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Hands-on Gear Review

Mountain Buggy Terrain Review


Jogging Stroller

Price:   $600 List | $499.99 from Amazon - 17% Off
Pros:  Hand brake, lots of storage, good for napping
Cons:  Tracks poorly when running, heavy
Bottom line:  Do not recommend for avid runners
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Mountain Buggy

The Skinny

The Mountain Buggy Terrain has all the nice quality parts and construction of the Mountain Buggy brand, but its score for run-ability is disappointing. While this stroller has nice suspension, it isn't adjustable and, its adjustable tracking is difficult to use and not that effective. Some runners might be able to forgive the lack of adjustable suspension, as this feature is missing on many top brands, but few will accept a stroller that struggles to run true and straight without wandering off road. Because of its lower score for run-ability, this stroller failed to earn enough points to be a real contender for avid runners, which resulted in the Terrain being a stroller we do not recommend.

RELATED: Our complete review of jogging strollers

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
BabyGearLab Review Team


Last Updated:
Wednesday
October 19, 2016
The Mountain Buggy Terrain is a jogging stroller with two sets of air filled rear wheels, 16 and 12 inches. The Terrain features drum brakes and a hand operated control brake with frame suspension. The front wheel can be locked in a forward or backward position, or left to swivel. This stroller has two fabric seats, 3 parent facing options, waterproof canvas fabric, adjustable handlebar, and retractable leg rest. The stroller has a storage bin with a zipper mesh cover to keep items contained, even if it doesn't keep them clean. The Terrain has a 5-point harness, canopy with mesh sun visor, and a peek-a-boo window with magnetic closure. This stroller is suitable for children ages 0 to 5 and up to 55 pounds.

Performance Comparison


Sixteen top ranked strollers were put to the test to find the best jogging style stroller on the market (Grand Safari  Burley Solstice  Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight  and Mountain Buggy Terrain not shown).
Sixteen top ranked strollers were put to the test to find the best jogging style stroller on the market (Grand Safari, Burley Solstice, Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight, and Mountain Buggy Terrain not shown).

Run-ability


With hard to use adjustable tracking  the Terrain continues to veer to the side when running.
With hard to use adjustable tracking, the Terrain continues to veer to the side when running.
The Mountain Buggy earned a 5 of 10 for run-ability, which is below the average for the group, but more importantly isn't that impressive for a stroller designed with running in mind. The Terrain tied with the Joovy Zoom 360 Ultralight and the Baby Jogger Summit X3 in this metric. The high score for the group is 9 earned by the Thule Urban Glide and the BOB Revolution Flex, both of which also won our Editors' Choice awards.

The swivel front wheel of the Terrain can be locked in place for running or uneven terrain.
The swivel front wheel of the Terrain can be locked in place for running or uneven terrain.
The Terrain has a locking swivel front wheel which makes it better at maneuverability, and the wheel can be locked forward or backward depending on terrain. It does offer adjustable tracking, but the adjustment isn't very effective and seemed to need realignment every time the front wheel hit the ground after being tipped up for rounding corners. Tracking is adjusted on the side of the wheel (which is unlike any other tracking we have seen) and it took some playing with to figure out that we had to loosen the wheel nut connection to make the necessary tracking adjustments and then retighten the nut. If the adjsutment wasn't right, you have to start the process over. Compared to the tracking adjustment on the BOB Revolution Flex, that is a simple turn knob, this one takes too much time and is not good for minor corrections. Even after adjusting the tracking, we had trouble getting the Terrain to track straight when running and no amount of adjusting seemed to help. The play in the locked front wheel also limits what the tracking adjustment can accomplish, and running with this stroller was still a chore.

On the up side the Terrain has an adjustable handlebar that testers liked and improved the user's experience when running. In addition, the Terrain has suspension that is good, and passengers were comfortable.

The Terrain is good at tipping and turning with the front wheel in the locked position. Unfortunately, as previously stated, this impacted the tracking and resulted in frequent stops to readjust, as the stroller continued to veer right no matter what we tried. The hand brake on the Terrain works well, but the center placement could get in the way of one-handed pushing and running ergonomics.

