You probably know the origin story of New Zealand pushchair maker Mountain Buggy, but for those of you unfamiliar with the story, this is how it started.
Once upon a time, back in 1992 when Barney and Friends made its TV debut, Euro Disney first opened and Douglas Adams finished the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, there was a father in New Zealand who developed an all-terrain buggy so he could enjoy mountain trails with his baby.
Over two decades later the brand is now synonymous with all-terrain pushchairs and has won a plethora of awards to prove it, including two Red Dot Design awards (for its Urban Jungle and Nano models).
Last year saw one of Mountain Buggy’s business years as the buggy maker upgraded 5 of its essential buggies, one being the convertible +One is pushchair.
The original version was first introduced to the UK market back in 2011 as Mountain Buggies first tandem stroller and the newest version came out at the end of 2015, which we were eager to review.
So what’s the difference between the old Mountain Buggy +One tandem and this new version?
Well, like all of the other revamped buggies the +One has been made to have a smaller footprint and is now two inches shorter.
It has an automatic lock when folded, has a 5-point harness, higher suspension on the frame and comes with an attachable food try.
Then there’s the new Carrycot Plus, which is a convertible carrycot and seat unit in one.
What’s in the box?
The package I received to review included two toddler chairs and a carrycot. It’s also possible to make the buggy travel system compatible with an extra car seat.
We also received the storm cover, which was a fantastic accessory especially with our pretty unpredictable weather!
However, when buying the basic +One from the Phil&Ted’s site you’ll get:
- Aluminium frame
- 3 x 12″ air filled wheels
- Seat fabric
- 10kg capacity gear tray with storage pockets
- Sunhood with silent, magnetic peek-a-boo flap on sunhood
- Reversible liner
- Gate opening’ bumper bar for easier access in & out of the main seat
- Bottle holder
You can buy the Mountain Buggy +One from Kiddicare, Precious Little One and Pram Centre.
How was assembling the buggy?
One flaw I found early on was that assembling and reconfiguring the pram is not easy.
Even the online videos showing the pram being put together – which usually make the process look simple – were quite difficult to follow.
With just the instructions it was a bit of a head scratcher, but I eventually got put it all together.
How does it work as a single pushchair?
The Mountain Buggy +One works as well as any single pushchair I’ve ever tried. The seat unit is spacious and quite high on the chassis; it’s also comfortable for my son. It has a nice-sized basket, is car seat compatible, and of course, it pushes well.
How does it work in double mode?
I was pretty adamant when I fell pregnant with my second child that I wouldn’t be opting for a traditional side-by-side buggy and would need a tandem so I was delighted that the +One is exactly that.
And on passing glance you could think this was just a slightly bulkier than-normal single pram, even when in double mode. That’s because the carrycot element is completely hidden behind the toddler seat, so it’s actually not immediately apparent that this is a double pram.
That’s great if you need to save on space, however, this could be a downside, particularly when using with a newborn. That’s because your new baby will be pretty much hidden from view.
While there is a certain protective element about that which feels nice, some mums may prefer to have their newborn a little more ‘on show’.
When using the buggy with the second toddler chair you’ll be happy to know there’s space a plenty for two toddlers.
When sat in tandem my son and his cousin both had plenty of room and neither had their legs hanging in the shopping basket (a common gripe with tandems).
How is it when out and about?
As a non-driving mum of a 22-month-old I have spent the best part of two years battling one dreaded fear – prams and public transport.
When my husband is around he can ferry us about in the car and all is well but when he’s not, I have to tackle the tuts of other passengers as I struggle to fit my reasonably compact buggy into the allocated space on the bus. And no matter how many times I do it, I still find it a daunting task.
You can imagine my sheer panic therefore at the thought of having to do the same thing with a double buggy with number two due very soon.
But the chances of me ever passing a driving test are virtually non-existent (ask any of my previous driving instructors!) so it’s something I’m going to have to learn to do.
When asked to review the Mountain Buggy +one, my first thought was “I wonder how this will work on the bus!” Unfortunately the answer was ‘not great’.
While I could get it on the bus it was a tight squeeze and, as someone who already struggles in this department, it didn’t leave me wanting to try buses again in a hurry.
How does it push and steer?
True to Mountain Buggy reputation, the large wheels feature air-filled tyres means it pushes very well on all surfaces and is especially great for using on the grass in the park.
Another fantastic feature to this pram is the break. It’s situated on the handle bar, which is a little different, but nice and very easy to use. And then there’s the hood, which is great for sun, protecting both boys from the sunshine with ease.
How does it fold?
Folding the pram is pretty straightforward (although you probably need two hands to do it rather than one).
It’s not the smallest of prams when folded but still fits in the boot of our car (a Seat Leon) without taking wheels off.
While you can get sleeker, more streamlined doubles the size of this one doesn’t cause too many problems.
Is it value for money?
At £699 the price is around mid-range for this type of pram but given its sturdy, solid frame you do feel as though you’re getting your money’s worth!
This a great, sturdy pram and it’s obvious the designers were going for an all-terrain model.
It’s probably not the best choice if you use public transport a lot and it can be a bit fiddly but if you’re looking for a solid buggy to stick your little ones in in all weathers this is a good choice.