The Mountain Buggy Swift had respectable scores in every metric but the one that really counted for a car seat stroller combination review. This product took a hit in overall rank because it just doesn't work that well with car seats. Mountain Buggy earned one of the lower scores in this metric because the car seat required excessive pressure to connect and sometimes we thought it was attached when it wasn't. Unfortunately for the Buggy, which performed well in most other metrics, the car seat attachment metric made up a significant percentage of the final score. So despite the Buggy offering good maneuverability, a great bottle holder, and nicer quality, it wasn't enough to overcome the car seat attachment challenges.
Mountain Buggy Swift Combo Review
Pros: Cool bottle holder, nice maneuverability
Cons: Large fold, harder car seat attachment
Manufacturer: Mountain Buggy
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Mountain Buggy Swift Combo
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|Pros||Cool bottle holder, nice maneuverability||Super easy car to strolling transition, easy to push and turn||Parent tray, compact fold, budget-friendly||Easy car seat attachment, lightweight, compact fold||Easy car seat attachment, compact with easy fold, easy to maneuver|
|Cons||Large fold, harder car seat attachment||Limited lifespan of 6-9 months||Limited to Chicco car seats, short lifespan||Dual action brakes, harder to push and turn||Smaller storage, small front wheel|
|Bottom Line||Easy to push and turn stylish choice but attaching car seats is not ideal||Best for city dwellers looking for a safe, quick transition from taxi to on-the-go adventures||Easy to use dedicated to car seat attachment only||Best frame stroller with easy car seat attachment and parent console||Compact Britax that works well with car seats and is easy to push and turn|
|Rating Categories||Mountain Buggy...||Doona Combo||Chicco Shuttle||Chicco KeyFit Caddy||Britax B-Free Combo|
|Ease Of Attaching Car Seat (35%)|
|Weight Folded Size (30%)|
|Ease Of Use (5%)|
|Ease Of Set Up (5%)|
|Specs||Mountain Buggy...||Doona Combo||Chicco Shuttle||Chicco KeyFit Caddy||Britax B-Free Combo|
|Weight||18.5 lbs||16.8 lbs||15 lbs||11.7 lbs||22.6 lbs|
|Folded Dimensions||23"W x 19.25"H x 28.6"L||18"W x 16"H x 28.3"L||20.1"W x 11.3"H x 28"L||19.8"W x 11.5"H x 33.5"L||24"W x 10.3"H x 27"L|
|Capacity Limits||Minimum: Birth
Maximum: 44 lbs/39"
Maximum: 35 lbs/32"
Maximum: Infants that are within the size and weight limitations of the infant car seat.
Maximum: Max allowable weight/height for the car seat.
Maximum: 65 lbs/45"
|Included Car Seat Compatibility||None||Doona||Chicco
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
|Britax All Britax Seats|
|Click-in Car Seat Adapters||Mountain Buggy
Phil & Teds
SnugRide Classic Connect 22, 32, 35, SnugRide Click Connect 32, 35
KeyFit, KeyFit 30
Mico, Mico AP
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
KeyFit, KeyFit 30, Fit2
|Britax All Britax Seats|
|Strap-in Car Seat Adapters||None||None||None||None||None|
|Handlebar Height - Min/Max||27.6"/38.2"||32.5"/39"||42"||36"/42"||32"/44.5"|
|Storage Basket Size||Medium||n/a||Large||Large||Medium|
|Included Accessories||None||Infant Car Seat and Stroller In One||None||None||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
An innovative new father started Mountain Buggy in New Zealand in 1992 in response to a failed attempt to find a great off-road stroller for exploring the countryside. To solve his problem he created the all-terrain platform Mountain Buggy still builds on today. The company has improved and changed the style over the years making modifications for a variety of strolling options good for the outback and the city life from baby to toddlerhood.
This chart provides a quick comparison of the overall scores for each product we tested in this review including the Mountain Buggy Swift (blue).
The performance of the Swift compared to the competition is detailed in the sections below.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
The Mountain Buggy earned a 5 of 10 for ease of attaching car seats where the average is a 6.
The Mountain Buggy is compatible with the Mountain Buggy Protect, Chicco Keyfit and Keyfit 30, Cybex Aton, and Graco Snugride Classic Connect 22, 32, 35, Click Connect 32, and 35, Maxi-Cosi Mico, Maxi-Cosi Pebble, Maxi-Cosi Cabrio Fix, Peg Perego Viaggio 30/30, and Phil & Teds Alpha. We purchased adapters for and tested the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35.