Maneuverability


The swivel front wheel on the Terrain helps make it a good at negotiating turns and crowded spaces.
The swivel front wheel on the Terrain helps make it a good at negotiating turns and crowded spaces.
The Terrain earned a 7 of 10 for maneuverability which is the average for the group and tied with the Baby Jogger Summit 3, Burley Solstice, and the fixed front wheel Thule Glide. The high for this metric is 9 earned by the Thule Urban Glide.

The Terrain isn't as bad as some of the cheaper competition, but it struggled to keep up with the strollers in the same price range. This stroller has a lot of flex in the frame and the softer suspension make it less responsive when trying to navigate tight turns or crowded locations. It also requires a little more work to push over grass and gravel than some of the competition. This is sort of a surprise given its nicer tires and wheels.

The Terrain is fairly easy to push over terrain transitions and uneven surfaces.
The Terrain is fairly easy to push over terrain transitions and uneven surfaces.
Pushing and turning on trails was only okay and the front wheel on this stroller had difficulty moving over larger rocks, more so than the Burley or the Joovy. However, the taller/longer handlebar makes it easier to push for taller users and provides more leverage for tipping and turning than some of the competition with stationary bars. The Terrain is not the best at negotiating curbs with flex in the handlebar causing control issues.

Ease of Use


The Terrain canopy has a mesh pop out visor and small pockets on the sides.
The Terrain canopy has a mesh pop out visor and small pockets on the sides.
The Terrain earned a score higher than the average for ease of use with a 7 of 10, where the average is a 6. Several strollers also scored a 7 including the Thule Glide and the Thule Chariot Cougar 2 with Jog Kit. The high score for this metric is a 9 earned by the Burley Solstice.

The peek-a-boo window on the Terrain canopy is not in the best place and it makes looking at baby difficult. The cover is magnetic however  which is a plus.
The peek-a-boo window on the Terrain canopy is not in the best place and it makes looking at baby difficult. The cover is magnetic however, which is a plus.
The Mountain Buggy canopy is nice to look at, but is really only average when compared to the competition. It is not that big and only covers to the knee. It
One of the side pockets on the canopy of the Terrain has a spot for the headphone cord to thread through so you can use it with your MP3 player.
One of the side pockets on the canopy of the Terrain has a spot for the headphone cord to thread through so you can use it with your MP3 player.
sits up fairly high with a flip out visor, which will be nice for taller passengers, but it will leave smaller tots relatively exposed to the elements. The peek-a-boo window is placed a little far forward on the shade making parents lean over the stroller to view baby's face while running, which is not a great running position. The window does have a cover with magnetic closure, which are easy to use and silent so sleeping babies aren't woken by the sound Velcro. The canopy has small zippered stow pockets on the sides and one is designed for an MP3 player with a small hole for threading ear bud cords. The canopy lacks added ventilation on the shade or the back of the seat.

The storage bin on the Terrain has a maximum allowable weight of 22 pounds  the highest in the group.
The storage bin on the Terrain has a maximum allowable weight of 22 pounds, the highest in the group.
The Terrain's under seat storage is large and holds an impressive 22
The storage bin on the Terrain also has pockets on the back to help you keep organized.
The storage bin on the Terrain also has pockets on the back to help you keep organized.
lbs, the highest allowable weight in the group. This bin held our Extra-large diaper bag and has accessibility from the back and sides. It is one of the nicest storage bins in the Jogging stroller lineup with a mesh zippered cover to keep items contained. The Terrain also has two mesh stow pockets for the passenger, and two water bottle holders for parents that are pretty cool and unique to the Mountain Buggy lineup.

The Terrain has inside mesh stow pockets for passenger snacks  sippy cups or small toys.
The Terrain has inside mesh stow pockets for passenger snacks, sippy cups or small toys.
This stroller has an adjustable leg rest by way of a metal bar that slides out to prop the leg rest up and out. It works well for smaller passengers so they can lay flatter, but larger kids will probably just end up bending the bar and it will need to stay in the down position once children are of a certain size. The footrest is made of aluminum and hard plastic and is likely to be cold in the winter and potentially hot in the summer. While it will be easy to clean, we do worry about summertime heat and little toes on hot metal. Most of the competition is plastic or rubberized canvas, and both seem like better options, though arguably less durable.

