A Sneak Peak: The New Mountain Buggy +one

I have been very fortunate to have been given an early test visit with the brand new, soon to be released +one from Mountain Buggy.  This is a stroller that I have been waiting for a very long time and it has not disappointed me. If I were going to design a stroller that suits my daily wants and needs in a stroller, first it would be a Mountain Buggy and second it would be the +one. As with every single Mountain Buggy that I have tested, I love it. The +one offers a fabulous single stroller that still feels like a fabulous single stroller even when it’s outfitted for two riders. And I’m going to say it again, I love it. This is the most all terrain, easy pushing, go anywhere yet still pretty lightweight single to double you will find. I can lift this one with one hand, put it in the back of my car, still have room for plenty of other gear or even another stroller (not that I need it), roll through any door, store, crowd, over any terrain from flat sidewalk to squishy mud pit with 1 or 2 riders on board. The stroller is great as a single and just as great as a double- one handed pushing over the worst terrain or through the tightest crowds is a piece of cake. I really love that if only 1 rider is on board, this stroller doesn’t feel like it’s a half-empty double plus you really do get a great added space for storage that is super convenient. It is the perfect stroller for us for school drop off, that back seat can hold a rider or all of our gear without having to reach down to the  basket. And it all folds up in 1 piece which is also really fabulous.


The +one comes complete with the main single stroller configuration, an infant cocoon (to be used in single or double mode) and the second seat (see below for configuration options). Standard on this fabulous 3 wheeler are 12” air filled tires, rear suspension, a huge canopy that covers both riders, has zip open mesh panels and can ratchet forward to cover just the front rider or pop back enough to just cover the rear rider or be raised to offer more headroom, rear brake, adjustable handlebar, bumper bar, standing fold, lockable front wheel, wrist strap and a bottle holder (holds my huge water bottle perfectly). A new addition is the twist and slide harness which allows you to quickly adjust the height of the straps without re-threading, a super addition if you alternate between riders of different ages and sizes as I do. Optional accessories are a rain cover, zip in sunshade, carrycot, car seat adaptor, travel bag, the freerider (see our review here), and the many other mountain buggy universal accessories. The stroller weighs in at just under 30 pounds, is 25 inches wide and holds 44 pounds per seat.

In Use

First of all you have to put it together, which really doesn’t take that long even if you’re adding the second seat. The Mountain Buggy assembly video makes it all very easy to figure out. Set up as a single the +one really does feel much like an Urban Jungle. To convert to a double, you just unzip the seat extender and add the cocoon or the second seat. The seat extender does extend back quite a bit, so you won’t be able to use a ride on board, like the freerider, in doubles mode, but you can use one in single mode. If you’re adding the second seat, you also unzip the footwell for the back rider’s feet. At first glance it appears a bit small, but if you just slide the second seat back a bit, the space really opens up. The rear rider is a bit higher than the front rider, unless the rear rider is pretty young. I thought the view might be a bit restricted back there, but even my 22 month old could see her surroundings just fine. I was also concerned that the footwell might not go over very well with my two testers, but both had no problem with it at all. My 3 year old was very happy in the back and didn’t even notice that the footwell was something a bit different. My 22 month old alternated between feet in and feet up, but when she rode with her feet up, she dropped her iPod into the footwell for some hands free viewing which she really enjoyed. The seats are not huge, but even my 3 year old fits well in the front and back with room to spare. I did also test out both seats with my 4 year old and he was pretty close to the limits of the seat, but he is huge, really huge for a 4 year old and just about at the weight limit anyway. He fit pretty well in the front- plenty of headroom actually, but he felt a bit closed in in the back seat and didn’t have quite enough room for his legs to fit comfortably. Though to be fair, he is really not a stroller rider anyway and almost never rides at this point, but could ride in the front if needed without difficulty. If you have 2 really big riders, you’d be better served by a larger stroller like the Duo (which we love), but for any other combination, it’s a great option. I love knowing that I really can go anywhere with the +one and easily push 2, hold the hand of one more and keep track of number 4 plus lug their gear (in the basket that is not filled up by tiny feet) all without difficulty, struggling, tipping, getting stuck or enduring the nasty looks I get when I try to push through a crowd or down an aisle with a full sized double. When I’m out with just one or two of my little ones it still super fabulous in every way.

