Mountain Buggy Nano

Our score

Mums' score

4.5
3
4
1
5
4
4
5
4
1
4
1

1 of

Ad break

  • Continue slideshow >

  • Continue slideshow >

In a nutshell

Ultra compact, light-weight urban stroller, small enough to fit in an overhead luggage compartment

  • Pros

    A light-weight stroller, good for travelling, good storage, excellent basket, quiet foam tyres.

  • Cons

    Fiddly front wheel swivel/lock mechanism, Velcro on safety strap catches sleeves, hood rubs your hands when folded back.

Compare deals from top retailers

MadeForMums Preferred Partner

Our review

Well-known for off-road pushchairs, Mountain Buggy was started over 20 years ago when a dad needed a proper all terrain pushchair for his native New Zealand mountain trails and decided to build his own. 

The company are now targeting urban parents, and the Nano is a leap into the world of travel strollers.

They’ve stepped away from the standard concept of umbrella-fold strollers and made their smallest stroller yet, which folds into a rectangular travel bag shape.

First impressions?

The aptly named Nano from Mountain Buggy takes its microscopic dimensions seriously; at 56x31x51cm when folded, it is advertised as being the size of a travel satchel when folded.

And I was instantly impressed as it came out of the box because it was hidden away inside a travel bag. There was an exposed carry handle to pick it up as well as a shoulder strap, and at just 6kg I found it easy to carry around.

How easy the Mountain Buggy Nano easy to fold?

Yes, but like all pushchairs, there's a knack.  Most of the workings are straight forward and the unfolding mechanism is intuitive. But it took me several frustrating minutes to collapse the pushchair. A helpful hint to ‘Squeeze handle’ would have been useful written alongside the relevant diagram.

The Nano folds forwards and down on top of itself, turning it into a folded-in-half, almost square shape. Mountain Buggy has designed the pushchair to be unfastened with a flick - gravity does most of the hard work. Technically it’s not a one-handed fold because closing it back up requires you to press both buttons on either side of the handle.

However, I managed to put it away and still look after 14-month-old Hannah because the Nano folds down in two easy stages.

Mountain Buggy is proud of their award-winning Nano and its folding system - it only came out this year but has already won an innovation award within the industry from the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association).

I did find some niggles though - there’s a heavy duty Velcro on the safety strap, which doubles as a way to secure the handlebar when folded. I found this caught on long sleeve tops and risked snagging clothing. A popper would have been better.

How easy is it to fold?

Most of the workings are straight forward and the unfolding mechanism is intuitive. But it took me several frustrating minutes to collapse the pushchair. A helpful hint to ‘Squeeze handle’ would have been useful written alongside the relevant diagram.

The Nano folds forwards and down on top of itself, turning it into a folded-in-half, almost square shape. Mountain Buggy has designed the pushchair to be unfastened with a flick - gravity does most of the hard work. Technically it’s not a one-handed fold because closing it back up requires you to press both buttons on either side of the handle.

However, I managed to put it away and still look after 14-month-old Hannah because the Nano folds down in two easy stages. Mountain Buggy is proud of their award-winning Nano and its folding system - it only came out this year but has already won an innovation award within the industry from the JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association).

I did find some niggles though - there’s a heavy duty Velcro on the safety strap, which doubles as a way to secure the handlebar when folded. I found this caught on long sleeve tops and risked snagging clothing. A popper would have been better. 

How did you find storing the Nano?

I think Mountain Buggy has achieved something special - the Nano folds down to such tiny proportions that it’s hard to believe there’s anything more than a stripped-back, minimal comfort travel stroller in the bag.

But when it’s unfolded the Nano looks like a normal, full size pushchair with really spacious underseat storage. I really liked the simple, ingenious design and when the travel cover is pulled over, it seems to shrink even more. Friends walked past it in my cramped hallway and genuinely did not notice it.

Was the stroller comfortable for your little one?

Hannah, aged 14 months, was more than happy with the comfort level of her full-size, padded seat with its adjustable leg rest and multi-position recline. Her big sister Catherine, aged three-and-a-quarter, had plenty of space for a comfortable, much-needed afternoon nap.  The five-point safety harness is excellent, but when I fastened Hannah securely there were long dangling straps left loose.

She was very pleased with this because she could chew them to her heart’s content. I would have preferred it if Mountain Buggy had installed a ‘tail-free’ harness instead, which is found on many of their other models. I tucked them up into the shoulder padding but Hannah could still wiggle them loose.

Can the Nano be taken on holiday?

