Mountain Buggy Mini Review
Pros: Fold, self-stand, storage
Cons: Price, no accessories, heavy
Manufacturer: Mountain Buggy
Our Analysis and Test Results
Mountain Buggy Mini is the lightest weight stroller Mountain Buggy offers. It is made with ultra-lightweight material, large maneuverable wheels that include a full-swivel front wheel, puncture proof tires, and it boasts a large under carriage storage compartment. This stroller is easy to fold with one hand, is self-standing, and has a carry handle to aid in transport. The Mini has an adjustable seat back, that allows for air flow, a larger sun shade to shield baby from harsh rays, and a peek-a-boo window so you can still see what baby is up to. It comes with a comfort soft grip handle, and foot-friendly brake pedals. This stroller can be used for newborns up to 4 years old. This stroller is available online and in some stores, and appears to only come in the color red.
Ease of Use
The Mountain Buggy scored fairly well for ease of use with a 6 of 10. There were a few products that scored better in this metric, but with several strollers scoring lower, the Buggy was still nicely positioned in the top third of products tested. Best Value Chicco Liteway, andContours Lite both scored 7 of 10; as did the Editors' Choice winner, UPPAbaby G-Luxe. No product scored over a 7 in this metric.Storage
This product had a nice large sunshade with an easy to see through peek-a-boo window, that is made of mesh which fastens using a toggle instead of a hook and loop closure. The canopy snaps into the open position easily without lock-out arms, and it didn't get in the way when folding the entire stroller. The back of the canopy snaps to the top of the enclosure that surrounds the seat, which then acts as an extension to the canopy. This extension has a ventilation window of two layers of mesh to help keep baby cool, and improve airflow. The frame of the canopy is sturdier than most of the ones we tested, and did well under "normal" toddler use. The canopy also had a flip out sun visor, for additional sun protection.Convenience
Quinny Yezz. The Mini is a three wheel design, with a longer wheel base than the other four wheeled products we tested. It was the only 3 wheel model in this review. It takes more room to turn around than most of the other strollers we tested, but it was also easier to push and pull as well, so this wasn't a deal breaker. The full-swivel front wheel allows this model to spin and twirl with ease, in just about every direction, for every purpose.
The Buggy did well over versatile terrain, and even though this isn't necessarily a requirement of an umbrella type product, it did manage well enough over grass and rocks, that if you had to use it briefly on those kinds of surfaces, it isn't going to be a struggle for you. Even the transition from
The tires on the mini are a hybrid of EVA and rubber. This kind of tire proved to be not only maneuverable, but durable and maintenance free as well. The hollow inner core adds cushioning that can be felt when using the buggy loaded with weight, and we felt it added to the overall ease of pushing for this product. Some of the products we tested seemed fairly easy to move around until a child sat in them, this stroller did well empty and full.
We conducted a variety of safety tests including brake tests, harness tests, and a series of tip-over tests in forward, backwards, and sideways directions. We encourage all parents to read the safety guidelines and considerations of every product they purchase, to ensure that they are complying with the expectations, and design elements, the way the manufacturer intended.Brakes
The brakes on the Buggy were easy to set and release, even with flip-flops on. The felt like they locked firmly into place with the first attempt to set them, and they did not experience any play or wiggling out of the locked position, even when jostled. During testing it took over 8 pounds of pressure, pushing on the stroller backwards, before it started to slide, and over 6 pounds pushing forward. The backwards pressure was the second highest in our tests, once again beaten only by the Quinny Yezz.Harness
While the Mini harness is easy to put on and off of a child, it is not so easy to adjust for proper fit, or to depress the latch button to unbuckle it. When adjusting the harness for fit in our tests, the shoulder straps pulled through the back of the seat fairly easily using normal pressure required to adjust the
The latch itself is also a little difficult to work. In addition to the side release buttons, there are red safety buttons on the top of the latch that need to be depressed simultaneously with the side releases. This feature helps prevent seated children from accidentally, or intentionally, disengaging the latch, but it also proved to be almost so difficult to use properly, that we wondered if some parents would forgo using it out of sheer frustration.Tipping
For side tipping the buggy did fairly well, it remained upright until around 20 degrees. This seemed fair enough considering that at some angle all things will eventually tip over, and strollers are no exception. All of the products were tested with 20 pounds of weight in the seat, and the seat in the most upright position. The Mini was on par with the majority of the products we tested, with only a few doing better in the side tipping test, with a 30 degree tipping point; these were Quinny Yezz and Joovy Groove Umbrella.