The +one really handles well under all circumstances. This stroller really can go anywhere you want to go. The width is the same as a single of course, so you just fit where ever you want to be. That in itself is a major plus. Another plus is the fabulous Mountain Buggy structure that cannot be beat. The ride is as smooth as it is easy to push and it is easy. We are getting to the point that any double stroller can be hard to push with 2 of my hefty riders on board, but this was not a problem with the +one. I can easily push it one handed even when loaded up with 50 plus pounds of riders and a full basket. The lightweight frame, fabulous air tires and the rear suspension help it to just glide and pop over anything in it’s path. I haven’t tried one finger yet, but I have pushed it with just a few fingers. With those great tires, it even pops up stairs easily. It’s just flat out fantastic. We have some pretty crazy stroller needs and the +one hits it on every mark. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s taken so long just to get to try it out and that it’s only here for a short visit. We will really miss it when it’s goes home and we’ll be counting the days until it’s actually released.

The Mountain Buggy +one is a superb option for those who want the versatility of a single to double and also want the very best possible ride, push and features that a Mountain Buggy offers. (Be warned: if you want one, get your order in quickly. Even though the +one hasn’t been released yet and will just begin shipping this week, it’s already backorderd in many places, for good reason. Price will be $649.) I really do measure all other strollers against Mountain Buggies because they always offer the best of what I want in a stroller. The +one offers all of that in a really unique package. If a side by side suits you better, be sure to check out the new super slim Mountain Buggy Duet, already available and another great option at 25” wide (full review to come soon here on BabyRazzi, but you can see my quick comparison between the two here now). Please visit the Mountain Buggy website for more details about the +one and all of the other super fine Mountain Buggy strollers.

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The Joovy ScooterX2

Finding a lightweight double stroller that is heavy on features can be very difficult. Often you have to give up quite a bit to get something that is easy to carry around. The Joovy ScooterX2 is not one of those strollers. This exceedingly reasonably priced stroller (it’s just $199.99 and no, that’s not a mistake) offers features that are often found only in larger much more expensive strollers, but it weighs in at a svelte 28 pounds, great for a double. If what you need is a double that will offer a long term seat for your little ones, comfort and ease of use for both rider and parents in a lightweight package, the ScooterX2 is a great choice.

This stroller that folds down as easily as an umbrella stroller with a one-handed fold,  offers a fabulous full handlebar that makes one-handed pushing easy too. The basket is huge, really, really huge, and pockets are plentiful. Each well-sized seat offers those great Joovy mesh side of seat pockets to keep drinks, snacks or toys handy for both riders plus 2 rear cup holders and zippered pockets for parents. The ScooterX2 does not offer independent canopies, but the canopy is huge and offers great coverage for your riders. Our two testers were even sufficiently covered in a surprise rain shower, which was a great plus. More great features include the rear linked brake, infinite-position recline on each seat that allows each rider to be positioned perfectly from fully upright to a near flat position for little sleepers. The fold can actually be done one handed and it folds down to a nice, compact, flat package. The ScooterX2 is wrapped in a very sturdy  600D Fabric with reflective accents, another detail that is often only found on much more expensive strollers. This stroller will take whatever your little ones toss at it, or spill on it, and look great for years to come. A removable bumper bar and easily adjustable 5-point harness complete the package.

The most important part is of course, how it preforms. The ScooterX2 is a great lightweight double. Despite being very lightweight and smaller in stature than many doubles, it is a very solid ride. The ScooterX2 feels very stable and secure at all times and never felt tippy, unlike many smaller or medium-sized doubles we’ve tested. It handles well over most terrain too. I had a bit harder time pushing my 50 plus pounds worth of children (plus several bottles of water, snacks, my bag, a diaper bag, and 3 dozen cupcakes for the preschool picnic- I said the basket is huge) through the mulch at the playground than I did on the sidewalk getting there, but it handled bumps well and we still managed to run through the grass in the pouring rain without any trouble. And that one handed fold made it quick and easy to pop it into the car for the ride home and get quickly out of the rain. This is a great stroller if you need to take it in and out of the car over and over for trips to school or running errands. Plus with a good amount of headroom and 45 pound weight limit per seat, this is a stroller that you can use for the long term. And, if you don’t have the budget for one of those really expensive doubles, the ScooterX2’s $199.99 price tag is amazing, especially for all of the great features this stroller offers.

