Roadtested: Mountain Buggy Freerider
Scooting around townJodi Mitchell
11 March 2011
The Mountain Buggy Freerider is due out in stores very soon, and I am one of the lucky few that were given the opportunity to test drive the Mountain Buggy team’s ‘display’ model.
I have an almost 3 year old and an 18 month old. At the moment they travel in style in the Mountain Buggy Duo. While the Duo is fantastic, Miss ‘almost 3’ doesn’t want to sit in the buggy all of the time, preferring to walk, be piggy backed, or anything other than being stuck in a seat beside her baby brother (I won’t go into the squabbles that happen when they are in such close proximity to each other!). So I was particularly keen to check out the Freerider as I’m definitely starting to think it’s time to trade the double buggy in and get something a little more inline.
Obviously the team over at Mountain Buggy were keen to test me. They sent out the Freerider with an Urban Jungle – all wheels removed, the Freerider in ‘parts’, the hook on component not attached, and no instructions. My immediate thought was of course ‘oh no’. But in less than 5 minutes I had the buggy up, wheels securely on, and Freerider attached and ready to go. Impressed? I was!
Both kids wanted to give it a try straight away – my 18 month old was climbing up into the main seat before I even had the wheels on properly and keeping little miss off the scooter while I tried to attach it was a mission and a half. So, even though it was almost bedtime, we headed straight out onto the driveway to give it a go. Problem number 1 arose immediately. I couldn’t turn corners. The buggy went away, me disappointed, wondering how it could possibly be.
The next day I flicked an email off to Laura at Mountain Buggy. Was I doing something wrong? She came back commenting that it was a bit strange, had I change the Freerider wheel into full swivel mode? Doh, that one should have been obvious huh. Straight home and back out on the driveway (this time with the wheel in the right position) and we were off!
I had decided I would do my main test drive over the weekend. Of course, it rained. But we decided to go out anyway, which had its upsides – we not only decided to take it for a drive around the street and the park, but also on a quality shopping expedition (I figured how well it manoeuvred through shops and people would be a key test of quality!).
The end result, mum and kids very happy. The youngest seemed most impressed with the Urban Jungle (as was mum) and the toddler LOVED the Freerider. I had some reservations about how well it would steer and if I would have to walk like a sumo wrestler pushing the buggy, but I needn’t have been concerned. The toddler stood comfortably in the ‘handle bar’ area, and while I did walk slightly more to the side of the buggy than I would have without the Freerider on the back, the fact that I was pushing both baby and toddler with one hand (including steering comfortably around corners and up and down hills), I have to say, I didn’t even notice. My little girl is the scooter queen at the moment, so had no problems taking off and doing her own thing as soon as we stopped and I detached it from the buggy (a 5 second no stress job may I add).
Oh, and the back breaking I saved lifting a single buggy in and out of the car boot rather than the double! Bliss!
All in all the Urban Jungle / Freerider combo gets a massive thumbs up from me. Be warned though - everywhere we went people pointed and shouted 'look at that scooter attached to the back of that buggy!'. The Freerider is definitely attention grabbing (and with good cause I say!).
PS, sorry for the lack of photos, I’ve included some of Mountain Buggy’s promotional images below. In all of the excitement of getting out and about I forgot my camera, and the iphone took terrible shots in the rain (ok, can’t blame the phone, the operator of the iphone took terrible shots in the rain!)