Mountain Buggy nano duo Review
Love the Mountain Buggy nano but need to transport two children around? Never fear, the ultra-lightweight and compact Mountain Buggy nano duo is here!
The Mountain Buggy nano wowed city dwellers and travel lovers with its namesake tiny fold and superstar maneuverability, and now the double version - the Mountain Buggy nano duo - is set to do exactly the same for those with two children needing to hitch a ride.
What's in the box?
• Instruction book
Yes, it's that simple!
• Suitability: 6 months - 3 years (from birth with soft cocoon)
• Weight: 9kg
• Weight limit: 15kg per seat
• Unfolded dimensions: 100x73x84cm
• Folded dimensions: 51.5x73x28cm
• nano duo storm cover £39
• nano duo sun cover £39
• nano duo grab bar £39
• Sleeping bag £75
• Newborn cocoon £45
Cyber, Silver, Ruby, Nautical, Black and Year of the Dog.
Mountain Buggy nano duo Review: Chassis
In the world of side-by-side doubles, the nano duo creates its own unique category. At first sight it may look like a lightweight stroller (and it certainly feels lightweight too) but it is considerably sturdier than a typical umbrella-fold stroller.
As with any double stroller, the nano duo feels wide at first, but clever design means that the back wheels are in-line with the rest of the chassis, making it easy to fit through surprisingly narrow spaces without catching the rear wheels. The whole pushchair is 73cm wide so we didn't find many places that the nano duo couldn't get through (just a few of our interior doorways in the house, and even then it was just a gnat's whisker from squeezing through).
The foam handlebar sits at 100cm so is at a comfortable height for most adults. The single-bar handlebar makes is really easy to push the nano duo with just one hand - even cornering was easy, which is a pretty mean feat for a side-by-side double.
There is a small basket beneath each seat. At first glance they appeared fairly shallow, but we did manage to fit quite a bit into them due to the space between the basket and the seat base, which gives you a good few inches of room. From the back you have clear access to the baskets no matter what position the seats are in. You do just have to be careful of belongings falling out of the front or back if you over-pack!
The wheels are petite in diameter (5in) with two double sets at the rear and two single wheels at the front. They are made of a solid puncture-proof material and give a great smooth push over level hard surfaces such as pavements and shopping centre floors. The rear wheels have some suspension, which was great for absorbing the odd bump and pothole as well as popping up and down kerbs. The wheels are long-lasting and will withstand many miles of urban strolling but aren't the best on uneven ground.
The brake is a foot-operated pedal on the right side of the rear axle. It is colour-coded with red for brake engaged and blue for the brake off. We did find the actual pedals quite small so you need to point your toes to operate it effectively! Once engaged, the brake locks both rear wheels and feels reassuringly clunky. It is also flip-flop friendly for your summer holidays!
Mountain Buggy nano duo Review: Seats
As is the norm with a compact side-by-side double, the seats initially look a little narrow - however, they were actually a very comfortable width for our 3-year-old toddler tester. Each seat has its own independent hood and recline straps.
One lovely aspect of a side-by-side double is that your children can hold hands and interact with each other. The nano duo offers the perfect environment for this, which is great for sibling bonding.
The recline on the seat is a bit of an unusual system and moving the position is not always a quick process. You need to squeeze the toggle clasp to release the cord and pull to your required position. To our minds, a one-handed recline system would be far preferable for busy parents on quick city trips. The actual seat has a mesh back when reclined but the flap of material on the back of the hood can be used to cover this and it fastens into place with velcro to provide more shelter. The seat does not lie totally flat unless you release it from the frame to use with the optional newborn cocoon. It does, however, recline to an approximately 45-degree angle, which is perfect for resting.
One thing that is really noticeable about the nano duo is the backrest height. Even from a distance you can see that the back of the seat is tall to accommodate taller children and there is no chance of your child's head ever touching the hood as the hood reclines to a higher position than the top of the seat, which is a very clever and welcomed design feature. A little more padding in the base and back of the seat wouldn't go amiss, so we would recommend using with a liner to make your baby's ride more comfortable for longer periods of time. Each seat has a lovely harness with nicely padded straps. The harness can be lengthened with the easiest and most practical of clasp clips, which made changing the straps to fit different children a total breeze. The harness buckle is a nice easy one, with the option to clip each strap into place separately. The button to undo is large and just stiff enough to stop busy little fingers undoing it themselves!
The nano duo also features an adjustable calf rest. Just squeeze the footrest and it will drop down to allow longer legs to hang down.
The hoods on the nano duo are great. The two panels and additional pull-out visor gives toddlers great coverage. Because of the height that the hoods are set onto the pushchair frame, it didn't give our 7-month-old younger tester as much shelter as it sat quite a way above her head.
If you would like to use the nano duo with twins or a newborn, then there is the option to use the additional extra of the cocoon within the seat. You do need to unpop and unhook the fabrics from the top of the pushchair frame to do this, but it was a pretty simple process.
Mountain Buggy nano duo Review: Fold
The fold is quick and easy to operate and the end result is a long but shallow package that sits nicely on your shoulder, tucking under your arm.
There is no obvious lever to operate the fold and we're willing to bet that if you tried to go it alone without referring to the instruction manual, you wouldn't figure it out! Luckily, the manual is superbly visual, containing step-by-step photographs of exactly what you need to do to achieve all of the operations of the pushchair.
Essentially, you push the two circular buttons in on each side of the handlebar hinges, fold the handlebar back towards you and push against the back of the pushchair seat. Then apply pressure forwards on the back of the pushchair seat and the front and back wheels will come together and the seat unit fold into itself too, in a kind of concertina effect. It was a touch tricky to get the hang of at first but after a few goes we were able to operate it super-fast and efficiently. To unfold, pull the pushchair up at the central hinge, then press in the circular buttons on the handlebar hinges and click the whole stroller back into place. We would advise practising a few times before you take your baby out with it!
Mountain Buggy nano duo Review: Conclusion
There are so many features in this stroller and city dwellers are sure to fall in love with many of them. The nano duo offers more than other lightweight strollers on the market in terms of usability, thanks to the option of the additional soft cocoon for newborns. The stroller can be used for twins, from birth or with a newborn and toddler, making it great for families with small age gaps and childminders. The continuous bar handle makes steering an absolute breeze on smooth going, though you might need to push with a little more ‘oomph' over slightly more uneven ground such as paths and bumpy pavements.
There's plenty to like about this stroller and not very much to dislike at all. The fact that it only reclines to a resting angle unless the fabrics are unhooked from the frame may be off-putting for some parents whose babies will nap a lot in the seats, and it would have been nice for the raincover and bumper bar to come in the box with the pushchair rather than having to purchase them at an additional cost.
However, the clever and compact fold, that is light enough to be slung over your shoulder, means that to many the nano duo will be more useful than an umbrella-fold stroller. You can lift it in and out of the car with ease and carry it up and down stairs and onto public transport without any worries.
The nano duo's quirky looks, combined with clever engineering, make for a practical and easy-to-use double stroller that turns heads at the same time.
We give the Mountain Buggy nano duo 4 out of 5 stars.
You can find out more at the Mountain Buggy website