Yes! The Nano has been designed with overhead luggage lockers in mind and the website boasts pictures of smiling parents on the plane with the Nano overhead. Technically it does easily fit, which is fantastic news for parents who would otherwise have to leave their pushchair at the gate and then wait until the arrivals hall at their destination.

However, I’d be very nervous relying on kind-hearted airline crews because according to hand baggage rules on many airlines the Nano is too big to be allowed on-board. I contacted British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and RyanAir and all of them said technically it would have to travel in the hold. American Airlines would accept it in the overhead lockers - but they accept umbrella strollers anyway so it’s a moot point.

How did the stroller do on public transport?

The Nano’s travel-friendly credentials left me confident on a long train journey because I was able to fold it up and safely stash it in the overhead luggage racks. The diminutive proportions when it is folded away also meant I found it a more user-friendly shape.

So it must be a breeze to fit in a car boot?

It is.  The pushchair would fit into even the skimpiest of car boots, there’s rarely space left in the back of our car when we are traveling, I’m normally shoehorning our umbrella-fold stroller across the footwells in the back of the car and sacrificing legroom for long-suffering adult passengers. But the Nano was a revelation because it fit into a single footwell beneath a child’s carseat, leaving grown ups with plenty of room. 

How was it out and about?

Mountain Buggy have used six-inch foam rubber tyres but there are only four of them, rather than the usual double wheels found on most other compact travel strollers.

On the ground, the Nano’s foam tyres are very quiet, on the downside I found it quite tiring pushing for several hours because the wheels are small, but that’s a problem almost universal to travel strollers.

The Nano has its own inbuilt rear wheel suspension but I did not find it helped on very rough ground. I found the pushchair handled well on gravel paths and grass but I steered clear of cobbled areas.

The front wheel swivel/lock mechanism is also fiddly and has to be done by hand. Ours was difficult to engage, a problem with the first buggies off the production line, bur Mountain Buggy have since fixed.

The shops are now filled with later models so this shouldn’t be an issue, but we were sent a wheel fix kit which solved the difficulty with the spring.

Going up kerbs was speedy and the weight distribution was about right, which meant I didn’t have to slow down dramatically. Down kerbs was easy too but the Nano was not ideal on a series of steps because of the small wheels.

The brake pedal sticks out quite far and I found it was catching on steps as I went down - and then catching on the way back up and accidentally engaging. Luckily it is less than 6kg so I found it more practical to pick Hannah and the entire stroller up to tackle steps.

Is it value for money?

It’s very reasonably priced at £199, making it a cheaper option than, say, the Maclaren Techno XT, although in reality you’d need to spend an extra £29 on the rain and sun cover. Mountain Buggy is known for its sturdy, high quality products and secondhand items generally sell well. Suspension 

Is it travel system compatible?

Yes, it is compatible with many carseat; the Cybex Aton 1, Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Cabriofix and Mico, so you can transport babies under six months. I found it quick and easy to fit our Maxi Cosi but I couldn’t use it with Hannah - she weighs 11kg and the Nano’s carseat weight limit is 9kg.  Also the Nano does not lie flat so it is unsuitable for newborns.

How is the hood?

The Nano comes with a colourful, decent-sized hood, unfortunately when it’s folded back it rubs your hands and I found this particularly annoying. There’s also a very large mesh panel at the back, which allowed me to see Hannah clearly in the pushchair.

I thought that was great - until the wind whistled through when the seat was fully reclined and I realised she was quite open to the elements.

The rain or sun cover would have offered enough shelter - but this is an extra £29. Realistically you’d have to spend that to have a useable stroller whatever the weather.

What did you think of the handle bar?

The single bar handle was comfortable to use but does not adjust. It sits at 100cm high and I was happy with this - I am 167cm tall - but very tall parents may find this a negative.

What’s in the box?

  • Chassis frame
  • Wheels
  • Seat unit
  • Basket
  • Hood

Are there optional extras?

  • Rain cover - £29
  • Freerider stroller board  - £70
  • Seat liner - £22

Is it easy to build?

Yes, it was virtually ready to roll - I just had to fit the front wheels, which was an easy task. The instruction booklet had clear diagrams to follow and there were 25 pages of detailed drawings highlighting how to use the Nano. Unfortunately there was no explanatory text, a real negative in my opinion.

MadeForMums verdict:

The Nano’s ingenious, very neat fold is fantastic, making it incredibly user-friendly for parents with a small house, small car, or just for anyone who hates clutter.

For parents wanting to travel any distance it will be a revelation - the Nano decreased my stress levels on the train and meant I would literally have room for an extra suitcase in the car on our next holiday. I might even have space for my own stuff, instead of filling the boot with nappies, children’s clothes and the toddler’s teddies.

We've got more lightweight buggy reviews...