Why review a six-year-old stroller, you ask? Well, because like cars, unless you have very specific requirements (or too much money), I reckon strollers should be bought secondhand.
This is particularly true if you want something robust like a Mountain Buggy — they have the resilience to last through a few kids. Ours — which we bought secondhand, and have since pushed well over 1000km — is still going strong.
Mountain Buggy Terrain (2010)
Value for money
A very robust stroller that is great for running and off-road walking. Works well around town but not an ideal choice if that's all you'll use it for as it is quite heavy. Some of its flaws have been resolved in the latest model but the price difference isn't worth paying, in my opinion - better to buy secondhand if possible.
We chose the Mountain Buggy Terrain because we wanted a running stroller. There are other options, but this was (for us) the obvious choice — good for running but also practical for everyday use. If you don’t want a running stroller, don’t buy this model. The stroller market is full of options, and you might as well use them to your advantage. If you do want a running (or off-road walking) stroller, read on.
Its running capabilities have been used less than we anticipated, but it has still been put through its paces on that front. We’re pretty sure it was the first buggy over the finish line at the 2015 Wellington Round the Bays, but since that’s not an official race category we can’t be sure. It’s probably not the speediest running stroller if you’re really going for records, because it is quite heavy, but it does the trick, and the big wheels make it handle rough terrain very well.
The lockable front wheel is definitely useful for running, and is easy to lock and unlock.
The large rear wheels can be switched for smaller 30cm ones for around town if you prefer. The new model comes with both sets, but older ones like ours just came with the 40cm ones. These are very easy to snap on and off, but even if we had the smaller ones I don’t think I’d bother changing them, so this feature doesn’t add value for us.
The handbrake, on the other hand, is super useful if you live somewhere hilly. I often use it while waiting to cross the road, as it’s easier to hold the brake than hold the whole stroller in place on a slope.
Like all Mountain Buggies, the solid frame means it’s easy for a toddler (in the right mood) to climb in. There’s also something reassuring about that solidity.
The seat and cover are hardy canvas and seem to wipe clean pretty easily. Ours is beginning to show some sun fading, but it is six years old and lives in the boot of the car in full sunlight a lot of the time.
The adjustable handlebar means it’s comfortable for most adults to push. My husband and I are both on the tall side and cheap umbrella strollers can definitely cause some backache for us. Neither of us come close to the top of the adjustable range so there’s plenty of scope. And the Little Monkey (2) can reach the handlebar to “help” if I adjust it all the way down. 😉
The parcel tray is pretty decently sized, and has a zip-up mesh cover so that you can secure items if you need to. There’s also a zipped pocket at the back of the tray, perfectly sized for a couple of emergency nappies and a mini pack of wet wipes.
There’s a bassinet attachment for little babies — this is easy to attach and detach, and we used ours extensively for the Little Monkey (the Night Owl was less enamoured with the stroller until very recently). It’s a bit more involved putting the regular seat back on, so switching between tiny baby and toddler isn’t quick, but the regular seat does recline to a fully flat position so you can use the stroller for wee babies without the bassinet if you wish.
There are also storm covers for the stroller and for the bassinet, and a sun cover for the stroller. Our secondhand stroller came with the full complement of accessories, and the storm covers we have found useful; the sun cover not so much (we have used it, but a light cotton blanket pegged on or even just draped over would do the trick). How much use you’d get from these will depend on your lifestyle; if you prefer to avoid rain at all costs the storm covers are probably a waste of money, for example. And if you’re not allergic to the sun like I am you might think the sun cover is more valuable.
The sleeping bag is another thing I’d not bother buying — once again, it came as part of the package for us, and it is snuggly and practical, but blankets also work and we have those already (can you tell I’m cheap?).
It is pretty big — both wide and long — so it can be tricky to manoeuvre in tight spaces. It is, however, easy to steer, and can turn a pretty tight circle.
Because it’s so bulky it is a bit awkward to fold down. I can fold it and get it into the car while carrying a baby in the Ergo, but it’s bordering on ridiculous. Usually this isn’t a big drama, because putting the stroller in the car usually means you’ll also be putting the baby into the car, so just do the baby before the pram and all is well. The newer model (launched 2015) is easier to fold so if that’s important you may be looking at a full-price purchase. I also should note also that the 2010 Terrain just barely fits into the boot of our VW Golf — if it were even 1cm larger we’d have to take the wheels off to put it in. Here again, the newer model may help — it folds down smaller. I guess a brand new stroller is cheaper than a bigger car so I’ll let you off buying secondhand in that case.
I’m not a fan of the harness — it’s a bit fiddly. It works, it’s easy to adjust, it holds the kids in… But it takes two hands to undo — not ideal in many child-related scenarios!
The foot brake, though effective, is difficult to engage and disengage. On the bright side, this does make it toddler-proof, so maybe that’s for the best.
I think Mountain Buggy have corrected all of the drawbacks (except for the overall size) with the latest model, but given the massive price difference between a new stroller and a secondhand one I’d still be trawling TradeMe first. They have an extensive range of replacement parts available, and while they can be a bit pricey (stick to your local bike shop for tyres and tubes), it’s still much more economical to replace the broken bit than to get a new stroller. We’ve replaced the rear wheels on ours, which cost about $200 (ouch) but we had thrashed them.
Overall, it’s a hulk of a reliable stroller, and I’ve used it for both kids already today (I stash the Ergo in the shopping tray so the kids can take turns as needed). If you’re after a running-capable stroller then it’s a great option, whether you hunt down a secondhand one or spring for new.
Awesome or Average: Awesome
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