Mountain Buggy Protect

Our score

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In a nutshell

The first ever car seat from all-terrrain buggy manufactures Mountain Buggy - a sturdy, comfortable, Group 0+/1 seat that is cheap too!

  • Pros

    Well-padded car seat, 5 point padded safety harness, high side impact protection, removable liner as baby grows, sturdy car seat.

  • Cons

    Car seat adaptors cost extra.

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Our review

Mountain Buggy prides itself on more than 20 years of revolutionising all terrain performance, making buggies which are great for off-road but equally good in a cosmopolitan environment.

Launched in 1992 by a New Zealand dad who needed a buggy with all terrain agility, the brand makes pushchairs suitable for newborns to toddlerhood and has a clutch of awards under its belt including a Mother & Baby Gold award and a Prima Baby & Pregnancy silver award for its slim-line double Duet buggy in 2014 alone.

‘We listen. We develop. We deliver’ is the brand’s motto, which is about evolving current products based on feedback from parents and retailers.

And this motto probably explains why the brand has now - after two decades - decided to produce it’s own car seats: the Protect and the Haven.

The Haven is the brand’s first Group 1/2/3 front-facing chair that comes with a ‘safeguard’ impact shield (review coming soon.) 

The Protect is Mountain Buggy’s first Group 0+ infant chair, travel system compatible with every Mountain Buggy pushchair, it now means Mountain Buggy can be a one-stop shop for parents with new babies.

Equipped with a 5-point safety harness, EPS side impact protection and sunhood, the car seat is also ISOFIX compatible with the BASEfix base.

What’s in the box?

  • Mountain Buggy Protect Group 0+ car seat

Any additional extras?

  • Mountain Buggy ISOFIX base - £69
  • Mountain Buggy BASEfix base - £69
  • Mountain Buggy car seat adaptors - £29
  • Mountain Buggy sun and storm cover £25

First impressions?

Maxi Cosi better watch its back. Mountain Buggy has entered the travel system market with a new Group 0+ baby car seat from birth to 13kg to fit all of the ever-popular Mountain Buggy pushchairs like the Swift, Terrain, Duet and Cosmopolitan and its MB Mini stroller.

And boy, is it light.

In a totally unscientific experiment involving my bathroom scales, I found out that the Protect car seat weighs 3.3kg compared to our Maxi Cosi Cabriofix’s 4.1kg, which is great news for my poor hips when lugging the car seat loaded with three-month-old Maximilian up to our fourth floor flat.

Tell us about installing the car seat in the car.

The car seat and ISOFIX base comes boxed and ready to go.  But if you buy it as part of a travel system – which I did with the Mountain Buggy MB Mini (£349.99) - they can all be assembled in a few easy steps using picture instructions.

It took me just 10 minutes to unpack the pushchair and car seat, and less than five minutes to install the ISOFIX base in our Peugeot 208.

If your car does not have ISOFIX anchor points, your car’s seat belts can be used to install the BASEfix base.

This is a really good piece of kit – with the ISOFIX base the car seat simply clicks in and out of the base, making it securely anchored to the seat of the car.

However, if you’re planning to put the car seat and Mini together to use as a travel system you’ll need one vital piece of equipment: the car seat adaptors, which cost an additional £29.

Is it easy to move the chair (and baby) from car to home?

Yes, transferring the car seat from the car onto the Mini is easy peasy.  As I mentioned earlier it is almost a whole kilo lighter than my previous seat and it easily clips in and out of the ISOFIX base at the clink of a button, no problem for me or my back.

With the car seat adaptors it literally snaps onto the side of the buggy chassis, and you simply pop the car seat on top of them until you hear a click. You release it by depressing a button on either side of the seat.

How is strapping your little one in the seat?

Adjusting the straps of the car seat to fit your baby is a bit fiddly – in order to remove the newborn insert and adjust the crotch harness you have to tease a metal strap through the base, something I wouldn’t recommend doing with newly polished nails.

One you’ve got all the straps where you need them strapping the baby in and taking them out is easy peasy.

You simply put two halves of the buckle together and click them in place, and release them by clicking again. Like Britax and Maxi Cosi, loosening the straps involves pushing a button in the base to release, and pulling a cord in the base to tighten them again.

How long will the car seat last?

Maximilian is 12-weeks-old and the newborn insert, which is beautifully padded and so soft, was redundant because he had already outgrown it. It would probably last longer with smaller babies, but probably not as long as you would expect.

Again, whether the car seat will last until he’s 15-months-old remains to be seen – I think this depends on the size of your baby and mine is big!

Does it feel safe and secure?

It does!  When connected to the ISOFIX base it feels sturdy, there’s no wobble and no worries.

With high side impact protection the car seat is really deep and as a result seems really safe.

How comfortable is it for your son?

Very, the car seat is so well padded and the fabric is super soft.  My son looked comfy and well supported when in the chair.

The sun/rain canopy is another bonus – it has a sturdy frame which will withstand strong wind and a good sized mesh window through which you can see your baby.

And because of its depth the sun canopy, which is really sturdy, offers good cover and protection.

How does it work as a travel system?

I coupled the Protect car seat with the Mountain Buggy Mini pushchair.  Ironically, the Mini stroller is anything but mini so don’t be fooled by the name. I was surprised at the size of it, especially the length, which took a bit of getting used to when navigating shop doorways and getting on the bus.

Having said that, at 8kg it is surprisingly light and easy to manoeuvre, so easy in fact that I had to make sure I was wearing the safety wrist strap at all times because it had a habit of rolling off by itself when I stopped on sloped curbs to cross the road.

MadeForMums verdict: The car seat is a dream, well-padded and comfortable with really high sides for safety, but the Mini stroller has several downsides including rock hard tyres resulting in a bumpy ride and a shallow seat.