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Hands-on Gear Review
Mountain Buggy Swift Review
Price: $450.00 List | $419.95 at Amazon - 7% off
Pros: Easy to maneuver, easy to access storage, foot friendly hand brake
Cons: Lack of features, convoluted buckle
Bottom line: Easy to push, does well in tight spaces, but lacks some functionality
The Mountain Buggy Swift is a nice little stroller that scored well in our tests and earned a 5th of 19 rank. It is easy to fold and maneuvered in tight spaces with a smaller footprint and folding features that make it a quick mover in crowded spaces. It has rubber wheels and traverses over various terrains with ease. However, the stroller didn't impress in all testing and has some limiting factors like small storage, small canopy, and a design that results in back tipping with very little pressure on the handlebar. We did like this stroller, but there are other strollers in this review that scored higher, cost less, and simply do the job better than the Swift.
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Full-size Strollers of 2017
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Mountain Buggy Swift claims to be an all-terrain stroller. It has 10-inch air-filled tires and a locking swivel front wheel. It works for newborns up to 4 years old with a maximum weight of 44 pounds in the seat. The Swift has a shorter footprint than the average stroller. The Swift comes with a 5 point harness with a one button push release, and an adjustable crotch strap. The Swift has a sun canopy with flick out mesh sun visor tested to UPF 50+ rating and a magnetic peek-a-boo window. This seat comes with a food tray for baby, a bottle holder, universal travel bag, and an adjustable ergonomically formed handle bar.
This comparison chart shows the overall scores for each stroller we tested for this review. The Mountain Buggy Swift is shown in blue. While the Swift offered up some nice scores, its overall rank coupled with a slightly higher price prevented it from winning any awards.
The sections below provide detailed information on how the Swift performed in each metric's tests. The metric scores were used to calculate the overall score with an emphasis on the ease of use and maneuverability performance.
Ease of Use
The Swift earned a 4 of 10 for ease of use, which is below average for the group and 4 points lower than the high of 8 earned by the UPPAbaby Cruz and the UPPAbaby Vista. This stroller could have scored higher if it offered more features or a larger canopy and storage bin.
This stroller has a medium size storage bin under the seat that has access on all sides. The opening in the back is really big, significantly bigger than the basket itself, so we were able to get our extra large diaper bag inside with no room to spare. It hangs out of the back of the basket a little, but it certainly would do in a pinch and was much more than we thought we'd be able to get inside. The basket is fairly far under the handlebar, so it only received an average for ease of access. The maximum allowable weight for this bin is 11 pounds. This is better than some bins that had limits closer to 8 (Bugaboo Bee3), but not as good as the UPPAbaby strollers that can hold 20-30 pounds depending on the model.
The sunshade on the Swift is one of the smallest in the group, and it has no SPF or UV protection listed. Only the Baby Trend Expedition has a smaller canopy. It does have a small vinyl peek-a-boo window, but honestly hardly needs one given how small it is. It does not offer additional ventilation, but again with a canopy this small you probably don't need it as much as you need the extra shade.
This stroller does not have a parent or child tray. It also doesn't have a cup holder, though it does have a "bottle" holder. The bottle holder hangs off the side of the frame and looks like a canvas sleeve surrounded by mesh. It worked with our test water bottle, baby bottle, and sippy cup. The design means it is less likely that items will fall out while strolling.
Many testers really enjoyed using the Mountain Buggy because it is easy to push and turn. This stroller scored an 8 of 10, which is only 1 point lower than the high of 9 earned by the BOB Revolution Flex.
For pushing and turning on pavement, the Swift rolls similar to the Baby Jogger City Mini GT. Its smaller size makes it a great performer in tight spaces, and it pushes easily with one hand, turning almost instantly without the need to pre-plan our movement. This stroller has no problems rolling over cords or going through narrow spaces with ease. It performed well in almost all of our tests for maneuverability including curb pops and stairs. It is light and the center of gravity is designed such that it takes very little force to lift the front end. You do have to bend over significantly to move it over the edges, but it is in control and there is no frame flex.
The Swift did well in our quality tests receiving a 7 of 10, which is once again 1 point below the high for the group of 8 shared by the UPPAbaby Vista and the BOB Revolution Flex.
The frame feels solid with little flex, but it does seem to have a lot of joints and connectors. It has a nice overall finish, and even though there are a lot of joints, they appear to be put together well. The overall fit and finish of the stroller are a little bit frumpy, but we can forgive it that for being oh so soft.
The tires are air-filled rubber tires, which help give it the impressive maneuverability score. They are a little on the small size, but we still feel that roll easily and without wobble.
The handlebar on the Buggy is adjustable and good enough for comfort. It has an adjustment range of 27.6 to 38.2 inches from the ground.The handle is still fairly low despite the ability to change it, and when we had the handle at the highest setting this placed us so close to the stroller that we ended up kicking it while walking. The padding is thicker and nicer than the rubber covers on the Baby Jogger strollers, but it also feels a little on the delicate side.
For ride comfort the Buggy offers a sling style seat, soft fabric and padding and air filled tires. It would have been more comfortable if it had adjustable suspension or thicker padding, but it still scored above average for the in this test.
