Product Type: Mountain Buggy prams, pushchairs and strollers
Newest Review: ... beach or fending off salespeople in the local shopping mall it will serve you well. It also has a good amount of storage space so you ca... more
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Mountain Buggy All Terrain
Member Name: opinionated
Mountain Buggy All Terrain
Date: 07/08/06, updated on 08/08/06 (5680 review reads)
Advantages: Manoeverable, great for sleeping in
I was about five months pregnant and since our parents had offered to buy some things for the baby in progress we thought it was time to embark on the accumulation stage of pregnancy. We ventured awkwardly into the world of baby consumerism and said "we're having a baby - what do we need". An awful lot it turns out! At least according to the shop assistant. We were introduced to a bewildering array of contraptions and ways to part with our money. I think we just listened and stunned silence and skulked out when she was temporarily distracted by another customer with a visa card clutched more prominently.
Out of that minefield, however, we did find out about one thing that sounded like a really good idea. A mountain buggy WITH the carry cot attachment. We really liked the idea but since it involved a lot of money we didn't want to rush in so we spoke with a number of friends (and in fact I accosted a stranger with one in a bookstore too) before deciding it was for us. After that it was just a case of shopping around for the best price. Three months in and I would certainly recommend the mountain buggy - here's what you need to know.....
WHAT IS IT?
The mountain buggy is a robust three wheeled buggy produced in New Zealand where it is probably the most prevalent type of buggy / pushchair. (http://www.mountainbuggy.com). There are three types of mountain buggy - urban, terrain and breeze. The breeze is the lightweight model and I haven't seen one but it doesn't fit the carrycot or carseat clip and is less sturdy. The main difference between the urban buggy and the terrain buggy is that the front wheel is fixed on the terrain buggy. This is good if you are serious about taking it off road or if you run with it. The urban buggy has a swiveling front wheel so you can steer it with one hand easily. The wheel can be fixed if you do go off road. I think a lot of people buy who buy terrain buggies are buying for the lifestyle they’d like to think they have or would like to have rather than their reality. If you're not sure go for the urban.
WHY IS IT GOOD?
As I live on a hill having a brake on any buggy is a bottom line essential! So that's the first thing.
The key sales point of the mountain buggy is that it can cope with different terrains so you whether you are fending off seagulls walking along the beach or fending off salespeople in the local shopping mall it will serve you well.
It also has a good amount of storage space so you can carry things in the basket under it and there are a few handy pockets for putting wipes or a spare pair of socks for when bubs mysteriously loses yet another pair.
The mountain buggy can take a newborn (at a 160 degree angle - so nearly flat) right through to a toddler. There is a little window on the hood so you peak through and see what they are up to (although sometimes it's better not to know...) and of course it folds down quickly to go in the boot of your car. You can also use a kiddy board with it if you have an older child (for 2 years and up).
Another good thing is that you can get an attachment to clip your carseat into it - so a sleeping baby can go from the car to the buggy without waking! The downside to this is that it does open temptation to leave the baby in the car seat for long periods which isn't great for their spine (the younger the baby the more of an issue this is - prem babies should spend absolutely minimal time in a car seat)
WHY DO I LOVE IT?
What I really love about the mountain buggy at this moment is the carry cot attachment. You remove the whole seat part of the buggy to fit this (easily done). We use this instead of a bassinet so our baby sleeps in the carry cot as his normal sleeping place. For those of you still early in your acquisition a bassinet is not an essential piece of baby equipment as they can sleep in a cot from day one if you want but a bassinet has the advantage that it is more 'snuggly' for a new baby and usually they can be rocked or swayed to calm the baby. They are usually more convenient to access too as they don't have high sides like a cot. Using the carry cot as a bassinet means we can roll the buggy back and forth to calm our little screamer and can easily re-locate him.
Another issue to keep in mind is that these days we are advised to have babies sleep on their backs to help avoid cot death but with back sleeping comes the possibility of 'flat head' where a flat spot develops on the back of the babies head where he or she habitually rests on it. The baby’s bones are at their softest when they are newborn so it's an important time. They say to 'place' your babies head facing alternate directions but babies often have their own opinions on where they want to face! Regularly turning the bassinet is a really good option if there's something on the wall that they like to look at (e.g. the light coming in or something you put there). It can help keep your baby from having to ask 'does my head look flat in this?’ Of course where I'm going with this is the ease in which the mountain buggy with carry cot can be moved to try to keep your baby from always choosing the same position.
