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Mamas & Papas Duette has flexible seating arrangements that can transport twins or two children in luxury and comfort.
From car seats to cots, maternity wear to mobiles, Mamas & Papas is a well-known name in the world of all things baby. And when it comes to buggies, Mamas & Papas have a few twin options. The Duette is the most expensive of their small twin range, but certainly has a lot to offer. If a folding, lightweight buggy is the small and nippy Smart car of the pushchair world, then the Mamas & Papas Duette is the BMW X5, a luxury urban tank.
Why we love it
There’s something special about the Duette. It’s a front-and-back design, which means the seats sit one behind the other, rather than side-by-side, making it easier to negotiate narrow doorways, but what makes it stand out from the crowd of these types of pushchair is the versatility of the seating arrangements.
The Duette comes with two lie-flat seat units, making it suitable from birth for twins, and these can be placed one in front of the other, back-to-back or one forwards and one backwards. There are some limitations to this as you can only lie the two seats flat when they are both facing the same way, but it’s great if you have a baby and a toddler as you can lie the baby facing you, while the toddler sits up at the front, or vice versa.
My 3-year-old son Max loved sitting at the front while one of my 5-month-old twins slept behind him. And it was great to take the twins, Zach and Jonah, out for walks to soothe them as both could lie flat in comfort. The seats are well padded and come with fabric aprons for colder weather. You can buy an optional rain cover for each as well.
As well as the two standard seat units, you can also use the Duette as a travel system, as it’s compatible with Mamas & Papas Primo Viaggio IP 0+ car seats. You can use a mix of standard Duette seats, car seat and even a Navetta Bassinette plus seat to suit your needs, though for balance you must always use two seats, even if you are only pushing one child.
Thanks to the big wheels the ride is smooth and getting up and down curbs is easy, even with a toddler on board, in fact it felt easier to push than my everyday twin buggy from a competitor. There’s a mini steering wheel on the handle to control the buggy, which took some getting used to, although it was popular with the children who loved having a go at pushing the buggy.
Having owned a Mamas & Papas single buggy in the past, which seemed to require three hands to fold and unfold, I was pleased that the folding mechanism on the Duette is much improved and very simple to operate.
What to watch out for
The first thing that might put you off is the price. The Duette is far from cheap and any extras will cost you even more. It costs £625for the chassis and two seat units, and if you want to use it as a travel system each car seat and base will cost you too. Even the raincovers will set you back £40 each.
The second issue is size. No twin buggy is small, but the Duette is huge, measuring 109cm x 60cm x 140cm when unfolded, with the turning circle to match. I found it was smooth and easy to manoeuvre most of the time, but the combination of the unfamiliar steering wheel system and a tight space meant I ended up sweating over many a five- or six-point turn.
Because of the size you will also have to check that it will fit in your car boot, it just squeezed into our Renault Espace, but those with smaller cars might struggle, particularly if you don’t opt for the travel system and have to cart around the seats too.
Who is the Mamas & Papas Duette best for?
Mums of toddler and baby or twins who want flexible seating arrangements and a comfortable ride.
The Mamas & Papas Duette isn’t completely perfect, is on the expensive side and can be hard to manoeuvre, but the comfortable seats and the flexibility of positioning is great. If you can afford it and have the space to house it, the positives outweigh the negatives.
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|Brand||Mamas & Papas|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
|Both seats suitable from birth||Yes|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:109cm W:60cm L:140cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:43cm W:60cm L:105.5cm|
|Travel system compatible||Yes|
|Compatible car seats||Primo Viaggio IP 0+ (£125 each)|
|Seat facing direction||Forward facing and parent facing|
|Front wheels||Lockable swivel|
|Accessories included||Fabric aprons for seats|