The ScooterX2 is available in 3 colors, Orangie, Greenie and Black. Please visit the Joovy website for more details or to buy this fabulous double stroller.

*Joovy provided a sample for review purposes

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The New Verve from phil&teds

The Verve is a brand new addition to the phil&teds line, as well as to the single to double world, and it is fabulous. I love this stroller and it very quickly has become my daily stroller of choice. The Verve offers a great set of features and amazing performance wrapped up in a very stylish package. It offers all of the benefits of the Explorer with many upgrades that are more than worth the extra price, such as the reclining doubles kit seat and the fold with the second seat attached plus a fabulous 4th wheel for those of us who prefer 4 over the sportier 3.

The Verve offers amazing functionality as both a single or inline double. The stroller features include a contoured, very comfortable, ventilated seat, 2 front airless tires with suspension,  2 rear pneumatic tires, one-handed infinite recline (though you’ll need two hands to raise the seat), finger-touch hand brake (so very convenient, especially if you have a walking or running toddler), 6 position adjustable handle, secure & ever so easy to adjust 5-point harness, follow the sun canopy, removable  bumper bar, the option of the doubles kit seat (offering a 3 position recline and canopy) and a very compact standing fold with the doubles kit seat attached or not (This, I truly love). The Verve is also one of the lightest feeling fully-featured double stroller options that you will find. It offers phil&teds’ 7-in-one adaptability, which means you have 7 possible seating options for 1 or 2 children, newborn to toddler. With the Verve, you have the option of having a newborn ride flat in the main seat with the doubles kit seat attached in front or you can use the optional car seat adapter to use your car seat as a travel system and still use the double skit seat in the rear position, which is fabulous. Accessories include single and double storm or sun covers, the peanut bassinet and the travel bag. There are also several other phil&teds accessories available that can be used to customize your Verve, such as the drink holders, seat liners or the food tray. The Verve is available in 2 colors- Black or Red and retails for $699.99, add $119.99 for the doubles kit.

The Verve is a slightly scaled down 4-wheeled version of the phil&teds Vibe, the more upscale, stylish model in the line. The frame is 10 % smaller overall, but still has that same modern, very cool look that you find with the Vibe. The big addition is the 4th wheel which offers a truly great ride. The Verve offers 2 large rear air tires and 2 no-flat foam front tires with suspension. I’m not always a huge fan of front foam tires, especially when you have the air tires in back. They often tend to reduce the benefits of the rear air tires since they just don’t have the same pop that gets you over the big bumps smoothly. This is not a problem with the Verve. First of all the front wheels are well sized- much larger than most from airless tires I’ve tested- and the suspension is  amazing. The combination of the two really make a difference. The Verve really does pop right over anything in your path. I haven’t been able to find the spot that will trip it up yet. Plus because this really is a lightweight double, the ride is smooth and the push is effortless. Fully loaded or with 2 smaller riders, you have very similar performance to pushing a single, this stroller glides everywhere we take it. Three wheels may be “sportier”, but there is nothing that will hold this stroller back. You will be just as happy cruising through the mall or museum or trudging through the muckity yuck on the way to the soccer field or playground. And the size is quite sporty and light with a stylish design that will look great anywhere you go. I’ve been getting oohs and aahs everywhere I take it.

I knew I would like the Verve as soon as I saw the initial details and I was even more impressed once I had the actual stroller in my hands. At first I thought it was just a very cool stroller, an extra snazzy single to double. A great choice for someone with 1 or 2 children but probably not the right stroller for us with our  extreme stroller needs. After all, 4 children (ages 5, 3, 2 &1) not only take up quite a bit of space when you add in all of their gear, toys, snacks and whatnot, but add some very specific requirements that most strollers just can’t meet.  Only 2 ride at a time, but all 4 take up quite a bit of basket real estate and we usually lean towards a much bigger stroller. We tend to roll in the extra large, super rugged SUV/Minivan sized stroller, while the Verve is more of a very stylish sports car- sleek and streamlined, but with the 4WD sensibilities that will take it off road with ease. Well, it turns out that when you realize how much you love the sports car, you just find a way to make it work and that is exactly what we’ve done, we make it work and it’s fabulous. If you’re concerned about storage space when your basket is filled with feet, we have had no issues so far and we take the Verve to school every day. There’s actually room under the seat for items you don’t need to grab constantly and we’ve pulled out our old phil&teds shop & drop parcel tray pack to hold everything we need to lug around in the basket. I just fill it up, drop it in and the feet float on top while the cargo is safe from prying hands and kicking feet.  Not only does this stroller just look sportier, it feels so much lighter, zippier too that I really couldn’t stand the idea of not using it.