The really great thing about this set up is that if you have to go out somewhere in walking distance and your baby is asleep you don't even have to wake them up - you can just wheel them out the door! I went to a friends place for dinner recently and by the time I'd pushed him there (half an hour) he was practically asleep. He fell asleep there and we pushed him home and straight into his bedroom without him waking up. If he has just woken up and I'm going somewhere Mummy-friendly (i.e. I can feed and change him when I get there) I tend to wheel him out without getting him up too.
Out and about the advantages are that between the buggy cover and the carry cot hood the baby is almost completely covered and there's a nice warm piece that zips over the baby as well. The baby is completely flat which is ideal and you can see him or her as you push them (some people do think it's a disadvantage though that when looking up they can't see as much of what is going on around them.) The carry cot can be detached to go in the car so your baby can sleep in its normal sleeping environment while you are at someone's place.
As we bought the carry cot second hand we also bought a Dr Sprott mattress cover for cot death safety.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES?
It is bulky. We bought our baby-friendly car after we have bought the buggy but if you already have a car make sure it will fit comfortably in your boot! It's reasonably heavy (although it's easy to push) and a bit unwieldy at times. I find I have to take it backwards up the steps to our house but I suspect that would be a problem with most buggies. It's pretty much impossible for one person to carry it up steps with a baby in it.
It is more expensive than many other buggies. I bought ours second hand so it wasn't that pricey - I did keep an eye out for a while to find it second hand though. When buying second hand you need to be very careful as to which accessories fit with which buggies. In particular the car seat clip and the carry cot can have model incompatibilities. If in doubt contact the people at www.mountainbuggy.com and ask them.
WHERE CAN I BUY ONE?
You can try through classifieds and internet auction sites to buy one second hand like I did or check out the list of retailers on the website - http://www.mountainbuggy.com/uk/outlets.html. It's also worth checking www.winkalots.co.nz. They are not currently stocking them but say they may stock them again in the future. When they did stock them I understand it was cheaper to get a buggy shipped from NZ by them than to buy one in the UK.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I CONSIDER?
If you are expecting to have a second child later (or already have one) then there are buggies which cater better for a baby and a toddler - see the Phil and Ted’s one on the Winkalot site I mentioned above. I you are expecting to have a second child at the same time (!) mountain buggies do a twins model (you can also use this for two children of different ages but it is bulky). Mountain buggy even do a triplet model!! (Scary stuff).
Be careful when costing it out that you include the cost of accessories as they are an additional cost and most people consider the sun cover and the rain cover as a definite requirement (they do provide great cover and the wee monsters can still see out). I have mentioned the main other accessories in the text - namely the carry cot, the carseat clip and the kiddy board. There are a couple of other options - a sleeping bag to keep them cosy, a handbrake to help on hills, a handlebar extension for tall people, a pump for the tyres, a travel bag and a bumper bar. We didn't opt for any of these (we have bicycle pumps at home if it goes flat) and I don't think you need them.
I would recommend the mountain buggy and the carry cot as an excellent option! I think the car seat clip is a good idea too but you do need to weigh up whether it would tempt you to leave them for too long in the car seat.
(for the urban single)
• Weight 10 kg
• Total child weight 35kg
• Width 68cm
• Length (folded) 105cm
• Basket capacity 5kg
I didn't put this in the review at first but since someone requested it I did a bit of a search and the best deal I could find was from http://www.pushchairs.co.uk/ who do a package for 359 quid plus 10 delivery which includes:
- Urban buggy
- Carseat clip
- Storm Cover
- Rain Canopy
- Lambskin Shoulder Harness Covers
- Sureride Anti-Puncture Tape (fitted) & Spare Inner Tube
and if you pay by credit card a Cyclaire Mini Pump or Bumper Bar.
Packages including the carrycot start at 489.
You should get 50%-75% of that back when you re-sell it.
ANOTHER QUICK TIP
If you have a choice go for knobbly wheels. I haven't seen them for sale but the person I bought off said she'd 'had them fitted' so that the motion would make the baby go to sleep more easily. This doesn't work on all surfaces but on lino it works a treat so if you're desperate (which you will be at times) a few laps of the kitchen floor might do wonders.
Summary: We love our mountain buggy because the baby can sleep in it and then be taken out without waking him
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