The recline adjustment on the Terrain requires two hands and isn't as easy as the one handed options.
The recline adjustment on the Terrain requires two hands and isn't as easy as the one handed options.
The Terrain offers the easiest two-handed recline in the group, though one-handed versions are still nicer and easier to manage. The seat back can lay almost flat with a 5 degree from flat maximum recline.

The Terrain has an adjustable leg rest that slides out  but seems unlikely to be useful for larger passengers.
The Terrain canopy isn't large enough to cover passenger's knees  but the seat back does recline almost flat.
 
The photos above show the Terrain with the seat back upright and canopy closed and the seatback fully reclined and the canopy open.

This stroller also comes with a 12 inch wheel pack and a removable belly bar.

Quality


The Terrain scored well for quality.
The Terrain scored well for quality.
Mountain Buggy strollers usually excel in the quality department and the Terrain is no exception earning an 8 of 10 and tying with the Burley. The high for the metric is 10 earned by the Thule Glide.
The Terrain has softer canvas material than the Burley or the Joovy Zoom
The storage bin on the Terrain has a mesh zippered cover.
The storage bin on the Terrain has a mesh zippered cover.
360 Ultralight
that still manages to be heavy and feel durable. The basket material feels heavy duty and better than almost all the competition, like it can handle a heavy load without sagging or succumbing to the weight. It has a clean design that has nice attention to detail like rolling the edge of the fabric where it attaches low on the frame. This stroller has durability where it counts with an aluminum kick plate and frame with padding on the child's hip area. However, it has too much flex at connection points like at the handlebar and the fold joint. This flex is similar to other strollers that have similar adjustment styles.

The Terrain's handlebar is adjustable on a pivot point which places taller users closer to the rear axle and increase potential for kicking it while strolling.
The Terrain's handlebar is adjustable on a pivot point which places taller users closer to the rear axle and increase potential for kicking it while strolling.
The handlebar is adjustable and ranges between 37-49 inches from the ground, with one of the largest ranges in the group. The handlebar is comfortable even if it is a little narrower than some of the competition. It has a softer, smoother foam than most of what we tested, and it feels like it will be easier to clean. The handle is a nice shape for for running.

The angled handlebar on the Terrain is nicely shaped and felt good in hand.
The angled handlebar on the Terrain is nicely shaped and felt good in hand.
The wheels on the Terrain are heavy duty plastic with pneumatic tires, once again with too much play and flex at the connection point (which is a problem for running). It does not have adjustable suspension, but what it does provide is pretty good. The seats have a padded insert over a stiff backed sling style seat and pretty good padding on the harness. It even has padding on the top portion of the leg rest, all of which makes it a fairly comfortable riding experience.

Safety


The Terrain has single action brakes that are easy to set and release.
The Terrain has single action brakes that are easy to set and release.
The Terrain scored a 5 of 10 for safety, which is below average and only one point higher than the lowest score for the group of 4. It tied with the Baby Trend Expedition, and the Thule Urban Glide. The high of 7 is shared by the Baby Jogger Summit X3, Thule Chariot Cougar 2 and the Thule Glide.

The Terrain has a nice hand brake that works well to decelerate the stroller on the downhill run.
The Terrain has a nice hand brake that works well to decelerate the stroller on the downhill run.
The Mountain Buggy has single action parking brakes and a rear deceleration hand brake. The deceleration brake is effective, easy to use, and one of only a handful in the group. The parking brakes are easy to set and release and are sandal foot friendly.

The dual water bottle holders on the Terrain are unique to Mountain Buggy strollers  and we think they are some of the best hydration holders on the market.
The dual water bottle holders on the Terrain are unique to Mountain Buggy strollers, and we think they are some of the best hydration holders on the market.
The Terrain doesn't have cup holders, but it does offer two water bottle sleeves that are very functional and do not drop contents like traditional cup holders. We like these Mountain Buggy bottle holders and are always happy to find them on a test stroller. These holders pose no safety risk that we can see, unlike some others that are shallow or can't grasp the cups causing items to fall out and onto baby.

The Terrain has a 5-point harness that requires a lot of work to use both in closing and opening the buckle.
The Terrain has a 5-point harness that requires a lot of work to use both in closing and opening the buckle.
The 5-point harness on the Terrain is difficult to put on, take off, and to adjust. It has separate pieces to snap into the buckle one at a time and when you press the button to unbuckle the harness you have to pull them all back out one at a time as well. Given that some competition, like the Burley have straps that pop out on their own, we weren't impressed with this harness.

