One of our supremo testing team Kathryn reviewed the new twin pushchair from Mamas and Papas – the Duette – for us. This is what she thought:
When we unpacked this tandem buggy and assembled it, we christened it “The Limo”. It seemed a lot longer than standard tandem buggies – in fact, once assembled, it took up most of our hallway! I tested the version with buggy seats (you can use it with two car seats too, which would be invaluable with newborn twins), and although it was simple and quick to remove the seats, stack them, and collapse the frame, it would still require quite a large place to store it. On the other hand, because the buggy was so easy to collapse it could probably be stored in a family car.
This buggy is really versatile – the seats can be arranged as forward facing, rear facing, or with both children facing each other. I have a 2-year-old toddler and newborn so we started off with the toddler in a front-facing seat, at the front of “the limo”, and the newborn at the back, also facing forward, but with the seat in a reclining position. This seemed to be the most suitable arrangement for us. Our toddler wasn’t at all happy at being demoted to the back seat where she couldn’t see, and she certainly wasn’t interested in a rear-facing arrangement looking at me so she remained at the front in the “driving” position. We tried the newborn at the front in the reclining position, but this made the buggy seem even longer so we abandoned that. The flexibility offered by the Duette is fab though, and I’m quite sure there would be an arrangement to suit everyone.
So once the children were arranged to their satisfaction, I set off on several outings. I was surprised by how easy the buggy was to steer and quickly got used to the “steering wheel” function. We had a few problems getting up high kerbs and couldn’t tip up the front of the buggy to do this. We also got stuck going through some safety barriers and had to keep reversing as the turn was too tight. I also only ventured into supermarkets with wide aisles as I wasn’t sure I would be able to manoeuvre the buggy round a smaller shop without crashing so it is probably not a buggy for the city (public transport would be almost impossible). However, all of this is par for the course with a tandem pushchair – they are simply not built for nipping about in.
When it comes to comfort, our toddler was most impressed and our newborn was very cosy and comfy. The seats were padded and well designed. It would have been nice if the front bar of the seats had lifted up, and the lack of a cup-holder and a tray on the seats for toddler’s essential snack of raisins (also no tray/cup-holder for the buggy driver/pusher) was protested a little. The shopping carrier underneath the buggy is good and large but it didn’t open very easily for sliding items in. You could pop items down between the seats quite easily though.
Overall I was very impressed by the buggy and it certainly looks very good! The biggest consideration is the size – even for a tandem pushchair it is quite large. However, if you are looking for a quality model that you will use for a while, this is a good bet.