I’ve been using the Verve every day for several weeks. My initial run through, turned into a few day test, which turned into rolling the stroller we had been using right into storage where it still sits many weeks later. I have taken the Verve everywhere, literally, that I can think of to test this little wonder and I  love it more every day. The push is very similar whether I have my 1 year old daughter riding alone or I add her 2 year old brother in the back. I can push 1 handed so easily, that I am still surprised how easy it is. We bump over really bad sidewalks, through crowds and mud and wet mulch, in the market, at school, and everywhere we go this stroller is a pleasure to push. My children love it too. I also love that we don’t take up as much of the sidewalk or aisle, which means we get oh so many less nasty looks from unsympathetic non-stroller users. It also means we can jet through crowded sidewalks on the way to school easily, make tight turns or back up without feeling like we need a warning beeper and back up lights.

One of my favorite things about phil&teds inlines is that the front seat really is an actual full-sized even a really big kid can ride kind of seat. For us that means that not only is it a great single, but it can still hold the bigger riders when it needs to. I can easily load my sleeping, massive just about 4 year old into the front seat, slide my sleeping 2 year old into the rear seat (that reclining rear seat makes this a snap) and push one handed while carrying my 1 year old.  This is not possible in several other inlines we’ve tried- if they both fit in the seats, the stroller is so hard to push I really need 2 hands and maybe a bit of hip to shove it along. Of course, the rear seat is a rear seat and some people have concerns about whether or not their child will want to ride in the back or having them so low. All 4 of my children have been happy in the back of a phil&teds, they often ask for the rear seat. It’s a great spot for a baby because it’s protected from the full frontal assault of the world and the recline really makes it a great spot for sleeping. When they get bigger, the recline make sit easier to get them in and out, especially if they do fall asleep. My 2 year old only wants to ride in the back, he calls it his “rocket seat”, and he can easily be taken in and out while his sister continues to ride. Though if I do have to pull her out first for some reason, the stroller is so stable that I don’t have to worry about tipping.

What I think I love most is that I can easily and quickly take this stroller in and out of the car over and over and it just doesn’t ever get bothersome. The Verve can hold 2 children of varying sizes yet I can pick it up without breaking my back as I do when lugging around my 40 pound side by side or having to deal with 2 or 3 pieces I have to put together and take apart over and over. The Verve is not a one step fold, but it is so easy that you won’t care. I can get the Verve in and out of the car so fast and it’s so easy that I’m still surprised.  Many strollers that offer ease in this area don’t offer a great ride, but not the Verve. It’s just fabulous in every way. The folding process can take a bit of getting used to, but as long as you remember to keep the wheels facing out, your stroller will easily fold down into a very compact package that locks up tight, stands on its own and can easily be lifted without strain. It’s such a smooth process and  you don’t have to worry about banged shins, pinched fingers or fighting to get it locked. And you will be hard pressed to find a stroller for 2 with so many features that will fold up as compactly and feel so comparatively light. If you’re a brand new double user or you’re used to an umbrella stroller, it might seem a bit heavier than what you’re used to, but if you have really lived with a fully featured double for any length of time, you’ll be doing a little dance when you realize how light this is to lift and then to push, even with 70 pounds on board.

phil&teds Verve is a stroller that you can buy for your first, push it happily through country or city and be all set to go when baby 2 arrives. The easily removable rear seat also means that you’re never locked into a double stroller when you don’t need it. If you know that you’ll not need the second seat, the Verve is still a great stroller. The ride is superb, as are the features. You really can take this stroller anywhere. The Verve mixes a modern style that will look great no matter where you travel with the exceptional functionality you need if you have to conquer anything beyond the flat roll of the mall. Bumpy sidewalks and cobblestones or wet grassy parks and playgrounds will never get in your way. Add a super comfy, reclining second seat and a one piece fold and it can’t miss. When it comes to double strollers, there are many that I really like, but not many that will actually work for me on a daily basis. The Verve is one of the few that I not only love, but it really works for us which says quite a lot about how fantastic this stroller really is.

For even more details, please visit the phil&teds site.

* phil&teds provided a sample for review

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