The Buggy Mini did well in this tipping test by requiring at least 40 pounds of weight applied to the handle bar before it tipped over backwards. The Chicco Capri C6 Lightweight required the most weight before tipping, with 75 pounds hanging, and the UPPAbaby G-Lite required the least, with only 18 pounds. Of course the best way to avoid injuries from tipping strollers, is to avoid hanging items off the handle bars, or leaving them unattended with baby inside.
As mentioned previously this stroller has nice large wheels, the largest in our tests. They are smooth rolling, easy to turn, and make surface transitions with ease. They are puncture resistant, easy to maintain or remove if necessary, and they withstood the abuse of going up curbs and stairs, both forwards and backwards. The wheels felt like they could take a beating, and keep on rolling.The handle bar on this stroller is one of the lower handle heights in the group, but it is still a fairly comfortable height. It sports a
Weight and Folded Size
This product was one of the heaviest in our tests, at 17 pounds 7 ounces. Only two other strollers came in higher, weighing in at over 18 pounds a piece, the Joovy Groove, and Maxi-Cosi Kaia. This did make the stroller somewhat of a bear to lug around relative to competing umbrella strollers, but still relatively quite light compared to full-size strollers. So while it was easy to fold and stood by itself, you probably don't want to lug it very far. The weight isn't too bad for putting into a car trunk, but it might be a bit much for carrying any significant distance, especially if your hands are full of baby and bags.Folded Size
This product folds differently than any other one we tested, and significantly different than a traditional umbrella type. Because of this the
Other things to keep in mind with this particular stroller is that because it folds forward, and somewhat flat, instead of long like traditional umbrella products, it can be easier to fit in the trunk of a car, or in a shorter space for storage. However, it will take up more room in a standard coat closet than most people will have allocated for this kind of product, because of the wide rear wheels which remain apart when folded. This means it will also take up more floor space on public transportation as well; which might make it more difficult to travel with on buses, trains, or subways.Ease of Folding
This stroller is not as commuter friendly as some of the other strollers we tested. It has a wider footprint than most due to the three wheel design that means it is significantly longer and somewhat wider than other products. This means that it is more difficult to use this stroller in cafes, markets, and on public transportation. Whether you choose to keep the Buggy open and leave baby inside, or fold it up and carry it, it is not the best at either.
Ease of Setup
The Buggy Mini had the worst score for ease of setup. It took almost 9 and a half minutes to put together, with only one other product earning a lower score, Peg Perego Pliko Mini. The instructions do not have any words, but rather relied on illustrations to guide the building process. This might have been okay, if the illustrations showed all the steps, or were easier to follow. The illustrations also failed to show all of the parts, which made the front wheel assembly particularly challenging. The wheel hubs included parts that were not shown in the directions, and as a result our in-house tester almost threw them away. In addition, the snaps on the canopy were hard to fasten. Having written instructions or more detailed illustrations, would greatly help this stroller.
While reviewed under the umbrella and lightweight category, this Mountain Buggy might just make a good dual purpose stroller by serving double duty as a primary stroller as well. With the ample storage compartment and three wheel design, it really does more than a standard umbrella stroller is supposed to, but it also offers more convenience than many of the standard strollers. So depending on how you intend to use it, it might just be the only stroller you need.
This is the most expensive product we tested in this category. This meant it was not very budget conscious, and probably not the go-to stroller most parents will choose for a second stroller; the primary role for a product of this type. In order to really get your money's worth with this Buggy, you'll probably want to use it often and in most situations, forgoing a standard stroller.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz