Maximum control, maximum performance
I would never call myself a pram addict. A self-diagnosis of mild ‘pram envy’ may be apt, but the thought of being addicted to prams has always eluded me … until now.
My first glimpse of the Mountain Buggy Terrain left me neither impressed, nor unimpressed. From afar it looked like a fairly ordinary 3-wheeled pram. Three wheels, check. Dark colour, check. Spot for a baby, check. First impressions are what really count, right? Wrong.
On closer inspection, I found myself edging one tiny step closer to becoming a pram addict.
Whilst the Terrain is engineered for off-road conditions, it is certainly not out-of-place in Suburbia. If I am to be honest, the last place I would take a pram is off-road, simply because I am just not that outdoorsy. However, for possibly the first time in my life, I felt the urge to throw on my sneakers and head out to the National Park for a jog.
The seat of the Mountain Buggy Terrain is padded and fully reclinable, making it suitable from birth. The seat height is adjusted with pull-straps, so any angle can be achieved. Unlike other prams, the seat does not need to be fully reclined to fold. The entire baby insert does swing a little from side to side during travel, which I thought would be a problem. However, it seems that the rocking motion helped my son to sleep in it.
There is also a bassinette. It is light-weight and appears very simple to install and uninstall. It also looks nice and cosy. If it was bigger, I would probably be tempted to crawl in and take a nap.
The luggage basket underneath is a good size but also a good distance from the bottom of the baby seat, making it easy to access. It has a zipped cover to prevent unwanted access and also to keep your stored goods secure. I am thinking this would be especially important in rough terrain, but anyone who has ever lost a child’s favourite toy that fell out of a pram would also see the value here. It has a separate zip pocket on the outside of the main basket – great for storing keys, phone or anything that you need to find in a hurry. Separate storage pockets inside the pram for things such as toys, dummies, snacks, hats (you get the picture) are a brilliant idea. As are the drink holders located either side of the push handle. I remember the excitement I felt when cars first came out with drink holders. Well, I suppose it’s the little things that make a difference. I get just as thirsty on a long walk as I do traipsing around a shopping centre with a baby and toddler in tow, trying to get three birthday presents, 2 prescriptions, a handful of groceries and a bottle of wine. Not having to rummage around for my drink bottle in a basket full of shopping bags at floor level is a huge bonus. Taking kids on a simple trip to the shops can easily turn into a Military exercise. The Mountain Buggy Terrain has become my personal tank.
The wheel base of the Terrain is quite wide. While this is great for stability, it is a definite no-no for taking into shops with narrow aisles. Any shop that has stock piled on the floor or closely positioned racks will create a big problem for this pram. Standard check outs & supermarket aisles are a breeze.
The suspension is located on the rear of the frame, instead of the more common front position. Travel is quite smooth for the Mountain Buggy Terrain, even on difficult, uneven surfaces.
The foot brake on the Mountain Buggy Terrain is able to be engaged from either side. It needs quite a hard push before it unlocks, making it quite obvious as to whether it is engaged or not. There is an additional hand-operated brake on the push bar, which I imagine is invaluable if you are out jogging. It is, however, equally as useful on a travelator! You need to exert a fair bit of pressure to get the hand brake to really stop the pram, but it’s a great feature which I found very convenient.
The Terrain has a 5 Point Harness, which requires two actions to unbuckle (squeezing a clip and pushing the release button). Not even my clever 3 year old would be able to release this buckle. The straps have padding to stop from rubbing on baby’s skin. My little guy loved playing with them.
The shade canopy extends quite far forward, which is terrific in sunny places. It also has an additional small peak that folds out from beneath the canopy for extra shade. And here’s the great thing – the entire canopy detaches from it’s normal position and can be tilted all the way forward, to follow the sun or wind. Ingenious!
The push handle on the Mountain Buggy Terrain is able to be adjusted from a very low position (for shorties, like me) to practically 90 degrees up, making it comfortable to use for taller people.
The pram’s manoeuvrability is great. I was quite easily able to steer it with one hand when required. It feels stable and even with the bottom basket full of shopping bags and other items, very easy to push. The additional weight was almost unnoticeable, which I must admit, surprised me. Likewise, I was surprised how easy it was to push this pram over rough surfaces. I took it on gravel, grass, dirt and footpaths, all with very little effort.
Locking the front wheel is done with the simple turn of a knob. A second turn unlocks the wheel so it is able to swivel once again. With the front wheel position locked, there is also a lever to adjust the wheel position slightly either way in case the pram is tracking to one side. It’s that effortless.
Folding the Mountain Buggy Terrain is extremely straightforward – No PHD required for this one. Two pull-up lugs near the front wheel and the pram simply folds itself up. Shifting the push handle to the down position then allows you to secure a strap around it and it’s ready to transport. The only problem I have encountered with this is that the rear wheels are quite large and thus, I needed to remove them to fit the Terrain into the boot of my car (Holden Commodore). The great thing is that the wheels come off with a simple push of a button and then slot straight back on. Not that much of an inconvenience really, but it does get tedious. And the protruding axles slide in easily to prevent from catching on any other luggage you may have. Despite folding down quite compact, it does require a generous amount of boot space.
As a side note: Do not over-inflate the tyres. My very helpful husband pumped up the tyres with a tyre pressure gauge just prior to my maiden voyage. Too much pressure will burst the inner tubes of the tyres. This is not only inconvenient, but expensive. Don’t do it.
I found the fabric of the Terrain is practically stain resistant. Granted, I didn’t get it very dirty and I certainly didn’t do any grease tests, but normal spills (including baby chuck) wipe straight off the canvas. A second wipe over later with water and all evidence was removed. Kids clothes should be made from this stuff.
The Mountain Buggy Terrain is a great pram. It certainly is no shrinking violet, but it also will not stand out in a crowd.
If you are looking for a brightly coloured fashion accessory, or a tiny, compact convenience pram, then this is not for you.
However, if you are after a solid, stable, versatile pram that can go almost anywhere, then I would definitely recommend the Terrain. I took this pram to places that I would usually steer clear of with a pram and was pleasantly surprised.
Now I just have to convince my husband that I need to test out other prams. Prams Anonymous, here I come!
Find out more about the Mountain Buggy Terrain here.
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