With a 6 in safety the Swift has an average score for the group. The high for this metric is an 8 belonging to the Baby Jogger City Select, the low is a 4 for the Baby Jogger City Mini GT.
The Swift scored well in our tests for brakes. They are single action brakes that have an easy to set and release handbrake. They have good sliding resistance when set, but the play in the brakes in a little higher than we like at 0.75 inch, but that is still better than some of the competition.
The cup holder on this stroller is more of a sleeve designed for bottles. It is the deepest holder in the group at just over 8 inches. It is located on the left side of the frame and there is no safety concerns because items inside are unlikely to fall out, and if they do they are falling on the floor and not on baby's head.
The Swift has a 5 point harness that we found very easy to put on and take off. Adjusting the harness is easy and there are multiple shoulder height positions, but only one crotch strap position. The buckle is a 5 part process that is similar to the Bugaboos but not as good; each piece is stiffer to snap in. The release button is also pretty stiff and you have to remove all the parts while you depress the button or they won't disengage. Children certainly won't be able to do this on their own, but we suspect some parents will wish it was simpler to operate.
Weight and Folded Size
The Swift surprisingly feels lighter than it genuinely is even though it is relatively light at 20.4 pounds. This weight is below the average of 24.7 and well below the heaviest stroller. The lightest strollers in the group are the Britax B-Agile 3 and the Baby Jogger City Mini that both weigh 17.5 pounds.
The Swift measures at 23"W x 13.8"H x 28"L and 8,887 cubic inches. This makes it one of the smaller folded strollers in the group. The lighter strollers are closer to 6,500 cubic inches, but there is something about this stroller that makes it seem smaller than it actually is. The largest in the group is closer to 19,000 so perhaps, by comparison, it seems on the small side.
The Swift is also very easy to fold and unfold. It can be operated with one hand, has two steps, is auto-locking, self-standing, and has a carry strap. These features make it easy to fit in a trunk and easy to carry or transport on public transportation. Unfolding is 3 steps and requires two hands, but is still easier than most of the competition.
Ease of Setup
The Mountain Buggy is easy to set up; it took just under 7 minutes to take the Buggy from box to ready to use. The documentation that comes with it is very good with illustrations that are clear and simple. It has useful color coded symbols that indicate stop/go and action/finish so you can tell where you are in the process at a glance.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Mountain Buggy is not compatiable with any infant car seat as it comes out of the box. It does offer adapters including the: Clip 25v2 for the Mountain Buggy Protect, phil&teds Alpha, Maxi Cosi (Mico, Pebble, and Cabrio Fix), Cybex Aton; Clip 29 for the Graco Snugride Click Connect 32 and 35, and Chicco KeyFit; Clip 36 for Graco Snugride Classic Connect 22, 32, and 35.
To use the adapter the seat must be removed from the frame (which is easy to do) and the frame and adaptor weighs 18 pounds and 8 ounces. This is too heavy to be considered a stand in for a frame stroller. The adapter is also easy to use, has no assembly and snaps right on to the frame. The seat clicks in with some difficulty, but removes easily. We had trouble with the right side of the car seat latch and had to really wiggle and adjust the frame to the seat, then we had to use considerable pressure to finalize the attachment. While the fact that this seat clicks in is preferable to the strap options, it is still sort of a bear and we wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis, even if the Chicco Keyfit 30 is an award winning car seat.
It is hard to say for sure that the Mountain Buggy Swift has a best application. While it has some nice features and impressed us in most tests, it didn't manage to stand out in any category. It is small and compact, but there are smaller and more compact strollers. It is easy to push, but there are easier strollers with more features. It isn't a bad stroller, but for the price there are better strollers and many of them won awards.
The Swift has the misfortune of being included in a review with stiff competition including several strollers that cost less and earned more points overall. Specifically the BOB Revolution Flex had one of the highest scores in the group, a similar tryke design, nicer wheels, high maneuverability score, and a price that is often lower than its list price and cheaper than the Swift. In addition, the Britax B-Agile 3 earned a higher score and has a list price of $270. This makes the Buggy not the best value in the group.
The photos above show the difference between the seatback up and reclined, and the canopy closed and open.
Some testers had a soft spot for the Mountain Buggy Swift, and we can definitely see why. It is a nice little stroller that is easy to maneuver, fold, and pack. It scored well in most of our tests and really impressed us in its ease of pushing and turning. Unfortunately, it disappointed in the ease of use metric and tips back with very little weight applied to the handlebar. It doesn't offer much in the way of conveniences, coming standard as a fairly bare bones stroller. In the end this Buggy is missing a few key features and performance measurements that we prefer, and it has a price higher than some of the competition that earned more points overall.
Other Versions and Accessories
Mountain Buggy makes several different strollers and we reviewed this one for standard strollers and the Mountain Buggy Mini in our umbrella stroller review. They offer several different collections like a luxury line and strollers designed for lightweight travel and jogging. We have not reviewed any other Mountain Buggy products.
The Swift has accessories available for purchase including: a Carrycot, Carrycot Storm Cover, Carrycot Sun Cover, Stroller Storm Cover, Stroller Sun Cover, Diaper Bag, Reversible Seat Liner, Blanket, Free ride Stroller Board, Free ride Connector, Travel Bag, Cup Holder, and 3 Different Car Seat Adaptors.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team
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