckle for the best fit. There are three positions for the height, which are altered by threading under the material loop.
There's no bumper bar included with the MB mini travel system, though you can purchase one separately.
The recline is a strap recline, with a strap at each side of the seat. Multiple positions can be created until you get to the fully lay flat option at the bottom. Laid flat, with the hood up, the black panel creates a nice and cosy space for a napping child. When it comes to getting the seat back up, the straps just need tightening. Once up, you will need to have a play with the material as it can get bunched up in front of the seat, and in the child's way.
The hood on the MB mini isn't the best we've seen. The thin material is quite noisy when you extend and reminds us of a rain mac's fabric. It does offers good coverage though, with an additional pull out mesh sun visor and UPF 50+ rating. There is a zip around the edge of the hood rim, in place to attach the sun cover to, but this is an extra purchase. With nothing attached to it, the zip looks slightly out of place. The hood is held to the back of the seat with three poppers, but there is nothing to hold the hood to the side of the pushchair. This allows the hood to slide up and down the rods and there's a lot of room between the edge of the seat and the hood. A peekaboo window sits at the top, allowing you to check on your child, fastening with a toggle.
Though the footrest isn't adjustable, the edge of the seat is nicely padded and extends down to the plastic footplate. When your little one gets bigger, the footrest plate offers a great area for them to jump in and out of the pushchair independently.
Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system Review 2015: protect infant carrier
The protect infant carrier is Mountain Buggy's first venture into the car seat world and now comes included with the MB mini travel system. A compact and lightweight infant carrier, you can use it from birth. While compact, the seat is a generous size and can be used until your child is 13 kg or 74 cms in length, and with the newborn insert in place it's really cosy for the smallest of babies.
The protect™ can be installed in the car using the standard car seat belt in a way that is simple and standard for most infant carriers. The lap belt is passed over the top of the car seat, under the blue brackets and buckled. Then you need to stretch the diagonal part of the seat belt around the back of the car seat and under the blue belt guide. Once the seat belt is tightened, you are ready to go. The blue colour indicators are a great way to highlight exactly where you need to feed the seat belt and makes it easier to fit correctly without any errors.
You can also purchase a universal base or ISOfix base to use with the protect in the car. This makes adding the protect to your car even quicker as there is no need for strapping the seat in when it sits on the base.
Mountain Buggy provide the clip 25 car seat adaptor, which allows you to attach the car seat to the MB mini frame. The simple click and go system from the car to your pushchair makes shopping quick and simple. You can use the car seat on the pushchair with the fabrics still in place, or for a better look, removed. The adaptors simply snap on to the tubular frame at each side and it's really quick to add or remove them.
Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system Review 2015: Drivability
With the curved, ridged handlebar being slimmer than your usual handlebar, it did take us a while to get used to the hand position. Saying that, it is very comfortable to hold, and now that it is adjustable, will suit most parent heights.
The MB mini isn't endowed with any suspension, and without air tyres to offer some cushioning, rough terrain will be quite bumpy. We would definitely class this as an urban pushchair, with the smoother roads and paths taken easily.
Like other Mountain Buggy's, the weight distribution on the MB mini makes getting it up and down kerbs easy, even with weight on board, without compromising on its stability.
Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system Review 2015: Fold
The fold on the MB mini is fantastic. It's decreased in size from the legacy model by a massive 28cm! It also free-stands so will sit in most hallways without taking up much room at all.
To fold, start by putting back the hood and rotating the handlebar to its lowest position. Everything you need to start the fold is hidden under the bottom of the seat, just above the footplate. There's a ridged bar here that has a grey button to the left hand side. Once pushed, you can twist the bar forwards to release the locking mechanism, with the seat folding back on itself. Next just pick up the pushchair and push it together. It automatically locks itself. To get it back upright, press the twist the bar again while pulling up the handlebar.
With a child in one arm, or a toddler holding your hand, it's great that you do this with just one hand. Not only is the fold very compact, but light too, as the chassis only weighs 7.6kg! The handle makes it even easier to transport and carry.
Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system Review 2015: Conclusion
With this year's overhaul, Mountain Buggy have tackled some issues from the original model by adding an adjustable handlebar, new harness and front wheel lock. It also now has a shorter footprint, which has dropped from 104cm down to 82.5cm. This, in turn, has created a fantastic fold that is both compact and freestanding as well as doable with one hand.
There are still a couple of things that could do with a little more attention, such as the hood design, as it doesn't fit to the side of the pushchair very well and slides on the rods. The seat could do with being a little deeper, as the shallow and slanted design may make for an awkward position for some children. For ease of use, if the brake pedals were angled higher, accessibility for your foot would be much better.
We like that new parents can purchase the MB mini as a travel system to use with their newborn, but it would be nice to see the option to buy the pushchair separately. This would open up the product to parents of older children too, who would also benefit from such a compact and nimble pushchair. We'd also love to see some bright new colours added to future Mountain Buggy MB mini collection!
The Mountain Buggy MB mini is a very lightweight pushchair that has been designed to handle city living. Suitable from birth, new parents can choose to use the lie flat seat, or included protect car seat. At £299 for the travel system, it certainly ticks the value for money box that everyone is looking for.
We give the Mountain Buggy MB mini travel system 4 out of 5 stars
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