For back tipping, the Terrain required only 17.88 pounds on the bar before it fell backwards. The average is 21.7 making the Terrain fairly disappointing in this test as well. The Urban Glide tipped with the least amount of weight at 13 pounds, while the Graco didn't tip until we used 40 pounds. You do need a jogging stroller to be fairly tip-able in order to manage turns while running, but you don't want it to spontaneously tip if someone accidentally places weight on the bar.

Weight and Folded Size


The Terrain is heavier than most of the competition  but it is smaller than most.
The Terrain is heavier than most of the competition, but it is smaller than most.
The Terrain has a score of 6 of 10 for weight and folded size, which is the average for the metric. It weighs 27.8 pounds, which is on the heavier side with about half the strollers in the review weigh less. The lightest is the Thule Glide with a weight of 20.4 pounds, and the heaviest is the Cougar 2 at 32.1 pounds. The Cougar is a double seater and has features that add weight to make it safer for the activities it was designed for in addition to jogging. The Terrain is about 17,000 cubic inches when folded, with the smallest strollers coming in under 14,000.

The Terrain folds with its wheels on the bottom and ready to roll.
The Terrain folds with its wheels on the bottom and ready to roll.
The Terrain performed well in our tests for folding and unfolding with a 9 of 10. It is very easy to fold and unfold with one hand and two steps. This stroller auto-locks and self-stands, making it easier to manage while commuting or for storage. The fold completes with you and the stroller in a standing position, as opposed to bent over, and the included carry strap makes it easier to lift than some of the competition that are awkward and bulky when folded and offer no carry strap. Unfolding requires two hands and 3 steps, but it is still very easy and testers appreciated the simplicity.

Ease of Setup



The Terrain is relatively easy to set up earning a score of 7 in this metric, which ties with 3 other strollers in the group. However, it isn't as easy as some of the higher scoring products, with the Thule Urban Glide earning a perfect 10. It took us just under 9 minutes to get this stroller unpacked and ready to use. The manual it comes with is good compared to the competition, and it does not require any tools to assemble.

Best Applications


The Terrain is not great for running  making it a jogger that really doesn't have a best application.
The Terrain is not great for running, making it a jogger that really doesn't have a best application.
Given the lower overall score of this Mountain Buggy, there likely is not a best application for its use. While Mountain Buggy may have some steadfast fans, this jogger was too difficult to run with for serious jogging enthusiasts. If the tracking had been easier to adjust, or maintained its adjsutment when the front wheel hit the ground, it might have offered more for serious runners.

Value


In addition to its lower overall score, disappointing results for run-ability, it is also about $200 more than the competition and the majority of the award winners. With a list price of $600, and an overall score below the average for the group, we don't think this stroller is a good value. Both Editor's Choice winners and the Top Pick for ease of use earned higher scores and sport lower prices making them better values overall.

Conclusion


The Mountain Buggy Terrain is a nice stroller that misses the mark as a good jogging stroller.
The Mountain Buggy Terrain is a nice stroller that misses the mark as a good jogging stroller.
The Mountain Buggy Terrain earned above average scores for quality and ease of use. It performed fairly well for maneuverability, but disappointed testers when running. We like the awesome water bottle sleeves, large storage bin, and the adjustable leg rest, but we found its poorly designed adjustable tracking and smaller canopy to be disappointing. With lower scores in run-ability we think the Terrain has some improving to do before it can truly compete in this category. However, with its nice handlebar, super easy fold, and great hand brake, it doesn't have far to go and we look forward to seeing what it offer in the future.

Other Versions and Accessories


While Mountain Buggy makes a variety of strollers, and is owned by the same parent company as Phil and Teds, the Terrain is their only true jogging stroller despite the three wheel design and rubber tires of most of their lineup.

There are a variety of accessories you can purchase to make your Terrain more versatile, including:
  • car seat adapters and car seat

Video


BabyGearLab Review Team

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User Reviews


Most recent user review: October 19, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

BabyGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
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5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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by Juliet Spurrier MD, Carrie Vickers, and BabyGearLab Review Team

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