Mountain Buggy Terrain Review
Pros: Hand brake, lots of storage, good for napping
Cons: Tracks poorly when running, heavy
Manufacturer: Mountain Buggy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
In 1992, the Mountain Buggy brand was born to fill one dad's need to take baby off-road, which required an all-terrain stroller he couldn't find. To enjoy the New Zealand countryside, and fulfill an empty niche in the market, he created the Mountain Buggy all-terrain platform. Mountain Buggy continues to alter and improve their style and designs to develop strollers for newborns to toddlers.
The Swift is a below-average for run-ability, which is disappointing for a stroller designed with running in mind.
The Terrain has adjustable tracking, but the adjustment isn't effective, and ours needed realignment every time the front wheel hit the ground after being tipped for turning. The tracking is unlike any other we've seen with a side of the wheel adjustment that took extra time. Adjustment happens by loosening the wheel nut connection and then retightening the nut. If the alignment isn't right, you have to start over. After adjusting the tracking, we had trouble getting the Terrain to track straight when running, and no amount of continued effort would help. The play in the locked front wheel limits what the tracking can accomplish, and running with this stroller is a chore as it continued to veer slightly no matter what we tried. The Terrain has a handbrake that works well, but the center placement close to the bar gets in the way of one-handed pushing and impacts running ergonomics.
Ease of Use
The Terrain is easier to use than about half of the competition, but it isn't as straightforward as the top-ranking competition.
Fold and Unfold
The Terrain has an easy one-handed fold with two steps. The fold completes with you and the stroller in a standing position, and the carry strap makes it easier to lift. This stroller auto-locks and self-stands, making it easier to manage and store. Unfolding is a two-handed process that is straightforward.
The Mountain Buggy has single action parking brakes and a deceleration handbrake. The deceleration brake is useful and easy to use. The parking brakes are easy to set and release and are sandal foot-friendly.
The Terrain's storage bin is large and holds an impressive 22 lbs. This bin held our Extra-large diaper bag and can is accessible from the back and sides. It has a zippered mesh cover to keep items contained, though it isn't weatherproof like the cover found on the Thule Urban Glide 2. The Terrain also has two mesh stow pockets for the passenger and two water bottle sleeves for parents that are pretty cool.
The Terrain canopy is nice looking but is only average in size. This canopy sits high on the stroller and has a flip-out visor, which leaves smaller babies relatively exposed. The peek-a-boo window has a magnetic cover and is too far forward on the canopy to see the baby without leaning over. The shade has small zippered pockets on the sides, with one designed for an MP3 player with a hole for threading earbuds.
The Terrain has a 5-point harness that is difficult to put on, take off, and 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 out one at a time.
The Terrain offers the easiest two-handed recline in the group, though one-handed versions are still easier. The seatback lays almost flat for cozy napping, and it has an adjustable leg rest by way of a metal bar that slides out to prop the leg rest up. It works well for smaller babies, but larger kids may end up bending the bar. The footrest is aluminum and hard plastic; it is likely cold in the winter and hot in the summer.
Car Seat Compatibility
The Terrain can be compatible with a variety of infant car seats with the purchase of an infant seat adapter. The adapters work with some models of the following brands: Mountain Buggy, Phil and Teds, Chicco (not the Keyfit 30), Graco Click Connect, Graco Classic Connect, Maxi-Cosi, and Cybex.
Ease of Setup
The Terrain is relatively easy to set up taking us just under 9 minutes to unpack and assemble. The manual is good, and it does not require any tools.
The Terrain offers adequate maneuverability but struggles to keep up with the strollers in its price range.
This stroller has a lot of flex in the frame, and the softer suspension makes it less responsive when trying to navigate tight turns or crowded locations. It requires a little more work to push over grass and gravel, and off-road trail navigation is only okay as the front wheel has difficulty moving over larger rocks. The Terrain is not the best at negotiating curbs with flex in the handlebar and soft suspension, causing some control issues.
The Terrain handlebar is adjustable with the largest range in the group. It is comfortable to hold thanks to a smooth foam cover and has a nice shape for running. The seat has adequate padding and the rear wheels have soft suspension. We think passengers and pushers will be relatively comfortable using the Terrain over longer distances.
Weight and Folded Size
The Terrain weighs 27.8 lbs, which is heavier than about half the competition. It measures about 17,000 cubic inches when folded, with the smallest strollers measuring closer to 13,000. These measurements make the Terrain heavy and somewhat large; which could translate to challenging to lift and carry for some parents.
The Terrain design and construction are better than much of the competition. This stroller has soft canvas material that is heavy and feels durable. The storage bin is durable and feels like it will withstand a heavy load without sagging. It has a clean design with nice attention to detail like rolling the edge of the fabric where it attaches on the frame. However, it has a lot of flex at the handlebar and the fold joint. The wheels on the Terrain are heavy-duty plastic with pneumatic tires, with too much play and flex, which likely impacted its run-ability score.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Carrie Vickers