The Chicco adapter doesn't require any assembly and snaps into place on the Buggy frame easily. You will need to remove the toddler seat and canopy from the Buggy frame before installing the seat. The car seat clicks into the frame with some difficulty. The right side of the carrier latch doesn't want to latch without considerable pressure, and it is stiff to release. We did think it was properly installed a few times only to find out it wasn't with a tug of the handle. However, once you install it correctly, it has a more secure feeling attachment than the Graco we tested.
The Graco SnugRide also requires removal of the seat and canopy, but the adapter needs no assembly and snaps in easily. This one is easier to attach and release making the Chicco seem even more difficult by comparison. The Graco drops right in without much effort, and we didn't have any false installations where we thought it was in and it wasn't really. It doesn't feel as stable as the Chicco though.
Which seat is better with the Mountain Buggy is almost a toss-up. The Graco SnugRide is considerably easier to install, but the Chicco feels more secure once connected. However, given that the Chicco had some false installations, we'd probably go with the Graco to avoid any accidents related to an incorrectly attached seat.
Weight and Folded Size
The Buggy earned a 6 of 10 for weight and folded size which is average for the group. The Buggy is neither large nor small, but it does weigh more than we'd like in a category where weight and size are essential for new mothers that might be limited.
The folded size of the Buggy is also disappointing at over 12,600 cubic inches. Even the full-size, lighter UPPAbaby Cruz Combo is only 7,860 cubic inches with the smaller folded options being closer to 6,500 cubic inches.
The Buggy earned some favor and gained ground with a second place score of 8 of 10 for maneuverability.
The Buggy is easy to push and turn on the pavement and flat surfaces. It rolls well, and its smaller size helps in negotiate tight spaces with ease. The swivel front wheel makes it good for stores and errands, while the locked front wheel is better for rougher terrain and off-road trips, something the Buggy is designed to do. This product is easy to push and turn with one hand, and it rolled over carpet transitions and cords without a hiccup. The Buggy continued to impress off-road being one of the easiest in the group to push and turn on grass and gravel. We feel it lives up to the hype for off-road maneuverability.
The pneumatic tires offer additional comfort over bumpy terrain, and we think the air filling increases ease of pushing and maneuverability. The wheels are a little on the small side, but they roll well, and their smaller diameter means less to get in the way in your trunk.
The handlebar is adjustable by rotating on a pivot point. This adjustment means taller people with longer strides are standing closer to the stroller which can result in kicking the axle. We like the shape of the handle and the foam cover, but we worry the foam might tear because the stroller stands on the bar in self-stand mode.
Ease of Use
The Mountain Buggy earned a 5 of 10 for ease of use. The Buggy should have earned more points than it did as a full-size stroller with several features, but the low score indicates the features didn't perform well.
Fold and Unfold
We found the process to fold to be easy and only requires one hand. The fold has some bending and a twist of the wrist, but it auto-locks, self-stands, and has a carry strap. This product rolls when folded like luggage, so it isn't difficult to move. Unfolding is a little trickier and requires two hands and three steps that need practice.
The Buggy has an easy to use handbrake which is different than the majority of handbrakes we've seen; we like that it isn't stiff and offers color-coding to help sleep-deprived parents check brake use with a glance.
The storage bin is medium in size, but given its wide back access, we were able to fit our extra-large diaper bag inside with some overhang. The opening in the back is bigger than the basket, making it the best access point, but you can use the sides. The bin is far under the handlebar so it may be hard to reach, but it is more accessible with the car seat attached thanks to its higher placement. The basket has an 11 lbs maximum allowable weight limit, and we think parents will be hard pressed to pare down their diaper bags for weight more than size.
The "cup holder" on this product is a bottle holder for water bottles. It is a neoprene sleeve that hangs off the side of the frame and measures over 8 inches long. The sleeve is removable for washing and has an outer mesh pocket that might hold car keys or something of similar size.
The canopy on the buggy is smaller than any of the others, but you won't be using it with the infant car seat attached.
Ease of Setup
The Buggy has a setup time of just under 7 minutes. The Buggy has a good manual with illustrations that are clear, simple, and have color coding to tell you when to start or finish an action.
The Mountain Buggy earned a 7 of 10 for quality. The aluminum frame looks sturdy and has a nice finish. It feels solid when you push the stroller, and there is little flex. The joints are well-constructed and join nicely without gaps or rough edges. The seat material is similar to a soft t-shirt, and while it looks a tad frumpy it does fit well, and we didn't see any loose threads or fraying edges. The basket is a heavy duty fabric that looks durable and cleans up easily. The overall fit and finish are simple and understated, but pleasing to the eye and uncluttered.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & BabyGearLab Team