With its three wheels, aluminium frame and bright red fabric, Mothercare’s Twin Vesta Double Pushchair is a head-turning double buggy. But you want more from a buggy than admiring glances and, unfortunately, it doesn’t deliver.
The Twin Vesta is one of several twin (side-by-side) buggies from Mothercare’s own range. With its large pneumatic (air-filled) wheels, it’s the only one that could be considered capable of tackling bumpier terrain. It’s described as a “bright and sporty double three wheeler” and as supposedly being suitable from birth to a maximum child weight of 15kg, which is roughly 3 years.
The Mothercare Twin Vesta Double Pushchair has independently reclining, multi-position seats with 5-point safety harnesses. The front wheel can swivel 360 degrees or be locked.
What we love
The Mothercare Twin Vesta is easy to push and its large wheels make it good for parks and off-roading, to a point. It has pretty good suspension and a well-padded harness, so my twins seemed comfortable – they enjoyed resting their feet on the bumper bar as they rode along.
The backrests are easy to adjust and can be done independently, should one child be sleeping while the other wants to sit up and observe. The fact they can recline fully means you could use the buggy from birth.
The shopping basket is huge – one of the largest I’ve seen on a pushchair – and easy to access. You’d have no problem fitting a changing bag and a couple of bags of shopping in there. My dog even hopped in at one point!
The handle is a single bar, so no dangling bags from it (not that you’d need to, given the size of the basket), but it’s comfortably padded and I found I could push the buggy with one hand if I needed to.
The price includes two cosytoes, lined with grey fleece, the Mothercare Weathershield (raincover) and a tyre pump, which is good value as the price of such necessary extras can easily mount up. And at £250 (currently £225 on sale) it’s cheap for an all-terrain-style product.
The Twin Vesta also looks striking and modern.
What to watch out for
The Mothercare Twin Vesta Double Pushchair needs a bit of assembly from the box – and Mothercare clearly wasn’t thinking about the environment when it included such excessive packaging. Putting the front wheel on was tricky and I didn’t feel entirely confident on my first journey, in case I hadn’t done it right. Fortunately, it seems to have held up, although I noticed several customer reviews on Mothercare’s own website complained that the front wheel often got stuck or was noisy, so perhaps some faulty engineering there?
The seats feel very hard so I’m not sure how comfortable they’d be on long journeys. And although they recline fully for newborns, there’s no headhugger supplied and the seats are quite exposed to the elements in this position. You’d need a cosy pramsuit and/or a few blankets to make it more snug.
The hood is made of very thin fabric and offers barely any protection from sun, wind or rain. And a silly design blip means when you fold it back, the fabric drapes over your children’s faces unless you remember to stop and tuck it behind their heads.
Another common complaint on the Mothercare website, with which I agree, is the fact the harness is too short. My twins are just 1 and yet the straps are extended to their full range, without coats. They’re not going to be able to ride comfortably or safely for much longer, which seems ridiculous. Likewise the cosytoes are designed with smaller children in mind. Both my sons’ heads stuck up over the top, which meant they were neither cosy nor supported and, indeed, uncomfortable thanks to the ridge at the edge. And they were far too short and narrow to do up properly.
The buggy’s folding mechanism seems counter-intuitive as it doesn’t collapse in on itself – it folds outwards. Once you’ve got the hang of this, it does fold and unfold easily, although you have to put the seat positions to upright, which is a bit of a faff. It’s also really big when folded, not to mention hard to handle. I wouldn’t relish lifting this in and out of a car on a regular basis. Try it out in your car’s boot before you buy – you’ll probably need to remove the wheels. You will also need ample storage space at home.
The handle height can’t be adjusted, which my husband found annoying as it was a little on the low side for him. Plus there’s no wrist strap.
It’s a little unusual – but not unique – to find a twin 3-wheeler, as normally you need the stability an extra front wheel provides. If Mothercare were to design a Vesta Mark II, I’d seriously suggest adding that extra front wheel, because while this 3-wheeler twin buggy looks stylish, it feels unsafe at times. It was wobbly going up and down kerbs and, on one occasion, the whole buggy tipped worryingly to one side with my twins on board when I went over an uneven bit of pavement. In light of this, it’s not quite the robust off-roader it looks to be.
Last, but not least, a complaint all double buggy users will identify with: at 87cm the Twin Vesta is too wide for most doorways, which limits its use significantly. This is a buggy for parks and wide pavements, not shops or buses.
Who is the Mothercare Twin Vesta Double Pushchair best for?
Style-conscious, park-going parents of older – but smaller – babies with loads of storage space.
The Mothercare Twin Vesta Double Pushchair is an attractive, sporty buggy but sadly it’s not as stable or versatile as it looks.