A Minimalist Stroller: The Mountain Buggy Nano

 

For the parents of the young ones and the parents-to-be out there: a never before found on this blog stroller review. I don’t think I have ever reviewed anything besides books here. But today I am sharing a great find for parents that actually fits in with a minimalist parenting lifestyle. A revolutionary stroller designed for travel, urban life and compact living.

As I have said before, no one stroller does it all.

My kids are getting older and with some other life changes I knew it was time to downsize our stroller. Our double had served us well with two kids under two but the double days were, thankfully, behind us. We needed something that folded up easily and compactly for storage at daycare and for some upcoming long haul travel. And, dare to dream, if I could haul it on my cargo bike for big outings that would be a huge bonus. After seven years of stroller life I also really wanted to get back some hall entryway space. Those of you with small homes can probably relate. That spot near the front door where a stroller has sat since my oldest was born was tantalizingly within reach of us reclaiming.

I researched a lot of small strollers this fall. We’d had a second hand Maclaren for a few years in the Isle of Man and it worked well for travel and our horse tram and train trips around the island. But it wasn’t comfortable to push for long distances and at 6’5″ my husband struggled with the low handle height. We needed something that was easy to walk with daily and for a lot of miles. After much searching and querying of parents at the indoor play gym, I found what I was looking for.

The Mountain Buggy Nano is my minimalist stroller.

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The Mountain Buggy Nano fits most of my urban minimalist needs. One handed push, folds easily and compactly and a comfortable seat (my youngest naps in the stroller most afternoons). With an infant car seat for use it can be used from birth and has a carry capacity of 44 lbs. You can even add a Freerider scooter to the rear axle to move your older child along. The wheels are surprisingly smooth for being smaller and not air filled and it, incredibly for its size, has a suspension system. The basket is a decent size for everyday use and it has an excellent canopy with pop out sun shade.

I consider myself a bit of a stroller guru. We’ve had many strollers over the years as we moved countries added children. So far we have at one time owned, bought in new or used condition, an UppaBaby Vista, fixed wheel jogging stroller, BOB Revolution, Phil and Teds Navigator double and a McLaren umbrella stroller. And compared to all of those strollers, the Mountain Buggy Nano is probably my favorite for its versatility, size and price point.

More about the Mountain Buggy Nano:

  • I’ve been asking other parents about their Mountain Buggy Nanos for a few months now. I wanted to know how the stroller held-up over time. One parent I met locally has had her Mountain Buggy Nano for 18 months, has put a lot of miles on her stroller (stay at home parent with no car) and said it is still in great shape. Her one comment was that she might have to replace the wheels in the next six months.
  • you need to pop the stroller over curbs and it has taken me a while to get used to this. Why? Because the stroller otherwise rolls smoothly like a full size premium stroller. Popping front wheels up for a curb was second nature with our rickety umbrella stroller but has not come naturally with this stroller.
  • obviously this stroller won’t work as a two seated double or for running or for large grocery trips. I’ve rolled the stroller on gravel and uneven and broken pavement and it has been okay but if I lived somewhere with rough terrain or out in the country I wouldn’t choose this stroller as an everyday stroller.
  • it’s really really easy to fold and it’s very compact. One reason we wanted this stroller was that our youngest was starting daycare and there is limited stroller storage. The Mountain Buggy Nano is perfect for stowing in small spaces.
  • one of the features I’m very excited about is that it can be stored in overhead bins on a plane. We have some upcoming travel where I am going to test this out. As I will be on my own with three young kids for half of the air travel I am thrilled at this option to make life a little bit easier. (I’ll be sharing more on air travel with the Mountain Buggy Nano on Instagram).
  • in comparison to a premium stroller the Mountain Buggy Nano is a bargain at $349 CDN. But if you compared it to a lightweight umbrella stroller it’s considerably more money. In my opinion the MB Nano is much more than a lightweight umbrella stroller but it can easily fit that need – easy fold, easily portable. It’s more comparable to something like the UPPA Baby G-Luxe but it’s lighter weight and has a more compact fold. And, the big one, it has one handed push which no umbrella style stroller has. So if you just need something small to stash in your car for the occasional trip this would be a hefty investment. But if you want a stroller that’s travel friendly but feels like a premium stroller, this is an amazing option.

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Tip: the weather shield above the head rest can doubles as extra storage for lightweight items like jackets, blankets and teddies.

