Mountain Buggy Swift Review
Pros: Easy to maneuver, easy to access storage, foot friendly hand brake
Cons: Lack of features, convoluted buckle
Manufacturer: Mountain Buggy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
In 1992 New Zealand, a new father couldn't find the perfect stroller for exploring the backwoods. He was motivated to great his own all-terrain option and Mountain Buggy was born. The company makes products for newborns through toddlerhood with gear for mountain adventures as well as city dwellers.
Ease of Use
The Swift is challenging to use with a performance below the competition.
Fold and Unfold
The Swift is very easy to fold and unfold. It operates 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 carry or transport on public transportation. Unfolding is three steps and requires two hands, but is still easy.
The Swift has single action brakes with an easy to set and release handbrake. Being a handbrake means they are foot-friendly and won't mar fancy footwear.
This stroller has a medium size storage bin under the seat with access on all sides. The opening in the back is large, significantly bigger than the basket itself, so we were able to get our extra-large diaper bag inside. It hangs out of the back of the basket, but it would do in a pinch. The basket is fairly far under the handlebar, so it is harder to access. The max weight allowance is 11 lbs.
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.
The sunshade on the Swift is one of the smallest in the group, and it has no SPF or UV protection listed. It has a small, vinyl peek-a-boo window, but it hardly needs one given how small it is.
The Swift has a 5-point harness that is 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 with stiff pieces to snap together. The release button is also stiff and you have to remove all the parts while you depress the button or they won't disengage.
The Swift does not have an adjustable leg rest, but it is padded. The footrest is narrow and may prove difficult to use as the baby grows older.
This stroller has an adjustable recline operated with one hand to recline and two to sit upright. This is a common design with two side straps joined by a single plastic pull. This design is difficult to use compared to the push-button recline on some of the competition.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Mountain Buggy is not compatible with any infant car seat as it comes out of the box. It offers adapters (above left) for 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 30 (above right).
To use the adapter, the seat must be removed from the frame. The adapter is easy to use, has no assembly, and snaps right on to the frame. The seat clicks in with some pressure 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.
Ease of Setup
The Mountain Buggy is easy to set up taking under 7 minutes to be ready to use.
The documentation 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.
Many testers really enjoyed using the Mountain Buggy because it is easy to push and turn.
For pushing and turning on the pavement. 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. This stroller has no problems rolling over cords or going through narrow spaces. It is light and the center of gravity is designed so it takes very little force to lift the front end.
Weight and Folded Size
The Swift surprisingly feels lighter than it genuinely is even though it is relatively light at 20.4 lbs. This weight is below the average of 24.7 and well below the heaviest stroller.
The Swift measures 8,887 cubic inches. This makes it one of the smaller folded strollers but the lighter strollers are closer to 6,500 cubic inches. The largest in the group is closer to 19,000, so by comparison, it feels small.
The Swift did well in our quality tests with above-average results compared to the competition.
The Buggy seat material is t-shirt soft and not easy to wipe clean, but the liner is easy to remove and machine wash. The sides of the seat and the canopy are a rougher canvas material, and the peek-a-boo window is vinyl with a quiet magnetic closure cover we love. The storage basket is heavy-duty canvas, and the bottle holder feels like the same mesh on the outside and liquid-resistant liner on the inside. The extendable sunshade is plastic covered mesh.
The frame feels solid with little flex, but it has a lot of joints and connectors. It has a nice overall look, and even though there are a lot of joints, they appear to be snug. The overall fit and finish of the stroller are a little bit frumpy thanks to the soft materials.
The handlebar on the Buggy is adjustable and comfortable. The handle is still low despite the ability to change it, and at the highest setting, this places you so close to the stroller that we ended up kicking it while walking. The padding is thicker and nicer than some other trollers, but it feels less durable.
For ride comfort, the Buggy offers a sling-style seat, soft fabric, padding, and air-filled tires. It would have been more comfortable if it had adjustable suspension or thicker padding.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team