This is my last stroller and, hurrah!, it’s great for 95% of what we need it for. Sure, I can’t do a huge grocery shop with it but we are mostly using grocery delivery these days, the new fruit and veg place on the corner and the occasional Chefs Plate (highly recommend you Canadians give this a try – link gets you three free plates). And I have a funny system for Costco runs where I use a folding handcart (it totally works). So yeah, this is it. Seven years down the road of stroller usage and I feel like I’ve found my spirit stroller. It’s compact, versatile and travels well. Oh, and my seven year old also finds it easy to push. Win, win, win.

Disclaimer: I received a Mountain Buggy Nano stroller for review. All opinions are honest and my own.

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  • Our minimalist solution is a bit different: no stroller at all. We’ve been carrying our older daughter until she walked everywhere herself in a Boba carrier. Now our second (14 mo) is being toted around in it. Of course this works only for people who don’t have any back problems or so. But we like it, not only because we don’t have a stroller standing around, but also because we have the same level of agility as a pedestrian, which is great as we use public transport a lot (we don’t have a car, so also no car seat etc). We also aren’t tempted to lug a ton of baby stuff around this way.

    • Sue – love it. A carrier is part of our getting around arsenal too. I know another family that didn’t use a stroller for the first two years (mum found it really taxing once her son was 30lbs+ and they got a small umbrella stroller). We have a toddler size carrier that I use for a back carry for my 33 lb youngest (and the 34 lbs almost 4 year old when he asks!). You must be in great shape!!

  • So, how does it work on the bike?

    I’ve never considered daycare stroller storage. Our daycare has a place for carseats, but I’m in a very unwalkable area.It’s interesting to think about aspects of car-free life that I hadn’t considered before.

    I started following you on instagram so I can hear about how the carry-on stroller works on the plane. :)

    • I can strap it to the side of the cargo bike or even put it in our pannier. It’s that small. I usually take a baby carrier when we are out on the cargo bike but our ‘baby’ is 33 lbs. It’s nice to have him nap on the go in the stroller instead of on me.
      Daycare: I would guess 75% of the families arrive at our daycare on foot with a stroller, on a scooter, walking (3-5 yr program) or in a baby carrier. It’s in a dense urban area.
      I’ve heard mixed feedback that some airlines won’t allow you to carry the Nano on but I’m going to try. I’m seriously outnumbered if we arrive and two or all three children are asleep. So I’m probably bringing the nano on and a carrier. And then waking the 7 year old up if he’s asleep!

  • Hi there. We too have a Mountain Buggy Nano, which we purchased recently primarily for ease of travel. It does indeed fit in an overhead luggage compartment and was great for city walking (not at all great for off road).

    I would have to say that there has been one extremely disappointing feature for a “premium” buggy and that is the shoulder straps. The pads easily slide off the straps meaning you need to be extra careful when taking your toddler in or out. They can easily slide off and get lost. Once they are off (in the end we got a bit tired of them) the buckles come loose and I am forever having to tighten them, only for the straps to become loose again. My son then shrugs them off and we end up wheeling him around with just the hip/wait straps.

    I haven’t been that fussed on the quality of the workmanship either. We have had the stroller less than six months and the edge of the seat where my son’s feet rub has caused the fabric to pill and deteriorate. The stitching around the hood could also be better.

    I don’t hate the Nano and love Mountain Buggy as a company. I bought a swift second hand and it’s awesome. Just not sure the Nano is really worth the price tag

    • Rhonda – thank you for sharing your review here. I always try and update reviews further down the road once we have put a lot of use on it – helpful to have someone weigh in with one in the comments.
      Yes, we removed the stroller pads on our buggy as they slid off. Wasn’t a terribly big deal to me but we’re out of the teething on stroller straps phase. Haven’t had an issue with straps loosening on mine (I know that problem well because we had it on our Phil and Teds – annoying!!).

  • I know everyone says no one stroller does it all, but we found our City Mini GT came close. We were sure we would only have that one stroller for our kids’ childhoods, but then our second was born and we came to terms with the fact that we live in a city and will walk 1-3 miles easily and that while our 3 year old is a good walker, she just couldn’t handle the 1.5 mile walk home from school…too tired after a long day. So we found a double City mini GT on Craigslist and now it’s my second favorite stroller!

    Wondering though… What’s the advantage to putting a stroller in the overhead bin? To me, if I were traveling alone that would be a big pain. I love gate checking our stroller and receiving it at the gate on arrival!

    • I’ve heard great things about those City Mini GTs. :)
      Overhead bin: so handy to walk out with the stroller and not have to wait for it to be brought up! Especially handy when you are traveling solo with three kids and one (or more!) are asleep and you can quickly put them into a stroller.

  • Love our Mountain Buggy Nano! We struggled with different kinds of strollers for our kid and this one has fit the bill ever since we go it. I totally understand the “spirit stroller” – it’s mine too.

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